Robert Cargill discusses the Ten Commandments on “Talk of Iowa” Jan 22, 2015 at 10am

Iowa Public Radio mugI shall be on Iowa Public Radio‘s “Talk of Iowa” today (Jan 22, 2015) at 10am (central) to discuss the Ten Commandments as literature, religious law, and political symbol with host Charity Nebbe.

We are scheduled to discuss the history of the commandments, what they (actually) are, what they mean, how they are interpreted today, the ethics of the Ten Commandments, and how they are used as a symbol in politics today, especially in ongoing debates about church and state relations.

Please tune to your local IPR News station, or listen live online.

Dr. Robert R. Cargill is Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa, specializing in Second Temple Judaism and the rise of early Christianity.


UPDATE: You can read about the interview here, or listen to an mp3 of the broadcast here.

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on the origin of the jesus fish

Jesus Fish

ΙΧΘΥΣ or "Jesus Fish"

I recently came across an excellent article in a 1992 festschrift for David Flusser on the possible origin of the “Jesus Fish” by Gedaliahu G. Stroumsa entitled, “The Early Christian Fish-Symbol Reconsidered.”

In the article, Dr. Stroumsa discusses some of the early studies on the origin of the Greek acronym ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthus), and then presents his theory, which ties Jesus (whose Hebrew name is Yeshua or Joshua) to Joshua ben Nun, who led the Israelites into the “Promised Land.” Because נון (“nun“) in Aramaic means “fish,” and because there are several eschatological and messianic references to fish in Jewish literature (especially those linking the messiah to Jonah, who was swallowed by great fish only to be returned to life after three days, and those referencing that a leviathan would be eaten at a messianic meal), Stroumsa argues that the word ΙΧΘΥΣ first originated in Aramaic-speaking circles as a reference to the messiah, and only then, as what would become the orthodox Christian theology evolved, did the word become a convenient Greek mnemonic acronymic formula for Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous = “Jesus”), Χριστός (Christos = “Christ” or “anointed”), Θεοῦ (Theou = “of God” or “God’s”), Υἱός (huios = “Son”), Σωτήρ (sōtēr = “Savior”), first mentioned in Tertullian’s treatise On Baptism.

The article is well worth a read.

Biblio:
“The Early Christian Fish-Symbol Reconsidered.” in I. Gruenewald, Sh. Shaked and G. G. Stroumsa, eds., Messiah and Christos: Studies in the Jewish Origins of Christianity, in Honour of David Flusser ( Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992), 199-205. PDF

HT: Toto

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