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Old 08-05-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default Did a Rolling Stone....

I actually just read Kloner's article on the rolling stone. Got it on ILL...but you can see it here:

Carrier and other's have used it:

Does Miller's article satisfactorilly resolve this issue:

Carrier wrote:

"Why is this significant? Three of the four Gospels repeatedly and consistently use the word "roll" to describe the moving of the tomb's blocking stone ("rolled to" proskylisas, Matthew 27:60; "rolled away" apekylisen, Matthew 28:2; "rolled to" prosekylisen, Mark 15:46; "roll away" apokylisei Mark 16:3; "rolled away" apokekylistai Mark 16:4; "rolled away" apokekylismenon Luke 24:2). The verb in every case here is a form of kyliein, which always means to roll: kyliein is the root of kylindros, i.e. cylinder, in antiquity a "rolling stone" or even a child's marble. For example, the demon-possessed boy in Mark 9:20 "rolls around" on the ground (ekylieto, middle form meaning "roll oneself," hence "wallow"). These are the only uses of any form of this verb in the New Testament.

Kloner argues that the verb could just mean "moved" and not rolled but he presents no examples of such a use for this verb, and I have not been able to find any myself, in or outside the Bible, and such a meaning is not presented in any lexicon. His argument is based solely on the fact that it "couldn't" have meant rolled because the stone couldn't have been round in the 30's C.E. But he misses the more persuasive point: if the verb can only mean round, then the Gospel authors were not thinking of a tomb in the 30's C.E. but of one in the later part of the century. If the tomb description is flawed, this would also put Mark as being written after 70 C.E., and it would support the distinct possibility that the entire tomb story is a fiction."
After pointing out a bunch of apparent examples, Miller wrote:

"Richard was correct, though, that the lexical definition-entries do not give 'move' as a definition (e.g., LSJ), but had he looked through the actual word usage in the literature he would have no doubt recognized that 'roll' could also apply to non-circular objects. [In fact, the actual usage data shows that this word-group is more frequently used on non-round objects, than it is for 'actually round' objects.]"
Is there a better word choice that the gospel authors could have used to indicate pushing a large stone away that possible tumbles?

At any rate, I only find this important for "dating Mark" but I don't think it is very useful. I think the author wanted Jesus to have one of those uncommon rolling stones.....that may be the point, not historical ananchronism....

Kloner himself points out a non-cylindrical stone makes more sense with the angel or man in white ( I forget the exact details) sitting on it.

My biggest concern with the account is the description of the stone as exceptionally large sine I think they were only like 4.5 feet or something from Kloner's article. But that may be Mark's point, the spices, Joseph, a rolling stone and big one to protect the body....

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:43 AM   #2
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Hi Vinnie,

The rolling stone, like so many other details of Jesus’ burial, is derived from Joshua chapter 10.

και ειπεν ιησους κυλισατε λιθους επι το στομα του σπηλαιου και καταστησατε ανδρας φυλασσειν επ' αυτους
Joshua 10:18 Septuagint

There is an alternate tradition of the demise of Jesus was that he was hung on a tree rather than a cross. Gal 3:13, Acts 5:30, cf Deut 21:22-23.

Let's break down Joshua chapter 10, to note the similarities. Five kings were killed and hung
from trees by Jesus (Ιησους=Jesus, LXX), and buried in a cave which was sealed by rolling great stones (vs. 18, 27), and before which the kings had previously been imprisoned and guarded, "And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them."
  • Jesus was executed as a King. In Joshua chapter 10 five kings were executed.
  • Jesus was hung on a tree. The five kings were hung on trees.
  • The bodies in both cases were taken down at sunset.
  • Jesus was buried in a tomb with a large boulder rolled across the entrance.
  • The five kings were buried in a cave with great stones blocking the entrance.
  • In both cases guards were posted outside the tomb, answering the question posed in the the thread, There Were Guards At The Tomb Of Jesus

The parallels with the NT crucifixion are too many to dismiss. In the gospel story the roles are simply reversed. It is Jesus that is slain rather than being the slayer.

Jake Jones IV
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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In both examples (the II article and the Book of Joshua) it seems as though "kings" were given round stones in front of their tombs. If Jesus was considered a "king" then it wouldn't be that much of a wild conjecture to say he had a circular stone.

But then again, he was supposed to have been buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethia, who is pretty much a nobody and deus ex machina.
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