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Galileans

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  • Bob Schacht
    For those who have an interest in Galilean Jewishness, I have several sources to recommend. One is the article on Galileans, several pages long, in the Anchor
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23 10:19 PM
      For those who have an interest in Galilean Jewishness, I have several
      sources to recommend. One is the article on Galileans, several pages long,
      in the Anchor Bible dictionary. This article focusses on the religious
      affiliations and attitudes of the Galileans. It may surprise Steve to learn
      that it concedes the point that before the Hasmoneans, Galilee was
      populated mainly by "people of non-Israelite stock, with only a tiny
      minority of Jews living there". Archaeological surveys suggest considerable
      population growth in the early Hasmonean period. For historical
      information, there's not much besides Josephus and the NT, but there's
      plenty in Josephus: 46 references to Galileans in his _Life_, 20 in _JW_,
      15 in Ant., and 1 in AgAp. Josephus' characterization of Galileans has been
      described in detail by Armenti, "On the use of the term 'Galilean' in the
      writings of Flavius Josephus", JQR 69:45-49. Has anyone here read that?

      To counterbalance Horsley, other recent resources should be consulted--
      particularly Sean Freyne, who has built his reputation on his work on Roman
      Galilee. Interestingly enough, he has an article, "Galilean Questions to
      Crossan's Mediterranean Jesus", in _Whose Historical Jesus?_ (1997), edited
      by ... (drum roll) ... Bill Arnal and Michael Desjardins. Freyne also has
      an earlier book on the subject, _Galilee, Jesus, and the Gospels_. The
      picture that emerges in Sean's work is, indeed, a Jewish Jesus. In his
      book, Sean begins by looking at Jesus' Galilean setting. He has also
      recently reviewed the archaeological evidence, in "Archeology and the
      Historical Jesus", in John R. Bartlett (ed.), _Archaeology and Biblical
      Interpretation_ (1997). In Arnal's book, he writes,

      "It is not that we have suddenly discovered that Galilee is not Jewish at
      all. It is a matter of sensitively estimating the way in which Jewish faith
      was lived and expressed in everyday life in a region that was both a part
      of Eretz Israel, yet cut off from its main cultic centre and so forced to
      develop its own brand of Jewishness in response to the social factors
      operating there at different periods. "

      Freyne considers the question of the absence of information about Sepphoris
      and Tiberias in the Gospels which I asked about the other day (having
      forgotten that I had read this article about a year ago.) Freyne suggests,
      as I did, that the ommission is deliberate, and has to do with the new
      value systems (market and Roman) represented by Sepphoris and Tiberias,
      which clashed with Jewish patriarchal values. Given that clash, I suspect
      that rather than openly discuss it (as in "Woe to you, Chorazin,..."),
      because Mark intended that his Gospel circulate in Rome, he felt it better
      simply to omit all mention of Sepphoris and Tiberias, in order to avoid
      provoking the Romans. I would add the suggestion that essential events
      which took place in Sepphoris or Tiberias were therefore transposed to
      other locations. This could then explain the reference to urban phenomena
      attributed to Galilean villages (parable of the laborers, references to
      agorae, etc.)

      I have not read Freyne's book, nor his review of the archaeology of
      Galilee. Can anyone review them for us?

      Bob
      Robert Schacht
      Northern Arizona University
      Robert.Schacht@...

      "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
      that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
      position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
      criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
      Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
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