RE: [XTalk] Dating of Hebrews
- At 03:44 PM 9/1/01 -0400, David C. Hindley wrote:
>My statement was entirely based on mss evidence within the PaulineI suppose that, in general, the later a letter is added to
>corpus, while you are allowing other evidence. Of course, I am
>assuming that because Hebrews is not associated with the three
>collections which ultimately formed the basic 13 letter corpus, or
>with the Praxapostolos, it is more likely that it was composed after
>than before these collections. I concede that there is no absolute
>surety in that assumption.
a letter the less likely it is to be genuine, and the more
likely a letter is not genuine, the more likely it is later
than genuine letters. That being said, I would not be
content from reasoning about Hebrews' date merely from its
entry into the Pauline letter collection. I'd want more.
>Regarding 1 Clement, I am on the fence about it as a reliable primaryI'm fairly content with the standard position on 1 Clement as c. 95.
>source. It seems to quote ACTS 20:35; 1 COR 02:09; HEB 01:03-04; JAS
>01:08, 02:23; LUKE 06:36-38, MATT 06:12-15, 07:02; 2 PET 03:03-04; ROM
>01:32, 12:05; and TIT 03:01, plus, it also seems to allude to COL
>01:18; 1 COR 03:13, 12:12, 13:04, 15:20; HEB 13:17; JAS 02:21, 05:20;
>LUKE 17:02; MARK 09:42; MATT 18:06, 26:24; 1 PET 02:17, 03:20,
>04:08; 2 PET 02:05, 02:06-09; PHI 04:15; 1 THE 05:12-13; and 1 TIM
>05:21. That indicates a much more intimate familiarity with NT
>documents (it never seems to quote unknown gospels like Barnabas - 3
>times!, Ignatius Smyrneans - I will ignore the additional one in the
>longer Greek version of Ephesians, and Justin's apologies) than I
>would feel comfortable with if it is truly a genuine (or at least
>unadulterated) product of 90-100 CE, as it represents itself.
If it is spurious, I'd like to see a good Sitz im Leben for it.
>As to the Shepherd, I was always under the impression that it wasThe Shepherd's contacts are not so much literary but an attempt
>almost completely free of any direct NT quotations. The phrases in the
>Shepherd that resemble phrases in Hebrews are either echoes of phrases
>from Jewish scriptures (3 of the 6 listed in the index to the Loeb
>text in _Apostolic Fathers_, vol. II) or short phrases that may be
>commonplace sayings shared by the writers of both documents (Vis
>II.iii.2 "having broken away from the living God", Vis III.vii.2
>"apostatise from the living God", both supposedly referring to Heb
>3:12, and Sim IX.xix.2 "fruits of righteousness" which is supposed to
>resemble the phrase in Heb 12:11 but is actually an exact match with
>Phil 1:11). In all cases the wording would have to be pretty loose to
>have actually been references to passages in Hebrews.
to get out of the theological bind Hebrews placed Christians in.
>Also, the onlyThe dating of the Shepherd is complex because different parts of
>firm dating for this work is its listing in the Muratorian canon,
>which dates it to about 148 CE, but there is question as to the
>canon's own date and what the author of the canon meant by "quite
>recently, in our own time," when ascribing its composition to the
>brother of Pius, bishop of Rome.
it appears to be composed at different time. However, I'm one
of those who agree with Hahneman that the Muratorian canon is
an early 4th century work and is not reliable on the date of the
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
- At 09:07 PM 9/1/01 -0400, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>I suppose that, in general, the later a letter is added to^ collection
>a letter the less likely it is to be genuine, and the more
>likely a letter is not genuine, the more likely it is laterPlease insert this word.
>than genuine letters. That being said, I would not be
>content from reasoning about Hebrews' date merely from its
>entry into the Pauline letter collection. I'd want more.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
- At 10:59 AM 9/1/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Bob Schacht vents:This is irrelevant, because at issue is Trobisch's analysis of the
> >>Aaaaarrgh! How can you-- or he--- claim that Hebrews was added later
>when it is present in the ***EARLIEST*** known manuscript of Paul's
>letters (P46), and is placed there in the MIDDLE, not at the end!!!<<
>200 CE, early as it is, is pretty darn *late*, well after any of these
>books were written.
manuscripts. We *don't have* any manuscripts before P46. All such
manuscripts, and what they may have include, and in what order, are
>p46 was badly planned (no matter how small heWhat has this got to do with Trobisch's argument that Hebrews was added to
>ended up writing, he wasn't going to fit 23 pages worth of text into
>14 pages!), so why not badly organized? Amateur scribe, personal
the Pauline Corpus at a later date? Perhaps I'm just being dense.
>To suppose that Hebrews was 1) (accidentally) accepted early but 2)Whatever plot, it is the evidence. The two earliest manuscripts do include
>later (rightly) rejected, only to 3) later (erroneously) win the
>battle of acceptance, is more akin to the plot of a tragic novel than
>an explanation based on the evidence.
Hebrews, and they do not put it in an appendix. No distinction is made
between Hebrews and the other letters.
> Step 2 also assumes a certainYou are confusing the evidence and the interpretation of the evidence. The
>amount of critical ability that was not really exercised in the early
>church until the latter quarter of the 2nd century CE (by Origen, and
>then only selectively, and Africanus, who few listened to anywise when
>it came to higher criticism, certainly not Origen).
evidence in your table from Trobisch *shows* your steps 1, 2 & 3. That *is*
the evidence. What you are mixing into this is the explanation for the
evidence, and setting up straw explanatory men that you then proclaim as
unrealistic. The manuscripts that show Hebrews placed at the end, or
omitted, appear to date to centuries well after Origen and Africanus.
Besides, it is not necessary to posit any degree of sophistication in
literary criticism. I'm sure that you recall that arguments over the merits
of various Biblical books at the time of the Step 2 manuscripts were often
quite vitriolic. But I am not proposing any explanation for Step 2; I am
only observing that according to the evidence that you presented, Step 2
seems to have taken place-- at least in this small sample of texts from Egypt.
>That still does not explain why, in virtually every single manuscript,I never said that it means nothing; clearly, if you look at the place of
>all 13 of the other books of the corpus are in the same relative order
>(with exception of 06 and miniscule 5, which reverses the order of 2
>books, placing Colossians next to its closely related sister
>Ephesians), EXCEPT Hebrews, and Hebrews shows up all over the place.
>And that means nothing to you?
Hebrews in the manuscripts over a span of 500 years, it is obvious that
people didn't know quite what to do with it. BUT THEY INCLUDED IT, except
for those Step 2 manuscripts in the middle of the sequence you summarized.
What baffles me is that you see, and wrote with your own hand, that the two
earliest manuscripts included Hebrews. Does that mean nothing to you?
>Do you have a similar scenario worked out for the wandering pericope ofNo.
>the Adulterous Woman?
>So, no, Trobisch does not prove that Hebrews is late (that was myAh! Thanks for the clarification.
>only that it was attached to a "canonical edition"So this means that it is a hypothetical edition for which there is no
>(using Trobisch's term) after the introduction of that edition. That
>edition was apparently in circulation before p46 was written,
manuscript evidence, right?
What evidence does he have for this hypothetical edition?
>so prior to ca. 175-225 CE (assuming a 25 year margin of error about theHow on earth does he "know" that? What is the evidence?
>estimated date of 200 CE). That the edition which p46 copied from did
>not contain Hebrews after Romans
>(and for gosh sakes, that is not in the "middle" of the corpus)All I meant was that it was not tucked into an appendix at the end of the
manuscript, and therefore not "set apart" from the other letters of Paul.
>is shown by the fact that here Hebrews was placed in a position shared bySo what? It was INCLUDED! All this means is that at this early(!) date, the
>no other later manuscript at all, ever.
canonical order of the letters had not yet become fixed. Big deal.
>If Hebrews was circulating earlier than the canonical edition ofThis is preposterous. Trobisch's canonical edition is evidently based on
>Paul's letters, why was it never associated with one of the three
>groupings that the canonical edition drew upon?
hypothetical documents that no one has seen for 1800 years, and so the
groupings are also hypothetical. And yet, if you look at the two earliest
manuscripts, Hebrews IS included in the first group in both manuscripts,
being placed before Ephesians (even if in different sequences.) What am I
not getting here? You seem to be relying on some hypothetical set of
manuscripts that Trobisch has reconstructed on the basis of data that I
don't recall seeing you present. Am I being dense?
>Maybe it wasn't considered Paul's?Why do you/Tobisch suppose this? Only on the basis of its differing place
in the order of letters? Why would that mean it wasn't Paul's? I'm not, by
the way, arguing that Hebrews was written by Paul; only that the earliest
manuscripts clearly include it with Paul's letters. If it was authored by
Silvanus or some other colleague of Paul's, it might seem natural to
>Then why did it not get associated with the mssThis is getting ridiculous. You're saying "why don't you see..?" and I'm
>grouping known as the (Prax)apostolos (Acts + General Epistles)?
responding "why don't you see...?" Something strange is going on here.
What relevance does the (Prax)apostolos (Acts + General Epistles) have?
When is it first attested? I'll bet it is not attested until a later date
than P46, and hence I would argue that grouping is not relevant.
>Because the author of Hebrews wasn't an Apostle? Hasn't modernI don't understand these sentences.
>criticism largely agreed that this was an argument that intended to
>justify the selection of the books of the NT, and not explain them?
>This all means that Hebrews was probably written *after* the writingAll this sounds like a hypothetical argument based on non-existant
>of all the other books of the Pauline corpus (including any spurious
>books), AND the Praxapostolos (almost all of the epistles contained in
>it are considered late fabrications). It is LATE (at least mid 2nd
>century), and that means not written by an associate of Paul, and thus
manuscripts, or on manuscripts later than the earliest collections of
Paul's letters, unless you have in mind evidence that you haven't mentioned
>I am a skeptic by nature, so I literally poured over this book andThis sounds like a *logical* argument. But what is the evidence to support it?
>worked out the data (I even caught an error in a table from Trobisch's
>later book on a canonical edition of the entire NT), and by and large
>I think he is onto something (i.e., editions of subsets of NT books).
>When it happens that I am confronted with facts that are inI agree. And the stubborn facts of this case seem to be that the two
>disagreement with my previously held opinions (as was the case here,
>as was also the case with Kloppenborg's _Formation of Q_), I tend to
>try to figure out (and ultimately adopt) historical scenarios that
>accommodate these findings rather than explain them away.
earliest manuscripts of collections of Paul's letters both include Hebrews,
and in both Hebrews is placed before Ephesians. Do these facts mean nothing
With respect to the manuscript evidence, I don't know of *any* manuscript
of *any* of Paul's letters that is earlier than Hebrews. Therefore it seems
to me that any analysis that argues for a later date for Hebrews must rest
on evidence *other than* the existing manuscripts. Perhaps you are assuming
this evidence rather than laying it out. If this is the case, I would
appreciate learning about what this other evidence is. But this exchange
was prefaced by your statement (several messages ago) that Trobisch based
his argument on *an examination of the manuscripts.*
>Sorry if we disagree.I would like to have a better understanding of why we disagree, because it
looks to me like you are ignoring the evidence in favor of a hypothetical
(if wonderfully logical) theory of manuscripts. I would appreciate it if
you would point out any actual evidence that I am overlooking. We obviously
are "seeing" different things and are both astonished that the other does
not see what we see. If you or someone else can see the Rosetta Stone that
can make our arguments sensible to each other, I would be most grateful. Am
I just being dense?
>>This [i.e., that "200 CE, early as it is, is pretty darn *late*,well after any of these books were written"] is irrelevant, because at
issue is Trobisch's analysis of the manuscripts. We *don't have* any
manuscripts before P46. All such manuscripts, and what they may have
include, and in what order, are hypothetical.<<
Keep in mind that *you* are the one that keeps mentioning p46 as the
earliest witness as if this has great significance. Does it or doesn't
>>What has this got to do with Trobisch's argument that Hebrews wasadded to the Pauline Corpus at a later date? Perhaps I'm just being
Perhaps. <g> It has to do with YOUR idea that p46, being the earliest
mss and including Hebrews second in order, had some sort of special
significance. I was suggesting that p46 was not a *published* mss but
a private one. As a private one, its order could have represented the
whim of the owner/copyist, not the mss tradition of publishers. One of
Trobisch's points was that NT mss overwhelmingly show evidence of
being the products of publishing houses (scriptoriums, if you like,
but not to be confused with those in monasteries or the efforts of
house churches - the latter of which Trobisch finds little evidence
>>What baffles me is that you see, and wrote with your own hand, thatthe two earliest manuscripts included Hebrews. Does that mean nothing
I'm willing to take another look at manuscript tradition:
P46* 03** 01 06 012 Byz Min5 Min794
per 02 010
200 4th? 4-5th 5-6th 9th
Rom 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1Co 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
2Co 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Gal 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Eph 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 5
Phi 7 7 6 7 6 6 7 6
Col 8 8 7 6 7 7 6 7
1Th 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8
2Th ? 10 9 9 9 9 9 9
1Ti ? ? 11 10 10 10 11 11
2Ti ? ? 12 11 11 11 12 12
Tit ? ? 13 12 12 12 13 13
Phm ? ? 14 13 13 13 14 14
Heb 2! 5! 10 14*** Omit! 14 10 10&15!
Looking at this chart again, there *is* evidence that Hebrews was
variously placed at the end of one or another of the three major
groupings of letters, but always as an appendix (except in p46). In 03
(by chapter order) it is tucked between the first major grouping and
the consistently appended book of Ephesians. In the major uncials
(incl. 03 in its actual order) and Miniscule 5 it comes after the 2nd
major grouping. In the Byzantine textual order and in 06 Claromontanus
it comes after the third (and last) grouping. Manuscripts 010 & 012
omit it completely. However, even in the case of 03 (by chapter
order), it is still after a major grouping, and along with Ephesians,
added as an appendix to that grouping.
To change the subject away from Hebrews, maybe the question should be,
"Are these groupings, found in all mss except p46, evidence for
previously existing independent collections appended together (as
Trobisch suggests) or some sort of critical grouping (group 1 =
undisputed, 2 = intermediate, 3 = disputed)? These groupings do exist,
and seem to have significance (even in deciding where to place
Hebrews) so if they were not evidence of independent groupings later
appended into the present collection, then what are they evidence for?
Before we all go rushing to conclusions, though, here is Trobisch's
table with the length of each book in characters based (I think) on
ROM 34,410 18.4%
1CO 32,767 17.5%
2CO 22,280 11.9%
GAL 11,091 5.9%
EPH 12,012 6.4%
PHI 8,009 4.3%
COL 7,897 4.2%
1TH 7,423 4.0%
2TH 4,055 2.2%
1TI 8,869 4.7%
2TI 6,538 3.5%
TIT 3,733 2.0%
PHM 1,575 0.8%
HEB 26,382 14.1%
TOTAL 187,041 100%
The 3 major groupings are always in order of length (except Ephesians
and Hebrews). Ephesians is always, without fail, appended to the first
grouping. Hebrews is appended to all three groupings, or omitted, in
an inconsistent manner.
What are we to make of this order?
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Thank you for your patience, and for this response which greatly enhances
my understanding of your previously articulated position! More below.
At 11:38 AM 9/2/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Bob,Sure it does. I am surprised that you consistently seem to regard this
> >>This [i.e., that "200 CE, early as it is, is pretty darn *late*,
>well after any of these books were written"] is irrelevant, because at
>issue is Trobisch's analysis of the manuscripts. We *don't have* any
>manuscripts before P46. All such manuscripts, and what they may have
>include, and in what order, are hypothetical.<<
>Keep in mind that *you* are the one that keeps mentioning p46 as the
>earliest witness as if this has great significance. Does it or doesn't
earliest witness as *irrelevant,* a position that is hard for me to
understand, although the reasons seem to become clearer below.
> >>What has this got to do with Trobisch's argument that Hebrews wasIt is not surprising to me that the earliest document *might have been* a
>added to the Pauline Corpus at a later date? Perhaps I'm just being
>Perhaps. <g> It has to do with YOUR idea that p46, being the earliest
>mss and including Hebrews second in order, had some sort of special
>significance. I was suggesting that p46 was not a *published* mss but
>a private one. As a private one, its order could have represented the
>whim of the owner/copyist, not the mss tradition of publishers. One of
>Trobisch's points was that NT mss overwhelmingly show evidence of
>being the products of publishing houses (scriptoriums, if you like...
"private" manuscript, and that later documents were "published" copies.
Duh. I think Trobisch (and you) seem to exaggerate the importance of this
point all out of proportion. But see below.
> >>What baffles me is that you see, and wrote with your own hand, thatOK, I think I follow you here. But rather than quibbling about the next
>the two earliest manuscripts included Hebrews. Does that mean nothing
>I'm willing to take another look at manuscript tradition:
> P46* 03** 01 06 012 Byz Min5 Min794
> per 02 010
> chap 03**
> no's 04
> 200 4th? 4-5th 5-6th 9th
>Rom 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
>1Co 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
>2Co 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
>Gal 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
>Eph 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 5
>Phi 7 7 6 7 6 6 7 6
>Col 8 8 7 6 7 7 6 7
>1Th 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8
>2Th ? 10 9 9 9 9 9 9
>1Ti ? ? 11 10 10 10 11 11
>2Ti ? ? 12 11 11 11 12 12
>Tit ? ? 13 12 12 12 13 13
>Phm ? ? 14 13 13 13 14 14
>Heb 2! 5! 10 14*** Omit! 14 10 10&15!
>Looking at this chart again, there *is* evidence that Hebrews was
>variously placed at the end of one or another of the three major
>groupings of letters, but always as an appendix (except in p46).
paragraph [snipped], let's get to the real breakthrough:
>...To change the subject away from Hebrews, maybe the question should be,AH! Now all your previous messages make sense. Rephrase it not as a
>"Are these groupings, found in all mss except p46, evidence for
>previously existing independent collections appended together (as
>Trobisch suggests) or some sort of critical grouping (group 1 =
>undisputed, 2 = intermediate, 3 = disputed)?
question but as a hypothesis, and everything you have been arguing falls
into place. But I think that there are several significant problems with
1. It reconstructs a hypothetical ancestral letter collection (pre-200
C.E.) for which there are no manuscripts.
2. It appears to regard texts ranging in date from 200 C.E. to the 9th
Century as all having equal value as witnesses to the pre-200 collection of
letters. This is an astonishing presumption, as it equates pre-Constantine
texts (P46 and maybe 03) with texts dating to the period of the first 4
Ecumenical Councils (from Nicea in 325 to Chalcedon in 451) and even later.
In other words, most of the 8 collections of letters date after Nicea, and
so that the selection and arrangement of letters is likely to have been
influenced by those councils. Therefore, it is strange to regard them as
witnesses to the pre-200 C.E. collection.
In other words, I would argue that the answer to your question is "No".
>These groupings do exist,First, they might be evidence for Conciliar judgments about the
>and seem to have significance (even in deciding where to place
>Hebrews) so if they were not evidence of independent groupings later
>appended into the present collection, then what are they evidence for?
significance of the various letters.
Second, let's go back to the issue of the authorship of Hebrews. McCoy
makes a case for Silvanus. Suppose that the author was Silvanus or another
colleague of Paul, someone of Paul's generation known to be associated with
Paul, but not Paul himself. BTW, McCoy is not the first to have thought of
Silvanus as author: The ABD article on Hebrews mentions Silas(Silvanus) as
one of the proposed authors.
Collections of letters would then have a slight problem: Should Hebrews be
grouped with the known letters of Paul, or the subsequent generations of
Pauline letters? Hebrews does not begin like a letter, but it ends like a
letter and so on grounds of being a letter and being authored by a close
associate of Paul, there would be uncertainty about where to put it. But
see more below.
>Before we all go rushing to conclusions, though, here is Trobisch'sBut with P46 the order *is* based (roughly) on length. A strict ordering on
>table with the length of each book in characters based (I think) on
>ROM 34,410 18.4%
>1CO 32,767 17.5%
>2CO 22,280 11.9%
>GAL 11,091 5.9%
>EPH 12,012 6.4%
>PHI 8,009 4.3%
>COL 7,897 4.2%
>1TH 7,423 4.0%
>2TH 4,055 2.2%
>1TI 8,869 4.7%
>2TI 6,538 3.5%
>TIT 3,733 2.0%
>PHM 1,575 0.8%
>HEB 26,382 14.1%
>TOTAL 187,041 100%
>The 3 major groupings are always in order of length (except Ephesians
length would place it between I and 2 Corinthians. To avoid interrupting
the Corinthian letters, a length-based ordering would place Hebrews either
before the Corinthian letters (as P46 did), or after them. Thus, P46
appears to treat Hebrews like any other of the Pauline letters, placing it
on the basis of length.
>Ephesians is always, without fail, appended to the firstThat Hebrews was known not to have been written by Paul, but to have been
>grouping. Hebrews is appended to all three groupings, or omitted, in
>an inconsistent manner.
>What are we to make of this order?
written by a close associate of Paul, and that since it at least ends like
a letter, it belonged "somewhere" in the collection of Paul's letters. On
the basis of length, it belongs with the first group (so P46 and 03), but
on the basis of not being by Paul, it might have been bumped to the second
or third group. If it was thought early, (e.g. with reasoning like
McCoy's), it would be logical to append it after the Thessalonian
correspondence. If it was thought too far removed from Paul's thinking,
that might have been grounds to append it to the third group. At any rate,
it would be interesting to know what debates about Hebrews were made in the
But I think we have digressed from the original point. :-)
In any case, thanks for clarifying the basis of Trobisch's argument. At
least, now I know where you were "coming from".
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- "David C. Hindley" wrote:
> Jan Sammer said:Primary sources are (German) Str- B vol 1 p.946ff Git 56a. In German the following
> >>It would be interesting to have the primary sources for this
> extraordinary claim [that it was displayed in a torn state in the
> Temple of Peace in Rome].<<
> Maybe someone with access to Strack-Billerbeck's _Kommentatur_ can
> help us out here, and inform us what primary sources were referred to
> on pages 1044 and 946ff of vol i.?
note has been added: "These stories of Titus have often be repeated in Midrash
litearture. f.i. GnR 10 (7d); LvR (119c); 22 (120d); NuR 18 (185b); Midr Qoh 5,8
(26b); Tanch chqt 222a; TanchB chqt par. 1 (50a).
What is precisely the problem, David?
- Karel Hanhart responded:
>>Primary sources are (German) Str- B vol 1 p.946ff Git 56a. In Germanthe following note has been added: "These stories of Titus have often
be repeated in Midrash litearture. f.i. GnR 10 (7d); LvR (119c); 22
(120d); NuR 18 (185b); Midr Qoh 5,8 (26b); Tanch chqt 222a; TanchB
chqt par. 1 (50a).
What is precisely the problem, David?<<
No problem at all. We had been discussing how the Christian tradition
about the rending of the veil before the holy of holies in Jerusalem
upon Jesus' death might impact the dating of Hebrews' composition.
It started with F M McCoy on 8/29, who (I think) interpreted Hebrews
10:19-21 to refer to the accounts of the rending of the temple veil
upon Jesus' death found in the synoptic gospels. He felt that it was a
symbolic foreshadowing of the temple's ultimate destruction in 70 CE,
similar to the portent of the heavy temple gate swinging open of its
own accord, as related by Josephus in BJ VI.v.3. Hebrews, like
Josephus' alleged portent, could have been written before the temple's
destruction, and even says this veil talk is "all but a proof that
Hebrews is pre-70 CE."
Heb 10 "19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the
sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he
opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and
since we have a great priest over the house of God" (RSV)
I pointed out that I had read Robert Eisler (_Messiah Jesus and John
the Baptist_, pg. 146-147) to say that the rending of the veil story
was probably a legend based upon the eyewitnesses testimony of folks
who had visited the Temple of Peace in Rome after 75 CE and saw the
veils on display, one of which was rent/torn. He mentioned in a
footnote that there was evidence for Jews visiting the Temple of Peace
and also a tradition that Titus himself cut through the veil when
taking the temple, but did not cite primary sources, only S-B
_Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch_ vol 1 pages
1044 & 946. I was able to track down a citation in the Mishna
referring to the annual renewal of the veil (Shekalim 8.5).
Jan Sammer asked if I could try to find more precise citations for the
evidence suggested by Eisler, so I located a reference to Jewish
visitors at the Temple of Peace in Justinian's time, found in
Procopius' _de bello Vandalico_ ii.9.5 (my source here was Schurer's
revised _History of the Jewish People_, vol. 1 page 510 n133). An
internet search produced a citation by Alfred Edersheim, 1883, Book V
THE CROSS AND THE CROWN, Chapter 15 'CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND BURIED.'
note 134: "A story is told in Jewish tradition (Gitt, 56 b, about the
middle; Ber. R. 10; Vayyik. R. 22, and in other places) to the effect
that, among other vilenesses, 'Titus the wicked' had penetrated into
the Sanctuary, and cut through the Veil of the Most Holy Place with
his sword, when blood dropped down."
I was interested in whether S-B had any other references to add.
Thank you for your response!
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
- From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>
>I meant to reply earlier re: Procopius, which I only have in a Czech
> Jan Sammer asked if I could try to find more precise citations for the
> evidence suggested by Eisler, so I located a reference to Jewish
> visitors at the Temple of Peace in Justinian's time, found in
> Procopius' _de bello Vandalico_ ii.9.5 (my source here was Schurer's
> revised _History of the Jewish People_, vol. 1 page 510 n133). ...
translation. The following is my translation of the Czech version into
English (I have not found an English version available on the web, nor do I
have one in my library--but this second-hand translation ought to be
adequate for present purposes). This passage of Procopius has led to the
speculation that amongst the "other things" mentioned by him as having been
brought to Byzantium by Belisarius was the temple menorah, carved in the
Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, as having been captured by Titus, brought
to Rome, and carried in his triumphal procession. I have not previously
heard of the temple veil being allegedly among these objects. The fact is
that the only objects actually listed by Procopius are certain vases--thus
no menorah and no temple veil, at least not explicitly.
When Belisarius came to Byzantium with Gelimer and the other Vandals, he
received all the honors that it was customary in ancient times to grant
generals for the greatest victories. Nobody had received these for six
hundred years, with the exception of Titus and Trajan and other emperors who
had personally commanded their armies and won victories over the barbarian
nations. In the course of his triumph he marched through the entire city,
having in front of him booty and prisoners of war. He did not ride in a
carriage, as had been the custom among the ancestors, but went on foot from
his own house to the hippodrome, from where he walked up to the Imperial
throne. Among the booty it was possible to see what the captive king had
been using-golden armchairs, small carriages used by the Vandal queens,
everything artisticaly fashioned and decorated with a large quantity of
precious stones; furthermore, there was a large number of golden vessels and
other things that Gelimer had for his own use at the table. There were also
many thousands of talents of sillver and all of the furniture of this ruler,
very precious and luxurious; Geiseric had it brought from the Roman palace
when he had captured Rome in the fashion I have described earlier. There
were also very precious vases, which came from the Jews, and which Titus
Vespasianus had brought to Rome along with other things, when he captured
When a certain Jew, who was in Byzantium, saw them, he said to a man near to
him, who had access to the Emperor: "I think that these things ought not be
put into the Imperial palace. They have already become fatal to two great
empires and caused Geiseric to destroy the great empire in the West and
caused Belisarius to expel the Vandals from Libya, because these things
could not remain anywhere else than the place for which King Solomon had
them fashioned in his days." As soon as this was told to the Emperor, he
became afraid and immediately sent everything to Jerusalem and had it stored
in the Christian temples.
Thus we are left with midrashic sources on Titus cutting the veil, but no
thus far source stating that the veil was on display in Rome ca. 75 A.D.
Prague, Czech Republic
- Jan Sammer said:
>>Thus we are left with midrashic sources on Titus cutting the veil,but no thus far source stating that the veil was on display in Rome
ca. 75 A.D.<<
Then we were not dealing with a Jewish visitor to the Temple of Peace
after all. The reference to the disposition of the veils was in BW
VII.V.5-7. Actually, what this says was that the veils were stored in
the royal palace, not the Temple of Peace.
I think what Eisler was doing was assuming what needed to be proved by
imagining that there was a high likelihood that visitors to the royal
palace, or the triumph, had seen the veils. He also assumed that the
Jewish legends about Titus cutting through one of them to get at the
holy of holies are based on the reports of Jews who saw the veils at
one of these two places, and that they must have seen then cut or torn
in some way.
Actually that scenario is not so far-fetched, although Eisler really
should not have assumed it as a given fact. Emotional statements are
not to be unexpected, I suppose. The 19th century Christian author I
had cited earlier was incensed that a Jewish scholar had used the
legend to question the authenticity of the account found in the
synoptic gospels. He was implying exactly the opposite, that the
Christian accounts are historical and the legends were not, but rather
some sort of Jewish polemic.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA