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Re: [John_Lit] "James' ossuary

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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 1 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 2 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]
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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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 3 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 4 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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          • 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 5 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 6 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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                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
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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 7 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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                • 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 8 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 18 , Jan 7, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 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 11 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 12 of 18 , Jan 10, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 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
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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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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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