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How the Gospels Became HistoryJesus and Mediterranean Myths$
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M. D Litwa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300242638

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300242638.001.0001

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Empty Tombs and Translation

Empty Tombs and Translation

(p.169) Chapter Twelve Empty Tombs and Translation
How the Gospels Became History

M. David Litwa

Yale University Press

This chapter first compares Jesus’s translation and reappearance story with similar tales of Achilles appearing in a transformed body around White Island. Both Achilles and Jesus were translated after their deaths, both had their corpses enlivened and immortalized in another location, both appear in solid form to many witnesses, and both were worshipped by their votaries. A second comparison analyzes Jesus’s tomb tokens with those of Numa, Rome’s second king. The tombs of both Numa and Jesus are sealed, but their bodies disappear. Despite the disappearance, sure signs of their presence are revealed, as in the case of Alcmene (mother of Heracles). This chapter also discusses the trope of alternative reports, used in the stories of both Romulus and the Matthean Jesus.

Keywords:   Romulus, Jesus, Alcmene, Numa, Achilles, Tomb token, Alternative report, Immortalization, Translation

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