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RE: [XTalk] Re: Israelites

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... counter the historical rejection of Jesus kingship . The Judean honorific Son of David , on the other hand, may have some historical roots, though I
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 17, 2002
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      Loren Rossen III said:

      >>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.<<

      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.

      Still, I find it hard to accept that the early Church would have attributed
      the lineage of David to Jesus as a means of validating his "kingship" when
      the gospel writers felt obligated to explain (away) the fact that the Romans
      erected a humiliating sign over the crucified Jesus to mock him as an
      unsuccessful contender to a "Jewish" throne. It would seem more likely that
      Davidic lineage was at very least popularly accorded to him (although at
      least one early Christian author speaks of Jesus' relatives as if they
      claimed Davidic lineage), and that the early Church felt obligated to admit
      it while simultaneously trying to file off the rough edges ("Honest, your
      honor, it is a spiritual kingdom he is king of ... ").

      >>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 has to be no better than a guess, as we know next to nothing about the
      behavior of these "pretenders" and their support organizations (and there
      *must* have been some supporters). Even calling them "pretenders" is
      presumptious. As far as I can recall, no Davidic lineage is suggested by
      Josephus WRT these contenders (a better term) for the throne. The level of
      wealth (10,000 talents) is more in line with that of the Roman "housesholds"
      that controlled the empire. There, especially in the imperial household,
      incredible wealth was controlled by slaves and freedmen.

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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