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[XTalk] Re: Jesus' relatives:

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... The Gospel of Mark is not friendly toward Jesus family. I wonder if the family gets in the way of a developing higher christology. The disciples also
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 23, 1999
      Liz Fried wrote:
      >
      > > At 11:26 PM 7/22/99 -0400, I wrote:
      > >
      > > >I don't understand this. Wasn't James, Jesus' brother, the head of the
      > > >Jerusalem church. Isn't he attested in Josephus? Isn't the
      > > letter from Jude
      > > >from Judas, Jesus' brother? Wasn't he active in the church as
      > > well. Probably
      > > >these others were too. Where does this stuff in Mark come from?
      > > >
      > > >Liz
      > >
      > If there is any truth to the tradition of James and Judas and the others
      > being active in the church, then this from Mark is pretty interesting, now
      > that I think on it. One could speculate this indicates a rift between the
      > Markan community and the Jerusalem church, which these four may have
      > represented.

      The Gospel of Mark is not friendly toward Jesus' family. I wonder if
      the
      family "gets in the way" of a developing higher christology. The
      disciples
      also get in the way and are depicted as a slow-witted bunch that never
      "got it." A closer look indicates they were not total strangers suddenly
      approached by Jesus who says "follow me" but relatives and friends the
      HJ
      probably knew all his life. We can never know whether Jude the brother
      was the same person as Jude the "twin" (Thomas) but the frequent company
      and support of his aunts and Logion 14 of the GOT (which I consider
      genuine), naming his brother as his successor, all combine to suggest
      this may have been a family enterprise.

      Jack
      ______________________________________________

      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

      Jack Kilmon
      jkilmon@...

      http://www.historian.net
    • Larry J. Swain
      ... ... The other issue, at least for me, is linguistic usage. There are only two places in the NT that I found (doing an admittedly very quick check)
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 23, 1999
        Mark Goodacre wrote:

        > On 23 Jul 99, at 7:58, Jim West wrote:
        >
        > > Only problem with this, Liz, is that the attestation for James'
        > leadership
        > > of the Jerusalem church is pretty thin (though of course possible)-
        > > nevertheless, the connection with Jesus is impossible to show.
        >
        > I disagree. I think that the attestation for James's leadership of the
        > Jerusalem church is pretty strong, e.g. Acts 15, Gal. 2.

        <snip>
        Jim West:

        > > And third, the term "brother", even going so far and
        > > assuming that Jude was the writer of the epistle, does not demonstrate
        > > biological fraternity. Instead, it is a generic christian term for fellow
        > > disciple. I.s., "Jude, the brother of Jesus" can most likely be taken as
        > > "Jude, the Christian brother of Jesus..." etc.
        >
        > Do you read it that way in Mark 6? Surely the discussion there is one
        > of Jesus' flesh-and-blood brethren and sistren?

        The other issue, at least for me, is linguistic usage. There are only two places in
        the NT that I found (doing an admittedly very quick check) and early Christian lit in
        which ADELPHOS KURIOU is used-in describing James and Jude. If it KURIOU were in the
        dative modeled on phrases like ADELPHOI CHRISTWI I would concede, but it isn't, and if
        I'm correct that the genitive is only used to describe members of his family, I think
        that's what we have-his brother (or cousin if you go with Jerome, or step-brother if
        you go with Protoevangelium of James etc....but family nonetheless).

        Larry Swain
      • Susan Rennie
        ... No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman s mammoth James, the Brother of Jesus (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 23, 1999
          At 2:42 PM +0000 7/23/99, Mark Goodacre wrote:
          >On 23 Jul 99, at 9:35, Liz Fried wrote:
          >
          >> If there is any truth to the tradition of James and Judas and the others
          >> being active in the church, then this from Mark is pretty interesting, now
          >> that I think on it. One could speculate this indicates a rift between the
          >> Markan community and the Jerusalem church, which these four may have
          >> represented.
          >
          >Indeed, and this very thesis is argued by Michael Goulder in _A Tale
          >of Two Missions_ (London: SCM, 1994; I think it was published
          >under the title "Peter versus Paul" or similar in the U.S.A.) and in more
          >detail in various articles. He thinks that Mark is the representative of
          >the Pauline wing of the church writing with some considerable
          >antipathy towards both the Jerusalem Christians like James and Peter.
          >
          >A similar thesis is also argued by Gerd Luedemann, e.g. in _Heretics:
          >The Other Side of Early Christianity_ (ET, London: SCM, 1996).
          >
          >Mark

          No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman's mammoth "James, the Brother of
          Jesus" (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?




          ___________________________________________________________________
          Susan Rennie Ph.D. Ph: 310.301.6017
          Professor, The Graduate Program Fax: 310.301.8175
          Vermont College of Norwich University
          <mailto:rennies@...>
          <mailto: srennie@...>
          http://home.earthlink.net/~rennies

          ___________________________________________________________________
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... Being a big fan of Ya akov haTsaddik, I was excited when the 1,000 page book was released thinking that, at long last, my favorite holy man was being
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 23, 1999
            Susan Rennie wrote:

            > At 2:42 PM +0000 7/23/99, Mark Goodacre wrote:
            > >On 23 Jul 99, at 9:35, Liz Fried wrote:
            > >
            > >> If there is any truth to the tradition of James and Judas and the others
            > >> being active in the church, then this from Mark is pretty interesting, now
            > >> that I think on it. One could speculate this indicates a rift between the
            > >> Markan community and the Jerusalem church, which these four may have
            > >> represented.
            > >
            > >Indeed, and this very thesis is argued by Michael Goulder in _A Tale
            > >of Two Missions_ (London: SCM, 1994; I think it was published
            > >under the title "Peter versus Paul" or similar in the U.S.A.) and in more
            > >detail in various articles. He thinks that Mark is the representative of
            > >the Pauline wing of the church writing with some considerable
            > >antipathy towards both the Jerusalem Christians like James and Peter.
            > >
            > >A similar thesis is also argued by Gerd Luedemann, e.g. in _Heretics:
            > >The Other Side of Early Christianity_ (ET, London: SCM, 1996).
            > >
            > >Mark
            >
            > No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman's mammoth "James, the Brother of
            > Jesus" (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?

            Being a big fan of Ya'akov haTsaddik, I was excited when the 1,000 page
            book was released thinking that, at long last, my favorite holy man was
            being rescued from the dust bins of obscurity. I bought the book as soon as
            it hit the shelves and poured over it. I was greatly disappointed that the
            "envelope pushing" went WAY beyond the pale. I don't mind reasonable
            speculation about this very gray area of the history of the early Jesus
            movement...I do a lot of it myself..but you have to have something to
            hang your hat on. Eisenman seems to go so far out on limbs I didn't
            know whether I was reading an speculative historiography or a
            Marjorie Holmes novel. Always wanting to say something nice, I
            will say the background material and bibliography is very useful but
            the fanciful conclusions are too much, even for someone with my
            imagination. To answer your question, I think that the works that were
            cited here represent far better scholarship on the subject.

            Jack
          • Jim West
            ... Very. Eisenman s views are idiosyncratic at best and Dead Sea Scrolls scholars are not at all convinced of his thesis or his arguments. Jim
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 23, 1999
              At 11:54 AM 7/23/99 -0700, you wrote:

              >No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman's mammoth "James, the Brother of
              >Jesus" (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?

              Very. Eisenman's views are idiosyncratic at best and Dead Sea Scrolls
              scholars are not at all convinced of his thesis or his arguments.

              Jim

              +++++++++++++++++++++++++
              Jim West, ThD
              email- jwest@...
              web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
            • Anne Quast
              ... I ve tried to stuggle through this book, but any book where almost half of every page is devoted to footnotes leaves me extremely frustrated. The
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 24, 1999
                At 15:45 23/07/1999 -0400, Jim West wrote:
                >At 11:54 AM 7/23/99 -0700, you wrote:
                >
                >>No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman's mammoth "James, the Brother of
                >>Jesus" (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?
                >
                >Very. Eisenman's views are idiosyncratic at best and Dead Sea Scrolls
                >scholars are not at all convinced of his thesis or his arguments.
                >
                >Jim
                >
                I've tried to stuggle through this book, but any book where almost half of
                every page is devoted to footnotes leaves me extremely frustrated.

                The discussion about whether or not the family of Jesus as listed in the
                gospels were actually near blood kin seems to be (at least in my
                understanding) to be the difference between Catholics and Protestants. The
                Catholics seem to need to explain that these can't be Jesus' siblings in
                order to preserve the perpetual virginity of Mary.


                ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                Anne Quast

                Anne in Australia

                E-mail: anneq@...

                +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
              • David C. Hindley
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 24, 1999
                  Susan Rennie said:

                  >>No one has mentioned Robert Eisenman's mammoth "James, the Brother of Jesus"
                  (Viking, 1996) in this discussion. Is it suspect or something?<<

                  Yeah...you could say that. <g>

                  Eisenman has this propensity to take every possible clue and run it to death.
                  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately he does not do it in a
                  systematic or consistent manner. What he ends up with is a jigsaw puzzle with
                  100,000 possibilities when their used to be 1,000. The upside is that among so
                  much fertilizer, a few flowers may grow. The problem is enduring the
                  fertilizer until the flowers sprout.

                  That is not to say that he does not make some interesting observations. For
                  instance, I think his attempts to interpret Paul as a Diaspora Jew of the
                  Herodian variety are going to produce fruit. He is about the only person who
                  even discusses the story of the conversion to Judaism of Queen Helen of
                  Adiabene and her sons, and considers how and who instituted the conversions
                  and how the Queen and her sons, all Gentiles of oriental origins, responded.
                  This too, I think, will make a positive contribution to the study of Paul and
                  early Christian origins.

                  Much has been said about his theory that James was the Teacher of
                  Righteousness of the Dead Sea sect. He originally made the formal equation in
                  a paper presented to an SBL conference in 1994, but the SBL declined to
                  publish it along with the other papers, so he published it himself (along with
                  his other published papers and monographs) in _The Dead Sea Scrolls and the
                  First Christians_ (Element, 1996, pp 332-351). Even so, in _James the Brother
                  of Jesus_ (also 1996) he backs off of this position, conceding that James may
                  have only been a man after the same mold as the Right Teacher, although he
                  believes that they were both members of related movements.

                  His fight with the paleographers over the relative dating of the scrolls,
                  which was at first necessitated by his equation of James & the Teacher, had by
                  1996 been reduced to a disagreement over their methodology. I will agree with
                  him that the certainty of their datings is not quite as concrete as
                  paleographers have sometimes implied. I will also agree with him that some DSS
                  researchers have been all too ready to play loose with details as long as it
                  puts a stop to Eiseman's type of speculative ideas.

                  My personal feeling is that whenever there is a super strong reaction against
                  an idea, especially if the reaction appears out of proportion to a normal
                  response to a new idea, then a "hot-button" has been pushed. While there are a
                  good number of perfectly valid "hot buttons", the disproportionate responses
                  are generally associated with a perception of the new idea as a threat, and I
                  do not consider "threat" as a valid reason for a strong negative reaction.

                  Getting back to Eisenman and his take on Mary Magdalene, are you referring to
                  pp 752-753 of JBJ where he suggests that the prostitute tradition is somehow
                  related to the idea of "casting out" found in the DSS? The way I understand
                  it, in the NT Jesus "cast out" seven demons from Mary, and in the Talmud Jacob
                  of Kfar Sechania is portrayed as ruling that a prostitute's gift cast into the
                  temple treasury could be used for base purposes like a latrine, and somehow
                  this was translated into Mary being a prostitute. Sounds like a longshot to
                  me! Eisenman, however, makes very little of any such suggestion, and Mary and
                  Prostitution are not linked in the subject index of JBJ.

                  Regards,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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