But isn't the conventional reading already a plausible, coherent reading? It's not enough to find some other reading that could be possible (since lots of readings are "possible" if you're willing to entertain even small probabilities), it also should be better than the alternatives. This is how inference-to-the-best-explanation works in hermeneutics. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — December 19th, 2020, 9:50 pmI am looking for a plausible, coherent reading, but it is not the only possible reading.
No. I don't take it in this way at all. I don't think it's even possible to read it this way. Statistics: Posted by Jason Hare — December 19th, 2020, 8:25 pmSo, is it plausible to hear in Hebrews an echo of "flesh and blood" referring to a literal "brother of the Lord"? I'm not arguing that Hebrews was saying the same thing, only suggesting that like Paul, the author of Hebrews had the idea of "flesh and blood" meaning shared descent.
In my reading of Galatians, I'm exploring the plausibility of connecting the idea of the phrase "flesh and blood" to the idea of "brother" in the phrase "brother of the Lord". Arguably, my research shown in previous posts has uncovered support in unexpected places: Matthew, LXX and Luke-Acts. I am looking for a plausible, coherent reading, but it is not the only possible reading. I don't expect to convince everyone. Nothing I've written so far is "proof", nor is it intended as such. What made my perspective distinctive coming into the project was my unstated interest in eventually getting around to reading the phrase "flesh and blood" in Galatians in light of a possible literary echo in Hebrews, here: "Now since the children share blood and flesh (αἵματος καὶ σαρκός), He too shared in it...For surely it is not the angels He helps, but the descendants of Abraham (σπέρματος Ἀβραὰμ). For this reason He had to be made like the brothers (τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς) in every way..." (Heb. 2:14 and 16-17). As in Galatians, as I read it, "flesh and blood" describes "brothers" of shared descent, although in Hebrews the genealogy goes all the way to Abraham (Cf Matthew 1:1 "This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham"). To make the leap of seeing "flesh and blood" brothers as spiritual rather than only, or even primarily literal "descendants of Abraham" in the book of Hebrews, and thus also to extend the notion of "flesh and blood" to include "all flesh", it is helpful to have read Galatians where Paul makes just that leap: "...if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise" (Gal:3-29) I think that leap is what the author if Hebrews intended, but he didn't need to make it obvious because he assumed his audience would be familiar with Galatians. So, is it plausible to hear in Hebrews an echo of "flesh and blood" referring to a literal "brother of the Lord"? I'm not arguing that Hebrews was saying the same thing, only suggesting that like Paul, the author of Hebrews had the idea of "flesh and blood" meaning shared descent. Statistics: Posted by Gregory Hartzler-Miller — December 19th, 2020, 6:11 pmWhat are you trying to prove?
Gregory, I have to wonder what is making you push this. It is without-a-doubt not the meaning of the expression. It just means "human" - a person that is alive in a body and is not some sort of phantom or ghost. What is your purpose in trying to bend the text to your will in this way? What are you trying to prove? Jason Statistics: Posted by Jason Hare — December 19th, 2020, 3:44 pm
A close reading of the literary context of the phrase “flesh and bone” vis-à-vis "brothers" as biological family in Luke-Acts, beginning with Luke 24:32-36: “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, gathered together and saying, “The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told (drew out, ἐξηγοῦντο) what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread. While they were describing these events…” The two on the road, one of them named Cleopas (Lk. 24:18) were pondering a resurrection appearance of Jesus, and immediately (“that very hour” αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ) they returned to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ) where they found “the eleven” and “those with them” (who?) discussing yet another resurrection appearance--this one experienced by “Simon” (Peter). It was while they were conferring about these resurrection appearances that it happened--the appearance in “flesh and bone" (Luke 24:36-39): “While they were describing these events, Jesus Himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and frightened, thinking they had seen a spirit. “Why are you troubled,” Jesus asked, “and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself. Touch Me and see—for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet.” Who specifically, we may ask, was there in that particular gathering? Acts 1:13-14 provides a closer look at “the Eleven” along with some others who were with them in the place they had gathered: “...the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” If this expanded image from Acts applies to those who were there previously in Luke, the appearance in “flesh and bone” took place during a discussion of two resurrection appearances in a group that included Peter and the biological family of Jesus--“Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (σὺν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς αὐτοῦ)” i.e. The “flesh-and-bone” brothers (in the LXX sense of the phrase, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5317#p35733). Statistics: Posted by Gregory Hartzler-Miller — December 19th, 2020, 9:04 am...such "echo" in the Lucan passage.
And it clearly has no such "echo" in the Lucan passage. Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — December 18th, 2020, 10:05 pmThe phrase "flesh and bone" echoes an LXX usage (Ἐκ τῶν ὀστῶν μου καὶ ἐκ τῆς σαρκός) where it functions as an appeal to family and tribal unity as "brothers" (ἀδελφός):And after the resurrection in the Gospel of Luke (24:39), we see the combination of "flesh and bone"...
The phrase "flesh and bone" echoes an LXX usage (Ἐκ τῶν ὀστῶν μου καὶ ἐκ τῆς σαρκός) where it functions as an appeal to family and tribal unity as "brothers" (ἀδελφός): Gen. 29:11-15 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him all that had happened. Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my bone and my flesh.” ( Ἐκ τῶν ὀστῶν μου καὶ ἐκ τῆς σαρκός μου εἶ σύ·) After Jacob had stayed with him a month, Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative (ἀδελφός μου) should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.” 2 Samuel 5:1-3 "Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Here we are, your own bone and flesh" (ὀστᾶ σου καὶ σάρκες σου ἡμεῖς). Even in times past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them back. And to you the LORD said, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be ruler over them.’ ”So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, where King David made with them a covenant before the LORD. And they anointed him king over Israel." 2 Samuel 19:9-14 And all the people throughout the tribes of Israel were arguing, “The king rescued us from the hand of our enemies and delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled the land because of Absalom. But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?” Then King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to restore the king to his palace, since the talk of all Israel has reached the king at his quarters? You are my brothers, my own bone and my flesh (ἀδελφοί μοι ὑμεῖς, ὀστᾶ μου καὶ σάρκες μου ὑμεῖς). So why should you be the last to restore the king?’ And say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my flesh and blood? May God punish me, and ever so severely, if from this time you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab!’ ”So he swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah as though they were one man, and they sent word to the king: “Return, you and all your servants.” Judges 9:1-2 Now Abimelech son of Jerubbaala went to his mother’s brothers (πρὸς ἀδελφοὺς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ) at Shechem and said to them and to all the clan of his mother, “Please ask all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Is it better for you that seventy men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember that I am your own bone and flesh.” (μνήσθητε ὅτι ὀστοῦν ὑμῶν καὶ σὰρξ ὑμῶν εἰμι.) Statistics: Posted by Gregory Hartzler-Miller — December 18th, 2020, 5:21 pmAnd after the resurrection in the Gospel of Luke (24:39), we see the combination of "flesh and bone"...
Absolutely not. It is certainly meaning "humanity." This expression does not have any connection to the English idiom. Statistics: Posted by Jason Hare — December 17th, 2020, 10:58 amIs it plausible that in Matthew (as in Galatians, according to my reading), "flesh and blood" has a connotation of biological family?
I don't think so. σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα is contrasted with ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. "Biological family" is simply not in view. The contrast is between what is strictly human and God. Peter's insight did not come from any human source, but directly from God the Father. Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — December 17th, 2020, 9:21 am
In the Gospels, there is one reference to Peter as Cephas (John 1:42, according to the lexicons, Cephas is Aramaic for "rock"): ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωάνου, σὺ κληθήσῃ Κηφᾶς (ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος). In a parallel passage--where Peter is called "rock" (Matt.16:18)--we find the only usage of the phrase "flesh and blood" in the Gospels (Matt. 16:17): ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος εἶ, Σίμων Βαριωνᾶ, ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψέν σοι ἀλλ’ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. The contrast here is between "flesh and blood" and Jesus' "father in heaven" as a source of revelation for Peter (Cephas). Arguably, this passage concerns the lineage, specifically the paternity of "the Christ." The heavenly father of Jesus is the source of his identity as "the Christ"; not his flesh-and-blood lineage--τὸν Ἰωσὴφ τὸν ἄνδρα Μαρίας, ἐξ ἧς ἐγεννήθη Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Χριστός. (Matthew 1:16) Is it plausible that in Matthew (as in Galatians, according to my reading), "flesh and blood" has a connotation of biological family? Statistics: Posted by Gregory Hartzler-Miller — December 17th, 2020, 5:50 am...consider Cephas...
And after the resurrection in the Gospel of Luke (24:39), we see the combination of "flesh and bone" (which is similar in meaning) contrasted with "spirit." It really is just a synecdoche for "human." Statistics: Posted by Jason Hare — December 16th, 2020, 10:08 amAdding to Jason's remarks, we should also consider Cephas, who is "flesh and blood" in the human sense but in the relative sense, in the same context.