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

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  • 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 1 of 14 , May 19, 2012
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      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 2 of 14 , May 20, 2012
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        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 3 of 14 , May 20, 2012
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          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 4 of 14 , May 20, 2012
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            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 5 of 14 , May 21, 2012
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              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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