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Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke, the rich, and the poor

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  • David Mealand
    I think it can reasonably be argued that at least some of the material concerned for the poor, and critical of the rich, reflects the period of crisis in
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 7, 2012
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      I think it can reasonably be argued that at least some of the material
      concerned for the poor, and critical of the rich, reflects the period of
      crisis in Jerusalem during the famine. This is dated to the time of
      Claudius (41-54 CE) by Jos Ant 3.320 and Acts 11.27, and the latter
      mentions relief being sent by Barnabas and Saul. Josephus also
      mentions that Queen Helena of Adiabene, a convert to Judaism,
      took swift action to obtain corn from Egypt and dried figs from Cyprus
      for the hungry population in Jerusalem (Ant. 20.51). Tosefta Peah 4.18 says
      Monobazus of Adiabene sent cash, and when criticized by his people said that
      his fathers gathered treasures to a place over which hands can gain control
      but he gathered treasures to a place where no hand can gain control.
      (Compare Luke 12.33f and Matt. 6.19f on seeking "treasure" which does
      not perish.) Jos. Ant. 20.53 says it was Izates who sent the cash from
      Adiabene, but both men belonged to the royal family of Adiabene, so
      there is no serious discrepancy here. All this and the Pauline evidence
      for the "collection" fit well with dating this crisis to the period of the
      late 40s CE. Acts dates it close to the time Herod Agrippa (41-44) had
      James executed and Peter arrested.

      That would favour at least some of the material in Luke critical of
      the rich, and concerned for the poor and the hungry (especially the latter)
      originating quite some time before Luke's writing c.75-95CE. Luke
      presumably was content to include this material, probably to adapt it
      as he adapted much else, and perhaps to have amplified it, though that
      is harder to prove.

      David M.


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


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      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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