INTERLUDE 3: THE DONKEY AND THE CARPENTER
TRANSLATION & HISTORY: NOTES

Aramaic: what our heroes mostly spoke
Hebrew: found in their history & scriptures
Latin & Greek: languages of scholarship in Rome
English: language all this is getting rendered in!

GALILEE
Harp Lake = Sea of Galilee
Nahumville = “Nahum’s Village” (Capernaum)
Fisham = “house of fishing” (Bethsaida)
Khirbet Qana = Cana
Watchton = “watch-place” (Nazareth)

JUDEA
Figham = “house of figs” (Bethany)
Breadville = “house of bread” (Bethlehem)
Jerusalem = Jerusalem  (a.k.a. The Big Olive, probably)

All of this falls under the Roman Empire. Some residents like that more than others.

NAMES
Joshua = modernization of Hebrew “Yeshua”
= Greek “Iesous” = English “Jesus”
María = Greek form of Hebrew “Miriam” = English “Mary”
Magnificent Mary = translation of Aramaic “Mary magdala”

(There are so many different Marys running around in this era. Some traditions think the one known as “Mary Magdalene” got the moniker by being from the town of Magdala. Others identify her with Mary from Bethany, whose family Josh and company stayed with a few times.)

Rocky = literal translation of Latin “Peter”
Judah (also, Judea) = modernizations of Hebrew “Yehudah” = Greek “Ioudas” = English “Judas”

Saxon = from “seax”, a type of dagger
Iscariot = possibly from “sicae”, also a type of dagger. (“Sicarius” = Latin for “dagger-wielder”)

EVENTS

Young Josh bringing clay pigeons to life: described in Quran 5:110, and the late-2nd-century Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Josh visiting the Mid-To-Far-East: not backed up by any sources at all, but it was a popular theory starting in the late 18th century. The reliable sources are completely blank on what Josh was up to between ages 12 and 30.

Parables: Josh was full of these. Mark’s Gospel claims that the apostles were totally in on the real meaning, and it was only the general public that got things in metaphor. But let’s be real, here: they’re not complicated metaphors. Possibly the apostles wanted to make themselves look special by claiming they were getting Important Secret Teachings. (These are the same apostles who tried to shoo kids away from Josh because obviously he was doing Important Grown-Up Stuff.)

(They all got drawn as Generic Bearded People here, but most of the Main Twelve were very likely teenagers. A lot of verses make more sense when you keep that in mind.)

Dust in the wind: Callbacks to scripture would’ve included the psalms, which were the pop songs of their era…and feature a ton of dust-based metaphors. (Which are, in turn, callbacks to one of the Genesis creation myths.)

Civil disobedience: The “turn the other cheek” passage, sometimes interpreted as a lot more subversive than modern cultural standards tend to recognize.

Visit your home town, they said: The people in Josh’s hometown did a lot of eye-rolling when he came around to teach.

The rumors about María: There’s a ton of speculation about Mary Magdalene, from “she was a prostitute” to “she and Josh were secretly married.”

The disciple Josh was totally into: There’s a person in John’s Gospel referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved“, but never identified.

Crowds of fans: Followed Josh around everywhere. Saw him heal a person with leprosy that one time, even though he tried to say “look, don’t spread this around, okay?” Seriously, even when the guy’s cousin had just been beheaded and he tried to get on a boat and go somewhere quiet, thousands of people went on foot to meet him when he landed.

Visit to Jerusalem: A week where the timeline is recorded in meticulous detail. Tableflips, dodgy politicking, frantic “maybe we can avoid a riot if we do this at midnight” trials, all his friends and admirers suddenly very aware that any of them could be targets, lots of general panic and heartache, and then, whoops, there’s nobody in this tomb. (None of the gospels mention whether anyone checked the rest of the area for fresh unmarked graves.)