Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

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Giuseppe
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Giuseppe »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 4:12 am
That's cheating :D
holy words. The so-called 'midrashical' school is totally affected by that kind of errors.

And yet I am expecting what you know about the titulus crucis in Mark, interpreted "in modality midrash".
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

Giuseppe wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 9:17 amAnd yet I am expecting what you know about the titulus crucis in Mark, interpreted "in modality midrash".
I don't think I have an answer to your question that would satisfy both you and me. Maybe another idea will come along. Nevertheless, I'll try to say a few words about this inscription, which I find increasingly interesting.

1.
First of all, as I said, it is not clear from Mark 15:26 what kind of inscription this is. It could be an inscription placed above Jesus' head like in the other gospels, it could be a board next to the cross, it could even be words that someone wrote on Jesus' body. It's just an inscription. If we were speaking in the context of a book, it would be the title of the work (it also sounds a bit like the title "Kings" of the Books of Kings in the LXX).

It is also unclear in GMark who wrote the inscription and put it up or hung it up. The inscription is just there. Mark writes this explicitly: "And it was the inscription ..." Note the definite article.

The further description of the inscription is also not clear. Most translations use the term "inscription of the charge" or "inscription of the accusation", but the Greek word αἰτία can also simply mean "cause" and was prominently used in this sense by Aristotle. It doesn't necessarily mean anything negative either. An inscription commemorating an elevation to a Roman emperor could be expressed in exactly the same words.

So there is a mysterious inscription in GMark that seems to come out of nowhere and it reveals: King of the Judeans.

2.
imho in the context of GMark, this inscription is initially just another assertion about who Jesus was, and it fits in with all the opinions that any of the characters in GMark once expressed about Jesus. Nevertheless, this inscription has a different quality than the many claims about Jesus. It has a revelatory character and, as a written revelation, claims a higher authority.

The equivalent to this inscription in GMark may be therefore the voice from heaven at the transfiguration and the titulus seems to compete with this voice. I surmise that Matthew saw it similarly and therefore paralleled the wording of both statements more closely.

GMatthew 17:5 GMatthew 27:37
While yet he was speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud saying, “This is My Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” And they put up over His head the written accusation against Him: „This is Jesus. The king of the Judeans“


3.
So as a new claim about Jesus' identity unfolds in GMark 15, Mark alludes several times to Psalm 22 (LXX 21), a psalm of King David, in the verses that frame Mark 15:26.

Mark 15:24 And having crucified Him, they also divided His garments, casting lots for them, who should take what. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And there was the inscription of the accusation against Him, having been written: The king of the Judeans. 27 And with Him they crucify two robbers, one at the right hand, and one at His left. 29 And those passing by were railing at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! The One destroying the temple and building it in three days, 30 save Yourself, having descended from the cross!” 31 Likewise also the chief priests, with the scribes, mocking among one another, were saying, “He saved others; He is not able to save Himself. 32 The Christ, the King of Israel, let Him descend now from the cross, that we might see and believe!” And those being crucified with Him were upbraiding Him. 33 And the sixth hour having arrived, darkness came over the whole land, until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

imho the allusion to psalm 22 is not a fulfillment of scriptures, it's not a prophecy. Rather, it could mean that Jesus undergoes the experience of King David and is in some way David.

I found it a little amusing that Bermejo-Rubio claimed that „the association of the royal title with the cross lacks biblical precedent“. Not that it would be wrong. But there is simply no reference at all to a crucifixion in the Hebrew Bible.

Given this absence, Psalm 22 as a psalm of King David may be a really good reference.

While the voice from heaven is absent during the crucifixion, Psalm 22 seems to be the authoritative text against the Roman inscription in GMark.
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:38 amMaybe another idea will come along.
Btw :D there is on the narrative level of GMark probably no better candidate for the "abomination of the desolation" than this inscription

Mark 13:14 And when you see the abomination of the desolation, (he) standing where it should not (the one reading, let him understand)

It has always been a great mystery to Marcan scholarship how it can be an idol and a male person at the same time and what a reader have to do with it.
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 6:10 am In order to understand what Bermejo-Rubio thinks about the title of the cross, I google-translated (see below) a section of a Spanish essay by him: La pretensión regia de Jesús el Galileo. Sobre la historicidad de un motivo en los relatos evangélicos PDF (The Royal Claim of Jesus the Galilean. On the Historicity of a Motif in the Gospel Narratives).
There are some interesting comments in the introduction to Bermejo-Rubio's essay, which I would also like to quote in the Google translation
1. Introduction: the problem and its relevance

The process of dehistoricization of the figure of the Galilean preacher Jesus/Yeshua ben Yosef, who lived in Galilee and Judea in the times of Augustus and Tiberius, in the Christian tradition, is a fact evident enough to need to be emphasized.

Likewise, the limitations that the canonical gospels present as sources for reconstructing events that occurred in the first third of the first century are well known. They are tendentious propaganda texts designed to praise that figure, written at a considerable chronological, geographical and linguistic distance from her, and in which not only the legendary and the marvelous but also anachronisms often break in. If this makes any attempt to use the gospels as a source of data a risky undertaking, it is necessary to realize that the use of mythical and hagiographic elements in ancient sources does not imply that their entire content has been sucked into myth.

This explains why even from biased works, examined with patience and critical caution—also in the light of testimonies extracted from other documentary and archaeological sources—it is often possible to discern certain information with historical value. A nuanced position, therefore, has greater signs of trustworthiness than the excesses of both fideism and extreme skepticism; of course, in the waters of history it is possible to navigate, avoiding at the same time the Scylla of credulity and the Charybdis of hypercriticism.

One of the questions that must be elucidated to obtain a minimally adequate idea about the figure of Jesus is whether the title "King of the Jews", applied to him in the passion stories, was actually claimed by him. This issue could be crucial due to its relevance in determining the attitude of the Galilean towards Roman domination of the land of Israel. However - or perhaps precisely because of this - there are antagonistic responses: while a minority of scholars assumes the existence of a royal pretension to the point of reflecting it in the titles of their works, the vast majority denies, often in the most emphatic way, that Jesus proclaimed himself king or that such proclamation had its immediate political meaning. The latter helps to explain the paradox that, although the titulus crucis - through the acronym of its Latin formulation, INRI - is one of the best-known details of the passion stories at a popular level, the notion that Jesus harbored a Royal pretension will sound strange to many.

The existence of a quaestio disputata prompts us to address it again, especially given that positions are too often assumed without sufficient analysis. In these circumstances, the objective of this article is, after a brief examination of the political context, to identify and analyze the various traces that in the gospels point to the royal ambition of the Galilean preacher in order to ponder his historicity.
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Giuseppe »

I like the following marcionite interpretation of the titulus in Mark made by one who doesn't support directly the Marcionite priority:
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:45 am (a) “The King of the Jews”

A repeat of the charge that Jesus doesn't affirm in Mark 15:2 ("You have said so") and for which he is mocked in Mark 15:18. The charge becomes farcical when affixed to the cross of a man being crucified.
Hence this idea of reductio ad farsam seems to reflect enough well the original marcionite irony of the titulus: there is a perfect equivalence in degree, between the charge (by the servants of the demiurge) becoming farcical, and the death itself becoming merely apparent (by being limited to the "body" alone).

But then I have read again the Couchoud's commentary of *Ev and I have found that the French mythicist didn't include at all the titulus as original in *Ev: this persuades me definitely that there is no hope to dissociate the titulus from the anti-marcionite polemic.

In reward, I read that the two thieves are found there because the Christian martyrs (allegorized by Jesus) were often placed between mere criminals:

A witness of our doctrine was brought into the midst and endured the contest for the true and only religion. This was Agapius, who, as we have stated a little above, was, with Thecla, the second to be thrown to the wild beasts for food. He had also, three times and more, marched with malefactors from the prison to the arena;


4. He was taken into the midst of the arena with a certain malefactor who they said was charged with the murder of his master.

5. But this murderer of his master, when he had been cast to the wild beasts, was deemed worthy of compassion and humanity, almost like Barabbas in the time of our Saviour.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2505.htm

The Bermejo-Rubio's emphasis on the two thieves as evidence of true sediction of Jews in the first century becomes evidence of the accusation of presumed sediction addressed against the Christians of the second century.

Bermejo-Rubio may reply that the presence of the two thieves with the presence of the titulus makes his case stronger. But I doubt that the titulus was in the Mark's source. At any case, I would be without arguments under the assumption of the Markan priority.

When I have asked to BR what he thinks about the Marcionite priority, he has answered so:

Al suo gentile e ragionato messaggio vorrei rispondere brevemente. Anche se le tesi di Vinzent, Klinghardt, ecc. mi sembrano davvero interessanti, almeno finora non mi sembrano convincenti. Sono delle tesi "forti" che avrebbero bisogno di fondamenti molto solidi... e non li vedo. Secondo me (ed altri che hanno esaminato le tesi menzionate), la priorità di Marco rimane la più probabile. E allora, l'ipotesi storica e psicologicamente contestualmente plausibile e sopratutto più semplice -e quindi la più degna di considerazione in un approccio scientifico (nella misura, naturalmente, in cui la storia è "scienza"...), è ancora quella di un Gesù entusiasta religioso, sì, ma coinvolto nella resistenza antiromana, una realtà storica che ha voluto essere cancellata per interessi ideologici ma che ha lasciato tracce in diversi modi nella tradizione. In paragone con questa ipotesi, la possibilità che questo pattern di indizi sediziosi sia "un espediente letterario" (di Marcione o di qualsiasi altro) mi sembra estremamente improbabile.

Siccome il punto di partenza della sua riflessione è il criterio di imbarazzo, allego un mio articolo recente sull'argomento, nel quale ci rifletto ulteriormente e menziono criticamente anche il Proving History di Carrier.

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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 7:13 am When I have asked to BR what he thinks about the Marcionite priority, he has answered so:

Al suo gentile e ragionato messaggio vorrei rispondere brevemente. Anche se le tesi di Vinzent, Klinghardt, ecc. mi sembrano davvero interessanti, almeno finora non mi sembrano convincenti. Sono delle tesi "forti" che avrebbero bisogno di fondamenti molto solidi... e non li vedo. Secondo me (ed altri che hanno esaminato le tesi menzionate), la priorità di Marco rimane la più probabile. E allora, l'ipotesi storica e psicologicamente contestualmente plausibile e sopratutto più semplice -e quindi la più degna di considerazione in un approccio scientifico (nella misura, naturalmente, in cui la storia è "scienza"...), è ancora quella di un Gesù entusiasta religioso, sì, ma coinvolto nella resistenza antiromana, una realtà storica che ha voluto essere cancellata per interessi ideologici ma che ha lasciato tracce in diversi modi nella tradizione. In paragone con questa ipotesi, la possibilità che questo pattern di indizi sediziosi sia "un espediente letterario" (di Marcione o di qualsiasi altro) mi sembra estremamente improbabile.

Siccome il punto di partenza della sua riflessione è il criterio di imbarazzo, allego un mio articolo recente sull'argomento, nel quale ci rifletto ulteriormente e menziono criticamente anche il Proving History di Carrier.

Thanks. Are you actually disappointed when you receive friendly rejections regarding Marcionite priority from such scholars?

What current article did he enclose? Bermejo-Rubio wrote to Giuseppe:
And so, the historical and psychologically contextually plausible and above all simplest hypothesis ... is still that of an enthusiastic religious Jesus, but involved in the anti-Roman resistance, a historical reality that wanted to be canceled for ideological interests but which left traces in different ways in tradition. Compared with this hypothesis, the possibility that this pattern of seditious clues is "a literary device" ... seems extremely unlikely to me.

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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Giuseppe »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:27 am Thanks. Are you actually disappointed when you receive friendly rejections regarding Marcionite priority from such scholars?
you see blindly 'friendly rejections' where I may see 'hypocritical rejections'. The curious thing is that Vinzent in his recent book (Christ's Torah) says that there is a tradition of violence in *Ev but it is explained by the (historical) tradition collected by Marcion. And BR says in the recent book (I go to memory) that the violence is found in the gospels (or "in their sources").
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:27 am What current article did he enclose?
The article he sent to me with that e-mail (2017) is this.
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Last Son of Man Standing

Post by JoeWallack »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNIZofPB8ZM
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:42 am
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:38 amMaybe another idea will come along.
Btw :D there is on the narrative level of GMark probably no better candidate for the "abomination of the desolation" than this inscription

Mark 13:14 And when you see the abomination of the desolation, (he) standing where it should not (the one reading, let him understand)

It has always been a great mystery to Marcan scholarship how it can be an idol and a male person at the same time and what a reader have to do with it.
JW:
Oh God, oh God, you are so close KK. As a gentleman I have to let you finish first. "Mark" obviously parallels Jesus and The Temple. The Roman soldier will be standing where the Temple used to stand. Who was standing where Jesus used to stand?


Joseph
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Re: Bermejo-Rubio and the Titulus Crucis ("King of the Jews")

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

.
It seems to me that one of the key points for the pros and cons of the rebellious Jesus theory is precisely the issue between Bermejo-Rubio and Carrier.

Bermejo-Rubio Carrier
According to the so-called difficulty criterion, information transmitted by an author whose editorial tendencies are questioned and even contradicted by it has many signs of being credible. The underlying logic is that no one would include in their speech data that harms their own interests unless they have powerful reasons to do so, and a very powerful one is precisely the reliability of information and its massive presence in tradition, which often means that cannot be denied. The case of the royal claim of Jesus and the integral nature of the expected kingdom fits the criterion perfectly; In fact, given the processes of dematerialization, de-Judaization and depoliticization of the figure of Jesus that occurred in the tradition, it is implausible that these notions have been pure creations of the evangelists. Bermejo-Rubio’s theory requires the authors of the Gospels to have behaved extraordinarily strangely for ancient authors; and since that is not likely, then neither is his theory. Authors do not (and in antiquity never did) include material they could omit and didn’t want. Yet Bermejo-Rubio requires them to have needlessly kept material against their agenda. And that is simply not credible. Bermejo-Rubio “epicycles” his way around this by proposing that the Gospel authors “editorially modified” all this supposedly self-defeating material to suit their agenda; but in none of his examples do they actually do that, nor does that explain why they bothered. Why include material undermining your agenda at all? There was no force requiring them to include things they didn’t have to include, yet at the same time leaving them the liberty to change it. That is a self-contradictory proposition.

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Is It True That When You Say Noah You Really Mean Yeshua?

Post by JoeWallack »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 2:55 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 7:16 am Now, the Bermejo-Rubio's argument is the following:
  • 1) there is not a midrashical source for the titulus crucis
  • 2) there is not a theological cause behind the titulus crucis
  • 3) this fact makes the previous cases (where the expression 'king of the Jews' occurs) rise from the tomb where the reductio ad midrash had thrown them, by making them a pattern of 'seditious clues'
  • 4) therefore: Jesus existed and was a rebel.
Hence, my question for you, Kunigunde, is if you know, based on the your many readings about Mark, a possible midrashical or theological reason that goes to confute the point (1) and/or the point (2).
This sounds more like an argument you would make if you were Bermejo-Rubio ;) I'll take a look at it tomorrow.

In the meantime, let's take a look at GJohn's version as an appetizer.

19:19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth (NAZŌRAIOS), the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

Can we really believe that this is entirely or at least partially historical truth? It is obvious that GJohn claims that Pilate himself wrote the inscription and, first of all, in Hebrew. Is it historically plausible that Pilate would have known and referred to Jesus as "Jesus the Nazorean" and then as "King of the Jews"?

Do we rather have the impression that this "fact" contradicts GJohn's agenda and that he has reluctantly said a few words about the "shameful" historical truth? Or do we have the impression that the theological muse kissed John and he wrote a lively story quite imaginatively?
JW:
“Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather,". In general, this is what GJohn is, what "Mark" should have written. Specifically above, it's kind of easy to picture what Patristics thought early should have been written, "king of the Jews", and this commentary found The Way into the text.


Joseph
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