The Mishnah is a collection of rabbinic oral teachings written down in about 200 A.D. It forms the core of the Talmud.


Rabban is a title of authority even greater than rabbi.


James F. Strange and Hershel Shanks, “Has the House Where Jesus Stayed in Capernaum Been Found?” BAR 08:06.



They are mentioned first in all lists of the Twelve (Mark 3:13–19 = Matthew 10:1–4 = Luke 6:12–16; Acts 1:13).


The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), p. 202.


R.J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology (Leiden: Brill, 1955), p. 188.


M. Rostovtzeff, The Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (Oxford, 1941), p. 1177. He also notes in the same work, “Of much less importance—if of any—was the trade in meat. This was a luxury in the Greek diet, and we very seldom hear of salted or dried meat” (p. 1254). Fresh meat was cheap and readily available only on the occasion of great feasts, when the priests had to sell their surplus quickly or see it go bad. Hence, the problem of “food offered to idols” with which Paul had to deal in 1 Corinthians 8–10.


Oxford Classical Dictionary, p. 599.


Plutarch, Moralia 668b. See also Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 6.274f (all quotations from Athenaeus in this article are from the Loeb Classical Library translation by Charles Burton Gulick).


Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 6.226a, 6.226e, 6.228c, 7.309d.


Quoted by Greg Horsley, “A Fishing Cartel in First-Century Ephesus,” in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, vol. 5, Linguistic Essays (Sydney: Ancient History Document Research Center, Macquarie Univ., 1989), p. 101.


Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 6.228b.


Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 6.227e.


See “Salsamentum” in Charles Daremberg and Edmond Saglio, eds., Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines (Paris, n.d.), vol. 4, pt. 2, pp. 1022–1025.


In the middle of the first century A.D., the association of fishermen and fishmongers (hoi halieis kai opsariopolai) at Ephesus had the resources to erect a large public building that served as a customs house; see Horsley, Linguistic Essays, pp. 95–114.


Makshirin 6.3, trans. Herbert Danby, The Mishnah (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1933), p. 765.


Betzah 3.2, in Danby, Mishnah, p. 185. See also Abodah Zarah 2.4.


F.M. Heichelheim, “Roman Syria,” in Tenney Frank, ed., An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1938), vol.4, p. 154.


Josephus, The Jewish War 2.168; see also Antiquities of the Jews 18.28.


Pliny, Natural History 5.71.


A map is to be found in Fred Strickert, Bethsaida: Home of the Apostles (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998), p. 42.


Rami Arav and Richard A. Freund, eds., Bethsaida: A City by the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida Excavations Project 1 (Kirksville, MO: Thomas Jefferson Univ. Press, 1995), pp. xv, 6.


Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.106–107.


Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.28. It is most improbable, however, that Josephus is correct in identifying Julia as the daughter of Augustus, which is the basis of dating the foundation of Bethsaida-Julias prior to 2 B.C., the year of her disgrace. The referrence is to the wife of Augustus, the mother of the future emperor Tiberius. See Strickert, Bethsaida, pp. 92–93.


Arav and Freund, Bethsaida, p. 27.


Strickert, Bethsaida, p. 71.


See the map in Mendel Nun, Sea of Galilee: Newly Discovered Harbours from New Testament Days (Kibbutz Ein Gev: Kinnereth Sailing Co., 1989), p. 4.


Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966), p. 1758.


Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, p. 187.


On the identity of the sites, see Felix-Marie Abel, Géographie de la Palestine (Paris, 1938), vol. 2, pp. 476–477.


Abel, Géographie de la Palestine, p. 373.


Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, pp. 185–186.


On the translation of telones as “toll collector” rather than “tax collector,” see John Donahue, “Tax Collectors and Sinners: An Attempt at Identification,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 33 (1971), p. 54. It would be most unusual if Philip did not have the same sort of arrangement in Bethsaida to collect indirect taxes.


See most recently Strickert, Bethsaida, p. 26.


Incidentally, Mark’s language at this point is awkward. This may best be explained as an inept transfer into indirect speech of a firsthand report by Peter: “We came into our house with James and John…” This is one of those narratives where we get very close to an eyewitness. See Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark (London, 1963), pp. 178–179. The skepticism of Strickert (Bethsaida, p. 26) is entirely unwarranted.


For details, see Edgar V. McKnight, What Is Form Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1969).


Heinz Schürmann, “Die vorösterlichen Anfänge der Logientradition: Versuch eines formgeschichtlichen Zugangs zum Leben Jesu,” in Helmut Ristow and Karl Matthiae, eds., Der historische Jesus und der kerygmatische Christus: Beiträge zum Christusverständnis in Forschung und Verkündigung (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1962), pp. 342–370.


W.D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1988), p. 397.