Friday, October 26, 2012

Richard Bauckham on Yose

I am delighted to be able to post the following article here:

Note: This article consists of edited extracts from a much longer study of the name Joseph in the Late Second Temple period (not yet published). I am making this version available now in view of the recent on-­‐line articles by Eldad Keynan and James Tabor, already discussed on Mark Goodacre’s NT Blog, and the imminent publication of the collection of essays on Talpiyot Tomb A (edited J. H. Charlesworth).
I begin with a summary of the occurrences of the short forms of the name Joseph in the relevant sources, based on my own collection of the data, which is now the fullest and most up-­‐to-­‐date available.
Update (3 Nov.): Comment from Eldad Keynan.


Ulrich Schmid said...

Bauckham may want to check the wording of footnote 32 in order to be clear about the reading that Pfann has proposed - the likely correct reading I hasten to add.

Mark Goodacre said...

You are right, Ulrich; it should be *first* reading.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the correction. It's great to have such careful readers.

Unknown said...

Thanks also to James Tabor who has pointed out an error at the top of page 7 (this page follows footnote 27). סייו should be יוסי. Sometimes right-to-left writing spooks my computer.

James D. Tabor said...

Dear Rich, Richie, Richard,

Thanks for sharing with all of us this portion of your study on Yehosef/Yoseh. I think we would all agree that until we get our data clear and agreed upon we just continue to talk past one another about name frequencies and conclusions of common or rare. I sent you my own careful compilations of the inscriptional evidence from Cotton, et al., CIIP in Fall 2011 when we first began our personal exchange on the Greek inscription in Talpiot Tomb B and you were waiting for your copy of CIIP. I am glad to see we largely agree on the pre-2nd century CE data so it is just a matter of sorting out the interpretations and implications--and here I think both of you are quite mistaken. I was already preparing a response to Mark's points and will include yours as well, or maybe two separate posts. I am swamped getting ready for papers at Chicago but will try to get something out before then if possible. Will you be in Chicago perhaps? It would be great to meet and talk about some of this face to face. BTW, I think there is a PDF error on page 7 with the fonts getting mixed around: .סייו/יוסה

All best,

Jim, Jimmy, James

eldadk said...

Dear Prof. Bauckham. Yoseh and Yosey seem to be formidable rivals. No doubt: both are important to understand the Talpiot a tomb. But for the detractors of the idea both are crucial. So crucial, that you turn to ad hominem tactics. I quote:
"Finally, Keynan seems to think the
synagogue inscriptions from post-200 CE are funerary inscriptions. If my memory serves, they record donors".
It's not true! It's not what I wrote. I didn't even implied so. Naturally - I don't think so. You, Prof. Bauckham, know that better than most of the readers. I don't know how many ancient synagogues and tombs you have seen. I have visited many ancient synagogues and hundreds of tombs. I can tell the difference, not from reading books, but by touching both kinds of inscriptions.
It's an old trick: claim that someone said\wrote so-and-so (which he certainly didn't), and then attack him, personally, for the content he never even dreamed to author.
On the other side: false statements reveal difficulties. Exactly the difficulties that make Yoseh and Yosey "heavyweight names". Remember Galileo, Prof. Bauckham.

eldadk said...

More "to the point", Prof. Bauckham: you dismiss my sources on the ground that they are too late. Interestingly, the Kaufman Manuscript, on which you rely, is older than all my sources. You contend that the Greek forms are better evidence. Following this argument: neither Yeshua called his brother "Joses", nor Yoseh called his brother "Jesus". Both called their brother Yaaqov, surely not "James". Moreover: Lazar and Liezer are not "short forms" but the result of local Aramaic dialect, so common in the J. Talmud: the first alef - א- in a name drops. Thus another name, originally spelled Abon, became Bon, and R. Abba became R. Ba.

Unknown said...

Eldad, I'm sorry I misunderstood you on the synagogue inscriptions. You referred to them in the context of your discussion of funerary inscriptions and so I thought you meant they were examples of those. I certainly didn't deliberately misrepresent you.

I don't think the Greek forms are BETTER evidence, just that they are part of the evidence. Of course, people in Jesus' family used their Hebrew/Aramaic names most of the time. But in Jerusalem, where there were bilingual and Greek-speaking Jewish Christians as well as Aramaic speaking Christians, James would have been known as Iakob or Iakobos as well as Yaaqov. Probably quite a lot of Jerusalem residents similarly used both Semitic and Greek forms of their name. Hence the Greek forms of Yoseh on ossuaries are evidence of the pronunciation of the name as well as of its currency.

eldadk said...

Richard - accepted.
An intriguing question: what langauge has been employed in the most earlier gosples? It was Aramaic, probably, except for John. No doubt, who ever the Talpiot a Yoseh was, the inscription is Aramaic\Hebrew. In the sages' Aramaic, the sound "ei" is represented by the letters יה. said...

Richard wrote:"But in Jerusalem, where there were bilingual and Greek-speaking Jewish Christians as well as Aramaic speaking Christians, James would have been known as Iakob or Iakobos as well as Yaaqov."

What kind of "Jewish Christians" or "Aramaic speaking Christians" are we talking about?

Stephen Goranson said...

Two new Scrolls books have considerable NT-relevance. (Sorry, off-topic for this particular post, but I hope not to the blog generally.)

1) John J. Collins, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography (Princeton UP, copyright 2013[?]). This "Lives of Great Religious Books" series contribution offers a more breezy, journalistic overview from one of the Scrolls editors. It's readable and mostly reliable. It rightly notes (p. 33) that, early on, several (including I. Sowmy) independently raised the possible Essene connection, but (p. 34) writes that "it is not clear exactly when Sukenik reached this conclusion." Actually, his son Y. Yadin published excerpts from his diary in the Eretz Israel 8 Sukenik volume (1967), with dates. Coverage of the relevant history of scholarship before 1948 is somewhat hit-or-miss: mentioning Scaliger on Philo but not Conybeare; mentioning some mistaken etymologies but not not the likeliest ones, for which, see now J. VanderKam, The DSS and the Bible (2012) 100-104. Collins recounts several, but surely not all, of the Scrolls controversies. For example, omitted is Yadin's claim that B-Z Wacholder in Dawn of Qumran plagiarized him. There are some misspellings, including Rafael for Raphael Golb. An OK read.

2) Joan E. Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (Oxford UP, 2012). This major work deserves long, detailed reviews, so this note is merely for starters. To be brief, Taylor has really, and in detail, strengthened the case that some Essenes lived at Qumran for parts of the first centuries BCE and CE. The book covers much ground, and has strengths and weaknesses. It is unreliable and practically self-contradictory about Essene etymology. It makes a questionable argument that NT Herodians was another name for Essenes, yet does not cite the directly-relevant text by Y. Yadin, The Temple Scroll: The Hidden Law...(1985) 80-83 (much less my BA 1985 p. 127 review of it). She goes on at length about healing--a subject admittedly of interest to most religious [or non-religious] groups, but has little to show that healing was a remarkably characteristic feature of Essenes, beyond a few passing words in Josephus. Steckoll's dig is cited as if reliable. She cites a YouTube video by John Allegro (who did say Essenes were healers, but on other days said other things) averring that Essenes grew healing herbs at Ain Feshkha (p. 306). Draws on Ankephalaiosis as if authored by Epiphanius (despite Holl T & U 1910). Writes of "4QTherapeia"--4Q431, 4QM130, that J. Naveh and J. Greenfield et al. consider a writing exercise--in a most curious manner, leaving unanalysed whether she regards it evidence for Essene healing (pages 306 & 329--inaccurate in the index). 306: "...Allegro noted texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls that seemed to have associations with healing, particularly a text once known as 4QTherapeia." 329: "Specific medical or pharmacological terms have been suggested in only one text, originally called 4QTherapeia (4Q341). Allegro was particularly interested in this, reading it as designating a variety of medications, However, because of the difficulty in comprehending this, the identification of of it as a writing exercise is currently assumed." Given Taylor's claims about healing, leaning on so little, a reader might expect to hear if she considers Therapeia an appropriate name, and why. But the book's weaknesses on etymology and healing (and, we shall see, maybe or maybe not on Herodians) should not keep readers away from the book's many, many strengths. It includes much of interest.

Stephen Goranson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Fellows said...

Richard, some believe that Joseph was the name of one of the Hasmonean brothers and that it became popular for that reason. In any case, if the distribution of the name Jose in time and space roughly corresponds to that of Joseph, then your case is strengthened even more.

You mention the possibility that the Jose in the tomb was the same person as the Joseph. Even if they were different people, this combination of names would not be rare because a) one Joseph could have been named after the other family member of the same name, b) when there were two Josephs in the same family it would make sense for one of them to use the hypocoristic form to avoid confusion.

Perhaps these points have been made before. said...

You can prove anything with etymology.