The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

Post by davidmartin »

Peter Kirby wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 8:39 pm Frankenberg (1937) suggests a translation into Greek here of αγαθού (good one), which would change the interpretation a little, into something like a phrase for the kingdom of God. I don't necessarily agree with his suggestion, but I don't know of any better authority saying differently either. I have no knowledge of Syriac personally.

The Syriac is on line 15 here if anyone is able to help with identifying the relevant Syriac word.
it says 2nd line down 2nd word from right.
the ; shape is a 'd' and means 'of'
the other 3 letters are TBA showing it's a noun

goes something like:
and-to-kingdomness of [the] good being protected/maintained

this the classic TOB/TWB/TOWB of Hebrew and Aramaic "good"
it's a solid "good"
see CAL ṭwb, ṭwbˀ (ṭūḇ, ṭūḇā) n.m. goodness, good things

what's this text and why does it matter?
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

Post by Peter Kirby »

Peter Kirby wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2024 10:46 pm At some places, the Syriac translation speaks of the kingdom of Chr_stos:

1.52.6 For this reason, blessed are those who attain and receive the kingdom of Christ[?], who will also escape the punishment of hell, be delivered, and remain incorruptible, just as they have ardently desired to escape from the fearfulness of judgment.

Just before, the Syriac translation speaks of "the kingdom of the good one."

1.52.5 For all those, whenever they have pleased him--as in the example of the first man who, because he had pleased him, was translated--similarly are in paradise and are being preserved for the kingdom of the good one.

An identity between Chr_stos and "the good one" seems justified.
I had a question about the ancient Syriac translation of the Greek text here.
davidmartin wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:51 am
Peter Kirby wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 8:39 pm Frankenberg (1937) suggests a translation into Greek here of αγαθού (good one), which would change the interpretation a little, into something like a phrase for the kingdom of God. I don't necessarily agree with his suggestion, but I don't know of any better authority saying differently either. I have no knowledge of Syriac personally.

The Syriac is on line 15 here if anyone is able to help with identifying the relevant Syriac word.
it says 2nd line down 2nd word from right.
the ; shape is a 'd' and means 'of'
the other 3 letters are TBA showing it's a noun

goes something like:
and-to-kingdomness of [the] good being protected/maintained

this the classic TOB/TWB/TOWB of Hebrew and Aramaic "good"
it's a solid "good"
see CAL ṭwb, ṭwbˀ (ṭūḇ, ṭūḇā) n.m. goodness, good things

what's this text and why does it matter?
Thank you!

The Hebrew word is found in Psalms 34:8, "taste and see that the Lord is good" (ṭôḇ), where the Septuagint translates χρηστὸς. It's first found in Genesis 1:4, "And God saw the light, that it was good" (ṭôḇ), where the Septuagint translates χρηστὸς. Those are a couple examples that correlate the two in Greek. The dictionary definitions also seem similar.

The first appearance of ἀγαθῶν in the Septuagint is Genesis 24:10, where it translates ṭûḇ. The second is Genesis 45:18, where it translates ṭûḇ.

I'm illiterate when it comes to Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac. But this very quick check (of a couple examples of each in the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint) may support the idea that this Syriac text (which is usually understood to be translating a Greek original) was translating the word χρηστοῦ. Or I may be misunderstanding something.

As to the relevance, well on another line nearby the Syriac text uses the phrase 'kingdom of the Messiah'. This word - Messiah in Syriac - would be translating a Greek abbreviation (χῦ) or the Greek word for Christ (Messiah), but at the time the translation was made, the higher probability can be assigned to the Greek abbreviation, which was more common than the word written out.

And here it uses 'kingdom of the Good'. Both lines are translating a Greek original. Here the Greek original would likely be χρηστοῦ. So we have, in short order, a reference in the Greek text both to 'kingdom χρηστοῦ' and 'kingdom χῦ'.

The Greek text, being translated, itself has earlier sources, earlier Greek manuscripts and ultimately a separate source embedded in and written prior to the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions. If the abbreviations were introduced at some point, they may not have captured all the examples of 'χρηστοῦ' (good/kind) being used for Jesus the Messiah. In a moment of fatigue or a lapse of judgment, this 'χρηστοῦ' was left standing.

It is then support for the idea that, somewhere in the earlier history of this text, the Greek word 'χρηστοῦ' was being used in the phrase 'kingdom of the Chr_st', referring to the kingdom of Jesus, the χρηστός.
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

Post by Peter Kirby »

However, I still doubt that the Syriac is clear enough to make a distinction (specifically for one Greek word or the other).
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

Post by Peter Kirby »

This magical amulet should be added to the data.

https://www.academia.edu/1787622/The_Crucifixion
Magical Amulet with the Crucifixion
Eastern Mediterranean (Syria?), late 2nd – 3rd century
...

Like other magical amulets of this date, the gem is covered with a Greek inscription composed mainly of magical names, not all of which are intelligible. On the obverse side, written around the image of the Cruciixion, is a nine-line inscription: ΥΙΕ / ΠΑΤΗΡ ΙΗ / CΟΥ ΧΡΙCΤΕ / CΟΑΜ ΝωΑ / Μ ωΑωΙΑ / CΗΙΟΥω / ΑΡΤΑΝΝΑ / ΥC ΙΟΥ / Ι . . . , which may be interpreted as “Son, Father, Jesus Christ,” followed by uncertain magical names (“soam noam oa . . . ”), vowels, and possibly the word “hung up”(?). The back of the gem displays another nine-line inscription, perhaps written by a different hand: ΙωΕ / ΕΥΑΕΥΙΙ /. . . ΝΟΥΙCΥΕ /. . . [Β]Α∆ΗΤΟΦω / ΘΙΕCCΕΤCΚΗ Ε / ΜΜΑΝΑΥΗΛ Α / CΤΡΑΠΕΤΚΜΗ / Φ ΜΕΙΘωΑΡ / ΜΕΜΠΕ. The string of words contains two names familiar from other magical texts, Badetophoth and Satraperkmeph, the latter of Egyptian derivation, meaning “Great satrap Kmeph.” Also present, however, is the name Emmanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”), taken by Christians to be a reference to Jesus prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 (cf. Matthew 1:23).

https://www.academia.edu/1788713/The_Co ... _Antiquity
Plates 6a–b. Bloodstone, eastern Mediterranean (Syria?), late 2nd–3rd century AD, 30 x 25 x 5.8mm. London, British Museum, PE 1986,0501.1; from the collection of Roger Periere, Paris

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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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This gem should be added to the data also.

Notably, two vowels are written as epsilon, not iota (and not eta), both in ehco and in x-pect-oc.

https://www.academia.edu/1788713/The_Co ... _Antiquity
Plate 2 Nott Gem. Plaster cast, original: carnelian, slightly convex, c. 19 x 14mm. Syria (?), mid-4th century AD

Included by Raffaele Garrucci in his comprehensive Storia dell’ arte cristiana nei primi otto secoli della chiesa, this second example was purchased in Rome by the English collector, the Rev. George Frederick Nott (1767–1841). Although its whereabouts are presently unknown, a plaster impression made in the 19th century (Pl. 2) testifies that the gem was fractionally larger and more elongated in shape than the Constanza gem, and that the pattern of a crucified Jesus amid 12 Apostles appeared with only minor variations. In examining the cast, these differences are most notable with respect to the figure of Jesus, who at the central axis of the composition is depicted on a similar scale to the Apostles but is shown on a column, physically elevated above them, and crowned with a nimbus. A further difference is the depiction of the two Apostles to either side of Jesus, who are shown raising their hands to touch the base of his cross. These pictorial variations aside, as in the case of the Constanza gem, the design is accompanied by a Greek version of Jesus’ name: ehco x-pect-oc, with the final two letters of Christos split either side of a lamb, placed strategically below the cross.

As will be discussed below, an early to mid-4th century ad date is probable for this gem; and specifically, the nimbus indicates a date no earlier than the Constantinian period, before which time nimbi are unlikely to have been used in a Christian context.

The inscriptions on both the Constanza and Nott gems are positive (being engraved directly onto the stone so that they were intended to be read on the face of the gem by the wearer) rather than negative (intended to be read in impression). In this they follow what appears to be a characteristic of gems engraved in Late Antiquity and as broadly symptomatic of the general decline in skill that is witnessed prior to this period.

The conjunction of the name of Jesus with Christian iconography is, as noted above, a further feature common amongst Early Christian gems.

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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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Given its relevance for interpreting the epigraphic data, this is now part of the "Arguments" section.

Gary J. Johnson on "A Christian Business and Christian Self-Identity in Third/Fourth Century Phrygia," Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Dec. 1994), pp. 341-366. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1584299

This workshop (in a manner which was typical of similar enterprises) apparently pre-fabricated burial monuments (apart from epitaphs), and perhaps displayed the ready-made monuments for sale in a fashion similar to what one might find at a monument company today. ...

However, in the center of the wreath there do appear to be faint traces of a cross, which has been carefully removed. This does not appear to be a defacement, but a skilled erasure. Arguably, the stone may have been pre-fabricated for Christian use and altered subsequently for sale to a non-Christian customer, although we cannot know whether the initiative for the alteration lay with the customer or with the workshop. In any event, the stone may demonstrate that the workshop did not do business with Christians exclusively, but (given the pre-fabrication of Christian motifs) probably did anticipate more Christian business than not. Certainly, this conclusion is supported by the preponderance of Christian monuments in the surviving inventory.

The preceding data, by illustrating the standardized and often prefabricated nature of the monuments produced by this workshop, demonstrate that the stonecutter(s) tended to play a far more significant role in the design of the monuments than did the individual purchasers. This creative control seems to have extended also to the formulation of the epitaphs, which present as uniform an appearance as the decorative elements. ...

We have no information about the actual mechanisms of marble distribution in the Tembris Valley, but the ongoing procurement of stone from common sources presumably facilitated personal contacts between the various workshops and/or independent artisans who constituted the network. In some areas of Anatolia, at least, stonecutters organized themselves formally into collegia, which would have provided a context for increased, long-term social and professional fraternization. This sort of professional contact (however sponsored) also could have been a factor in the development of distinctive regional styles in stonework, and this is precisely the context within which one must view the regional distribution of the "Christians for Christians" formula.

The formula is, in fact, only one of a number of motifs which the monuments produced by our subject workshop have in common with monuments produced by other workshops both within the Tembris Valley and beyond during the half-century, 248-305. Some of these shared motifs no doubt spring coincidentally from the common realities of life and labor in central Anatolia. In this category belong representations of plow oxen, horses, agricultural tools, and spindles/distaffs, all of which are ubiquitous in the funerary imagery of central Anatolia. Other regional motifs reflect abstract cultural values, and are, therefore, more likely to stem (in some fashion) from a tangible artistic tradition than from the coincidental activities of independent artisans. The stylized doorways produced by the subject workshop may be pertinent in this regard, and related to a type of Phrygian tombstone which was extremely popular between the late-first and early-third centuries and which was carved in highly realistic fashion to resemble a closed wooden door-presumably the door to the next world.

Some shared, regional motifs are textual/epigraphical motifs ... Good examples of such texts are several funerary curse formulae, each of which is attested multiple times ...

Professional stoneworkers may not have authored all of these formulae, but the preservation and repeated use of certain formulae cannot reasonably be attributed to any other party. ...

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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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ICG 1264, Phrygia, probably dated 248 - 249

noted here: "Dating according to the Sullan era. According to Calder (BullJRylLib 7, 1922) the dating is certain. However, the photo shows traces at best. Leschhorn puts a question mark on the dating."

https://icg.uni-kiel.de/icg/ICG_webapp/ ... /show/1264

[τ]λγ ̓
Χρειστιανοὶ
Χρειστιανο̣[ῖς]
Αὐρ. Αμμεια
5 σὺν τῷ γαμβρ[ῷ]
αὐτῶν Ζωτι-
κῷ κ̳ὲ̳ σὺν τοῖ[ς]
ἐγόνοις αὐτῶ[ν]
Ἀλλεξανδρείᾳ
10 κ̳ὲ̳ Τελεσφόρῳ
κ̳ὲ̳ Ἀλλεξάνδρῳ
συνβίῳ ἐποίη-
σαν

In the year 333. Christians for Christians. Aurelia Ammeia together with her son-in-law Zotikos and together with her grandchildren (descendants) Allexandreia and Telesphoros and Allexandros (?), they made (the grave) for the life partner (Allexandros?).
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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ICG 1142, Phrygia, dated 242-243

https://icg.uni-kiel.de/icg/ICG_webapp/ ... /show/1142

η(νὸς) ἀ(πιόντος)
[Ἔ]τους τκζ ̓ μ ι ̓ , δ ̓, Αὐρ.
Σατορνεῖνος δ[ὶ]ς
Χρειστιανὸς [ἐν]θά-
δε κεῖται κατασκευ-
5 άσας αὐτῷ [τὸν αἰώ]-
[νιο]ν οἶκον̣ [ἔτι ζῶν]
[ὡ]ς μηδεν̣[ὶ ἄλλῳ ἐξ]-
ὸν ἐ[πει]σε[νέγκειν]
ἄ̣[λλον --------].

In the year 327, in the tenth month, on the fourth day of the last third. Aurelios Satorneinos, son of Satorneinos, a Christian, is buried here, after having prepared the (eternal) house for himself (while still alive), so that no one else is allowed to add (another) to it...
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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ICG 1354, Lydia, ca. 3rd century

noted here: "Premerstein dates the inscription to the time before Decius (similar to Tabbernee). Schuler dates it to the end of the 2nd / beginning of the 3rd century."

https://icg.uni-kiel.de/icg/ICG_webapp/ ... /show/1354

[ἔτους ․․․ʹ], μη(νὸς) Λώου ιʹ. Αὐρή. Γάϊος Ἀπφιανοῦ Χρειστιανὸς
κατεκεύα[σεν]
[ἑαυτῷ καὶ Αὐ]ρ̣η. Στρατονεικιανῇ τῇ γυνεκὶ αὐτοῦ οὔσῃ καὐτῇ [Χρειστια]-
[νῇ, μηδενὸ]ς ἑτέρου ἔχοντος ἐξουσίαν τεθῆνε· εἰ δέ τις̣ ἀ̣[λλότριον]
[νεκρόν τ]ι̣να ἐπενβάλῃ, θήσει τῇ Χωριανῶν κατοικίᾳ (δην.) ͵αʹ.

(In the year ...), on the 10th day of the month Loos. Gaios, son of Apphianos, a Christian, built (the tomb) (for himself and) for Aurelia Stratoneikiane, his wife, who is also (a Christian), with (no) other having the authority to undertake a burial. But if anyone adds a corpse, he will reimburse the Chorian settlement 1,000 denarii.
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Re: The X-Files: Chrēstos / Christos / Χρειστος

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ICG 1151, Phrygia, ca. 212-350

https://icg.uni-kiel.de/icg/ICG_webapp/ ... /show/1151

Αὐρηλία ̔Ρουφεῖνα Τροφίμου
γλυκυτάτῳ ἀνδρὶ
Αὐρηλίῳ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ Δόμν̳η̳
τῷ ἑαυτῆς ἀνδρὶ καὶ τοῖς τέ-
κνοις Κυρίλλῃ κα̣ὶ Βερονει-
5 κιανῷ καὶ Αὐρηλίᾳ καὶ Γλυ-
[κ]ω̳ν̳ίδι καὶ ἑτέρῳ Βερονικια-
νῷ μνήμης χάριν ἐποίησεν
σὺν τῷ ἑαυτῆς υἱῷ Αὐρηλίῳ
Ἀλεξάνδρῳ δὶς ἔτι ζῶντες
10 Χρειστιανοὶ Χρειστιανοῖς.

Aurelia Roufeina, daughter of Trophimos, created (the tomb) for Aurelios Alexandros (Domne for the dearest man), her husband, and for the children Cyrille and Beroneikianos and Aurelia and Glykonis and the second Beronikianos, in memory, together with her son Aurelios Alexandros, son of Alexandros, while still alive, Christians for Christians.
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