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  #51  
Old 11-09-2012, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Πολυπέρχων Γʹ View Post
There is a speculation, generally considered to be apocryphal, that Jesus spent some time in India during his youth. Of course, there is also a speculation that Jesus spent time in what is now England as exemplified by Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time".

The latter is slightly more believable, if only more so, as campaigns against the Celtic tribes of Britain began around 50 BC, well before Jesus was born, and the fact that what is now France was under Roman control could have allowed easier travel.

That said, a Buddhist or Oriental influence is not totally out of the question, as Greco-Buddhism was well known in the West, and Buddhist merchants from India were known to have lived as far west as Alexandria. Also, the historians and Hellenistic philosophers might have known about Buddhism, and seemingly Buddhist influence could have come from them.
My question was actually half rhetorical. I know about the theories concerning Jesus' missing years, or Mary Magdalene's travels to France. And I also know about Greek and Asian diffusion of ideas, and I saw several interesting artefacts expressing this. However, I have yet to find compelling evidence for these hypotheses. From what I gather most of these traditions developed at a very later stage in history, several source were written about the idea of Jesus in India during the 19th and early 20th century for example.
Sometimes it reminds me about claims that the ten lost tribes of Israel arrived to Scandinavia and the British isles. These are all very romantic ideas, even appealing and aesthetic, but not necessarily supported by concrete evidence.
The diffusion of ideas as a result of Hellenistic contact in Asia is very interesting and can be played on. The question is how far does it go.
What are the earliest sources that propose evidence about an India connection in Jesus' lost years?
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Last edited by Caladan; 11-09-2012 at 06:44 AM..
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  #52  
Old 11-09-2012, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Shermana View Post
From this and some other sources which I can find later, only a very few Jews spoke fluent Greek, and they were either considered laudable as ambassadors or as "Hellenists" (aka traitors), ...
This strikes me as nonsense.

From wiki
Quote:
Profession and literacy

Profession

Jesus is identified in the Gospel of Matthew {13:55) as the son of a τέκτων (tekton) and the Gospel of Mark (6:3) states that Jesus was a tekton himself. Tekton has been traditionally translated into English as "carpenter", but is a rather general word (from the same root that gives us "technical" and "technology") that could cover makers of objects in various materials, even builders. But the specific association with woodworking was a constant in Early Christian writings; Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165) wrote that Jesus made yokes and ploughs, and there are similar early references.

Other scholars have argued that tekton could equally mean a highly-skilled craftsman in wood or the more prestigious metal, perhaps running a workshop with several employees, and noted sources recording the shortage of skilled artisans at the time. Geza Vermes has stated that the terms 'carpenter' and 'son of a carpenter' are used in the Jewish Talmud to signify a very learned man, and he suggests that a description of Joseph as 'naggar' (a carpenter) could indicate that he was considered wise and highly literate in the Torah.
At the time of Joseph and Jesus, Nazareth was an obscure village in Galilee, about 65 km from the Holy City of Jerusalem, which is barely mentioned in surviving non-Christian texts and documents. Archaeology over most of the site is made very difficult by subsequent building, but from what has been excavated and tombs in the area around the village, it is estimated that the population was at most about 400. It was, however, only about 6 kilometres from the city of Tzippori (ancient "Sepphoris"), which was destroyed by the Romans in 4BC, and thereafter was expensively rebuilt. Jonathan L. Reed states that the analysis of the landscape and other evidence suggest that in that Jesus and Joseph's lifetime Nazareth was "oriented towards" the nearby city.

Literacy

There are strong indications of a high illiteracy rate among the lower socio-economic classes in the Roman Empire at large, with various scholars estimating 3% to 10% literacy rates. However, the Babylonian Talmud (which dates to 3rd-5th century) states that the Jews had schools in nearly every one of their towns.

Geoffrey Bromiley states that as a "religion of the book" Judaism emphasized reading and study, and people would read to themselves in a loud voice, rather than silently, a practice encouraged (Erubin 54a) by the Rabbis. James D. G. Dunn states that Second Temple Judaism placed a great deal of emphasis on the study of Torah, and the "writing prophets" of Judaism assumed that sections of the public could read. Dunn and separately Donahue and Harrington refer to the statement by first century historian Josephus in Against Apion (2.204) that the "law requires that they (children) be taught to read" as an indication of high literacy rate among some first century Jews. Richard A. Horsley, on the other hand, states that the Josephus reference to learn "grammata" may not necessarily refer to reading and may be about an oral tradition.

There are a number of passages from the Gospels which state or imply that Jesus could read. The Jesus Seminar stated that references in the Gospels to Jesus reading and writing may be fictions. John Dominic Crossan who views Jesus as a peasant states that he would not have been literate. Craig A. Evans states that it should not be assumed that Jesus was a peasant, and that his extended travels may indicate some measure of financial means. Evans states that existing data indicate that Jesus could read scripture, paraphrase and debate it, but that does not imply that he received formal scribal training, given the divergence of his views from the existing religious background of his time. James Dunn states that it is "quite credible" that Jesus could read. John P. Meier further concludes that the literacy of Jesus probably extended to the ability to read and comment on sophisticated theological and literary works.
Meanwhile, Mark Roberts at Beliefnet adds:
Quote:
The fact that the Gospels are written in Greek bears shows that many if not most of the earliest Christians, including some who followed Jesus during his earthly ministry, knew Greek and used it often, perhaps as their first language. Many Jewish writings from the era of Jesus were written in Greek, including works such as 2 Maccabees and 1 Esdras. Other Hebrew writings were being translated into Greek in Jerusalem (the book of Esther, for example, in 114 B.C.). Speaking of Jerusalem, scholars have found some ninety Greek inscriptions on ossuaries (boxes for bones) that date to around the time of Jesus and were found in or around Jerusalem.
Ever since Alexander the Great conquered Palestine in 332 B.C., Greek had been the language of government and, increasingly, commerce and scholarship. Though Aramaic continued to be spoken by many, Greek grew in its popularity and influence. In the time of Jesus, well-educated Jews, mainly those of the upper classes, would have known and used Greek. So would those who were involved in trade or government. But many other Jews would have had at least a rudimentary knowledge of Greek which they used in their business and travels to the larger cities.

The presence and pervasiveness of Greek in Palestine is demonstrated by a discovery in the Nahal Hever region of the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea. In a cave, a scroll was found that contains substantial portions of the minor prophets in Greek. The so-called Nahal Hever Minor Prophets Scroll, dated around the time of Jesus, shows the influence and popularity of Greek, even among highly religious Jews. (Photo: A portion of the scroll found at Nahal Hever. This shows a passage from Habakkuk 2-3. Notice that the letters are all capitals and there are no spaces between words. That was commonplace in the first century.)

Though the New Testament Gospels do not tell us whether Jesus spoke Greek or not, they do describe situations in which it’s likely that Greek was used. In Matthew 8:5-13, for example, Jesus entered into dialogue with a Roman centurion. The centurion almost certainly spoke in Greek. And, as Matthew tells the story, he and Jesus spoke directly, without a translator. Of course it’s always possible that a translator was used and simply not mentioned by Matthew. Still, the sense of the story suggests more immediate communication, which would have been in Greek.

The same could be said about Jesus’ conversation with Pontius Pilate prior to his crucifixion (Matthew 27:11-14; John 18:33-38). Once again, there is the possibility of an unmentioned translator. But the telling of the story points to a Greek-speaking Jesus. (Pilate would have used Greek, not Latin, as imagined by Mel Gibson in The Passion of the Christ. And it’s unlikely that he would have known or used Aramaic. Pilate was not the sort of man who would stoop to use the language of common Jews.)

If Jesus knew enough Greek to converse with a Roman centurion and a Roman governor, where did he learn it? Some have suggested that he might have learned it during his early years in Egypt. A more likely explanation points to his location in Galilee. Though Aramaic was the first language of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown was a short walk from Sepphoris, which was a major city and one in which Greek was spoken. Jesus quite probably had clients in Sepphoris who utilized his carpentry services, and he would have spoken with them in Greek.

But given the multi-lingual context in which Jesus lived, it’s not surprising that he would have been reasonably fluent in Greek and Hebrew, in addition to Aramaic. People in the United States often have a hard time understanding this. But if you’ve known people who have grown up in Europe, for example, they often can get by in several languages, including English, German, Spanish, and French, even if their first language is Italian.

Can we know for sure that Jesus spoke Greek? No. Is it reasonable to assume that he could speak Greek and did upon occasion? Yes, I believe so.
Of course, much of what might be said about Jesus is necessarily speculative. Nevertheless, to suggest that a handyman/craftsman raised where he was raised and schooled by the Pharisees could not speak Greek seems more than a little odd.
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  #53  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:30 AM
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thats if you assume, he was a Pharisee, which there is no evidence for. Only that he learned from JtB.

And if you take out of context Tekton, which by other scholars and anthropologist, were in fact displaced renters who lived a life below peasants. Who lived in Nazareth which was probably nothing more then a work camp for Sepphoris. which would be your mopst plausible avenue for researching jesus possible greek language. But even then, the bible is silent on that and places him traveling from village to village teaching. not city to city


would it be safe to say, the gospel authors or the oral tradition knew little to nothing of his pre 30 years of age, upbringing?


and surely not the biased view Mark Roberts
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  #54  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:06 PM
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And if you take out of context Tekton, which by other scholars and anthropologist, were in fact displaced renters ...
Names, citations, ...
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  #55  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:52 PM
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Names, citations, ...

I heard this out of Reeds lips.

but here is another source, there are more

The Bible and Interpretation - National Geographic’s “Jesus: the Man” ? A Review

archaeologists, and historians (including Carolyn Osiek, Jonathan Reed, Jodi Magness, Mordecai Aviam, Stephen J. Patterson, Marcus Borg, Lawrence Schiffman, and Shimon Gibson) it endeavors to set a few things straight about Jesus’ background, identity, and ministry. In doing so, this series seeks not to only engage traditional views about Jesus; it also seeks to challenge, albeit modestly, some of the understandings of modern scholarship. This episode addresses the following themes.

1) First, Jesus the boy is treated, including his family, their livelihood, and his experiences. According to Jonathan Reed, Nazareth is not mentioned in Jewish literature until the gospels, so it was a fairly insignificant town. Jodi Magness estimates it to have had at most two or three hundred inhabitants in the first century. By contrast, Sepphoris (just a few miles away) was built during the days of Herod the Great, and around the time of Jesus’ childhood it would have been a bustling cosmopolitan center.

As scholars have recently noted, the word usually translated “carpenter” (tekton) can also mean someone who worked with his hands, or a stone worker. As Joseph may have done stonework and manual labor rather than being a craftsman with wood, this would have put him in the lowest of the lower class. Therefore, the family Jesus grew up in would not have owned land, but they would have been subsistence farmers accustomed to menial labor. According to Stephen Patterson, the family of Jesus was a step below the normal peasant. This being the case, neither Joseph nor Jesus was a carpenter; they were more likely workers with stone and general manual labor.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:57 PM
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As Joseph may have done stonework and manual labor rather than being a craftsman with wood, this would have put him in the lowest of the lower class. Therefore, the family Jesus grew up in would not have owned land, but they would have been subsistence farmers accustomed to menial labor.
You are so transparent.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:04 PM
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Sometimes it reminds me about claims that the ten lost tribes of Israel arrived to Scandinavia and the British isles. These are all very romantic ideas, even appealing and aesthetic, but not necessarily supported by concrete evidence.
I digress, but these claims are basically very romanticist in nature, basically from those who saw Biblical or Greco-Roman classical times as being more ideal than the present day. A lot of European royalty during the middle ages tried to link themselves to Caesar, Aeneas of Troy, or the Davidic Dynasty (the Royal Family of Ethiopia still claimed Solomonic descent well into the 20th century). Most of them are quite dubious and many outright fictional.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:05 PM
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What makes you so certain? He is recorded as bending down and writing in the dust.
I´ve heard that (beautiful) verse was probably not in the original bibles, given that the oldest ones collected don´t have such text.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:33 PM
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and surely not the biased view Mark Roberts
This time, before asking I spent some time searching the web for information on or studies by Mark Roberts. The first indicator that he's not the most reliable source is how easy it is to find his blog and books intended for the general audience, and how hard it is to find a single paper in some specialist publication (journal, edited series of monographs and/or volumes, etc.). I didn't find any.

That said, he received his Ph.D. at Harvad (his dissertation was Images of Paul and the Thessalonians), under the direction (i.e., his dissertation adviser) of Helmut Koester.

As I said before, everyone is biased. But it doesn't appear that Roberts is more biased than, say, Ehrman. And unlike Richard Carrier (whose writings are also largely blogs, material for general audiences, and contributions to atheist conferences), Roberts actually held academic appointments and received his recognition as a scholar the hard way (he finished his graduate degrees before publishing/blogging). So I don't see any reason to ignore his work because of his particular biases, nor can it reasonably be dismissed because of these.

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Originally Posted by outhouse View Post
As scholars have recently noted, the word usually translated “carpenter” (tekton) can also mean someone who worked with his hands, or a stone worker.
Or, as Liddell & Scott put it in 1852, "generally, any craftsman or workman". But as a primary definition, they have "any worker in wood, esp. a carpenter, joiner, builder". That hasn't changed much since the 19th century. But that tekton doesn't necessarily mean "carpenter" is nothing new, and both the current LSJ and BDAG reflect this.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:50 PM
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As Joseph may have done stonework and manual labor rather than being a craftsman with wood, this would have put him in the lowest of the lower class. Therefore, the family Jesus grew up in would not have owned land, but they would have been subsistence farmers accustomed to menial labor.
... is a masterful display of agenda driven speculation, non sequitur, and irrelevance.
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