b-greek-digest V1 #795

b-greek-digest              Sunday, 23 July 1995        Volume 01 : Number 795

In this issue:

        Great Greek Books!! 
        Re: Junia, not Junias! 
        Dates for Jesus


From: CBCBooks@aol.com
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 03:36:28 -0400
Subject: Great Greek Books!! 

To Great Great Resourses:

Mounce, Wm., _Morphology of Biblical Greek_ Zond. 1994
Retail is 39.99  >>> Special b-greek price: $30.00 (incl. p&h)

and soon . . .

Pershbachers book on NT Greek Syntax for only $18.00 vs 25.99 (incl.

Bonus: with purchase receive a copy of _The English Bible_ by R. J. Decker!

Jerry Taylor
Calvary Bookstore


From: Nichael Lynn Cramer <nichael@sover.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 14:41:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Junia, not Junias! 

At 5:24 PM 21/07/95, Edward Hobbs wrote:
>      This issue comes up every couple of years, but participants
>change, so new discussion is needed. [...]

If I can be forgiven plugging a work by an old teacher, anyone interested
in a full --and perhaps timely-- reference on this topic might consider:

Bernadette Brooten, "Junia ... Oustanding among the Apostles" in L. and A.
Swidler, eds. _Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican
Declaration_ (Paulist Press, 1977), pp141-44.

Nichael              -  "...did I forget, forget to mention Memphis?
nichael@sover.net           Home of Elvis, and the ancient Greeks."


From: Greg Doudna <gdoudna@ednet1.osl.or.gov>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 14:02:56 -0700
Subject: Dates for Jesus

Stephen Carlson wrote:
> The typical argument against the 36 date is that if the
> start of Jesus' ministry is dated to around 28, then 36
> is much too late.  The basis for a 28 start date is (a)
> Jesus' birth is around 6 B.C.E. and (b) His ministry began
> when he was about thirty (Lk 3:23). . . .

How is 6 bce established?
Neither the birth date nor the accuracy of the Lk 3:23 figure
is known (6 bce to 28 CE is greater than 30 years in any case).
There is a date given by Luke in 3:1 for the beginning of John
the Baptist: about 28 CE.  While it is not known where Luke
got this date, or how reliable it is, I have no problem with
it as such.  But it should be made clear this is a date for
John, not Jesus.  Jesus is then said to have been baptized by
John, presumably in this period, i.e. 28 or conceivably any
time thereafter.  (The length of John's activity in Judea is

Following this baptism, Jesus goes into the wilderness for an
indeterminite period (according to the synoptics).  The
gospels say forty days, but I take this to be another round
figure for an indeterminite period.  By indeterminite period
this could be any length.  Then there are many traditions of
Jesus's activity following this time "in the wilderness".
Neither the implied one-year activity of Jesus in the
synoptics or the two or three-year period in John should be
taken at face value, for these are collections of traditions
organized much later by topical and other reasons and cannot
be pressed closely for chronological sequence and "length of
ministry" information.  However, the more important issue is
it is unknown how much time elapsed between:
        John's beginning in Judea (28 CE)
        Jesus's baptism by John
        John's arrest
        Jesus's prominence
        Jesus's crucifixion

The last three items above can probably have a good argument
for being linked or close together chronologically.  It is
what happened before that that is unclear.  If the Luke 3:1
date for John's start is reliable, then I would say from
c. 28 to 35 Jesus quietly lived as a disciple of John the
Baptist (notice the picture of Jesus quietly living in a
house as a disciple of John in Jn 1:39), emerging to
public prominence only for a brief period when John was
arrested or executed.  Or, there could have been a longer
period of reputation as a teacher before that.  In
any case, "length of ministry" considerations are flawed
for dating Jesus because of the uncertainties in the
information.  The method for dating Jesus must rather start
from such external points of contact that can be established
(such as the basic limitation of the years of Pilate), with
particular attention to historical contexts (e.g. the
Josephus information on John the Baptist possibly dating
the death of John later than conventionally assumed), and
then _possibly_ looking at some astronomy (though this is
a mine-field of assumptions too).

Greg Doudna
West Linn, Oregon

- --


End of b-greek-digest V1 #795


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