X-Rated Crucifixion

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Archimedes
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X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:06 pm

A friend brought to my attention an interesting passage from a newly translated codex titled The Testimony of Nathan Son of Isaac Concerning Jesus of Nazareth. In it, a courtesan is reported to have approached the crucified Jesus and to have “manually aroused him and fellated him.” A footnote transliterates the Greek as anephlase to aidion autou kai auton elaikase. I took anephlase as the aorist of anaphlaō, which is defined in the LSJ as “masturbari.” I took elaikase as the aorist of laikazō, which is defined in the LSJ as “wench” and “deceive.” How did the translator get anything having to do with fellation out of it? Thanks in advance to anyone who can enlighten me on this.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:54 pm

“wench” is euphemistic, and most imprecise. λαικάζειν does in fact mean to fellate. (Is it cognate with “lick” I wonder?)

What is this text and this codex? Is it real?

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:28 am

Do a book search on amazon.com for The Testimony of Nathan Son of Isaac Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, and it will come up with a brief description. The introduction and end notes of the copy I was shown appear to be done in a very academic manner.
What lexical source shows λαικάζειν as having the meaning of fellation?

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:57 am

Print on demand. “First-century composition” gives away the joke though. I’m tempted to pick up a copy anyway.

Having the appearance of a tenth or eleventh century copy of a first century composition, The Testimony of Nathan Son of Isaac Concerning Jesus of Nazareth purports to be an account by a contemporary of Jesus who actually knew him. This slender volume is a preliminary translation of the Greek text of the Testimony, undertaken while its authenticity and provenance are still being investigated. Ben Armhardt is the temporary nom de plume assumed by the New Testament scholar who produced the translation.
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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:56 am

So as I suspected, it’s fake, and a modern fake at that, like the Jesus’ wife fragment but not meant to take anyone in except perhaps the hopelessly gullible? Seems a very puerile joke.
What lexical source shows λαικάζειν as having the meaning of fellation?
The Revised Supplement to LSJ, for one. But the meaning is well established; LSJ was just being coy. David Bain and Jeff Henderson are two names you might check for discussion in English, or commentary on the Aristophanic passages. But all you have to do is read the word's attestations in context.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:35 am

jeidsath wrote:“First-century composition” gives away the joke though.
How so? I'm missing something in your train of thought.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:45 am

mwh wrote:So as I suspected, it’s fake, and a modern fake at that
The translator actually takes into consideration that it might very well be a modern fake, stating that it will take a physical examination of the codex itself by experts to determine its age.
The Revised Supplement to LSJ, for one. But the meaning is well established; LSJ was just being coy. David Bain and Jeff Henderson are two names you might check for discussion in English
Thanks! I'll check these out.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:17 pm

I don't think that I'm going to pick up a copy after all. There were a couple of pages available through "search inside this book" at Amazon.

Image
Image

I wouldn't be surprised if we've seen all the Greek that's in this book. I was hoping for a really good fake, like the Jesus' wife text. But this is too much for me.
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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:08 pm

More a hoax than a fake, I think, on the part of someone familiar with controversies over the actual method of crucifixion (see James Riley Estep’s chapter in https://books.google.com/books?id=1T5MA ... &q&f=false)
and pushing some particular theory (Zias’?—he seems to have made a career of it).

The purported translation is obviously no such thing. Besides, what scholar would publish a translation without the actual text, and under a “temporary nom de plume” at that? It’s ridiculous.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by npc » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:39 pm

I believe it's clear that the chance that this is actually what it purports to be, a translation of a 10th-11th century copy of a 1st century Greek manuscript, is indistinguishable from zero. The idea that the translator would be unwilling to use his or her real name stinks to high heaven. Nonetheless, I'm still curious about its provenance, such as it is.

Has anyone heard of this text before this book? A cursory Google search turns up absolutely nothing. Is anything known about the alleged Greek text? The statement that it might be a 10th(ish) century copy of a 1st century text is eyebrow raising. Having learned a little about New Testament textual criticism, I find it entirely plausible that someone could date a particular physical manuscript to a ~200 year timeframe. Without a MUCH broader textual tradition, I can't imagine how one could date said manuscript's exemplar to the 1st century. Without defending this particular document, can anyone come up with a scenario in which such a thing is plausible?

There's essentially no doubt in my mind that this is a hoax. I'm still curious about whether there is plausible scenario in which the anonymous translator is not necessarily complicit.

Interesting stuff.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:32 pm

Thanks for all the input!
npc wrote:Without a MUCH broader textual tradition, I can't imagine how one could date said manuscript's exemplar to the 1st century.
The purported translator states that a first century origin is "an even more remote possibility" than the manuscript's being a modern forgery or a tenth- or eleventh-century forgery. He also qualifies this with "if future investigation points in the direction of a first century original," that apparently being a mighty big if.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:07 am

It's not a forgery at all. It's make-believe. It doesn't exist. Why are we still talking about this? (Rhetorical question, please don't answer.)

The whole thing is a prank, and it's "interesting" only as such.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:05 pm

There was something in the book I thought might turn out to be internal evidence of prankery, but it turned out not to be the case. On page two, it states that the uncial text was laid out in double columns on each of the eleven pages, approximately twelve characters per column line, and approximately thirty-eight lines per page. Because the double column lines of twelve characters can be considered the same as a single line of twenty-four characters, there would be 24 x 38 = 912 characters per page, and at eleven pages in length the total uncial character count would be 912 x 11 = 10,032, which can be rounded to an even 10,000. Based on samplings of the spaced and punctuated English text of the Testimony, I came up with anywhere between 12,400 to 12,500 characters in the text, which can be averaged as 12,450. Now 12,450 ÷ 10,000 = 1.245, so the ratio of unspaced, unpunctuated Greek uncial text to spaced and punctuated English translation would be 1:1.245.

Wanting to compare this with some kind of reference, I decided to compare selections from the Gospel of Luke in Greek with the corresponding selections in the RSV. The selections I chose were the introductory verses and narrative verses describing the things Jesus did and what others did in relation to Jesus; teachings and dialogues were omitted. The selections were 1:1-4; 5:1-3; 6:17-19; 7:36-38; 22: 1-6; 23:6-12; 23:50-56; 24:1-3; and 24:8-16. Minus punctuation marks and spaces—to simulate uncial text—the Greek text character count came out to 3,382. The punctuated and spaced character count of the English translation RSV came out to 4,425. Now 4,425 ÷ 3,382 = 1.308, so the ratio of Greek uncial to English translation would be 1: 1.308.

Now 1.245 is in the same ball park so to speak as 1.308. A ratio way off, too much over or too much under, would have been suspect and a dead giveaway of prankery.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by jeidsath » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:40 pm

The "soldier's wine jug" at the end of the page I posted above is clearly building into a travesty of the Holy Grail legend. Since Perceval, le Conte du Graal, our earliest reference to the Grail legend, dates from the 12th century, that's an anachronism if so. Contra-mwh, the author is not talking about Zias' crucifixion theory, but is instead describing a sexual sado-masochist position. Also, I can only track down the reference to Schäufelein and Krug to a couple of LGBT-type articles.

It's obvious enough what at least two of Ben Armhardt's hang-ups are: Christianity and S&M. It's not a particularly interesting or unique mix. And he didn't even bother to write out a full Greek document for it!

Forget about Armhardt and look at Secret Mark instead. Now that's how to do this sort of thing. Blurry black and white photos of a handwritten document on a printed text, found under unlikely circumstances, then lost under stranger circumstances. Decent enough Greek. Is it real or a hoax? Nobody knows.
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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:29 am

jeidsath wrote:The "soldier's wine jug" at the end of the page I posted above is clearly building into a travesty of the Holy Grail legend. Since Perceval, le Conte du Graal, our earliest reference to the Grail legend, dates from the 12th century, that's an anachronism if so.
You're reading way too much into this. According to the text, an accomplice of the courtesan took up the soldiers' wine jug and replaced it with an identical jug containing wine laced with a potion that would put Jesus into a death-like sleep. Either jug is never mentioned again.
Also, I can only track down the reference to Schäufelein and Krug to a couple of LGBT-type articles.
The works are reproduced in Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, 2nd edition revised and enlarged, University of Chicago Press, 1996, cited as a reference by Armhardt. I was able to pull up the images by doing a Google image search on "Hans Schäufelein Crucifixion" and "Ludwig Krug Man of Sorrows."
Forget about Armhardt and look at Secret Mark instead.
Interestingly enough, Armhardt cites one of Morton Smith's works, Jesus the Magician.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by jeidsath » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:56 am

How pedestrian.
The works are reproduced in Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, 2nd edition revised and enlarged, University of Chicago Press, 1996, cited as a reference by Armhardt. I was able to pull up the images by doing a Google image search on "Hans Schäufelein Crucifixion" and "Ludwig Krug Man of Sorrows."
And now search for both Krug and Schäufelein juxtaposed, as here in Armhardt.
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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:39 am

The blow-job is inspired by depictions of the crucified Jesus with a hard-on (all considerably later than 10th-11th cent., however, and all post-mortem), and the detailed technical description of the crucifixion method feeds off of modern investigations stimulated by an archeological discovery of remains of a crucified man in Jerusalem.
The prankster or pranksters, whatever his motive (the sheer thrill of hoodwinking?, enhanced by the blasphemous cocksucking?) knows Hebrew but not much Greek. He’s bound to be male.

I wrote the above yesterday but didn’t post it. In light of the continued discussion I do now.

Archimedes, this is your second thread with “x-rated” in the heading, and the first one also featured fellatio. I really think that should be your limit. :) I don’t know why you seem so intent on believing that the alleged codex has any real existence. We can’t set store by your calculations; you’d do better to consider the fact that the inscriptions (βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων etc) are said to straddle both columns on the page, when they must belong in only one.
Joel, I don’t doubt you’re right the description doesn’t match Zias’ theory. I didn’t go into it. I don’t think we have to assume that the perpetrator is into SM. Crucifixion is already sadistic, and some of the reconstructions are just as nasty. I’m undecided about Secret Mark, but I’m tempted to suspect Morton Smith. The script is fluent but strange.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:14 pm

jeidsath wrote:How pedestrian.
The works are reproduced in Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, 2nd edition revised and enlarged, University of Chicago Press, 1996, cited as a reference by Armhardt. I was able to pull up the images by doing a Google image search on "Hans Schäufelein Crucifixion" and "Ludwig Krug Man of Sorrows."
And now search for both Krug and Schäufelein juxtaposed, as here in Armhardt.
I'm not sure why you're thinking that Krug and Schäufelein are "juxtaposted." They are the first and second of three artists cited by Armhardt from Steinberg, the third being Maertin van Heemskerck (Man of Sorrows, c. 1550), who is noted on the next page.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:23 pm

mwh wrote:The blow-job is inspired by depictions of the crucified Jesus with a hard-on (all considerably later than 10th-11th cent.
Armhardt believes it to be the other way around:

A better explanation [for the art] might be the existence of a circulating account of Jesus' experiencing sexual arousal during the crucifixion, the Testimony perhaps serving as the kernel from which a sanitized, pietized, and theologically filtered account of his arousal could have been derived. (p. 27)
this is your second thread with “x-rated” in the heading, and the first one also featured fellatio.
No, it featured cunnilingus and buggery.
We can’t set store by your calculations
I've actually become more confident in my method. My initial calculations presupposed eleven pages completely filled with uncial script. But there's a good chance that the last page wasn't filled all the way up with script. If it was filled only about halfway, the ratio is right about on the money with Greek Luke and the RSV.
you’d do better to consider the fact that the inscriptions (βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων etc) are said to straddle both columns on the page, when they must belong in only one
But I recall seeing photos of two column manuscripts where an illustration or a piece of writing enclosed in a cartouche was set in the middle of the page.

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:29 am

Any more of this and I’ll begin to suspect you of being Armhardt.:D It’s pointless to argue. But I’ll bet any amount you care to name that it’s all a total fabrication by whoever adopted this “temporary nom de plume.”

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:02 am

mwh wrote:Any more of this and I’ll begin to suspect you of being Armhardt.:D It’s pointless to argue. But I’ll bet any amount you care to name that it’s all a total fabrication by whoever adopted this “temporary nom de plume.”
I've heard that it's not unusual for those who employ pseudonyms to incorporate clues in the pseudonym about their real identities. After (w)racking my brain over this for some time, I finally came to notice that "Ben Armhardt" is an anagram of "Bart D. Ehrman"!

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by mwh » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:07 pm

How dumb of us not to have spotted that right away. But is it him, or is it someone spoofing him? (It will be him all right, a shamelessly self-promoting publicity stunt.) At least now no-one will give the leg-pull any credence. Or will they?

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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by jeidsath » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:45 pm

I notice that Archimedes pulled the anagram out as soon as his potential authorship was suggested. And I notice that we seem to have progressed from "newly translated codex" and "copy that I was shown" to a deeper acquaintance with the text. I assume that his friend has now lent him the copy? Also, the initial description of how to find it through an Amazon search, rather than simply giving title and author was awkward.

Still, we can disprove Ehrman's authorship easily enough by noting that the introduction does not start off with an agonized discussion about the decision to hide his true identity, nor include a description of his qualifications to translate this document, which he wishes that he were able to tell us about. Nor would Ehrman call any event "the most remarkable adventure of his career as a New Testament scholar" without qualifying that statement to say that his career as a prestigious New Testament scholar contains many remarkable and prestigious events.
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Re: X-Rated Crucifixion

Post by Archimedes » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:39 pm

jeidsath wrote:I notice that Archimedes pulled the anagram out as soon as his potential authorship was suggested.
I would have pulled it out earlier had I thought of it. The translator writes under a nom de plume and dedicated the work to Bruce Metzger. Although Bruce Metzger had many students, the one who first came to mind to me was Bart Ehrman.
I assume that his friend has now lent him the copy?
That is correct.
Also, the initial description of how to find it through an Amazon search, rather than simply giving title and author was awkward.
The Amazon search brings up a description of the book.
Still, we can disprove Ehrman's authorship easily enough by noting that the introduction does not start off with an agonized discussion about the decision to hide his true identity, nor include a description of his qualifications to translate this document, which he wishes that he were able to tell us about. Nor would Ehrman call any event "the most remarkable adventure of his career as a New Testament scholar" without qualifying that statement to say that his career as a prestigious New Testament scholar contains many remarkable and prestigious events.
Ah, so you've read the introduction! Or are you just getting bits and pieces of it? And how do you know what Ehrman would or wouldn't do? Are you able to telepathically project yourself into his brain?

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