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Re: Bethania/Bethabara in Jn 1:28

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  • Wieland Willker
    ... This is correct. Origen (Jo Comm. book 6) reads: but they say that Bethabara (TA BHQABARA, plural!) is pointed out on the banks of the Jordan, and that
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2004
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      Frides Lameris wrote:
      > I have sometimes read Bethania beyond Jordan (= a second
      > Bethania) has never existed or has never been found.

      This is correct.

      Origen (Jo Comm. book 6) reads:
      "but they say that Bethabara (TA BHQABARA, plural!) is pointed out on the
      banks of the Jordan, and that John is said to have baptized there."
      (the "but they say" seems to point to a local tradition, which Origen
      ascertains.)

      I find it quite interesting what Riesner suggests:
      Riesner argues for BHQANIA = BATANEA (the region Batanaea). This
      identification is as early as J. Lightfoot (1658).
      There are two places that are relevant. One, called BHQABARA, is the place
      of Jesus' baptism, which is at the traditional place. The other is the place
      where John is questioned by the Pharisees in Jo 1:19-28. This is the
      Batanaea in the north. Here John worked, too. The problem arose (according
      to Riesner) due to the misunderstanding that in the following verses Jesus'
      baptism is reported. This is not the case, John only gives an account of
      what happened at an unknown time earlier. The time table and circumstances
      in Jo 1 fit much better if everything happens in the north (compare Riesner,
      Bethanien, p. 73ff.). It also fits good to the time table of Jo 11 (p. 71
      ff.).
      Riesner suggests that the place "beyt abarah" originally indicated the
      crossing of the Jordan by the Israelites and also the crossing of the Jordan
      by Eliah and Elisah, so two crossings have been remembered here. This could
      explain Origen's plural TA BHQABARA, a place of several fords.

      Compare:
      R. Riesner "Bethanien jenseits des Jordan" Brunnen Verlag, Giessen, 2002

      Of course we cannot know for sure. It should be noted that two of the very
      best MSS we have for John (T and 083) read BHQABARA (against P75, B).


      PS: I copy this to the John list, maybe they have something to contribute.
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/messages/


      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
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