Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:09 am

Stephan Huller ranted:
He's a beggar
.

I agree with Stephan on this. That is in the text of Mark 10.
He wasn't wearing a tuxedo.

Agreed again, I would not imagine he was wearing a tuxedo. To the best of my knowledge, tuxedos would not be invented until the late 19th century. I take it what Stephan actually meant to imply, with his characteristic polemical misrepresentation of the opposing case, is that the use of a himation with underlying chiton or tunic constitutes formal attire in the same sense as a modern tuxedo, and beggars would be unlikely to dress this way. It's not an apt analogy because, unlike the Roman toga, the himation and chiton was not specifically formal attire. It's more like saying a shirt or jacket and pants. They come in various qualities at different expenses. Both the rich and the poor wore them. A beggar might not have a change of clothes, and they might be cheap, second-hand, and/or tattered, but there is no good reason to believe beggars did not wear a himation over other clothes.
This is a good example of how Carlson's friends often take reactionary positions which they know are ridiculous.
This is a good example of how Huller relies on ad hominems to attempt to conceal the fact that he does not have enough evidence to carry his argument beyond his initial subjective impression, so he just asserts it strongly and claims that those who don't agree with him are being dishonest. It's like the Barry Goldwater campaign slogan from 1964 "In Your Hearts You Know He's Right" (to which opponents aptly responded: "In Your Guts You Know He's Nuts").

That the himation is usually worn as an outer garment is a fact, which is why it is often translated cloak. The vast majority of commentators and translators, before Carlson wrote the Gospel Hoax and after, read it that way. It's not some sort of conspiracy formed to discredit Stephan's theory or disparage Morton Smith. The tone of outrage Stephan adopts toward those who Can't Take His Truth is ... what? Silly? Transparent? Comical?
A beggar in antiquity didn't wear layers of clothes. You know that. I know that. Let's move on.

Loosely translated out of Hullerbluster this means Stephan has no evidence for his sweeping claim that beggars in antiquity did not wear a himation over other clothes and that he would like to leave the topic as soon as possible so he won't be called upon to present any.
Mark is the naked gospel.
This is Stephan's not-very-well defined thesis for which he is supposed to be presenting evidence, but failing to do so in this case, he just declares victory.
There are a few scholars who read the text the way Stephan does. The majority do not. The fact that it is found in a book does not mean it is true. Did the authors of the book present any evidence for why we should read the text the way they do that Stephan could present in favor of his assertion? Stephan does not present any, he just relies on the argument from authority (in this case, dubious authority).
Also the demoniac wanders among the tombs naked.

It would appear from the fact that the text of Mark 5.15 describes the demoniac as clothed that he had previously been naked, or perhaps improperly dressed or dressed in tatters. This is interesting because of the contrast to the the blind beggar in Mark 10 who casts off a garment after his encounter with Jesus, whereas the demoniac appears to put one on. The cast off garment may well be meant to symbolize leaving something behind to follow Jesus, but this would by no means imply that the beggar was completely naked. The fishermen leave their nets and their father to follow Jesus but presumably kept their clothes (Mark 1.18, 20).
This is pretty much over.
Again, I agree with this. Unless Stephan can present actual evidence for his claim, there is no reason for anyone to accept it.

I realize I'm being pedantic. I seriously doubt anyone who's been reading Stephan's posts needed all of that explained to them.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:45 am, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:39 am

So the onus is on me to prove that a fictious beggar was imagined by Mark to have layers of clothing when it is clear that in contemporary literature beggars are inevitably portrayed as near naked wearing the barest of clothing. You guys are something else. This epitomizes the lengths you guys will go to prove your loyalty to a friend. Morton Salt is reasonable. Saying there's a pattern of interest in nudity in Mark's gospel "needs to be proven." Loyal friend you are most certainly. I hope Carlson appreciates your dogged determination.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:46 am

The beggar undoubtedly was envisioned as having the same layering of clothing as the youth in Secret Mark. Neither is explicitly identified as naked. I can't believe that it comes down to me 'having to prove' that the poor were depicted as naked or near naked. Next it's going to be the 'controversy' over the sky being blue and ice cream tasting good. https://books.google.com/books?id=fDadD ... ed&f=false It was the naked or near naked beggar was proverbial.
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your home, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Tertullian cites this passage a half dozen times in Against Marcion alone:
My Creator however has both of old time and in every place prescribed that the needy, poor and orphans and widows, must receive protection, help, and refreshment: as by Isaiah, Break thy bread for the indigent, and them that are without shelter bring thou into thy house, and if thou seest the naked, cover him:j also by Ezekiel, concerning the just man, He will give his bread to the hungry, and will cover the naked.
Your god however had no call to complain of the ungrateful, as he had made no provision for having them grateful. Again when he teaches of mercy and pity he says, Be ye merciful, even as your Father has had mercy upon you. This will be, Break thy bread for the hungry, and him that is without shelter bring into thy house, and if thou seest the naked cover him;f and, Judge for the fatherless and sustain the cause of the widow.g I see here that ancient teaching, of him who would rather have mercy than sacrifice.
But most importantly he says that Zacchaeus saw and heard what happened with the beggar in the previous scene which likely included the nakedness unmentioned in our copies of Luke. How else do you explain:
Salvation also comes to the house of Zacchaeus. How did he earn it? Was it that even he believed that Christ was come from Marcion? No, for there remained still in the ears of all of them that blind man's cry, Have mercy upon me, Jesus thou son of David,a and all the people were giving praises to God—not Marcion's god, but David's. For in fact Zacchaeus, though a foreigner, yet perhaps had breathed in some knowledge of the scriptures by converse with Jews, or, what is more, without knowing about Isaiah, had fulfilled his instructions. Break thy bread, he says, to the hungry, and bring into thy house them that have no covering—and this he was even then doing when he brought the Lord into his house and gave him to eat. And if thou see the naked, cover him—at that very moment he promised this, when he offered the half of his goods for all works of mercy, thus loosing the bonds of enforced contracts, and letting loose the oppressed, and breaking down every unjust assessment
So Tertullian - apparently commenting on the Marcionite gospel - says that Zacchaeus witnessed what happened in the scene before takes Jesus in and demonstrates that he fulfilled what Isaiah wanted. But Jesus is a beggar? Jesus is naked? He saw the beggar naked? He saw Jesus treat the naked beggar with kindness? It's unclear. But Tertullian includes the naked reference in his citation for some reason. He could have stopped at the first part of the citation. He says the first part is him bringing Jesus into his home but then goes on include the bit about 'the naked' - why? Is the implication that he is going to take care of the blind beggar? How far was the beggar envisioned from Zacchaeus? Close enough that he could see and hear the previous scene. It's at least possible it was read this way.

But even without this there is no doubt that the proverbial beggar was naked or near naked, wearing only the barest of clothing.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12137
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:18 am

I want it repeated you feel that a fictitious beggars near nakedness in antiquity is 'unproven.' That Mark portraying him as taking off clothes has nothing to do with an interest in nudity demonstrated elsewhere in his gospel. I want that level of dishonesty to sink in. I want to shine a mirror to the depths of your soul. What you must be saying is that Mark is 'recording' something that really did occur. That a 'unique' beggar sitting on the side of the road wearing 'lots of layers' of clothes is remembered to have 'stripped off' one of many of his layers. It was a 'casual' remembrance. In fact he alone of all beggars in Jericho rapped himself like mummy. The incident has no symbolic significance. It was a 'fact' recorded by Mark presumably from an anecdote of Peter and that Matthew and Luke decided not to mention it because it was an extraneous bit of information. This is your position presumably. It has nothing to do with the fact that you are trying to DISPROVE an interest in nudity which leads you to take an absolutely absurd position. You mistake fealty for virtue.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Ken Olson
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:24 pm

Once more into the breach. I'm going to respond to the second of Stephan's three replies to my last post here because it is the most substantial and least nutty, in that it offers evidence to be considered in support of Stephan's claims. The first reply was pretty much just Stephan throwing a tantrum. I may respond to the third after I finish this one.

Stephan Huller wrote:
The beggar undoubtedly was envisioned as having the same layering of clothing as the youth in Secret Mark. Neither is explicitly identified as naked.

Adding the word “undoubtedly” to an assertion does not add to the weight of evidence being presented, it merely describes the author's level confidence, and Stephan has had and continues to have a lot of confidence in claims that are not true. The text of Secret Mark says the youth had a linen cloth over his naked body.The story of blind Bartimaeus says only he cast off his himation. It does not state that he was naked except for it. Therefore, we have very different levels of evidence for nakedness in the Secret Mark fragment and blind Bartimaeus, and Stephan's conclusion that the youth and the beggar Bartimaeus had the same layering of clothing permits of doubt.
I can't believe that it comes down to me 'having to prove' that the poor were depicted as naked or near naked. Next it's going to be the 'controversy' over the sky being blue and ice cream tasting good. 
Two points:

First, Stephan was not being asked to prove that the poor were described as naked. He was asked to prove his claim that beggars did not wear layers of clothes in antiquity, which he made in response to me when I pointed out that the himation was an outer garment, often translated as “cloak,”and normally worn over a chiton or tunic. Showing that the word naked was often used to describe the poor might be the beginning of such a proof, but does not constitute such a proof by itself. I will explain why below.

Second, Stephan continues to act as though being asked to provide evidence for his claim is some sort of singular and ridiculous burden being placed on him, whereas it's actually standard operating procedure to ask people for the evidence for their claims. Stephan might believe his opinion is so obvious as not to require argument, but this is not the case. Much of the purpose of forums like this is to examine the assumptions behind people's assertions.

So what evidence does Stephan present for his claim?

First, Stephan provided a link to Rainier Kessler's chapter “'When You See the Naked Cover Them' (Isaiah 58:7); The Clothing of the Poor as an Act of Righteousness in Clothing and Nudity in the Hebrew Bible,” edited by Christopher Berner et al. (London: T&T Clark, 2019) 331-342, as supporting evidence for his case.

https://books.google.com/books?id=fDadD ... ed&f=false 

Stephan, as is his habit, simply appealed to an authority that he suggests supports his claims. He did not lay out the argument of the scholar to whom he was appealing, nor explain how that scholar supported his case, nor did he quote him at all.

So we need to look at what Kessler actually says about the poor. First:
Though we do not have absolute proof, it seems improbable that nakedness in the context of poverty means absolute nakedness.
Kessler goes on to quote a text in which people are described as completely naked or nude, but then allows :
However, these are not the needy and poor of the country but foreign nomads living in the desert. Poor people who lived at the margins of towns or villages probably were barely clothed. They walked around dressed in rags, as the proverb says, “The drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe them with rags (Prov. 23:21). In the book of Job, Eliphaz accuses Job of having “stripped the naked of their clothes” (Job 22.6). It seems that even the “naked” wore something that could be taken away. Thus, in her study of textiles, Claudia apparently concludes that the best translation for the Hebrew ‘ērôm or ‘ārôm is “naked” but that it often must be left open whether this means total nakedness or being insufficiently clothed. (334).
Kessler observes that the naked in these texts are not absolutely naked (the text from Proverbs describes people dressed in rags, not naked), but “barely clothed,” “dressed in rags,” or possibly “insufficiently clothed.” Stephen seems to be assuming, without argument, that this means nearly naked (in the sense of nude) and that this would exclude wearing both a tunic and a cloak. This is a non sequitur. Perhaps “barely clothed” would suggest this; “dressed in rags” and “insufficiently clothed” do not.

Stephan continues:
It was the naked or near naked beggar was proverbial.
Stephan does not quote or cite any passage in which a beggar is said to be near naked. The argument seems to be: (1) beggars are poor, (2) the poor are described as naked, (3) therefore beggars are naked. This could be contested, but it's not actually the logic that presents the biggest problem for Stephan's case. It's the definition of the term naked. Isaiah 58.7, and in particularly it's use of the word naked, is the subject of Kessler's chapter and the text to which Stephan appeals, pointing out that Tertullian uses it no less than six times in Against Marcion. So now we have to look at Isaiah 58.7:
Isaiah 58.7: Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
In his comment on Isaiah 58.7, Paul D. Hanson, interprets the text to concern:
those denied their fair share of the land's produce, those denied housing and proper clothing, those turned away even by their own relations. (Isaiah 40-66, 206).
He takes the text to be about not those who are nude, but those denied proper clothing.

When we move to the New Testament, we have to look at how the word γυμνός “naked” was used in Greek, including how the Septuagint was understood and how the New Testament was written and read. The standard Greek-English Lexicon BDAG distinguishes three (or four if you count 1a and 1b as two) different senses for the word “naked” in Greek:
γυμνός, ή, όν (Hom.+; also s. Just. A I, 37, 8 γυμνὸν σκέπε [ref. Is 58:7]; Mel.)
① pert. to being without covering
ⓐ lit. naked, stripped, bare (PFay 12, 20; Gen 2:25, 3: 7, 10f al.; Job 1:21; Mel., P. 97, 739 γύμνῳ τῷ σώματι) Mk 14:52 (Appian, Bell. Civ. 5, 140 §582 γυμνοὶ … ἔφευγον; TestJos 8:3 ἔφυγον γυμνός); Ac 19:16 (cp. Philo, In Flaccum 36); Rv 3:17; 16:15; 17:16. περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ who wore a linen garment over his naked body (Tyndale: ‘cloothed in lynnen apon the bare’) Mk 14:51 (for the subst. τὸ γυμνόν=the naked body cp. Lucian, Nav. 33 τὰ γυμνά). πόδες (Euphorion [III b.c.] 53, 1 Coll. Alex. p. 40; Jos., Ant. 8, 362) Hs 9, 20, 3.
ⓑ fig. uncovered, bare (cp. Diod S 1, 76, 2; Themistocl., Ep. 16 p. 756 H. γ. ἀλήθεια; Lucian, Tox. 42, Anachars. 19 ὡς γυμνὰ τὰ γεγενημένα οἱ Ἀρεοπαγῖται βλέποιεν; Heliod., Aeth. 10, 29 w. ἀπαρακάλυπτος; Job 26:6; Philo, Migr. Abr. 192; Jos., Ant. 6, 286; Ar. 13, 5 αἰσχύνην; Mel., Fgm. 9, 19 P. a bared sword) Hb 4:13. Of the soul, whose covering is the body: naked 2 Cor 5:3 (cp. Pla., Cratyl. 20, 403b ἡ ψυχὴ γυμνὴ τοῦ σώματος, also Gorg. 523ce; 524f; Aelian, HA 11, 39. Artem. 4, 30 p. 221, 10f the σῶμα is the ἱμάτιον of the ψυχή; 5, 40; M. Ant. 12, 2 of the divine element in man, ‘which God sees without any covering’.—Of the νοῦς: Herm. Wr. 10, 17). S. on this EKühl, Über 2 Cor 5:1–10, 1904; JUbbink, Het eeuwige leven bij Pls, Groningen diss. 1917, 14ff; WMundle, D. Problem d. Zwischenzustandes … 2 Cor 5:1–10: Jülicher Festschr. 1927, 93–109; LBrun, ZNW 28, 1929, 207–29; Guntermann (ἀνάστασις 2b); RBultmann, Exeg. Probl. des 2 Kor: SymbBUps 9, ’47, 1–12; JSevenster, Studia Paulina (JdeZwaan Festschr.) ’53, 202–14; EEllis, NTS 6, ’60, 211–24. γ. κόκκος a naked kernel 1 Cor 15:37, where an adj. is applied to a grain of wheat, when it properly belongs to the bodiless soul which is compared to it; s. σπέρματα γ. 1 Cl 24:5 and AcPlCor 2:26.
② pert. to being inadequately clothed, poorly dressed (Demosth. 21, 216; BGU 846, 9; PBrem 63, 30; Job 31:19; Tob 1:17; 4:16) Mt 25:36, 38, 43f; Js 2:15; B 3:3 (Is 58:7).
③ pert. to being lightly clad, without an outer garment, without which a decent person did not appear in public (so Hes., Op. 391, oft. in Attic wr.; PMagd 6, 7 [III b.c.]; 1 Km 19:24; Is 20:2) J 21:7 (Dio Chrys. 55 [72], 1 the ναύτης wears only an undergarment while at work).—Pauly-W. XVI 2, 1541–49; BHHW II 962–65; RAC X 1–52.—B. 324f. M-M. TW.
Another standard reference work, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament similarly distinguishes between the senses of 1a “Unclothed (including Mark 14.51, 52) and 1b “Badly clothed” (including Isiah 58.7 and Matt 22:36, 38, 43, 44). [vol.1, 773-774].

Stephan's argument about Mark having an interest in nudity would necessarily require the first definition, “naked, stripped, bare,” found in Mark 14.51, 52 and not the second, “inadequately clothed, poorly dressed,” found in Matt 25.26, 38, 43, 44 and Isaiah 58.7.

Most Matthean commentaries understand Isaiah to be the primary OT text with which Matthew 25 is interacting (Allison merely notes it, Luz gives it pride of place, Gundry refers to Matthew as paraphrasing it).

Stephan calls special attention to the use Tertullian makes of Isaiah 58.7 in his comment on the story of Zacchaeus in Against Marcion 37.
But most importantly he says that Zacchaeus saw and heard what happened with the beggar in the previous scene which likely included the nakedness unmentioned in our copies of Luke. How else do you explain:
Salvation also comes to the house of Zacchaeus. How did he earn it? Was it that even he believed that Christ was come from Marcion? No, for there remained still in the ears of all of them that blind man's cry, Have mercy upon me, Jesus thou son of David,a and all the people were giving praises to God—not Marcion's god, but David's. For in fact Zacchaeus, though a foreigner, yet perhaps had breathed in some knowledge of the scriptures by converse with Jews, or, what is more, without knowing about Isaiah, had fulfilled his instructions. Break thy bread, he says, to the hungry, and bring into thy house them that have no covering—and this he was even then doing when he brought the Lord into his house and gave him to eat. And if thou see the naked, cover him—at that very moment he promised this, when he offered the half of his goods for all works of mercy, thus loosing the bonds of enforced contracts, and letting loose the oppressed, and breaking down every unjust assessment [Tertullian, Against Marcion, 37 ]
So Tertullian - apparently commenting on the Marcionite gospel - says that Zacchaeus witnessed what happened in the scene before takes Jesus in and demonstrates that he fulfilled what Isaiah wanted. But Jesus is a beggar? Jesus is naked? He saw the beggar naked? He saw Jesus treat the naked beggar with kindness? It's unclear. But Tertullian includes the naked reference in his citation for some reason. He could have stopped at the first part of the citation. He says the first part is him bringing Jesus into his home but then goes on include the bit about 'the naked' - why? Is the implication that he is going to take care of the blind beggar? How far was the beggar envisioned from Zacchaeus? Close enough that he could see and hear the previous scene. It's at least possible it was read this way.
It is possible to read the passage the way Stephan does, but there's nothing in the text to suggest it ought to be read that way and much against it. The most difficult part of this version of the Zacchaeus story to interpret is what is meant by the blind man's cry still ringing in the eras of all of them. Who are all of them? Stephan understands it to include Zacchaeus. I think it more likely to mean all the party traveling with Jesus at this point, but not Zacchaeus who has just been introduced. Following BeDuhn's reconstruction of the text (which is certainly debatable, but I will assume here for purpose of discussion), the story of Zacchaeus follows immediately after the story of Bartimaeus, as it does in Luke. I do not believe Bartimaeus is attested as throwing off his himation or as following Jesus in Marcion (and not in Luke, of course). Tertullian uses the blind man's cry to falsify Marcion's belief that the God Jesus spoke of was not God of Israel known to the Jews. If Jesus was the Son of David, as the blind man said, then the God Jesus spoke of must be the God of David, who is the God of Israel.

Tertullian's second argument about this passage is that Zacchaeus must have been following Isaiah 58.7, part of the Scriptures of Israel, which Marcion rejected. His evidence for this is that Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully, implying as a guest at his home (this is explicit in Luke 19.7), and that would have involved feeding and housing and him. Tertullian notes that this fulfills the first two instructions of Isaiah 58.7, breaking your bread with the hungry and giving shelter to those who had none. (The text of Isaiah, of course, does not mention beggars and would apply to itinerant preachers quite well).

At that point Tertullian applies a bit of force to make the story of Zacchaeus fulfill the instructions of Isaiah 58.7. Tertullian has pointed out that Zacchaeus has fulfilled the instructions to break bread with the hungry and house the homeless, but what about the following command to clothe the naked? Tertullian declares that Zacchaeus' promise at the same moment to give half his income for all works of mercy must necessarily include clothing the naked. As the naked are mentioned in the text of Isaiah, there is no need to assume a naked beggar present in the text especially when there's no indication in Marcion or Luke of the immediate presence of a naked beggar with Zacchaeus and company at the moment the promise was made. Indeed, if that's what Tertullian had in mind, it seems likely that would have said the clothing was accomplished right then and there, along with the feeding and housing, rather than deferring it to the indefinite future.
Stephan: But even without this there is no doubt that the proverbial beggar was naked or near naked, wearing only the barest of clothing.
Despite Stephan's insistence, there is considerable doubt about this. He has not given us an example of a proverbial beggar being naked in the sense of nude, or wearing only the barest clothing, and the blind beggar in Mark 10 is not described as naked (we would not be arguing about this if he were). He has pointed out that Isaiah 58.7 describes the poor as naked, but has not examined the different senses in which the word naked could be used – nude or poorly clothed.

That said, is there evidence that beggars in antiquity were, or were depicted as, wearing layers of clothes? Wendy Cotter discusses this in her treatment of the story of blind Bartimaeus:
The conventional appearance of a beggar in any of the literature always stipulates rags for clothes and often there is direct reference to filth. In Homer's Odyssey, Athena disguises Odysseus as a beggar: “She withered his fair skin on his supple limbs, and destroyed the flaxen hair from off his head, and about all his limbs she puts the skin of an aged old man. And she dimmed his two eyes that were so beautiful, and clothed him in other raiment, a vile cloak and a tunic, tattered garments and foul, begrimed with filthy smoke. And about him she cast the great skin of a swift hind, stripped of the hair, and she gave him a staff, and a miserable wallet, full of holes, slung by a twisted cord (Od. 13.31-388) (Homer, Odyssey [trans. A.T. Murray; 2 vols., LCL; London: Heinemann, 1931], 2:33) ...
And again, as one of several more references, Odysseus responds to the insulting servant Melantho, “Is it because I am foul and wear mean raiment on my body, and beg through the land?” ((Od. 19.72-73) … As a second example, in Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus, Polyneices, Oedipus's son, upon arriving and seeing his father's condition laments, “Ah me, my sisters, shall I first lament / My own afflictions or my aged sire's / Whom I here find castaway with you, / In a strange land, an ancient beggar clad / In antic tatters, marring all his frame, / While o'er the sightless orbs his unkempt locks / Float in the breeze; and as it were to match, / He bears a wallet against hunger's pinch” (Oed. Col. 1254-60) [Wendy Cotter, Christ of the Miracle Stories 70-71, n. 61).
Cotter's examples show that beggars were thought of as dressed in poor clothing, not naked. The clothing might be described as vile, foul, filthy or as rags. The example of Odysseus, from the most widely read or recited author in the Greco-Roman world, depicts that a beggar's disguise that included a cloak, a tunic, and the skin of a hind, however dirty and ragged they may have been.
Last edited by Ken Olson on Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ken Olson
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:29 pm

Stephan Huller polemicized:
I want it repeated you feel that a fictitious beggars near nakedness in antiquity is 'unproven.'
No, because, first, it's not about my feelings. Second, what I regarded as unproven was Stephan’s claim that beggars did not wear layers of clothing in antiquity (and that I knew this). I would now say that that it is not just unproven, but disproven by the example of Odysseus's beggar disguise in the Odyssey.
That Mark portraying him as taking off clothes has nothing to do with an interest in nudity demonstrated elsewhere in his gospel.
Again, no. I assume that any author who uses the word naked must have some non-zero interest in nakedness, however slight, and any two pericopes in the same gospel by the same author must have something to do with each other. My problem is that Stephan's theory is vaguely defined. He hasn't defined what an interest in nakedness or nudity is or what, exactly, the two pericopes have to do with each other. What does it mean to be a naked gospel? Why is Matthew, which uses the word naked twice as often as Mark, not a naked gospel?
I want that level of dishonesty to sink in.
Stephan's claim that beggars were not depicted as wearing layers of clothes having been disproven, it follows that I am not being dishonest in not accepting it. I'll point out a few cases of Stephan's dishonesty in this post.
I want to shine a mirror to the depths of your soul.
I'm not sure Stephan even owns a mirror, at least he doesn't seem to have looked in one recently. His lack of self-reflection is astonishing.
What you must be saying is that Mark is 'recording' something that really did occur
.

This is a non sequitur. I do not read the gospels as accounts of historical events and nothing I said would entail that I did.
That a 'unique' beggar sitting on the side of the road wearing 'lots of layers' of clothes is remembered to have 'stripped off' one of many of his layers. It was a 'casual' remembrance.


Stephan is just making stuff up. He has a number of things put in quotation marks that are not quotations of me. I have not suggested that this particular beggar is unique in having both a tunic and a cloak, nor does having a tunic and cloak constitute *lots*of layers, nor *many* layers.
In fact he alone of all beggars in Jericho rapped himself like mummy.
This is a good example of why I don't know whether to call Stephan's polemical misrepresentations hyperbole. In hyperbole, the author knows he is exaggerating and expects the reader to understand this as well. But for Stephen's argument that my claim is ridiculous to work, one would have to accept Stephan's exaggerations at face value.
The incident has no symbolic significance.


I wrote:
The cast off garment may well be meant to symbolize leaving something behind to follow Jesus, but this would by no means imply that the beggar was completely naked. The fishermen leave their nets and their father to follow Jesus but presumably kept their clothes (Mark 1.18, 20).
But Stephan prefers to ignore what I wrote and instead provide me with a position he made up himself.
Stephan: It was a 'fact' recorded by Mark presumably from an anecdote of Peter and that Matthew and Luke decided not to mention it because it was an extraneous bit of information. This is your position presumably.
This does not follow from what I wrote and only a crackpot would mistake the straw man Stephan set up in his post for my position.
It has nothing to do with the fact that you are trying to DISPROVE an interest in nudity which leads you to take an absolutely absurd position.
That Bartimaeus may have been wearing a tunic under his himation and was not, in fact, nude is not an absurd position. Granted Stephan invented and absurd position and attributed it to me, but the absurdity was in what he invented, not in what I wrote.
You mistake fealty for virtue.
Stephan relies on his intuition and is so averse to criticism that he invents ulterior motives for his critics so that he can set aside what they say. This prevents him from learning from his mistakes.

When asked to provide evidence that his claims are true or confronted with evidence that they are not, he brings up Stephen Carlson.

This is similar to the Trump supporters' defense “But her emails.”
Urban Dictionary: A not-so-subtle way to change the subject when you are about to be faced with being wrong about something. This is a reference to overlooking many many many problems with donald trump due to the single issue of Hillary Clinton's private email server, and using that reason as both a reason and defense for voting for him. This is currently used by trump voters any time any legitimate fault is found of Mr. trump.
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define. ... r%20emails

Stephan has adopted and adapted this strategy, which we might call “But Carlson.” It is a not-so-subtle way to change the subject that Stephan uses to avoid facing being wrong about something or having to provide evidence for the claims he makes.

In this particular variant of the “But Carlson” maneuver, Stephan accused me of taking a ridiculous position that I know to be mistaken out of loyalty to Stephan Carlson. The position which Stephan takes to be ridiculous is that a beggar might wear a cloak over a tunic. It is not absurd. It's the majority opinion of exegetes who have commented on the Bartimaeus passage. It's attested in the Odyssey.

Stephan is backing up his speculations with wilder speculations and getting farther and farther out of touch with reality.
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:16 pm

Perhaps the "Beggar's Clothes" identify the beggar as a common person and not an important Roman or Herodian.
The sharply dressed Roman Senator wore a Toga made of wool. Hence:

Matthew 7: 15 (RSV):

[15] "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

A common Theme in the NT. Or perhaps not.
See: From the ever politicized Wiki-P:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toga

Note 61: Duggan, John, Making a New Man: Ciceronian Self-Fashioning in the Rhetorical Works, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 156, note 35, citing Wyke, 1994: "The Roman male citizen was defined through his body: the dignity and authority of a senator being constituted by his gait, his manner of wearing his toga, his oratorical delivery, his gestures."

A "Blind man, throwing off his mantle..." may be another Symbol in the War against the Romans and Herodians. It should not be discounted as such.

Although much in the NT is Cut and Paste, look above the Markan Story of Bartimaeus to verse 42:

Mark 10: 42 (RSV):

[42] And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them

Once again, Literalism may lead one astray. There was at least one other who had his sight restored and "...saw everything clearly..." but was not truly "Blind". In that instance, the "Blind Man" was being told that Jerusalem would not survive. He then saw that clearly. Here, the Blind Bartimaeus may be hearing that his safe position with the Romans is about to come to an end.

Now, he can see.

CW

Ken Olson
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Epiphanius's direct or indirect use of hegesippus

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:42 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 3:44 pm
Ken: Ἦλθεν δὲ εἰς ἡμᾶς ἤδη πως Μαρκελλίνα τις ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἀπατηθεῖσα

I think the difference is due to Lawlor/Lightfoot taking Ἦλθεν to mean "she came", meaning Marcellina, while Williams takes it to mean "it came" meaning a tradition about Marcellina.
This is possible. Several items give me pause, however.
This is a response to Ben Smith's post on Epiphanius's possible use of Hegesippus. Some time has passed since Ben posted it, and hopefully he will be able to find the time to respond (at least to my last point about Eusebius's HE 4.22, if not the rest).

Ben's case is well argued, but I'm not yet convinced by it and I think it has some weaknesses that still remain to be addressed. I'm going to recap what I think are the basics of Ben's case for Epiphanius direct use of Hegesippus here (Ben can correct me where I err; also I think everyone agrees that Epiphanius is dependent on Hegesippus either directly or indirectly though Eusebius and/or Irenaeus):

1 “Marcellina came to us”: On a straightforward reading, this can easily be understood as meaning Marcellina visited the author (not Epiphanius, but the author of the source he is following).

2 Epiphanius' list of bishops of Rome ends at Anicetus, whereas Irenaeus's list has two additional bishops. Therefore, he may have been using an earlier list than that of Irenaeus.

3 Irenaeus list has a syntactic break after Anicetus. Eusebius 4.22 has this as well, but this may be due to Eusebius having taken the names of the additional two bishops from Irenaeus and added them to his quotation of Hegesippus.

(I take it than on your theory, Hegesippus both arrived in Rome and wrote his work at the time of Anicetus, and Irenaeus added the two later bishops to bring the list up to the time he wrote in the episcopacy of Eleutherus at Rome).

If Epiphanius source was indeed someone who was in Rome at the time of Anicetus, that person would in all likelihood have been Hegesippus, as we know from Eusebius both that he was in Rome at the time of Anicetus and that he knew of the Carpocratians.

4 The opposing theory has problems. You've pointed out that Epiphanius does not use an unexpressed it elsewhere in similar cases, and that ἤδη πως is somewhat awkward. I admit that when I looked at this, I was only trying to understand Williams' translation and did not attempt to figure out ἤδη πως for myself.

Against this case for Epiphanius's direct use of Hegesippus, however, I would count the following considerations:

1 We do not have other evidence that Epiphanius knew Hegesippus; we do know that he used both Irenaeus and Eusebius, both because he names them explicitly and because he uses them widely.

Lawlor has additional arguments you (wisely, I think) don't use, such as the fact that Epiphanius has additional details that he could not have made up himself.

2 We do not have other evidence that Hegesippus's account contained a first person account about Marcellina.

(Parenthetically, these two points are essentially what I meant in my earlier comment that Williams' theory does not multiply hypotheses about an original source using the first person. It seems to me that you allowed point 1 but not number 2 in your post).

3 An argument from silence: “Marcellina came to us.” (This is arguably already entailed in point 2). The fact that no one else mentioned this this is curious, as it seems an interesting fact about Hegesippus that he had actually met Marcellina. This is not surprising with regard to Irenaeus, who is closed-mouthed about his source, but a little odd with respect to Eusebius, who does like to give details about his sources. Still, this point admittedly has the usual limitations of arguments from silence.

4 When you explain Epiphanius's retention of the unmodified first person from his source with: “I think that Epiphanius was just a very clumsy author/editor; there are examples of his clumsiness in other parts of his work, and I think I have seen worse,” this seems to introduce a rather large fudge factor into your theory. Is there evidence that retention of the first person plural is more characteristic of Epiphanius's clumsiness than, for instance, leaving a subject as an unexpressed “it” in one case?

5 I think for the rest of your argument to work, you would have to be right about Irenaeus and Eusebius independently adding two further bishops to what they found in Hegesippus. Otherwise their common source for the entire list is Hegesippus, and if that is the case then Epiphanius carrying the list only up to Anicetus would carry no weight in showing Epiphanius used Hegesippus directly. And I think your reading of HE 4.22 would have to be argued on its own merits. (My apologies if you have already addressed this somewhere and I just haven't seen it).

The text of Eusebius HE 4.22.1-3:
Ὁ μὲν οὖν Ἡγήσιππος ἐν πέντε τοῖς εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐλθοῦσιν ὑπομνήμασιν τῆς ἰδίας γνώμης πληρεστάτην μνήμην καταλέλοιπεν: ἐν οἷς δηλοῖ ὡς πλείστοις ἐπισκόποις συμμίξειεν ἀποδημίαν στειλάμενος μέχρι Ῥώμης, καὶ ὡς ὅτι τὴν αὐτὴν παρὰ πάντων παρείληφεν διδασκαλίαν. ἀκοῦσαί γέ τοι πάρεστιν μετά τινα περὶ τῆς Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους ἐπιστολῆς αὐτῷ εἰρημένα ἐπιλέγοντος ταῦτα: ‘καὶ ἐπέμενεν ἡ ἐκκλησία ἡ Κορινθίων ἐν τῷ ὀρθῷ λόγῳ μέχρι Πρίμου ἐπισκοπεύοντος ἐν Κορίνθῳ: οἷς συνέμιξα πλέων εἰς Ῥώμην καὶ συνδιέτριψα τοῖς Κορινθίοις ἡμέρας ἱκανάς, ἐν αἷς συνανεπάημεν τῷ ὀρθῷ λόγῳ: γενόμενος δὲ ἐν Ῥώμῃ, διαδοχὴν ἐποιησάμην μέχρις Ἀνικήτου: οὗ διάκονος ἦν Ἐλεύθερος, καὶ παρὰ Ἀνικήτου διαδέχεται Σωτήρ, μεθ̓ ὃν Ἐλεύθερος. ἐν ἑκάστῃ δὲ διαδοχῇ καὶ ἐν ἑκάστῃ πόλει οὕτως ἔχει ὡς ὁ νόμος κηρύσσει καὶ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ κύριος.’
Now, Hegesippus, in the five treatises that have come down to us, has left us a very complete record of his own opinion. In these he shows that he traveled as far as Rome and mingled with a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is well to listen to what he said after some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians: 'And the church of the Corinthians remained in the true word until Primus was Bishop of Corinth. I associated with them on my voyage to Rome and I spent some days with them in Corinth, during which we were mutually stimulated by the true Word. And while I was in Rome I made a list of succession up to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus, and Soter succeeded Anicetus, and after him Eleutherus. In each list and each city all is as the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord preach.' [Deferrari translation]
I take it that on your reading the quotation of Hegesippus ends with the first mention of Anicetus, and that the rest is Eusebius writing in his own voice. I do not read it that way, because it's typical of Eusebius (among ancient writers; it's pretty standard for writers to do this now) to introduce a writer he's about to quote by stating the points he's quoting him to establish and then quote him to establish those points. I understand the quotation to extend as far as the final sentence quoted above, because it establishes the point “he received the same doctrine from all.” It seems to me that Eusebius is at least claiming the quotation of Hegesippus extends as far as that last sentence.

On your reading, it seems Eusebius would be introducing two points the quotation is supposed to establish, that Hegesippus travelled as far as Rome and conversed with bishops and that he received the same doctrine from all, then quoting something that establishes only the first point. Then he makes the second point in his own voice rather than Hegesippus's. Alternatively, you could suggest that Eusebius interpolated the mention of the additional two bishops within the quotation of Hegesippus. Both of those things are possible, but do you have reasons for thinking that's what happened in this case other than it makes the rest of your theory on Epiphanius's use of Hegesippus work?

Best wishes,

Ken

User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 3577
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:40 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:56 pm
or What George Smiley Taught Me About Secret Mark: Lessons From John Le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
A wonderful discussion, Ken. Very thought-provoking. But I am reluctant to take time to wade through 19 pages of the ensuing discussion (esp seeing the tone of the initial responses) so wonder if you could direct me to key points between your opener and now that are significant elaborations or turning points in the discussion of the main point?

Thanks
vridar.org Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature, tidbits from science

Ken Olson
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:40 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:40 pm
Ken Olson wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:56 pm
or What George Smiley Taught Me About Secret Mark: Lessons From John Le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
A wonderful discussion, Ken. Very thought-provoking. But I am reluctant to take time to wade through 19 pages of the ensuing discussion (esp seeing the tone of the initial responses) so wonder if you could direct me to key points between your opener and now that are significant elaborations or turning points in the discussion of the main point?

Thanks
Neil,

You are wise. There isn't a lot of follow up on the idea in the OP. Of my posts, the significant ones after the first page, and which I'm still planning to follow up on, are this one, on the context for understanding "naked man with naked man" within the Letter to Theodore:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=109694&h#p109688

and this one, on the paucity of evidence for Carpocratian homosexuality:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7008&p=109840&#p109840

There are some other ideas in this thread that I consider significant, including Stephan Huller's's idea for a homoerotic reading of Secret Mark, Andrew Criddle's identification of the reason Clement chose Mark for the basis of his exegesis in Who Is the Rich Man Who Can Be Saved? (and Ben Smith's follow ups on that), and Ben's argument for Epiphanius's use of Hegesippus, but these are not directly relevant to the topic of the OP.

Best,

Ken

Post Reply