Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Benny and the Jews

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon May 02, 2016 7:06 am

JoeWallack wrote:Hi Ben. First of all, let me say that I don't think I've proved anything or indicated that anything is probable here. All I've done is identify parallels. Conclusions for such parallels become weaker to the extent you have to cherry-pick them. I do think that my conclusion is better than the other parallel ones here because mine has less cherry-picking. Everything is in the finale of Josephus' Wars.
Thanks for your measured response. I will take it into consideration as you move down the table.
One at a time and let's add "John" (author): ....
Next up, the name "Simon", correct?
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Re: Benny and the Jews

Post by maryhelena » Mon May 02, 2016 7:43 am

JoeWallack wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
JoeWallack wrote:So every name used in 15:21 figures prominently in Josephus' wrap up Chapter 7 with a similar general setting of the destruction/predicted destruction of the Temple and themes of the Jews making the wrong choice.
Thanks, Joe. In your estimation, was this Mark's little in-joke, and he did not care whether his readers picked up on it or not? Or did he expect them to follow the line of inquiry you lay out above? Or did they already know it all in advance, and 15.21 was just a sly confirmation?

Ben.
JW:
Hi Ben. First of all, let me say that I don't think I've proved anything or indicated that anything is probable here. All I've done is identify parallels. Conclusions for such parallels become weaker to the extent you have to cherry-pick them. I do think that my conclusion is better than the other parallel ones here because mine has less cherry-picking. Everything is in the finale of Josephus' Wars.
Apart from Josephus what is the historical evidence for Simon bar Giora?

It seems to me that Josephus has created this messiah type figure. (if gospel writers could create non-historical literary figures - no reason to think otherwise for Josephus....What Josephus wrote has to be established as historical via other sources not his own writing....)

Although Josephus studiously avoids Jewish "messianic" language in his accounts, we can nevertheless discern a number of "Davidic" features in the rise of Simon.
.....

In this account of Simon's rise from a leader of a local guerrilla band, to one followed as king by a train of thousands in addition to a sizable army, one can detect a number of remarkable parallels with the rise of David, prototype of the ancient tradition of popular kingship. Both David and Simon began their careers as popular military leaders outlawed because they were a threat to the ostensibly legitimate national governments. Also, those who joined the respective bands of David and Simon at the outset were the
"discontent" and villains. As in the case of the popular kings seventy years earlier, Simon's great physical strength and daring are emphasized. As in the original case of David, the people as a whole looked for effective leadership in a crisis situation. Large numbers of people, including some Jerusalemites, soon came to follow Simon "as a king."

Finally, among the striking Davidic features of Simon's rise to kingship, he captured Hebron. Josephus goes out of his way to explain the local inhabitants' boast of the antiquity of the city. But to Jews in general the city was probably equally well or better known as the city in which David was anointed
first as king of Judah, and then recognized as king over all of Israel, after which he proceeded to take Jerusalem and to liberate the whole country (2 Sam. 2:4; 5:1-7)

Richard Horsley: Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus

JoeWallack wrote: Paul used the Jewish Bible to create an outline of Jesus' story. "Mark" expanded this method to use the Jewish Bible and Jewish history to create the original Gospel narrative. Jesus' historical followers did not need Epistles or Gospels because they had real history to use.
Indeed - 'the Jewish Bible and Jewish history to create the original Gospel narrative.'

Yep, real history is where its at - Hasmonean/Jewish history. Pauline theology/philosophy is no substitute nor can it trump the gospel story.
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Re: Reasons for the Unusual Suspect

Post by JoeWallack » Tue May 03, 2016 6:59 am

JW:
One at a time and let's add "Peter" (fake author):

Information Mark 15:21 Information Matthew 27:32 Information Luke 23:26 Information John 19:7 Information Gospel of Peter
And they compel one passing by, And as they came out, they found...him they compelled to go [with them] And when they led him away, they laid hold upon They took Jesus therefore: and he went out, bearing the cross for himself And he gave him over to the people before the first day of their feast of the Unleavened Bread. [6] But having taken the Lord, running, they were pushing him and saying, 'Let us drag along the Son of God now that we have power over him.' [7] And they clothed him with purple and sat him on a chair of judgment, saying: 'Judge justly, King of Israel.' [8] And a certain one of them, having brought a thorny crown, put it on the head of the Lord. [9] And others who were standing there were spitting in his face, and others slapped his cheeks. Others were jabbing him with a reed; and some scourged him, saying, 'With such honor let us honor the Son of God.' [10] And they brought two wrongdoers and crucified the Lord in the middle of them.

JW:
Ben, you are right of course that GJohn does say who carried the stake. I put that in the wrong column. GPeter does exorcise who carried the stake (although to be fair, "Peter's" stake has wheels). There really is a shortage of ancient detailed crucifixion narratives outside of the Christian Bible/tradition. This indicates that "Mark's" detail in general is unusual but it may be double dipping to than claim a specific detail as reMarkable. Let's continue though with the detail of who carried the stake.


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Who Carried The Stake?

Post by JoeWallack » Wed May 04, 2016 6:39 am

JW:
The Diatessaron:

Information Mark 15:21 Information Matthew 27:32 Information Luke 23:26 Information John 19:7 Information Gospel of Peter Information The Diatessaron
And they compel one passing by, And as they came out, they found...him they compelled to go [with them] And when they led him away, they laid hold upon They took Jesus therefore: and he went out, bearing the cross for himself And he gave him over to the people before the first day of their feast of the Unleavened Bread. [6] But having taken the Lord, running, they were pushing him and saying, 'Let us drag along the Son of God now that we have power over him.' [7] And they clothed him with purple and sat him on a chair of judgment, saying: 'Judge justly, King of Israel.' [8] And a certain one of them, having brought a thorny crown, put it on the head of the Lord. [9] And others who were standing there were spitting in his face, and others slapped his cheeks. Others were jabbing him with a reed; and some scourged him, saying, 'With such honor let us honor the Son of God.' [10] And they brought two wrongdoers and crucified the Lord in the middle of them. 15 And the Jews took Jesus, and went away to crucify him. And when he bare his cross and went out, they stripped him of those purple and scarlet garments which he had on, and put on him his own garments. And while they were going with him, they found a man, a Cyrenian, coming from the country, named Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus: and they compelled this man to bear the cross of Jesus. And they took the cross and laid it upon him, that he might bear it, and come after Jesus; and Jesus went, and his cross behind him.
Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? The Jews Who put stake on? Does not say who or if Who put stake on? The Jews
Who carried the stake? Jesus than Simon Who carried the stake? Simon Who carried the stake? Simon Who carried the stake? Jesus Who carried the stake? Not stated Who carried the stake? Jesus than Simon


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Re: Who Carried The Stake?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed May 04, 2016 6:46 am

JoeWallack wrote:
Information Mark 15:21 Information Matthew 27:32 Information Luke 23:26 Information John 19:7 Information Gospel of Peter Information The Diatessaron
Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? The Jews Who put stake on? Does not say who or if Who put stake on? The Jews

It seems to me that Luke meant also the Jews.

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Re: Who Carried The Stake?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 04, 2016 7:12 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
JoeWallack wrote:
Information Mark 15:21 Information Matthew 27:32 Information Luke 23:26 Information John 19:7 Information Gospel of Peter Information The Diatessaron
Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? The Jews Who put stake on? Does not say who or if Who put stake on? The Jews

It seems to me that Luke meant also the Jews.
Agreed, if not only the Jews (or at least their leaders). Luke 23.13-38:

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them [πρὸς αὐτούς], “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18 But they cried out [ἀνέκραγον] all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder. 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them [αὐτοῖς] again, 21 but they kept on calling out [ἐπεφώνουν], saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them [πρὸς αὐτούς] the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent [ἐπέκειντο], with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their [αὐτῶν] voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their [αὐτῶν] demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for [ᾐτοῦντο] who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their [αὐτῶν] will.

26 When they led Him away [ἀπήγαγον], they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and they placed [ἐπέθηκαν] on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

33 When they came [ἦλθον] to the place called The Skull, there they crucified [ἐσταύρωσαν] Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 [But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them [αὐτοῖς]; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast [ἔβαλον] lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Follow the bouncing pronouns.... It seems to me that verses 27-31 are intrusive, unless the "they" of verse 33 is supposed now to refer back to the crowd of people, including the mourning women! Which seems unlikely to me. If we disregard the intrusion, the third person pronouns here seem to refer back to "the chief priests and the rulers and the people" of verse 13, right up until we hear about the people, the rulers, and the soldiers all doing different things in verses 35-36.

Ben.
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Re: Who Carried The Stake?

Post by JoeWallack » Wed May 04, 2016 8:55 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
JoeWallack wrote:
Information Mark 15:21 Information Matthew 27:32 Information Luke 23:26 Information John 19:7 Information Gospel of Peter Information The Diatessaron
Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? Romans Who put stake on? The Jews Who put stake on? Does not say who or if Who put stake on? The Jews

It seems to me that Luke meant also the Jews.
Agreed, if not only the Jews (or at least their leaders). Luke 23.13-38:

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them [πρὸς αὐτούς], “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18 But they cried out [ἀνέκραγον] all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder. 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them [αὐτοῖς] again, 21 but they kept on calling out [ἐπεφώνουν], saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them [πρὸς αὐτούς] the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent [ἐπέκειντο], with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their [αὐτῶν] voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their [αὐτῶν] demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for [ᾐτοῦντο] who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their [αὐτῶν] will.

26 When they led Him away [ἀπήγαγον], they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and they placed [ἐπέθηκαν] on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

33 When they came [ἦλθον] to the place called The Skull, there they crucified [ἐσταύρωσαν] Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 [But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them [αὐτοῖς]; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast [ἔβαλον] lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Follow the bouncing pronouns.... It seems to me that verses 27-31 are intrusive, unless the "they" of verse 33 is supposed now to refer back to the crowd of people, including the mourning women! Which seems unlikely to me. If we disregard the intrusion, the third person pronouns here seem to refer back to "the chief priests and the rulers and the people" of verse 13, right up until we hear about the people, the rulers, and the soldiers all doing different things in verses 35-36.

Ben.
JW:
Disagree.
Luke 23:33 And when they came unto the place which is called The skull, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
Brown discusses in his classic Death page 857. The only thing supporting "The Jews" is the grammar of 23:26. Evidence that it was the Romans:
  • 1) "Luke" has exorcised from his Markan source the part which includes making it clear that it was the Romans.

    2) The subsequent "they" supports the Romans, "they crucified him, and the malefactors".

    3) The cruncher is the context would support the Romans. What evidence is there before GLuke that "The Jews" would have carried out a Roman ordered crucifixion?
I do think "Luke" (author) has opened the door to increase the participation, responsibility and blame of "The Jews". It is interesting/sad/pathetic here to see the development of increased blame of "The Jews".

I can picture the following:
  • Truimberius: (While watching newest shipment of slave girls). Judea, report.

    Pilate: One crucifixion to report. Jesus, son of Mary, for claiming to be King of the Jews. Released to the Jews for crucifixion.

    Truimberius: (Interrupting lap dance). Wait, I must not have heard correctly. Repeat the last part.

    Pilate: Released to the Jews for crucifixion.

    Triumberius: (Moving to the side). I don't follow. Convicted for claiming to be the King of the Jews and than released to the Jews?

    Pilate: Yes.

    Triumberius: You're fired. (To slave girl) You remind me of my daughter.

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Re: Who Carried The Stake?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 04, 2016 9:26 am

JoeWallack wrote:Disagree.
Luke 23:33 And when they came unto the place which is called The skull, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
Brown discusses in his classic Death page 857. The only thing supporting "The Jews" is the grammar of 23:26. Evidence that it was the Romans:
  • 1) "Luke" has exorcised from his Markan source the part which includes making it clear that it was the Romans.

    2) The subsequent "they" supports the Romans, "they crucified him, and the malefactors".

    3) The cruncher is the context would support the Romans. What evidence is there before GLuke that "The Jews" would have carried out a Roman ordered crucifixion?
Good points, Joe. Luke has moved the mocking by soldiers that we find in Mark 15.16-20a back a bit to the trial before Herod; interestingly, there it is Herod's soldiers doing the mocking, another step in the direction of more "Jewish" participation in the shame. By removing it from its original Marcan context, however, the exchange of the prisoner into the soldiers' custody vanishes.
I do think "Luke" (author) has opened the door to increase the participation, responsibility and blame of "The Jews". It is interesting/sad/pathetic here to see the development of increased blame of "The Jews".
I think that was Kunigunde's original point, and I can agree with that.

Ben.

PS: To a grammarhead like me, a statement such as...:
The only thing supporting "The Jews" is the grammar of 23:26.
...comes across like saying: "The only thing supporting my position is sound reason and infallible logic." :D But I get your point, and I think the grammar is a result of moving a pericope.
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Re: Who Carried The Stake?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed May 04, 2016 11:28 am

.
My impression is that there are two main positions in the early writings

Romans crucified Jesus - Mark, Matthew
Jews crucified Jesus - John, Peter, Justin Martyr, Diatessaron

I think Luke wished to indicate that the Jews crucified Jesus without saying this explicitly (dealing with his sources Mark and perhaps Matthew). But Luke's main reason is not anti-Jewish, but pro-Roman. Therefore he introduced Herod in the passion, moved the mocking soldiers back, now they are Herods soldiers.
JoeWallack wrote:
  • 1) "Luke" has exorcised from his Markan source the part which includes making it clear that it was the Romans.

    2) The subsequent "they" supports the Romans, "they crucified him, and the malefactors".

    3) The cruncher is the context would support the Romans. What evidence is there before GLuke that "The Jews" would have carried out a Roman ordered crucifixion?
1) no accident, one of Luke's steps to reach his goal

2) "they" supports the "Jews" as Ben has shown

3) Luke changed Mark's two anti-Roman "lestas" in two trivial "evil doers" (κακοῦργος - kakourgos)

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Re: Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Post by JoeWallack » Sat May 07, 2016 9:21 am

JW:
When betting on Womens' Tennis I always bet against the heterosexual and when commenting on GMark I always consult with the Legendary Vorkosigan:

Historical Commentary on the Gospel of Mark Chapter 15
v21: Simon of Cyrene. There are a number of proposals for who he was. Brown (1994, p913-916) reviews some of the points. Simon is absent from the Gospel of Peter and from the Gospel of John. Roman practice, as described by ancient sources, was to force the prisoner to carry his own cross. Further, the writer presents Simon as "compelled" but it is unlikely, given Roman policy for respecting local law, that the Roman soldiers would have forced a Jew to work on a major holiday like Passover. Yet we are never told Simon was Jew. Simon is a Greek name, along with Alexander, while Rufus is a Roman one. Nor would the soldiers have ordered Simon to help out of pity, since they had just abused and mocked Jesus. Brown's position is that perhaps Simon was ordered to help because Jesus was so weak the soldiers feared he might die before he arrived at the execution site. This position is viable whether one views the narrative as history or fiction.
For me the most interesting part is:
Helms also observes that 8:34 follows on 8:33, in which Jesus famously calls Simon Peter "Satan." Donald Senior (1987,p116) points out that the phrase "take up the cross" is the same in both passages. Is Simon of Cyrene a double for Simon Peter? Jesus says that whoever would follow him must first deny himself; Peter instead denies Jesus. Has the writer of Mark piled up irony here, showing a Simon denying himself to take up his cross, even as another Simon denies Jesus? Has he injected a historical figure into the passage? Or did these events occur as written? There's no way to know. One connection between 8:34 and 15:21 is that the mention of "cross" in 15:21 is the first time in the Gospel since 8:34. Jesus has managed to make 3 Passion predictions without mentioning the term even once.
The painfully rare invocation of "stake" here for a religion that is largely created in its image connects with my observation that one of "Mark's" (author) literary techniques is to use key words sparingly so as to increase the connection between their areas of use.


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