Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#2
This is going to seem like "Ancient Aliens" to some of you, but I've gone down a rabbit hole relating to the "Jesus Family Tomb" that first came to public attention with the James Cameron-produced documentary about the bone boxes (ossuaries) and tomb (actually discovered in 1980 during the construction of an apartment complex) that aired on Discovery back in 2007 (unfortunately you have to buy it now - no longer streaming anywhere for free) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Family_Tomb

Finally finishing up a long-winded email to the main scholar involved, James Tabor, with some novel takes on a couple of controversies associated with it (everything about the tomb is controversial). Zero to do with tarot, although the discussion about the Visconti genealogy lead me back to this material, which is quite dense (the amount of biblical scholarship of course dwarfs about any other field).

Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#3
Phaeded wrote:
05 Sep 2020, 18:09
This is going to seem like "Ancient Aliens" to some of you, but I've gone down a rabbit hole relating to the "Jesus Family Tomb" that first came to public attention with the James Cameron-produced documentary about the bone boxes (ossuaries) and tomb (actually discovered in 1980 during the construction of an apartment complex) that aired on Discovery back in 2007 (unfortunately you have to buy it now - no longer streaming anywhere for free) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jesus_Family_Tomb

Finally finishing up a long-winded email to the main scholar involved, James Tabor, with some novel takes on a couple of controversies associated with it (everything about the tomb is controversial). Zero to do with tarot, although the discussion about the Visconti genealogy lead me back to this material, which is quite dense (the amount of biblical scholarship of course dwarfs about any other field).
Fascintating! It's been years since I was informed about this topic. My general impression is that all that can be said is "impossible to know." I agree with the methodological approach and conclusions of Christopher Rollston in 2007 "Prosopography and the Talpiyot Yeshua Family Tomb: Pensées of a Palaeographer"
https://www.sbl-site.org/publications/a ... icleId=649
For the purposes of prosopography, it is mandatory to note that the personal names Yosep, Yeshua', Yehudah, Mattiyah, Maryah, and Miriamne all have multiple attestations in the multilingual corpus of ossuaries.[22] Moreover, for most of these names, Tal Ilan has noted that they are very common.
[22] See the index in Rahmani, Catalogue, 292-297. Also, note especially that Yoseh is attested multiple times (Rahmani, Catalogue, 295), so any suggestion that this is a unique nickname in the gospels (Mark 6:3) is erroneous. [23] See especially, Tal Ilan, Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), passim. Note that the variant spellings of Mariamne (Rahmani, The Catalogue, 296) are not an orthographic problem from the perspective of epigraphy.
As much as I would like to believe it, I have to be cautious. It is good enough to be informed about it, and to know where to look for more information. It's too bad the "James" ossuary muddied the waters so much. The field of "Biblical Archaeology" is so rife with forgeries and hoaxes, it is a minefield in fact. These times were what my academic career was heading towards until 1994, I know some of the names involved. But like you say biblical scholarship dwarfs other fields in the humanities, I'd say there are whole kingdoms and continents, which never shall meet or reconcile. It is another universe, and the amount of scholarship in just one part is more than anything in early Tarot studies. And there is usually much less data to work with, and a lot of hidden bias that remains no matter how hard you work at it. Michael Hurst once pointed out that you can be a big fish in the small pond of Tarot history, but you'll almost surely never be more than a minnow in the field of biblical studies.

Tarot history has some of the same limitations, on a much smaller scale. Unprovenanced artifacts, private collections, forgeries, crackpots, and not quite enough data for the earliest time to be definitive. There is still room for argument and creativity, which is nice.
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Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#4
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
05 Sep 2020, 18:41
Phaeded wrote:
05 Sep 2020, 18:09
...gone down a rabbit hole relating to the "Jesus Family Tomb" ...
"For the purposes of prosopography, it is mandatory to note that the personal names Yosep, Yeshua', Yehudah, Mattiyah, Maryah, and Miriamne all have multiple attestations in the multilingual corpus of ossuaries.[22] Moreover, for most of these names, Tal Ilan has noted that they are very common."

[22] See the index in Rahmani, Catalogue, 292-297. Also, note especially that Yoseh is attested multiple times (Rahmani, Catalogue, 295), so any suggestion that this is a unique nickname in the gospels (Mark 6:3) is erroneous. [23] See especially, Tal Ilan, Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), passim. Note that the variant spellings of Mariamne (Rahmani, The Catalogue, 296) are not an orthographic problem from the perspective of epigraphy.

...Michael Hurst once pointed out that you can be a big fish in the small pond of Tarot history, but you'll almost surely never be more than a minnow in the field of biblical studies.

I think Tabor and his statistician make the reasonable counterpoint that its not the commonality of the individual names but the likelihood of all of their names appearing together in the same tomb, as a meaningful "constellation" (to use their favorite metaphor; isolating individual names is a straw man's argument).

The name that particularly concerns me is "Mara" (interpreted by Tabor as an honorific "Lady/master" as a fellow teacher) which appears as the second name on the ossuary associated with Mary Magdalene, inscribed after Mariamne (I'm proposing she took it from the only place in scripture where it appears as a personal name, also as an adopted name in that original context, which is in Ruth 1:20, where it is "bitterness" due to a woman, Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi who is the centerpiece of this biblical book, having lost her husband and sons, one of which was Ruth's husband). A very big fish in biblical scholarship, James H. Charlesworth (editor of The Pseudepigrapha and Early Biblical Interpretation and The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament Prolegomena for the Study of Christian Origins - among other works) has come down in favor of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene in his latest work: Jesus as Mirrored in John: The Genius in the New Testament,2018 (Ch. 17). I'm hoping to flip him to seeing the tomb as legit with this new evidence - right now he sees the "Jesus/garden tomb" and the nearby "Patio tomb" (which has equally interesting inscriptions and images on its ossuaries) as definitely for members of the early Jesus movement, but one linked specifically to Jesus as "impossible" (I like taking on 'impossible' ;-).

The other aspect of the tomb that has been ignored is that the unexplained "chevron/circle-wreath" on the tomb facade over the entrance - as well as its oddly angled forecourt - are aligned to Bethlehem's hilltop some 3.5 miles to the southwest, so on the horizon on the viewshed from the tomb's forecourt (collapsed during construction). I'm finding it hard to believe such an alignment was a coincidence, especially considering David was supposedly also born there (Jesus's claim to fame per his genealogies is essentially him being the Davidic messiah, as opposed to the illegitimate and usurping Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties....and note Ruth is one of four women named in Jesus's genealogy, Matt 1:5).

If interested I'll forward that email once complete and sent.

Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#5
Can you quote Charlesworth for me where he discusses Jesus and Mary's marriage? That is really blockbuster, for a mainstream biblical scholar to come down on one side or another of the question. I myself still have not! But he might persuade me.

I think my biggest departure from mainstream biblical scholarship is to accept John Robinson's arguments for "Redating the New Testament" to all pre-70 dates.

Another wacky theory I have is that Nero was partly right to blame the Christians for the fire of Rome in July 64. My idea is that this first-second generation of Christians were fanatical messianic Jews and gentile converts, and could well have taken advantage to help the conflagration spread. At the very least, these Roman Christians must have been known for their doomsday prophecies and glee at any harm that came to Rome, so they were an obvious target for blame when the big one happened.
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Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#6
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
06 Sep 2020, 09:05
Can you quote Charlesworth for me where he discusses Jesus and Mary's marriage? That is really blockbuster, for a mainstream biblical scholar to come down on one side or another of the question. I myself still have not! But he might persuade me.

I think my biggest departure from mainstream biblical scholarship is to accept John Robinson's arguments for "Redating the New Testament" to all pre-70 dates.
Honestly I was a bit shocked once the book arrived and I was able to read his argument in detail, but as noted above, Charlesworth spends the entirety of Ch. 17 exploring "Is it conceivable that Jesus married Mary Magdalene?: Searching for evidence in Johannine traditions" (460f), in Jesus as Mirrored in John: The Genius in the New Testament,2018. Unfortunately Amazon just has the beginning and a few pages of the Conclusion scanned, and Google has no pagination but clearly sections pertaining to Magdalene (hopefully the link works for you):
https://www.google.com/books/edition/Je ... =Magdalene

Perhaps his most radical argument is that the wedding at Cana, the details garbled somewhat in the recension that has come down to us, was the union between the Magdalene and Jesus! Its too hard to summarizes all his points. Less controversial is his insistence on interpreting the Magdalene's encounter with Jesus at the tomb which oddly revolves around the latter's haptic rebuttal - to not touch him. Why would she have ever had that level of familiarity and when she finally recognizes him as resurrected why does she call out to him with the rare diminutive of Rabbi (Rabbouni), as if a familiar term of endearment? No reason to go Dan Brown, but Magdalene material was certainly excised out of the Gospels, undoubtedly for Christological reasons, but enough remains to piece it back together, which is what I think Charlesworth has adequately done. The most common sense reason Jesus married was that all rabbis married - it was a cultural imperative (and there are really no other choices besides Magdalene, who also had an active leadership role in the movement).

Regarding your last point, of course there is "Q" for the synoptics, but for the Gospel of John, Charlesworth points out specific descriptions of geographic locations in Jerusalem in John that have fairly recently been verified by modern archaeology, so at least a core group of passages goes back to the Second Temple because those features were reduced to rubble in 70 CE (only now painstakingly reconstructed), and were not mentioned in the synoptics. So all of John is not necessarily the last gospel written. Charlesworth also points out the only reason its called "John" is the first name mentioned is John the Baptist (the otherwise anonymous text had to be called something, not that JB was the author) and that it is the result of a school or sect remaining fairly Jewish but believing in Christ, actively engaged with Jewish groups that were more influenced by Enoch (which also heavily influenced Qumran); so to some degree John is polemical towards Enochian-influenced beliefs. That is really the quiet revolution that has gone on in contemporary biblical studies for anyone not in the field (and I certainly am not) - the acknowledgement of the profound influence of Enoch, mainly 1 Enoch, on Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity; see for instance the collection of essays in Enoch and Qumran Origins: New Light on a Forgotten Connection, 2005, ed. Gabriele Boccaccini, in which Charlesworth has the last word in "Summary and conclusions". Most have come to view John the Baptist as influenced in some way by Qumran, and the synoptic gospels have direct correlations with passages in 1 Enoch (Matt 7 times, Luke 6 times and Mark 3 times - discussed in Charlesworth's last book on John as well in detail, see especially 300-301). Charlesworth makes the aforementioned case that John too is influenced - negatively - by Enoch, right near the beginning, John 3:13 "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man" - that is a direct shot at Enoch, who has himself ascended and enthroned with God, and "Son of Man" is an Enochian phrase. I find the synoptic treatments of the Enochian material even more interesting (mind-blowing to some degree, when you connect the dots), but that's another long-winded tangent.

Here's the Amazon link to the John book:

Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#7
Thanks, I managed to read many pages, but not enough. I should probably get the book.

Charlesworth mentions "novels" which treat of the theme of Jesus' marriage, or sexual relationship with, Mary Magdalene. He notes Nikos Kazantzakis, "Last Temptation of Christ" (1955), Denys Arcand's "Jésus de Montréal" (1989), and Barbara Thiering's "Jesus the Man" (1992 - not a novel, of course).

A keyword search shows me that he has missed the authors that first explicitly posited that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and that the Wedding at Cana was their wedding. This is Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982), pp. 290-296 in the original edition (chapter 12). I happily assert that they invented the interpretation that the Wedding at Cana was between Jesus and Mary, as well as the notion that Jesus and Mary had children who started a bloodline, which was the astounding and unprecedented thesis of their book. The notion that Jesus and Mary were romantically involved is ancient, of course. One of the accusations of the crusaders sacking Béziers in 1209 (most notoriously the Church of the Madeleine, on her feast day, 22 July) was that the heretics believed that Mary was Jesus' concubine (that is all that is stated, no further details are noted). But the interpretation of the Wedding at Cana as their wedding was first published in 1982.

Kazantzakis has Jesus meet Mary at the wedding of Cana, but makes it clear that the wedding was somebody else's. Jesus was just there, in the novel, because his mother wanted him to find a wife. It's tantalizingly close, but Kazantzakis doesn't make the connection, which seems so natural to us now with so much Margaret Starbird and Dan Brown water under the bridge.

In fact Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh made all the connections first, and gave these later authors the sources from which they spun their more elaborate fantasies.


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Re: Anybody heard from Phaeded?

#8
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
08 Sep 2020, 14:01
Thanks, I managed to read many pages, but not enough. I should probably get the book.

Charlesworth mentions "novels" which treat of the theme of Jesus' marriage, or sexual relationship with, Mary Magdalene. He notes Nikos Kazantzakis, "Last Temptation of Christ" (1955), Denys Arcand's "Jésus de Montréal" (1989), and Barbara Thiering's "Jesus the Man" (1992 - not a novel, of course).

A keyword search shows me that he has missed the authors that first explicitly posited that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and that the Wedding at Cana was their wedding. This is Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982), pp. 290-296 in the original edition (chapter 12).


Charlesworth says its the first time he's really explored this issue (p. 461) and I'm positive the impetus was Tabor/Jacobovici's work on the Jesus Tomb, as Mary Magdalene features strongly in the Discovery Channel documentary and related books; moreover, Charlesworth was in Jerusalem when they explored the "Patio tomb" and they invited him over to view what they were viewing via their their remote camera (which went down an air pipe into the tomb, otherwise off limits with an apartment on top of it - thus the apartment's patio, where the pipe is, giving the tomb its name). A bit of Charlesworth's essay within his edited book of essays addressing the Jesus tomb discovery here, but the patio tomb as well: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Th ... q=patio%20

In a footnote to the John book he notes the first claim that Jesus was married goes back to William E. Phipps, Was Jesus Married?, 1970.

I'm not sure why he doesn't mention Baigh/Leigh's work when he does Dan Brown (which Charlesworth said he purposely read after he was done with his own writing; explained in more depth in fn 5 on p. 502), but probably because Brown is unavoidable while the former work is lesser known and not associated with biblical scholarship, although Brown and them are linked:
The 2003 conspiracy fiction novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown makes reference to this book, also liberally using most of the above claims as key plot elements;[8] indeed, in 2005 Baigent and Leigh unsuccessfully sued Brown's publisher, Random House, for plagiarism, on the grounds that Brown's book makes extensive use of their research and that one of the characters is named Leigh, has a surname (Teabing) which is an anagram of Baigent, and has a physical description strongly resembling Henry Lincoln. In his novel, Brown also mentions Holy Blood, Holy Grail as an acclaimed international bestseller[15] and claims it as the major contributor to his hypothesis. Perhaps as a result of this mention, the authors (minus Henry Lincoln) of Holy Blood sued Dan Brown for copyright infringement. They claimed that the central framework of their plot had been stolen for the writing of The Da Vinci Code.

I doubt Charlesworth wanted any part of that non-academic controversey, if he was even aware of it. He's gone out on a limb with this MM married to Jesus thesis, and is simply not going to swim in those waters.

At all events, I don't think Charlesworth was stealing from either - if anything, again, was spurred on to finally address this issue by Tabor/Jacobovici, while writing his tome on John. Moreover, his own involvement with the excavations at Magdala (aka Migdal) must have inspired him to dive into MM some more.

BTW: I regard the relatively recent discovery of the "Migdal stone" in the 1st century BCE synagogue in Magdala (Jesus likely taught there at some point) as important as the Jesus tomb discovery, as its dimensions and symbolism explain (to my mind at least) the similar dimensions and symbolism of ossuaries (particularly the ubiquitous double "rosettes" found on many of them), which were used from c. 40 BCE to 70 CE. In regard to which, this article is fascinating (JSTOR for free)
"Further Thoughts on the Migdal Synagogue Stone"
Richard Bauckham
Novum Testamentum
Vol. 57, Fasc. 2 (2015), pp. 113-135 (23 pages)

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