2011-09-04

Gospel Puns on the Name Above All Names

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

by Neil Godfrey

Jason being regurgitated by the snake who keep...
Jason (=Jesus to the Greek) being regurgitated by the snake: Image via Wikipedia

Last year I posted an amateurish discussion about puns in the Gospel of Mark. During my recent break from blogging I stumbled across a classical scholar’s discussion of puns in the Gospels in an online scholarly journal. The subject is far richer than I had ever imagined. There are possibly major implications for our understanding of both the ways in which the Gospels have been composed and also for what the authors and readers thought they were doing when writing and reading/listening to the narratives.

The discussion certainly gives modern readers a whole new insight into the possible significance of the name of Jesus — “the name above every other name” as the Philippian hymn informs us.

The author is classicist Professor John Moles of Newcastle University. The article is Jesus the Healer in the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and Early Christianity [clicking the link will download the pdf article] in Histos. John Moles is definitely not a mythicist and my interest in the article is primarily the light it sheds on the nature of the Gospels. What sorts of documents are they, what led to their creation and how were they initially understood and received?

Imagine Gospel narratives that hang together through a web of puns on the name of Jesus criss-crossing with specific acts that he was performing and whose dramatic tension and resolution operate primarily through the readers’ awareness of these puns. Continue reading “Gospel Puns on the Name Above All Names”


back to blogging?

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

by Neil Godfrey

Real life has kept me busy enough — and exhausted enough in between periods of busy enough — to have a break from this scene for most of last month. Now I’m wondering where I left off. I know I was trying to keep spinning a few plates at once, but it all seems like ancient history to me now.

Some of the issues I was addressing really need lots of time to treat as well as I think they deserve. I don’t think the blog is really the best medium for most of the stuff I’m interested in any more. But change means effort and that sounds like hard work. I keep thinking I should organize some of my posts in more easy to find web articles. I’d like to collate various series like that of Roger Parvus as a single pdf document some time (if I have his permission of course). I’d also like to revise and collate some of my discussions on historical methodology into one single document. One day. (But it would help if an intellectually competent anti-mythicist could be found and engaged to help sharpen the arguments.)

I was enjoying the way a number of readers expressed some interest in some of my posts from time to time, and I would welcome any feedback either here or in email (neilgodfrey1 [ @ ] gmail.com) if there is any lingering interest in my following up some of those posts.

So, what to write about next? I have a few ideas, but which one will involve the least effort?

 


“Rulers of this age” and the incompetence of the historicist case against mythicist arguments

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

by Neil Godfrey

It is a sad thing to see scholars who are doctors and associate professors and holders of chairs demonstrate a complete muddleheadedness and inability to grasp the simplest of logical arguments when attempting to gainsay mythicist challenges to the historical Jesus paradigm.

One such scholar continues to insist that Earl Doherty has constructed an argument from a false antithesis: to the best of my understanding — and I have asked the scholar many times to clarify his position — Doherty is said to argue that 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 must mean

  1. EITHER that earthly rulers killed Christ
  2. OR that demons themselves directly killed Christ
  3. so the possibility that the verse means demons influenced human rulers to do the dirty deed must be excluded. Continue reading ““Rulers of this age” and the incompetence of the historicist case against mythicist arguments”
%d bloggers like this: