"Rikki E. Watts" wrote:
> Why would anyone want to attribute exorcisms and healings to Jesus as
> Scripture fulfilled when as far as I can see no Jewish tradition (again with
> 4Q521, debated, but as the poss exception) was expecting these as
> 3messianic2 signs in the first century?
Thanks for your note. I will try to make this brief:)!
1. Psalm 103.3 connects God as an agent of forgiveness and healing. As
the one who the writings celebrate makes God's rule alive, stories that
enliven this in parabolic form are a way of affirming "Scripture fulfilled."
2. The storied careers of Elijah and Elisha are very important as
backdrops for telling Jesus' stories. Both perform "signs and wonders"
and these are inclusive of healing wonders. Notably Elijah's career
begins by being called to the wilderness to be fed by wild beasts, being
sent to a Gentile woman's house and multiplying food and raising the
widows son. All of these are paralleled in the telling of the Gospels.
Here is yet a second part of Scripture fulfilled.
3. Many scholars now divide off from "the nature wonders" the exorcisms
or the exorcisms and what may be seen as psychosomatic illnesses and on
this basis defend these as historical. I see no reason to divide the
wonder stories in this way. Indeed, if one looks at the holistic
structure of Mark as it parallels Ancient Israel's story, the healing
and exorcism stories make sense as parabolic reflections of "the
ministry of reconciliation." At issue in these stories are such things
as "authority," "forgiveness," and confessional affirmation of the one
who makes the Kingdom alive. Indeed "the patient" is often the foil for
conversations with various "authorities" and "the healing/ exorcism"
functions to define Jesus' identity. So, I see no reason on the basis
of these stories to make **a historical claim** that Jesus performed
healings or exorcisms. If he did, it is okay with me! But I cannot
account such stories as evidence. On the other hand, these stories make
eminent theological sense in light of "the Blessing Way of God" as Ps.