Re: telew- ben's interpretation

From: George Athas (
Date: Tue May 19 1998 - 20:36:23 EDT

Hi Jim! You wrote:

> [...] What this suggests is that the whole complex is a literary construct, in
> greek, by the author of the Gospel, without any trace of historical support.
> Or, to put it simply, the final cry (in John, remember), is a literary
> device, not an ipssisima verba Jesu.

Well, unless you can prove to me, Jim, that you were there at Golgotha, this is a
very forthright statement to make. You have every right to say it, but the bottom
line is that this is not *necessarily* an ipssisima verba Jesu. That is, the
historical man from Nazareth may well have said this as he hung dying, or he may not
have. The fact that Jesus' words in the gospels are convenient literary devices does
not a priori preclude them from having actually been said by him. Literary devices
and maxims do not by necessity rule out any historical root behind them - especially
if they are words which anyone could have spoken, as is the case here. Is it so hard
to think that Jesus of Nazareth may have uttered these words? It's far from
impossible that he did. But, then again, he may not have. It comes down to personal
interpretation - unless you were actually there. It might be a little better to
state that this is *your* conclusion of the evidence, or a 'general concensus' - not
*the* conclusion. Or else...where exactly was Golgotha, Jim? How did you get there?
Were you with anyone? What did Jesus actually look like? ;-)

Best regards as ever!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at

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