Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
- Thanks, Jack, for your well-thought out response.
From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
Sent: Sun, January 23, 2011 9:58:03 AM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
No, Matt, I do not believe he turned water into wine. The miracle stories
and supernatural events are an entirely different animal in HJ studies,
primarily ignored in the various "quests."
In the cyclic "quests" for the historical Jesus, in the past, much focus has
been placed on the sayings of Jesus. Other important aspects in the "quest"
have good foundations in the cultural anthropology of
1st century Palestine. These elements are woefully absent in much debate
concerning the historical Jesus. The miracle stories, however, were ignored
because of the historical difficulty.
In the 1st century Middle East any disease, disability or infirmity was
considered divine punishment for some transgression against God or for sin.
This is a silly concept today (albeit still promulgated by primitive
evangelical types like Pat Robertson regarding the AIDS epidemic). Back to
the 1st century. Hysterical pathologies resulting from guilt feelings over
perceived transgressions would have been rampant in that society where
literally thousands of "sinners" expected imminent retribution from God.
These hysterically based infirmities, called Conversion Disorders, are
often seen today by psychiatrists and most commonly are some form of
paralysis (healed by Jesus at Mark 3:1) 1, 2, 3, blindness (Mark 8:22;
10:49) 4, skin eruptions, all of which were called "Leprosy" in the 1st
century (healed Mark 1:40) and deafness (healed Mark 7:32) 5. Given a
healer whom the victim believed had the authority from God to heal the sin,
many of these infirmities would have been instantly healed (6) and failures
chalked up to "lack of faith." The reputation of Jesus as a healer spread
There were other healers sashaying from place to place but the higher rate
of success for Jesus may have been the perception by the am ha'aretz that he
was the bar nasha and had God's authority to forgive sin which the gospels
relate was a sharp thorn in the butts of the temple crowd who could only
play the "healing on a sabbath" ruse to trip him up.
The point is that some of the "miracles" actually happened.
1.Heruti RJ, Reznik J, Adunski A, et al. Conversion motor paralysis
disorder: analysis of 34 consecutive referrals. Spinal Cord 2002;40:335-40.
2.Heruti RJ, Levy A, Adunski A, et al. Conversion motor paralysis disorder:
overview and rehabilitation model. Spinal Cord 2002;40:327-34.
3.Letonoff EJ, Williams TR, Sidhu KS. Hysterical paralysis: a report of
three cases and a review of the literature. Spine 2002;27:441-5.
4.Freud, Sigmund. (1910i). The psycho-analytic view of psychogenic
disturbance of vision. SE, 11: 209-218.
5.Loren Pankratza, etal A forced-choice technique to evaluate deafness in
the hysterical or malingering patient Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Volume 43, Issue 3, June 1975, Pages 421-422
6. Ruddy R, House A. Psychosocial interventions for conversion disorder.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4.
San Antonio, TX
From: "Matthew Estrada" <matt_estrada@...>
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
> Jack,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> You speak in generalities, but the gospel stories are specific. And that,
> I am
> afraid, you cannot claim with certainty (the mayonaise farm), what the
> Jesus DID. Did he indeed turn water into wine?
> Matt Estrada
> From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sat, January 22, 2011 9:12:45 PM
> Subject: Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
> Hi Hellen:
> Since it is a given that the "real Jesus" is lost to history, the
> "historical Jesus" is as close as we are going to get. We get as close as
> we can through both a critical analysis of the texts and steeped in the
> social, cultural, religious and linguistic anthropology of the late second
> temple period. As a result and per exemplum, I do not know if the REAL
> Jesus wore sandals. I do know that they were the standard footwear and
> have been recovered at Qumran and Wadi Muraba'at and the texts tell me he
> did a lot of walking. As a result, I think I am very safe in stating,
> almost apodictically, Jesus wore sandals.
> I don't know what the REAL Jesus wore in addition to the sandals but
> standard dress was an inner tunic, a tunic coat (Kitonet), a girdle or
> of leather, a mantle that was like a robe, similar to a Gilabiyah and a
> headdress not unlike a prayer shawl or tallit. Examples of these pieces of
> clothing have been found, some fairly well preserved and I would bet the
> mayonnaise farm that is what the historical and the real Jesus wore,
> I cannot tell you about colors. I can tell from the archaeological
> what kind of cups he drank from and ate from and what kind of wine he
> and food he ate. We also have a very good idea of infrastructure and the
> types of houses he lived in as well as social and family praxis. I can say
> with strong conviction that he spoke Aramaic and even know enough of the
> idiom to know he didn't say some of the things we think he said.
> I think he really did, honestly and for true, actually heal a lot of
> again with good reason rather than "faith."
> All I am saying is that if you look at the whole elephant from all of the
> indicators at out disposal, there is much we can say about the only REAL
> Jesus we will ever know, the historical Jesus.
> Jack Kilmon
> San Antonio, TX
> From: "Mardaga, Hellen" <MARDAGA@...>
> Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 7:30 AM
> To: <email@example.com>
> Subject: RE: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
>> Dear Jack,
>> yes it is very cold in DC.....I really hate the winter.....
>> One should avoid statements or "certainties" with regard to claims about
>> the "historical" Jesus. I have discovered that all to often people say
>> things about the historical jesus (what he did, how he spoke, where he
>> went to etc...)that sound as if they were personally present at the
>> scenery (no ofense). There really is no straightforward evidence with
>> regard to the literacy of Jesus, only possibilities or probabilities.
>> I also think - but I might be wrong- that you overlook the very important
>> distinction between the real Jesus (whom we do not know and never will)
>> and the historical Jesus (the Jesus we recover through scientific
>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> [email@example.com] on behalf of Jack Kilmon
>> Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 11:36 PM
>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Subject: Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
>> From: "Mardaga, Hellen" <MARDAGA@...<mailto:MARDAGA%40cua.edu>>
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:39 PM
>> Subject: RE: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
>>> Dear Mark, Jack, etc….
>>> I am surprised to read the following statement:
>>> Peter would say to a group of people in Lydda,
>>>> Cappadocia, etc... איכא דאן נהוא פגרא תמן נתכנשׁון נשׁרא׃" Yeshua
>>>> amar......'aika den d'hawa pagra, thamman yitkanuon nishrea'" Now I am
>>>> confident this indeed goes to the lips of the HISTORICAL Jesus because
>>>> will notice it is a 2-4 beat rhyme. Vintage Jesus-speak. Then Peter, I
>>>> am sure, paused while Mark translated the Aramaic to Greek, " ὅπου γὰρ
>>>> ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί "
>>>> and the crowd nodded to each other as they heard "wherever their is a
>>>> carcass, there also will gather the vultures."
>>> The 2-4 beat rhyme you are referring to (and I think you have the book
>>> “The Poetry of Our Lord” in mind) is a common stylistic feature. I do
>>> see how you can simply “deduct” from this phenomenon that “the
>>> Jesus” said such a thing. I think you are overlooking some important
>>> aspects of rhetoric:
>>> - a feature may be common in a book – several books (e.g.
>>> parallelism is found both in John and in the Synoptics) but is that
>>> necessary a proof that because a word of Jesus is structured as a
>>> parallelism he literally “spoke” that way?
>> Hi Hellen:
>> Sorry it took me a while. Sometimes recreational computer time comes
>> Concentrating on Aramaic reconstructions of first layer sayings and
>> aphorisms of Jesus I find the typical orality devices, of course.
>> paronomasia, alliteration rhyme and meter that indicate to me an
>> in a manner that would not occur if the language of delivery would have
>> anything other than Aramaic.
>>> - We do not even clearly know which language Jesus spoke.
>> Judean Aramaic. To me it is not even debatable anymore. There is a ton of
>> evidence in the only real footprints of the historical Jesus we have, his
>> Translational Greek is recognizable by the lexical and syntactic
>> interference and in this case that interference is Aramaic.
>>> He could have spoken some Greek, maybe Aramaic, read Hebrew….but that is
>>> it. We can only “assume” what he might have said
>> I am sure he had "get by Greek" having grown up in Galilee surrounded by
>> Hellenism and trade. He spoke Aramaic. Those are the only transliterated
>> words placed on his lips including the cry from the cross. Whether or not
>> he was competent in Hebrew is hard to assess. The reading of the Isaiah
>> scroll at the synagogue at Luke 4:21 is special "L" material from the
>> decade of the 1st century and almost certainly not genuine to Jesus.
>> Otherwise we have no indications he knew, read or spoke Hebrew and we do
>> have indications he was familiar with Targums.
>> Jesus grew up in Palestine (not even assuming the Galilee) in the first
>> third of the 1st century. As such, he grew up in an Aramaic speaking
>> so it is more than an assumption to me that he spoke Aramaic as his
>> Even our Gospel of John has an Aramaic sub-structure, in fact the
>> of the Gospels.
>>> - What about the whole notion of orality? Oral tradition?
>>> Parallelism, rhyme, repetition, amplification are not only used in
>>> texts but they also serve a listening audience. It could be that Mark
>>> composed the words of Jesus (since he is translating them [!] as you
>>> suggest) as a 2-4 beath rhyme (!) exactly to serve the listening
>>> and to help them remember the content of the gospel easier by
>> That is the most unlikely possibility, IMO, since Mark wrote his Gospel
>> his "second language Greek" where the Aramaic mnemonic apparati would be
>> lost just as was idiom in many cases. They do not appear until the
>> is reconstructed. In the cry from the cross, first
>> Mark from his notebook, he chose to preserve it as it was spoken and
>> is no better indication of Judean Aramaic.
>> The "cry from the cross" bothers some people and there are apologists
>> Syriac churches (Jesus did not speak Syriac) who manufacture all forms of
>> creative "translations." The cry from the cross is clear Aramaic and
>> definitively "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
>> I think Mark was correct in his transliteration since the Western Aramaic
>> (Judean) would have a qamets qatan instead of qamets gadhol for the lamed
>> alaha. Easterm (Syriac) would be alef (pattah)-lamed (qamets gadhol)-heh
>> (hiriq qatan)-yod, hence aLAhy. Western (Judean) would be alef-lamed
>> (qamets qatan)-heh (hiriq qatan)-yod, hence aLOhy, hence Mark's
>> transliteration as ELWI Ελωι ελωι λαμμᾶ σαβαχθανι . Judean Aramaic
>> aLOhy, aLOhy LAma shevawqTAny?
>> "God of me, God of me, why have forsaken you me?"
>> Some say there a problem with the absence of a smooth breathing for the
>> transliterated ELWI? I don't think so. There was no such thing in the
>> first century and the original Markan autograph would have had an uncial
>> In Aramaic speaking Palestine of the 1st century, Jesus would not have
>> Psalm 22 in Hebrew. He would have heard it from the synagogue lector
>> the Aramaic Targum of Psalm 22.
>> אלהי אלהי מטול מה שׁבקתני
>> Just one of hundreds of indicators that I have noticed is the rendering
>> the name of Jesus' buddy אֶלְעָזָר in Hebrew el'azar. It has come down to
>> us from Jesus' own Galilean pronunciation as l'azar with the dropped
>> and transliterated into Greek as Λάζαρος and in the Vulgate as Lazarus.
>> If Jeremias, Black, Fitzmyer and Casey are not compelling on this issue,
>> then no one can be, certainly not a mere amateur such as myself.
>> Is it cold in DC?
>> Jack Kilmon
>> San Antonio, TX
>>> Dr. Hellen Mardaga
>>> Assistant Professor of New Testament
>>> The Catholic University of America
>>> Caldwel Hall 419
>>> 620 Michigan Av.
>>> 20064 Washington DC
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