Re: Simon of Bethany

Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 12:50:05 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 10:01 AM -0500 5/5/98, Steven Cox wrote:
> >Dear all
> >This may actually be a question for b-aramaic list, but as I
> >don't know aramaic and there may be something in the greek
> >text I am missing I submit this question to b-greek. Your
> >forbearance please.
> >-----------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >Below there is a simplified parallel of the anointings in the
> >Gospels. My question relates to the name LAZAROS, which BAGD
> >gives as an abreviation of Eleazar (which in LXX is ELEAZAR),
> >and cites Josephus' War 5:567 MANNAIOS hO LAZAROU.
> >
> >(1) Is it possible that as in the Josephus example LAZAROS is a
> >patronymic?
> >
> >(2) Alternatively the Medieval Latin "lazarus"(=leper) has
> >something more than the NT use behind it. My gut reaction is
> >to reject this out of hand.. but.. maybe there is an Aramaic
> >word play in the stem L-Z-R?
> >
> >(3) Or Simon is simply Lazarus' elder brother or father?
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> >Matt 26:6 Mark 14:3 Luke 7:40/10:40 John 11:2
> > Simon Pharisee
> > Capernaum
> > woman drys feet who dried feet
> > with her hair with her hair
> >
> > a village
> > Mary
> > Martha
> > Martha
> >Simon leper Simon leper Lazarus
> >Bethany Bethany Bethany
> >woman woman Mary
> >Judas Judas Judas
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> One factor that probably should be considered is that Greek LAZAROS,
> Heb/Aram ELEAZAR is a fairly common name meaning "God is my help." I think
> that the name is symbolic in the Lucan parable of "Lazarus and the Rich
> Man" (aliter "Lazarus and Dives"). Secondly, my guess is that Josephus'
> example simply Hellenizes the Hebrew/Aramaic practice of indicating a man's
> father (as the second part of one's name) with a BEN ELEAZAR (Heb?) or BAR
> ELEAZAR (Aram?). I would certainly defer to Jack Kilmon or others in the
> know on the latter point, but I would guess that (a) the name itself is
> fairly common in Palestine, and (b) that this IS a typical patronymic
> formula. I too would reject the Medieval Latin usage, and I'd also be
> rather skeptical (personally) about trying to draw a very close
> relationship between the Simons and the Lazaruses in these various
> traditions.

I would add [to Carl's observations] that "God is my help", especially
as a common name, provides exegetical force [via the selection of this
name] in John 11, vis a vis the death and rebirth thematic that is
illustrated there [with Lazarus], and which allows this gospel then to
'hinge' into the thematic focus of 'blood'. [And out of that of

And jar maker does seem to make more sense than leper for Simon, eh?
Yet there might could be a play on words here that has significance.
[Another back burner item!!] :-)

George Blaisdell


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:40 EDT