Jesus With His Head In The Clouds?

I had the privilege of being present for Mark Goodacre’s paper proposing a conjectural emendation of the Gospel of Peter, so that it does not feature a walking, talking cross, but instead referred to Jesus as “the crucified.”

Remnant of Giants has blogged about Mark’s proposal twice recently, and Mark himself has also done so.

I think Mark’s proposal has a lot to be said for it. It fits well with the image of two angels leading/supporting Jesus as he exits the tomb, with his head higher than theirs, rather than being overshadowed and upstaged – metaphorically if not literally – by a cross whose presence in the tomb is more perplexing than that of the angels, and rather than his being essentially carried by the angels.

I can’t help wondering, though, whether the image of Jesus having returned to life, but needing some assistance initially, doesn’t seem natural to Mark and I because of a common source we both depend on – by which I don’t mean Q


  • Geoff Hudson

    If it was the time of the 1939 war, and the Gospel of Peter was a secret coded letter from the Germans, what would Mark Goodacre and his followers do? -  try to understand the text as it is?  Or would they play around with the text? And what about the NT? 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    If it was 2011, and your comments made sense, what would I do?

    • Geoff Hudson

      If it was 2011 and you received what appears to be a coded letter, what would you do? – try to understand the text as it is, or play around with it?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I would treat it the same way I treat your coded comments: try to make sense of them, wonder what the author could have possibly intended, and eventually ignore them and focus attention on other texts that can be understood.

  • http://profiles.google.com/goodacre Mark Goodacre

    Haha; nice post, James. 

  • Geoff Hudson

    But how do you and Mark Goodacre know you can understand the texts.  Is it because you and he know Greek?  You obviously know that you have some problems with some of the texts, at least.  And the rest you think you understand.  I actually think there is nothing wrong with playing around with what is the only text we have just to see if we have been made fools of, apart from finding out what really was going on.  

    Can we begin to reconstruct the text of the NT? 

    We have a small chink in Mark’s armour at something near a reconstruction on the Gospel of Peter.  Then we have a much larger reconstruction on Neil’s blog with Perigrinus being, as Parvus argues of course, substituted for Ignatius, and Perigrinus proceeding to martyrdom, travelling in the opposite direction to Ignatius.  And we have Vermes doing a reconstruction of the Testimonium Flavianus.  Clearly these people thought there was something wrong about the ancient text.  And where do you draw the line at this type of approach? 

    I happen to think that the NT does not reflect the historical conditions that existed at the time Jesus is supposed to have existed.  For example, Pharisees and Sadducees did not exist then, and have been written into the text later.  So I am immediately suspicious of much of the text.      

    • Howard Mazzaferro

      The first mention of the Pharisees occurs in sources written during the reign of Jonathan the Hasmonean (about 150 BCE).

      • Geoff Hudson

        In reply to Howard and James, I would say that the first mention of Pharisees being around at the time of Jonathan is a later interpolation.  How do I know this?  Well it is by examining the text in the writings attributed to Josephus. The passage comes right out of the blue – nothing about Pharisees (or Sadducees or Essenes) before, and nothing after.  It has quite clearly been added. Why was it added?  It was added to prepare the way for later similar interpolations in the writings to do with Pharisees, and Sadducees, and Essenes (a strange word that only a certain person at Duke knows the etymology of).  What was the purpose of the interpolations?  It was to conceal the fact of what was really going on, but that deserves another account.   

        The passage (Ant. 13.5.9)  begins with a giveaway typical formula, “At this time”.  It ends with the words, “However, I have written a more exact account of these opinions in the second book of the Jewish war”. Now how would the writer know that, unless he had helped to construct the Jewish War.  You see the Antiquities were written first and edited later.  Scholars such as Schiffman make the same mistake of believing in the early existence of Pharisees from the writings attributed to Josephus. He thus gets his interpretation of the Scrolls wrong.  The Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes are mentioned nowhere in the DSS.  And all we have in Philo is a mention of Essenes which I would suggest has been changed from Prophets.         

        • Howard Mazzaferro

          Geoff, In Josephus’ writings, there are more then 40 occurrences of the word Pharisees. Are all of these interpolations? I don’t understand what the great impact of several Jewish sects had on history that they had to be fabricated. You say that Pharisees and the other Jewish sects did not exist at the time of Jesus, what exactly are you saying? Are you saying that Jesus existed at some other time then the first century? And what do you mean by the Pharisees did not exist? Are you saying the Pharisees never existed, or just never existed at the time of Jesus? Pharisees and Sadducees were merely the names of Jewish sects, are you saying that at the time Jesus really existed, there were no Jewish sects, regardless of what they called them? Or is it the specific names that are important to history, I simply do not understand the logic here.

          The DSS were written by a Jewish sect, thus proving Jewish sects existed in the late second temple period, So when did Jesus exist?

          • Geoff Hudson

            I have been saying that Pharisees and Sadducees did not exist at the time Jesus was supposed to have existed.    

            The DSS were not the product of any obscure sect stuck out at Qumran  They were the product of mainstream Jewish priests, and were deposited in the Judean desert area, as they expected the immanent arrival of the Romans in 66.  The priests took their Scrolls to various parts of the Judean desert, stripped-off their Teffilin, and and prepared to do battle, occupying fortresses at Masada, Qumran and Machaerus.

            The scrolls do not mention the Pharisees or Sadducees.  They do mention “those who seek smooth things in Jerusalem”… “who despise the law and do not trust in God” (4Q163). You have to remember that this is the writing of a priestly group against another group, who I suggest were not a sect, but were the prophets.  The prophets were indeed despising the law, because they rejected animal sacrifice for cleansing from sin.  And this began in the time of the Hasmoneans.  The DSS know nothing of any sects, and this was even during the time of Herod. There was conflict between the aristocratic priests  
            and the prophets who were poor agricultural and building labourers.         

               

            • Howard Mazzaferro

              Geoff, I could find nothing like that in my version of 4Q163, could you provide the fragment number?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    And what leads you to conclude that there were no Pharisees or Sadducees then? Because you choose to regard all evidence for them as fabricated later? Or because you believe that the mythicists of the future accidentally killed them all when they travelled back in time to eliminate any evidence for Jesus?

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    To me, the overall feel of the Gospel of Peter seems to be a later production. I found the following inconsistencies that really stood out with just a brief comparison to the Bible’s trial, death, and resurrection accounts.

    1. The Gospel of Peter always identifies Jesus as “the Lord” and never by his name. On the other hand, Matthew uses his name 25 times, Mark 13 times, Luke 12 times, John 39 times. Matthew and Mark never identify him by “the Lord” and Luke and John use it sparingly.

    2. The Gospel of Peter says the sign above Jesus’ head read, “King of Israel.” However, all the Biblical accounts say “King of the Jews.” What is interesting, is that while Jesus was being crucified, the chief priests used the phrase “King of Israel” at Mt 27:42 and Mk 15:32, but that is not what is said was written on the sign.

    3. I find it very odd that an Israelite would say “the Jerusalem sanctuary.” That particular wording never occurs in the Bible.

    4. The author gets the “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” quote wrong.

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  • Nancy Scott

    Hmmm…the Bible Code…time travel…the Doctor…could it be?  Is he the one who encoded the text? Has anyone ever done a matrix check?

  • Pf

    Howard, what you don’t understand is that “Geoff Hudson,” whose name is really Kiki Rodriguez, writes completely rational and brilliant analysis of CONCACAF region football/soccer. But as he saves his posts, an internet fairy redacts his words and transfers team to this site.

    So, for example, his last post originally made the argument that Cruz Azul was the favorite in this year’s CCL tournament, although he thinks FC Dallas will give them a good battle. Sadly, all that gets lost by the time it makes it to this site.

    It must be maddening for him, so he deserves our sympathy.

    pf

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    Geoff, Never mind I found it. However, it looks as if you are quoting from a reconstructed text. I will quote the whole fragment below. Lines 3-9 are quoting the Hebrew Scriptures at Isaiah 30:15-18. Lines 10-13 which includes one of your quotes (line 10) is the communities interpretation of the Scripture in Isaiah. As you can see it is very fragmentary. I’m not sure if your second quote is a reconstruction from line 12 or from line 14, but if it is from line 14, that is a quote from Hosea and not an interpretation. But the bottom line is, wouldn’t “the congregation of those looking for easy interpretations who are in Jerusalem. . .” be a different sect of Judaism then those interpreting the text?

    Frag. 23 col. ii  

    1 […] and they […] all […] … […]
    2 […] … […] Blank […]
    3 Isa 30:15-18 [For] th[u]s says yhwh, the Holy One of Israel: By turning back and being pla[cid will you be saved;]
    4 your courage will comprise [com]posure and trust. But you did not wish and [said:]
    5 No, let us flee on horseback — Well, then, you need to flee — and: We will run at a gallop — Well, then  
    6 those chasing you will run faster. A thousand (shall flee) [be]fore the menace of one, before the menace
    7 of five shall you flee, until you end up like a flagpole on the peak of a mountain,
    8 like a standard upon a hill. This is why the Lord waits to take pit[y on y]ou, this is why he rises
    9 to be lenient with you. For yhwh is a God of justice. Happy are all those waiting for him.
    10 The interpretation of the word, for the last days, concerns the congregation of those l[ooking] for easy interpretations
    11 who are in Jerusalem […]
    12 in the law and not […]
    13 heart, for in order to crush […]
    14 /Hos 6:9 As bandits lie in wait, [the priests scheme]./ They have rejected the law […]
    15 Isa 30:19-21 [F]or (you) a people [living] in Zion, [in Jerusalem, will no longer need to weep; he will have pity on you at the sound of]
    16 your cry; when he hea[rs it, he will answer you. Even though the Lord has given you measured bread and rationed water,]
    17 no lo[nger] will he hide [your Teacher, and your eyes will see your Teacher.]
    18 Your ears will h[ear a word behind you which says: This is the path, walk on it,]
    19 when you need to go to the rig[ht or to the left. The interpretation of the word, for the last days,]
    20 concerns the sin of […]

    Garcı́a Martı́nez, F., & Tigchelaar, E. J. C. (1997-1998). The Dead Sea scrolls study edition (translations). Vol. 2 published: Leiden; Boston. (1:325-327). Leiden;  New York: Brill.

  • Geoff Hudson

    Howard, I was quoting from Vermes’ The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, page 468.  Vermes only gives line numbers at intervals of five.  I have quoted lines 10 and 11.  Vermes includes Isa.30:15-18 and Isa.30:19-20 in itallics to show clearly where there is an Old Testament quotation.   Interestingly, in line 14, Martinez has: “As bandits lie in wait, [the priests scheme]./ They have rejected the law […]“, but Vermes has:”As robbers lie in wait for a man … they have despised [the words of] the law.”  Vermes does not try to interpolate here the uncertain text [the priests scheme]. 

    Martinez and Vermes belong to the Essenes at Qumran group.  I have gone down the Golb route.   Golb says that the origin of the Scrolls was Jerusalem.  I agree with that view.  I have had a number of communications via a third party with Norman Golb.  Golb has sent me details directly of some of his arguments, most of which I agree with, and some where I have a slight disagreement, and have expanded upon.        

    • Geoff Hudson

      Howard, Hosea 6:9 has: “As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests.”  So I suppose Martinez was right to substitute [the priests scheme]. This was a rival group of “priests”, at the time, who were of a prophetic bent.  Do you read Hosea 6:6 anywhere in the DSS:  “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings”?  The priests of the Scrolls were turning the “priests” own scriptures in Hosea against them.  This difference of belief/non belief in animal sacrifice assumed greater proportions as time went on.         

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    Geoff, I will have to admit, I always found it odd that one Jewish community could be responsible for producing such a wide variety of biblical texts, even over a couple centuries. It seems to me that the Qumran collection of scrolls was a library, collected from different places, with some original Qumran writings included. For example, why would devout Jews produce text that represented both Samaritan texts and Hellenistic LXX texts? What it reminds me of is my own library, where I have thousands of various biblical texts for the purpose of study, and not because I believe they all have value for devotional purposes, e.g. Church Father’s writings or Catholic commentaries. And that’s the point, these Qumran scrolls are a collection of writings from different Jewish sects, the same as mine are a collection of writings from different Jewish and Christian sects. You are correct that there was always a mainstream Judaism, but there were always Jewish sects as well, from the Jews who sacrificed children to the Samaritans. Not to mention that mainstream Judaism was corrupt in itself much of the time.

    • Geoff Hudson

      Howard, so if such a library came from elsewhere, lock, stock and barrel, where would suggest it might have come from?

      • Geoff Hudson

        Or better still, what kind of person would have had an interest in collecting such a library?

      • Howard Mazzaferro

        Geoff, Well no one knows for sure, but they could have been brought there from several areas including Jerusalem for protection from the Roman invasion. Or they could be the accumulation of texts from the Jews living at Qumran who variously collected them over time from different geographical locations as they traveled, again including Jerusalem.

        • Geoff Hudson

          Howard, how does a king sound?  He would have been interested in an eclectic collection surely.  

          • Howard Mazzaferro

            Geoff, which king would that be, Herod? What would that signify?

            • Geoff Hudson

              King Herod had a lbrary.  But I have in mind a later king, Agrippa I.  On page 47 of Qumran in Context, Hirschfeld writes:

              “In terms of both extent and content, the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect the vigorous and varied literary activity that characterized Jerusalem in the second Temple period. One of the centers of this activity was the royal palace in the Upper City. Herod’s palace, like those of other Hellenistic kings, contained a large library. There was even a library in Herod’s palace at remote Masada.”

              The king’s library would surely contain books that represented the whole culture of his people. It seems to me that the books found at Qumran could well have been from a king’s library in Jerusalem. Thus we have an alternative explanation of where the scrolls came from, and why they represented a broad cross-section of the society. If the king’s library was invaded, then whoever raided it would have had a storage problem, especially if they had set fire to the library. Secondly, treasure could have been stolen from the king’s vaults, which was no doubt the place where the library was also. This would have been the accumulated wealth of the king. Some of it would no doubt have been tax money owed to the Roman government.  Thus we could have a kings library and a kings treasure stolen at the same time. And then we do have a Copper Scroll that tells of buried treasure found with a library.

               

              • Howard Mazzaferro

                Geoff, Or it was Agrippa II, who was according to Acts, an expert on Jewish customs and according to Josephus, was a Jewish worshiper. This might have occurred when a group of rebellious Jews (supposedly Sicarii) took Masada before the start of the war. These Jews occupied the Roman fortress of Masada for a few years, they could have removed the king’s scrolls from the storehouses of the palace during this time and hid them in the caves of Qumran below Masada. There were even some Jewish scroll fragments found at Masada.

                • Geoff Hudson

                  Howard, as far as I know, Jewish historical records contain no reference to Agrippa II. And the death of Agrippa I in both Acts and the writings attributed to Josephus is highly suspicious, bordering on the ridiculous. The accounts in Acts and the writings attributed to Josephus look as though there was was collusion between the writers.  In Jewish accounts, Agrippa I is referred to as Agrippa the Great, like Herod the Great.  This is hardly consistent with a reign of about three or four years as in Acts and Josephus. So I think Agrippa I lived much longer and was in fact was king up until just before the Roman invasion of Judea.

                  • Howard Mazzaferro
                    • Geoff Hudson

                      Howard, there is no provenance for any of these coins.  And one of the well known major collectors and dealers in them, Robert Deutsch, is currently awaiting his trial verdict, along with Oded Golan for fraudulently creating archaeological artifacts.  This trial has been on-going for more than five years.  Coins can be created to suit the writings attributed to Josephus.  Knowing this, I wouldn’t bother investing in any of these coins.    

                    • Geoff Hudson

                      You can read a conversation I had with Robert Deutsh in 2008, see the comments, here: http://www.archaeological-center.com/en/monographs/m5/ Deutsh, has some interesting comments about Agrippa II.  There are double dates on the coins, and the inscriptions do not mention the title of king.  Agrippa II’s bust does not appear on any of the coins. Deutsh ducks the issue to my initial question, and refers me to to Meshorer’s book for dating, the double dates, and the inscriptions which do not mention the title of king.  Something smacks.  Given that a great deal of money that is made out of coin sales, and the prevalent archaeological fraud, one has to question these matters, as well as the history. I have read an article (I am trying to locate it) in which an academic deals with the issue of the double dates. I believe he refers to the coins of Agrippa II as being overstruck.   

                    • Geoff Hudson

                      Whatever, I don’t think there is any proof that Agrippa II was ever king of Judea. Nor is there any proof that Procurators ever ruled Judea. 

  • Anonymous

    Did Herod the Great ever put his image on coins?  My understanding   is that he didn’t.  Did Agrippa I ever put his image on coins?  I think he only used his image on coins for a short period. I would suggest that we have the whole of the first part of the first century when Jewish kings followed the Law and didn’t display their image on coins. If so, this matter raises the question about the so-called Procurators. Did the procurators exist? Or, were they a Roman fabrication.  (I can accept Pilate was a chief of police in Ceasarea). Was there a continuous rule of Hasmonean kings from Herod?  Did the Jews use other currencies that did have images on them, but not of the king? The silver half shekel by which people paid the temple tax comes to mind for one. 

  • Anonymous

    The following statement is from the Jewish Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodian_coinage
     - about the coins of Aggrippa II

    “In 66 AD he (supposedly Agrippa II) issued a prutah showing his
    own bust on the obverse with the Greek inscription ‘ΒΆΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΆΓΡΙΠΠΌΎ’ (King
    Agrippa). The coin’s reverse depicts an anchor with the letters L and I on
    either side, giving the tenth year of the king’s reign.”
    The inscription does not refer to Agrippa II. It is exactly the same as the inscription for Agrippa I’s coins. The only reason the writer can have for saying this refers to Agrippa II is because Josephus says that Agrippa II was ruling at this time. And coincidentally the coin was issued just before the Roman invasion (I believe of Judea) in 66, and probably near the time when Agrippa I was killed by the priests. 

    The year on the coin was ILI.  Could this have been 41? How does the writer get the tenth year of the king’s reign? Had Agrippa I been ruling for 41 years in the year of issue?       

  • Anonymous

    Correction: The year on the coins was LI.  Could this have been 51?  Had Agrippa I been ruling for 51 years by 66 CE. 

  • Anonymous

    So, Howard, what’s your answer to this?

  • Anonymous

    The following statement is from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…
     - about the coins of Aggrippa II (supposedly)

    “In 66 AD he issued a prutah showing his own bust on the obverse with the Greek inscription ‘ΒΆΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΆΓΡΙΠΠΌΎ’ (King Agrippa). The coin’s reverse depicts an anchor with the letters L and I on either side, giving the tenth year of the king’s reign.”  
    If these were Roman numerals, LI would mean 51. 

    Was it usual to stamp the number of years a king had reigned on these type of coins?  Does anyone know the answer? We have the years 1 to 5 of the so-called coins of revolt. 

    How does the writer get “the tenth year of the king’s reign”?  

    • Howard Mazzaferro

      More than likely it’s referring to the 10 year of Emperor Claudius’ reign, from 41 CE to 51 CE.

      • Anonymous

        Howard, this may be an answer, but there is little logic to it.  

        Another pointed question is why is there no II after King Agrippa?  

        You must admit there is something peculiar here.  

        • Howard Mazzaferro

          The logic was that Agrippa was honoring the Emperor, If you would notice in the Wikipedia article you quoted, one of the other coins he minted used Claudius’ name. Here is the quote below.

          “Agrippa II was the last ruler of the Herodian Dynasty. His coins include both Jewish and pagan symbolism. A Jewish type, for example, depicts a palm branch on the obverse with the inscription ‘ΚΛΆΎΔΙΌΥ KAICAPOC’ (Claudius Caesar) in Greek, and a wreath on the reverse surrounding the inscription ‘TIBERIAC’ (‘Tiberias’), also in Greek.”

          Why does it not contain “II”, the same reason Josephus and the Bible do not use “II” for Agrippa and other kings. When they were living, they were not referred to as Agrippa II for example, but simply as Agrippa.

  • Anonymous

    Howard, I still don’t understand how from the letters LI you get 10.

    OK, I can see that a king Agrippa would be referred to as king Agrippa whether he was I or II. But this kind of naming depends on the first Agrippa being dead.  Once one king has died it would be clear which king was being named.  And this is what I am trying to argue. I believe that in 66 CE, Agrippa I was still alive. And may be the coin was issued to celebrate 50 years of his rule. 

    So the second inscription that you mentioned would be a coin by which Agrippa I honoured Claudius. 

    • Howard Mazzaferro

      Geoff, LI does not equal 10, it equals 51, so I guess the Wikipedia article is saying 10 in the sense that it has been 10 years since Emperor Claudius started to reign from the year 41 CE. I don’t understand your math, Agrippa I started to reign in 41 CE as well, so a 50 year reign would put the date of the coin at 91 CE, not 66 CE. However, if Agrippa I was still alive in 51 CE, then he would have reigned for 10 years as the coin depicts. But since all sources say he died in 44 CE, then it has to be referring to Agrippa II and the 10 years refers to Claudius’ reign. What is your evidence that Agrippa I did not die in 44 CE?

      • Anonymous

        Why would a Jewish king reckon the year of his reign based on when a Roman emperor started his? 

        I am hypothesising. What if Agrippa I started his reign in 11 CE when he was 22?  That could mean that 50 years of his reign would be up by 66 CE. He would have been 77 in 66 CE, an old man.  This was not not an impossibility, and he would have certainly inherited the title Great.  I don’t think he would have been called Great having a reign of a few years from 37-44 CE.  All that you have stated stems from Josephus, our only source.  This is what Kokkinos, author of The Herodian Dynasty wrote about Josephus, (page 195), “it is by no means strange that that Josephus ignores the Herodian family from the time of Archelaus to that of Agrippa I, because the historian knows practically nothing of the period CE 6-26, and comparatively little of CE 26-36.”  And Agrippa is supposed to have started his reign in CE 37. Kokkinos continues: “the Herods would not have re-emerged so suddenly in in vital positions some 30 years after they had effectively abandoned their public functions”.  This is  scholars speak that the Herodians had never abandoned their public functions.        

        • Howard Mazzaferro

          I never said that, what I said was that since LI equals 51, this I feel was the year the coin was minted, in 51 CE. So if that is the case, I was answering your question why Wikipedia says it means 10 years. If LI was the current year of 51 CE, then a 10 year reign would have started in 41 CE. I assume that Wikipedia is getting the 10 from their footnote source, which I did not read, so I assume the 10 means a 10 year reign. It is just too coincidental that Claudius’ reign is 10 years from 41 CE to 51 CE. In this analysis I am not saying the coin says anything about Agrippa II’s reign. Wikipedia does say the coin is suppose to have been minted in 66 CE, but under that view, the LI or 51 would be the length of the reign, and that would put the start at 15 CE. That would be close to the start of Emperor Tiberius reign of 14 CE. Why would someone mint a coin in honor of an Emperor 30 years after his reign ended? But if we take the LI to be the current year of 51 CE, where Claudius was the current Emperor and was a contemporary of Agrippa II and Agrippa I was dead, then the 10 years (however it was derived) fits the data.

          If you completely dismiss Josephus and the Biblical accounts, I suppose you can view history any way you want, except for your math, 11 CE + 50 does not = 66 CE.

  • Anonymous

    Why would a Jewish king reckon the year of his reign based on when a Roman emperor started his? 

    I am hypothesising. What if Agrippa I started his reign in 11 CE when he was 22?  That could mean that 50 years of his reign would be up by 66 CE. He would have been 77 in 66 CE, an old man.  This was not not an impossibility, and he would have certainly inherited the title Great.  I don’t think he would have been called Great having a reign of a few years from 37-44 CE.  All that you have stated stems from Josephus, our only source.  This is what Kokkinos, author of The Herodian Dynasty wrote about Josephus, (page 195), “it is by no means strange that that Josephus ignores the Herodian family from the time of Archelaus to that of Agrippa I, because the historian knows practically nothing of the period CE 6-26, and comparatively little of CE 26-36.”  And Agrippa is supposed to have started his reign in CE 37. Kokkinos continues: “the Herods would not have re-emerged so suddenly in in vital positions some 30 years after they had effectively abandoned their public functions”.  This is  scholars speak that the Herodians had never abandoned their public functions.

  • Anonymous

    Howard, I can’t do subtraction.  So, 66 – 51 = 15.  Thank you. If the 51 is the period of a reign, this could mean that Agrippa I was made king in 15 CE.  He would then have been 26. And if as you say Tiberias had been emperor for one year, that would mean that Tiberias appointed Agrippa I.  This seems reasonable to me. 

    Yes I do play around with ‘history’, as presented in Josephus.  But I take seriously the warnings about the early history of Herodians and Agrippa I that come from Kokkinos.  The Herodians had not abandoned their public funtions.  On page 266 of The Herodian Dynasty, Kokkinos further states that “Josephus’ inability – evidently due to the lack of sources – to relate almost anything about the Herods in the period roughly between Archelaus and Agrippa I, is here laid bare. The historian did not know who the person was whom Herodias married in the early years CE, and he seems to have assumed that he must have been Antipas, because it was with him that Herodias ended her life. But her marriage to Antipas took place only in CE34 (for its outcome culminated in culminated in the war with Aretas of Petra in CE36), and by having to present Herodias as divorcing Herod III at this time Josephus created an internal problem for his narrative .  For centuries this has led scholars to a historical and chronological impasse”.      

    • Howard Mazzaferro

      Sorry for the delay, but what does this really have to do with the prior topic of where did the DSS come from? Or for that matter, what does the source of the DSS have to do with whether the Pharisees existed in the first century? And what do the Pharisees have to do with the Gospel of Peter? Just asking. :)

  • Anonymous

    Howard, I think the DSS were confiscated from the priests by Herod the Great at the end of his reign and held in the royal archives (vaults) under lock and key.  Herod was absolutely fed-up with the priests for what they had done to his family.  He killed 40 of the priests in one incident while the rest of them (some 30000) looked on, and threatened to have them all shot with bows.  

    The archives were broken into by the rebels (the priests) at the outbreak  of  the revolution in 66.  First they killed the king (I think Agrippa I), then took Masada.  They even appointed their own priest king.  Then they set fire to the royal archives, and had to put the scrolls and treasure that they took somewhere. And we know where the majority of it finished up.  They took Qumran and then Machearus.  They knew they had overstepped the mark and the Romans would come.  

    On Pharisees in Josephus, Sanders has on page 387 of Judaism: “we do not know why they crop up here and there.  A prominent explanation is that of Jacob Neusner.  Noting the sixty years of silence from Judas the Galilean to the revolt, Neusner argued that after the advent of Herod, ‘the group ended its political life as a sect’.”

    The main reason the Pharisees “crop -up here and there” is because they have been interpolated.  The real party was the priests whose influence Herod the Great had ended.  

    As for Judas the Galilean, I somehow don’t believe he ever existed.       
     

  • Anonymous

    The high priests are occasionally mentioned in texts that could be described as artificial or interpolated, as though the writer (a later editor of original text) is trying to give some credibility to the priesthood.  A typical reference is Ant.17.13.1 where Joazar is accused of assisting the seditious, so Archelaus replaces him with (of all persons) his brother.  The occasional mention of the high priests is like the Pharisees being mentioned ‘here and there’.  Reality was that the power of the high priests had been diminished. 

  • Anonymous

    PRIESTS THROWN OUT OF THE TEMPLE AFTER THE REIGN OF HEROD
    That the priests were thrown out of the temple, and banned from Jerusalem after the reign of Herod can be detected in the highly dissembled passage of Ant.18.2.2.
    “As Coponius, who we told you was sent along with Cyrenius was exercising his office of procurator, and governing Judea, the following accidents happened.  As the Jews were celebrating the feast of unleavened bread, which we call the Passover, it was customary for the priests to open the temple gates just after midnight.  When therefore these gates were first opened, some of the Samaritans came privately into Jerusalem, and threw about dead men’s bodies in the cloisters; on which account the Jews afterwards excluded them out of the temple”

    So just after the temple gates were opened by the priests at midnight, the ‘Samaritans’ appeared and threw about dead men’s bodies in the cloisters.  It is fairly obvious who was ‘throwing dead men’s bodies’ about.  It was the priests who had come from outside of Jerusalem.  They had been living in exile in their villages and towns.  They had killed some of those who they suspected of incorrect (unlawful in their eyes) practices in the temple, at what should have the feast of unleavened bread.    

    The writer just has to remind the reader that Coponius was supposed to be governing Judea.  The same sort of treatment is given to procurators as to high priests and Pharisees – they are only mentioned ‘here and there’ in the writings. The writer knows little about Coponius or any other procurator.       

  • Anonymous

    Howard, this is all about ‘conjectural emendation’, remember what Mark Goodacre said? 

  • Anonymous

    t
    TO WHOM WAS THE SCROLL 4QMMT ADDRESSED?
    Golb (Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, p.180) wrote about Father Joseph Milik of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem:  “in 1962 his interpretations of the minor “caves” appeared in the extensive third volume of the Oxford series. Discussing certain linguistic features of the Copper Scroll, he compared them to analogous ones that he referred to as to as “4QMishn” (4QMMT), and gave several quotations from the latter showing its special idiom and content. 
    On p.183, Golb writes: “The importance of Milik’s observations about the idiom of the Acts of Torah resided in the necessary implication that the work was written during the early or middle first century A.D., before which no evidence could be found for the existence of such an idiom. Indeed, Milik had made use of passages from the Acts of Torah to elucidate his discussion of a first-century A.D. documentary (an autographical) work composed in the same idiom – the Copper Scroll. The only other manuscripts written in essentially the same form of Hebrew were the early second century second century A.D. Bar Kokhba documentary texts. The idiom appears in no written testimony from before the turn of the era.”  Thus we have the opinion of one expert, Golb, that the text was early or middle first century A.D. and the opinion of a second expert, Milik, to the same effect. In this time of the early first century, there may be one king being addressed, seen as of Hasmonean descent.  Eisenman and Wise write in Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, p183, “If placed in the first century, where we would prefer to place it because of its language – a form of ‘proto-Mishnaic Hebrew’ … then the addressee is Agrippa I … who made a pretence at Torah observation.”  So now we have four experts in Hebrew who would place 4QMMT in the early first century A.D.  And two of them plumb for Agrippa I.  But I think Agrippa I is just a little too late.  So who was the king being addressed in 4QMMT?


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