FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-14-2001, 10:29 AM   #71
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:
I am putting together a response. Are you interested?
</font>
As long as it doesn't involve battered sibling syndrome or the theories of Robert Eisenman.

Just kidding. If you want to rely on Eisenman go ahead.
 
Old 02-15-2001, 05:02 PM   #72
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
As long as it doesn't involve battered sibling syndrome or the theories of Robert Eisenman.

Just kidding. If you want to rely on Eisenman go ahead.
</font>
No, I don't need Eisenman (with whom I am familiar)or the "battered sibling syndrome" idea. I will use the text of the NT and my own conclusions.

I have a bit more time to write on Fridays, after work, and Saturdays, so I should have something tomorrow or Saturday.

Ron
 
Old 02-15-2001, 05:14 PM   #73
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:
No, I don't need Eisenman (with whom I am familiar)or the "battered sibling syndrome" idea. I will use the text of the NT and my own conclusions.

I have a bit more time to write on Fridays, after work, and Saturdays, so I should have something tomorrow or Saturday.

Ron
</font>
Take your time. Patience is a virtue. But I have one question. How do you know the NT texts you will be working from are accurate?
 
Old 02-15-2001, 06:11 PM   #74
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Take your time. Patience is a virtue. But I have one question. How do you know the NT texts you will be working from are accurate?</font>
I don't have the earliest extant Greek MSS in front of me, but surely you don't require that I quote from one of those, do you? BTW, even using the earliest MSS, no one knows which is "accurate." All we have are copies of copies of copies, and they all contain numerous errors, additions, omissions, obscurities, and variant readings. But, we can do the best we can with what we have available.

Are you going to challenge the use of an English translation of the NT? If so, I am not going to spend any more time on this particular issue. It would be a waste of my time.

Ron
 
Old 02-15-2001, 06:12 PM   #75
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wink

Sorry, I was kidding. I was remarking on the irony of the skeptic referring to the Bible to prove a historical point. Usually when I do that I get hammered witht he "how do you know its accurate" riff.

I certainly will have to rely on the use of English translations.
 
Old 02-17-2001, 01:03 PM   #76
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
If Jesus acted so shamefully to his family and was so reviled by them that they disowned him, then why did they continue on as followers of Jesus after his death? Mary and Jesus' brothers were reportedly with the disciples at pentacost. James, the brother of Jesus, continued on to lead the young Christian church in Jerusalem until his martyrdom. Did something happen between Jesus' shameful death and pentacost to change James' mind?</font>
I offer the following response to all interested readers. I think each person is certainly capable of making up his/her own mind about this issue.

RESPONSE:

Jesus’ family.

According to Christian and Jewish traditions, the mother of Jesus was named Miriam (the name “Mary” is a mistranslation). In the oldest Christian narrative of Jesus’ life, Mark, we find out that Miriam had several children: “Is not this the carpenter [Jesus], the son of Miriam and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us.” (6:3) Unfortunately, Mark does not name a father. According to Morton Smith, “In Semitic usage, to refer to a man as the son of his mother was to indicate that his father’s identity was uncertain...and was certain to be understood in a pejorative sense.” Jesus the Magician, P.26 Perhaps Jesus was illegitimate.

In the only other Markan passages alluding to the mother (and family) of Jesus, we find problems:

1. “Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard of it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, ‘He is beside himself.’” (3:19-21)

2. “And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside waiting for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.’” (3:31-35)

3. “He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished [they expressed amazement]...And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’” (6:1-4)

These are the only references to Jesus’ mother and family in Mark. There is just not much information on Miriam and her family in the NT.


In later Christian narratives, Jesus is said to have had a father named Joseph. For example, John states: “Philip found Nathan’a-el, and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.’” (1:45) See also, 6:42. Oddly enough, John names Jesus’ father, but does not name his mother anywhere in his narrative. And, as in Mark, when Jesus’ family is mentioned, there are sometimes problems:

1. “On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you .’” (2:1-5) I consider Jesus’ remark to be an insulting rebuke. I would never speak to my mother that way.

2. “After this [the wedding at Cana] he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.” (1:12) No apparent problems here.

3. “After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Judeans sought to kill him. Now the Jew’s feast of Tabernacles was at hand. So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing. For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ For even his brothers did not believe in him...Jesus said to them, ‘...Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up this feast...’ So saying , he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he went up, not publicly but in private.” (7:1-10) In this passage we learn two facts: First, Jesus’ brothers do not believe him to be who/what he says he is and , second, Jesus lied to his brothers about going to Judea. In my view, these facts indicate that Jesus had problems with his family and they had problems with him.

4. “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near [at Jesus execution], he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (19:26-27) In this passage, we find out that Jesus had a disciple that he loved (did he not love anyone else?), and that that disciple was asked to care for Jesus’ mother after his death. (I think this incident did not take place. If this scene is historical, it is very odd that no other NT writer felt the need to mention it. As a matter of fact, no other writer places Miriam at the execution.)

The last mention of Miriam is in Acts 1:14. Following Jesus execution, he is said to have gone into the sky. Later his apostles returned to Jerusalem. They, Miriam, and Jesus’ brothers went up to the highest point of a building and prayed. That is everything about Miriam in the NT. (Except for the “Virgin Mary” myth at the beginning of their respective narratives, Matthew and Luke add nothing to our knowledge of Jesus’ mother.)


Jewish tradition has this to say about Miriam:

“Rabbi Eliezar said to the sages, ‘Did not Ben Stada [Jesus] bring spells from Egypt in a cut in his flesh?’ They replied, ‘He was a fool and one does not prove anything from a fool.’ Ben Stada is Ben Pandira. Rabbi Hisda said, ‘The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira.’ The husband was Pappos ben Jehudah, the mother was Stada. The mother was Miriam, the dresser of women’s hair--as they say in Pumbeditha, ‘Such a one has been false to her husband.’” Jewish Mishnah

According to R. Joseph Hoffman, “That this person is Jesus of Nazareth is clear from the fact that we elsewhere meet with the full name, Jeshu ben Pandira and Jeshu ben Stada...Also to be noticed is the tradition that Jesus‘ mother was named Mary (=Miriam) and that her husband was not the father of Jesus (see Mark 6:3; Luke 2:3). The Gospel-accounts attributed to Matthew and Luke attempt to overcome this apparently well-known accusation with contradictory stories about a virgin birth. Matthew 1:18-25 clearly preserves and reflects the rabbinical story concerning Jesus‘ illegitimacy.” Jesus Outside the Gospels, pp. 40-41. Hoffman thinks that much of the Jewish tradition dates to before the formation of the gospel narratives.

Origen says the following:
“And since, in imitation of a rhetorician training a pupil, he [Celsus, writing in the second century] introduces a Jew, who enters into a personal discussion with Jesus, and speaks in a very childish manner, altogether unworthy of the grey hairs of a philosopher, let me endeavour, to the best of my ability, to examine his statements, and show that he does not maintain, throughout the discussion, the consistency due to the character of a Jew. For he represents him disputing with Jesus, and confuting Him, as he thinks, on many points; and in the first place, he accuses Him of having "invented his birth from a virgin," and upbraids Him with being ‘born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God.’” Contra Celsum 1.28

Conclusion:

The NT has very little to say about the mother and family of Jesus. When they are mentioned, they are almost always problematic for Jesus. The textual evidence indicates that Jesus had a cool or hostile relationship with ALL family members. Perhaps the difficulties were related to circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth. Jewish tradition said that Jesus was illegitimate. Obviously, if he was that would go far in explaining why he had a strained relationship with Miriam and his brothers and sisters. That would also explain why he made statements like these:

1. “If any one...does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26)

2. “Do you think I have come to give peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” (Mt 10:34-36)

I will deal more specifically with James, "the brother of Jesus," in a later post.



[This message has been edited by penatis (edited February 17, 2001).]
 
Old 02-17-2001, 06:29 PM   #77
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

The name "Maria", which would eventually get turned into the likes of "Marie" and "Mary", is the feminine of the old Roman name "Marius", which would become "Mario" in present-day Italian.
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:36 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.