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[HJMatMeth] Re: Quaruple Attestation for Female Presence at the Crucifixtion

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  • John Dominic Crossan
    In assessing any of the texts concerning the passion, Kim, the important element is not how many attestations you have, but how many independent ones you have.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2000
      In assessing any of the texts concerning the passion, Kim, the important
      element is not how many attestations you have, but how many independent ones
      you have. That is why it becomes so important to decide whether there is one
      or more independent attestations for any given element in the passion
      narrative. For example, I would maintain that the women who find the empty
      tomb is a unit derived exclusively from Mark, that the other attestations
      are dependent on Mark, and that Mark created the story to avoid ending his
      gospel with apparitions to Peter and/or the Twelve. His story, however, is
      not complimentary to the women involved. As I understand Mark (more details
      in BofC 545-562) those three named women have failed Jesus just as much as
      the three named men in the garden. On the other hand, it is the anointing
      woman and the confessing centurion who are the models for faith in Mark's
      passion narrative. Jesus has been announcing death & resurrection and,
      while the males keep saying, yes, sure, whatever, it is a female who first
      believes and concludes, well, then, I better anoint you now since I'll never
      get a chance later (that's Mark's story not Jesus' history, of course).
      Furthermore, I am not the least bit impressed with what I might term
      "secretarial apparition" as distinct from "executive apparition." If the
      women are told to go tell the guys and the guys are told to go tell the
      world, I do not find such a scenario complimentary to the females involved.
      "In memory of her", however, now that is something else.
      Leaving aside Mark's creation of the empty tomb story, I am far more
      inclined to find preMarkan tradition in the presence of women "near" the
      crucifixion. I think, actually, that it is from that piece of tradition that
      Mark develops his theme of women watching the burial and women preparing to
      anoint Jesus (which, of course, represents piety to be sure, but also
      disbelief as far as Mark is concerned. Only that female pre-crucifixion
      anointing and that male post-crucifixion confessing represented faith for

      >From: "Kim S. Youmans" <ksyo@...>
      >To: hjmaterialsmethodolgy@...
      >Subject: [HJMatMeth] Quaruple Attestation for Female Presence at the
      >Date: Sat, Feb 26, 2000, 8:29 AM

      > Dr. Crossan,
      > I have read your works, though not in the order they were
      > published. I actually read "The Historical Jesus" after reading "The
      > Birth of Christianity," having read "Who Killed Jesus?" a few years
      > back. I have not finished "Four Other Gospels" yet, in part due to its
      > complexities -- having a very limited background in such exegetical
      > works I am forced to proceed slowly, thus only when time dictates.
      > Please forgive my following question it's possible
      > (probable) naivete. It was, however, the only nagging question I was
      > left with as I finished reading "The Historical Jesus." Your methods in
      > establishing historicity in the life of Jesus flowed from tradition and
      > multiple attestation, if I recall correctly. Near the end of the work
      > you begin to show how the passion narratives are prophecy historicized.
      > You were quite clear in establishing the linkages from OT sources to NT
      > authorship of the passion.
      > You stated rather flatly that you believed no one was around during the
      > actual crucifixion to have remembered the event. Yet all four gospels
      > attest to the presence of women either just before (Luke 23:27), looking
      > from afar at (Mk 16:40, Mat 28:55) or actually at (John 19:25) the
      > crucifixion.
      > It is certainly possible that I overlooked your statements
      > regarding this multiple attestation. The fact that they were women
      > would have made their presence possible, as mourning family members --
      > the Roman authorities would have seen them as thus and not disciples,
      > though two of the Marys were in all probability both. Therefore a
      > tradition as to the events of Calvary would have developed from the
      > mouths of these women. In fact, the quadruple attestation, from my
      > viewpoint, seems to beg this course of events. It is just to easy for
      > me to see how the women would have felt safe enough (and loved Jesus
      > enough) not to have deserted him at his final hour and how they would
      > have retold the event many times over in their lifetimes.
      > In any event, I am deeply indebted for this opportunity to plug
      > a hole left gaping in my understanding of your treatment of the passion
      > as prophecy historicized. Thank you for your time and consideration.
      > Kim S. Youmans
      > Swainsboro, Georgia
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