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Re: [GTh] More on Hurtado's Blog Posting

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  • Mike Grondin
    Here are two further (and last) comment-rejoinders between myself and Prof. Hurtado on his blog. The first was my initial response to LH s answer quoted
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 4, 2012
      Here are two further (and last) comment-rejoinders between myself and Prof.
      Hurtado on his blog. The first was my initial response to LH's answer quoted
      yesterday, in which he asserted that the value of most nomina sacra weren't
      "fixed" because the value differed based on their form in context:
      > With all due respect, Professor, I’m disappointed with your response. The value of XC
      > was 800, and the value of XY was 1000. The beholder’s eye doesn’t change that. And
      > since the nominative form of a noun would surely be the form brought to mind if one
      > was just thinking of the noun outside of a context, it seems reasonable to assume that
      > the value of the nominative form would be the value most likely to be associated with a
      > noun. Thus, the clear implication of the graffito (as far as I’m concerned) is that the two
      > inscribed words are associated with ‘Christ’ by virtue of having the same value.
      > Hmm. Possible. But why then didn’t the graffito include ref to XC? So you’re entitled to
      > think what you wish, but it is quite normal for scholars to demand more than an assertion.
      > No offence.
      Shortly after posting this first comment, the "decisive piece of reasoning"
      occurred to me, and since it wasn't possible to delete or amend the first
      comment, I had to send in another:
      > I think the decisive piece of reasoning about the graffito and the nominum sacrum XC
      > is that the graffito-writer gives the value (800) of the nominative forms ‘pistis’ (‘faith’)
      > and ‘kyrios’ (‘Lord’), even though the form of these nouns would have differed in non-
      > nominative contexts. This gives us warrant to believe that had the graffito-writer
      > considered the nomina sacra for ‘Christ’, the value of the nominative form (800) would
      > have been uppermost in his/her mind. I believe it was.

      > Your suggestion is well taken, but it is important to note that the number 8 had a

      > special significance in early Christianity, and also multiplications of 8 such as 800.

      > The number represented for them Jesus’ resurrection (on the 8th day/1st day),

      > and more widely then eschatological salvation. So, e.g., we have early Christian

      > refs to Iesous as the perfect name because it = 888.

      Couldn't have said it better myself. Wait, I did say it myself! I wonder if LH
      noticed that the value 888 is for the nominative form of IHSOUS? That is to
      say, the form of the name IHSOUS would differ depending on grammatical
      context, just as the nomina sacra IS and IHS would, but that doesn't alter the
      fact that the predominant (and thus "fixed") numerical value associated with
      the name would be that of the nominative form.
      As to the question "why didn't the graffito include ref[erence] to XC?", my
      guess is that the graffito was a "teaser-ad". Those "in the know" (Christians)
      could chuckle to themselves that non-Christians wouldn't have a clue what
      it was about, thus would have no reason to get rid of it. So it would be let
      stand as an ad for Christianity, hidden in plain sight. Pretty clever. Yes, this
      is just speculation, but I do not find it at all plausible that the grafitto-writer
      was unacquainted with the value of XC, and so, if it is not there (unless it
      was scraped off?), there must have been a reason for it.
      Mike Grondin
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