More Puns in the Gospel of Mark: People and Places

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by Neil Godfrey

pun on the "palm" tree). Bad puns were typical humor for the period. . .
Image via Wikipedia: http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1908_postcard_of_tip-seeking_workers.png

This post will be a companion piece to my earlier The Twelve Disciples: their names, name-meanings, associations, etc. That post was based on the thoughts of Dale and Patricia Miller, Robert M. Price and Albert Ehrman. This post draws on both the scholarship and imagination of Paul Nadim Tarazi in his book on Paul and Mark. (Some of his arguments or flights of fancy are, let’s say, “not strong”, and I have ignored the most obvious of those. Some readers may think most of the ones I have included are “not strong” either. I am not fighting to the death over them. I am presenting them as potentially thought-provoking.) Many of the place-name meanings are direct from standard reference works such as collated on NETBible’s Dictionary. I also include a throw-back to an argument by Roy Kotansky.

Peter and Andrew Casting a Net or Doubtful and Vacillating?

Jesus is walking along by the sea when he notices Simon Peter and Andrew “amphiballontas in the sea” (1:16).

The Greek word literally means “to throw around” and is frequently used in reference to nets. Here it is used in connection with the sea, so it is usually translated “casting a net”. But the word “net” does not appear in the text.

The omission of “net” is not to be ignored, for the verb amphiballo without an object also carries the meaning “to vacillate/to be doubtful,” which would make it a particularly apt allusion to the apostles’ behavior . . . .

Peter has become proverbial as the wavering disciple. Continue reading “More Puns in the Gospel of Mark: People and Places”

Jesus vs Julius Caesar

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

Zerowing21 has posted on the evidence for Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon compared with the evidence for Jesus. Specifically . . . .

Christian apologist Douglas Geivett’s claim that the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection meets “the highest standards of historical inquiry,” and is as certain as Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon in 49 B.C.E.

N. T. Wright might agree with that. But read the blog post for an excellent run down of the sorts of evidence historians work with as opposed to theologians who think they are historians.

The blog post begins with a few links to other sites that will interest some who read this:

I know, some will instinctively respond with some quip that Jesus wasn’t a great political figure so we can’t expect the same evidence for him as for the other JC.  Exactly, but what some such instinctive respondents want to do is change the rules to allow us to use different material as “evidence” so we can write just as much about Jesus with the same assurance. They want to change the rules, that is. But real historians do not change the rules. What they do is change the scope of their inquiries. That is why you will find most books on ancient history covering broad sweeps of civilization or political and social developments. There are fewer exhaustive biographies than can be, and are, written for persons who dot later historical periods.