Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

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Stephan Huller
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:59 pm

Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:41 am

In a previous thread I started to outline the arguments in favor of the gospel beginning with Jesus descending to Jerusalem ('Judea' according to Irenaeus's refutation of the Marcionites).
As a further to the discussion (I don't know if I can call it a 'discussion' if I am responding to my own post) earlier about the significance of the change from 'Nazareth' to 'Bethsaida' at the beginning of the gospel (or the beginning of the gospel later called 'according to Luke'). I think I can make a strong case that 'Bethsaida' meant 'the temple of Jerusalem' according to the original Marcionite interpretation. If anyone is interested here is the basic logic of that assumption.

Irenaeus makes clear in explaining the Marcionite gospel that according to their text the descent was into Judea not Galilee:
Irenaeus notes, according to this text "Jesus being derived from that father who is above the God that made the world, and coming into Judaea in the times of Pontius Pilate the governor, who was the procurator of Tiberius Caesar, was manifested in the form of a man to those who were in Judaea, abolishing the prophets and the law, and all the works of that God who made the world." [AH 1.27.2]
The Gospel of John as noted above preserves the initial entry into the Jerusalem temple. Now let's deal with Bethsaida. What was the original Hebrew spelling? The Gospel of Baal Shem Tove preserves the form בית שידה
אי לך בוֹרוֹזוֹאים ואי לך בית שידה שאם בצור וסדום לעז טִירָאוֹ דֵיטֶיר אוֹ סְדוֹמָה נעשו האותות שנעשו בכם היו חוזרות בתשובה בזמן ההוא בשק ואפר

Woe to you and woe to you Beth Saida, for if in Tyre and Sodom, that is, Tirao deter or Sidomah, the signs had been done which were done in you, they would have turned in repentance at that time in sack cloth and ashes. [Shem Tob 11.21]
But שידה was the specific name of the demon that Solomon is said to have captured and employed in the temple. So then בית שידה the restored 'demon house' for the opening of the Marcionite gospel changes all that. This demonstrates how close the form of the Gospel of John was to the Marcionite gospel.

Now for those who care about Secret Mark I hope you can see that the very same thing that was done to the resurrection of the youth in Bethany in John chapter 10 was carried out from the hostile visit to בית שידה in the Marcionite gospel.

Let's start with the Talmud and see where everyone get's the idea that שידה means 'demon.' It all comes from a discussion of a disputed passage in Ecclesiastes:
I got me sharim and sharoth, and the delights of the sons of men, shidah (שידה) and shidoth (וְשִׁדּוֹת) [Eccel 2.8]
Gittin 68 a - b attempts to explain what the hell this means. The passage is usually translated into English as:
I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart
But as we will see from the gemara שידה is placed within the context of Solomon building the Jewish temple with the aid of demons. The reader will have to excuse the terse language of the Talmud. That's just the way the rabbinic texts are. We jump right into a discussion of the disputed terminology:

'Sharim and Sharoth', means diverse kinds of music; 'the delights of the sons of men' are ornamental pools and baths. 'Shidah and shidoth': Here [in the school of Babylon] they translate as male and female demons. In the West [i.e. the school of Tiberias] they say [it means] carriages.

R. Johanan said: There were three hundred kinds of demons in Shihin, but what a shidah is I do not know (or alternatively "'the real mother of the demons I do not know").

The Master said: Here they translate 'male and female demons'. For what did Solomon want them? — As indicated in the verse, And the house when it was in building was made of stone made ready at the quarry, [there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building];[I Kings VI, 7] He said to the Rabbis, How shall I manage [without iron tools]? — They replied, There is the shamir [i.e. a fabulous worm which could cut through the strongest stone] which Moses brought for the stones of the ephod. He asked them, Where is it to be found? — They replied, Bring a male and a female demon and tie them together; perhaps they know and will tell you. So he brought a male and a female demon and tied them together. They said to him, We do not know, but perhaps Ashmedai the prince of the demons knows. He said to them, Where is he? — They answered, He is in such-and-such a mountain. He has dug a pit there, which he fills with water and covers with a stone, which he then seals with his seal. Every day he goes up to heaven and studies in the Academy of the sky and then he comes down to earth and studies in the Academy of the earth, and then he goes and examines his seal and opens [the pit] and drinks and then closes it and seals it again and goes away. Solomon thereupon sent thither Benaiahu son of Jehoiada, giving him a chain on which was graven the [Divine] Name and a ring on which was graven the Name and fleeces of wool and bottles of wine. Benaiahu went and dug a pit lower down the hill and let the water flow into it [i.e. from Ashmedai's pit by means of a tunnel connecting the two] and stopped [the hollow] With the fleeces of wool, and he then dug a pit higher up and poured the wine into it [i.e. so that it should flow into Ashmedai's pit. and then filled up the pits]. He then went and sat on a tree.

When Ashmedai came he examined the seal, then opened the pit and found it full of wine. He said, it is written, Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whosoever erreth thereby is not wise, [Prov. XX, 1] and it is also written, Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the understanding. [Hos, IV, 11] I will not drink it. Growing thirsty, however, he could not resist, and he drank till he became drunk, and fell asleep. Benaiahu then came down and threw the chain over him and fastened it. When he awoke he began to struggle, whereupon he [Benaiahu] said, The Name of thy Master is upon thee, the Name of thy Master is upon thee. As he was bringing him along, he came to a palm tree and rubbed against it and down it came. He came to a house and knocked it down. He came to the hut of a certain widow. She came out and besought him, and he bent down so as not to touch it, thereby breaking a bone. He said, That bears out the verse, A soft tongue breaketh the bone [Prov. XXV, 15]. He saw a blind man straying from his way and he put him on the right path. He saw a drunken man losing his way and he put him on his path. He saw a wedding procession making its way merrily and he wept. He heard a man say to a shoemaker, Make me a pair of shoes that will last seven years, and he laughed. He saw a diviner practising divinations and he laughed. When they reached Jerusalem he was not taken to see Solomon for three days. On the first day he asked, Why does the king not want to see me? They replied, Because he has overdrunk himself. So he took a brick and placed it on top of another. When they reported this to Solomon he said to them, What he meant to tell you was, Give him more to drink. On the next day he said to them, Why does the king not want to see me? They replied, Because he has over-eaten himself. He thereupon took one brick from off the other and placed it on the ground. When they reported this to Solomon, he said, He meant to tell you to keep food away from me. After three days he went in to see him. He took a reed and measured four cubits and threw it in front of him, saying, See now, when you die you will have no more than four cubits in this world. Now, however, you have subdued the whole world, yet you are not satisfied till you subdue me too. He replied: I want nothing of you. What I want is to build the Temple and I require the shamir. He said: It is not in my hands, it is in the hands of the Prince of the Sea who gives it only to the woodpecker, [lit., 'Cock of the prairie'] to whom he trusts it on oath. What does the bird do with it? — He takes it to a mountain where there is no cultivation and puts it on the edge of the rock which thereupon splits, and he then takes seeds from trees and brings them and throws them into the opening and things grow there. (This is what the Targum means by nagar tura). [lit., 'One that saws the rock': the rendering in Targum Onkelos of the Hebrew [H] generally rendered by hoopoe; Lev. XI, 19.] So they found out a woodpecker's nest with young in it, and covered it over with white glass. When the bird came it wanted to get in but could not, so it went and brought the shamir and placed it on the glass. Benaiahu thereupon gave a shout, and it dropped [the shamir] and he took it, and the bird went and committed suicide on account of its oath.

Benaiahu said to Ashmedai, Why when you saw that blind man going out of his way did you put him right? He replied: It has been proclaimed of him in heaven that he is a wholly righteous man, and that whoever does him a kindness will be worthy of the future world. And why when you saw the drunken man going out of his way did you put him right? He replied, They have proclaimed concerning him in heaven that he is wholly wicked, and I conferred a boon on him in order that he may consume [here] his share [in the future = that there may remain no share for him to enjoy in the hereafter]. Why when you saw the wedding procession did you weep? He said: The husband will die within thirty days, and she will have to wait for the brother-in-law who is still a child of thirteen years. [i.e.before he can give her halizah (v. Glos.) and enable her to marry again] Why, when you heard a man say to the shoemaker, Make me shoes to last seven years, did you laugh? He replied: That man has not seven days to live, and he wants shoes for seven years! Why when you saw that diviner divining did you laugh? He said: He was sitting on a royal treasure: he should have divined what was beneath him.

Solomon kept him with him until he had built the Temple. One day when he was alone with him, he said, it is written, He hath as it were to'afoth and re'em,6 and we explain that to'afoth means the ministering angels and re'em means the demons.7 What is your superiority over us?8 He said to him, Take the chain off me and give me your ring, and I will show you. So he took the chain off him and gave him the ring. He then swallowed him,9 and placing one wing on the earth and one on the sky he hurled him four hundred parasangs. In reference to that incident Solomon said, What profit is there to a man in all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun.10

And this was my portion from all my labour.11 What is referred to by 'this'? — Rab and Samuel gave different answers, one saying that it meant his staff and the other that it meant his apron.12 He used to go round begging, saying wherever he went, I Koheleth was king over Israel in Jerusalem.13 When he came to the Sanhedrin, the Rabbis said: Let us see, a madman does not stick to one thing only.14 What is the meaning of this? They asked Benaiahu, Does the king send for you? He replied, No. They sent to the queens saying, Does the king visit you? They sent back word, Yes, he does. They then sent to them to say, Examine his leg.15 They sent back to say, He comes in stockings, and he visits them in the time of their separation and he also calls for Bathsheba his mother. They then sent for Solomon and gave him the chain and the ring on which the Name was engraved. When he went in, Ashmedai on catching sight of him flew away, but he remained in fear of him, therefore is it written, Behold it is the litter of Solomon, threescore mighty met, are about it of the mighty men of Israel. They all handle the sword and are expert in war, every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.16

Rab and Samuel differed [about Solomon]. One said that Solomon was first a king and then a commoner,17 and the other that he was first a king and then a commoner and then a king again.
Let's recap what is being said here. The story about Solomon using demons develops out of a discussion of what the term שידה means. The answer is clearly that they are the demons associated with Solomon's building of the temple. The demons were not only captured to build the temple but also to live there. The temple was thus a 'demon house' = בית שידה although the term is never explicitly used.

The same idea is found in other very early Jewish texts including the Testament of Solomon which is usually dated from the first to third centuries.

Yet it is one thing to argue that the early Jewish tradition had this association with 'demon house' בית שידה but what of the Christian tradition? It is well established that the idea was shared by a key and very early Nag Hammadi text which I have long argued to be Marcionite. David A. Fiensy (Jesus the Galilean: soundings in a first century life) notes:
The references to demonic assistance in building Solomon's temple would seem to be from the Jewish traditions in the foundational text of the Testament of Solomon. In the first place, the same traditions are found in the Talmud.b. Gittin 68 a-b. In the second place, when this tradition surfaces in a Christian source, a Gnostic text from Nag Hammadi, it becomes a very negative characteristic of the temple. This text affirms that the temple's being built by demons makes the temple, evil and satanic. see the testimony of truth 70:4 -10 [p. 133]
And the passage in question identifies the Jewish temple as a demon house in exactly the same manner as the Jewish tradition:
They are wicked in their behavior! Some of them fall away to the worship of idols. Others have demons dwelling with them, as did David the king. He is the one who laid the foundation of Jerusalem; and his son Solomon, whom he begat in adultery, is the one who built Jerusalem by means of the demons, because he received power. When he had finished building, he imprisoned the demons in the temple. He placed them into seven waterpots. They remained a long time in the waterpots, abandoned there. When the Romans went up to Jerusalem, they discovered the waterpots, and immediately the demons ran out of the waterpots, as those who escape from prison. And the waterpots remained pure thereafter. And since those days, they dwell with men who are in ignorance, and they have remained upon the earth.

Who, then, is David? And who is Solomon? And what is the foundation? And what is the wall which surrounds Jerusalem? And who are the demons? And what are the waterpots? And who are the Romans? But these are mysteries ...
... (11 lines unrecoverable)
... victorious over [...] the Son of Man [...] undefiled ...
... (3 lines unrecoverable)
... and he [...] when he [...]. For [...] is a great ...
... (1 line unrecoverable)
... to this nature ...
Yes the text becomes fragmentary but already with what is available to us it should be obvious that Christians who undoubtedly used the Marcionite gospel would have identified the Jewish temple as 'bethsaida' because it was a demon house.

I will explain how the Marcionite narrative must have looked like in subsequent posts here but let me not one last thing. The reason why Solomon is associated with Ecclesiastes and Eccles. 2.8 in particular is because ancient people thought Solomon was its author. Note also that the context of the sentence appears in a description of the building of the temple:
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired שִׁדָּה וְשִׁדּוֹת, and a harem as well—. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. [Ecclesiastes 2:5 - 10]
According to the contemporary interpretation then Solomon is the speaker and he is making reference to enslaving demons in the pools beneath (beside?) the temple.

In other words, if we take things back to the gospel narrative, Jesus descends to Jerusalem from heaven stands inside the temple probably after an attempt to ritually immerse a lame man in a mikvah. It must have been during this original encounter in the temple that Mark chapter 14 still refers to (albeit now claiming it was all a misunderstanding or lie):
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree

Stephan Huller
Posts: 3009
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:46 am

I happened to stumble across a very significant proof to strengthen this idea. The Peshitta often knows (or seems to know) the original Hebrew/Aramaic text of the gospel. Peshitta Mark 7:30

ܘܶܐܙܰܠ݈ܬ݂ ܠܒ݂ܰܝܬ݁ܳܗ ܘܶܐܫܟ݁ܚܰܬ݂ ܒ݁ܰܪܬ݂ܳܗ ܟ݁ܰܕ݂ ܪܰܡܝܳܐ ܒ݁ܥܰܪܣܳܐ ܘܢܰܦ݁ܺܝܩ ܡܶܢܳܗ ܫܺܐܕ݂ܳܗ

So she went to her house, and found her daughter lying in bed, and the demon (shida = ܫܐܕܐ) gone out of her
Last edited by Stephan Huller on Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stephan Huller
Posts: 3009
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:49 am

And then some of the other verses that use shidah for demon

Peshitta verses that contains ܫܐܕܐ

Matthew 7:22 - ܣܓܝܐܐ ܢܐܡܪܘܢ ܠܝ ܒܗܘ ܝܘܡܐ ܡܪܝ ܡܪܝ ܠܐ ܒܫܡܟ ܐܬܢܒܝܢ ܘܒܫܡܟ ܫܐܕܐ ܐܦܩܢ ܘܒܫܡܟ ܚܝܠܐ ܣܓܝܐܐ ܥܒܕܢ ܀ (analyze)

A great many will say to me in that day, My Lord, my Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out devils, and in your name do many wonders?

Matthew 8:31 - ܗܢܘܢ ܕܝܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܒܥܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܡܢܗ ܘܐܡܪܝܢ ܐܢ ܡܦܩ ܐܢܬ ܠܢ ܐܦܣ ܠܢ ܕܢܐܙܠ ܠܒܩܪܐ ܕܚܙܝܪܐ ܀ (analyze)

And the lunatics kept asking him, saying, If you are going to heal us, permit us to attack the herd of swine.

Matthew 12:24 - ܦܪܝܫܐ ܕܝܢ ܟܕ ܫܡܥܘ ܐܡܪܝܢ ܗܢܐ ܠܐ ܡܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܐܠܐ ܒܒܥܠܙܒܘܒ ܪܫܐ ܕܕܝܘܐ ܀ (analyze)

But when the Pharisees heard of it, they said, This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.

Matthew 15:22 - ܘܗܐ ܐܢܬܬܐ ܟܢܥܢܝܬܐ ܡܢ ܬܚܘܡܐ ܗܢܘܢ ܢܦܩܬ ܟܕ ܩܥܝܐ ܘܐܡܪܐ ܐܬܪܚܡ ܥܠܝ ܡܪܝ ܒܪܗ ܕܕܘܝܕ ܒܪܬܝ ܒܝܫܐܝܬ ܡܬܕܒܪܐ ܡܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܀ (analyze)

And behold, a Canaanite woman from these borders, came out crying aloud, and saying, Have mercy on me, O my Lord, son of David; my daughter is seriously afflicted with insanity.

Matthew 17:18 - ܘܟܐܐ ܒܗ ܝܫܘܥ ܘܢܦܩ ܡܢܗ ܫܐܕܐ ܘܐܬܐܣܝ ܛܠܝܐ ܡܢ ܗܝ ܫܥܬܐ ܀ (analyze)

And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon went out of him; and the boy was healed from that very hour.

Mark 1:39 - ܘܡܟܪܙ ܗܘܐ ܒܟܠܗܝܢ ܟܢܘܫܬܗܘܢ ܒܟܠܗ ܓܠܝܠܐ ܘܡܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 5:12 - ܘܒܥܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܡܢܗ ܗܢܘܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܘܐܡܪܝܢ ܫܕܪܝܢ ܥܠ ܗܢܘܢ ܚܙܝܪܐ ܕܒܗܘܢ ܢܥܘܠ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 7:26 - ܗܝ ܕܝܢ ܐܢܬܬܐ ܐܝܬܝܗ ܗܘܬ ܚܢܦܬܐ ܡܢ ܦܘܢܝܩܐ ܕܣܘܪܝܐ ܘܒܥܝܐ ܗܘܬ ܡܢܗ ܕܢܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܢ ܒܪܬܗ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 7:29 - ܐܡܪ ܠܗ ܝܫܘܥ ܙܠܝ ܡܛܠ ܗܕܐ ܡܠܬܐ ܢܦܩ ܠܗ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܢ ܒܪܬܟܝ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 9:26 - ܘܩܥܐ ܫܐܕܐ ܗܘ ܣܓܝ ܘܫܚܩܗ ܘܢܦܩ ܘܗܘܐ ܐܝܟ ܡܝܬܐ ܐܝܟ ܕܣܓܝܐܐ ܢܐܡܪܘܢ ܕܡܝܬ ܠܗ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 9:38 - ܐܡܪ ܠܗ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܪܒܝ ܚܙܝܢ ܐܢܫ ܕܡܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܒܫܡܟ ܘܟܠܝܢܝܗܝ ܥܠ ܕܠܐ ܢܩܦ ܠܢ ܀ (analyze)

Mark 16:17 - ܐܬܘܬܐ ܕܝܢ ܠܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܡܗܝܡܢܝܢ ܗܠܝܢ ܢܩܦܢ ܒܫܡܝ ܫܐܕܐ ܢܦܩܘܢ ܘܒܠܫܢܐ ܚܕܬܐ ܢܡܠܠܘܢ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 4:35 - ܘܟܐܐ ܒܗ ܝܫܘܥ ܘܐܡܪ ܣܟܘܪ ܦܘܡܟ ܘܦܘܩ ܡܢܗ ܘܫܕܝܗܝ ܫܐܕܐ ܒܡܨܥܬܐ ܘܢܦܩ ܡܢܗ ܟܕ ܠܐ ܣܪܚ ܒܗ ܡܕܡ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 4:41 - ܘܢܦܩܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܐܦ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܢ ܣܓܝܐܐ ܟܕ ܡܙܥܩܝܢ ܘܐܡܪܝܢ ܕܐܢܬ ܗܘ ܡܫܝܚܐ ܒܪܗ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܘܟܐܐ ܗܘܐ ܒܗܘܢ ܘܠܐ ܫܒܩ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܕܢܐܡܪܘܢ ܕܝܕܥܝܢ ܕܗܘܝܘ ܡܫܝܚܐ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 7:33 - ܐܬܐ ܓܝܪ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܡܥܡܕܢܐ ܠܐ ܐܟܠ ܠܚܡܐ ܘܠܐ ܫܬܐ ܚܡܪܐ ܘܐܡܪܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܐܝܬ ܒܗ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 8:29 - ܦܩܕ ܗܘܐ ܠܗ ܓܝܪ ܝܫܘܥ ܠܪܘܚܐ ܛܢܦܐ ܠܡܦܩ ܡܢ ܒܪܢܫܐ ܣܓܝ ܗܘܐ ܠܗ ܓܝܪ ܙܒܢܐ ܗܐ ܡܢ ܕܫܒܐ ܗܘܐ ܠܗ ܘܡܬܐܣܪ ܗܘܐ ܒܫܫܠܬܐ ܘܒܟܒܠܐ ܡܬܢܛܪ ܗܘܐ ܘܡܦܣܩ ܗܘܐ ܐܣܘܪܘܗܝ ܘܡܬܕܒܪ ܗܘܐ ܡܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܠܚܘܪܒܐ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 8:33 - ܘܢܦܩܘ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܢ ܓܒܪܐ ܘܥܠܘ ܒܚܙܝܪܐ ܘܬܪܨܬ ܒܩܪܐ ܗܝ ܟܠܗ ܠܫܩܝܦܐ ܘܢܦܠܘ ܒܝܡܬܐ ܘܐܬܚܢܩܘ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 8:38 - ܗܘ ܕܝܢ ܓܒܪܐ ܕܢܦܩܘ ܡܢܗ ܫܐܕܐ ܒܥܐ ܗܘܐ ܡܢܗ ܕܠܘܬܗ ܢܗܘܐ ܘܫܪܝܗܝ ܝܫܘܥ ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 9:1 - ܘܩܪܐ ܝܫܘܥ ܠܬܪܥܣܪܬܗ ܘܝܗܒ ܠܗܘܢ ܚܝܠܐ ܘܫܘܠܛܢܐ ܥܠ ܟܠܗܘܢ ܫܐܕܐ ܘܟܘܪܗܢܐ ܠܡܐܣܝܘ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 9:49 - ܘܥܢܐ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܘܐܡܪ ܪܒܢ ܚܙܝܢ ܐܢܫ ܕܡܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܒܫܡܟ ܘܟܠܝܢܝܗܝ ܥܠ ܕܠܐ ܐܬܐ ܥܡܢ ܒܬܪܟ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 10:17 - ܘܗܦܟܘ ܗܢܘܢ ܫܒܥܝܢ ܕܫܕܪ ܒܚܕܘܬܐ ܪܒܬܐ ܘܐܡܪܝܢ ܠܗ ܡܪܢ ܐܦ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܫܬܥܒܕܝܢ ܠܢ ܒܫܡܟ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 11:14 - ܘܟܕ ܡܦܩ ܫܐܕܐ ܕܐܝܬܘܗܝ ܚܪܫܐ ܗܘܐ ܕܟܕ ܢܦܩ ܗܘ ܫܐܕܐ ܡܠܠ ܗܘ ܚܪܫܐ ܘܐܬܕܡܪܘ ܟܢܫܐ ܀ (analyze)

Luke 13:32 - ܐܡܪ ܠܗܘܢ ܝܫܘܥ ܙܠܘ ܐܡܪܘ ܠܬܥܠܐ ܗܢܐ ܕܗܐ ܡܦܩ ܐܢܐ ܫܐܕܐ ܘܐܣܘܬܐ ܥܒܕ ܐܢܐ ܝܘܡܢܐ ܘܡܚܪ ܘܠܝܘܡܐ ܕܬܠܬܐ ܡܫܬܡܠܐ ܐܢܐ
Last edited by Stephan Huller on Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stephan Huller
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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:57 am

It stands to reason then that if the gospel clearly manifests itself (in its native tongue) as Jesus the god man's war against the shidoth, that their central congregational 'home' was called Bethshida.

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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:04 pm

Some more on the prevalence of the sheda concept in Judaism. "A young demon, Bar Sheda was the familiar to Rab Papa he was the founder of the school at Neresch, near Sura in Babylonia, who died 375 CE." 'Chulin 105b] Apparently some have argued there is some relation with Shaddai

Midrash Tanhuma Genesis:

Another interpretation (of Gen. 2:3):


WHICH HE CREATED "and made" is not written, but TO MAKE, because the Sabbath preceded the completion of the work. R. Bannaya said:43 These are the demons (mazziqin), whose souls he had created. While he was creating their bodies, the Sabbath commenced. So he left them alone and they survive to the present as spirit with no body. They are fruitful and multiply like humans, and they die like humans. So, when one comes upon a female demon (shedah), he will have demon (shedin) children. Now, from whom did you learn <this fact>? From the first Adam,44 who had children from spirits. Should anyone come upon <such a spirit >, there is nothing against him, because they seem to one like a nocturnal pollution.

So he left them alone and they survive to the present as spirit with no body. They are fruitful and multiply like humans, and they die like humans. So, when one comes upon a female demon (shedah), he will have demon (shedin) children. Now

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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:13 pm

Gen 2:3 וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ: כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת

It does say "to make" not "made" so apparently there is justification for the heretical (Christian) idea that Jesus came to complete the original creation (which was imperfect). The idea also appears in Marqe. I never noticed this before. It would make sense then if Jesus came back on a Sabbath and 'healed' the originally imperfect creation. FWIW I am leaning back toward the idea that Jesus was simply the Logos who repented by means of his own self-immolation for the original flawed creation. Hard to prove though. The Jews then were accused of venerating demons in the temple, something acknowledged even in Jewish sources (curiously).

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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:22 pm

And then when you go back to the story of the 'water pools' at Bethsaida (or variants) you find all the elements of the Solomon story i.e. demons, water pools, Jerusalem etc. Notice also that the healing narrative identified by the Marcionite gospel as preceding the "Lord of the Sabbath" reference also appears here (along with the theme of baptism). I strongly suspect the man here is John who was lame and went to get baptized in order to heal himself (unsuccessfully). Jesus then demonstrates his 'power' and 'authority' by curing the man:
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethsaida and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Borgen notes:

An alternative hypothesis is suggested by Lindars (The Gospel of John, New Century Bible, Oliphants, London, 1972 p. 209). According to him, the verbal similarities between John 5:8-9a and Mark 2:9, 11-12a are so close that it can scarcely be doubted that an almost identical source lies behind them both.

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The Authority of the Son

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:27 pm

And then to bring the argument full circle Jacob of Serug is well recognized to preserve a 'harmonized' gospel where the healing of the paralytic at Capernaum is fused together with John 5's story of the healing of said paralytic at Bethsaida:
Burkitt however suggests that the 'scrupulous ingenuity of the Arabic Text is not primitive' and endorses the opinion of Connolly that the original Harmony combined the Gospels rather loosely, throwing together the different stories and handling freely the Evangelical matter. He suggests that the agreement of F and L bears witness to a pre-Syriac form of the Harmony (p. 116). He even suggests that the Latin Harmony was a pre-Tatianic form, 'a Latin epitome for Latin Christianity', which was not translated by Tatian into Syriac, but used by him as a kind of model for a 'second edition', changed and improved, in Syriac. The second part of this hypothesis, the priority of the Latin Harmony to the Syriac, must be left for another chapter, but the former part deserves careful attention now. If it should prove to be right, all investigations into the relation of the Latin and Syriac Diatessaron would practically be void and useless.

On the combination in Fuld., p. 138 f. and L Chapter 208 (Bergsma p. 227, 229) of John xii, Mt. xxvi and Lk. vii. 36 ff. we shall say a few words presently. The theory of Tatian's method as a rather free combination of the Gospels starts from Dom Connolly's suggestions in the above mentioned article. Dom Connolly remarks that in EPHREM'S Commentary on the Story of the infirm man at the pool of Bethesda (John v; Moesinger, pp. 143 145) two points attract attention:

i. that Ephrem's copy of the Diatessaron contained the verse which tells of the moving of the water by an angel, and
2. that in quoting our Lord's words to the infirm man EPHREM seems to confuse them with those addressed to the paralytic at Capernaum (Mt. ix. 6; Mk. ii. II; Lk. v. n).

He cites the words thus (Moesinger, p. 146):

1 'Surge, tolle grabbatum tuum et vade' ; 'ta in pedibus, sume grabbatum tuum, et vade in do mum tuam' ; 'Is qui me sanavit, (ille) dixit mihi: Surge tolle lectum tuum et vade\

Dom Connolly adds that the Curetonian Syriac John v. 8 has a similar reading :

'Arise, take up thy bed and walk and go to thy house'.

He quotes further JACOB OF SERUG (f 521) who sometimes made use of Tatian's Harmony, and who in a Homily 'on that Paralytic of thirty eight years whom our Lord healed 1 seems to identify the healing of the paralytic at Capernaum with that of the infirm man at Bethesda and says that 'there can be no reasonable doubt that he did so on authority of the Diatessaron'.

With regard to the readings on which the opinion is based, we shall presently say a few words. But we observe first that in EPHREM'S Commentary the two stories are clearly separated. The story of the paralytic man is quoted by EPHREM, Moesinger, p. 59, the narrative of John is far away in p. 145 147. Not only so, but they are in the very same place and surroundings as in the Arabic Diatessaron :

EPHR. Arab.

John iii. 22 p. 58 vi. 5

Calling of Mathew (James) p. 58 vi. 46

Lk. v. 5 p. 59 v. 54
Mt. ix. i 1 3 (the paralytic) p. 59 61 vii. n 24
Mt. ii. 19 (Lk. v. 34, Sons of the Bridechamber) p. 61 vii. 32
Mt. xii. i 8 (Disciples in the cornfields) p. 61 vii. 37 45

There cannot be any doubt that EPHREM had the story of the paralytic in this place and separate from the story of Bethesda. In F and L the story of the Paralytic is placed later (F Ch. 55, L Ch. 68) than in the Arabic Harmony and in EPHREM (cf. Burkitt, /. /., p. 115) but in the same surroundings ('Sons of the bridechamber', Disciples in the cornfields). But still it is clearly distinguished from the story at Bethesda, which is found in F Ch. 89, L Ch. 116. In EPHREM it is p. 145 ff., Taar xxii. 9 24, and with the exception of the Cleansing of the Leper, here also the surroundings are the same as in the Arabic and in EPHREM. Accordingly, besides the homily of JACOB OF SERUG, there is no sign whatever, that the two stories were ever combined in the Tatianic Diatessaron.

Now, it would not become me to say anything evil of sermons, having been a preacher for a good while myself. But it would not be astonishing at all to find a preacher using features from an other Gospel-story to illustrate the passage on which he is speaking. At all events the reading, to which Dom Connolly refers deserves our attention. Perhaps it will be the most convenient way to print the text of L , noting the variants which seem important and to collate them with the other available Tatianic or Tatianizing texts of the passage. [A Further Study of the Liege Diatessaron p 18 - 21]

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Re: Bethsaida the 'Demon House'

Post by Stephan Huller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:43 pm

Chrysostom Homilies on John 37:1 "Some are of the opinion that this is the same incident that Matthew records of the one who was “lying on a bed.”19 But he is not since . . . . that paralytic man had many to wait upon and carry him, whereas this man had not a single one."

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