"The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by DCHindley »

mlinssen wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:44 pm LOL.
Quite some jumping through hoops there!

Can't have Mary get a special position of course, being the Virgin - just sit there and be pretty, and be meek.
They surely were not only hateful men, but rather ungrateful bastards really

Interesting to see that it was likely (advocated?) that she became a priestess

Joseph being already dead as an explanation for his absence in the "mother and brothers standing outside" scene; he is very absent indeed in the entire gospel, isn't he? Never noticed that
I recall that Hugh Schonfield (I think) had once tried to think up scenarios to explain the lack of mention of his human "father." Based on likely dates for Joseph the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus in the history relayed by Josephus, he thinks that he might have died during the civil war between Antigonus (as both HP & King) & Herod (as king) with Hyrcanus II (as HP). The civil war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II had already involved armies of tens of thousands of private soldiers from the masses of the Judean people, and I don't see why that would not have continued into the period of Herod & Hyrcanus II.

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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by mlinssen »

DCHindley wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:34 pm I recall that Hugh Schonfield (I think) had once tried to think up scenarios to explain the lack of mention of his human "father." Based on likely dates for Joseph the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus in the history relayed by Josephus, he thinks that he might have died during the civil war between Antigonus (as both HP & King) & Herod (as king) with Hyrcanus II (as HP). The civil war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II had already involved armies of tens of thousands of private soldiers from the masses of the Judean people, and I don't see why that would not have continued into the period of Herod & Hyrcanus II.

DCH
I have decided to ignore all of Josephus until further notice

There wouldn't be any need for a father, of course - when you're making up a birth narrative aimed at a virgin conception.
I think the entire reason for the absence of Joseph was the fact that he not only did not play a role, but was never there in the first place. There is no Joseph whatsoever in Mark. Nor more mention of Mary the mother of Jesus than only once in Mark 6:3
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by DCHindley »

m,

You may be right there. The legends about Mary's "virginity" at the point of conception of Jesus, which became popular in the mid 2nd century CE evidenced by Irenaeus & the letters of Ignatius, were defensive rationalizations. On whether Jesus was a bastard child or not I am not willing to offer any opinion, there is not enough in formation available to say one way or another.

I will say that there must have been enough pushback from Jews or pagans about the actual identity of his physical father, (so whatever the original backstory was, such as "Joseph was just a nice guy who wanted to help a girl in trouble, and he married Mary despite the scandal associated with Jesus' true parentage,") to prompt the need to construct the virgin Mary myth.

The other weird issue is whether Jesus was the leader of a religio-political party (his "brothers"). Perhaps he was conceived of a kind of royal and Jacob the Just would be his high priest. If Jesus claimed, or was considered to have some sort of royal ancestry, I'd like to think it was Davidic, but virtually every Judean had some of David's DNA by the 1st century CE.

Africanus records supposed facts about Jesus' family relations that seem the describe the intense rivalry between Herod and the followers of Aristobulus II and his sons Alexander and Antigonus Matthias. He even says that they charged Herod (the Great) with burning key birth records to cover up the fact that Herod was not of freeborn extraction. Of course there is no mention of this burning of records in other sources, but political lies for religious posturing goes back well before the 2020 U.S. election. :eek:
mlinssen wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:14 am
DCHindley wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:34 pm I recall that Hugh Schonfield (I think) had once tried to think up scenarios to explain the lack of mention of his human "father." Based on likely dates for Joseph the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus in the history relayed by Josephus, he thinks that he might have died during the civil war between Antigonus (as both HP & King) & Herod (as king) with Hyrcanus II (as HP). The civil war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II had already involved armies of tens of thousands of private soldiers from the masses of the Judean people, and I don't see why that would not have continued into the period of Herod & Hyrcanus II.

DCH
I have decided to ignore all of Josephus until further notice

There wouldn't be any need for a father, of course - when you're making up a birth narrative aimed at a virgin conception.
I think the entire reason for the absence of Joseph was the fact that he not only did not play a role, but was never there in the first place. There is no Joseph whatsoever in Mark. Nor more mention of Mary the mother of Jesus than only once in Mark 6:3
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by gryan »

mlinssen wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:44 pm
Can't have Mary get a special position of course, being the Virgin - just sit there and be pretty, and be meek.
They surely were not only hateful men, but rather ungrateful bastards really

Interesting to see that it was likely (advocated?) that she became a priestess
Yes, I see what you mean here:

" (2) ...he formed himself from a virgin as though from earth — God
come from heaven, the Word who had assumed flesh from a holy Virgin.
But certainly not from a virgin who is worshiped, or to make her God,
or to have us make offerings in her name, or, again, to make women
priestesses after so many generations. (3) It was not God’s pleasure that
this be done with Salome, or with Mary herself. He did not permit her
to administer baptism or bless disciples, or tell her to rule on earth, but
only to be a sacred shrine and be deemed worthy of his kingdom."

------------

It is a lot of hoops. What strikes me is that Epiphanius read many of the same texts that I read, but draws a different conclusion. Why the different conclusion? He was committed to the idea that Mary never had ordinary sex. In my opinion that makes him unable to understand Gal/Mk on "James, the Lord's brother". Jerome likewise was unable to interpret Gal/Mk, and for the same reason.

Meier in his book 1 of A Marginal Jew (which I'm currently consulting) rereads Mk/Gal on the topic of the mother and brothers of Jesus in an effort to understand the historical family of Jesus. His version of historical Jesus does not allow for a literal virgin birth, and he finds that Mary and James and Joses of Mk 6:3 are the "true" mother and brothers of Jesus. I agree with him thus far. However, Meier goes on reject the notion that Mary the mother of James the less of Mk 15:40 refers to the same mother and brother of Jesus as Mk 6:3. I have studied Meier's objections in detail, and none dissuade me from interpreting Mary and Joses of Mk 6:3, 15;40 and 16:1 as the same people; thus also, I interpret "the lesser James" as the natural son of the Mary of whom it was asked, "Is this [Jesus] not the son of Mary?"

Furthermore, inter-textually, I am persuaded that "the lesser James" of Mk was supposed to be understood by Mk's first readers as the natural "brother" of the of the risen/revealed "Lord" of Gal. It seems reasonable to me that the author of Mk was familiar with Gal in its canonical form, and was making an implicit commentary on Gal, including the picture of "James, the Lord's brother" in Gal.

As for the idea of "mother" in the allegory, I note that according to Gal 4:6 Jerusalem "above" (as opposed to Jerusalem below) is called "our mother". Jesus was "born of a woman, born under the law." As "brother" of the Lord, James was born of the same "woman" and "under" the same "law". The allegory is addressed to "those who want to be under the law", and its grand climax is harsh: "cast out the slavegirl and her son, for her son will not inherit..." A widespread, and convincing interpretation (I'm currently reading Hays, Echos of Scripture in the Letters of Paul) of this is that the Galatians are being told to reject an alternative "gospel" which would require their men to be circumcised under the law.

My only alteration to the mainstream interpretation of the allegory grows out of my argument that 1) "James" the natural brother of the risen Lord ought not to be confused with the "James" named among the pillars--James, son of Alphaeus, Cephas and John and 2) the "James" of "some from James" in Gal 2:12 refers to the natural brother of Jesus. This leads logically to the idea when Paul said, "It is the same now", he was implying that "the son born according to the flesh" (i.e. Jesus' brother in the "flesh and blood" sphere, James/"some from James"/the troublemakers), was in the "now" of the letter persecuting "the son born according to the Spirit" (i.e. Jesus, the Lord/Paul/the pillars/the Galatians, of whom Paul said, "the Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother" Gal 4:6).

All this might seem like "a lot of hoops" and I suppose it is, but the result is convincing to me since if (and only if!?) the scenario in Gal is interpreted in this way, it finds a literary echo in Hebrews where it is said that 1) Jesus had to become in every way like his "brothers" in the sphere of "blood and flesh" and 2) "...the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all out of one (ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες, Cf ἐφ’ ἑνός, Gal 3:16 implying one seed of Abraham, Isaac/Jesus). So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers."
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by mlinssen »

gryan wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:17 am I interpret "the lesser James" as the natural son of the Mary of whom it was asked, "Is this [Jesus] not the son of Mary?"
Indeed. And that's why a Joseph was needed after Mark: to be able to hang these siblings of Jesus onto him instead of Mary
The allegory is addressed to "those who want to be under the law", and its grand climax is harsh: "cast out the slavegirl and her son, for her son will not inherit..." A widespread, and convincing interpretation (I'm currently reading Hays, Echos of Scripture in the Letters of Paul) of this is that the Galatians are being told to reject an alternative "gospel" which would require their men to be circumcised under the law.
Paul is just hopelessly being caught in his own web here:

Gal 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
29 But just as at that time the one having been born according to flesh was persecuting the one born according to Spirit, so also it is now.
30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will never inherit along with the son of the free.”
31 So then, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free

.

Is all fine that he quotes Gen 21:10 in an attempt to allegedly fulfil Scripture, but the bolded part is a dead end

Ishmael - born of slave - won't inherit
Isaac - born of free - will inherit

Isaac equals Jesus, and Ishmael then equals James.
But is James then persecuting Jesus?!
My only alteration to the mainstream interpretation of the allegory grows out of my argument that 1) "James" the natural brother of the risen Lord ought not to be confused with the "James" named among the pillars--James, son of Alphaeus, Cephas and John and 2) the "James" of "some from James" in Gal 2:12 refers to the natural brother of Jesus. This leads logically to the idea when Paul said, "It is the same now", he was implying that "the son born according to the flesh" (i.e. Jesus' brother in the "flesh and blood" sphere, James/"some from James"/the troublemakers), was in the "now" of the letter persecuting "the son born according to the Spirit" (i.e. Jesus, the Lord/Paul/the pillars/the Galatians, of whom Paul said, "the Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother" Gal 4:6).
You seem to be agreeing with that, but then How would he be doing so?
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by gryan »

mlinssen wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:12 am
gryan wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:17 am I interpret "the lesser James" as the natural son of the Mary of whom it was asked, "Is this [Jesus] not the son of Mary?"
Indeed. And that's why a Joseph was needed after Mark: to be able to hang these siblings of Jesus onto him instead of Mary
The allegory is addressed to "those who want to be under the law", and its grand climax is harsh: "cast out the slavegirl and her son, for her son will not inherit..." A widespread, and convincing interpretation (I'm currently reading Hays, Echos of Scripture in the Letters of Paul) of this is that the Galatians are being told to reject an alternative "gospel" which would require their men to be circumcised under the law.
Paul is just hopelessly being caught in his own web here:

Gal 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
29 But just as at that time the one having been born according to flesh was persecuting the one born according to Spirit, so also it is now.
30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will never inherit along with the son of the free.”
31 So then, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free

.

Is all fine that he quotes Gen 21:10 in an attempt to allegedly fulfil Scripture, but the bolded part is a dead end

Ishmael - born of slave - won't inherit
Isaac - born of free - will inherit

Isaac equals Jesus, and Ishmael then equals James.
But is James then persecuting Jesus?!
My only alteration to the mainstream interpretation of the allegory grows out of my argument that 1) "James" the natural brother of the risen Lord ought not to be confused with the "James" named among the pillars--James, son of Alphaeus, Cephas and John and 2) the "James" of "some from James" in Gal 2:12 refers to the natural brother of Jesus. This leads logically to the idea when Paul said, "It is the same now", he was implying that "the son born according to the flesh" (i.e. Jesus' brother in the "flesh and blood" sphere, James/"some from James"/the troublemakers), was in the "now" of the letter persecuting "the son born according to the Spirit" (i.e. Jesus, the Lord/Paul/the pillars/the Galatians, of whom Paul said, "the Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother" Gal 4:6).
You seem to be agreeing with that, but then How would he be doing so?
Re: Persecution

First, it is useful to reflect on how Ishmael supposedly "persecuted" Isaac.
Philo explained it this way: "...he was banished with his mother, because he being illegitimate was mocking the legitimate son, as though he were on terms of equality with him." http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text ... ook14.html

I will take this as my working hypothesis, that "James" (as represented in "some from James" who advocated circumcision of Gentile converts) was claiming equality with his flesh and blood brother-- "the Lord" (as represented in Paul's mission to Gentiles).

The issue of "claiming equality" comes up in 2 Cor 11:12f where Paul has this to say about the "false apostles":

"But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things of which they boast. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. "

How might "persecution", defined as a false claim of equality, apply to the "now" of the letter to the Galatians?

In Gal 5:11, Paul asks: "...if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?"

Could it be that those persecuting Paul in the "now" of the letter were claiming that Paul was "still preaching circumcision?"

I think that may be. I think that when Paul saw James, the Lord's brother three years after his conversion, he may have given James the impression that he was "preaching circumcision" as part of his Gospel to the Gentiles. At his second visit to Jerusalem, 14 years after his conversion, he did not see James, the Lord's brother, but only saw "some from James". When they came, the fellowship time came to an end--Paul and Barnabus and Titus went off on their mission to the Gentiles, and Cephas and the pillars went off on their mission to the circumcised. When Cephas then came to Antioch and Paul confronted him, Cephas knew with no doubt that Paul was no longer "preaching circumcision"-- the issue was whether Cephas would eat with Paul at the same table with such Gentile converts. But as for "some from James", who had intimidated Cephas, they my not have been clearly informed that Paul was no longer "preaching circumcision." And Paul may not have felt a need to tell them because he did not consider them his equals. The offence to Paul, and his sense of being persecuted, comes from their audacity to present themselves to the Galatians as if they were Paul's equals! To Paul that is like James claiming equality with the Lord on the basis of their being flesh and blood brothers--sons of the same flesh and blood mother! To Paul, although Jesus was (like James) "born of a woman, born under the law", in the "now" of the letter the real mother of God's many sons was symbolized not in "flesh and blood" which is temporary, but in "Jerusalem above," which is eternal--"she is our mother" Gal 4:26.
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by mlinssen »

I appreciate your attempt at explaining, but it's all really far-fetched to me

The verb is https://biblehub.com/greek/1377.htm

1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively ("earnestly pursue") and negatively ("zealously persecute, hunt down"). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste ("chasing" after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).

The Greek is really horrible by the way, and the translation rather free

28 Ὑμεῖς (You)c δέ (now), ἀδελφοί (brothers), κατὰ (like) Ἰσαὰκ (Isaac), ἐπαγγελίας (of promise) τέκνα (children) ἐστέ (are). 29 ἀλλ’ (But) ὥσπερ (just as) τότε (at that time) ὁ (the one) κατὰ (according to) σάρκα (flesh) γεννηθεὶς (having been born) ἐδίωκεν (was persecuting) τὸν (the one born) κατὰ (according to) Πνεῦμα (Spirit), οὕτως (so) καὶ (also) νῦν (it is now).

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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by gryan »

mlinssen wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:42 pm I appreciate your attempt at explaining, but it's all really far-fetched to me

The verb is https://biblehub.com/greek/1377.htm

1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively ("earnestly pursue") and negatively ("zealously persecute, hunt down"). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste ("chasing" after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).

The Greek is really horrible by the way, and the translation rather free

28 Ὑμεῖς (You)c δέ (now), ἀδελφοί (brothers), κατὰ (like) Ἰσαὰκ (Isaac), ἐπαγγελίας (of promise) τέκνα (children) ἐστέ (are). 29 ἀλλ’ (But) ὥσπερ (just as) τότε (at that time) ὁ (the one) κατὰ (according to) σάρκα (flesh) γεννηθεὶς (having been born) ἐδίωκεν (was persecuting) τὸν (the one born) κατὰ (according to) Πνεῦμα (Spirit), οὕτως (so) καὶ (also) νῦν (it is now).

Yes, I too was pondering that underlying idea of "pursuing" which can be understood negatively as persecution and positively as in Hebrews 12:14-15, and 22-24: "Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no root of bitternessf springs up to cause trouble and defile many.... Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to myriads of angels in joyful assembly, to the congregation of the firstborn, enrolled in heaven. You have come to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant...

I think the author of Hebrews found Paul's judgement against James to be a potential "root of bitterness." This, in my opinion is the good reason that in his heavenly Jerusalem echo of Gal, he chose not to mention that Jesus had a brother, and that their relationship had been likened to that of Isaac and Ishmael. The subsequent misreading of Paul's view of James the Lord's brother in later tradition as I perceive it was justified in order to avoid focusing on such a negative, unsavory topic as Paul's negative view of Jesus' brother in the flesh and blood sphere, as it was in the Gal/2 Cor 10-13 phase (it may have improved later).

That probably doesn't explain why you are unpersuaded by my interpretation of the allegory in Gal.

As for translation, following Troy Martin, interpret "brothers" as a descriptive predicate nominative--You are brothers in the pattern of Isaac: Children of promise.
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Re: "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Rereading the allegory of two sons

Post by mlinssen »

gryan wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:01 pm
mlinssen wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:42 pm I appreciate your attempt at explaining, but it's all really far-fetched to me

The verb is https://biblehub.com/greek/1377.htm

1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively ("earnestly pursue") and negatively ("zealously persecute, hunt down"). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste ("chasing" after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).

The Greek is really horrible by the way, and the translation rather free

28 Ὑμεῖς (You)c δέ (now), ἀδελφοί (brothers), κατὰ (like) Ἰσαὰκ (Isaac), ἐπαγγελίας (of promise) τέκνα (children) ἐστέ (are). 29 ἀλλ’ (But) ὥσπερ (just as) τότε (at that time) ὁ (the one) κατὰ (according to) σάρκα (flesh) γεννηθεὶς (having been born) ἐδίωκεν (was persecuting) τὸν (the one born) κατὰ (according to) Πνεῦμα (Spirit), οὕτως (so) καὶ (also) νῦν (it is now).

Yes, I too was pondering that underlying idea of "pursuing" which can be understood negatively as persecution and positively as in Hebrews 12:14-15, and 22-24: "Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no root of bitternessf springs up to cause trouble and defile many.... Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to myriads of angels in joyful assembly, to the congregation of the firstborn, enrolled in heaven. You have come to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant...

I think the author of Hebrews found Paul's judgement against James to be a potential "root of bitterness." This, in my opinion is the good reason that in his heavenly Jerusalem echo of Gal, he chose not to mention that Jesus had a brother, and that their relationship had been likened to that of Isaac and Ishmael. The subsequent misreading of Paul's view of James the Lord's brother in later tradition as I perceive it was justified in order to avoid focusing on such a negative, unsavory topic as Paul's negative view of Jesus' brother in the flesh and blood sphere, as it was in the Gal/2 Cor 10-13 phase (it may have improved later).

That probably doesn't explain why you are unpersuaded by my interpretation of the allegory in Gal.
It's the circumcision part in your post that doesn't sway me, I'm rather done of the "pretending to be equal" part

I can imagine that many "Jacobs" rose, claiming to have been handed over the sceptre just like Thomas logion 12 says - perhaps it was even in Marcion.
In that way James / Jacob would be pursuing Jesus, and the net effect is a risen Jesus spotted by everyone and everything and claiming all kinds of inconvenient thingies!
So, just like Jesus got written into heaven just about the same day (l. ASAP), James must be silenced so the Church can speak in the name of Jesus and maintain chain of command

I think the "James the least / lesser" is an attempt at that by Mark. Given what I find in that verse, I'll post it in a new post
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Mark 15:40 "The Lord" and his "brother" named "James": Ioset / Ioses?!

Post by mlinssen »


Mark 15:40 Ἦσαν (There were) δὲ (then) καὶ (also) γυναῖκες (women) ἀπὸ (from) μακρόθεν (afar off) θεωροῦσαι (looking on), ἐν (among) αἷς (whom) καὶ (also) Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (-) Μαγδαληνὴ (Magdalene), καὶ (and) Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (the) Ἰακώβου (of James) τοῦ (the) μικροῦ (least) καὶ (and) Ἰωσῆτος (of Joseph) μήτηρ (mother),

Just like that...

Joseph? Really, how extremely unlikely is that?

It would seem to be a perfect conjugation of IS, and Jacob the small (μικρότερος is comparative, this isn't) would then indeed be his brother...
But whence this sudden appearance of this word?
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