A bevy of Zechariahs.

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Ben C. Smith
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A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:27 pm

This post consists entirely of notes that I took a while back on the actual or potential confusion between several men named Zechariah in Jewish and Christian tradition. I have no particular point to make except to lay out the materials in a somewhat orderly fashion.

As might well be expected, the stimulus for this inquiry is the apparent confusion of two different men named Zechariah in two of our synoptic gospels:

Matthew 23.34-36: 34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Berechiah [Ζαχαρίου υἱοῦ Βαραχίου], whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

Luke 11.49-51: 49 “For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’”

There are almost certainly two, and up to possibly four, different men being conflated in these parallel passages.

First (1), there is Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, whom Joash murdered in the temple court:

2 Chronicles 24.17-22: 17 But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord; though they testified against them, they would not listen. 20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.’” 21 So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”

Lives of the Prophets 23.1-2: 1 Zecheriah was from Jerusalem, son of Jehoiada the priest. And Joash the king of Judah killed him near the altar, the house of David thus poured out his blood in front of the porch, and the priests took him and buried him with his father. 2 From that time on visible portents occurred in the temple, and the priests were no longer able to see a vision of the angels of God, or to give oracles from the Dauber, or to inquire by the Ephod, or to answer the people through the Urim as formerly. / 1 Ζαχαρίας ἐξ Ἱερουσαλὴμ, υἱὸς Ἰωδαὲ τοῦ ἱερέως, ὃν ἀπέκτεινεν Ἰωὰς ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἰούδα ἐχόμενα τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου, καὶ ἐξέχεεν τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ὁ οἶκος Δαυὶδ ἀνὰ μέσον ἐπὶ τοῦ αἰλάμ· καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἔθαψαν αὐτὸν μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ· 2 ἔκτοτε ἐγένοντο τέρατα ἐν τῷ ναῷ φαντασίας, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυον οἱ ἱερεῖς ἰδεῖν ὀπτασίαν ἁγγέλων Θεοῦ, οὔτε δοῦναι χρησμοὺς ἐκ τοῦ δαβεὶρ, οὔτε ἐπωτῆσαι ἐν τῷ ἐφοὺδ, οὔτε διὰ δήλων ἀποκριθῆναι τῷ λαῷ ὡς τὸ πρίν.
[Link.]

Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 57b: 57b R. Hiya b. Abin said in the name of R. Joshua b. Korhah: An old man from the inhabitants of Jerusalem told me that in this valley Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard killed two hundred and eleven myriads, and in Jerusalem he killed ninety-four myriads on one stone, until their blood went and joined that of Zechariah, to fulfil the words, Blood toucheth blood. He noticed the blood of Zechariah bubbling up warm, and asked what it was. They said: It is the blood of the sacrifices which has been poured there. He had some blood brought, but it was different from the other. He then said to them: If you tell me [the truth], well and good, but if not, I will tear your flesh with combs of iron. They said: What can we say to you? There was a prophet among us who used to reprove us for our irreligion, and we rose up against him and killed him, and for many years his blood has not rested. He said to them: I will appease him. He brought the great Sanhedrin and the small Sanhedrin and killed them over him, but the blood did not cease. He then slaughtered young men and women, but the blood did not cease. He brought schoolchildren and slaughtered them over it, but the blood did not cease. So he said; Zechariah, Zechariah. I have slain the best of them; do you want me to destroy them all? When he said this to him, it stopped. Straightway Nebuzaradan felt remorse. He said to himself: If such is the penalty for slaying one soul, what will happen to me who have slain such multitudes? So he fled away, and sent a deed to his house disposing of his effects and became a convert. ....

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 96b: 96b .... Raba said: Nebuchadnezzar sent Nebuzaradan three hundred mules laden with iron axes that could break iron, but they were all shattered on a single gate of Jerusalem, for it is written, And now they attack its gate [lit., ‘door’] together: with axes and hammers they smite. He desired to return, but said, ‘I am afraid lest I meet the same fate which befell Sennacherib.’ Thereupon a voice cried out, ‘Thou leaper, son of a leaper, leap, Nebuzaradan, for the time has come for the Sanctuary to be destroyed and the Temple burnt.’ He had but one axe left, so he went and smote [the gate] with the head thereof, and it opened, as it is written, A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees. He hewed down [the Jews] as he proceeded, until he reached the Temple. Upon his setting fire thereto, it sought to rise up, but was trodden down from Heaven, as it is written, The Lord hath trodden down the virgin daughter of Judah [the Temple] as in a winepress. His mind was now elated [with his triumph], when a voice came forth from Heaven saying to him, ‘Thou hast slain a dead people, thou hast burned a Temple already burned, thou hast ground flour already ground, as it is written, Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers:’ not ‘wheat’ but meal is said. [After that] he saw the blood of Zechariah seething. ‘What is this?’ cried he. ‘It is the blood of sacrifices, which has been spilled,’ they answered. ‘Then,’ said he, ‘bring [some animal blood] and I will compare them, to see whether they are alike.’ So he slaughtered animals and compared them, but they were dissimilar. ‘Disclose [the secret] to me, or if not, I will tear your flesh with iron combs,’ he threatened. They replied: ‘This is [the blood of] a priest and a prophet, who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem to the Israelites, and they killed him.’ ‘I,’ said he, ‘will appease him.’ So he brought the scholars and slew them over him, yet it did not cease [to boil]. He brought schoolchildren and slew them over him, still it did not rest; he brought the young priests and slew them over him, and still it did not rest, until he had slain ninety four thousand, and still it did not rest. Whereupon he approached him and cried out, ‘Zechariah, Zechariah, I have destroyed the flower of them: dost thou desire me to massacre them all?’ Straightway it rested. Thoughts of repentance came into his mind: if they, who killed one person only, have been so [severely punished], what will be my fate? So he fled, sent his testament to his house, and became a proselyte. ....

James H. Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 2, page 398 (concerning chapter 23 of Lives of the Prophets): The Midrash on Lamentations, Midrash Rabbah, ed. H. Freedman and M. Simon (10 vols.; London, 1939) vol. 7, p. 226, stresses that the murder occurred in the Court of the Priests, not the Court of Israel or the Court of Women.

Second (2), there is Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo:

Zechariah 1.1-7: 1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying, 2 “The Lord was very angry with your fathers. 3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. 4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or give heed to Me,” declares the Lord. 5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.’”’” 7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows....

Lives of the Prophets 15.1-6: 1 Zechariah came from Chaldea when he was already well advanced in years, there he prophesied many things to the people, and gave portents as proof. 2 This man told Jozadak that he would beget a son, and that he would serve as priest in Jerusalem, 3 and also pronounced a blessing upon Shealtiel at the birth of his son, and named him Zerubabel. 4 And concerning Cyrus he gave a portent of his victory, and prophesied concerning the service, which he was to perform for Jerusalem, and he blessed him greatly. 5 His prophecies in Jerusalem were based on his visions about the end of the Gentiles, and of Israel and the temple, and the laziness of the prophets and priests. And he set forth a twofold judgment, 6 and he died when he had attained a great age, and when he expired he was buried near Haggai. / 1 Ζαχαρίας ἦλθεν ἀπὸ Χαλδαίων ἤδη προβεβηκὼς καὶ ἐκεῖ πολλὰ τῷ λαῷ προεφήτευσε· καὶ τέρατα ἔδωκεν εἰς ἀπόδειξιν. 2 οὗτος εἶπε τῷ Ἰωσεδέκ, ὅτι γεννήσει υἱὸν καὶ ἐν Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἱερατεύσει· 3 οὗτος καὶ τὸν Σαλαθιὴλ ἐφ᾽ υἱῷ εὐλόγησε καὶ ὄνομα Ζοροβάβελ ἐπέθηκε. 4 καὶ ἐπὶ Κύρου τέρας ἔδωκεν εἰς νῖκος καὶ περὶ τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ προηγόρευσεν, ἣν ποιήσει ἐπὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ, καὶ ηὐλόγησεν αὐτὸν σφόδρα. 5 τὰ δὲ τῆς προφητείας ἐν Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ περὶ τέλους ἐθνῶν καὶ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ τοῦ ναοῦ καὶ ἀργίας προφητῶν καὶ ἱερέων καὶ περὶ διπλῆς κρίσεως ἐξέθετο. 6 καὶ ἀπέθανεν ἐν γήρει μακρῷ καὶ ἐκλιπὼν ἐτάφη σύνεγγυς Ἀγγαίου.

This second Zechariah was confused with the first Zechariah in one extant manuscript of the Lives of the Prophets:

James H. Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 2, page 394 (concerning chapter 15 of Lives of the Prophets): Zechariah the prophet, "son of Berechiah son of Iddo" (Zech 1:1), was frequently confused with the martyred priest Zechariah son of Jehoiada (2 Chr 24:20-22; cf. Mt 23:35).... In [manuscript] E2 the two Zechariahs become one in a conflation of chs. 15 and 23.

Charles Cutler Torry, The Lives of the Prophets: Greet Text and Translation, page 31, note 76: E1, which after the Twelve Minor Prophets has only Elijah and Elisha, introduces the life of this Zechariah [ben Jehoiada] as the second half of the biography of Zechariah ben Iddo.

Third (3), there is Zechariah the father of John the Baptist:

Infancy gospel of James 23.1-25.2: 23.1 Now Herod sought for John, and sent officers to Zacharias, saying, "Where hast thou hidden thy son?" And he answered and said unto them, "I am a minister of God and attend continually upon the temple of the Lord; I know not where my son is." 2 And the officers departed and told Herod all these things. And Herod was wroth and said, "His son is to be king over Israel." And he sent unto him again, saying, "Say the truth: where is thy son? For thou knowest that thy blood is under my hand." And the officers departed and told him all these things. 3 And Zacharias said, "I am a martyr of God if thou sheddest my blood: for my spirit the Lord shall receive, because thou sheddest innocent blood in the forecourt of the temple of the Lord." And about the dawning of the day Zacharias was slain. And the children of Israel knew not that he was slain. 24.1 But the priests entered in at the hour of the salutation, and the blessing of Zacharias met them not according to the manner. And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias, to salute him with the prayer, and to glorify the Most High. 2 But as he delayed to come, they were all afraid: and one of them took courage and entered in; and he saw beside the altar congealed blood, and a voice saying, "Zacharias hath been slain, and his blood shall not be wiped out until his avenger come." And when he heard that word he was afraid, and went forth and told the priests. 3 And they took courage and went in and saw that which was done: and the panels of the temple did wail: and they rent their clothes from the top to the bottom. And his body they found not, but his blood they found turned into stone. And they feared, and went forth and told all the people that Zacharias was slain. And all the tribes of the people heard it, and they mourned for him and lamented him three days and three nights. 4 And after the three days the priests took counsel whom they should set in his stead: and the lot came up upon Symeon. Now he it was which was warned by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh. 25.1 Now I, James, which wrote this history in Jerusalem, when there arose a tumult when Herod died, withdrew myself into the wilderness until the tumult ceased in Jerusalem, glorifying the Lord God which gave me the gift, and the wisdom to write this history. 2 And grace shall be with those that fear our Lord Jesus Christ: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. / 23.1 Ὁ δὲ Ἡρώδης ἐζήτει τὸν Ἰωάννην, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ὑπηρέτας ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ πρὸς Ζαχαρίαν λέγων αὐτῷ· «Ποῦ ἀπέκρυψας τὸν υἱόν σου;» Ὁ δὲ ἀπεκρίνατο λέγων αὐτοῖς· «Ἐγὼ λειτουργὸς ὑπάρχω Θεοῦ καὶ προσεδρεύω τῷ ναῷ αὐτοῦ. Τί γινώσκω ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου;» 2 Καὶ ἀπήλθωσαν οἱ ὑπηρέται αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀ[ν]ήγγειλαν αὐτῷ πάντα ταῦτα. Καὶ ὀργισθ[εὶς] ὁ Ἡρώδης εἶπεν [ταῦτα]· «Ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ μέλλει βασιλεύειν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ;» Καὶ ἔπεμψεν πάλιν τοὺς ὑπηρέτας λέγων αὐτῷ· «Εἶπόν μοι τὰ ἀληθῆ· ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ υἱός σου; Οἶδας ὅτι τὸ αἷμά σου ὑπὸ τὴν χεῖράν μού ἐστιν;» Καὶ ἀπήλθοσαν οἱ ὑπηρέται καὶ ἀνήγγειλαν αὐτῷ ταῦτα. 3 Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· «Μάρτυς εἰμὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἔχε μου τὸ αἷμα. Τὸ δὲ πνεῦμά μου ὁ Δεσπότης [μου] δέξεται, ὅτι ἀθῷον αἷμα ἐκχύνεις εἰς τὰ πρόθυρα τοῦ ναοῦ Κυρίου.» Καὶ περὶ τὸ διάφαυμα ἐφονεύθη Ζαχχαρίας, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδεισαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ἰσραὴλ πῶς ἐφονεύθη. 24.1 Ἀλλὰ τὴν ὥραν τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ ἀπήλθασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς, καὶ οὐκ ἠπήντησεν αὐτοῖς κατὰ τὸ ἔθος [τ]ἡ εὐλογία τοῦ Ζαχαρίου. Καὶ ἔστησαν οἱ ἱερεῖς προσδοκῶντες τὸν Ζαχαρίαν τοῦ ἀσπάσασθαι αὐτὸν ἐν εὐχῇ καὶ δοξάσαι τὸν <Ὕ>ψιστον Θεόν. 2 Χρονίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐφοβήθησαν πάντες. Τολμήσας δέ τις ἐξ αὐτῶν εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἁγίασμα καὶ εἶδεν παρὰ τὸ θυσιαστήριον Κυρίου αἷμα πεπηγὸς καὶ φωνὴν λέγουσαν· «Ζαχχαρίας ἐφόνευται, καὶ οὐκ ἐξαλειφθήσεται τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἕως ἔλθῃ <ὁ> ἔκδικος.» Καὶ ἀκούσας τῶν λόγων τούτων ἐφοβήθη καὶ ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἀνήγγειλεν τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν ἃ εἶδεν καὶ ἤκουσ[ε]ν. 3 <Καὶ τολμήσαντες εἰσῆλθαν> καὶ εἶδαν τὸ γεγονός. <Καὶ> τὰ παθνώματα τοῦ ναοῦ ὠλόλυξαν, καὶ αὐτοὶ περιεσχίσαντο ἐπάνωθεν ἕως κάτω. Καὶ τὸ πτῶ[πτω]μα αὐτοῦ οὐχ εὕρωσαν, ἀλλ’ εὗρον τὸ [αἷ]μα αὐτοῦ λίθον γεγενημένον. Καὶ φοβηθέντες ἐξῆλθαν καὶ ἀ[ν]ήγγειλαν ὅτι Ζαχαρίας πεφόνευται. Καὶ ἤ<κου>σαν πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ ἐπένθησαν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐκόψαν<το> [αὐτὸν] τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας. 4 Μετὰ δὲ τὰς τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἐβουλεύσαντο οἱ ἱερεῖς τίνα ἀναστήσουσιν εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦ Ζαχαρίου. Καὶ ἀνέβη ὁ κλῆρος ἐπὶ Συμεών· οὗτος γὰρ ἦν ὁ χρηματισθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον ἕως ἂν τὸν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἴδῃ. 25.1 Ἐγὼ δὲ Ἰάκωβος ὁ γράψας τὴν ἱστορίαν ταύτην ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις, θορύβου γεναμένου ὅτε ἐτελεύτησεν Ἡρώδης, συνέστελλ[ο]ν ἑαυτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἕως παύσηται ὁ θόρυβος Ἰερουσαλήμ. Δοξάσω δὲ τὸν Δεσπότην τὸν δόντα μοι τὴν σοφίαν τοῦ γράψαι τὴν ἱστορίαν ταύτην. 2 Καὶ ἔσται ἡ χάρις μετὰ πάντων τῶν φοβουμένων τὸν Κύριον. Ἀμήν. <Γένεσις Μαρίας. Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰακώβ.> Εἰρήνη τῷ γράψαντι καὶ τῷ ἀναγινώσκοντι.

This passage seems to pick up on the murder of the first Zechariah above by Joash the king.

Fourth (4), there is Zechariah the son of Baruch. Josephus writes of him (Ζαχαρίας υἱὸν Βάρεις) in Wars 4.5.4 §334-344. According to Josephus, the zealots slew him in the temple during the Roman siege before throwing his body from the temple into the ravine below. At least the potential for confusion with Zechariah the son of Berechiah is obvious:

(זְכַרְיָה בֶּן־בֶּרֶכְיָה, Ζαχαρίας τοῦ Βαραχιου)

בָּרוּךְ = Baruch = "blessed one"
בֶּרֶכְיָה = Berechiah = "blessed of Yahweh"

Both come from ברך, "to bless."

Just another example of how easily people bearing the same or similar names could be confused in antiquity (and even in modernity, for that matter).

Ben.
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by John2 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:55 am

I don't know, Ben, do four Zechariahs really constitute a "bevy"? ;)

Definition of bevy

1: a large group or collection


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bevy

If there were four people sitting at a table in a restaurant, would that be a "large group"?

How about "A collection of Zechariahs" instead?

:)
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:15 am

John2 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:55 am
I don't know, Ben, do four Zechariahs really constitute a "bevy"? ;)

Definition of bevy

1: a large group or collection


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bevy
:facepalm: :cheeky:

Kind of reminds me of the Sorites Paradox.
If there were four people sitting at a table in a restaurant, would that be a "large group"?
It might be if that restaurant were an instance of a particular kind of ramen restaurant which seats only about 12 people (like Momofuku Ko).
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by John2 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:30 am

From your link:

A group may decide that:

One grain of sand on its own is not a heap.

A large collection of grains of sand is a heap.

Between the two extremes, individual members of the group may disagree with each other over whether any particular collection can be labelled a "heap". The collection can then not be definitively claimed to be a "heap" or "not a heap".

So maybe four could be a bevy if an argument can be made that a collection of four things is "large." I still say no, though.


If there were four people sitting at a table in a restaurant, would that be a "large group"?
It might be if that restaurant were an instance of a particular kind of ramen restaurant which seats only about 12 people (like Momofuku Ko).

I did not consider that possibility. I was only thinking of a "normal" sized restaurant. In the case of Momofuku Ko, it might depend on the size of the tables. If there are three tables that can each sit four people, then I say four people at a table in that restaurant would not be a "large group."
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:59 am

John2 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:30 am
In the case of Momofuku Ko, it might depend on the size of the tables. If there are three tables that can each sit four people, then I say four people at a table in that restaurant would not be a "large group."
Image

I guess you could argue that this is a counter, not a table. Nevertheless, four people would occupy one third of the available seating.

Semantics. :cheeky:

At any rate, the confusion of Zechariahs, however we choose to characterize their number, seems to have been a real phenomenon.
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by John2 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:52 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:59 am
I guess you could argue that this is a counter, not a table. Nevertheless, four people would occupy one third of the available seating.

Well, if four people take up less than half of the available seating, then I would say that is not a "large group."

Anyway, you've assembled a nice collection of information about the four Zechariahs and it gives me something to ponder.
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:01 pm

At any rate, the confusion of Zechariahs, however we choose to characterize their number, seems to have been a real phenomenon.
I wonder if there is a special branch in history that tackles this phenomenon? I have brought it up on occasional--how local variants or traditions of the same individual come about due to how slow information traveled back then. I am aware of two such figures for whom this happened to, Irenaeus, a teacher of rhetoric in the first century, and Pope Anacletus. Irenaeus had two names, and over time a tradition sprung up that the two names were actually that of two different people; and Anacletus was divided into two different popes.

This phenomenon of duplicating individuals is already alive in the New Testament (see, for example, Jesus being believed to be John raised from the dead; and the magician Jesus bar Elymas being a proxy for Saul/Paul), but I wonder just how wide spread it actually was. Not to get conspiratorial and all "phantom time", but I think at least some of our history never actually happened, and was just a mistake of local folk traditions evolving, much like how Madagascar's ecosystem evolved separately from mainland Africa's.

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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:27 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:01 pm
At any rate, the confusion of Zechariahs, however we choose to characterize their number, seems to have been a real phenomenon.
I wonder if there is a special branch in history that tackles this phenomenon? I have brought it up on occasional--how local variants or traditions of the same individual come about due to how slow information traveled back then. I am aware of two such figures for whom this happened to, Irenaeus, a teacher of rhetoric in the first century, and Pope Anacletus. Irenaeus had two names, and over time a tradition sprung up that the two names were actually that of two different people; and Anacletus was divided into two different popes.

This phenomenon of duplicating individuals is already alive in the New Testament (see, for example, Jesus being believed to be John raised from the dead; and the magician Jesus bar Elymas being a proxy for Saul/Paul), but I wonder just how wide spread it actually was. Not to get conspiratorial and all "phantom time", but I think at least some of our history never actually happened, and was just a mistake of local folk traditions evolving, much like how Madagascar's ecosystem evolved separately from mainland Africa's.
John Mark in Acts Mark in Paul's letters and Mark the assistant of Peter were in some circles seen as 3 different individuals.

Andrew Criddle

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:28 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:27 am
Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:01 pm
At any rate, the confusion of Zechariahs, however we choose to characterize their number, seems to have been a real phenomenon.
I wonder if there is a special branch in history that tackles this phenomenon? I have brought it up on occasional--how local variants or traditions of the same individual come about due to how slow information traveled back then. I am aware of two such figures for whom this happened to, Irenaeus, a teacher of rhetoric in the first century, and Pope Anacletus. Irenaeus had two names, and over time a tradition sprung up that the two names were actually that of two different people; and Anacletus was divided into two different popes.

This phenomenon of duplicating individuals is already alive in the New Testament (see, for example, Jesus being believed to be John raised from the dead; and the magician Jesus bar Elymas being a proxy for Saul/Paul), but I wonder just how wide spread it actually was. Not to get conspiratorial and all "phantom time", but I think at least some of our history never actually happened, and was just a mistake of local folk traditions evolving, much like how Madagascar's ecosystem evolved separately from mainland Africa's.
John Mark in Acts Mark in Paul's letters and Mark the assistant of Peter were in some circles seen as 3 different individuals.

Andrew Criddle
It's a similar situation with Apostle John, John the Elder, and John of Patmos.

Stuart
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Re: A bevy of Zechariahs.

Post by Stuart » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:33 pm

It's just another case of a single legend dividing -- there are reasons why.

Simon divides, Joseph divides, Jacob divides, Mary divides, John divides and Zechariah divides.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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