Cephas (or Judas, actually)
By the way, my apology to Richard _Bauckham_ (not Bauchaum, or however I
spelled it last night), author not only of _Jude and the Relatives of Jesus_
which I cited last night, but, among many other works, a series of fine
Forschungsberichten in ANRW on the catholic epistles. Part of what I was
referring to last night was the following:
p.35 "As for the reason for his surname Thomas, he probably was actually a
twin. To argue, as Rendel Harris does, that his twin must have been a more
important than he, because 'the less is defined with reference to the greater,'
is fallacious. He would have been called twin simply because this was a
characteristic which distinguished him from other disciples with the name
Judas. He would have been called twin simply because this was a characteristic which distinguished him from other disciples with the name Judas. His twin
would no doubt have been someone known to the circle who first gave him the
nickname, but need not have been prominent in the early church and could be
completely unknown to us..."
Such an argument of Bauckham's would perhaps be more plausible if not
for his statements on p. 11:
"...it neglects the probability that the names which Mark retains from the
Gospel traditions were not mere names to him, but people who, because of their
prominence in the early church, were known, at least by reputation, to him and
his readers. This probability is confirmed by the fact that in 15:40 Mark
calls James 'the little', to distinguish him from the other Jameses well known
in the early church. This James is no mere name to him, but a person whose
distinguishing nickname he knows."
Is "the liitle" a title Mark gives to James, or is it a well-known
"distinguishing" nickname? Who is James the "big" (since Bauckham rejects
"the lessor")? Is it a reasonable argument that the Mary of James and Joses
in Mark 15:40, 15:47, and 16:1 is not the same Mary of James, Joses, Judas, and
Simon in Mark 6:3? Considering Mark's attack on the family of Jesus (which
Bauckham recognizes), is it unreasonable to suggest that James "the little"
is in fact an intentional slam on James "the Just," the brother of Jesus?
This, of course, brings me back to the original question raised by
Bart's posting of a couple of days ago, perhaps more refined. Could it be
that Mark's list of "the twelve" comes from a source and that he does not
recognize the Peter, James, and John to be the very same "pillars" of
Jerusalem? By the same token, could this be true of "Thomas" (in the list)
and Judas (the brother) as well. So, I ask again, could Judas have been
either the twin brother of Jesus (suspending virgin birth arguments for now)
or the twin brother of James (but identified and spiritualized as Jesus'
twin in Syrian tradition)? Or, to put the question another way, why NOT?
And while we're at it, since Mark has Jesus disassociating himself from his
biological family already in 3:32-35, and it is the _townspeople_ who
identify his brothers and James, Joses, Judas and Simon, doesn't it seem
logical that Mark would identify Jesus' biological mother as the mother of
James or Joses in Mark 15:40-16:1, and not of Jesus? Bauckham's argument
against this is both a subjective objection and contradicted later:
p. 13 "...we must pause further over the second Mary of Mark and Matthew,
since a case might be made for her relationship to Jesus, independently of a
theory of her identity with one of the women of John 19:25. Such a case
depends on identifying her sons James the little and Joses with the two
eldest 'brothers' of Jesus, James and Joses. We may first of all rule out
the possibility that she is the mother of Jesus, since it is incredible that
Mark, Matthew or pre-Markan tradition should choose this way of referring to
the mother of Jesus."
What makes this incredible? Mark has already trashed the family in
Mark 3 and 6. The only narrative inconsistency that I can see is that the
second Mary is one of several women of "ministered" to Jesus in Galilee. But
that Mark had a bone to pick with the family of Jesus is recognized even by
p. 46 "Mark's Gospel gives the impression of a complete rift between Jesus
and his family."
Could Kelber and Weeden hence be right: that Mark has a bone to pick
(a "vendetta" to Weeden) with the Jerusalem leadership, which was made up
of, in particular, the "pillars" and the family of Jesus?
Perhaps my own bone of contention is clear by now: Mark's identifica-
tion of individuals in the early Jesus movements should probably not be taken
at face value.