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Gospel sponge

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Sidney View Drop Down
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gospel sponge
    Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 07:32
I was reading about Roman plumbing, and their use of a sponge-on-a-stick for anal cleansing, that was rinsed in drain water (from the neighbouring baths) and left to sterilize in a pot of vinegar.

Was this utensil the same sponge on a reed soaked in vinegar that was offered to the crucified Jesus? I've normally heard this as viewed as an act of kindness from a by-stander, but if it was actually a bum-wipe shoved in his face, then that puts an added layer of humiliation onto his death, and his memory to his friends and family.

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 09:01
Originally posted by Sidney

I was reading about Roman plumbing, and their use of a sponge-on-a-stick for anal cleansing, that was rinsed in drain water (from the neighbouring baths) and left to sterilize in a pot of vinegar.

Was this utensil the same sponge on a reed soaked in vinegar that was offered to the crucified Jesus? I've normally heard this as viewed as an act of kindness from a by-stander, but if it was actually a bum-wipe shoved in his face, then that puts an added layer of humiliation onto his death, and his memory to his friends and family.

 
What evidence is there that would substantiate the offering as an insult versus the traditional identification of use.
 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 11:39
Just say what is said to have happened happened, my belief is that there probably no insult intended. The only insult I see is that of calling the rank and file wine vinegar. The gall talked about is either a general term for bitterness, so maybe metaphorical, or it might also be used to denote hemlock, or viper venom.  
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 11:52
There is a tool used in pottery making, it's used on practically every pot you make.  It is quite simply a sponge on a stick, designed to remove water from the bottom of the pot being made.  After seeing this thread I'm afraid that I'll never be able to use it without thinking of it's "alternative use".Big smile
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 20:02
The drink also contained painkilling drugs like myrrh. My grandma always believed the vinegar sponge was a form of torture, intended to make Jesus more thirsty and irritate his wounds
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2013 at 20:24
Originally posted by Nick1986

The drink also contained painkilling drugs like myrrh. My grandma always believed the vinegar sponge was a form of torture, intended to make Jesus more thirsty and irritate his wounds
There does seem to be a bit of a contradiction between Matthew and Mark, with either gall or myrrh. My interpretation though, and this is what they have in common, is that Jesus is turning down anything to alleviate the pain and suffering of his mortal coil. The gall would have probably been a quick death, whereas the myrrh would have masked the pain suffered.  
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2014 at 19:56
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis


Originally posted by Sidney

I was reading about Roman plumbing, and their use of a sponge-on-a-stick for anal cleansing, that was rinsed in drain water (from the neighbouring baths) and left to sterilize in a pot of vinegar.

Was this utensil the same sponge on a reed soaked in vinegar that was offered to the crucified Jesus? I've normally heard this as viewed as an act of kindness from a by-stander, but if it was actually a bum-wipe shoved in his face, then that puts an added layer of humiliation onto his death, and his memory to his friends and family.


 
What evidence is there that would substantiate the offering as an insult versus the traditional identification of use.
 


This article writer evidently didn't read the Biblical verses quoted within their context. The writer is confusing two occurrences when Jesus was offered drink (which is disappointingly common among so-called Bible readers).

The first time was before he was nailed to the cross, and this was the wine mixed with gall or myrrh, which Jesus refused to take;

Matthew 27:33-35 And they went out to a place called Golgotha which means “Place of the Skull”. The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it. After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

Mark 15:22-24 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha which means “Place of the Skull”. They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece.


The second time was after he was nailed to cross and just before he died. This was the sponge on a stick dipped in sour wine or vinegar;

Matthew 27:46-50 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.

Mark 15:34-37 Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.

Luke 23:35-37 [After Jesus was nailed to the cross] The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.

John 19:28-30 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.


The first drink offered - a combination of wine and myrrh/gall - was probably a pain relief. It could have been offered out of mercy as a routine concoction offered to all criminals due to experience a painful death.

The second time that a drink was offered - sour wine - was amid taunts and scoffing. The synoptic Gospels specifically relate it to bystanders taunting Jesus to be miraculously taken down from the cross, in particular by the Prophet Elijah.

So if the sponge on a stick was not part of Roman toilet humour, it was done as a mocking response to a misunderstanding that Jesus was calling for the Prophet Elijah.

But why would Jesus calling for Elijah (or whatever the bystanders thought he was calling for) create the idea in someone's head to give him sour wine?

Edited by Sidney - 26-Mar-2014 at 18:16
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2014 at 20:29
Originally posted by Sidney

So if the sponge on a stick was not part of Roman toilet humour, it was done as a mocking response to a misunderstanding that Jesus was calling for the Prophet Elijah.

But why would Jesus calling for Elijah (or whatever the bystanders thought he was calling for) create the idea in someone's head to give him sour wine?

A thought has just come to me on both of these, Sidney. The very ill, or dying, even now may get their mouths moistened with small sticks with sponges on them, in order their discomfort. As for the sour wine, it sounds to me as Roman wine without the watering down, as the Romans generally took it. This would then be stronger, and more likely to numb the senses.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2014 at 20:53
It seems that the Lord Jesus, was a very hard judge as a wine judge? LOL

Just why is any of this really useful?
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Mar-2014 at 17:52
If the jar of sour wine was there because it was part of the Roman soldiers' provisions, (and why else would a jar of sour wine just happen to be near by?) then presumably it was a Roman soldier who responded to Jesus' cry. Would Roman soldiers have had any understanding of Jesus' cry of “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”, since even some of the Hebrews misunderstand the words. Could Jesus' words have been mistaken for another phrase in Latin or Greek?
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Mar-2014 at 23:26
Sidney and others, just how do so many educated persons almost always miss this piece of the HISTORY OF JESUS!

Certainly Jesus said these words or words close enough, thus "My God, My God or MY Father my Father, "why hast though forsaken me!!!"

Do none of you really know the Bible? I am ashamed that you have had to rely upon me, a poor stupid Southern Baptist to answer such a question! The answer resides in the so called "OLD Testament" in one of the verses or Solomon! It is the very verse that actually described the death of Jesus, etc.!

So! I will await one of you to find the said verse and post it here!

Nothing about this horrible event can be disregarded, since none of it can even be believed!

Knowing very little about the Bible is very "IN" today it seems!

Little regards to most of you!

Ron

Just in case none of you can explain my words above then read this and cry!

http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/why-did-jesus-cry-out-my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me

Edited by opuslola - 12-Mar-2014 at 23:39
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2014 at 11:47
Unfortunately, there is no proof whatsoever that any of this actually took place, so discussing it is a little bit like debating the flying capabilities of UFO's.

And no, the Bible is not "proof" by any known standards.
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2014 at 20:03
I wasn't really looking for the origin of the phrase, but as has been pointed out, in a rather round about post, it comes from Psalm 22 (attributed to King David, not to King Solomon), although Psalm 71 contains a similar sentiment. Thank you for pointing this out.

But this is where the writer of the narrative is pointing to. However, the same narrator writes that some bystanders thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, which prompted one man to give Jesus a drink of sour wine, which seems to have been intended as some way of answering Jesus' call (hence the sarcastic comment of - wait, lets see if the real Elijah turns up).

The narrative may well be a literary construct, but I'm curious as to why an alternative understanding of Jesus' words prompted the response of giving him a drink. Is it related to Elijah, or could it be due to different languages?

I'm aware of the Jewish tradition of the Cup of Elijah, filled with wine, that is left undrunk at the Passover meal, but will be drunk by Elijah when he returns to resolve all question about the Law and herald the coming of the Jewish Messiah. I'm also aware that the story of Elijah in the Bible is largely made up of episodes about being commanded to drink or to seek water by God.

I do not know how old the tradition of placing a Cup of Elijah at the Passover meal is, so don't know if it is old enough to be relevant to Jesus being given a drink - but if so it would be a mocking gesture, implying that Elijah was drinking his cup and so the Messiah (ie Jesus) had come. But at the same time it was clear to all that this 'Messiah' was helplessly nailed to a cross, and Elijah was not going to help him.

But could Elijah's association to water mean that calling upon Elijah was a slang term for saying 'I'm thirsty'? This might explain why one man gave Jesus a drink (albeit of sour wine rather than water), whilst still allowing the joke about Elijah coming to rescue him. It would also reconcile the account of Jesus' words in the Gospel of John with the accounts in the Synoptic Gospels.






Edited by Sidney - 13-Mar-2014 at 20:17
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2014 at 17:03
Image of crucifixion, from the Rabbula Gospels 586 AD



Edited by Sidney - 02-Apr-2014 at 17:26
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