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Re: [John_Lit] The Curious Incident of the BD On the Night... andJohn 21:20.

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Jeffrey B. Gibson To: Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 7:52 PM Subject: Re:
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 11, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 7:52 PM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] The Curious Incident of the BD On the Night...
      andJohn 21:20.

      As the "informed amateur" moderator of several scholarly lists, I am VERY
      much in favor of exchanges between the professionals and non-professionals
      because MOST of the membership is non-professional. This is how information
      flows and everyone, pros included, learn. Professionals should not expect
      the non-professionals to be as methodological (there are exceptions)
      although we are expected to be familiar with the primary sources. There are
      no short cuts. A little latitude, however, should be given in the interests
      of scholastic collegiality. The current discussion is no longer useful for
      the participants nor the membership so let us put it to rest and move on.

      Jack Kilmon
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... Did you use survey before? If so, I must have missed it. And you ll forgive me, I trust, for being confused by your use of the term corpus of literature
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 11, 2004
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        John Lupia wrote:

        > Lupia:
        > >>You claim there is questionable legitimacy of the
        > assumption that Galilean Jews would have known these
        > rules. Why? What is your proof that this is untenable?
        > Gibson:
        > >>Aren't you now equivocating by switching the issue
        > now to whether Galilean Jews would have **known** the
        > rules (assuming they existed), when the main question
        > I asked was whether we had any good evidence that
        > Galilean Jews would have followed them at a feast
        > celebrating liberation from oppressors had they known
        > them.
        > Lupia:
        > The only one equivocating is you. You claim there is
        > questionable legitimacy of the assumption that
        > Galilean Jews would have known these rules. Any
        > equivocation is clearly your own as evident in your
        > post as follows:
        > “There's an even bigger problem, isn't there? And
        > that's the legitimacy of the assumption that even
        > should there have been formal rules for "seating" at
        > Roman dinner parties, these rules would have been
        > known to, let alone viewed as in any way obligatory
        > and/or observed by, Galilean Jews at the celebration
        > of a pre-eminently Jewish feast.”
        > The proof is in your phrase: “these rules would have
        > been known to,” which questions if the Galilean Jews
        > would even have known these rules. You repeat this in
        > your first of three questions in your final paragraph
        > too. See below.
        > As for you comment about oppressors see below.
        > Lupia:
        > > > > Asking me this question betrays the fact you
        > have not
        > read any of the corpus of literature on this issue.
        > >
        > > Gibson:
        > > > If you say so, John.
        > >
        > Lupia:
        > > This is implicit in your last two posts. Your
        > original
        > > post that sparked this discussion did not make this
        > > clear that you have not read the corpus of
        > literature
        > > on this issue.
        > Gibson:
        > >>Are you speaking of the corpus in Latin by Latin
        > authors, or material in Hebrew and Greek by Jewish
        > authors?
        > Lupia:
        > When I referred to the survey or corpus of literature
        > I was speaking about modern scholarship since this
        > phrase is commonly known to academics as the survey or
        > corpus of literature.

        Did you use "survey" before? If so, I must have missed it. And you'll forgive
        me, I trust, for being confused by your use of the term corpus of literature to
        refer to surveys and disussions of primary sources, none of which you had,
        despite your claim to the contrary, had cited or refered to . In the acedemic
        circles I am privy to the expression "corpus of literature" refers not to
        discussions or surveys of what ancient authors said on o topic, but to the
        acual works of the ancient authors in question.

        > Once again your response betrays
        > the fact you have no clue regarding this literature

        No it doesn't, especially since I took you to be referring to Horace, etc.

        > and one wonders why you would have even jumped into
        > the discussion to begin with riding on the coattails
        > of Bob Dietel.

        Partly because neither of the sources you sited were relevant to the question of
        what the passover dinner practices of non elite Galilean Jews were.

        > Lupia:
        > You claim you do not find the corpus of literature
        > unsatisfactory though you still have yet to identify
        > this corpus. I have continually referred to modern
        > scholarship and the survey of literature on this
        > subject.

        You have? Can you show me where you did this in your postings on the last supper
        or in previous ones in this thread?

        > However, anyone following this discussion
        > wonders what you identify as the literature since you
        > apparently have no clue, though you find it
        > satisfactory. Then you go on to say that you find the
        > corpus of literature “not conclusive”. In academic
        > discussions in this context of semantic use the terms
        > “not conclusive” and “unsatisfactory” would suggest
        > the same characterization of the data, no?

        No. And this was because I was refering to the actual texts from Roman authors
        regarding the dinner etiquite that they found in practice among the Roma elite
        at the banquets of the elite. Since none of these describe what went on in
        Galiean Jewish celebrations of Passover, it is non conclusiove. it is not a
        discussion How can this be relevant to what Jews of peasant and labour JewsihI
        alos t Roman

        > Scientists
        > who find results inconclusive use the synonym that
        > equally characterizes this as unsatisfactory.
        > Consequently, you are contradicting yourself since you
        > find the literature satisfactory but the conclusions
        > as inconclusive.

        I find the sources I was refering to (and to which I though you were refering,
        given your quotation of them, and not the secondary surveys of them, in the post
        of yours that Frank McCoy quoted) satisfactory as a description of how diners
        were conducted among certain Roman elites. I find then inconclusive when it
        comes to claims about how Galilean peasants and labourers, convinced that God
        and not Caesar was king, would have conducted themselves at their celbration of

        > Then you go on to make a point about how unlikely it
        > would have been for Jews to have adopted and adapted
        > Roman culture since they were their oppressors. This
        > whole argument is anachronistic and shows no awareness
        > of any of the many studies that show the opposite of
        > your claim. For example, Matthew Kraus has pointed out
        > Jewish assimilation and adaptations to non-Jewish
        > culture when he says: “Numerous authorities have often
        > noted that Jews have many customs deriving from
        > non-Jewish sources: the quintessentially Jewish seder
        > emerged from Greco-Roman dining customs”. Rabbi
        > Matthew Kraus, Associate Professor of Classics and
        > Chair of the Jewish Studies program at Williams
        > College, in an essay: “A Chanukah Proposal.” Tikkun
        > (Nov/Dec 2003).

        Of course this ignores

        that the custom of reclining at meals was adopted by Jews long before they had
        contact with Romans or Greeks (cf. Amos mos 6:4–7),

        that as not only J.-M.Dentzer (in works of which you seem to be unaware (i.e.,
        _Aux origines de iconographie du banquet couché. Rarch; Le motif du banquet
        couché dans le Proche-Orient et le monde grec du VIIe au IVe siecle avant J.-C),
        but also Cary and Haartoff, Dupont, and Haenchen have shown, Romans and Greeks
        did not originate the custom, but borrowed it from the east;

        that the rooms in which most Jews celbrated passover was not a trinclinium,

        that as Eseperandieu has shown, the dinner customs of the elite in the city of
        Rome were not widespread among the elites, let alone the non elites or the
        disenfranchised, in the provinces;

        that as such (apprantly neglected by you) contemporary sources such as Plutrach
        Quaest. conv, ILS 7212.2, Lucian, Symp, Valerious Maximus. 2.1.2 SIG3 1109,
        Seneca, Ep. Lucil. 47; Martial Epigram, 3.30 and Athenaeus Deip. 1.18 show, the
        dining customs of the Roman elite were not nearly as rigid as you claim

        that such Jewish sources as t. Ber. 4: Sipre Deut. 41:2.5 b Ber 37a and m.
        Pesah 10 .which speak of the Jewish dinner ettiquite at passover do not support
        the contention that Roman banquest practice regarding seating was followed at
        Passover celebrations (see also Safrai, S. 1976. Home and Family and Religion in
        Everyday Life. Vol. 2, 728–833 in The Jewish People in the First Century --
        another peice if your "corpus" of which you seem to be unaware), and

        that as Levine has shown, the the elements of the "quintessentially Jewish
        seder" which your unnamed "Numerous authorities" note as having "emerged from
        Greco-Roman dining customs” are not only Judean and not Galiean, but, more
        importantly all post Yavneh, and therefore anachonistic and irrelevant as
        evidence of how Galilean Jewsih peasants and labourers would have conducted
        themselves at Passover.for avent for not evidence of not

        > So much for your having read a single article in the
        > survey of literature.
        > > So I was asking you what you based this
        > "questioning" on.
        > > However, your last two posts do betray the fact you
        > > have not read the corpus of literature
        > Gibson:
        > With all due respect, in the light of the post from
        > Bob Dietel that shows that you have misquoted and
        > misunderstood Horace's Saturnalia II.8.20ff, I don't
        > think you are in a position to make any claims about
        > who has and who has not read/mastered the "corpus of
        > literature" on this subject.
        > Lupia:
        > Let’s take a look at this.
        > Dietel:
        > Forgive me, but my reading of Horace's /Saturnalia,
        > II.8.20ff /suggests that the host and master of that
        > feast Nasidienus was seated in the middle of that left
        > hand group [" locus medio in lecto summo"] rather than
        > in "locus summus." It also appears that the honoree of
        > that feast, Maecenas, was reclining in the middle of
        > the middle bank, "in lecto medio."
        > So it would appear that the rules of accubation at the
        > very least did seem to vary somewhat, even though lots
        > of feasts did place the honoree in the lucky seventh
        > position, "locus summus in lecto imo."
        > Lupia:
        > See James Yates, “Triclinium” in William Smith, A
        > Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. (John
        > Murray, London, 1875): 1157-1158. Yates suggests that
        > Nasidienus reclined in locus summus in lectus imus,
        > and that it is possible that Maecenas was in locus
        > summus in lectus medius, not as Dietel suggests. So
        > who misquoted and misunderstood Horace's Saturnalia
        > II.8.20ff besides you and Mr. Dietel?

        As the text of Horace itself (appended below) seems to indicate, it seems you

        In any case, I'm still waiting for primary evidence -- evidence from 1st cent
        BCE-1st cent CE Jewish sources or from desciptions by contemporary Greeks and
        Romans of Galiean Jewish meal ettiqute at Passover -- that shows that Galiean
        Jews were following the banquet practice of Roman elites when they celebrated



        Avarum inepte prodigum salse describit.

        'Ut Nasidieni iuvit te cena beati?
        nam mihi quaerenti convivam dictus here illic
        de medio potare die+.' 'sic, ut mihi numquam
        in vita fuerit melius.' 'da, si grave non est,
        quae prima iratum ventrem placaverit esca.'
        'in primis Lucanus aper: leni fuit Austro
        captus, ut aiebat cenae pater: acria circum
        rapula, lactucae, radices, qualia lassum
        pervellunt stomachum, siser, allec, faecula Coa.
        his ut sublatis puer alte cinctus acernam
        gausape purpureo mensam pertersit et alter
        sublegit quodcumque iaceret inutile quodque
        posset cenantis offendere, ut Attica virgo
        cum sacris Cereris procedit fuscus Hydaspes
        caecuba vina ferens, Alcon Chium maris expers.
        hic erus "Albanum, Maecenas, sive Falernum
        te magis adpositis delectat, habemus utrumque."'
        'divitias miseras! sed quis cenantibus una,
        Fundani, pulcre fuerit tibi, nosse laboro.'
        'summus ego et prope me Viscus Thurinus et infra,
        si memini, Varius; cum Servilio Balatrone
        Vibidius, quos Maecenas adduxerat umbras.
        Nomentanus erat super ipsum+, Porcius infra,
        ridiculus totas semel absorbere placentas;
        Nomentanus ad hoc, qui, siquid forte lateret,
        indice monstraret digito; nam cetera turba,
        nos, inquam, cenamus avis, conchylia, piscis,
        longe dissimilem noto celantia sucum,
        ut vel continuo patuit, cum passeris atque
        ingustata mihi porrexerit ilia rhombi.
        post hoc me docuit melimela rubere minorem
        ad lunam delecta. quid hoc intersit, ab ipso
        audieris melius. tum Vibidius Balatroni
        "nos nisi damnose bibimus, moriemur inulti,"
        et calices poscit maiores. vertere pallor
        tum parochi faciem nil sic metuentis ut acris
        potores, vel quod maledicunt liberius vel
        fervida quod subtile exsurdant vina palatum.
        invertunt Allifanis vinaria tota
        Vibidius Balatroque secutis omnibus: imi
        convivae lecti nihilum nocuere lagoenis.
        adfertur squillas inter murena natantis
        in patina porrecta. sub hoc erus "haec gravida" inquit
        "capta est, deterior post partum carne futura.
        his mixtum ius est: oleo, quod prima Venafri
        pressit cella; garo de sucis piscis Hiberi;
        vino quinquenni, verum citra mare nato,
        dum coquitur -- cocto Chium sic convenit, ut non
        hoc magis ullum aliud -- ; pipere albo, non sine aceto,
        quod Methymnaeam vitio mutaverit uvam.
        erucas viridis, inulas ego primus amaras
        monstravi incoquere; inlutos Curtillus echinos,
        ut melius muria quod testa marina remittat."

        interea suspensa gravis aulaea ruinas
        in patinam fecere, trahentia pulveris atri
        quantum non Aquilo Campanis excitat agris.
        nos maius veriti, postquam nihil esse pericli
        sensimus, erigimur; Rufus posito capite, ut si
        filius inmaturus obisset, flere. quis esset
        finis, ni sapiens sic Nomentanus amicum
        tolleret: "heu, Fortuna, quis est crudelior in nos
        te Deus? ut semper gaudes inludere rebus
        humanis!" Varius mappa conpescere risum
        vix poterat. Balatro suspendens omnia naso
        "haec est condicio vivendi" aiebat, "eoque
        responsura tuo numquam est par fama labori.
        tene, ut ego accipiar laute, torquerier omni
        sollicitudine districtum, ne panis adustus,
        ne male conditum ius adponatur, ut omnes
        praecincti recte pueri comptique ministrent.
        adde hos praeterea casus, aulaea ruant si,
        ut modo; si patinam pede lapsus frangat agaso.
        sed convivatoris, uti ducis, ingenium res
        adversae nudare solent, celare secundae."
        Nasidienus ad haec "tibi Di, quaecumque preceris,
        commoda dent: ita vir bonus es convivaque comis"
        et soleas poscit. tum in lecto quoque videres+
        stridere secreta divisos aure susurros+.'
        'nullos his mallem ludos spectasse; sed illa
        redde age quae deinceps risisti.' 'Vibidius dum
        quaerit de pueris, num sit quoque fracta lagoena,
        quod sibi poscenti non dentur pocula, dumque
        ridetur fictis rerum Balatrone secundo,
        Nasidiene, redis mutatae frontis, ut arte
        emendaturus fortunam; deinde secuti
        mazonomo pueri magno discerpta ferentes
        membra gruis sparsi sale multo non sine farre,
        pinguibus et ficis pastum iecur anseris albae
        et leporum avolsos, ut multo suavius, armos,
        quam si cum lumbis quis edit. tum pectore adusto
        vidimus et merulas poni et sine clune palumbis,
        suavis res, si non causas narraret earum et
        naturas dominus; quem nos sic fugimus ulti,
        ut nihil omnino gustaremus, velut illis
        Canidia adflasset, peior serpentibus Afris.'

        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

        1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
        Chicago, IL 60626

      • Frank McCoy
        ... From: Frank McCoy To: Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:11 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Is
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 12, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Frank McCoy" <silvanus55109@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:11 AM
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Is Mary the Magdalene the BD?

          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Q Bee" <artforms@...>
          > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2004 4:50 PM
          > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Digest Number 892

          > > Possibly, though, there is yet another option: (1)
          the mother of him, (2)the sister of the mother of him,
          (3) Mary of Clopas, and (4) Mary of Magdala.

          > Well, that's a stretch. Is there really any reason
          to think that the linguistics are that far removed
          from normal speech? What is the reason for obscuring
          the name of this woman and why is it that James is not
          simply Jesus' brother by Mary? The argument seems to
          presume doctrine that does not aligned to the gospels
          themselves. I wonder why Matthew 1:25 would be part
          of scripture if there never was any further
          relationship between Jesus' parents. They could
          hardly be considered married if the marriage is never
          consummated. Beyond that, the instances where the
          brothers of Jesus are mentioned are too numerable to
          bother to list.

          Dear Elaine:

          One reason for thinking that this is the solution to
          the ambiguous language is that it creates the elegant
          pattern of two women not named who are sisters
          followed by two woman named Mary who are not sisters.

          Further, as far as I can tell, this proposed solution
          to the ambiguous language in 19:25 is not necessarily
          inconsistent with the hypothesis that James not only
          is the BD, but a son of Mary as well. In this case,
          when Jesus tells the BD, "Behold your mother!", he is
          simply telling James to look at his nearby mother--who
          is also the mother of Jesus.

          > > Indeed, since, according to Mark 6:3, Jesus had a
          > > brother named James and a brother named Joses, it
          is the case that the mother of Jesus in John 19:25
          might be Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses
          in Mark 15:40.
          > >
          > > Why, though, would Mark refer to the mother of
          Jesus as the mother of two of his four brothers? The
          answer, I suggest, is that this is Mark's subtle way
          of saying that both these brothers of Jesus were
          standing by Mary. In this case, the BD is most likely
          to be either be James or Joses.

          > So, are you saying that Mark, the author of 2G, is
          the same Mark who is 'possibly' a brother to James and
          Joses by another wife of Joseph? If so, why, again,
          is there this difficulty in grasping the text in order
          to come to this tentative conclusion?

          The first sentence should be understood this way,
          "Why, though, would Mark refer to the mother of Jesus
          as the mother of two of the four brothers of
          Jesus rather than as the mother of Jesus?"


          > > If, as you suggest, there is linkage between 1:38
          > > (where Andrew and an unknown person call Jesus
          Rabbi) and 20:16 (where Mary the Magdalene calls Jesus
          Rabboni), then the further idea is suggested that the
          unknown person in 1:38 is Mary the Magdalene.
          > >
          > > If Mary the Magdalene had been this unknown
          > > then this entails that she had originally been a
          disciple of John the Baptist (1:35-37). Indeed, it is
          possible that John had one or more women disciples.
          For example, in Gnosticism & Early Christianity (p.
          90), Robert M. Grant states, "In the Clementine
          versions we read that John the Baptist had thirty
          disciples, corresponding to the days of the lunar
          month, or more accurately 29 1/2, since one was a
          woman named Helen or Selene." Here, even though the
          woman disciple is said to be Helen or Selene rather
          than Mary, it is significant that, it is assumed, John
          had been open to the idea of himself having one or
          more women disciples. So, it might be worthwhile for
          you to do some research to see if there is any another
          evidence to support the possibility that John the
          Baptist had some women disciples and, beyond that, to
          support the possibility that one of them might have
          been Mary the Magdalene.

          > It is also possible that the name 'Mary' is a title.
          Helen, meaning new light or light of dawn could be
          the actual name just as Peter is Simon. There is ample
          evidence that Jesus encouraged women disciples,
          perhaps to a much greater extent than JB. It is also
          likely that the '30 disciples' of JB is based on
          sacred numbers rather than an actual head count. If
          there is one who is known as a female disciple of JB,
          what about three = 1 1/2?

          I suggest you research this question of whether JB
          might have had three female disciples.

          In any event, it certainly is the case that the name
          'Mary' might be a title for the Magdalene. In Jesus &
          the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls (p. 89),
          Barbara Thiering (a "fellow" on the Jesus
          Seminar--hey, they're not sexist, right?) comments,
          "She (i.e., Mary Magdalene) was called Mary as a
          title, not a name. The word was a form of 'Miriam',
          the name of the sister of Moses. Marys named,
          including the mother of Jesus and the Magdalene, had
          the title Miriam because they had been given a form of
          ministry, that of prophetess, taking part in the
          liturgies or orders like the Therapeutae. These
          ascetics celebrated the Exodus as a drama of
          salvation, with two
          choirs, one of men led by a man representing Moses,
          the other of women led by a Miriam."

          However, as Miriam/Mary was a commonly used name for a
          woman in Palestine at the time, it is most likely that
          the Magdalene really was named Mary.

          Further, even if Mary had been a title of the
          Magdalene rather than her real name, it appears
          unlikely that her real name had been Helen.

          There is an early Christian tradition that Helen had
          originally been a prostitute living in Tyre. However,
          it is unlikely that the Magdalene had been a

          Again, Thiering thinks that Helen(a) is the sister of
          the mother of Jesus rather than being the real
          identity of Mary the Magdalene. So, she states
          (p. 79), "Helena appears under as many pseudonyms as
          he (i.e., Simon Magus. She was the Samaritan woman
          with whom Jesus conversed; Sapphira; Martha; the
          menstuous woman; the Syrophoenician woman; the 'woman
          clothed in scarlet and purple'; 'Jezebel'; Salome;
          Joanna; 'his mother's sister'."

          If Thiering is correct, then 19:25 mentions four
          women: (1) the mother of Jesus, (2) Helen(a), the
          sister of the mother of Jesus, (3) Mary of Cleopas,
          and (4) the Magdalene. So, she states (p. 425), "Lk
          24:13-33. 'Cleopas' (v. 18) was James, cf. 'Mary of
          Cleopas' as one of the four women at the cross in Jn.
          19:25 ('his mother's sister', Helena, and three Marys:
          queen mother, queen and princess). Hegesippus (quoted
          Eccl. Hist. 3:32, also see 3:11) shows that Cleopas
          was a family name, being that of an uncle of Jesus,
          brother of Joseph."

          It is worthy of note that, here, she identifies the
          "Cleopas" of 19:25 as being James. She does so by
          premising that Cleopas was a dynastic name: like that
          of Herod for the Herodian dynasty and that of Aretas
          for the dynasty ruling the Nabatean kingdom--the
          implication being that James became the head of his
          brother's movement because he was the dynastic
          successor to his brother.

          In this case, the question arises as to in what sense
          this Mary was "of Cleopas." The response of Thiering
          (p. 334), is that this Mary "was the woman betrothed
          to James-Cleopas".

          If she is correct, then the question arises as to why,
          in 19:25, it is stressed that this Mary had been "of
          Cleopas", i.e., had been betrothed to James-Cleopas.
          The suggested answer: this James-Cleopas had been at
          her side and, so, was the son of the mother of Jesus
          (and, hence, the brother of Jesus) to whom Jesus had
          turned over the custody of his mother--thereby making
          this James-Cleopas, who was a brother of Jesus, the


          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 15
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109

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