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Waiting in Jerusalem

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Thanks, Mahlon, for your interesting response to Ian. And thanks to Ian for stating his case well enough to draw such an elaborate response! I was going to
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 1998
      At 05:48 AM 11/29/98 -0500, Mahlon H. Smith wrote:
      >There is absolutely no evidence, literary or archaeological, of a
      >measurable migration of Jews, leaders or otherwise, from Judea to
      >Galilee between 70 & 135 CE. The expansion & demonstrable "Judaizing" of
      >Galilean settlements is all 2nd-4th c. CE. That is the material basis of
      >Dick Horsley's challenge to the naive assumption of the "Jewishness" of
      >the world of Jesus that was debated on this list months ago & set Steve
      >Davies' mental wheels spinning.

      Thanks, Mahlon, for your interesting response to Ian. And thanks to Ian for
      stating his case well enough to draw such an elaborate response!

      I was going to try to rebut your claim, but instead I'll just use it as
      fodder for some musings, and see where it leads me.

      In NRS Luke 24:49, we read
      And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so
      stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

      A variation on this is repeated in Luke 1:4,8
      4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to
      wait there for the promise of the Father. ...
      8 "...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
      and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to
      the ends of the earth."

      [Oddly, Galilee is left out of this itinerary]

      So, according to some accounts, the disciples hang around Jerusalem waiting
      for something to happen. And of course, according to Acts, what happens is
      Pentecost (Acts 2.) But wait: although Luke presents this as the foretold
      event, some disciples apparently either didn't experience it or didn't
      appreciate its significance. Unfortunately, we don't have the attendance
      list for this event, only Peter being identified by name, unless we take
      those mentioned in Chapter One to identify those present at pentecost. We
      can be fairly certain that one of those NOT in attendance was Saul/Paul,
      who was also not on hand to hear the "wait in Jerusalem" message.

      At any rate, James the Just and Peter appear to have hung around Jerusalem
      for a while (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:17-18; Galatians 1:18-19). One suspects
      that at first, pentecost was not appreciated, and it was assumed that Jesus
      was refering to the parousia. So that some of them continued to wait in
      Jerusalem. Of course, there is also the tradition that James the Just
      became high priest for a while, and this no doubt helped to keep these
      followers in Jerusalem. But after James was deposed (what year?), perhaps
      then Peter went up to Galilee. I think there have been claims that Peter's
      house has been discovered, and a tad of evidence suggests that it might
      have served as a house church. But still, Jerusalem would seem to be the
      logical place for the Parousia to unfold, so a remnant probably persisted
      there until 70 CE.

      But Paul seems to have hit the road early and often, following his trip to
      Damascus. This would be fine with the folks in Jerusalem, who were probably
      convinced that Paul was gonna miss the main event. But when Paul brought
      back word that there were plenty other Friends of Jesus scattered all over
      the place, and when Paul returns to Jerusalem to report,
      Acts 15:12 The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and
      Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through
      them among the Gentiles.
      Acts 21:18 The next day Paul went with us to visit James; and all the
      elders were present.
      19 After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done
      among the Gentiles through his ministry.
      20 When they heard it, they praised God. Then they said to him, "You see,
      brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and
      they are all zealous for the law.

      So were they thereby laying claim to the promise of Luke 24:49?

      However, no such reports come to us of great successes in Galilee.
      Is this the basis for Rene's elegant summary of Luke's case against Galilee?

      A case for Nazoreans in Galilee has been made by Pritz (Nazorean Jewish
      Christianity, Jerusalem/Leiden 1988, 120-121), but this evidence may be
      confined to the time of Epiphanius and Jerome, and so somewhat later.
      Baumgarten has added a little to this thesis in Levine's book on Galilee in
      Late Antiquity, but his article mainly has other interests.

      So I guess I wind up supporting you, Mahlon. The only real draw for Galilee
      was that it was the home territory of the disciples. And if no prophet is
      recognized in his home town applied to Jesus, how much more so to them?


      Robert Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      "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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