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Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple again ...

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  • John Lupia
    NIKODHMOS (Nicodemus) a compound noun means :conqueror for the people. This name refers to one who acts from justice, zealous for the law, and so serves more
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 1, 2003
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      NIKODHMOS (Nicodemus) a compound noun means :conqueror
      for the people. This name refers to one who acts from
      justice, zealous for the law, and so serves more in
      line as a hypocoristic name befitting a member of the
      Sanhedrin. Consequently, it would be a very high
      degree of coincidence that a man given such a name on
      the 8th day after birth should actually become the
      living personification of the import of the onomastic
      significance given legally by one�s parents. This of
      course, does not exclude the possibility, but it does
      open up the question of the actual legal name of the
      man identified in John 3. Is John here telling us his
      hypocoristic name, an emblema of his person as a form
      of honorary title (a badge of honor based on his track
      record and social opinion), or is this the legal name
      given to him after birth by his parents? John 3:1
      NIKODHMOS ONOMA AUTW is an expression that does not in
      itself shed much light on this question.

      The Babylonian Talmud cites a NAKDIMON (Nakdimon ben
      Guryon), which already broaches difficulties
      identifying him with the Nicodemus in John. The best
      historical candidate identifiable with the Johannine
      Nicodemus is Gamaliel I (GAMALIHL), cited in Acts
      5:34; 22:3; since he [Nicodemus] like Joseph of
      Arimathea were disciples in secret because of their
      fear of the Temple leaders (see John 19:38-39).
      Moreover, some have researched the Talmudic figure as
      having lived too late (flourit AD 66-70). See James A.
      Brooks, �Nicodemus� in Eerdmans Dictionary of the
      Bible (2000):963.

      The commentary on the meaning of magdal is correct.

      With warm regards,
      John


      =====
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    • Thomas W Butler
      Sandra, I m wondering who the author of the post you have pasted here might be and what is the name of the discussion group from which it came. I have
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 2003
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        Sandra,
        I'm wondering who the author of the post you have pasted here
        might be and what is the name of the discussion group from which
        it came.
        I have addressed some of these questions in Let Her Keep It:
        Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New Approach to the Study
        of the Gospel of John - Through Its Use of Mosaic Oracles, (Quantum
        Leap, Tracy, 1998). I have also been doing some research and
        reflection on some of these questions with a colleague, though I
        doubt that she is the source of this article.
        I'll offer a brief response within the context of the questions that
        your colleague has posed. I'd enjoy an opportunity to dialog with
        that person (and you and others if you and others wish) directly.

        On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 08:31:09 -0000 "Sandra HAMBLETT"
        <sandy@...> writes:

        > Dear All,
        >
        > I know we have been discussing the identity of the Beloved
        > Disciple recently.
        >
        > I belong to another discussion group - and the following email
        > was posted here. I'm not sure if 'cross-posting' is allowed - but
        > i have just cut and pasted the most salient points - really - for
        > further discussion.
        >
        > What do members feel about these points stated?
        >
        > I would be very interested in your feedback.....
        >
        > "The question is, why was this person given such immunity. The
        > bible says that this disciple was made known or was known to
        > the High priest. That means that the High priest knew this
        > person before hand, or that having been announced / identified,
        > with Jesus, the High Priest knew who this person is / was.
        >
        > The Talmud says that Nicodemus was the father of Mary, Martha
        > and Lazarus. He was the richest man in all of Judea. He had a
        > seat on the council. So the high priest may have known Mary, if
        > she is the unknown disciple, simply because of who her daddy is.
        >
        > Also Mary had credentials of her own. The term for the one who
        > holds the authority is "Pillar or tower." In Hebrew, the word is
        > "magdal." So the name "Mary, the Magdalene" means "Mary
        > the Pillar (of her tribe)." She was the chief heir of the tribe of
        > Benjamin. This is not referring to a town sought of Capurnium
        > by the name of Magdal, which did not exist by that name during
        > this time in history.

        Note that many readers conflate Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany
        (following the lead of a sixth century pope). My work has focused on
        the idea that Mary of Bethany is the Beloved Disciple. I have not yet
        been able to conclude that MM and MB are the same person, though
        I know others who have no problem in doing so.

        In response to this question, and having begun my study by considering
        the meaning behind the anointing story in Jn. 11: 55 - 12: 8, I asked
        "How is it that a woman would be known by the High Priest and be
        allowed access to the House of the High Priest (which I suspect is the
        Herodian temple)?"

        My book considers carefully the requirements laid out in Numbers 6
        for the consecration of Nazirites, who, according to Nu. 6: 2 could be
        either men or women. My theory is that Mary of Bethany may have
        been a Nazirite. Part of my reasoning comes from one of the questions
        I raised while studying Jn. 12: 3. Why would Mary of Bethany, a highly
        respected woman, annoint the feet of Jesus with expensive perfumed
        oil and then dry his feet with her hair during a formal dinner party in
        her home in front of her sister and his disciples? I have noted that
        only in the ritual for the completion of a Nazirite vow does any body
        part from the worshipper ever end up on the altar for sacrifice.
        Nu. 6: 18 directs that the separated one should shave his or her hair
        from her or his head and place it under the sacrifice of well being
        (the bread sacrifice) on the coals of the altar. Was Mary of Bethany
        completing her Nazirite vow first in her own home as she placed her
        hair under the sacrifice (Jesus) on the altar she had just consecrated
        (the feet of Jesus) and then again in the temple, in order to gain
        entrance to the temple that night to observe the trial of Jesus?
        (Remember that the primary entrance to the temple was through
        the Beautiful Gate, which opened into the Court of the Women. That
        was as far a women normally could go. Men could climb the steps
        to the Nicanor Gate, then stand in the narrow area just beyond the
        Nicanor Gate to watch the priests perform their sacrificial rituals.
        The Council of the Sanhedrin held court on those steps.)
        >
        > But that don't totally explain her immunity from questioning in
        > the presence of Peter. Who because of questioning he received,
        > denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed. This disciple is
        > completely ignored as being a disciple.

        The Beloved Disciple obviously chose to remain invisible, even in
        the gospel created largely from this disciple's intimate knowledge
        of Jesus is presented.

        Another theory is that Mary and Martha of Bethany were gatekeepers
        in the temple. Note that the gatekeeper addressed by "the other
        disciple" in Jn. 18: 16 was a woman. If the BD is Mary, could the
        gatekeeper have been Martha or another woman known to her
        because they were both gatekeepers? If so, wouldn't that identity
        make her immune from questioning? Why would one question a
        woman who normally is the one who asks the questions? (By the
        way, one of the arguments against my reluctance to consider Mary
        Magdalene as the BD is that MM had a reputation as reported in
        the Nag Hamadi Texts for asking a lot of questions.)
        >
        > The question is who is Mary Magdalene and what is her relation
        > to Jesus?
        >
        > Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, seek to have Jesus' body
        > for burial. Why. because it is the obligation of the next of kin to
        > do so.
        >
        > Could she be his wife, which would make Nicodemus his father in
        > law."

        This sounds like it may have come from one of Bishop John Shelby
        Spong's books, though I'm not sure he would have made the
        connection with Nicodemus. If I recall correctly, he questioned
        whether or not Joseph of Arimethea might have been a relative of MM.
        While I admire the courage of his questions, I have not been able to
        build upon his scholarship.

        Yours in Christ's service,
        Tom Butler

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Sandra HAMBLETT
        Hi Thomas, Thanks for replying to the email i posted. Yes, i have seen your book advertised, i was thinking of buying a copy actually. The cut and pasted email
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 2, 2003
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          Hi Thomas,

          Thanks for replying to the email i posted.

          Yes, i have seen your book advertised, i was thinking of buying a copy
          actually.

          The cut and pasted email came from a Magdalene discussion group -- i am
          interested in the idea that part of Jesus' Teachings have survived via Mary
          Magdalene. I was not aware of the assertions in the Talmud of a family
          relationship of MM to figures such as Nicodemus.
          The Magdalene forum posits that MM may have been the Beloved Disciple.
          Your comments re; sacrifice, MB and the possibility that she attended the
          trial of Jesus made me recall something i read in the Susan Haskins book on
          MM - referring to - i presume - 'folk beliefs' that MM was at the trial of
          Jesus. An interesting cross over here.

          I have read lots of the written works by Raymond E. Brown. If the BD may
          turn out to be MM - i find it a wonderful idea that as per Brown, the
          Beloved Disciple/MM may be the origin of the early Johannine Community.... i
          dont know how members of this forum feel about that idea ... in an age when
          there appears to be opposition from male heirarchy within the Church
          (although of course this has been present throughout church history) against
          females - i find a kind of comfort in this idea.

          I would be glad to talk privatly about these ideas Thomas. Please do so.

          Many thanks,

          Sandy.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 12:00 AM
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple again ...


          > Sandra,
          > I'm wondering who the author of the post you have pasted here
          > might be and what is the name of the discussion group from which
          > it came.
          > I have addressed some of these questions in Let Her Keep It:
          > Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New Approach to the Study
          > of the Gospel of John - Through Its Use of Mosaic Oracles, (Quantum
          > Leap, Tracy, 1998). I have also been doing some research and
          > reflection on some of these questions with a colleague, though I
          > doubt that she is the source of this article.
          > I'll offer a brief response within the context of the questions that
          > your colleague has posed. I'd enjoy an opportunity to dialog with
          > that person (and you and others if you and others wish) directly.
          >
          > On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 08:31:09 -0000 "Sandra HAMBLETT"
          > <sandy@...> writes:
          >
          > > Dear All,
          > >
          > > I know we have been discussing the identity of the Beloved
          > > Disciple recently.
          > >
          > > I belong to another discussion group - and the following email
          > > was posted here. I'm not sure if 'cross-posting' is allowed - but
          > > i have just cut and pasted the most salient points - really - for
          > > further discussion.
          > >
          > > What do members feel about these points stated?
          > >
          > > I would be very interested in your feedback.....
          > >
          > > "The question is, why was this person given such immunity. The
          > > bible says that this disciple was made known or was known to
          > > the High priest. That means that the High priest knew this
          > > person before hand, or that having been announced / identified,
          > > with Jesus, the High Priest knew who this person is / was.
          > >
          > > The Talmud says that Nicodemus was the father of Mary, Martha
          > > and Lazarus. He was the richest man in all of Judea. He had a
          > > seat on the council. So the high priest may have known Mary, if
          > > she is the unknown disciple, simply because of who her daddy is.
          > >
          > > Also Mary had credentials of her own. The term for the one who
          > > holds the authority is "Pillar or tower." In Hebrew, the word is
          > > "magdal." So the name "Mary, the Magdalene" means "Mary
          > > the Pillar (of her tribe)." She was the chief heir of the tribe of
          > > Benjamin. This is not referring to a town sought of Capurnium
          > > by the name of Magdal, which did not exist by that name during
          > > this time in history.
          >
          > Note that many readers conflate Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany
          > (following the lead of a sixth century pope). My work has focused on
          > the idea that Mary of Bethany is the Beloved Disciple. I have not yet
          > been able to conclude that MM and MB are the same person, though
          > I know others who have no problem in doing so.
          >
          > In response to this question, and having begun my study by considering
          > the meaning behind the anointing story in Jn. 11: 55 - 12: 8, I asked
          > "How is it that a woman would be known by the High Priest and be
          > allowed access to the House of the High Priest (which I suspect is the
          > Herodian temple)?"
          >
          > My book considers carefully the requirements laid out in Numbers 6
          > for the consecration of Nazirites, who, according to Nu. 6: 2 could be
          > either men or women. My theory is that Mary of Bethany may have
          > been a Nazirite. Part of my reasoning comes from one of the questions
          > I raised while studying Jn. 12: 3. Why would Mary of Bethany, a highly
          > respected woman, annoint the feet of Jesus with expensive perfumed
          > oil and then dry his feet with her hair during a formal dinner party in
          > her home in front of her sister and his disciples? I have noted that
          > only in the ritual for the completion of a Nazirite vow does any body
          > part from the worshipper ever end up on the altar for sacrifice.
          > Nu. 6: 18 directs that the separated one should shave his or her hair
          > from her or his head and place it under the sacrifice of well being
          > (the bread sacrifice) on the coals of the altar. Was Mary of Bethany
          > completing her Nazirite vow first in her own home as she placed her
          > hair under the sacrifice (Jesus) on the altar she had just consecrated
          > (the feet of Jesus) and then again in the temple, in order to gain
          > entrance to the temple that night to observe the trial of Jesus?
          > (Remember that the primary entrance to the temple was through
          > the Beautiful Gate, which opened into the Court of the Women. That
          > was as far a women normally could go. Men could climb the steps
          > to the Nicanor Gate, then stand in the narrow area just beyond the
          > Nicanor Gate to watch the priests perform their sacrificial rituals.
          > The Council of the Sanhedrin held court on those steps.)
          > >
          > > But that don't totally explain her immunity from questioning in
          > > the presence of Peter. Who because of questioning he received,
          > > denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed. This disciple is
          > > completely ignored as being a disciple.
          >
          > The Beloved Disciple obviously chose to remain invisible, even in
          > the gospel created largely from this disciple's intimate knowledge
          > of Jesus is presented.
          >
          > Another theory is that Mary and Martha of Bethany were gatekeepers
          > in the temple. Note that the gatekeeper addressed by "the other
          > disciple" in Jn. 18: 16 was a woman. If the BD is Mary, could the
          > gatekeeper have been Martha or another woman known to her
          > because they were both gatekeepers? If so, wouldn't that identity
          > make her immune from questioning? Why would one question a
          > woman who normally is the one who asks the questions? (By the
          > way, one of the arguments against my reluctance to consider Mary
          > Magdalene as the BD is that MM had a reputation as reported in
          > the Nag Hamadi Texts for asking a lot of questions.)
          > >
          > > The question is who is Mary Magdalene and what is her relation
          > > to Jesus?
          > >
          > > Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, seek to have Jesus' body
          > > for burial. Why. because it is the obligation of the next of kin to
          > > do so.
          > >
          > > Could she be his wife, which would make Nicodemus his father in
          > > law."
          >
          > This sounds like it may have come from one of Bishop John Shelby
          > Spong's books, though I'm not sure he would have made the
          > connection with Nicodemus. If I recall correctly, he questioned
          > whether or not Joseph of Arimethea might have been a relative of MM.
          > While I admire the courage of his questions, I have not been able to
          > build upon his scholarship.
          >
          > Yours in Christ's service,
          > Tom Butler
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
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