'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

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toejam
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by toejam » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:27 am

I read it expecting it to be nonsense. It wasn't persuasive, but it was certainly interesting and worth contemplating. I think he missed a golden opportunity though, one that I thought his argument was working toward - that potentially "Judas the Galilean"'s original name was "Jesus of Galilee", however Christian scribes changed his name to "Judas"... I don't believe that, but I felt that's where Unterbrink's book was leading...
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by gmx » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:47 am

maryhelena wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:04 am
Historical artefacts, such as coins, are testimony to the fact that certain individuals were historical figures. That is the bare bones of historical evidence.
I understand your point, but your criteria are going to erase a lot of people from history. We know that a collection of individuals (real flesh and blood human beings) literacized the Christian story in a multitude of documents in the first two centuries CE. As far as we know, no coins were ever minted in honour of those individuals. That being the case, there are likely no other physical artifacts which prove their existence. Yet we know they existed.

So how does this help anyone?
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by maryhelena » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:55 am

gmx wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:47 am
maryhelena wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:04 am
Historical artefacts, such as coins, are testimony to the fact that certain individuals were historical figures. That is the bare bones of historical evidence.
I understand your point, but your criteria are going to erase a lot of people from history. We know that a collection of individuals (real flesh and blood human beings) literacized the Christian story in a multitude of documents in the first two centuries CE. As far as we know, no coins were ever minted in honour of those individuals. That being the case, there are likely no other physical artifacts which prove their existence. Yet we know they existed.

So how does this help anyone?
It helps to concentrate on what we do know re history. Existence is not the issue here. The issue is the claimed historicity of the Jesus of the gospels. It's either substantiate the claim via historical evidence or leave the Jesus of the gospels as a figure of faith i.e. the belief that this figure was historical is sufficient in and off itself. Then, of course, one is not doing history - one is doing theology.
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by DCHindley » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:46 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:39 am
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:19 am
Now I do think that Judas the Galilean of War 2.118, who "was a teacher of a peculiar sect of his own, and was not at all like the rest of their leaders," is the same as Judas, a Gaulonite from the city of Gamala in Ant 18.4 & 9, but called Judas the Galilean in 18.23, said to have been the author, in conjunction with a Pharisee Sadduc, of the "fourth sect of Jewish philosophy." Based on the description of the woes that Josephus says this philosophy brought upon the nation by changing the way the "laws of their fathers" were interpreted, they are probably the ancient Jewish analogue to modern radical Islam of the Bin Laden, Taliban or ISIL variety.
IIUC, Gamala (= Gamla) resided within Gaulonitis, which lay east of the Jordan and of Lake Tiberias: a region now known as the Golan Heights.

What I am wondering is this: if Judas could accurately be called "a Gaulonite," one "from the city of Gamala," might his other moniker, "the Galilean," perhaps be related to the Galileans whom Hegesippus, Eusebius, and Justin Martyr call a sect and whom Epictetus paints in colors similar to those in which Christians are sometimes painted? IOW, if Gamala in Gaulonitis accounts for Judas' demonym, might not "Galilean" be the sect of which he was (possibly) a (founding) member? (Bear in mind that "sect" and "rebel group" can be perfectly synonymous in highly charged religious contexts.)
As that PDF I posted a while back, the one that compared the accounts of Josephus War & Ant with other sources, shows, Josephus Went from calling him Judas the Gaulonite from Gamala and then right into Judas the Galilean without missing a heartbeat. The equation between a Gaulonite from Gamala and a Galillean has not escaped me, but to be honest I don't know what to make of it. The closest I have done is look into places that might have given rise to the moniker "Nazoreans."

(Schonfield, Hugh) illustration of Outlaw Territory (Pentecost Revolution, 1974).jpg
(Schonfield, Hugh) illustration of Outlaw Territory (Pentecost Revolution, 1974).jpg (100.56 KiB) Viewed 1325 times

Unfortunately, just as I was getting somewhere with a specific city in the region I got tired of it and erased the file(s). I seem to remember it having to do with walls (natural I think, as in a steep valley in a mountainous region) but could be symbolic of a kind of rebel fortress. We call these fortresses "compounds" when they are populated by white supremacists in this country (as you know). David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas is a case where occupants of a fortress were affiliated with a religious sect. They had a ton of weapons, including a 50 caliber machine gun in that watchtower, over a stockpile of bullets. I think Elizabeth Clare Prophet also had a compound where her followers stockpiled weapons before she died. In Punjab, Sikh militants pushing for independence of their region even turned the golden temple of Amritsar into a fortress. Any old abandoned fort, even without any remaining strategic importance to it, can be turned into a fortress if one wants to.

I once wondered what it would be like to buy Mike Tyson's old place on Ohio (lots of wooded acres, large building used for living and boxing workouts, fenced perimeter with electric gates, CCTV cameras, guard house, etc.), and turn it into some sort of "bad boy" paradise. The asking price was too high then ($1.5 million dollars US) when owned by the folks who made the Tai-Bo workout VHS tapes (they also owned one of the largest diamonds in the world and also some early Christian relics) but finally after they got busted trying to sell the mansion (kind of beat up as kids got into it and vandalized the place) to FBI agents pretending to be from organized crime (think Don King, whose training camp was about 10 miles away on his family's estate), the court appointed trustees sold it for $150,000 US(!) and it is now being renovated. I'd have bought it for $150,000! If only I knew ...

Don't some academics think that the regions belonging to some of the cities of the Decapolis (where they grew their wheat and barley for the city's needs) overlapped with the territory controlled by Antipas? Antipas held Galilee and Perea, but that would be separated by the territories controlled by cities of the Decapolis. Whether Schonfield was correct whether this was "outlaw" territory or not, and of what kind, I don't know, but Gamala is square in the middle of the area he identified as "outlaw" territory as well as being the connecting region between Galilee proper and Peraea.

DCH

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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:57 pm

This is also, in my view, the "land of Damascus" mentioned in the Damascus Document (and the "wilderness of Damascus" mentioned in 1 Kings 19:15). And since I'm thinking the DSS have something to do with the Fourth Philosophy (which in my view includes Christianity), it makes sense to me that Judas was from there.

This is also the same region Jewish Christians lived after 70 CE, as noted here by Taylor:

https://books.google.com/books?id=KWAXb ... an&f=false
Last edited by John2 on Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:20 pm

Luomanen writes in Recovering Jewish-Christian Sects and Gospels:
... Epiphanius locates the Nazarenes in Syrian Beroea, as well as the areas of Bashan (Kokaba/Chochaba)... and Decapolis ... Jerome, who spent some time near Beroea, also locates the Nazarenes there. Because Epiphanius himself lived in Palestine ... one can assume that he had some knowledge about the areas where Jewish Christians were living in his time. Epiphanius locates his Kokaba/Chochaba in the area of Bashan ... Kokaba/Chochaba has been identified with the remains of a town some twenty-seven kilometers east of the Sea of Galilee.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Wb8yA ... an&f=false
Here is a link to Bashan on a map, which corresponds to the area highlighted on DC's map above.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/01/old- ... s?lang=eng
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:41 pm

Why would בארץ דמשק = some ignorant reference to the wilderness of Damascus? Damascus always sat on an oasis - https://www.jstor.org/stable/3141440?se ... b_contents. The land around Damascus is green and beautiful and always was - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghouta Image

The land of Damascus wouldn't be a desert in the minds of Jews of antiquity. I don't care what that stupid reference in 1 Kings says. Damascus was a symbol of oasis not desert.
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:46 pm

Josephus tells us that in his time a suburb of Damascus was called “the habitation of Abraham.” And there is surely a trace of his slight sojourn there in the name of his favorite and most trusted servant, Eliezer of Damascus. Abraham was wandering in the desert and then came to something beautiful and green. The idea is surely that Damascus - whatever is meant by the term - is the furthest thing from being a desert.
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:50 pm

Here:
Damascus lies in a fertile plain east of the Anti-Lebanon range, with snowy Mount Hermon filling the western horizon. The river el-Barada, “the Cool,” runs through the heart of the city, while el-A'waj descends from the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon to water the southeastern plain. The Barada is doubtless the Abanah and the Awaj may be the Pharpar of II Kings 5:12, which Naaman thought “better than all the waters of Israel.” So fertile is the oasis in which Damascus stands that the Arabian poets compared it with Paradise. The scene is indeed one of beauty with the white roofs, the domes, and the minarets of the city standing out against the green of the environing orchards. https://books.google.com/books?id=eIErD ... A2&f=false
That's what happens when you limit yourself to books. Damascus, like Jericho, was an oasis city.
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:09 pm

Wacholder notes in The New Damascus Document:
... Elijah's wandering to the wilderness of Damascus in 1 Kings 19:15 ... may have served as an inspiration for [the Damascus Document's] central thesis of the exile to Damascus.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZ58U ... 15&f=false
My understanding is that midbar and eretz can be more or less synonyms, given the various ways midbar can be defined. For example, BDB says:
1 tracts of land, used for the pasturage of flocks and herds, דָּֽשְׁאוּ נְאוֺת מִדְבָּר the pastures of the wilderness put forth green grass Joel 2:22; ׳מ ׳יִרְעֲפוּ נ the pastures of the wilderness drop (fertility) Psalm 65:13; ׳מ ׳יָָֽבְשׁוּ נ are dried up Jeremiah 23:10, compare Jeremiah 9:9; Joel 1:19,20.

2 uninhabited land, מִדְבָּר לֹאאָֿדָם בּוֺ wilderness in which is no man Job 38:26; the abode of pelicans Psalm 102:7; wild asses Job 24:5; Jeremiah 2:24; jackals Malachi 1:3; ostriches Lamentations 4:3; מִייִֿתְּנֵנִי בַמִּדְבָּר מְלוֺן אֹרְחִים וְֶ˜אעֶזְבָה אֶתעַֿמִּי O that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfarers, that I might leave my people Jeremiah 9:1; טוֺב שֶׁבֶת בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר better to dwell in a desert land, than with a contentious woman Proverbs 21:19; בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן in a desert land, and in a waste howling wilderness Deuteronomy 32:10.

3 large tracts of such land bearing various names, in certain districts of which there might be towns and cities: יִשְׂאוּ מִדְבָּר וְעָרָיו חֲצֵרִים תֵּשֵׁב קֵדָר let the wilderness and its cities lift up (their voice), the villages that Kedar doth inhabit Isaiah 42:11. There were six cities in the wilderness of Judah Joshua 15:61,62

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4057.htm
And this blogger writes:
The ancient Hebrews had many words to define what we call today a desert.

Yeshimon, Shemama, Tzia are desolate places without water while Midbar, which we translate as “desert”, is a place were goats can graze. Rainfall is not sufficient for vineyards and olive groves, yet it allows grazing in the winter and maybe even a random crop of wheat if a little more rain than average falls during the cold months.

Every mountain area had its own “midbar” right next to it – the transitional area between the fertile lands of the mountain and valleys and the desolate area of the Yeshimon.

One of these areas, the Jordan Valley, has cropped up again in the media, in the ongoing discussions between Israel and the Palestinians headed by US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

The Jordan Valley itself is actually an area of meager rainfall with an abundance of springs that allow irrigated agriculture. Bordered by the River Jordan in the east and the mountains of Samaria on its western side, it is most of the year a ditch with very little water running through it. The eastern bulwarks of these mountains are a typical “midbar” – the grazing area between a rainless desert and the fertile mountains. Geographers have termed this area the Midbar of Samaria.

https://www.eretz.com/wordpress/blog/20 ... f-samaria/
And as noted here (in note 37):
Talmon ... offers a more nuanced interpretation, suggesting that midbar changes in meaning the further one moves from the settled land. Thus it can range in meaning from the "drift" at the edges of the settled land to the desolation of the desert.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cIwl5 ... ng&f=false
And here:
(1.) Heb. midbar, "pasture ground ;" an open tract for pasturage

https://books.google.com/books?id=Z1DSx ... ng&f=false
And here:
According to E. Klein, the noun midbar originated from an infinitive meaning "to drive [livestock]," hence "open land wither flocks are driven"

https://books.google.com/books?id=1RZHA ... ng&f=false
And here:
... the original meaning for the Hebrew word for wilderness, midbar, was a "place of herding," a land without settlements or villages ...

https://books.google.com/books?id=wETwZ ... ng&f=false
And here:
The term which is in general rendered "wilderness" means, properly, a grazing tract ... in our Bible "desert" or "wilderness" often means no more than open pastures or uncultivated fields.

https://books.google.com/books?id=xkLQA ... gs&f=false
And the Damascus Document refers to dwelling in "camps," which better fits an area further out from cultivated fields, such as in CD 7:6, which is translated by Wacholder as, "And if they reside (in) camps as was the rule of the land [eretz] formerly (in the wilderness) ..."
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