Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 01:10:54 -0400 From: email@example.com To: Crosstalk-L Subject: sign of Jonah Crosstalkers, There's a relatively simple way to make sense of the SoJ, and I don't see why we need complicated explanations where simple ones are available. SoJ is basically the sign of resurrection. And it's connected with the 3 days in the tomb. Right away, this makes me think that this was not such an early element of the faith. Mk omits mentioning the SoJ. The SoJ parable is spelled out completely in Mt. Lk omits any mention of chronology, and so is also being a little vague. It is clear as clear can be that the parable circulated widely at a relatively early stage of the Christian catechesis (but perhaps not the earliest). The parable was apparently very important for early Christians. Thanks to Steve for pointing at the abundant archaeological evidence to this effect. The way each evangelist presented SoJ parable seems to reflect different stages of editing. Mk's version may be actually the latest in its present form. Mt preserves the parable in its more or less complete form and includes the 3 days in the tomb/belly. This seems like the original version. This version seems to have been created right after the shift began from the earliest form of catechesis, the Ebionite/quartodeciman, that did not include the tomb stories. At that time, the Sunday Easter observance was not yet the rule, of course. As I mentioned before, all the early Christians were quartodecimans, and celebrated Easter on the day of Passover. (Goulder completely agrees with this in his TWO MISSIONS.) So it seems like the original form of the 3 days in the tomb story was closely associated with SoJ. It is probable that this development of the link between Jesus and Jonah took place already in the Gentile-oriented congregations of Syria. Now, the next stage of development was the embrace of the first Sunday after the Passover as the fixed Day of Resurrection. (Of course "fixed" only in relative terms since the Passover is still a movable feast.) When this took place, the SoJ must have become something of an embarrassment. So what really happened with Jesus? It seems safest to suppose that, in actual life, he was crucified just before the Passover. In any case, his day of death/resurrection was believed to have been the 14th of Nissan, according to the Adoptionists/Ebionites. Perhaps an early tradition connected this day in that particular year with Thursday? But it may have also been connected with Friday. Difficult to say. Anyhow, the adoption of Sunday as the day of resurrection would have thrown both these traditions, if indeed they existed, off somewhat, especially if the day of crucifixion was associated with Friday. It is also possible that the adoption of Thursday as the day of crucifixion in some congregations may have been dictated by Sunday already having been pronounced as the day of resurrection. The adoption of Sunday as the official day of resurrection clearly came into conflict with SoJ story that was accepted already by that stage. So Mk and Lk, or rather their editors, tried to get over this problem by smoothing over the inconsistencies, and omitting chronological details. Of course this brief summary needs to be expanded further to clarify these matters that are far from simple. Best, Yuri. _________________________________________________________________Click here to go one level up in the directory.