Re: telew- ben's interpretation

From: Jim West (
Date: Wed May 20 1998 - 12:26:18 EDT

At 04:45 PM 5/20/98, you wrote:
>On Mon 18 May 98 (21:02:47), wrote:

> No, not forgetful, Jim. The beloved Apostle was nearer the cross than any of
> the others. He picked up what the others missed. He wrote the fourth gospel
> after the others, not to duplicate their efforts, but to fill in some gaps.

I reject this interpretation of the 4th Gospel. It is not "filler" for the

>> But, given Ben's conflation of sources:
> "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established"
> (2 Corinthians 13:1). We have four gospellers.

Indeed we do- but the synoptics and John are substantively different.

> I won't say "Jim forgets", just that Jim did not mention that the quotation
> of Psalm 22:1 is more of an allusion than a quotation. As reported in the
> accounts of Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, this Saying from the Cross is
> neither directly from the Hebrew MT, nor from the Aramaic Targum. It's as
> if Jesus deliberately disguised his quotation, so as not to "cast pearls
> before swine". The faithful recognised the allusion afterwards, even if not
> immediately at the time. They were in a state of trauma, to say the least.
> Likewise the TETELESTAI was not a "cry of capitulation", but a disguised
> further allusion to Psalm 22, this time to its last verse, verse 31. It was
> a victory cry, as in Psalm 22:31. "A seed" HAS "come", and HAS declared
> "His righteousness to a people that shall be [are now] born, that *He has
> done* [this]". KiY `aSaH, TETELESTAI indeed!

You still do not explain why he quotes the beginning in Aramaic and the end
in Greek- if indeed your conflation of the sources is correct.

> The "cry of dereliction" is the quotation of/allusion to Psalm 22 we are
> discussing. Theologians call it the "cry of dereliction", not the Gospel
> writers. The "combination of the two" exists in the Seven Last Words.

But NOT ONE of the Gospels has "7 Last Words"- the whole idea is a later
construct which has nothing to do with the last moments of Jesus' life.

> The Diatessaron? that only exists in Zahn's imagination, unless I am missing
> something. TETELESTAI is fairly obviously a Greek *translation* of Christ's
> utterance, almost certainly in Aramaic/Hebrew.

Surely you jest? The diatessaron is an actual text!

> The Synoptists do record Jesus crying with a loud voice (Matthew 27:50, Mark
> 15:37, Luke 23:46); they omit to quote the actual cry, which John supplies.
> After the TETELESTAI cry of victory, Jesus quietly prays the words of Psalm
> 31:5a (the Jewish bedtime prayer) and expires.

Again ,this conflation of sources is illegeitimate historical reconstruction.

> Some affect not to believe in miracles, because they are against science,
> and therefore impossible. Some affect not to believe in the possiblity of
> future prophecy, and that "prophecies" are either coincidental, or vaticinia
> post eventum. David wrote Psalm 22 about a millennium before it happened,
> and was literally fulfilled in great detail at Calvary. As Jesus said to
> the walkers to Emmaus, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the
> prophets have spoken..." (Luke 24:25). How could they have missed something
> so obvious? Jesus quite often went seemingly out of his way, "that the
> Scripture might be fulfilled, which said....".

I agree that you have the right to these sweeping presuppositions; but I
think they ar wrong. David didn't write Ps 22, and the road to Emmaus story
is historically void.

> It is evident from John 20:30-31 and 21:25 that the writer used the scissors
> as well as the quill when recording his Gospel for posterity. Like the
> speeches of Henry in Shakespeare's /Henry V/, these words are not ipsissima
> verba Jesu, EXCEPT where the Aramaic is elaborately transcribed instead of
> translated: e.g. "TALIQA KOUM" (Mark 5:41). Peter was Mark's source; Peter
> was so impressed that he repeated the formula "TABITHA, ANASTHQI" with
> Tabitha/Dorcas (Acts 9:40). I would insist that the Seven Words from the
> Cross, like "dying declarations" and "famous last words" generally, ARE
> ipsissima verba Jesu.

I disagree. And the Aramaic phrases recorded in the gospels are there
because they were viewed as "magical healing formulae" by later Christians-
not because they were ipsissima.

> Thsnk you, Jim. I rest my case.

Best to you, Ben.

> Ben
> Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
> <>
> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:44 EDT