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[gthomas] Re: antipas' coin

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... For those curious about this specific coin, you may see it at: http://www.historian.net/coins.htm Jack -- ______________________________________________
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 5, 1999
      Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >
      > On 4 Jan 99 at 17:29, Stevan Davies wrote:
      >
      > > The coin-of-herod business strikes me as the kind of desperate
      > > academic guesswork that should be made illegal and subject to
      > > floggings.
      >
      > It's just this kind of guesswork that I enjoy most about academic study of the
      > NT : ) There are several things going for it, not all of which have been
      > mentioned:
      >
      > (1) Herod Antipas's earliest coins, depicting a reed. Bear in mind that the
      > emblem on a coin will often have been associated with the ruler who issued it
      > -- Antipas might well have been associated ironically with the reed on his
      > coins.

      For those curious about this specific coin, you may see it at:

      http://www.historian.net/coins.htm

      Jack

      --
      ______________________________________________

      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

      Jack Kilmon
      jkilmon@...

      http://www.historian.net

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    • Paul Miller
      ... the emblem on a coin will often have been associated with the ruler who issued it -- Antipas might well have been associated ironically with the reed on
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 5, 1999
        > (1) Herod Antipas's earliest coins, depicting a reed. Bear in mind that
        the emblem on a coin will often have been associated with the ruler who
        issued it -- Antipas might well have been associated ironically with the
        reed on his coins.

        For those curious about this specific coin, you may see it at:

        http://www.historian.net/coins.htm

        Jack

        Thanks for the url Jack! It's a wonder of this high tech age that we can
        discuss an ancient ruler, a saying and a coin, then with the flick of a
        mouse be looking at a photo of the actual coin under discussion.

        Paul Miller





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      • Jack Kilmon
        ... The computer age is marvelous. I remember the first computer which cost the government gadzillions of dollars, was manned by hundreds, took up a huge
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 5, 1999
          Paul Miller wrote:
          >
          > > (1) Herod Antipas's earliest coins, depicting a reed. Bear in mind that
          > the emblem on a coin will often have been associated with the ruler who
          > issued it -- Antipas might well have been associated ironically with the
          > reed on his coins.
          >
          > For those curious about this specific coin, you may see it at:
          >
          > http://www.historian.net/coins.htm
          >
          > Jack
          >
          > Thanks for the url Jack! It's a wonder of this high tech age that we can
          > discuss an ancient ruler, a saying and a coin, then with the flick of a
          > mouse be looking at a photo of the actual coin under discussion.

          The computer age is marvelous. I remember the first computer which cost
          the government gadzillions of dollars, was manned by hundreds, took up
          a huge warehouse, yet didn't do as much as the computer in my
          calculator.
          I also remember when I had a 20 meg hard drive and thought I could never
          fill up all that space. Now I am using gigs.

          I am glad you liked my coin collection. Not too long ago there was a
          discussion of Asherah and I also happen to have a statuette of the
          goddess and was able to pop a jpg of that along. It does add a
          bit to the discussions.

          Jack

          --
          ______________________________________________

          taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

          Jack Kilmon
          jkilmon@...

          http://www.historian.net

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        • Stevan Davies
          ... Well... actually... I went looking to see what the supposed reed looked like and couldn t make out anything. I m interested, botanically. What makes it a
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 6, 1999
            > I am glad you liked my coin collection.
            > Jack

            Well... actually... I went looking to see what the supposed
            "reed" looked like and couldn't make out anything. I'm
            interested, botanically. What makes it a reed and not
            something else?

            steve

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          • Mark Goodacre
            ... Theissen, _The Gospels in Context: Social and Political History in the Synoptic Tradition_ (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992), pp. 26-42 is the full discussion
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 6, 1999
              On 6 Jan 99 at 11:03, Stevan Davies wrote:

              > > I am glad you liked my coin collection.
              > > Jack
              >
              > Well... actually... I went looking to see what the supposed
              > "reed" looked like and couldn't make out anything. I'm
              > interested, botanically. What makes it a reed and not
              > something else?

              Theissen, _The Gospels in Context: Social and Political History in the Synoptic
              Tradition_ (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992), pp. 26-42 is the full discussion of
              this reed business, featuring also reference to the saying in Thomas, which
              Steve won't like:

              "Our thesis, that the polemic contrast of prophet and royal palace was
              originally of far greater importance in shaping the tradition than is
              evident today, is indirectly confirmed by the Gospel fo Thomas. Here the
              polemic accent has been better retained, even though it is now completely
              reinterpreted in terms of the contrast between the true Gnostic and the
              'great ones' of this world'." (p. 42).

              But the point of my referring to the book wasn't to say that but rather to note
              that Theissen compares a drawing of the coin that we can see on Jack's site
              with a picture of a mosaic from the Byzantine Basilica of the Multiplication of
              the Loaves on the north shore of Lake Gennesaret. He says that it "reveals how
              an artist working in that landscape pictured reeds" (pp. 29-31) and it is quite
              convincing, to me at least, but then I am easily convinced when I want to be.

              Mark

              --------------------------------------
              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
              Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
              University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
              Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

              Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

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            • Stevan Davies
              ... Of course I don t like it. It s just the same old since everything in Thomas is about Gnostics it follows that this instance too is about Gnostics. If
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 6, 1999
                Mark wrote:

                >Theissen, _The Gospels in Context: Social and Political History in the Synoptic
                >Tradition_ (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992), pp. 26-42 is the full discussion of
                >this reed business, featuring also reference to the saying in Thomas, which
                >Steve won't like:
                >
                > "Our thesis, that the polemic contrast of prophet and royal palace was
                > originally of far greater importance in shaping the tradition than is
                > evident today, is indirectly confirmed by the Gospel fo Thomas. Here the
                > polemic accent has been better retained, even though it is now completely
                > reinterpreted in terms of the contrast between the true Gnostic and the
                > 'great ones' of this world'." (p. 42).

                Of course I don't like it. It's just the same old "since everything in Thomas
                is about Gnostics it follows that this instance too is about Gnostics." If the
                Thomas version of the saying were in Matthew word for word Theissen would
                never have once thought it had anything to do with Gnostics. Notion that the
                only humans alive in the ancient world who were interested in "knowing the
                truth" were Gnostics doesn't appeal to me.

                There is no polemic contrast of "prophet" with anything in Thomas. That word,
                like the word Gnostic, does not occur in 78. For this Theissen presupposes the
                synoptic version conveys the original meaning. But the synoptic "prophet"
                element was arguably added to the original. The effort there is being made to
                tie the saying to JB.

                >But the point of my referring to the book wasn't to say that but rather to note
                >that Theissen compares a drawing of the coin that we can see on Jack's site
                >with a picture of a mosaic from the Byzantine Basilica of the Multiplication of
                >the Loaves on the north shore of Lake Gennesaret. He says that it "reveals how
                >an artist working in that landscape pictured reeds" (pp. 29-31) and it is quite
                >convincing, to me at least, but then I am easily convinced when I want to be.

                Well, maybe it's a reed. The leap from "coin" to "saying" isn't quite convincing
                to me. But even if it is true, nothing is gained from it. The contrast of the
                person in the desert/field and persons in palaces/fine clothes is already sitting
                there in the saying itself.

                Steve



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              • Jack Kilmon
                ... There were certain iconographies common to provincial coins. Common in Judea were wreaths, barley sprays, reeds, palms and pomegranites. I ll have to
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 6, 1999
                  Stevan Davies wrote:
                  >
                  > > I am glad you liked my coin collection.
                  > > Jack
                  >
                  > Well... actually... I went looking to see what the supposed
                  > "reed" looked like and couldn't make out anything. I'm
                  > interested, botanically. What makes it a reed and not
                  > something else?

                  There were certain iconographies common to provincial
                  coins. Common in Judea were wreaths, barley sprays,
                  reeds, palms and pomegranites. I'll have to research
                  what type of reed it was. I would be inclined to believe
                  it would be the species used for making pens (Phragmites?).

                  Jack
                  --
                  ______________________________________________

                  taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

                  Jack Kilmon
                  jkilmon@...

                  http://www.historian.net

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                • Penny Villegas
                  I really like seeing the coins. I have written a novel on the exodus (from the view points of Miriam, Jochebad, Zipperah and a few invented characters). In
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 6, 1999
                    I really like seeing the coins. I have written a novel on the exodus (from the
                    view points of Miriam, Jochebad, Zipperah and a few invented characters). In
                    all my research I read only descriptions of the asherah (the breasted one) and
                    the mazzebah. If you have any pictures, I'd love to see them.
                    Thanks,
                    Penny


                    > Not too long ago there was a
                    > discussion of Asherah and I also happen to have a statuette of the
                    > goddess and was able to pop a jpg of that along. It does add a
                    > bit to the discussions.
                    >




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                  • Mark Goodacre
                    ... Good point. This is an aspect of the standard way of treating Thomas, going first to the Synoptics and only secondarily to Thomas and refracting one s
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 8, 1999
                      On 6 Jan 99 at 12:26, Stevan Davies wrote:

                      > There is no polemic contrast of "prophet" with anything in Thomas. That word,
                      > like the word Gnostic, does not occur in 78. For this Theissen presupposes the
                      > synoptic version conveys the original meaning. But the synoptic "prophet"
                      > element was arguably added to the original. The effort there is being made to
                      > tie the saying to JB.

                      Good point. This is an aspect of the standard way of treating Thomas, going
                      first to the Synoptics and only secondarily to Thomas and refracting one's
                      interpretation of the latter through the lenses of the former; you are good at
                      pointing to the methodological problem here. So too is Valantasis. I had a
                      look at him last night on this saying and he talks about it as something of a
                      "harangue", the meaning of which is difficult to grasp. Would your view, then,
                      Steve, be that the saying without obvious reference in Thomas was more original
                      and that it, or something like it, was given specificity solely by Q / Matthew?
                      If that is the case, what would account for its application to JB by Q /
                      Matthew? What was it about the saying that drew it towards a discourse
                      about JB?

                      > To Q or not to Q, that is the question. If Q then it was done at a pre-Mt
                      > stage. One way or the other the JB focus of the saying is redactional.

                      In Q it clearly refers to JB -- no question about it -- narrative intro. and
                      context. But also the Q form of the saying itself, if we extract it from its
                      context, clearly refers to JB doesn't it?

                      "What did you go out into the
                      desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
                      If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes?
                      No, those who wear expensive clothes
                      and indulge in luxury are in palaces.
                      But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you,
                      and more than a prophet."

                      But then of course the specific wording (desert; the last sentence re.
                      prophet) could be Q or Matthean redaction of something akin to what we find
                      in Thomas. Would that be your view? I don't know how one could make a
                      decision on whether this was likely or not.

                      I think that this is a model example of the what Sanders says about the
                      difficulty of context and nuance in reconstructing the sayings of Jesus. Look
                      how much context and wording changes our interpretation of this doubly (Q +
                      Thomas) attested saying, right there in Crossan's most reliable strata of Jesus
                      material. It's one of the reasons that I am concerned about the kind of Jesus
                      research that relies so heavily on reconstructions of Jesus' sayings. In the
                      end we simply cannot know what the saying might have meant on the lips of Jesus
                      because we do not have precise context and nuance. One looks desperately for
                      hints to help us, like here a referent for "reed", and the fact that several
                      on this list have pronounced themselves unconvinced by Theissen's speculation
                      just shows how inconclusive this kind of Jesus research can be.

                      Have a good weekend

                      Mark

                      [I'll append my long signature to give you some extra choice to throw in with
                      the sponsor's message].


                      --------------------------------------
                      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

                      Recommended New Testament Web Resources:
                      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre/links.htm
                      World Without Q:
                      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
                      Homepage:
                      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

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                    • Stevan Davies
                      ... ============== A. Why have you come out into the desert? To see a reed shaken by the wind? B1. And to see a man clothed in fine garments B2. like your
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 8, 1999
                        > On 6 Jan 99 at 12:26, Stevan Davies wrote:
                        >
                        > > There is no polemic contrast of "prophet" with anything in Thomas. That word,
                        > > like the word Gnostic, does not occur in 78. For this Theissen presupposes the
                        > > synoptic version conveys the original meaning. But the synoptic "prophet"
                        > > element was arguably added to the original. The effort there is being made to
                        > > tie the saying to JB.

                        Mark Goodacre:
                        > Good point. This is an aspect of the standard way of treating Thomas, going
                        > first to the Synoptics and only secondarily to Thomas and refracting one's
                        > interpretation of the latter through the lenses of the former; you are good at
                        > pointing to the methodological problem here. So too is Valantasis. I had a
                        > look at him last night on this saying and he talks about it as something of a
                        > "harangue", the meaning of which is difficult to grasp. Would your view, then,
                        > Steve, be that the saying without obvious reference in Thomas was more original
                        > and that it, or something like it, was given specificity solely by Q / Matthew?
                        > If that is the case, what would account for its application to JB by Q /
                        > Matthew? What was it about the saying that drew it towards a discourse
                        > about JB?

                        > > To Q or not to Q, that is the question. If Q then it was done at a pre-Mt
                        > > stage. One way or the other the JB focus of the saying is redactional.
                        >
                        > In Q it clearly refers to JB -- no question about it -- narrative intro. and
                        > context. But also the Q form of the saying itself, if we extract it from its
                        > context, clearly refers to JB doesn't it?

                        ==============
                        A. "Why have you come out into the desert? To see a
                        reed shaken by the wind?

                        B1. And to see a man clothed in fine garments

                        B2. like your kings and your great men?

                        C. Upon them are the
                        fine [garments], and they are unable to discern the truth."
                        ============
                        A. "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed
                        by the wind?

                        B1. If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes?

                        B2. No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are
                        in palaces.

                        C. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you,
                        > and more than a prophet."
                        =================

                        OK. IMO there is no significant difference in A. or B only the sort
                        of difference inevitable in oral transmission. Insignificantly... I'd
                        guess that the Synoptic B2 states the obvious and pedantically hammers
                        home a point already obviously implied, while Thomas B2 just
                        continues the thought of B1, giving a little edge to Thomas on that
                        detail.

                        As for C. in both cases I suspect tendentiousness. A+B1B2 make
                        an ironic point with the obviousness of the proverbial to it and can
                        sit there quite happily on their own like all the other proverbial
                        stuff (that later evangelists felt the need to make points out of).

                        > But then of course the specific wording (desert; the last sentence re.
                        > prophet) could be Q or Matthean redaction of something akin to what we find
                        > in Thomas. Would that be your view? I don't know how one could make a
                        > decision on whether this was likely or not.

                        I think the Thomas C. is probably redactional. If I had to choose either for
                        the original Jesus conclusion I'd choose the synoptic, with Jesus
                        referring to himself as "prophet, more than prophet." Notion of Jesus
                        being exactly that is embedded in all the synoptic gospels, after
                        all. If the synoptic version were disembedded from its Q setting and
                        just stuck in some evangelist's sitz im Leben Jesu we all today would
                        have no problem thinking of Jesus saying that about himself... at
                        least no problem in thinking that an evanglist would have had him say
                        that about himself.

                        > I think that this is a model example of the what Sanders says about the
                        > difficulty of context and nuance in reconstructing the sayings of Jesus. Look
                        > how much context and wording changes our interpretation of this doubly (Q +
                        > Thomas) attested saying, right there in Crossan's most reliable strata of Jesus
                        > material. It's one of the reasons that I am concerned about the kind of Jesus
                        > research that relies so heavily on reconstructions of Jesus' sayings. In the
                        > end we simply cannot know what the saying might have meant on the lips of Jesus
                        > because we do not have precise context and nuance.

                        Absolutely right. And this goes for almost all other sayings too.
                        Hence, of course, the evanglists' main duty was to invent context and
                        nuance by narrativization. For some reason the Q evangelist decided
                        to do this vis a vis JB so we have JC speaking about the other guy.
                        Once he does so, of course, he has to explain it away with the
                        pericope saying "more than a prophet or not, JB is less worthy even
                        than the most infantile Christian." But then this would lead me to
                        think that the "more than a prophet" business was probably not
                        invented by Q... for why invent what you immediately must find a
                        way of downgrading? Thus the prophet more than prophet bit is
                        presumptively pre-Q.

                        Personally, I'd not be much surprised to find
                        that Jesus said of himself "I am a prophet and more than a prophet."

                        But by the time Christians are thinking of Jesus as Christ, then
                        a simple "more than a prophet" wouldn't seem like a big hoo hah
                        and so such a limited claim to excellence might have seemed to
                        them better suited to JB.

                        > One looks desperately for
                        > hints to help us, like here a referent for "reed", and the fact that several
                        > on this list have pronounced themselves unconvinced
                        > by Theissen's speculation
                        > just shows how inconclusive this kind of Jesus research can be.

                        Yeah. It gets depressing, doesn't it?

                        Steve

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                      • Achilles37@aol.com
                        In a message dated 99-01-08 16:54:22 EST, Mark ... Hello, Mark. Notwithstanding the fact that your questions are addressed to Steve, I d like to respond here
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jan 10, 1999
                          In a message dated 99-01-08 16:54:22 EST, Mark
                          Goodacre writes:

                          > Would your view, then, Steve, be that the saying
                          > without obvious reference in Thomas was more original
                          > and that it, or something like it, was given specificity
                          > solely by Q / Matthew? If that is the case, what would
                          > account for its application to JB by Q / Matthew?
                          > What was it about the saying that drew it towards a
                          > discourse about JB?

                          Hello, Mark. Notwithstanding the fact that your questions
                          are addressed to Steve, I'd like to respond here (if you
                          don't mind).

                          You inquire as to what it was about the saying that would
                          "account for its application to JB by Q / Matthew?" Very
                          simply, it is the anti-Herodian content. If you are, let us say,
                          Matthew (or his source), and you have the saying before
                          you as it appears in Thomas, you have to decide where you
                          can work this saying into your story about Jesus. And there
                          are three possible factors that may have suggested the
                          connection of the saying to JB:

                          1.) The saying is critical of Herod Antipas and Jesus' most
                          obvious reason for being critical of Herod Antipas was Herod's
                          treatment (imprisonment/execution) of his cousin JB.

                          2.) The saying is critical of Herod Antipas and JB was known
                          for being critical of Herod Antipas.

                          3.) The connection to JB might have been suggested by or
                          reinforced by the contrast between JB (who wore a loin
                          cloth and lived in the wilderness) and those described
                          in the saying (who wear fine clothes and live in palaces).

                          The point is that someone saw that a very appropriate
                          setting for this particular saying would be in the context of
                          commentary on JB. The words remain as an utterance of
                          Jesus, but they are now given a specific setting and
                          interpretation as they were fit into the story of Jesus' life.
                          And the setting and interpretation they were given was
                          suggested by the contents of the saying.

                          - Kevin Johnson
                          (Achilles37@...)



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                        • Mark Goodacre
                          ... But in what way is there anti-Herodian content in your opinion? As I read it, the reference to reed, combined perhaps with the reference to palaces, is
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jan 11, 1999
                            On 10 Jan 99 at 11:22, Achilles37@... wrote:

                            > You inquire as to what it was about the saying that would
                            > "account for its application to JB by Q / Matthew?" Very
                            > simply, it is the anti-Herodian content. If you are, let us say,
                            > Matthew (or his source), and you have the saying before
                            > you as it appears in Thomas, you have to decide where you
                            > can work this saying into your story about Jesus. And there
                            > are three possible factors that may have suggested the
                            > connection of the saying to JB:

                            But in what way is there anti-Herodian content in your opinion? As I read it,
                            the reference to reed, combined perhaps with the reference to palaces, is the
                            only possible connection, and I believe that you said (with others) that you
                            found that connection tenuous. My feeling is that the connection is not
                            tenuous and that Matthew has correctly perceived the reference to JB (and
                            Herod) in the saying he picked up from oral tradition and that he has
                            incorporated it into a discourse on John the Baptist, in typical Matthean style
                            [substitute Q here if you want], with reference to "desert" corresponding with
                            Matthew 3 / Mark 1 / Isa. 40 and "prophet" corresponding to his notion that JB
                            was Elijah (Matt. 17.13 R etc.).

                            But this line of thought does depend on how convincing one finds Theissen's
                            "reed" analysis, doesn't it? Without that, one has the position that Steve has
                            defended. Perhaps the reason that scholars clutch onto such straws (reeds?) is
                            that they know full well how much context and nuance can change the meaning of
                            any saying, a realisation that can be, as Steve says, a bit depressing.

                            Mark
                            --------------------------------------
                            Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                            Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                            University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                            Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                            Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

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                          • Achilles37@aol.com
                            ... In my opinion, the reference to palaces (Luke) or houses of kings (Matthew) is a much more blatant reference to Herod than reed. Now reed _may_ be
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jan 11, 1999
                              >But in what way is there anti-Herodian content in your opinion?

                              In my opinion, the reference to "palaces" (Luke) or "houses of
                              kings" (Matthew) is a much more blatant reference to Herod
                              than "reed." Now "reed" _may_ be an oblique reference to the
                              royal house or, just as likely (or perhaps even more likely),
                              it may not. But "palaces" or "houses of kings" clearly implies
                              the royal house.

                              So we have 'possible oblique reference' on the one hand, and
                              'clear reference' on the other. If you take the 'possible oblique
                              reference' away (by denying the reed/Herod connection), you
                              still have the clear reference. The anti-Herodian argument
                              that I am making hinges on the "palaces" or "houses of kings"
                              and not on the possible reed/Herod connection.

                              - Kevin Johnson

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                            • Stevan Davies
                              ... As usual I ll point out that the reference to JB isn t in the saying Mt. picked up from oral tradition, but is a Matthean [subst. Q ad lib.] redactional
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jan 11, 1999
                                Kevin:

                                > > You inquire as to what it was about the saying that would
                                > > "account for its application to JB by Q / Matthew?" Very
                                > > simply, it is the anti-Herodian content. If you are, let us say,
                                > > Matthew (or his source), and you have the saying before
                                > > you as it appears in Thomas, you have to decide where you
                                > > can work this saying into your story about Jesus. And there
                                > > are three possible factors that may have suggested the
                                > > connection of the saying to JB:
                                >
                                > But in what way is there anti-Herodian content in your opinion? As I read it,
                                > the reference to reed, combined perhaps with the reference to palaces, is the
                                > only possible connection, and I believe that you said (with others) that you
                                > found that connection tenuous. My feeling is that the connection is not
                                > tenuous and that Matthew has correctly perceived the reference to JB (and
                                > Herod) in the saying he picked up from oral tradition and that he has
                                > incorporated it into a discourse on John the Baptist, in typical Matthean style
                                > [substitute Q here if you want], with reference to "desert" corresponding with
                                > Matthew 3 / Mark 1 / Isa. 40 and "prophet" corresponding to his notion that JB
                                > was Elijah (Matt. 17.13 R etc.).

                                As usual I'll point out that the reference to JB isn't in the saying
                                Mt. picked up from oral tradition, but is a Matthean [subst. Q ad
                                lib.] redactional bit. I think you concede this... but would argue
                                that the Matthean redaction is correct. I still don't see that
                                traditional statements about "prophet more than a prophet" must
                                be re: JB and not re: JC. Even Mt. has Jesus being a prophet,
                                10:41? 13:57, especially Matthew 21:11 The crowds answered,
                                "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
                                But of course Mt has JB as a prophet too.

                                I must say, the synoptic saying makes less and
                                less sense to me the more I think of it... two sarcastic rhetorical
                                questions followed by a praise formula for JB MUST mean that
                                the audience came out into the desert expecting to see something
                                other than a prophet. But surely people back then who put on their
                                hiking boots and repentence faces and trudged out into the wilderness
                                to see John figured him to be a prophet. There he is, dressed all
                                in furs from his head to his foot like Santa (NOT in a loincloth, as
                                somebody wrote here) eating bugs, howling imprecations at his
                                betters... why do people need to hear Jesus say that he's not some
                                kind of Phragmites or fashion-plate but a prophet?

                                Another thing... the discussion so far has assumed that
                                we know that Jesus said the saying in Galilee or Perea i.e. somewhere
                                under the control of Herod Antipas and so, maybe, people hearing
                                "palace" would naturally think of Herod in his palace. But lo! If
                                Jesus said the thing in Judea people would NOT think of Herod Antipas
                                at all, but, rather, of Herod the Great (retrospectively) and
                                Pontius Pilate certainly. We only know of whom it was said IF
                                we know where it was said... which we don't.

                                IF it was said in Galilee and not Judea (which we don't know) it
                                may have caused people to think of Herod Antipas (but not him
                                specifically due to the plurals used in the saying) and this
                                would be a contrast to John the Baptist IF the saying is about
                                JB and not JC although we really don't know which one, a question
                                that is meaningful only IF the saying originally had the synoptic
                                "prophet" conclusion which it probably didn't.

                                Is this a fair summary of the conclusion we can reach?

                                Steve

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