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Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Interpretation of the Meggido Mosaic

A note to my readers (all 12 of you):

For quite some months after I started this blog it remained unknown to blogdom, but recently I've been picking up some hits. Perhaps this will motivate me to figure out how to post links, which so far I've been unable to do.
So I haven't been doing very well at documenting my quotes, one of which is referred to below. I'm moving this up from the comments section as it deserves a post of its own.

Bouke Slofstra said...

I guess this translation is from my website.
And I guess (shame on me) that I overlooked one detail: the khi-rho sign could be a Christ-sign (according to one source), but it could also be a centurio-sign,
see my updated website:

Best regards
Bouke Slofstra
I did as Bouke suggested, and found his website as it exists on 20 Dec 2005 to be by far the most comprehensive on the Megiddo Mosaic (but not that I've checked any of the others recently). I'm inclined to favor the latter interpretation, but I wonder what evidence there might be from that era to favor the former.

We have to be careful in saying "X was found in C century, and not in B or D century, therefore it must not have existed in A century." Such maxims tend to become self-fulfilling when a find that might otherwise have proven to be the first of the A century to contain X was therefore assigned to Century C.

I'm no expert on ancient Greek abbreviations, but I do know my church history, and a centurion being named as a brother in Christ is pretty earth-shattering to some people's concepts of ante-Nicene ecclesiology, and worthy of a discussion all of its own.

I'm no expert on Koine grammar either, but the nomina sacra strike me as distinctly appositive. If anyone can show me evidence that the definite article on a proper noun can be assumed in English translation, I'd be glad to consider it. In my experience it always goes the other way, and the article is dropped in translation. OK, I guess you could say QEOS could be a common noun here, but that's the whole point; many names could be common nouns (some couldn't, because they were uninflected), and the article served to show that they weren't. In that case the translator usually inserts an indefinite article or pronoun, right?

I'm not enough of an expert on Theology to consider the ramifications of a Monophysite identification for the Megiddo congregation, but there are definite implications for Arianism. Arianism was not so much a denial of Christ's divinity as of his unity with the Father, which Monophysites took to the other extreme. An Arian could perhaps say "The god, Jesus Christ," but never "God--Jesus Christ." A Monophysite probably would, but so could a Trinitarian.
Again, remember I'm a historian, not a theologian, and I'm mostly limited in my understanding of Arian theology to what their opponents wrote about them.

I'll keep an eye on this situation as it develops, but I direct every body to Bouke's blog for the details.

Well, I certainly have more than 12 readers now (that was the number on my site-counter when I wrote this post--it now reads 41,120)! But I should give the links I now know how to insert:
My original article
My update, now superfluous
 Bouke's article

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