Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

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John2
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by John2 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:55 pm

I don't know what source (if any) Epiphanius used regarding James being 96 (for what it may be worth, he mentions it along with other pieces of information that are in Hegesippus, who elsewhere says that Symeon lived to be 120), but I also don't see what the big deal is if James was born in 34 BCE. Jesus himself is said to have been born c. 5 BCE in Matthew, and while it may be unusual, it's not impossible that James was thirty years older than Jesus. If Joseph was thirty when he had James, he would have been sixty when he had Jesus.

But I think James' age more likely comes from Epiphanius, since he believed that Joseph was elderly and had children from a previous marriage when Jesus was born (and that his children were thus not related to Jesus and Mary remained a virgin).
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:31 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:11 am
My point is that if Epiphanius was more historian and less apologist in this point, then the old age of James, if meant as a historical information, is probably evidence against him being carnal brother of Jesus, so requiring other explanations for Gal 1:19.
Epiphanius actually seems to support that the natural reading of "James, the Lord's brother" meant a biological brother, since those reading that phrase appear to have come away with that impression, thus causing the heresy he was addressing. His reasoning was that "Lord's brother" apparently was meant to 'deceive' people into thinking that Jesus had natural brothers, which would have contradicted the then-orthodox notion of Mary's perpetual virginity. If there were any known group of non-relatives known as "the Lord's brothers" one might expect Epiphanius to use that instead -- perhaps. But given the lateness of the writings, and Epiphanius use of scriptures rather than historical sources for his reasoning, I don't think it can shed much light on events 300 years earlier.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:12 pm

Perhaps a more interesting question is to what degree the information derives from Hegesippus. The details and the names brought up in the account of Epiphanius all seem to derive from Hegesippus. How 96 can be squared within Hegesippus is difficult to say. In the account of Epiphanius the blow from the fuller's club precedes the casting down of James from the pinnacle of the Temple. Epiphanius maintains, "and he who had done no wrong knelt and prayed for those who had thrown him down." This motif is also found in the account of Hegesippus. But in his account it is Rechab the son of Rechabim who appeals to those who stone James to stop, whereas in Epiphanius it is Simeon, his cousin, the son of Clopas.

The account of Hegesippus cited by Eusebius mentions stoning which Epiphanius does not. Nevertheless there are important details to compare:
And while they were thus stoning him one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites, who are mentioned by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying, ‘Cease, what do ye? The just one prayeth for you.’ And one of them, who was a fuller, took the club with which he beat out clothes and struck the just man on the head. And thus he suffered martyrdom. And they buried him on the spot, by the temple, and his monument still remains by the temple. He became a true witness, both to Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ. And immediately Vespasian besieged them.
What exactly "the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites" means is anyone's guess. It seems unnecessary repetition. It is important to note that the actual name of the priest is not mentioned. Could this be Simeon and could it point to the 'brotherhood' as being something other than a connection of blood?

Note also that the year here is 69 CE while Epiphanius's account speaks of it being Jesus's ascension. Hard to reconcile this but it is even more difficult to understand how Epiphanius could not have known these details as he used Hegesippus. It would seem though that an account which placed the crucifixion in the original date of 21 CE with let's suppose a 30 year old Jesus (i.e. born 10 BCE) is less difficult to reconcile with a James born 26 BCE.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:12 pm
What exactly "the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites" means is anyone's guess. It seems unnecessary repetition. It is important to note that the actual name of the priest is not mentioned. Could this be Simeon and could it point to the 'brotherhood' as being something other than a connection of blood?
Seems so much more likely to me that this is a case of the legend eventually naming the anonymous. The soldier who stabbed Jesus' side on the cross was eventually called Longinus; the rich man in the parable was eventually called Dives or Neves; the disciple who cut off the high priest's servants ear became Peter himself, and the servant was christened Malchus; a woman healed by Jesus was later named Berenice/Veronica. This is a very common dual process: anonymous people get named, and named people attract the words and deeds originally attributed to the anonymous.
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John T
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by John T » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:37 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:14 am
Parts of the Panarion of Epiphanius can be read here. I can't find any complete English translation of that part of the work. The author (writing in the Fourth Century CE) states that Joseph married Mary when Joseph was 80 years old, and so never had sexual relations with her. James was his son via an earlier wife, so James was only the step-brother of Jesus, and not a biological brother. This is in response to the heresy by people that Epiphanius calls "Antidicomarians" (Heresy 78 in the work) whom claimed that Mary had sexual relations with Joseph after Jesus was born.
Thanks for providing the link.
I'm still scratching my head over this one and need some more time to sort it out.
I will consult Robert Eisenman's book; "James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls" and see how he interprets Epiphanius.

Sincerely,
John T
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Secret Alias
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:03 pm

Ben,

Perhaps but I wonder whether the defective nature of Eusebius's translation of Hegesippus has something to do with it. Could there have been two versions of Hegesippus floating around in antiquity? First the note in Schaff regarding the 'Rechabite' reference:
῾Ραχαβείμ, which is simply the reproduction in Greek letters of the Hebrew plural, and is equivalent to “the Rechabites.” But Hegesippus uses it without any article as if it were the name of an individual, just as he uses the name ῾Ρηχ€β which immediately precedes. The Rechabites were a tribe who took their origin from Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, who appears from 1 Chron. ii. 55 to have belonged to a branch of the Kenites, the Arabian tribe which came into Palestine with the Israelites. Jehonadab enjoined upon his descendants a nomadic and ascetic mode of life, which they observed with great strictness for centuries, and received a blessing from God on account of their steadfastness (Jer. xxxv. 19). That a Rechabite, who did not belong to the tribe of Judah, nor even to the genuine people of Israel, should have been a priest seems at first sight inexplicable. Different solutions have been offered. Some think that Hegesippus was mistaken,—the source from which he took his account having confounded this ascetic Rechabite with a priest,—but this is hardly probable. Plumptre, in Smith’s Bib. Dict. art. Rechabites (which see for a full account of the tribe), thinks that the blessing pronounced upon them by God (Jer. xxxv. 19) included their solemn adoption among the people of Israel, and their incorporation into the tribe of Levi, and therefore into the number of the priests. Others (e.g. Tillemont, H. E. I. p. 633) have supposed that many Jews, including also priests, embraced the practices and the institutions of the Rechabites and were therefore identified with them. The language here, however, seems to imply a native Rechabite, and it is probable that Hegesippus at least believed this person to be such, whether his belief was correct or not. See Routh, I. p. 243 sq.
Then the note regarding the parallels between Epiphanius and Eusebius's citation of Hegesippus:
In Epiphanius, Hær. LXXVIII. 14, these words are put into the mouth of Simeon, the son of Clopas; from which some have concluded that Simeon had joined the order of the Rechabites; but there is no ground for such an assumption. The Simeon of Epiphanius and the Rechabite of Hegesippus are not necessarily identical. They represent simply varieties of the original account, and Epiphanius’, as the more exact, was undoubtedly the later tradition, and an intentional improvement upon the vagueness of the original.
The author agrees with your interpretation. Yet note the subsequent note from the same author:
Clement (in chap. 5, §4, above), who undoubtedly used the account of Hegesippus as his source, describes the death of James as taking place in the same way, but omits the stoning which preceded. Josephus, on the other hand (quoted below), mentions only the stoning. But Hegesippus’ account, which is the fullest that we have gives us the means of reconciling the briefer accounts of Clement and of Josephus, and we have no reason to think either account incorrect.
I wonder whether Eusebius's version of Hegesippus was actually a later edition which added the details from Josephus.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:14 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:31 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:11 am
My point is that if Epiphanius was more historian and less apologist in this point, then the old age of James, if meant as a historical information, is probably evidence against him being carnal brother of Jesus, so requiring other explanations for Gal 1:19.
Epiphanius actually seems to support that the natural reading of "James, the Lord's brother" meant a biological brother, since those reading that phrase appear to have come away with that impression,
there is no clue that Epiphanius was polemizing against proponents of a carnal brotherhood for James. Only you are "reading" it in Epiphanius. He says simply that James "the son of Joseph" was of advanced age already when Jesus was born. In this point he doesn't say that Joseph was already a very old man when Jesus was born (usually, the classical Catholic argument used against the view of a carnal parentage with Joseph).
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Secret Alias
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:25 pm

I think the seam in the alteration or addition in Hegesippus is visible:
They went up and threw down the just man (ἀναβάντες οὖν κατέβαλον τὸν δίκαιον),

and said to each other, 'Let us stone James the Just.' And they began to stone him,

when he was not killed by the fall (ἐπεὶ καταβληθεὶς οὐκ ἀπέθανεν)

but he turned and knelt down and said, 'I entreat you, Lord God our Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' And while they were thus stoning him

one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites, who are mentioned by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying, 'Stop. What are you doing? The just one prays for you. (εἷς τῶν ἱερέων τῶν υἱῶν Ῥηχὰβ υἱοῦ Ῥαχαβείμ, τῶν μαρτυρουμένων ὑπὸ Ἱερεμίου τοῦ προφήτου, ἔκραζεν λέγων παύσασθε· τί ποιεῖτε; εὔχεται ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ὁ δίκαιος). And one of them, who was a fuller, took the club with which he beat out clothes and struck the just man on the head. And thus he suffered martyrdom. (καὶ λαβών τις ἀπ' αὐτῶν εἷς τῶν γναφέων, τὸ ξύλον, ἐν ᾧ ἀποπιέζει τὰ ἱμάτια, ἤνεγκεν κατὰ τῆς κεφαλῆς τοῦ δικαίου, καὶ οὕτως ἐμαρτύρησεν).
I think the bit about James being stoned was added into the story, perhaps by Eusebius himself.
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John T
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by John T » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:43 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:14 pm
there is no clue that Epiphanius was polemizing against proponents of a carnal brotherhood for James. Only you are "reading" it in Epiphanius. He says simply that James "the son of Joseph" was of advanced age already when Jesus was born. In this point he doesn't say that Joseph was already a very old man when Jesus was born (usually, the classical Catholic argument used against the view of a carnal parentage with Joseph).
Actually, there are plenty of clues in the writings of Epiphanius that he is chastising those who believe Mary had other children besides Jesus, including James the Just.

Epiphanius insists that Mary was an "ever-virgin". That Joseph was too old to have children with Mary. That the so-called brothers of Jesus were actually his much older stepbrothers from Joseph's previous wife.
Epiphanius speculates the age of James the Just without citing his sources (as far as I know).


If Jesus had a younger brother named James, then that would destroy the theology of the ever-virgin Mary. But if Epiphanius can come up with (contrived) an alternate story that James was a much older stepbrother, than the worshiping of the virgin Mary can continue.


Most likely Epiphanius felt justified in his wild speculation of the unverified age of James the Just based on the writings of Josephus regarding the life-span of the Essenes. See, The Jewish War, Book II, Chapter 8.10(151).

Esienman believes that Epiphanius is; "simply recapitulating Josephus' contention about how 'long-lived' those he is calling 'Essenes' were." . ..."James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls", Chapter 15, pg.166.

John T
Last edited by John T on Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:07 am, edited 3 times in total.
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John T
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Re: Epiphanius gives evidence that James could't be the carnal brother of Jesus

Post by John T » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:56 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:49 pm
Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:12 pm
What exactly "the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites" means is anyone's guess. It seems unnecessary repetition. It is important to note that the actual name of the priest is not mentioned. Could this be Simeon and could it point to the 'brotherhood' as being something other than a connection of blood?
Seems so much more likely to me that this is a case of the legend eventually naming the anonymous. The soldier who stabbed Jesus' side on the cross was eventually called Longinus; the rich man in the parable was eventually called Dives or Neves; the disciple who cut off the high priest's servants ear became Peter himself, and the servant was christened Malchus; a woman healed by Jesus was later named Berenice/Veronica. This is a very common dual process: anonymous people get named, and named people attract the words and deeds originally attributed to the anonymous.
Perhaps they omitted the names to protect the innocent from the Roman authorities?
Later, when the witnesses are no longer in danger, they then can safely declare who's who.
If so, that would give support to the theory that Mark and Matthew were written within a couple of decades of the crucifixion.

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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