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Santiago Enigma > last post > last tabu ?


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The other day on another popular santiagoforum it said that Jewish-born fisherman, James the elder, became a Christian in his lifetime and that touches precisely the core of the matter in the final question in the last post in topic 6491 on this forum. I can't discuss or argue that quote because I'm a layman in these fields and because I don't want to start a religious discussion here, but I would really be interested to know the historical (not the religious arguments!) facts on this point!

Reading São Paulo (in Dutch: paulus, de dichter Gods), by that famous nobleman and founder of the Portuguese Renaissance Teixeira de Pascoaes, about James's bitter battle with Paul to be second in command after Jesus, it it clear that they were great adversaries. James (Jacobus) followed Paul's famous travels through the Middle East to un-preach what his counterpart had just been preaching. So to me as -an interested- layman it seems very logical, even self-evident, that Jacobus could never have been a Christian in his life-time in the way we understand Christianity today.

There's a vast difference between the James of faith and Jacobus of history. There's a lot more to discover here on our heroes from a higher and a-symmetric helicopter view with a keen eye, a soft hand and an easy touch. It will surpass the present who's who in the Pórtico de la Gloria. That identification will show that it is not necessary to grasp the overall picture. That goes for Compostela, Fisterra and Mondoñedo (Priscillian) too. They're just parts of the overall picture that also laymen can draw. Many of you might be very surprised! Professor Georgiana Goddard King made a nice start in her The Way of Saint James; often reviewed on this forum.

Again, I'm far from sure about this, but I really would like to grow into that most envied state of grace of those who do know the in's and out's but keep silent! That's why after more than a year of searching and asking around I recently suggested to ask the Xacobeo organisation and the Vatican to let us see the light in the next Holy Year 2010 in a flyer answering a simple but tenacious question on Saint James's lifetime.

'And the rest is history…' What happened in the following centuries can be seen -I presume- as the 'normal' christianization like that which happened with Christmas and other celtic or even older festivities or whatever; that's not the issue here.

Something remarkable has happened on this forum since I started my quest in topic 3794. After the initial succes The Santiago Enigma was visited 6.000 times in the last year without any reaction. The last post got 20 surprisingly beautiful and warm reactions in a week. The subject lives. Nevertheless, nobody entered into the main question still open. Could this be a last tabu? In 2010?

Time to close this thread and start a new one! Hopefully in a new sub forum!? Anyone?


PS: It all boils down to a few cristal clear phrases; see .


Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr Classical Review) send me book reviews. Just before Christmas an interesting source for further understanding of the last tabu (as defined above) arrived:

Tessa Rajak, Translation and Survival: The Greek Bible of the Ancient Jewish Diaspora. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. xvi, 380. ISBN 9780199558674 - Reviewed by Reinhart Ceulemans, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven ( - ... dium=email - 2009.12.31 or :

"The aim of this book, the origins of which lie in six Grinfield lectures on the Septuagint delivered by the author at the University of Oxford in 1995-1996, is to combine two fields of study that are very related but which tend to be treated rather separately: that of Hellenistic diaspora Judaism, on the one hand, and that of the Jewish Greek Bible, commonly referred to as the Septuagint, on the other. The author herself, an authority in the field of diaspora Judaism, has hitherto not written extensively on matters pertaining to the Septuagint. Blaming the traditional separation of the two topics on the Christian takeover of the Septuagint, Rajak insists on the need to interpret the Greek Bible in light of what is known of the historical group that created it. In doing so, she focuses on cultural adaption in Hellenistic Judaism and on how the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible was a means of cultural survival for its creators. - Rajak's attempt to reunite the Greek Bible with its primary users and generators (cf. 5) is successful. She has written a very interesting book, containing opinions and conclusions that challenge standard views and catch the reader's attention. Future scholarship will surely benefit from the insights that emerge from reading the Septuagint with an awareness of the broader history of Hellenistic Judaism. A wide range of topics is tackled over the course of eight chapters, preceded by an introduction that provides both an overview of the book's structure and some general thoughts on a few of the Septuagint's main characteristics (text, canon, etc.). This introductory discussion may orient the reader who is less experienced in the field of Septuagint studies." […]

"In the last two chapters, Rajak changes the perspective and investigates what reactions, if any, these Greek holy writings of Hellenistic Jewry prompted in contemporary other religious groups, namely pagan Greeks and early Christians. In Chapter 8 she sets herself the goal to verify, on the basis of the written evidence itself, the accepted view that pagan Greeks and Romans ignored Jewish Scripture. Listing the (rather limited) evidence from Egyptian and Roman writers and magical texts, she concludes that 'the Septuagint did not emerge from or into the confines of an enclosed ghetto. A basis of curiosity and awe may be inferred in Greek circles sufficient [...] to generate the dynamic of [...] the public reception of the Jewish Bible in the early stages of Judaism' (277). The ninth and final chapter questions the abandonment theory, according to which the Hellenistic Jewish community dropped the Septuagint when it started to be used by Christians. She dismisses previous acceptance of that theory, since it is based upon early Christian, hence suspicious, ideological roots and upon the unwarranted presumption that investigations into Jewish reception history in the first centuries of the Christian era should turn to rabbinic writings. Then again (although Rajak seems to avoid stating it in so many words), the actual evidence informing us about this non-rabbinic, Greek Jewish reception is virtually non-existent and needs to be deduced from Christian authors such as Origen. Reinterpreting some of these early Christian passages, Rajak concludes that contemporary Hellenistic Jews knew a diversity of Greek versions and that variety was more prominent than standardization. These Greek Jewish versions, of which those of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion were but a few amongst many, were created in order to reduce textual corruption, to bring the existing versions in closer alignment to the Hebrew, and to serve promotional goals. In other words, Rajak argues, the abandonment theory has to be sacrificed for the benefit of a recognition of Jewish 'creative production of different types of Bible translation' in the early Christian era (313)." […]

PPS: (follows PS above) At the same time the explaining few phrases in italics on were confirmed by an expert as being "cristal clear and to the point".
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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Re: Santiago Enigma > last post > last tabu?

Friend, I am not convinced that James and Paul taught different gospels, but rather the record that we have in the Bible demonstrates that they emphasized different doctrines of the same gospel. What united both of them is their faith in Jesus Christ. You may be opening a conversation on what is the definition of a Christian, which is an interesting one. I think the major definitions used today by orthodoxy would certainly be at odds with who was identified as a Christian during the very early history of the gospel of Christ.

Always enjoy your edits,

Continued peace,



Active Member
Re: Santiago Enigma > last post > last tabu?

You may be opening a conversation on what is the definition of a Christian, which is an interesting one.
Dear Michael,
Thank you very much for your warm reaction, but -with all due respect- these aspects are -as I already said above- not my goal. I'm especially interested in the historical aspects which I discuss a lot with my friends overhere and we got stuck on the phrase in his lifetime as mentioned above.
I shouldn't encourage others to follow this thread, so I would like to talk to you further via a PM. I am very glad that you took the effort to give us your interesting views though; thanks again!

Br. David

Active Member
I blame the Romans ..... their scorched earth solution to those hopeless Jewish rebellions that led to the diaspora and the destruction of all those lovely documents and letters which should have been in Jerusalem.
So the Jewish followers living in Jerusalem disappear and also their Judaic interpretation of the original teachings of the enlightened Jew, Yeshua and his claim .. and we are left with the strange theology of that strange man, Paul. Sure, he is dead at that point too, but his little churches lived on.

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