Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Criterion of Anachronism

An anachronism is "something out of place in time."

Michael Turton's second criterion is: "No anachronisms are historical."

In his Historical Commentary on the Gospel of Mark, Turton notes that Mark 10:2 states: "and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" which Turton correctly asserts is an anachronism since Jewish law in the first century did not permit women to obtain a divorce. Tal Ilan does mention instances where the man was forced to file a bill of divorce but her discussion merely confirm that the woman was not permitted on her own initiative to obtain a divorce. James Crossley commenting in response to me on busybody mentions the case of Salomone and Costobarus. Ilan says that Salomone as a Roman citizen was permitted to obtain a divorce from Costobarus under Roman law. About the same time as Salome was obtaining her divorce, Costobarus was executed by Herod for hiding dangerous opposition leaders.

The reviewer of Turton's indicates that Turton has created a criterion of anachronism.

I should note that neither Matthew nor Luke have committed this historical error.
Elsewhere Turton asserts that the mention of synagogues in the Second Temple period is also an anachronism. However Donald Binder's excellent website, provides strong evidence of the existence of synagogues prior to the destruction of the Temple.
I would like to invite you to submit examples of what you see as anachronisms in the New Testament and perhaps we can demonstrate the validity of Turton's criteria of anachronism.

this was posted 1-16-05

Copyrighted 2006


Blogger James Crossley said...

I'm more convinced by Instone-Brewer's reading of Se'elim 13 as it does less damage to the text and it the most obvious reading. Also if we do have cases of women initiating divorce, even if using Roman law (can still be deemed wrong in the eyes of a Palestinian Jew), and if we have examples of men being forced to divorce for one reason or another (e.g. man not good enough in bed) then, as a general statement, wouldn't that make Mk 10.12 a plausible summary of minority cases in C1 Palestine?

10:18 AM


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