Loren Rossen III said:
>>The Davidic lineage in Matthew's Gospel no doubt evolved as a weapon to
counter the historical
rejection of Jesus' "kingship". The Judean honorific "Son of David", on the
other hand, may have some historical roots, though I think Jesus probably
hated being called that, since his messiahship was more prophetic than
Doesn't this assume something to be proved? How is the phrase "honorific?"
Do we have examples from this general period of *anyone* else being called a
"son of David" as an honorific title? At least I am not aware of any,
although I dimly recall that someone on a list I monitor once said that the
term was applied in an honorific sense either around the 4th century (during
the heyday of the Jewish patriarchate) or possibly medieval times.
Still, I find it hard to accept that the early Church would have attributed
the lineage of David to Jesus as a means of validating his "kingship" when
the gospel writers felt obligated to explain (away) the fact that the Romans
erected a humiliating sign over the crucified Jesus to mock him as an
unsuccessful contender to a "Jewish" throne. It would seem more likely that
Davidic lineage was at very least popularly accorded to him (although at
least one early Christian author speaks of Jesus' relatives as if they
claimed Davidic lineage), and that the early Church felt obligated to admit
it while simultaneously trying to file off the rough edges ("Honest, your
honor, it is a spiritual kingdom he is king of ... ").
>>In fact, Bill Herzog has persuasively argued that the parable of the
Unmerciful Servant (Mt 18:23-34), in particular, is a slam on Davidic
pretenders (Athronges of Judea, Simon bar Giora, etc).<<
This has to be no better than a guess, as we know next to nothing about the
behavior of these "pretenders" and their support organizations (and there
*must* have been some supporters). Even calling them "pretenders" is
presumptious. As far as I can recall, no Davidic lineage is suggested by
Josephus WRT these contenders (a better term) for the throne. The level of
wealth (10,000 talents) is more in line with that of the Roman "housesholds"
that controlled the empire. There, especially in the imperial household,
incredible wealth was controlled by slaves and freedmen.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA