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Israelites

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  • Bob Schacht
    In Romans 11:1, Paul describes himself not as a Jew (i.e., Judean), but as an Israelite. Was this description a matter of choice, or what? What did he mean
    Message 1 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
      In Romans 11:1, Paul describes himself not as a "Jew" (i.e., Judean), but
      as an "Israelite." Was this description a matter of choice, or what? What
      did he mean by this? Apparently, Paul knew that his Roman audience would
      understand the difference between "Judean" and "Israelite." Was the
      difference simply that it indicates that Paul was from the Jewish diaspora
      (possibly including Galilee) rather than from Judea? Or is he making some
      other point?

      Interestingly, Jesus is never(?) called either a Judean or an Israelite,
      but rather a Nazarene/Nazorean (Matt 2:23, Acts 24:5) or of course, most
      frequently, "of Nazareth" even though most others mentioned in the gospels
      are not identified with a locative. Is this merely because of an early
      Christian attempt to avoid the Jewishness of Jesus? or what?

      Bob
    • Loren Rosson
      ... Bob, As in Philip 3:5, Paul s emphasizes that he descends from the whole house of Israel (the tribe of Benjamin, in particular). If he emphasized his
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
        Bob Schacht wrote:

        > In Romans 11:1, Paul describes himself not as a
        > "Jew" (i.e., Judean), but as an "Israelite."
        > Was this description a matter of choice, or what?

        Bob,

        As in Philip 3:5, Paul's emphasizes that he descends
        from the whole house of Israel (the tribe of Benjamin,
        in particular). If he emphasized his "Judeanness", he
        could have been perceived as distancing himself from
        his own Galilean savior.
        >
        > Interestingly, Jesus is never(?) called either a
        > Judean or an Israelite,

        Though he was crucified as "King of the Judeans". How
        ironic.

        > but rather a Nazarene/Nazorean (Matt 2:23, Acts
        > 24:5) or of course, most
        > frequently, "of Nazareth" even though most others
        > mentioned in the gospels
        > are not identified with a locative.

        Perhaps we could say that most of the Gospel
        traditions codify various ways of being "Galilean
        Israelite" -- just as the Mishnah traditions codify
        ways of being "Judean Israelite".

        > Is this merely because of an early
        > Christian attempt to avoid the Jewishness
        > of Jesus? or what?

        "Jewishness" is an anachronism (though I use it all
        the time anyway). It's more likely an attempt to avoid
        any implied "Judeanness" of Jesus.

        Loren Rosson III
        Nashua NH
        rossoiii@...

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      • Jacob Knee
        Interestingly in John s Gospel Nathanael is called an Israelite in whom there is no deceit (Jn 1.47) and he names Jesus the King of Israel (Jn 1.49). Best
        Message 3 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
          Interestingly in John's Gospel Nathanael is called 'an Israelite in whom
          there is no deceit' (Jn 1.47) and he names Jesus 'the King of Israel' (Jn
          1.49).

          Best wishes,
          Jacob Knee
          (Cam, Glos.)

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Loren Rosson [mailto:rossoiii@...]
          Sent: 15 July 2002 16:29
          To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Israelites


          Bob Schacht wrote:

          > In Romans 11:1, Paul describes himself not as a
          > "Jew" (i.e., Judean), but as an "Israelite."
          > Was this description a matter of choice, or what?
        • bjtraff
          ... I think Paul gives the clearest definition of who is an Israelite in Romans 9, where he identifies the people of Israel as being of my own race
          Message 4 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
            --- In crosstalk2@y..., Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...> wrote:
            >In Romans 11:1, Paul describes himself not as a "Jew" (i.e.,
            >Judean), but as an "Israelite." Was this description a matter of
            >choice, or what? What did he mean by this? Apparently, Paul knew
            >that his Roman audience would understand the difference
            >between "Judean" and "Israelite." Was the difference simply that it
            >indicates that Paul was from the Jewish diaspora (possibly including
            >Galilee) rather than from Judea? Or is he making some other point?

            I think Paul gives the clearest definition of who is an "Israelite"
            in Romans 9, where he identifies the people of Israel as being "of my
            own race" (9:3-4), then goes on to identify them as descended from
            Abraham through Sara (9:9), and Jacob through Rebekah (9:10). The
            contrast of Gentiles verses Israelites in 11:25-29 confirms that in
            Paul's eyes, the term Israelite and Jew is synonymous. As to his
            central point, he seems to set up the Jews/Israelites as specially
            blessed, and chosen by God through the Patriarchs as receivers of the
            law, and of God's promise (see, for example, Romans 3:1-2).

            >Interestingly, Jesus is never(?) called either a Judean or an
            >Israelite, but rather a Nazarene/Nazorean (Matt 2:23, Acts 24:5) or
            >of course, most frequently, "of Nazareth" even though most others
            >mentioned in the gospels are not identified with a locative. Is this
            >merely because of an early Christian attempt to avoid the Jewishness
            >of Jesus? or what?

            Given Paul's statement Romans 1:3 where Jesus is identified as a
            descendent of David, it is clear that Paul connects Jesus with not
            only Israel, but specifically, with the tribe of Judah (David's
            tribe). As for the Gospels connecting Jesus with Nazareth, this
            seems to be simply a statement of his place of origin. At the same
            time, I would argue that the unanimous agreement amongst the
            evangelists (and Paul) that Jesus was thought to be descended from
            David made him both a Jew and a Judaean.

            Peace,

            Brian Trafford
            Calgary, AB, Canada
          • Loren Rosson
            Bob, Brian, (others) -- We should also keep in mind the flexible meanings of the term Judean . Hanson and Oakman, in Palestine in the Time of Jesus, pinpoint
            Message 5 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
              Bob, Brian, (others) --

              We should also keep in mind the flexible meanings of
              the term "Judean". Hanson and Oakman, in Palestine in
              the Time of Jesus, pinpoint five distinct usages (p
              176). According to them, Judeans can refer to:

              (1) The inhabitants of Judea (as opposed to Galilee,
              Perea, Samaria, Idumea, etc.)
              (2) The inhabitants of all Palestine (including
              Galilee, Perea, Samaria, Idumea, etc.)
              (3) All those in the Mediterranean and Middle-East who
              have connections to Judah
              (4) All those professing allegiance to the state
              religion of Judah (even converts)
              (5) The elites of Judah (as opposed to peasants)

              "Which of these senses is meant in any given context
              depends upon who is speaking of whom, and it what
              context." (ibid)

              But I usually use "Judean" in the sense of (1) and
              "Jew" in the sense of (2), even if the latter is an
              anachronism. It cuts down on confusion.

              Loren Rosson III
              Nashua NH
              rossoiii@...

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            • Loren Rosson
              ... The Davidic lineage in Matthew s Gospel no doubt evolved as a weapon to counter the historical rejection of Jesus kingship . The Judean honorific Son of
              Message 6 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
                Brian Trafford wrote:

                >I would argue that the unanimous agreement
                >amongst the evangelists (and Paul) that Jesus
                >was thought to be descended from
                >David made him both a Jew and a Judaean.

                The Davidic lineage in Matthew's Gospel no doubt
                evolved as a weapon to counter the historical
                rejection of Jesus' "kingship". The Judean honorific
                "Son of David", on the other hand, may have some
                historical roots, though I think Jesus probably hated
                being called that, since his messiahship was more
                prophetic than kingly. In fact, Bill Herzog has
                persuasively argued that the parable of the Unmerciful
                Servant (Mt 18:23-34), in particular, is a slam on
                Davidic pretenders (Athronges of Judea, Simon bar
                Giora, etc).

                The mocking honorific on the cross -- "King of the
                Judeans" -- simply broadcast how Rome would deal with
                any messiah who had pretensions (whether real or
                perceived) to rule in her place. From this standpoint,
                it made little difference that Jesus was a Galilean
                and not a Judean. The demonstration in the temple and
                the eucharist-event took place in Judea; and that's
                where the crucifixion happened, with plenty of Judeans
                watching.

                Loren Rosson III
                Nashua NH
                rossoiii@...

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              • bjtraff
                ... I am unclear as to why you have singled out Matthew s Gospel, and specifically his geneology, as an apologetic weapon when we already know from Paul and
                Message 7 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
                  --- In crosstalk2@y..., Loren Rosson <rossoiii@y...> wrote:

                  > The Davidic lineage in Matthew's Gospel no doubt
                  > evolved as a weapon to counter the historical
                  > rejection of Jesus' "kingship".

                  I am unclear as to why you have singled out Matthew's Gospel, and
                  specifically his geneology, as an apologetic "weapon" when we already
                  know from Paul and Mark that Jesus was considered the son of David
                  very early on (certainly earlier than Matt or Luke's BN). Are you
                  arguing that the principle reason Matt offered his geneology of Jesus
                  was to combat the general rejection of Jesus' Messianic status by the
                  Jews, and establishing him as the rightful king? If so, I find this
                  belief to be somewhat suspect in that Matt seemed most interested in
                  connecting Jesus to Moses, not David, and the overall theme of Jesus
                  as king is given little play in the bulk of Matthew's Gospel as a
                  whole (one direct mention in the BN at Matthew 2:2 and twice during
                  the PN in Matthew 27:29,37 (following Mark 15:18,26).

                  > The Judean honorific
                  > "Son of David", on the other hand, may have some
                  > historical roots, though I think Jesus probably hated
                  > being called that, since his messiahship was more
                  > prophetic than kingly.

                  I agree that the title as "Son of David" is probably very early,
                  either given to Jesus shortly after his death, or possibly during his
                  own lifetime. At the same time, I am unsure how we can assertain
                  Jesus' personal opinion of the title. Since a Davidic Messiahship
                  could be prophetic (and kingly) in nature, I do not see why it is
                  incompatible with a prophetic self view by the historical Jesus.
                  After all, David himself is considered by Jews to be a prophet/king.

                  > In fact, Bill Herzog has
                  > persuasively argued that the parable of the Unmerciful
                  > Servant (Mt 18:23-34), in particular, is a slam on
                  > Davidic pretenders (Athronges of Judea, Simon bar
                  > Giora, etc).

                  This is an interesting interpretation. Personally I connect it with
                  Jesus' earlier command found in Matt 6:12,14-15, and the overall
                  theme of forgiveness (as well as general condemnation of hypocracy
                  and double dealing) found within GMatt as a whole.

                  > The mocking honorific on the cross -- "King of the
                  > Judeans" -- simply broadcast how Rome would deal with
                  > any messiah who had pretensions (whether real or
                  > perceived) to rule in her place. From this standpoint,
                  > it made little difference that Jesus was a Galilean
                  > and not a Judean. The demonstration in the temple and
                  > the eucharist-event took place in Judea; and that's
                  > where the crucifixion happened, with plenty of Judeans
                  > watching.

                  The title, of course, was "King of the Jews" (BASILEUS TWN IOUDAIWN),
                  not just of the Judaeans. I am aware of the politically correct
                  distinction drawn between Jews and Judaeans by some in recent
                  scholarship (for example, by the translators of _The Complete
                  Gospels_), but the text (whether it be the Gospels, or Acts, or Paul)
                  makes no distinction between Jews and Judaeans, and in my opinion it
                  is poor translation methodology to make such a distinction now.

                  Peace,

                  Brian Trafford
                  Calgary, AB, Canada
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... This is the pot calling the kettle black. If the text makes no distinction, then your distinction is as wrong as his. This has nothing to do with political
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
                    At 02:39 AM 7/16/2002 +0000, bjtraff wrote:
                    >...The title, of course, was "King of the Jews" (BASILEUS TWN IOUDAIWN),
                    >not just of the Judaeans. I am aware of the politically correct
                    >distinction drawn between Jews and Judaeans by some in recent
                    >scholarship (for example, by the translators of _The Complete
                    >Gospels_), but the text (whether it be the Gospels, or Acts, or Paul)
                    >makes no distinction between Jews and Judaeans, and in my opinion it
                    >is poor translation methodology to make such a distinction now....

                    This is the pot calling the kettle black. If the text makes no distinction,
                    then your distinction is as wrong as his. This has nothing to do with
                    political correctness.

                    Bob
                  • bjtraff
                    ... I am unclear as to what you are talking about here Bob. Lorren s (and the _Complete Gospels_) translation is incorrect based on linguistics. IOUDAIWN is
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
                      --- In crosstalk2@y..., Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...> wrote:

                      >This is the pot calling the kettle black. If the text makes no
                      >distinction, then your distinction is as wrong as his. This has
                      >nothing to do with political correctness.

                      I am unclear as to what you are talking about here Bob. Lorren's (and
                      the _Complete Gospels_) translation is incorrect based on
                      linguistics. IOUDAIWN is properly translated as Jews, not Judaeans.

                      In my own case, I said that Jesus was called a Judaean because he was
                      thought to be descended from David who was himself from the tribe of
                      Judah (see Paul, the Gospels, and Hebrews). Naturally this makes him
                      a Judaean, a Jew, and an Israelite (by Paul's definition, as well as
                      convention), but one could also be a Jew without being Judaean
                      (again as we find in the case of Paul, who was of the tribe of
                      Benjamin). How is my definition affected by the translation of the
                      word IOUDAIWN?

                      Brian Trafford
                      Calgary, AB, Canada
                    • Loren Rosson
                      [Brian] ... Brian, I haven t the competency for such linguistic enquiries. But I can say that many competent scholars -- not just those behind writing The
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                        [Brian]
                        > I am unclear as to what you are talking about here
                        > Bob. Lorren's (and the _Complete Gospels_)
                        > translation is incorrect based on linguistics.
                        > IOUDAIWN is properly translated as Jews,
                        > not Judaeans.

                        Brian,

                        I haven't the competency for such linguistic
                        enquiries. But I can say that many competent scholars
                        -- not just those behind writing The Complete Gospels
                        -- disagree with you here. According to them, if we
                        are quite precise, IOUDAIWN is better translated
                        "Judeans" and not "Jews", most often refering to the
                        peoples and beliefs found in the Judean (as opposed to
                        Galilean and Perean) way of life. But this isn't
                        always the case, granted -- and see again
                        Hanson/Oakman's fivefold distinction of the term.

                        And please understand (to echo Bob) that political
                        correctness is hardly the issue here (though I
                        appreciate your sensitivity to redefinition games).
                        The more we learn about first century "Judaisms", the
                        more diverse they appear to have been and the less
                        legitimate the term itself becomes. Only by the third
                        century can we really speak of a monolithic Judaism
                        per se, consistent belief patterns irrespective of
                        geographical locale. That's the reason for making
                        these distinctions.

                        [Loren]
                        >> The Davidic lineage in Matthew's Gospel no doubt
                        >> evolved as a weapon to counter the historical
                        >> rejection of Jesus' "kingship".

                        [Brian]
                        >I am unclear as to why you have singled out Matthew's
                        >Gospel, and specifically his geneology, as an
                        apologetic
                        >"weapon" when we already know from Paul and Mark
                        >that Jesus was considered the son of David very early
                        >on (certainly earlier than Matt or Luke's BN).

                        Matthew is the best example of this, but of course
                        you're right about the others too.

                        [Brian]
                        >Are you arguing that the principle reason Matt
                        >offered his geneology of Jesus was to combat the
                        >general rejection of Jesus' Messianic status by the
                        >Jews, and establishing him as the rightful king?

                        I think Matt offered his genealogy for a number of
                        reasons, nearly all of which were apologetic in nature
                        and served as agonistic weapons against historical
                        charges/slanders -- illegitimacy for one (note the
                        inclusion of the four notorious women), the title on
                        the cross (which derisively implied Jesus was anything
                        but "King of the Judeans"), etc.

                        [Brian]
                        >If so, I find this belief to be somewhat suspect
                        >in that Matt seemed most interested in
                        >connecting Jesus to Moses, not David, and the overall
                        theme of Jesus
                        >as king is given little play in the bulk of Matthew's
                        Gospel as a
                        >whole (one direct mention in the BN at Matthew 2:2
                        and twice during
                        >the PN in Matthew 27:29,37 (following Mark 15:18,26).

                        The connection to Moses is stronger, but the
                        connections to David are just as explicit even if less
                        attested. In effect, Matthew portrays Jesus as the new
                        Moses/new David.

                        [Loren]
                        > In fact, Bill Herzog has persuasively
                        > argued that the parable of the Unmerciful
                        > Servant (Mt 18:23-34), in particular, is a
                        > slam on Davidic pretenders (Athronges of
                        > Judea, Simon bar Giora, etc).

                        [Brian]
                        >This is an interesting interpretation. Personally
                        >I connect it with Jesus' earlier command found in
                        >Matt 6:12,14-15, and the overall
                        >theme of forgiveness (as well as general
                        >condemnation of hypocracy
                        >and double dealing) found within GMatt as a whole.

                        The problem, Brian, is that Mt 18:23-34 does not
                        illustrate the principle of forgiveness -- whether
                        that found in Mt 6:12,14-15 (as you believe) or Mt
                        18:21-22 (as Matthew believed). In 18:21 Peter asks
                        Jesus how many times he should forgive a sinning
                        member of the church -- "as many as seven times"? --
                        to which Jesus replies "not seven times, but
                        seventy-seven" (18:22). He then tells the story of The
                        Unmerciful Servant to illustrate this principle of
                        forgiveness, which of course it doesn't do at all!
                        18:21-35, taken as a whole, indicates that God,
                        through Jesus, tells us to forgive people all the time
                        -- only to abandon that very standard in nailing the
                        servant after his first failure.

                        Bill Herzog argues convincingly (see Parables as
                        Subversive Speech) that the parable assumes the
                        setting of a Davidic pretender who has successfully
                        defeated Israel's enemies (Rome, etc) and ushered in
                        the new age. After all, the opening scene of the story
                        portrays a quintessential messianic moment. If the
                        largest amount of debt conceivable has been cancelled
                        (10,000 talents, an outlandish figure), then the
                        messianic age has begun -- "the fulfillment of the
                        sabbatical and jubilee hopes condensed into a single
                        moment". But that moment is short-lived, because no
                        sooner has the new age of debt-forgiveness been
                        started than it has been cancelled by the cutthroat
                        tactics of a typical bureaucratic retainer. And his
                        lack of mercy makes the king look like a fool in turn,
                        so the king reverts to "business as usual", handing
                        over the servant to the torturers.

                        The point of the story, as Herzog sees it, is that
                        relying on Davidic messiahs for deliverance from debt
                        and bondage contains a hidden contradiction: no sooner
                        would a Davidic movement succeed in overthrowing its
                        oppressors than would it begin to take on the role of
                        an oppressor itself. Look at Solomon; look at Omri;
                        look at the king in this parable. Personally, I think
                        The Unmerciful Servant would have been better placed
                        by John after his 6:1-15 than by Matthew after his
                        18:21-22.

                        Loren Rosson III
                        Nashua NH
                        rossoiii@...

                        __________________________________________________
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                      • Jack Kilmon
                        ... From: bjtraff To: Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 12:11 AM Subject: [XTalk] Re: Israelites/Judeans ...
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "bjtraff" <bj_traff@...>
                          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 12:11 AM
                          Subject: [XTalk] Re: Israelites/Judeans


                          > --- In crosstalk2@y..., Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...> wrote:
                          >
                          > >This is the pot calling the kettle black. If the text makes no
                          > >distinction, then your distinction is as wrong as his. This has
                          > >nothing to do with political correctness.
                          >
                          > I am unclear as to what you are talking about here Bob. Lorren's (and
                          > the _Complete Gospels_) translation is incorrect based on
                          > linguistics. IOUDAIWN is properly translated as Jews, not Judaeans.
                          >
                          > In my own case, I said that Jesus was called a Judaean because he was
                          > thought to be descended from David who was himself from the tribe of
                          > Judah (see Paul, the Gospels, and Hebrews). Naturally this makes him
                          > a Judaean, a Jew, and an Israelite (by Paul's definition, as well as
                          > convention), but one could also be a Jew without being Judaean
                          > (again as we find in the case of Paul, who was of the tribe of
                          > Benjamin). How is my definition affected by the translation of the
                          > word IOUDAIWN?

                          Isn't there some anachronism here? In the 1st century there were no "Jews,"
                          only Judaeans (Aram yehuddaya; Heb yehudym, Grk ioudaiwn) who, like those in
                          the diaspora were Hebrews (Aram ebraya, Heb ibrym, Grk hEbraiwn). "Judeans"
                          is an English rendering of an ancient word. "Jews" is a word that only goes
                          back to middle English.

                          Jack
                        • bjtraff
                          ... There are times when Judaean could be used as the proper translation of IOUDAIWN, but it also serves as the general description of all of the descendents
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                            --- In crosstalk2@y..., Loren Rosson <rossoiii@y...> wrote:

                            > I haven't the competency for such linguistic
                            > enquiries. But I can say that many competent scholars
                            > -- not just those behind writing The Complete Gospels
                            > -- disagree with you here. According to them, if we
                            > are quite precise, IOUDAIWN is better translated
                            > "Judeans" and not "Jews", most often refering to the
                            > peoples and beliefs found in the Judean (as opposed to
                            > Galilean and Perean) way of life. But this isn't
                            > always the case, granted -- and see again
                            > Hanson/Oakman's fivefold distinction of the term.

                            There are times when "Judaean" could be used as the proper
                            translation of IOUDAIWN, but it also serves as the general
                            description of all of the descendents of Abraham, not only those who
                            lived within Judaea itself, making the use of "Jew" more
                            appropriate. Looking at Paul's understanding of the word IOUDAIWN,
                            we can see that he often uses it interchangeably with those who have
                            been circumcized, or those he calls Israelites, both of which groups
                            encompass a much larger designation than merely Judaeans (at least by
                            definitions 1, 2 and 5). From Paul's letters we can see that he drew
                            no distinction between "Jews" and "Judaeans" as any such distinction
                            made no difference to him. For example, I do not know of any
                            historian that would say that Peter was an apostle only to Jews who
                            lived in Judaea. Clearly he went to those in many cities, including
                            those outside of Palestine.

                            Now, as for Hanson and Oakman's linguistic preference for "Judaean",
                            they have simply exchanged one English word, "Jew", directly for
                            another, "Judaean". After all, if we use definitions (3) and (4)
                            (which are the ones most typically used by Paul in his epistles),
                            then calling them Judaeans removes all meaningful distinctions from
                            the group. They become the catch all group best defined
                            as "descendents of Abraham through Sarah and Jacob through Rebekah".

                            > And please understand (to echo Bob) that political
                            > correctness is hardly the issue here (though I
                            > appreciate your sensitivity to redefinition games).
                            > The more we learn about first century "Judaisms", the
                            > more diverse they appear to have been and the less
                            > legitimate the term itself becomes. Only by the third
                            > century can we really speak of a monolithic Judaism
                            > per se, consistent belief patterns irrespective of
                            > geographical locale. That's the reason for making
                            > these distinctions.

                            Actually, I would have to disagree here, as the authors of _The
                            Complete Gospels_ specifically state that their preference is driven
                            by a desire to clarify that, based on the text of the NT, not all
                            Jews were held to be responsible for the death of Jesus. For them,
                            the change from "Jews" to "Judeans" was meant to remove this stigma
                            that has led to so much tragedy and persecution from Christians
                            against the Jews. This may be a laudable goal, but it still plays
                            fast and loose with the 1st Century understanding of the word
                            IOUDAIWN (as represented by Paul's epistles in particular).

                            > I think Matt offered his genealogy for a number of
                            > reasons, nearly all of which were apologetic in nature
                            > and served as agonistic weapons against historical
                            > charges/slanders -- illegitimacy for one (note the
                            > inclusion of the four notorious women), the title on
                            > the cross (which derisively implied Jesus was anything
                            > but "King of the Judeans"), etc.

                            I think the confession of the magi (against the unbelief of the
                            wicked King Herod, "all Jerusalem" and the chief priests) found in
                            Matt 2:2-3 already serves this purpose, as the magi specifically
                            identify Jesus (positively) as "king of the Jews" (BASILEUS TWN
                            IOUDAIWN. Note that this is identical to the phrase used by Mark and
                            Matt on the sign hanging over Jesus' cross). As for the defence
                            against charges of "mamzar" against Jesus, I do think that this could
                            have been seen as a problem by Matthew, though this might be a bit
                            overstated given Paul's seeming lack of concern on this issue.
                            Perhaps in Paul's day the charge of "mamzar" had yet to be made, but
                            by Matthew's time it was in wider circulation amongst opponents to
                            the early Christians. The evidence, unfortunately, is scant either
                            way, leaving us largely with speculations.

                            > The connection to Moses is stronger, but the
                            > connections to David are just as explicit even if less
                            > attested. In effect, Matthew portrays Jesus as the new
                            > Moses/new David.

                            While this is true, the point remains that Matthew's principle
                            concern appears to be directed towards a prophetic Jesus, or at the
                            very least, a prophet/king/ruler (all of which could be
                            considered "Anointed/Christ") than simply to Jesus as King.

                            > The problem, Brian, is that Mt 18:23-34 does not
                            > illustrate the principle of forgiveness -- whether
                            > that found in Mt 6:12,14-15 (as you believe) or Mt
                            > 18:21-22 (as Matthew believed). In 18:21 Peter asks
                            > Jesus how many times he should forgive a sinning
                            > member of the church -- "as many as seven times"? --
                            > to which Jesus replies "not seven times, but
                            > seventy-seven" (18:22). He then tells the story of The
                            > Unmerciful Servant to illustrate this principle of
                            > forgiveness, which of course it doesn't do at all!
                            > 18:21-35, taken as a whole, indicates that God,
                            > through Jesus, tells us to forgive people all the time
                            > -- only to abandon that very standard in nailing the
                            > servant after his first failure.

                            On the contrary, I would argue that Jesus intended specifically to
                            link the need to forgive one's neighbours in order to merit
                            forgiveness from the Father. In the parable the "Master" represents
                            God, who forgives the unmerciful servant freely entirely on the basis
                            of the man's repentance and promise to make good his debt. But when
                            that same man turns around and fails to forgive a much
                            lesser "debt/sin" from his own subordinate, the master (God)
                            determines that the man was unworthy of forgiveness in the first
                            place, and condemns him. All of this is in accordance with Jesus'
                            words from Matt 6:15. Notice how in Matthew's version of the Lord's
                            prayer, he uses OFEIMHMATA (debts) in his petition for forgiveness,
                            as opposed to Luke's rendering of the same saying with AMARTIAS
                            (sins).

                            In my opinion, Matthew's Jesus is contrasting the justice AND mercy
                            of God (who forgives freely those who repent) with that of the
                            servant, who shows ONLY justice, but NO mercy. In such an instance,
                            then God will also show no mercy, and give only justice, condemning
                            the unmerciful by their own standard!

                            > Bill Herzog argues convincingly (see Parables as
                            > Subversive Speech) that the parable assumes the
                            > setting of a Davidic pretender who has successfully
                            > defeated Israel's enemies (Rome, etc) and ushered in
                            > the new age.

                            As you can see, I think that Herzog's interpretation is excessively
                            and needlessly complex, and out of keeping with Mathew's overall
                            theme of the mercy/forgiveness of God being connected directly to our
                            mercy/forgiveness we show to one another.

                            > The point of the story, as Herzog sees it, is that
                            > relying on Davidic messiahs for deliverance from debt
                            > and bondage contains a hidden contradiction: no sooner
                            > would a Davidic movement succeed in overthrowing its
                            > oppressors than would it begin to take on the role of
                            > an oppressor itself. Look at Solomon; look at Omri;
                            > look at the king in this parable.

                            I find this connection to be strained, and less plausible than my own.

                            > Personally, I think
                            > The Unmerciful Servant would have been better placed
                            > by John after his 6:1-15 than by Matthew after his
                            > 18:21-22.

                            Why would you connect it with the Feeding of the 5,000 (a story that
                            is also found in Matthew 14, not to mention the other Synoptics)?

                            Brian Trafford
                            Calgary, AB, Canada
                          • bjtraff
                            ... Perhaps if I heard scholars lobbying to change Josephus titles to Antiquity of the Judaeans and Judaean Wars , then I might be convinced that this
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                              --- In crosstalk2@y..., "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@h...> wrote:
                              >Isn't there some anachronism here? In the 1st century there were
                              >no "Jews," only Judaeans (Aram yehuddaya; Heb yehudym, Grk ioudaiwn)
                              >who, like those in the diaspora were Hebrews (Aram ebraya, Heb
                              >ibrym, Grk hEbraiwn). "Judeans" is an English rendering of an
                              >ancient word. "Jews" is a word that only goes back to middle English.
                              >
                              > Jack

                              Perhaps if I heard scholars lobbying to change Josephus' titles
                              to "Antiquity of the Judaeans" and "Judaean Wars", then I might be
                              convinced that this change is meritted in the NT as well. In the
                              meantime I still believe that the word "Jews" is preferable, and more
                              generally accurate for both.

                              Brian Trafford
                              Calgary, AB, Canada
                            • goranson@duke.edu
                              I think there is much literature (with varied perspectives) not being taken into account. One example: the new _Judean Antiquities_, ed. S. Mason and L.
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                                I think there is much literature (with varied perspectives) not being
                                taken into account. One example:
                                the new _Judean Antiquities_, ed. S. Mason and L. Feldman (Leiden:
                                Brill).

                                Stephen Goranson
                                goranson@...


                                > Perhaps if I heard scholars lobbying to change Josephus' titles
                                > to "Antiquity of the Judaeans" and "Judaean Wars", then I might be
                                > convinced that this change is meritted in the NT as well.� In
                                > the meantime I still believe that the word "Jews" is preferable, and more
                                > generally accurate for both.
                                >
                                > Brian Trafford
                                > Calgary, AB, Canada
                              • Stephen C. Carlson
                                ... I fully understand the move to Judean as a way to avoid the terminological baggage that the term Jew has acquired over the centuries, but I don t think
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
                                  At 08:13 AM 7/16/02 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                                  >Isn't there some anachronism here? In the 1st century there were no "Jews,"
                                  >only Judaeans (Aram yehuddaya; Heb yehudym, Grk ioudaiwn) who, like those in
                                  >the diaspora were Hebrews (Aram ebraya, Heb ibrym, Grk hEbraiwn). "Judeans"
                                  >is an English rendering of an ancient word. "Jews" is a word that only goes
                                  >back to middle English.

                                  I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
                                  the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
                                  over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
                                  ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
                                  If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
                                  it is "Judean."

                                  According to Webster's Ninth (and others I checked), the
                                  modern English "Jew" comes from Middle English "Jew" <
                                  Old French GYU < Latin IUDAEUS < Greek IOUDAIOS < Hebrew
                                  YHWDY ("Yehudhi"). This straightforward etymology does
                                  not "only go back to middle English." In fact, it is
                                  the traditional rendering of the relevant ancient words.
                                  On the other hand, "Judean" isn't even listed.

                                  Stephen Carlson
                                  --
                                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                  Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                                • Loren Rosson
                                  Brian, ... I agree that this is a wrong and unhistorical reason to use Judeans in place of Jews , but again, that doesn t change the fact that there are
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
                                    Brian,

                                    >Actually, I would have to disagree here, as
                                    >the authors of _The Complete Gospels_ specifically
                                    >state that their preference is driven
                                    >by a desire to clarify that, based on the text
                                    >of the NT, not all Jews were held to be responsible
                                    >for the death of Jesus. For them,
                                    >the change from "Jews" to "Judeans" was meant to
                                    >remove this stigma that has led to so much tragedy
                                    >and persecution from Christians against the Jews.

                                    I agree that this is a wrong and unhistorical reason
                                    to use "Judeans" in place of "Jews", but again, that
                                    doesn't change the fact that there are good reasons
                                    for doing so. But I don't feel compelled to fight too
                                    aggressively on this front. As I mentioned, I myself
                                    often lazily use the term Judaism in the sense of
                                    Hanson/Oakman's definition (2). The legitimate reason
                                    for being wary of the term is that "Judaism" didn't
                                    really emerge until the third century.

                                    [Brian]
                                    >In the parable the "Master" represents
                                    >God, who forgives the unmerciful servant freely
                                    >entirely on the basis of the man's repentance
                                    >and promise to make good his debt.

                                    I assume no such thing, though that's obviously how
                                    Matthew has cast him. And we're not just dealing with
                                    a "master"; we're talking specifically about a "king".
                                    Jesus preached to the masses. What's the first thing a
                                    Jewish peasant would think of when hearing of a "king"
                                    who forgave an unfathomable amount of debt (10,000
                                    talents)?

                                    [Brian]
                                    >But when that same man turns around and fails
                                    >to forgive a much lesser "debt/sin" from his
                                    >own subordinate, the master (God)
                                    >determines that the man was unworthy of
                                    >forgiveness in the first place, and condemns him.

                                    Exactly. In other words, God fails to abide by the
                                    lofty standard he just finished setting through the
                                    mouth of Jesus. That servant is just as worthy of
                                    forgiveness as the fellow servant whom he wronged --
                                    according to Mt 18:22, anyway.

                                    [Brian]
                                    >All of this is in accordance with Jesus'
                                    >words from Matt 6:15.

                                    All right, I'll concede the point. If the parable had
                                    been placed after Mt 6:15, it would work. But I still
                                    don't believe that's what HJ in mind.

                                    [Loren]
                                    > Bill Herzog argues convincingly (see Parables as
                                    > Subversive Speech) that the parable assumes the
                                    > setting of a Davidic pretender who has successfully
                                    > defeated Israel's enemies (Rome, etc) and ushered in
                                    > the new age.

                                    [Brian]
                                    >As you can see, I think that Herzog's interpretation
                                    >is excessively and needlessly complex, and out of
                                    >keeping with Mathew's overall
                                    >theme of the mercy/forgiveness of God being connected
                                    >directly to our mercy/forgiveness we show to one
                                    another.

                                    Herzog isn't interested in Matthew's theme; he's
                                    interested in HJ's. A few posts ago you were lamenting
                                    the difficulty in ascertaining how Jesus may have felt
                                    about Davidic messiahs (or being called Son of David).
                                    That's the reason I brought up this parable, from HJ's
                                    point of view rather than Matthew's.

                                    [Loren]
                                    > The point of the story, as Herzog sees it, is that
                                    > relying on Davidic messiahs for deliverance from
                                    debt
                                    > and bondage contains a hidden contradiction: no
                                    > sooner would a Davidic movement succeed in
                                    > overthrowing its oppressors than would it begin
                                    > to take on the role of
                                    > an oppressor itself. Look at Solomon; look at Omri;
                                    > look at the king in this parable.

                                    [Brian]
                                    >I find this connection to be strained, and less
                                    >plausible than my own.

                                    That you find the connection strained doesn't mean
                                    much. What is relevant are the connections Jesus'
                                    hearers would have made. Again, what would a "king"
                                    who forgave a colossal amount of debt (literally an
                                    impossible -- "eschatological"? -- figure) only to
                                    subsequently throw his servants to the torturers have
                                    signaled?

                                    [Loren]
                                    > Personally, I think The Unmerciful Servant
                                    > would have been better placed
                                    > by John after his 6:1-15 than by Matthew
                                    > after his 18:21-22.

                                    [Brian]
                                    > Why would you connect it with the Feeding
                                    > of the 5,000 (a story that is also found in
                                    > Matthew 14, not to mention the other Synoptics)?

                                    The clincher is the last verse (Jn 6:15), which is
                                    absent from Matthew's account: "When Jesus realized
                                    they were about to come and take him by force to make
                                    him king, he withdrew to the mountain by himself." I
                                    imagine that, historically, Jesus had the parable of
                                    The Unmerciful Servant in reserve for any enthusiasts
                                    who would have made him another Athronges of Judea or
                                    any Davidic messiah. I do not imagine that he told
                                    this particular story in order to either (a) portray a
                                    God who violated his own moral dictums (Mt 18:21-22),
                                    or (b) remind people what they already knew (Mt 6:15).

                                    Loren Rosson III
                                    Nashua NH
                                    rossoiii@...

                                    __________________________________________________
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                                  • bjtraff
                                    Thanks for the reply Loren. This certainly helps me to understand where you are coming from on this issue. At the same time, I m afraid we may just have to
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
                                      Thanks for the reply Loren. This certainly helps me to understand
                                      where you are coming from on this issue. At the same time, I'm
                                      afraid we may just have to end up agreeing to disagree.

                                      --- In crosstalk2@y..., Loren Rosson <rossoiii@y...> wrote:

                                      > [Brian]
                                      > >In the parable the "Master" represents
                                      > >God, who forgives the unmerciful servant freely
                                      > >entirely on the basis of the man's repentance
                                      > >and promise to make good his debt.

                                      >[Loren]
                                      > I assume no such thing, though that's obviously how
                                      > Matthew has cast him. And we're not just dealing with
                                      > a "master"; we're talking specifically about a "king".
                                      > Jesus preached to the masses. What's the first thing a
                                      > Jewish peasant would think of when hearing of a "king"
                                      > who forgave an unfathomable amount of debt (10,000
                                      > talents)?

                                      There is no reason to assume anything here. Central to Matthew's
                                      theology is God's forgiveness of sins for those that repent of them,
                                      and his corresponding command that we are likewise to forgive those
                                      that repent to us. And as for calling God "king", this is pretty
                                      standard fare for Judaic thought rooted in the Tanak. The listeners
                                      would recognize that God is forgiving them of far graver sins against
                                      himself than any sins he expects human beings to forgive of one
                                      another. Thus, if they cannot forgive the minor transgressions
                                      committed against themselves, how can they then expect God to forgive
                                      them of the much more terrible (unfathomably large!) sins they commit
                                      against him?

                                      > [Brian]
                                      > >But when that same man turns around and fails
                                      > >to forgive a much lesser "debt/sin" from his
                                      > >own subordinate, the master (God)
                                      > >determines that the man was unworthy of
                                      > >forgiveness in the first place, and condemns him.

                                      >[Loren]
                                      > Exactly. In other words, God fails to abide by the
                                      > lofty standard he just finished setting through the
                                      > mouth of Jesus. That servant is just as worthy of
                                      > forgiveness as the fellow servant whom he wronged --
                                      > according to Mt 18:22, anyway.

                                      Since, in Jewish thought (again based on the Tanak) God is never
                                      bound by his commands to humans, I fail to see why you would make an
                                      exception here. The moral of the story is that the unmerciful
                                      servant will be judged as he has judged others, and that this is just
                                      (remember, the story is of the unmerciful servant, not the unmerciful
                                      master, especially as the master, unlike the servant, was perfectly
                                      willing to be merciful). The servant could have obtained mercy, but
                                      since he failed to show it himself (for a much smaller debt), he will
                                      not receive it either.

                                      > [Brian]
                                      > >All of this is in accordance with Jesus'
                                      > >words from Matt 6:15.

                                      >[Loren]
                                      > All right, I'll concede the point. If the parable had
                                      > been placed after Mt 6:15, it would work. But I still
                                      > don't believe that's what HJ in mind.

                                      In my opinion it is generally risky to link one's exegesis to
                                      speculation on what may or may not have been on the mind of the
                                      historical Jesus. Since the only objective standard the historian
                                      has is the theological agenda of the individual evangelist, we must
                                      evaluate each parable, saying and act of Jesus in the light of that
                                      agenda.

                                      > Herzog isn't interested in Matthew's theme; he's
                                      > interested in HJ's. A few posts ago you were lamenting
                                      > the difficulty in ascertaining how Jesus may have felt
                                      > about Davidic messiahs (or being called Son of David).
                                      > That's the reason I brought up this parable, from HJ's
                                      > point of view rather than Matthew's.

                                      See above. I think that using one's belief in what the historical
                                      Jesus may or may not have felt/thought to interpret an individual
                                      saying or action typically results in a Jesus that is congenial to
                                      the exegete, but this does not make for a strong argument. To ignore
                                      the theme of the evangelist reporting the saying or action is to
                                      resort to a kind of special pleading.

                                      > That you find the connection strained doesn't mean
                                      > much. What is relevant are the connections Jesus'
                                      > hearers would have made. Again, what would a "king"
                                      > who forgave a colossal amount of debt (literally an
                                      > impossible -- "eschatological"? -- figure) only to
                                      > subsequently throw his servants to the torturers have
                                      > signaled?

                                      In this case it would signal that we are to obey God's commands, or
                                      we will be judged by the standards we set up for others.

                                      > [Brian]
                                      > > Why would you connect it with the Feeding
                                      > > of the 5,000 (a story that is also found in
                                      > > Matthew 14, not to mention the other Synoptics)?

                                      > [Loren]
                                      > The clincher is the last verse (Jn 6:15), which is
                                      > absent from Matthew's account: "When Jesus realized
                                      > they were about to come and take him by force to make
                                      > him king, he withdrew to the mountain by himself." I
                                      > imagine that, historically, Jesus had the parable of
                                      > The Unmerciful Servant in reserve for any enthusiasts
                                      > who would have made him another Athronges of Judea or
                                      > any Davidic messiah. I do not imagine that he told
                                      > this particular story in order to either (a) portray a
                                      > God who violated his own moral dictums (Mt 18:21-22),
                                      > or (b) remind people what they already knew (Mt 6:15).

                                      Once again I am forced to wonder why you think Jesus' God (or
                                      Matthew's God if you prefer) would feel bound by his commands to his
                                      creatures. Such is certainly not the case in the Tanak, where God
                                      reserves to himself the right to judge others, to forgive them, and
                                      to kill them as he wills. He grants no such rights to human beings,
                                      telling them directly that "vengeance is mine, says the Lord
                                      (Deuteronomy 32:35)."

                                      This happens to sound a lot like the final Judgement of Jesus told to
                                      us in Matthew 25:31-46 where judgement will be final, and no second
                                      (let alone 7 or 77 more) chances will be granted to the "goats".

                                      Peace,

                                      Brian Trafford
                                      Calgary, AB, Canada
                                    • Loren Rosson
                                      Brian, Yes, we ll agree to disagree. Let me say only that while I may have overstated the case of Yahweh violating certain standards he sets for his people, to
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
                                        Brian,

                                        Yes, we'll agree to disagree. Let me say only that
                                        while I may have overstated the case of Yahweh
                                        violating certain standards he sets for his people, to
                                        me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22
                                        and 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the
                                        parable meant apart from its Matthean context. It's
                                        just a poor story to illustrate the principle in
                                        question -- in the same way that Mt 20:1-15 poorly
                                        illustrates 19:27-30. Matthew's editorials in each
                                        case (Mt 18:35 and 20:16) only highlight rather than
                                        solve the problem.

                                        Loren Rosson III
                                        Nashua NH
                                        rossoiii@...

                                        __________________________________________________
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                                      • mwgrondin
                                        ... But how much of this traditional usage is due to an accident of history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of Judaea, the word had a
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                          --- Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                                          > I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
                                          > the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
                                          > over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
                                          > ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
                                          > If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
                                          > it is "Judean."

                                          But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                                          history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                                          Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                                          to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                                          earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                                          prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                                          for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                                          namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                                          Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                                          project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                                          from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                                          with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                                          with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                                          defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                                          that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                                          historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                                          developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                                          Regards,
                                          Mike Grondin
                                          Mt. Clemens, MI
                                        • mwgrondin
                                          ... Yes, it s more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule, namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others. This notion of
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                            --- Loren Rosson wrote:
                                            > ... to me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22 and
                                            > 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the parable meant apart
                                            > from its Matthean context. It's just a poor story to illustrate
                                            > the principle in question ...

                                            Yes, it's more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule,
                                            namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others.
                                            This notion of ultimate divine justice is, as you note, at odds with
                                            the notion of divine mercy _prior to_ "the end", but that should not
                                            make us turn to a virtually-baseless Herzogian reinterpretation of
                                            the parable. Rather, it should make us reflect on the unavoidable
                                            tension that occurs when one tries to play with two apparently-
                                            irreconcilable divine attributes - justice and mercy in this case.
                                            We might understand the parable's perhaps unconscious reconciliation
                                            of that tension thusly: "God is merciful, but he ain't no milk-sop!"
                                            Xians, on the other hand, were not to abrogate or imitate God's role
                                            in final individual judgement, since, among other things, they had
                                            no way of seeing into the mind of the trespasser to judge whether
                                            true repentence was present; rather, they were to imitate the care
                                            and mercy that they presumed God to show for his critters prior to
                                            that final individual judgement.

                                            Mike Grondin
                                            Mt. Clemens, MI
                                          • Bob Schacht
                                            ... Wasn t this also one of the problems that the prophets of the Tanakh wrestled endlessly with? Bob
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                              At 03:05 AM 7/19/2002 +0000, mwgrondin wrote:
                                              >--- Loren Rosson wrote:
                                              > > ... to me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22 and
                                              > > 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the parable meant apart
                                              > > from its Matthean context. It's just a poor story to illustrate
                                              > > the principle in question ...
                                              >
                                              >Yes, it's more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule,
                                              >namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others.
                                              >This notion of ultimate divine justice is, as you note, at odds with
                                              >the notion of divine mercy _prior to_ "the end", but that should not
                                              >make us turn to a virtually-baseless Herzogian reinterpretation of
                                              >the parable. Rather, it should make us reflect on the unavoidable
                                              >tension that occurs when one tries to play with two apparently-
                                              >irreconcilable divine attributes - justice and mercy in this case.
                                              >We might understand the parable's perhaps unconscious reconciliation
                                              >of that tension thusly: "God is merciful, but he ain't no milk-sop!"
                                              >Xians, on the other hand, were not to abrogate or imitate God's role
                                              >in final individual judgement, since, among other things, they had
                                              >no way of seeing into the mind of the trespasser to judge whether
                                              >true repentence was present; rather, they were to imitate the care
                                              >and mercy that they presumed God to show for his critters prior to
                                              >that final individual judgement.

                                              Wasn't this also one of the problems that the prophets of the Tanakh
                                              wrestled endlessly with?

                                              Bob
                                            • Stephen C. Carlson
                                              ... I don t really disagree with any of this, especially since your anachronistic is not much different from my baggage ... acquired over the centuries. I
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                                At 04:36 PM 7/18/02 Israelites/Jud, mwgrondin wrote:
                                                >--- Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                                                >> I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
                                                >> the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
                                                >> over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
                                                >> ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
                                                >> If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
                                                >> it is "Judean."
                                                >
                                                >But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                                                >history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                                                >Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                                                >to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                                                >earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                                                >prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                                                >for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                                                >namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                                                >Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                                                >project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                                                >from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                                                >with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                                                >with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                                                >defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                                                >that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                                                >historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                                                >developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                                                I don't really disagree with any of this, especially since your
                                                "anachronistic" is not much different from my "baggage ...
                                                acquired over the centuries."

                                                I was objecting to the statement that the word "Jew" *only* goes
                                                back to Middle English. That is not the case; it is a direct
                                                and historically continuous descendent of the Greek word IOUDAIOS
                                                that we are now struggling to translate.

                                                Stephen Carlson
                                                --
                                                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                                Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                                              • bjtraff
                                                ... If we are to understand how people in the 1st Century, and especially those who lived prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, thought, then I think
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                                  --- In crosstalk2@y..., "mwgrondin" <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:

                                                  > But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                                                  > history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                                                  > Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                                                  > to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                                                  > earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                                                  > prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                                                  > for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                                                  > namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                                                  > Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                                                  > project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                                                  > from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                                                  > with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                                                  > with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                                                  > defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                                                  > that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                                                  > historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                                                  > developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                                                  If we are to understand how people in the 1st Century, and especially
                                                  those who lived prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE,
                                                  thought, then I think it is best to look at the examples we have from
                                                  those people. We might take Paul as an example, as he is, in my
                                                  opinion, one that is especially useful given that he wrote to
                                                  audiences that were a combination of Jewish and non-Jewish. The
                                                  worldview reflected in his epistles is one in which human beings were
                                                  divided into two broad camps. On the one side were God's "Chosen
                                                  People" whom Paul called "Jews", "Hebrews" and "the circumcised"
                                                  interchangeably. On the other were those he
                                                  called "Greeks", "Gentiles" and the "uncicumcised" without
                                                  differentiation. I doubt that anyone, his audience included,
                                                  believed that when he spoke of the "Greeks" he meant exclusively
                                                  those that lived in the province of Greece, or even those that
                                                  originally descended from those that did. Similarly, given the wide
                                                  variances in context in which he employed "Jews" (typically also
                                                  varying this usage within the epistle with "the circumcised", and
                                                  less frequently, "Hebrews"), one should not expect that he meant only
                                                  those that lived in Judaea, hailed from there, or even descended from
                                                  those that did. Given that today, one may speak of a Jew, and mean
                                                  anyone descended of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (plus converts to
                                                  the religion of Judaism), the most appropriate translation of the
                                                  word most commonly used by Paul for this group (IOUDAIWN and its
                                                  variations) is Jew. Now, does that mean that we could not sometimes
                                                  employ the more technically accurate word, Judaean at times in
                                                  translating the NT and the Septuagint? I think that the case could
                                                  be made for doing this, but even then would hesitate to insert our
                                                  own distinctions and sensibilities into a text, especially when it
                                                  seems quite probable that the original authors and their readers
                                                  would not have understood what we were doing.

                                                  Consider the following:

                                                  Within 1st Century Judaea there were numerous types of Judaic beliefs
                                                  and practices. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essene and the
                                                  earliest followers of Jesus make up only four such pre-70 groups.
                                                  Doubtless there were more. Should we look for a linguistic solution
                                                  to help us differentiate between these groups? Perhaps this is
                                                  reductio absubum, but the point remains. Where do we draw the
                                                  line? More importantly, is calling all of these people "Judaeans"
                                                  instead of "Jews" the solution? I do not see how. In his book
                                                  _Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus_ , Donald Akenson
                                                  resorted to the awkward invention of "Judahism" in an attempt to
                                                  highlight the reality of a multiplicity of Judaic beliefs that pre-
                                                  existed the disaster of 70 CE (see his argument in support of his new
                                                  term on pgs. 15-54). He may have been technically accurate, but I
                                                  cannot imagine that adopting his arguments would lead to a
                                                  satisfactory translational solution to the problem. Should we create
                                                  a new word "Judahist" to reflect this diversity?

                                                  The bottom line is that Paul was predominantly using a single word to
                                                  describe his people, the Jews, and it encompassed the groups we would
                                                  today call Judaeans and Hebrews (of every form) as well as Gentile
                                                  converts to Judaism. In modern parlance we call these people Jews as
                                                  a matter of convention, and one that is perfectly acceptable to the
                                                  Jews themselves. This makes "Jew" not only the best choice, but one
                                                  that follows linguistic conventions. Interestingly, on those
                                                  occasions when Paul called someone "Hebrews" (2 Corinthians 11:22,
                                                  Philippians 3:5) English translations correctly use this word. More
                                                  importantly, he employs it not to indicate Jews who lived outside of
                                                  Palestine, but, rather, to point directly to the "super-apostles" who
                                                  clearly came from Palestine (2 Cor. 11:5). Thus we can see that
                                                  trying to pick and choose what he (and those that followed his lead,
                                                  like the evangelists) meant each time he wrote the word IOUDAIWN (and
                                                  its variations) will be inserting value judgements that will be, at
                                                  best, problematic. This is why I believe translations should stay
                                                  with the convention of using the broadest possible term in rendering
                                                  this word, and that means staying with the modern word Jew. At the
                                                  same time, efforts to better educate people as to the numerous
                                                  distinct groups (both past and present) contained within this broad
                                                  term is laudable, and should be continued. Just as a Jew today can
                                                  belong also to one of a great many sub-groupings, the term IOUDAIWN
                                                  covered a far broader range of beliefs and groupings than many today
                                                  might imagine. Pointing out this fact is a worthy objective, just
                                                  don't do it through translation, and thereby opening an entirely new
                                                  can of worms.

                                                  That's my 2 cents.

                                                  Brian Trafford
                                                  Calgary, AB, Canada
                                                • DaGoi@aol.com
                                                  In a message dated 7/17/2 7:19:17 PM, Dave Hindley wrote:
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
                                                    In a message dated 7/17/2 7:19:17 PM, Dave Hindley wrote:

                                                    <<Doesn't this assume something to be proved? How is the phrase "honorific?"
                                                    Do we have examples from this general period of *anyone* else being called a
                                                    "son of David" as an honorific title? At least I am not aware of any,
                                                    although I dimly recall that someone on a list I monitor once said that the
                                                    term was applied in an honorific sense either around the 4th century (during
                                                    the heyday of the Jewish patriarchate) or possibly medieval times.>>

                                                    After a thousand years, the sons of David must have been extremely numerous
                                                    (I once saw a, well, probable guess that asserted that all of the descendents
                                                    of Western Europe were probably descended from Charlemagne who was crowned
                                                    Holy Roman Emperor 1202 yrs ago. Assuming that only paternal descendents
                                                    from David may have been considered, ala the claims of each of the gospel
                                                    genealogies, leaving aside the maternal descendent preference of today's
                                                    Jewish reckoning ((I'm not sure how far that goes back)), that would still
                                                    leave a lot of people. Note all the people Luke assumes were ancestorally
                                                    attached to Bethlehem. I think that it would be a bit less than honorific
                                                    and more like being part Blackfoot.
                                                    In The Babylonian Talmud (a book of selections) 1944 by Leo Auerbach, pg
                                                    15, it says, "Remote from the war [he mentions both that of 70 and of 135 in
                                                    the paragraph before], the Jews remained there [Babylon] in comparative
                                                    security as a recognized minority headed by the Exiliarch, a descendant of
                                                    the house of David". In the pages before, the author gives some details of
                                                    the Great Sanhedrin which survived, its seat moved a few times, until 425,
                                                    hereditarily headed by Hillel (with a possible hiatus during the presidency
                                                    of Ben Zakkai who reestablished it at Jamnia), Gamiel II, and Yehuda the
                                                    Prince (of Mishnah fame). Hillel is also called prince, but neither of these
                                                    princes, presidents of the Sanhedrin, is called son of David nor Exiliarch,
                                                    though the idea sort of hangs in the air for proof or disproof.
                                                    From the Maccabees to the Mishnah 1987 by Shaye Cohen, pg 222, by
                                                    contrast, says that the Nasi office began in the second century, that he was
                                                    chair of the rabbinic sanhedrin, recognized by the Roman government (who
                                                    eventually conferred senatorial status to him) was the de facto leader of
                                                    Palestine, and claimed descent from David. In the fourth century the Romans
                                                    authorized him jurisdiction and collection of taxes over all the Jews of the
                                                    Roman Empire (unthinkable if he were in Babylon, I imagine) and suddenly in
                                                    425 abolished the office of patriarch, most probably the 'Exiliarch'
                                                    mentioned by Auerbach (whom Origen once called "king of the Jews" in the
                                                    unfortunately only footnoted reference on this page in Cohen) under unclear
                                                    circumstances.
                                                    It remains that there probably were a lot of sons of David - probably too
                                                    common for the appelation to be an honorific title by itself without the idea
                                                    of the promised messiahship. With the Patriarchs, the honorific title would
                                                    be 'Nasi' for which one of these sons of David would be chosen, and probably
                                                    not the other way around.

                                                    Bill Foley
                                                    Woburn Ma
                                                  • Loren Rosson
                                                    [Loren] ... [Mike] ... Herzog s interpretation is far from baseless , even if disputable. Based on what we know about various messianic claimants running amok
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Jul 19, 2002
                                                      [Loren]
                                                      > > ... to me there is still a clear tension
                                                      > > between Mt 18:21-22 and 18:23-34, which
                                                      > > begs the question of what the parable meant
                                                      > > apart from its Matthean context. It's just
                                                      > > a poor story to illustrate
                                                      > > the principle in question ...

                                                      [Mike]
                                                      > Yes...but that should not make us turn to a
                                                      > virtually-baseless Herzogian
                                                      > reinterpretation of the parable...

                                                      Herzog's interpretation is far from "baseless", even
                                                      if disputable. Based on what we know about various
                                                      messianic claimants running amok in the first century,
                                                      and the gospels' portrayal of Jesus' relectance to
                                                      accept the title "messiah", various ideas about
                                                      forgiveness of debt, etc., Herzog's view is actually
                                                      very plausible. He calls the parable "What if the
                                                      messiah came and nothing changed?" -- more fitting
                                                      than "The Unmerciful Servant".

                                                      But yes, Mike, your own interpretation has its merits
                                                      too.

                                                      Loren Rosson III
                                                      Nashua NH
                                                      rossoiii@...

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                                                    • mwgrondin
                                                      ... You mean that you find it so. I don t. I see all kinds of things wrong with it. Nor do I even see a need for it, since there s nothing about the story that
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Jul 19, 2002
                                                        --- Loren Rosson wrote:
                                                        > ... Herzog's view is actually very plausible.

                                                        You mean that you find it so. I don't. I see all kinds of things
                                                        wrong with it. Nor do I even see a need for it, since there's
                                                        nothing about the story that seems to indicate that it has any
                                                        hidden meaning beyond (or in place of) what's plain on the face
                                                        of it. The only difficulty is that Matthew's framing is wrong.

                                                        > He calls the parable "What if the messiah came and nothing
                                                        > changed?" -- more fitting than "The Unmerciful Servant".

                                                        So you say. I'd call it "over-interpretation" or "Herzog's folly".
                                                        Logically, one can manufacture an unlimited number of interpreta-
                                                        tions for any passage whatsoever. But why do so? There's enough
                                                        mysteries as is. I see no good reason to remove this story from
                                                        the category of things pretty clear on the surface of them, in
                                                        order to add yet one more to the already-enormous pile of things
                                                        presenting mysteries to be solved.

                                                        Mike Grondin
                                                        Mt. Clemens, MI
                                                      • Loren Rosson
                                                        ... I agree with much of what Bob is getting at here, though I certainly deny that history is **inevitably** made the tool of modern **sensibilities**. It s
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Jul 23, 2002
                                                          Brian Trafford wrote:

                                                          >History is not to made the tool of modern
                                                          >sensabilities, it is to be used to teach us about
                                                          >the past, and hopefully, to educate us so that
                                                          >we do not repeat the mistakes of our forefathers. ...

                                                          Bob Schacht countered:

                                                          >Really? I thought that one of the main points of
                                                          >post-modernism was that history is *inevitably* made
                                                          >the tool of modern sensibilities. I don't really
                                                          >think of myself as a kindred spirit with the po-mo
                                                          >folks, but I do think they have a point about
                                                          >this. I think
                                                          >you may be over-rating your own or anyone's ability
                                                          >to so transcend our modern sensibilities that
                                                          >we can really understand Jesus in his own cultural
                                                          >context. Oh yes, we dabble at it. But mostly we do so
                                                          >through the lens of our own modern sensibilities.

                                                          I agree with much of what Bob is getting at here,
                                                          though I certainly deny that history is **inevitably**
                                                          made the tool of modern **sensibilities**. It's more
                                                          accurate to say that history is inevitably made a tool
                                                          of modern models and paradigms. One of the best
                                                          statements to this effect can be found in the work I
                                                          refer to all too frequently (on XTalk and elsewhere)
                                                          -- Bill Herzog's Parables as Subversive Speech. In a
                                                          chapter called "The Peril of Not Modernzing Jesus",
                                                          Herzog states:

                                                          "Modernizing is an inevitable concomitant of any
                                                          historical reconstruction, because the researchers
                                                          cannot escape the conditions of their own time and
                                                          circumstances. However, modernizing need not be
                                                          equated with anachronizing, the unconscious or
                                                          unreflective reading of the present into the past. All
                                                          contemporary readings of Jesus are modernizing
                                                          readings because they seek to make sense of Jesus in
                                                          terms of significant modern models or paradigms, and
                                                          when the paradigms or models are used with an
                                                          awareness of their purpose, functioning, and limits,
                                                          they can illuminate research by uncovering its
                                                          assumptions and parameters...The problem, then, is not
                                                          with modernizing Jesus, as Cadbury believed, but with
                                                          anachronizing Jesus. The peril of not modernizing
                                                          Jesus is that we always modernize Jesus whether or not
                                                          we are aware of it. The parameters of the present
                                                          shape what we see when we peer into the past, and
                                                          changing parameters shift what we are able to
                                                          see...This situation does not mitigate the need for
                                                          serious historical research...[for not] all modern
                                                          paradigms are equally useful or valid. Any inquiry
                                                          should indicate why the particular contemporary models
                                                          are being used and how they fit the situation to which
                                                          they are being applied." (pp 30,38-39)

                                                          So, to be sure, history should not be made the tool of
                                                          modern sensibilities (though it often is). But I'm
                                                          afraid it's inevitably, inescapably, the tool of
                                                          modern models and paradigms. And those models shape
                                                          what we're inclined to look for to begin with.

                                                          Loren Rosson III
                                                          Nashua NH
                                                          rossoiii@...

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                                                        • Karel Hanhart
                                                          ... On the contrary. In translating and commenting on Greek manuscripts around the beginning of the common era, the literal translation Judean of the Greek
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Aug 5, 2002
                                                            > Consider the following:
                                                            >
                                                            > Within 1st Century Judaea there were numerous types of Judaic beliefs
                                                            > and practices. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essene and the
                                                            > earliest followers of Jesus make up only four such pre-70 groups.
                                                            > Doubtless there were more. Should we look for a linguistic solution
                                                            > to help us differentiate between these groups?

                                                            On the contrary. In translating and commenting on Greek manuscripts around the
                                                            beginning of the common era, the literal translation 'Judean' of the Greek word
                                                            "ioudaios" is to be preferred because
                                                            in so doing one avoids any a priori differentiation. We leave the meaning of the
                                                            Greek term as open as much as possible. In the 20th century the word 'Jew' bears
                                                            the restriction of 'not christian'. The habit of translating "ioudaios" in
                                                            'Jew' would automatically introduce this restriction into first century writings
                                                            opening the door for unwanted bias. Hence my proposal to use the term 'Judean' for
                                                            'Jews in the centuries round the common era' and to use the equally new
                                                            designation Christian Judeans for the Judean followers of Jesus who in de first
                                                            century were still predominant in their reform movement.

                                                            cordially

                                                            Karel Hanhart
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