Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 08, 2016 9:14 am

Giuseppe wrote:Simon of Cyrene, their father in the fiction, joins Jesus and becomes his follower (by bearing the cross).
You are reading the text against itself. Mark could have easily said that Simon took up the cross willingly; but he did not. He said that Simon was forced to take it up.
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Re: Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Post by Giuseppe » Sun May 08, 2016 9:19 am

Obviously I am assuming that who (literally) ''takes the cross and follows Jesus'' becomes ipso facto (allegorically) his worthy follower, surely a more whorty follower than someone who is fled (as Simon Peter).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Sun May 08, 2016 9:27 am

Strictly speaking, it is clear that in Mark there is not something as ''the perfect disciple'' (it is assumed to be Paul, waiting in Galilee ''of Gentiles'').

Neither Simon Peter nor Simon of Cyrene are ''perfect disciples'' since they both are someway compelled, like heterodirected and blind robots, to follow Jesus.

But even so, a hierarchy among them would be possible. Otherwise, the only function of the introduction of Simon of Cyrene is to operate as an antithetical character respect to Peter (to point out the moral defects of the latter).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Sun May 08, 2016 9:42 am

My point in any case is that Alexander and Rufus are already Christian disciples (for the original reader of Mark).

But are they disciples without a father who is follower of Jesus, as are Simon Peter and the Pillars (and to that extent, incomplete disciples) ?

Yes, but the ''good news'', this time, is that the reunification of the (already Christian) Alexander and Rufus with their father (allegedly still not a Christian) takes place just along the road to Golgotha.

This opens the door to suggestive interpretations: was Mark reassuring his readers that Israel continues to be united despite - or maybe just in virtue of - so immense suffering (in 70 CE)?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 08, 2016 11:59 am

Giuseppe wrote:Obviously I am assuming that who (literally) ''takes the cross and follows Jesus'' becomes ipso facto (allegorically) his worthy follower, surely a more whorty follower than someone who is fled (as Simon Peter).
You may as well assume, while you are at it, that the one who literally "cast out demons" (Matthew 10.8) in Jesus' name is necessarily a worthy follower; yet refer to Matthew 7.22.
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Re: Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 08, 2016 1:06 pm

JoeWallack wrote:
Information Evidence of fiction Commentary
that he might bear his cross. Contrived Simon the lead disciple abandons Jesus and a different Simon takes up Jesus' stake

I have agreed that there may be some contrivance in Simon Peter (implicitly) being told to take up the cross in Mark 8.34 and another Simon being forced to take up the cross once the first Simon has fled. But I have to admit that, if there is a contrivance here, I tend to see it as running in the direction opposite to that implied above.

The saying about taking up the cross is paralled, as Crossan points out, in Epictetus, Discourses 2.2:

For what do you think? do you think that, if Socrates had wished to preserve externals, he would have come forward and said: "Anytus and Meletus can certainly kill me, but to harm me they are not able?" Was he so foolish as not to see that this way leads not to the preservation of life and fortune, but to another end? What is the reason then that he takes no account of his adversaries, and even irritates them? Just in the same way my friend Heraclitus, who had a little suit in Rhodes about a bit of land, and had proved to the judges that his case was just, said, when he had come to the peroration of his speech, "I will neither entreat you nor do I care what wi judgment you will give, and it is you rather than I who are on your trial." And thus he ended the business. What need was there of this? Only do not entreat; but do not also say, "I. do not entreat"; unless there is a fit occasion to irritate purposely the judges, as was the case with Socrates. And you, if you are preparing such a peroration, why do you wait, why do you obey the order to submit to trial? For if you wish to be crucified, wait and the cross will come: but if you choose to submit and to plead your cause as well as you can, you must do what is consistent with this object, provided you maintain what is your own.

Crossan adds: "There is, therefore, no need to take Jesus' saying as either retrojected or projected prophecy. Jesus 'was discussing,' as Leif Vaage put it about Epictetus, 'the (possible) consequences of following a certain philosophy...'" (The Historical Jesus, page 353).

If all we had were the cross sayings in Matthew 16.24 = Mark 8.34 = Luke 9.23 and Matthew 10.37-38 = Luke 14.25-27 (Q?) on the one hand and the passerby named Simon being compelled to bear Jesus' cross on the other, any coincidence would seem quite unremarkable, I think. It is the juxtaposition of this saying with Peter in Mark 8.33-34 that really raises the question (interestingly, however, Mark 8 nowhere calls him Simon).

Instead of seeing Simon of Cyrene as an invention looking backward to Simon Peter being told to take up the cross, I think it more likely that it is, if anything, Simon Peter being connected to the saying to take up the cross that is an invention looking forward to Simon of Cyrene actually doing so.
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Re: Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Post by JoeWallack » Sun May 08, 2016 4:47 pm

JW:
Thanks to Ben for a lot of good comments here and also KK. Continuing now with how early Christian crucifixion narratives outside of the Gospels showed/did not show who carried the stake:

List of Christian martyrs:

Saint Peter

The Acts of Peter
And while Peter thus spake, and all the brethren wept, behold four soldiers took him and led him unto Agrippa. And he in his madness (disease) commanded him to be crucified on an accusation of godlessness.

The whole multitude of the brethren therefore ran together, both of rich and poor, orphans and widows, weak and strong, desiring to see and to rescue Peter, while the people shouted with one voice, and would not be silenced: What wrong hath Peter done, O Agrippa? Wherein hath he hurt thee? tell the Romans! And others said: We fear lest if this man die, his Lord destroy us all.

And Peter when he came unto the place stilled the people and said: Ye men that are soldiers of Christ! ye men that hope in Christ! remember the signs and wonders which ye have seen wrought through me, remember the compassion of God, how many cures he hath wrought for you. Wait for him that cometh and shall reward every man according to his doings. And now be ye not bitter against Agrippa; for he is the minister of his father's working. And this cometh to pass at all events, for the Lord hath manifested unto me that which befalleth. But why delay I and draw not near unto the cross?

XXXVII. And having approached and standing by the cross
Looks like no one carried it.


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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 08, 2016 4:59 pm

JoeWallack wrote:JW:
Thanks to Ben for a lot of good comments here and also KK. Continuing now with how early Christian crucifixion narratives outside of the Gospels showed/did not show who carried the stake:

List of Christian martyrs:

Saint Peter

The Acts of Peter
And while Peter thus spake, and all the brethren wept, behold four soldiers took him and led him unto Agrippa. And he in his madness (disease) commanded him to be crucified on an accusation of godlessness.

The whole multitude of the brethren therefore ran together, both of rich and poor, orphans and widows, weak and strong, desiring to see and to rescue Peter, while the people shouted with one voice, and would not be silenced: What wrong hath Peter done, O Agrippa? Wherein hath he hurt thee? tell the Romans! And others said: We fear lest if this man die, his Lord destroy us all.

And Peter when he came unto the place stilled the people and said: Ye men that are soldiers of Christ! ye men that hope in Christ! remember the signs and wonders which ye have seen wrought through me, remember the compassion of God, how many cures he hath wrought for you. Wait for him that cometh and shall reward every man according to his doings. And now be ye not bitter against Agrippa; for he is the minister of his father's working. And this cometh to pass at all events, for the Lord hath manifested unto me that which befalleth. But why delay I and draw not near unto the cross?

XXXVII. And having approached and standing by the cross
Looks like no one carried it.
Good one.
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Re: Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Post by MrMacSon » Sun May 08, 2016 8:56 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote: What others are there that I might add to the list?
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Why Mark told the little story? What function has that story?

a few (preliminary?) ideas by maryhelena, Neil Godfrey and Joe Wallack:

„The gMark story about Simon and his two sons, is, therefore, an indication, an inference, that the history of Aristobulus and his two sons is relevant to the pseudo-historical gospel crucifixion story. In Jewish history, it is Aristobulus who takes up the fight - takes up the cross - against Rome; a rebellion, an insurrection, that eventually leads to his second son being hung alive on a cross/stake, scourged and then beheaded. Simon's second son being named Rufus brings this symbolic gospel story into the realm of the OT sacrifice theology of the red heifer. The last such red heifer sacrifice being that of the High Priest Ishmael; a High Priest beheaded in Cyrene.“

„If so, this makes far more sense of the Roman dragooning of Simon from the countryside to carry the execution instrument to the scene of the crucifixion. A feature of the Roman triumphal processions was a country person carrying the sacrificial weapon in the procession that took the victim to the place of sacrifice. (A country person was selected presumably over a city person because the former were more likely well practiced in slaughtering animals.) Why look any further for the reason for this person’s inclusion in the narrative?“

„So 'Mark' has first shown his Jesus providing a figurative formula for disciple success of "taking up the cross" to his disciple Simon and after a major theme Ad Nazorean of the first being the last, the real family being those who are "with him" and the insiders being the outsiders and the outsiders being the insiders, shows another Simon who was the last to follow Jesus, who was not family but "with Jesus" and came from the outside and took up Jesus' cross.“


http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 255#p52255
From Josephus' Jewish War Bk 6 -
6.1.8
".... those that most signalized themselves, and fought most zealously in this battle of the Jewish side, were one Alexas and Gyphtheus, of John’s party; and of Simon’s party were Malachias; and Judas the son of Merto, and James the son of Sosas, the commander of the Idumeans. And of the zealots, two brethren, Simon and Judas, the sons of Jairus."

Chapter 2 is about 'How Titus gave orders to demolish the tower of Antonia: and then persuaded Josephus to exhort the Jews again [to a surrender].'

6.2.2
"...Of whom were the High-priests Joseph, and Jesus: and of the sons of High-priests, three; whose father was Ishmael, who was beheaded in Cyrene, and four sons of Matthias: as also one son of the other Matthias, who ran away after his father’s death; (8) and whose father was slain by Simon, the son of Gioras, with three of his sons; as I have already related. Many also of the other nobility went over to the Romans, together with the High-priests. Now Cæsar not only received these men very kindly, in other respects; but, knowing they would not willingly live after the customs of other nations, he sent them to Gophna; and desired them to remain there for the present; and told them, that when he was gotten clear of this war, he would restore each of them to their possessions again. So they cheerfully retired to that small city which was allotted them, without fear of any danger. But as they did not appear, the seditious gave out again, that these deserters were slain by the Romans; which was done in order to deter the rest from running away, by fear of the like treatment. This trick of theirs succeeded now for a while; as did the like trick before: for the rest were hereby deterred from deserting, by fear of the like treatment."

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/war-6.html

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

Post by oleg » Mon May 09, 2016 1:26 am

http://www.abebooks.com/Atlantis-Lesson ... 3041402/bd

Atlantis: Lessons from the Lost Continent, by J. Allen Danelek, 288 pages, Llewellyn Publications 2008, Section 2: Plato Reconsidered, page 41:
just because a story is fictional doesn’t mean it has no factual content or historical value.
I did learn something from this 38 page thread: both Paul and Mark describe Rufus. That's interesting. Do they both identify him as son of Simon of Cyrene? Is their respective descriptive language identical? Is one version more "advanced" than the other? What happened in Libya in the second century CE, that would alert citizens of Rome, reading gMark, to notice some person named Rufus, or was that name chosen because of alliteration, proximate to Romulus and Remus?

Obviously gMark contains genuine historical figures. How does their introduction lend historical credence to the mythical character, Jesus? Lucian too, introduces genuine historical figures into his works of fiction. Do we somehow imagine that he is then writing history?

Here is Danelek's summary of Plato's Critias (page 31, from text above):
However, I think it's only fair that if we accept Plato's account as genuine historical narrative, we should be willing to accept the idea that there really was an actual god named Poseidon who literally copulated with the king's only daughter...

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