[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion-list Bannus and Josephus

George Brooks wrote:
> Ian Werrett offers some more of the same ideas that seem to attract
> adherents but makes no real sense to me.  Again, there is the refrain
> that
> Josephus is being much more mysterious and than I could really imagine.
> Then there is the suggestion that Bannus "could not" still be an Essene.
> Mr. Werrett, since I can't really imagine why it is important to you that
> Bannus **not** be an Essene, I don't need to say anything more about
> why there is no reason **not** to think Bannus is an Essene, eccentric or
> otherwise.  


> I find it interesting that two Orion participants, both from
> Christian-named
> college departments, have felt a strong need to link Bannus with John the
> Baptist.  Do I even detect an urge to make Bannus "into" John the
> Baptist?

George, I think this is out of line.  Orion is a place where scholars of
a variety of religious (or perhaps even non-religious) backgrounds can
meet and converse without resorting to appeals to sectarian bias to win
their case.  

In addition, a close look at the role of John the Baptist in the gospels
would quickly convince anyone that John is a problem for the early
Christians.  He is said to baptize Jesus but does not become his
disciple.  The traditions thus go to great lengths to demote John in
spiritual status, suggesting in several ways and in several independent
traditions that he is the inferior, a part of the past order.  This
treatment of John points toward a movement of some sort in competition
with the early Jesus movement, and a comparison between Bannus and John
certainly would be very poor grounds for Christianizing Bannus.  Quite
frankly, I don't see how one can avoid examining Bannus in relation to
John any more that one can avoid the comparison between Mattathias and
Bannus that you bring forward.  For that matter, given John's
association with sites within a line of sight from Qumran, it's possible
that bringing John into the discussion of Bannus could potentially
strengthen the argument you seem to be making concerning 

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

David W. Suter, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Saint Martin's College, Lacey, WA 98503
For private reply, e-mail to "David W. Suter" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.