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Re: The Origin of John's Christology

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  • mgrondin@tir.com
    ... In the first place, we have no evidence that Eusebius was engaged in redacting Hegesippus in this case. What would have been the motivation? If, as you
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 29, 2001
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      --- RSBrenchley wrote:
      > 1) How much reliance can we place on Heseggipus as redacted by
      > Eusebius?

      In the first place, we have no evidence that Eusebius was engaged
      in redacting Hegesippus in this case. What would have been the
      motivation? If, as you suggest, Jacob was "edited out of the Gospel
      tradition" (as opposed to coming into prominence after the death of
      Jesus), why would Hegesippus and/or Eusebius have resurrected him?
      Secondly, we have a number of indicators placing Jacob in some
      relationship to the Temple, whether in regular attendance or on
      some occasions wearing priestly garb, etc. It's not easy to explain
      these away as inventions of folks who no longer had any interest
      in the Temple!

      > 2) If James' conversion really came about after the crucifixion,
      > how come he emerges as top dog, over and above Jesus' existing
      > lieutenants?

      That's easy - he was family. Not only would the idea of monarchical
      succession have entered the picture, but I think that the Galilean
      disciples would have welcomed a leader with a some respectability.
      I also have in mind the disputes between family and followers that
      ensued after the death of Muhammad. In the Jesus case, I think it
      likely that what happened was that those who reported having "seen"
      the risen Jesus (including Jacob), together with those who believed
      them, formed a new coalition composed of many (but not all) family
      members and former followers that became the resurrection-Yeshuines.
      Jacob was top-dog of this new group, though not of the original
      disciples. These would have been fairly rapid developments, but the
      fact that Jacob was lauded with the phrase "heaven and earth came
      into being because of him" indicates to me that there was some
      resistance to his leadership even in the new coalition, based on
      his not having been among the original leaders of the disciples.

      > He would not, for instance, have fitted the requirements given
      > for apostolic status in Acts 1:21-2 ...

      But he wasn't an apostle! On the Essene model, he was the ersatz
      "king", with John, representing the politico-religious arm, at
      his right hand and Simon Petros, representing the religio-political
      (in this case, apostolic missionary) arm, at his left. (In the
      Transfig scene, which I agree was invented to justify the "pillars",
      and to reflect their personal "revelations", Peter is given the
      favored middle position, with the Zebedee brothers, acting as
      stand-ins for other characters, at his left and right.)

      > I can't get away from a suspicion that James was a leader from
      > the beginning, and was edited out of the Gospel tradition.

      Funny, my intuition is that Jacob bar Zebedee was a leader from the
      beginning and that his role was minimized in Acts! Why else give
      him and John the special title "Sons of Thunder"? And why else would
      he have been the first one executed post-Easter?

      Anyway, as can be seen, I take the reports of personal visions of
      the risen Jesus to have had a political impact as well as a
      religious one. Poor Mary Magdalene, who was probably the first to
      report such visions, got left by the wayside, but she probably
      inspired Peter and Jacob in their similar experiences. Once having
      reported such visions, the one having them would have seemed to
      have been specially selected by God and/or Jesus, and so was a
      natural candidate for leadership in the rapidly-emerging
      resurrection-Yeshuine movement, all else being equal. MM's being a
      woman counted against her, of course, whereas Jacob's being of J's
      family would have been an additional, even overwhelming, factor in
      his favor. Luke couldn't excise Jacob's leadership from Acts, but
      he did fail to mention the various visions reported elsewhere, and
      which must have played no small role in the development of the
      eventual Essene-like structure headed by "the pillars".

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