Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [John_Lit] hAIMA KAI hUDWR/hUDWR KAI hAIMA in Greek lit

Expand Messages
  • John Lupia
    ... Dear Jeffrey: Thank you for sharing your research. I suppose many others have also researched this too having found no other text as well. Rarely do
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 13 8:08 AM
      --- "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
      > That this implies that medical writers were not
      > aware of the physical
      > phenomenon of what will drain out of a body if the
      > pericardial sack is
      > pierced, I do not know. But it does show that the
      > Johannine phrase does
      > not show up in extant contemporary or ancient
      > medical literature -- or
      > for that matter, anywhere in the extant pre 1 CE
      > literary corpus.

      Dear Jeffrey:

      Thank you for sharing your research. I suppose many
      others have also researched this too having found no
      other text as well. Rarely do researchers tell us what
      they could not find. This is unfortunate since the
      fact itself informs us that it is unlikely the phrase
      or its significance was known. I too have researched
      this long before CD-ROMs were available. Having to
      sift through the bulk of the data manually took a very
      long time. However, the search was far from futile. In
      the process I discovered a few other things. The
      following is a short excerpt from a draft of a
      manuscript still unpublished.

      Later on in the day soldiers would come by and strike
      each of the executed criminals, who were still alive,
      on their legs. The Romans called this crurifragium,
      which means, �to break the legs.� This custom was
      employed by Roman executioners to hasten the death of
      the crucified. From a practical viewpoint, the
      crurifragium was used to ensure that all executed
      criminals were dead by the end of the day shift, so
      that the next shift could go about their duties
      without this concern. The Roman custom relates their
      belief that the sense of hearing was the last to
      survive in the throes of death. They would call out
      the name of the person three times to see if they were
      still alive. If there was no response they would
      pronounce conclamatum est, he has been called with no
      response or sign of life. This motif is used in John
      11:43 when Jesus call out the name of Lazarus. John
      implies this custom was used at the crucifixion and
      the Romans saw he was already dead. John tells us
      that since Jesus was already dead this procedure of
      the crurifragium was not used. Rather a soldier took
      his spear and pierced Jesus heart to confirm his death
      (John 19:34). Hippocrates, On the Heart, 10 ad finem
      (Littr�, IX, 88) states that human intelligence is in
      the left ventricle of the heart and controls the rest
      of the soul. John has Jesus� heart pierced so that
      proof is given that he is dead and his soul departed.

      Spear-bearing images were well known in antiquity,
      such as the renowned sculpture of Doryphorus by
      Ployclitus, which served as a model for numerous
      copies made throughout the Roman Empire. The statue
      of Minerva by Phidias, reputed as one of the Seven
      Wonders of the Ancient World, which is reported to
      have stood nearly forty feet in height, held a huge
      spear in her left hand. Pelias was the name of the
      huge spear of Achilles, which only he could wield. It
      was so called because it was cut from ash grown on
      Mount Pelion in Thessaly. A common spear was the
      hasta, which had a spiked metal ferule cuspis or
      pointed head. There was a hebena or leather thong
      attached to the middle of the shaft for holding,
      wielding or to throw. This helped give spin to the
      throw and increased its steadiness and directness.
      The lancea (_____) was a Greek slender spear also used
      by the Romans. The aclys was a small javelin
      mentioned by Virgil. Regarding the spear one is
      reminded of a dedicatory poem written by Simonides
      (556-467 B.C.)

      To pillar�s height reach up, and rest thee now,
      Tall ashen beam, with Zeus the Oracular.
      Outworn and old thy head of bronze and thou,
      A spear long shaken in the blaze of war.
      (Trans. by T. F. Higham)

      However, John seems to have had, perhaps, a different
      poem in mind when he wrote about the spear piercing
      Jesus� heart written by Archilochus (fl. 64 B.C.)

      My spear wins bread, my spear wins Thracian wine:
      To drink it on my spearhead I recline.
      (Trans. by C. M. Bowra)

      Archilochus� poem has strong Eucharistic connotations
      when viewed in John�s context. This would have been
      obvious to his audience, which knew this poem.
      However, an even more profound symbolism can be found
      in Virgil's Aeneid,

      "Haeret lateri lethalis arundo" meaning "The fatal
      dart sticks in his side, and rankles in his heart."
      (Translated by Dryden)


      John N. Lupia, III
      Toms River New Jersey 08757 USA
      Phone: (732) 505-5325
      God Bless America

      Do you Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.