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RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary

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  • Paul Anderson
    Thanks, Kevin, there was a really engaging discussion of the Ossuary at the Toronto SBL meetings a month and a half ago. A large crowd of over 1,000 attended
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 4, 2003
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      Thanks, Kevin, there was a really engaging discussion of the Ossuary at the Toronto SBL meetings a month and a half ago. A large crowd of over 1,000 attended (someone may have a closer estimate), and the discussion was quite intriguing.

      I was taken especially with John Painter's presentation of the coupling of James the brother of Jesus and James the son of Zebedee. Especially with a church dedicated to the memory of both, I wonder if there is evidence of the coupling-and-distinguishing of these two Jameses in first-early fourth-century literature. I mentioned it to John after the session, and he was not aware of any (nor am I); but here's my question to this group:

      Is there any known early (pre-Byzantine) reference to "James, son of Zebedee, brother of John" which might have served as a parallel distinction to "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"? If so, it might provide a Johannine (or at least Zebbedean) clue to the authenticity of the Jacobean Ossuary.

      Paul Anderson

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Kevin O'Brien [mailto:symeon@...]
      Sent: Fri 1/3/2003 10:18 PM
      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Cc:
      Subject: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary



      Dear Listers,

      I realize the talking-point on "James" ossuary has had much airing recently on various Lists but to my knowledge it has not appeared in this List -- it being seemingly off-topic. Apologies are tendered for introducing it here but as Johannine literature touches on James implicitly at least (see John 7.5) I do not see this posting as irrelevant to this List. So please bear with me!

      It seems to me that the debate about the ossuary has undergone a subtle switch hermeneutically. That is from its beginning it was taken for granted in the debate that James was a blood-brother of Jesus, pure and simple. Whereas James' being associated on the ossuary inscription with Jesus was not necessarily that of a blood-brother alone in a biological sense but as well could be associated with him very closely in a domestic sense (see in support Matt 10.35-36 where we see close kin living together in the same house complex spending out their early formative years sharing communally the same food, shelter, manual work, worship at the synogogue, recreational pursuits etc.

      As such they were called "brothers" and "sisters" trippingly as it were "off the tongue." I have spoken with migrants to Australia asking them (people from the Far East and Middle-east countries and cultures) whether they ever identified themselves to each other and to strangers while living under the same roof in their homeland etc. by the term "brother" or "sister". Their answer was decidedly Yes, they did. You might know in America isolated social groups especially who though unrelated, address one another as "brother" and "sister" all living in the same house complex as if they were actually biologically related. The migrants and visitors here in Australia approached thought it a strange question as if it was normal practice everywhere. I draw attention to the fact that for my purpose here, esp. Middle East cultural mores, addresses and social customs survive essentially unchanged over millenia at times.

      The meaning behind the celebrated terms, "brother" and "sister" in the NT could well be clarified by adopting this approach. In my modification to the Hieronymian theory as to who was who and who was what in Mark 6.3 par., in departing from the theory of Jerome, I single out James and Joses implicitly referred to in this text as children of Alphaeus and "Mary", Alphaeus being unrelated to both Clopas and Joseph who were uterine brothers.

      This would mean that for starters in regard to the ossuary inscription James could not have been sired by Joseph! This "Mary", upon Alphaeus' death then married Clopas (pace Eisenmann) whose first wife had died. Before her death, she mothered Simon and Jude. Upon Clopas' and "Mary's" marriage, they naturally brought all their children (James, Joses, Simon and Jude) to live with them as would be expected. This was made easy by their all living under the same roof and that includes Joseph, Mary and Jesus (Joseph being the blood-brother of Clopas). These four "brethren" grew up with Jesus but not all were unbelievers in Jesus and his mission. It is in John 7.5 that we have one of them reporting that the three other men were such. I cannot but single out this reporter as being other than the B.D. himself who would certainly know of their intransigence in regard to Jesus, having grown up with them from his earliest days! Perhaps the ossuary could be a stark vestige of a debate a!
      t the time (early centuries) between those who interpreted the word "brother" in Galatians in a domestic sense and those who saw the relationship of James and Jesus as purely biological. Pardon the pun but I make no bones about the above thoughts!

      Cheers,
      Kevin O'Brien

      Symeon@...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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    • Ramsey Michaels
      Hi Paul, I m not entirely sure what you are looking for, but the closest obvious parallel is Mt 10:2, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, where
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 4, 2003
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        Hi Paul,

        I'm not entirely sure what you are looking for, but the closest obvious
        parallel is Mt 10:2, "James the son of Zebedee and John his brother," where
        James seems to enjoy a certain priority over John, just as Peter does over
        Andrew in the preceding verse. Of course that doesn't quite make it because
        what you need is "James the son of Zebedee and brother of John."

        Another parallel (of sorts) is Jude 1, where Jude defines himself as
        "servant of Jesus Christ, but brother of James." This in keeping with James
        1:1, where James who (according to tradition) had every right to call
        himself "brother of Jesus" refrains from doing so and calls himself instead
        "servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ." Perhaps Jude is saying, "I am
        Jesus' servant, but I am also James' brother and we all know whose brother
        James was."

        If the ossuary is authentic, then what James was too modest to claim in a
        public epistle, someone claimed for him on his death.

        All the best,

        Ramsey Michaels

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Paul Anderson" <panderso@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 2:48 PM
        Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


        > Thanks, Kevin, there was a really engaging discussion of the Ossuary at
        the Toronto SBL meetings a month and a half ago. A large crowd of over
        1,000 attended (someone may have a closer estimate), and the discussion was
        quite intriguing.
        >
        > I was taken especially with John Painter's presentation of the coupling of
        James the brother of Jesus and James the son of Zebedee. Especially with a
        church dedicated to the memory of both, I wonder if there is evidence of the
        coupling-and-distinguishing of these two Jameses in first-early
        fourth-century literature. I mentioned it to John after the session, and he
        was not aware of any (nor am I); but here's my question to this group:
        >
        > Is there any known early (pre-Byzantine) reference to "James, son of
        Zebedee, brother of John" which might have served as a parallel distinction
        to "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"? If so, it might provide a
        Johannine (or at least Zebbedean) clue to the authenticity of the Jacobean
        Ossuary.
        >
        > Paul Anderson
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Kevin O'Brien [mailto:symeon@...]
        > Sent: Fri 1/3/2003 10:18 PM
        > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
        > Cc:
        > Subject: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear Listers,
        >
        > I realize the talking-point on "James" ossuary has had much airing
        recently on various Lists but to my knowledge it has not appeared in this
        List -- it being seemingly off-topic. Apologies are tendered for introducing
        it here but as Johannine literature touches on James implicitly at least
        (see John 7.5) I do not see this posting as irrelevant to this List. So
        please bear with me!
        >
        > It seems to me that the debate about the ossuary has undergone a subtle
        switch hermeneutically. That is from its beginning it was taken for granted
        in the debate that James was a blood-brother of Jesus, pure and simple.
        Whereas James' being associated on the ossuary inscription with Jesus was
        not necessarily that of a blood-brother alone in a biological sense but as
        well could be associated with him very closely in a domestic sense (see in
        support Matt 10.35-36 where we see close kin living together in the same
        house complex spending out their early formative years sharing communally
        the same food, shelter, manual work, worship at the synogogue, recreational
        pursuits etc.
        >
        > As such they were called "brothers" and "sisters" trippingly as it were
        "off the tongue." I have spoken with migrants to Australia asking them
        (people from the Far East and Middle-east countries and cultures) whether
        they ever identified themselves to each other and to strangers while living
        under the same roof in their homeland etc. by the term "brother" or
        "sister". Their answer was decidedly Yes, they did. You might know in
        America isolated social groups especially who though unrelated, address one
        another as "brother" and "sister" all living in the same house complex as if
        they were actually biologically related. The migrants and visitors here in
        Australia approached thought it a strange question as if it was normal
        practice everywhere. I draw attention to the fact that for my purpose here,
        esp. Middle East cultural mores, addresses and social customs survive
        essentially unchanged over millenia at times.
        >
        > The meaning behind the celebrated terms, "brother" and "sister" in the NT
        could well be clarified by adopting this approach. In my modification to the
        Hieronymian theory as to who was who and who was what in Mark 6.3 par., in
        departing from the theory of Jerome, I single out James and Joses implicitly
        referred to in this text as children of Alphaeus and "Mary", Alphaeus being
        unrelated to both Clopas and Joseph who were uterine brothers.
        >
        > This would mean that for starters in regard to the ossuary inscription
        James could not have been sired by Joseph! This "Mary", upon Alphaeus'
        death then married Clopas (pace Eisenmann) whose first wife had died. Before
        her death, she mothered Simon and Jude. Upon Clopas' and "Mary's" marriage,
        they naturally brought all their children (James, Joses, Simon and Jude) to
        live with them as would be expected. This was made easy by their all living
        under the same roof and that includes Joseph, Mary and Jesus (Joseph being
        the blood-brother of Clopas). These four "brethren" grew up with Jesus but
        not all were unbelievers in Jesus and his mission. It is in John 7.5 that we
        have one of them reporting that the three other men were such. I cannot but
        single out this reporter as being other than the B.D. himself who would
        certainly know of their intransigence in regard to Jesus, having grown up
        with them from his earliest days! Perhaps the ossuary could be a stark
        vestige of a debate a!
        > t the time (early centuries) between those who interpreted the word
        "brother" in Galatians in a domestic sense and those who saw the
        relationship of James and Jesus as purely biological. Pardon the pun but I
        make no bones about the above thoughts!
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Kevin O'Brien
        >
        > Symeon@...
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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        >
        >
      • Paul Anderson
        Thanks, Ramsey! Yes, the Matthew passage is close, but not entirely parallel. Thanks also for the Jude connection; interesting how connections were put.
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 5, 2003
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          Thanks, Ramsey!

          Yes, the Matthew passage is close, but not entirely parallel. Thanks also for the Jude connection; interesting how connections were put.

          Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

          Paul

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Ramsey Michaels [mailto:profram@...]
          Sent: Sat 1/4/2003 1:27 PM
          To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
          Cc:
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary



          Hi Paul,

          I'm not entirely sure what you are looking for, but the closest obvious
          parallel is Mt 10:2, "James the son of Zebedee and John his brother," where
          James seems to enjoy a certain priority over John, just as Peter does over
          Andrew in the preceding verse. Of course that doesn't quite make it because
          what you need is "James the son of Zebedee and brother of John."

          Another parallel (of sorts) is Jude 1, where Jude defines himself as
          "servant of Jesus Christ, but brother of James." This in keeping with James
          1:1, where James who (according to tradition) had every right to call
          himself "brother of Jesus" refrains from doing so and calls himself instead
          "servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ." Perhaps Jude is saying, "I am
          Jesus' servant, but I am also James' brother and we all know whose brother
          James was."

          If the ossuary is authentic, then what James was too modest to claim in a
          public epistle, someone claimed for him on his death.

          All the best,

          Ramsey Michaels

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Paul Anderson" <panderso@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 2:48 PM
          Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


          > Thanks, Kevin, there was a really engaging discussion of the Ossuary at
          the Toronto SBL meetings a month and a half ago. A large crowd of over
          1,000 attended (someone may have a closer estimate), and the discussion was
          quite intriguing.
          >
          > I was taken especially with John Painter's presentation of the coupling of
          James the brother of Jesus and James the son of Zebedee. Especially with a
          church dedicated to the memory of both, I wonder if there is evidence of the
          coupling-and-distinguishing of these two Jameses in first-early
          fourth-century literature. I mentioned it to John after the session, and he
          was not aware of any (nor am I); but here's my question to this group:
          >
          > Is there any known early (pre-Byzantine) reference to "James, son of
          Zebedee, brother of John" which might have served as a parallel distinction
          to "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"? If so, it might provide a
          Johannine (or at least Zebbedean) clue to the authenticity of the Jacobean
          Ossuary.
          >
          > Paul Anderson
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Kevin O'Brien [mailto:symeon@...]
          > Sent: Fri 1/3/2003 10:18 PM
          > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
          > Cc:
          > Subject: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary
          >
          >
          >
          > Dear Listers,
          >
          > I realize the talking-point on "James" ossuary has had much airing
          recently on various Lists but to my knowledge it has not appeared in this
          List -- it being seemingly off-topic. Apologies are tendered for introducing
          it here but as Johannine literature touches on James implicitly at least
          (see John 7.5) I do not see this posting as irrelevant to this List. So
          please bear with me!
          >
          > It seems to me that the debate about the ossuary has undergone a subtle
          switch hermeneutically. That is from its beginning it was taken for granted
          in the debate that James was a blood-brother of Jesus, pure and simple.
          Whereas James' being associated on the ossuary inscription with Jesus was
          not necessarily that of a blood-brother alone in a biological sense but as
          well could be associated with him very closely in a domestic sense (see in
          support Matt 10.35-36 where we see close kin living together in the same
          house complex spending out their early formative years sharing communally
          the same food, shelter, manual work, worship at the synogogue, recreational
          pursuits etc.
          >
          > As such they were called "brothers" and "sisters" trippingly as it were
          "off the tongue." I have spoken with migrants to Australia asking them
          (people from the Far East and Middle-east countries and cultures) whether
          they ever identified themselves to each other and to strangers while living
          under the same roof in their homeland etc. by the term "brother" or
          "sister". Their answer was decidedly Yes, they did. You might know in
          America isolated social groups especially who though unrelated, address one
          another as "brother" and "sister" all living in the same house complex as if
          they were actually biologically related. The migrants and visitors here in
          Australia approached thought it a strange question as if it was normal
          practice everywhere. I draw attention to the fact that for my purpose here,
          esp. Middle East cultural mores, addresses and social customs survive
          essentially unchanged over millenia at times.
          >
          > The meaning behind the celebrated terms, "brother" and "sister" in the NT
          could well be clarified by adopting this approach. In my modification to the
          Hieronymian theory as to who was who and who was what in Mark 6.3 par., in
          departing from the theory of Jerome, I single out James and Joses implicitly
          referred to in this text as children of Alphaeus and "Mary", Alphaeus being
          unrelated to both Clopas and Joseph who were uterine brothers.
          >
          > This would mean that for starters in regard to the ossuary inscription
          James could not have been sired by Joseph! This "Mary", upon Alphaeus'
          death then married Clopas (pace Eisenmann) whose first wife had died. Before
          her death, she mothered Simon and Jude. Upon Clopas' and "Mary's" marriage,
          they naturally brought all their children (James, Joses, Simon and Jude) to
          live with them as would be expected. This was made easy by their all living
          under the same roof and that includes Joseph, Mary and Jesus (Joseph being
          the blood-brother of Clopas). These four "brethren" grew up with Jesus but
          not all were unbelievers in Jesus and his mission. It is in John 7.5 that we
          have one of them reporting that the three other men were such. I cannot but
          single out this reporter as being other than the B.D. himself who would
          certainly know of their intransigence in regard to Jesus, having grown up
          with them from his earliest days! Perhaps the ossuary could be a stark
          vestige of a debate a!
          > t the time (early centuries) between those who interpreted the word
          "brother" in Galatians in a domestic sense and those who saw the
          relationship of James and Jesus as purely biological. Pardon the pun but I
          make no bones about the above thoughts!
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Kevin O'Brien
          >
          > Symeon@...
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
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          >


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        • Maluflen@aol.com
          ... Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 6, 2003
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            In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

            > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
            > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

            Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

            Leonard Maluf
          • Eric Fholer
            Leonard, Forgive me for answering in Paul s stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O Brien, I
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 6, 2003
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              Leonard,

              Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

              I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

              Eric Fholer
              Northwest Theological Seminary
              Lynnwood, Wa
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Maluflen@...
              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


              In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

              > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
              > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

              Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

              Leonard Maluf

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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Paul Anderson
              Thanks, Eric and Leonard. The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple.
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 6, 2003
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                Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                Paul

                PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                If this is the case, though,

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                Leonard,

                Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                Eric Fholer
                Northwest Theological Seminary
                Lynnwood, Wa
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Maluflen@...
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                Leonard Maluf

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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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              • Bob Schacht
                ... The problem is that you are looking through culture-bound linguistic glasses: your use of blood relation is the problem, because you have a specific
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 6, 2003
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                  At 01:57 PM 1/6/2003 -0800, you wrote:
                  >Leonard,
                  >
                  >Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble
                  >following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin
                  >O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom
                  >of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were
                  >brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of
                  >Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may
                  >not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                  The problem is that you are looking through culture-bound linguistic
                  glasses: your use of "blood relation" is the problem, because you have a
                  specific blood relationship in mind. Kinship terms in different languages
                  classify blood relations differently, often merging categories on one side
                  of one's lineage, and differentiating them on the other side. In the First
                  Century, Aramaic kinship terminology was based on Patrilineal descent,
                  tending to merge "male cousin in father's clan (mishpah)" with "brother,"
                  etc. See CJH Wright's article on Family in the Anchor Bible Dictionary.

                  Bob


                  >I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for
                  >making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood
                  >relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable.
                  >Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's
                  >question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for
                  >understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?
                  >
                  >Eric Fholer
                  >Northwest Theological Seminary
                  >Lynnwood, Wa
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Maluflen@...
                  > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary
                  >
                  >
                  > In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                  > panderso@... writes:
                  >
                  > > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus"
                  > in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                  > > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.
                  >
                  > Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would
                  > have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion
                  > before I could respond to your question.
                  >
                  > Leonard Maluf
                  >
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                  >
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                  >
                  >
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                • Eric Fholer
                  Good point, Bob. I suppose if I follow Derrida at all I ll never fully shed my cultural-linguistic glasses ;-) Eric ... From: Bob Schacht To:
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
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                    Good point, Bob. I suppose if I follow Derrida at all I'll never fully shed my cultural-linguistic glasses ;-)

                    Eric
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Bob Schacht
                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:56 PM
                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                    At 01:57 PM 1/6/2003 -0800, you wrote:
                    >Leonard,
                    >
                    >Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble
                    >following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin
                    >O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom
                    >of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were
                    >brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of
                    >Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may
                    >not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                    The problem is that you are looking through culture-bound linguistic
                    glasses: your use of "blood relation" is the problem, because you have a
                    specific blood relationship in mind. Kinship terms in different languages
                    classify blood relations differently, often merging categories on one side
                    of one's lineage, and differentiating them on the other side. In the First
                    Century, Aramaic kinship terminology was based on Patrilineal descent,
                    tending to merge "male cousin in father's clan (mishpah)" with "brother,"
                    etc. See CJH Wright's article on Family in the Anchor Bible Dictionary.

                    Bob


                    >I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for
                    >making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood
                    >relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable.
                    >Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's
                    >question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for
                    >understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?
                    >
                    >Eric Fholer
                    >Northwest Theological Seminary
                    >Lynnwood, Wa
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: Maluflen@...
                    > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                    > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary
                    >
                    >
                    > In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    > panderso@... writes:
                    >
                    > > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus"
                    > in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                    > > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.
                    >
                    > Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would
                    > have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion
                    > before I could respond to your question.
                    >
                    > Leonard Maluf
                    >
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                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
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                  • Eric Fholer
                    Paul, Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don t have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
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                      Paul,

                      Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don't have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes corresponding to the anonymous persons you mentioned, Jesus as a central figure is the only one named - that observation could have theological/Christological/Christocentric implications for gospel.

                      Eric
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Paul Anderson
                      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:53 PM
                      Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                      Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                      The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                      By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                      In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                      Paul

                      PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                      If this is the case, though,

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                      Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                      Leonard,

                      Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                      I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                      Eric Fholer
                      Northwest Theological Seminary
                      Lynnwood, Wa
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Maluflen@...
                      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                      In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                      > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                      > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                      Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                      Leonard Maluf

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                    • Paul Anderson
                      Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here s part of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary Magdalene,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
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                        Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here's part of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary Magdalene, and for Peter and Thomas and others?

                        Paul

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                        Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:21 AM
                        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                        Paul,

                        Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don't have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes corresponding to the anonymous persons you mentioned, Jesus as a central figure is the only one named - that observation could have theological/Christological/Christocentric implications for gospel.

                        Eric
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Paul Anderson
                        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:53 PM
                        Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                        Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                        The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                        By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                        In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                        Paul

                        PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                        If this is the case, though,

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                        Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                        Leonard,

                        Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                        I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                        Eric Fholer
                        Northwest Theological Seminary
                        Lynnwood, Wa
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Maluflen@...
                        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                        In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                        > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                        > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                        Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                        Leonard Maluf

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                      • John Lupia
                        ... Dear Paul & List: The explanation can be found in the following story example. Colin was bragging to his boss one day, You know, I know everyone there is
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- Paul Anderson <panderso@...> wrote:
                          > Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here's part
                          > of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for
                          > Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary
                          > Magdalene, and for Peter and Thomas and others?
                          >


                          Dear Paul & List:

                          The explanation can be found in the following story
                          example.


                          Colin was bragging to his boss one day, "You know, I
                          know everyone there is to know. Just name someone,
                          anyone, and I know them." Tired of his boasting, his
                          boss called his bluff, "OK, Colin how about Tom
                          Cruise?" "Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I
                          can prove it." So Colin and his boss fly out to
                          Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door and sure
                          enough, Tom Cruise shouts, "Colin! Great to see you!
                          You and your friend come right in and join me for
                          lunch!" Although impressed, Colin's boss is still
                          skeptical. After they leave Cruise�s house, he tells
                          Colin that he thinks Colin's knowing Cruise was just
                          lucky. "No, no, just name anyone else," Colin says.
                          "President Clinton," his boss quickly retorts. "Yes,"
                          Colin says, "I know him, let's fly out to Washington."
                          And off they go. At the White House, Clinton spots
                          Colin on the tour and motions him and his boss over,
                          saying, "Colin, what a surprise, I was just
                          on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come
                          on in and let's have a
                          cup of coffee first and catch up." Well, the boss is
                          very shaken by now but still not totally convinced.
                          After they leave the White House grounds he expresses
                          his doubts to Colin, who again implores him to name
                          anyone else. "The Pope," his boss replies.
                          "Sure! says Colin. "My folks are from Poland, and I've
                          known the Pope a long
                          time. Off they fly to Rome. Colin and his boss are
                          assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Colin
                          says, "This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's
                          eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all
                          the guards so let me just go
                          upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the
                          Pope." And he disappears
                          into the crowd headed toward the Vatican. Sure enough,
                          half an hour later Colin emerges with the Pope on the
                          balcony but by the time Colin returns, he finds that
                          his boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by
                          paramedics. Working his way to his boss' side, Colin
                          asks him, "What happened?" His boss looks up and says,
                          "I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on
                          the balcony and the man next to me said, "Who's that
                          on the balcony with Colin?"

                          Everyone knows who is Tom Cruise, President Clinton,
                          and Pope John Paul II. The joke is funny because
                          nobody knows who Colin is. The Evangelists cite names
                          of famous people. Naming trivial personalities of
                          inconsequence distracts from the text. It will happen
                          that texts that contain famous names are usually
                          significant passages and their theological contents
                          give a false symptom of the relationship of names with
                          them. The value of the personal names, therefore, is
                          more in what these people represented or signified:
                          their role, rank, or function that "may" mesh with
                          theological themes. For example, Nicodemus was a
                          Sanhedrin member who is being instructed by Jesus
                          (John 3), not the other way round. This leads him to
                          defend Jesus (John 7) and to reverence him as an
                          adorer at the burial with spices.

                          Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to all for whom
                          these greetings apply; all others wishing you the very
                          best happiness and success.

                          John


                          =====
                          John N. Lupia, III
                          31 Norwich Drive
                          Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
                          Phone: (908) 994-9720
                          Email: jlupia2@...
                          Editor, Roman Catholic News
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

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                        • Eric
                          Paul, Back to the drawing board, then! It s difficult when working with narrative to answer these sorts of questions, especially when we think that an author
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 9, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Paul,

                            Back to the drawing board, then! It's difficult when working with narrative to answer these sorts of questions, especially when we think that an author has invested time in carefully crafting his work. And, more especially when we understand that the author has been selective in the writing, it is difficult to pass over even the jots and tittles, even if the jot is something as seemingly arbitrary as including a name here, and forgetting another there.

                            If anonymity does in fact serve the Christological/Christocentric element of 4G, what purpose would including names serve?

                            Also, even for those who aren't named, it seems to me that we hardly need a name for them - my reference to 'the man born blind' is almost, if not just as comfortable for me as his real name would be. As far as I know, his name IS 'the man born blind.' =)

                            Eric

                            PS
                            This dichotomy - anonymity serving one purpose, and naming serving another - may be a bit simplistic. I wouldn't be surprised if both strategies served more than one purpose each, or if in some cases they were not invested with as much meaning as we might think.




                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Paul Anderson
                            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:42 AM
                            Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                            Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here's part of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary Magdalene, and for Peter and Thomas and others?

                            Paul

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                            Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:21 AM
                            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                            Paul,

                            Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don't have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes corresponding to the anonymous persons you mentioned, Jesus as a central figure is the only one named - that observation could have theological/Christological/Christocentric implications for gospel.

                            Eric
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Paul Anderson
                            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:53 PM
                            Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                            Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                            The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                            By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                            In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                            Paul

                            PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                            If this is the case, though,

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                            Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                            Leonard,

                            Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                            I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                            Eric Fholer
                            Northwest Theological Seminary
                            Lynnwood, Wa
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Maluflen@...
                            To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                            In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                            > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                            > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                            Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                            Leonard Maluf

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                          • Paul Anderson
                            Good points, Eric. My basic concern here relates to considering what people tend to do with the anonymity of the Beloved Disciple in John. When I start
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 10, 2003
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                              Good points, Eric. My basic concern here relates to considering what people tend to do with the anonymity of the Beloved Disciple in John. When I start taking those approaches and applying them to other unnamed figures in John, results begin to fray a bit. I guess this points toward the need for modesty of claim, especially on negative conclusions as well as positive ones.

                              Paul



                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Eric [mailto:efholer@...]
                              Sent: Thu 1/9/2003 7:54 PM
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Cc:
                              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary



                              Paul,

                              Back to the drawing board, then! It's difficult when working with narrative to answer these sorts of questions, especially when we think that an author has invested time in carefully crafting his work. And, more especially when we understand that the author has been selective in the writing, it is difficult to pass over even the jots and tittles, even if the jot is something as seemingly arbitrary as including a name here, and forgetting another there.

                              If anonymity does in fact serve the Christological/Christocentric element of 4G, what purpose would including names serve?

                              Also, even for those who aren't named, it seems to me that we hardly need a name for them - my reference to 'the man born blind' is almost, if not just as comfortable for me as his real name would be. As far as I know, his name IS 'the man born blind.' =)

                              Eric

                              PS
                              This dichotomy - anonymity serving one purpose, and naming serving another - may be a bit simplistic. I wouldn't be surprised if both strategies served more than one purpose each, or if in some cases they were not invested with as much meaning as we might think.




                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Paul Anderson
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:42 AM
                              Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                              Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here's part of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary Magdalene, and for Peter and Thomas and others?

                              Paul

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                              Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:21 AM
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                              Paul,

                              Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don't have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes corresponding to the anonymous persons you mentioned, Jesus as a central figure is the only one named - that observation could have theological/Christological/Christocentric implications for gospel.

                              Eric
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Paul Anderson
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:53 PM
                              Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                              Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                              The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                              By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                              In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                              Paul

                              PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                              If this is the case, though,

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                              Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                              Leonard,

                              Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                              I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                              Eric Fholer
                              Northwest Theological Seminary
                              Lynnwood, Wa
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Maluflen@...
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                              In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                              > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                              > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                              Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                              Leonard Maluf

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                            • John Lupia
                              ... Correct. Nothing in the NT is there by chance. The key then is to pick up on what the author s intention is. Since Evangelists (NT authors) were
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                > From: Eric [mailto:efholer@...]

                                > Back to the drawing board, then! It's difficult
                                > when working with narrative to answer these sorts of
                                > questions, especially when we think that an author
                                > has invested time in carefully crafting his work.


                                Correct. Nothing in the NT is there by chance. The
                                key then is to pick up on what the author's intention
                                is. Since Evangelists (NT authors) were producing
                                Church literature then the key is to pick up on Church
                                language as discussed by R�ginald Garrgou-Lagrange.
                                See Garrigou-Lagrange, R�ginald, The three ways of the
                                spiritual life /�from the French of P�re
                                Garrigou-Lagrange. ( first ed. 1938; Rockford, Ill.
                                Tan Books and Publishers,�1977).


                                > And, more especially when we understand that the
                                > author has been selective in the writing, it is
                                > difficult to pass over even the jots and tittles,
                                > even if the jot is something as seemingly arbitrary
                                > as including a name here, and forgetting another
                                > there.

                                Exactly.


                                > If anonymity does in fact serve the
                                > Christological/Christocentric element of 4G, what
                                > purpose would including names serve?

                                It might serve to clarify what is defined as anonymity
                                in John. Broadly when a person is mentioned without a
                                proper name they are anonymous in a general sense,
                                i.e, no name cited to identify them. However, this
                                does not necessarily mean that a person cited without
                                their proper name is not known by a literary
                                convention. The two examples that come to mind in
                                John are "the mother of Jesus" and the "beloved
                                disciple". This sort of literary device appears only
                                applicable to personages of such great fame that they
                                are understood by their assigned convention. A
                                journalist writing today who says "the president of
                                the United States" in an article about what the
                                president is doing today without naming George Bush
                                would be understood as meaning him and no other
                                president. In other words, Mary, the mother of Jesus
                                was so well known to drop her proper name is to
                                emphasize. This sort of emphasis through silence is
                                far more dramatic than to have merely used the proper
                                name. After 2,000 years and the estrangement of
                                information from disassoction by factions over time
                                some sectors of Christians will have become separated
                                from the traditions where they have difficulty
                                accepting them.

                                > Also, even for those who aren't named, it seems to
                                > me that we hardly need a name for them - my
                                > reference to 'the man born blind' is almost, if not
                                > just as comfortable for me as his real name would
                                > be. As far as I know, his name IS 'the man born
                                > blind.' =)


                                The man born blind is a good example of Church
                                language. Every human being is born blind
                                (spiritually) and in need of the inner vision that
                                *only* Jesus can bring. The same is true for the
                                anonymous leper. We are all spiritual lepers in need
                                of healing and salvation. The ailments of those cured
                                in the miracle accounts take on the spiritual
                                dimension of speaking to every reader bringing them to
                                acknowledge our own situation and need for Jesus; that
                                Jesus can affectuate change in our lives; that we need
                                to approach Jesus in faith like the infirm in the
                                narratives; that we can lear about appropriate
                                responses by the behavior of the infirm in the
                                narratives (the ten who were cured but only one came
                                back to say thank you).

                                John

                                =====
                                John N. Lupia, III
                                31 Norwich Drive
                                Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
                                Phone: (908) 994-9720
                                Email: jlupia2@...
                                Editor, Roman Catholic News
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

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                              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                Perhaps the anonymity of the Beloved Disciple and the Mother of Jesus stems from the intention of providing them with especially honorable titles that convey a
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                  Perhaps the anonymity of the Beloved Disciple and the
                                  Mother of Jesus stems from the intention of providing
                                  them with especially honorable titles that convey a
                                  special relationship to Jesus. This is surely the
                                  intent behind the James ossuary, whether it is
                                  authentic or an ancient/medieval hoax.

                                  Names, albeit proper nouns that conventionally
                                  designate particular individuals, are hardly ever
                                  unique to particular individuals.

                                  A title designating a specific relationship, however,
                                  does uniquely designate a particular individual, and
                                  if the title is an especially honorable one, then it
                                  has the effect of elevating the individual to whom it
                                  is applied.

                                  Jeffery Hodges

                                  =====
                                  Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                  Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                                  447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
                                  Yangsandong 411
                                  South Korea

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                                • Eric Fholer
                                  Paul, Agreed. In any case, it seems that it ought to be the case, generally, for all scholarship to be characterized by modesty of claim. =) Eric ... From:
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jan 13, 2003
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                                    Paul,

                                    Agreed. In any case, it seems that it ought to be the case, generally, for all scholarship to be characterized by 'modesty of claim.' =)

                                    Eric
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Paul Anderson
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 8:27 AM
                                    Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    Good points, Eric. My basic concern here relates to considering what people tend to do with the anonymity of the Beloved Disciple in John. When I start taking those approaches and applying them to other unnamed figures in John, results begin to fray a bit. I guess this points toward the need for modesty of claim, especially on negative conclusions as well as positive ones.

                                    Paul



                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Eric [mailto:efholer@...]
                                    Sent: Thu 1/9/2003 7:54 PM
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Cc:
                                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary



                                    Paul,

                                    Back to the drawing board, then! It's difficult when working with narrative to answer these sorts of questions, especially when we think that an author has invested time in carefully crafting his work. And, more especially when we understand that the author has been selective in the writing, it is difficult to pass over even the jots and tittles, even if the jot is something as seemingly arbitrary as including a name here, and forgetting another there.

                                    If anonymity does in fact serve the Christological/Christocentric element of 4G, what purpose would including names serve?

                                    Also, even for those who aren't named, it seems to me that we hardly need a name for them - my reference to 'the man born blind' is almost, if not just as comfortable for me as his real name would be. As far as I know, his name IS 'the man born blind.' =)

                                    Eric

                                    PS
                                    This dichotomy - anonymity serving one purpose, and naming serving another - may be a bit simplistic. I wouldn't be surprised if both strategies served more than one purpose each, or if in some cases they were not invested with as much meaning as we might think.




                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Paul Anderson
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:42 AM
                                    Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    Thanks, Eric, an excellent point! And here's part of the headache--why names, then, for Nathanael, for Nicodemus, for Caiaphas and Pilate, for Mary Magdalene, and for Peter and Thomas and others?

                                    Paul

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                                    Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:21 AM
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    Paul,

                                    Thanks for clarifying your question. If I remember correctly, and I don't have the text immediately in front of me, in each of the pericopes corresponding to the anonymous persons you mentioned, Jesus as a central figure is the only one named - that observation could have theological/Christological/Christocentric implications for gospel.

                                    Eric
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Paul Anderson
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 3:53 PM
                                    Subject: RE: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    Thanks, Eric and Leonard.

                                    The question about what we do with anonymity in John relates, of course, to how we think about the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What I find intriguing is that scholars who claim anonymous references to the evangelist rule out particular authorial possibilities seem to feel fine about connecting Mary with the the mother of Jesus in John, even though her name is not mentioned either. So, perhaps I should just mention that as an observation of an inconsistency rather than put it as a question.

                                    By the way, I have no reason to doubt that the mother of Jesus in John was Mary, implicitly and otherwise; but anonymity in her case may have been a function of respect and familiarity. If such were the case for her, might such have been the case for the Beloved Disciple? Then again, the Johannine reader is left with the anonymity of the Samaritan woman, the paralytic by the pool, the steward of the feast, the man born blind and the "other disciple", while "Malchus" is indeed named (Ramsey Michaels just reminded me of some of these privately) explicitly.

                                    In that sense, my question is more about what we do with how we treat Johannine anonymity rather than the identity of Jesus' mother. Hope that helps.

                                    Paul

                                    PS Apologies to Kevin for these digressions.



                                    If this is the case, though,

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Eric Fholer [mailto:efholer@...]
                                    Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:57 PM
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    Leonard,

                                    Forgive me for answering in Paul's stead, but I too had similar trouble following his inference. However, after reading the post from Kevin O'Brien, I think Paul's question stems from the recognized social custom of referring to those who are not of blood relation as if they were brother/sister/mother/father. Hence, the anonymity of "the mother of Jesus" in John's gospel may be due to just such a social custom, and may not refer to the actual biological mother of Jesus.

                                    I think that unless some kind of linguistic pattern can be identified for making the distinction between the two (social custom and an actual blood relative) in any given text, the answer remains unretrievable. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to know what, if any, significance Paul's question would have for interpreting those two passages in the 4G, or for understanding the gospel as whole. Thoughts, Paul?

                                    Eric Fholer
                                    Northwest Theological Seminary
                                    Lynnwood, Wa
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Maluflen@...
                                    To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 1:07 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary


                                    In a message dated 1/5/2003 8:23:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@... writes:

                                    > Here's a Johannine question: does the fact that "the mother of Jesus" in John is left anonymous prove or imply that she
                                    > was not Mary? Inquiring minds want to know.

                                    Perhaps I missed something in the previous discussion, but you would have to explain to me the logic that might lead one to this conclusion before I could respond to your question.

                                    Leonard Maluf

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                                  • Eric Fholer
                                    Jeffery, ... I think there is something more that Paul is getting at. The above does not address the instances of anonymity without a relational title, such as
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jan 13, 2003
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                                      Jeffery,

                                      For the most part, agreed. However:

                                      >A title designating a specific relationship, however,
                                      >does uniquely designate a particular individual, and
                                      >if the title is an especially honorable one, then it
                                      >has the effect of elevating the individual to whom it
                                      >is applied.


                                      I think there is something more that Paul is getting at. The above does not address the instances of anonymity without a relational title, such as the man born blind. Also, it does not address the instances where a character is referred to by name, such as Nicodemus. It seems that John could have left his name out, without signifcant effect to the story.

                                      Eric

                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                      Eric wrote: I think there is something more that Paul is getting at. The above does not address the instances of anonymity without a relational title, such as
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jan 13, 2003
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                                        Eric wrote:

                                        "I think there is something more that Paul is getting
                                        at. The above does not address the instances of
                                        anonymity without a relational title, such as the man
                                        born blind. Also, it does not address the instances
                                        where a character is referred to by name, such as
                                        Nicodemus. It seems that John could have left his name
                                        out, without signifcant effect to the story."

                                        I agree with you. My suggestion was not meant to be
                                        exhaustive. An author can have various reasons for
                                        using or not using names.

                                        Jeffery Hodges

                                        =====
                                        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                                        447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
                                        Yangsandong 411
                                        South Korea

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