Re: [John_Lit] The Curious Incident of the BD On the Night... andJohn 21:20.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 7:52 PM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] The Curious Incident of the BD On the Night...
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.
- John Lupia wrote:
> Lupia:Did you use "survey" before? If so, I must have missed it. And you'll forgive
> >>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?
> >>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
> 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.
> > > > 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.
> > This is implicit in your last two posts. Your
> > post that sparked this discussion did not make this
> > clear that you have not read the corpus of
> > on this issue.
> >>Are you speaking of the corpus in Latin by Latin
> authors, or material in Hebrew and Greek by Jewish
> 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.
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 betraysNo it doesn't, especially since I took you to be referring to Horace, etc.
> the fact you have no clue regarding this literature
>Partly because neither of the sources you sited were relevant to the question of
> and one wonders why you would have even jumped into
> the discussion to begin with riding on the coattails
> of Bob Dietel.
what the passover dinner practices of non elite Galilean Jews were.
> Lupia:You have? Can you show me where you did this in your postings on the last supper
> 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
or in previous ones in this thread?
> However, anyone following this discussionNo. And this was because I was refering to the actual texts from Roman authors
> 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?
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
> ScientistsI find the sources I was refering to (and to which I though you were refering,
> 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.
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 itOf course this ignores
> 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).
that the custom of reclining at meals was adopted by Jews long before they had
contact with Romans or Greeks (cf. Amos mos 6:47),
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, 728833 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
>As the text of Horace itself (appended below) seems to indicate, it seems you
> 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
> 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.
> Lets take a look at this.
> 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."
> 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?
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
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank McCoy" <silvanus55109@...>
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: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> 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.
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
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
1809 N. English Apt. 15
Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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