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RE: The Gentile mission? RE: [Synoptic-L] Luke's Great Omission

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  • David Mealand
    Not too sure about some of the points made in this exchange Isn t Mark s second feeding set in the Decapolis? (i.e. mainly Gentile territory containing Greek
    Message 1 of 14 , May 19, 2012
      Not too sure about some of the points made
      in this exchange

      Isn't Mark's second feeding set in the Decapolis?
      (i.e. mainly Gentile territory containing Greek cities,
      and pro-Roman in outlook, separated off from Hasmonean
      domains by Pompey, and again later by Augustus after
      Herod's death).

      Wasn't the main charge laid against Samaritans
      one of ethnicity, that their ancestors had
      inter-married with non-Israelites - they didn't
      originally belong to Judah, and orthodoxy and heresy
      are alien categories imported from the world of
      the interpreter.

      It is actually quite hard to keep reminding oneself
      to go back to the 1st century when reading these texts

      David M.




      ---------
      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


      --
      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
    • Matson, Mark (Academic)
      David Mealand wrote: Not too sure about some of the points made in this exchange Isn t Mark s second feeding set in the Decapolis? (i.e. mainly Gentile
      Message 2 of 14 , May 19, 2012
        David Mealand wrote:

        Not too sure about some of the points made
        in this exchange

        Isn't Mark's second feeding set in the Decapolis?
        (i.e. mainly Gentile territory containing Greek cities,
        and pro-Roman in outlook, separated off from Hasmonean
        domains by Pompey, and again later by Augustus after
        Herod's death).

        Mark: Yes, possibly. Mark certainly has Jesus going to Gentile area. And if the feeding of 4000 is logically following the geographical itinerary preceding (i.e. Mark 7:31-37) which goes through region of Decapolis, yes. But then Mark is not always careful. But this is very likely. And hence a good reason for Luke to exclude.

        Wasn't the main charge laid against Samaritans
        one of ethnicity, that their ancestors had
        inter-married with non-Israelites - they didn't
        originally belong to Judah, and orthodoxy and heresy
        are alien categories imported from the world of
        the interpreter.

        Mark: I am not as sure of the idea of considering Samaritans as "gentiles". That was certainly one aspect maintained by Judeans. But for instance if we follow the internal logic of, say, John 4 -- there is the idea of "cousins" more than outsiders. Jesus maintains that Judeans are the proper form of Yahweh religion (not Gerizim), and yet the tone is of insiders. Similarly in the logical expansion of Acts, Phillips evangelization in Samaria is not the same as Peter's later "full-blown" engagement with Cornelius (now full engagement with Gentiles).

        Mark A. Matson
        Milligan College
        http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
      • ernestpennells
        I can t resist this discussion. Whereas the mission of seventy(two) taken as a symbol of Gentile mission makes it a retrospective issue from a later era, the
        Message 3 of 14 , May 19, 2012
          I can't resist this discussion.
          Whereas the mission of seventy(two) taken as a symbol of Gentile mission makes it a retrospective issue from a later era, the option of accepting it as referring to the number of the Sanhedrin gives it direct relevance to Jesus and his disciples. They were, after all, heading for Jerusalem, and Luke lays heavy emphasis upon this throughout his journeying motif.

          Ernie Pennells
          Victoria BC
        • Matson, Mark (Academic)
          Ernie: As I understand it, the reason that the mission of the 70/72 is taken as anticipating a Gentile mission comes from the symbolism of number 72.... so the
          Message 4 of 14 , May 20, 2012
            Ernie:

            As I understand it, the reason that the mission of the 70/72 is taken as anticipating a Gentile mission comes from the symbolism of number 72.... so the number of nations in Gen. 10 is 72, and in 3 Enoch the number of princes of the world and languages is 72. So this number would refer to the larger gentile world. But, as I allueded to in a former post, this Gentile reference is future, it is anticipation, since in Luke's narrative construction, Jesus deliberately does not go into Gentile territory -- that awaits the coming of the Spirit and the work of the church in Acts (progressive movement, first to Samarians and then to Gentiles).

            If I understand your point, though, you maintain this would refer to the Sanhedrin. I certainly agree that the central narrative scheme from 9:51 on is the journey to Jerusalem. And whatever symbolism is in the 70/72 it is not made clear in the narrative, and your connecting it to Jerusalem is potentially attractive. But I have two concerns:

            1. The Great Sanhedrin in rabbinic literature is 71, not 70 or 72, I think. That is a pretty specific number.

            2. The Great Sanhedrin itself is a pretty narrowly specific concept that might never have actually existed. At any rate, the actual assembly of Jewish leaders (synedrion is only found once in Luke at 22:66, and is actually a downplayed theme in Luke ..notice that downgrades the nighttime trial to an informal hearing: Luke has no parallel to Mk 14:55) would seem to be only smaller group.

            So while this is tempting, I wonder if this would really be seen as the reference in Luke 10?

            Mark A. Matson
            Milligan College
            http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
            ________________________________________
            Ernie Pennels wrote:

            I can't resist this discussion.
            Whereas the mission of seventy(two) taken as a symbol of Gentile mission makes it a retrospective issue from a later era, the option of accepting it as referring to the number of the Sanhedrin gives it direct relevance to Jesus and his disciples. They were, after all, heading for Jerusalem, and Luke lays heavy emphasis upon this throughout his journeying motif.
            -------------------------------------------------------------
          • ernestpennells
            Thank you, Mark. I find the conclusion that seventy is a symbolic reference to Gentiles unconvincing. Unpacking the symbolism: Seventy elders accompanied
            Message 5 of 14 , May 20, 2012
              Thank you, Mark. I find the conclusion that seventy is a symbolic reference to Gentiles unconvincing.

              Unpacking the symbolism:

              Seventy elders accompanied Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24.1,9).

              Sinai was promptly followed by failure with the golden calf. Transfiguration was promptly followed by the disciples' failure with a convulsive boy. Jesus' protest echoes Moses' protest (Num. 11.11). "What an unbelieving and perverse generation!" (Lk. 9.41).

              Jesus' appointment of seventy echoes the appointment of seventy elders to share the spirit bestowed on Moses (Num 11.16,24f.). Luke gives an ecstatic account of their mission (they shared the spirit of their Lord).

              These links with Sinai are compelling.

              Luke says that Moses and Elijah talked about Jesus' destiny in Jerusalem (Lk. 9.31).

              Emphasis: "Jesus set his face resolutely toward Jerusalem" (Lk. 9.51), with recurrent reminders en route (Lk. 9.53; 13.32f; 17.11; 18.31ff; 19.11,28).

              En route Jesus laments: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... ... your house is forsaken." (Lk.13.34f)

              Upon setting foot in the Roman Province of Judaea, Jesus befriends Zacchaeus (an Agent of the Roman Governor). Jesus had previously silenced Peter's declaration of Messiah (Lk. 9.21). Ergo: this march on Jerusalem is not a march against Roman occupation.

              Soon after arriving in Jerusalem Jesus publicly denounces the temple authorities as wicked husbandmen. They recognised his parable as directed against them (Lk. 20.19).

              Moses – Sinai – seventy, and a heavy emphasis on target Jerusalem to denounce the presiding priesthood all say rulers (Sanhedrin) to me.

              There are numerous references to ruling councils and representative bodies in ancient texts: War, Ant, Life, mSanh, tSuk, Boule, M.Hag, mZeb, mYad, Zebahim, Yadaim. The specific number varies (70,71,72).

              Ernie
            • Matson, Mark (Academic)
              Thanks Ernie for the great response. I don t know if I find the gentile symbolism all that much either... what I was citing was the commonly cited reasons
              Message 6 of 14 , May 20, 2012
                Thanks Ernie for the great response. I don't know if I find the "gentile" symbolism all that much either... what I was citing was the "commonly cited" reasons for seeing it as that reference.

                I am still not personally convinced, though, that 70/72 refers to the Sanhedrin, despite some variation in numbers in earlier sources. It just doesn't fit with the size of the council imagined in the gospels (which might well have been ad hoc groups anyway).

                But I am intrigued by your references to the Sinai traditions... hadn't thought about that. That would be a reasonable intertextual reference / allusion that would fit with Luke.

                mark
                Mark A. Matson
                Milligan College
                http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
                ________________________________________
                Ernest Pennells wrote:

                Thank you, Mark. I find the conclusion that seventy is a symbolic reference to Gentiles unconvincing.

                Unpacking the symbolism:

                Seventy elders accompanied Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24.1,9).

                Sinai was promptly followed by failure with the golden calf. Transfiguration was promptly followed by the disciples' failure with a convulsive boy. Jesus' protest echoes Moses' protest (Num. 11.11). "What an unbelieving and perverse generation!" (Lk. 9.41).

                Jesus' appointment of seventy echoes the appointment of seventy elders to share the spirit bestowed on Moses (Num 11.16,24f.). Luke gives an ecstatic account of their mission (they shared the spirit of their Lord).

                These links with Sinai are compelling.

                Luke says that Moses and Elijah talked about Jesus' destiny in Jerusalem (Lk. 9.31).

                Emphasis: "Jesus set his face resolutely toward Jerusalem" (Lk. 9.51), with recurrent reminders en route (Lk. 9.53; 13.32f; 17.11; 18.31ff; 19.11,28).

                En route Jesus laments: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... ... your house is forsaken." (Lk.13.34f)

                Upon setting foot in the Roman Province of Judaea, Jesus befriends Zacchaeus (an Agent of the Roman Governor). Jesus had previously silenced Peter's declaration of Messiah (Lk. 9.21). Ergo: this march on Jerusalem is not a march against Roman occupation.

                Soon after arriving in Jerusalem Jesus publicly denounces the temple authorities as wicked husbandmen. They recognised his parable as directed against them (Lk. 20.19).

                Moses – Sinai – seventy, and a heavy emphasis on target Jerusalem to denounce the presiding priesthood all say rulers (Sanhedrin) to me.

                There are numerous references to ruling councils and representative bodies in ancient texts: War, Ant, Life, mSanh, tSuk, Boule, M.Hag, mZeb, mYad, Zebahim, Yadaim. The specific number varies (70,71,72).
              • ernestpennells
                On the numbers game: Luke and Sinai traditions consistently mention seventy. However, when Moses and the seventy present themselves at the Tabernacle, they
                Message 7 of 14 , May 21, 2012
                  On the numbers game:

                  Luke and Sinai traditions consistently mention seventy. However, when Moses and the seventy present themselves at the Tabernacle, they total seventy-one. Likewise, Jesus plus his seventy. Josephus also mentions provision for alleged miscreants to be brought before him and seventy he appointed.

                  The question arises as to whether the number cited in other ancient texts includes or excludes the HP or other figurehead.

                  The seventy(-two) variant arises from a different number count in LXX and MT of the list of nations in Genesis. The number is not actually stated there.

                  Seventy-two is a multiple of twelve, possibly suggesting even handed treatment in a tribal society.

                  Should we expect mathematical precision in ancient texts? (Or modern ones, come to that).

                  Ernie Pennells
                  Victoria BC
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