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RE: [XTalk] Bethlehem, Galilee?

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  • Bob Webb
    Andrew, It is mentioned in Josh 19:15 as part of the land given to the tribe of Zebulun, which is in Galilee. It is also mentioned in Jdg 12:8-10 as the home
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 28, 2002
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      Andrew,

      It is mentioned in Josh 19:15 as part of the land given to the tribe of
      Zebulun, which is in Galilee. It is also mentioned in Jdg 12:8-10 as the
      home of Ibzan, one of Israel's judges. There might also be a reference in
      Josephus, but I don't have a concordance to Josephus here, so I can't check.
      According to one source is it usually identified with Beth Lahm. According
      to Aharoni and Avi-Yonah's Bible Atlas is about 15 km east of the
      Mediterranean Sea, on a level with the Sea of Chinnereth (= Sea of Galilee),
      or about 12 km WNW of Nazareth.

      Bob.


      Robert L. Webb
      Webb.Bob@...


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Andrew Lloyd <a.lloyd2@...>
      > [mailto:a.lloyd2@...]
      > Sent: December 28, 2002 7:47 AM
      > To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [XTalk] Bethlehem, Galilee?
      >
      >
      > In his "Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography" Bruce Chilton floats the
      > idea that Jesus was born in (what he terms "the far more
      > logical") Bethlehem of Galilee (p. 7f, the home town of Joseph and
      > apparently "seven miles from Nazareth", p. 9) rather than Bethlehem
      > of Judea, the assumed location in the canonical gospel narratives of
      > Matthew and Luke. Do any other contributors to this board know
      > anything about this place (which most other in-print scholars never
      > seem to have even heard of) or have comment upon Chilton's
      > suggestion?
      >
      > Andrew Lloyd (PhD Cand.)
      > Nottingham, England
      >
      >
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    • mwgrondin <mwgrondin@comcast.net>
      ... Andrew- 1) Chilton claims quite flatly that ... for the birth, Joseph had brought Mary to Bethlehem of Galilee, where he had lived with his first wife, to
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 28, 2002
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        --- Andrew Lloyd wrote:
        > In his "Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography" Bruce Chilton floats
        > the idea that Jesus was born in (what he terms "the far more
        > logical") Bethlehem of Galilee (p. 7f, the home town of Joseph
        > and apparently "seven miles from Nazareth", p. 9) rather than
        > Bethlehem of Judea, the assumed location in the canonical gospel
        > narratives of Matthew and Luke. Do any other contributors to this
        > board know anything about this place (which most other in-print
        > scholars never seem to have even heard of) or have comment upon
        > Chilton's suggestion?

        Andrew-

        1) Chilton claims quite flatly that "... for the birth, Joseph had
        brought Mary to Bethlehem of Galilee, where he had lived with his
        first wife, to shield her from Nazareth's wagging tongues." (p.7)
        I can't find anyplace in _Rabbi Jesus_, however, where he presents
        any testimony that Joseph was a resident of, or lived with his
        first wife in, Bethlehem of Galilee. Chilton does provide support
        for Joseph having a first wife, but his certainty that Joseph (and
        that first wife) resided in Bethlehem of Galilee seems to be based
        merely on his own speculation that that would have made sense. It
        occurs to me, however, that if removal from Nazareth's gossips was
        the cause of J's having been born elsewhere, there seems no reason
        to rule out Mariam's having been sent to relatives in Bethlehem of
        Judaea, since the existence of such relatives seems presumed by the
        thesis that J's family was orthodox Judaean.

        2) In general, _Rabbi Jesus_ (appropriately subtitled "An Intimate
        Biography") is a good fit for the word 'narrative' that you used in
        a recent note to characterize all reconstructions of J's life. The
        only other work that I can recall, however, that fits so well into
        that category would be Robert Graves' _King Jesus_. In both cases,
        I was struck by the dissonance of the work with the majority of
        other recent historical reconstructions, so I'm inclined to reserve
        the word 'narrative' to those (relatively few?) cases where the
        author is clearly doing mostly story-telling (perhaps some older
        works fall into that category as well?)

        3) I wonder if I might add a question about the factual basis of
        another of Chilton's claims that stuck in my mind after I read his
        book? He claims that the selling of sacrificial animals was moved
        into the temple area, from a location outside, at around the time
        that the temple incident was supposed to have occurred. This
        hypothetical desecration of the temple grounds would, of course,
        provide a convenient explanation of J's (and others') outrage at
        that particular time and place, but I've never read any reference
        to such a shift of location of the place where sacrificial animals
        were sold. Has anyone else, or is this another case of Chilton's
        creative imagination at work?

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • Andrew Lloyd <a.lloyd2@ntlworld.com>
        (1) Granted that, as Mike points out, Chilton s suggestion seems based more on his creative imagination in the specifics of Joseph s residence in Bethlehem
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 29, 2002
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          (1) Granted that, as Mike points out, Chilton's suggestion seems
          based more on his "creative imagination" in the specifics of
          Joseph's residence in Bethlehem of Galilee, a place which, as Bob
          Webb points out with his biblical and geographical references, seems
          to have some basis in fact, what use then is his suggestion, and why
          has it not been picked up and ran with before - not least since it
          would seem to invalidate clear gospel testimony?

          (2) As to the further point made by Mike, re: Chilton's "Intimate
          Biography" fitting into my category for Jesus studies "narrative", I
          note two things: is this work really so different from others, e.g.,
          of Crossan, Borg or Meier (endnotes aside!)? Secondly,
          if "narrative" be a regarded as a way of reading, a literary
          strategy, then anything you like can be read as (part of) a
          narrative (or indeed, as "fact" or "fiction"). The term can denote
          something about what we do (how we read) as much as it can be some
          formal feature of a piece of writing. Some historical Jesus studies
          may fit both categories, most or all could fit the first if so
          required. And, of course, the gospels are narrative on both counts
          (including Q and Thomas which always get their narrative contexts
          supplied by their expositors/proponents in the form of their
          relative community's "background").

          (3) In answer to Robert Davis: it seems to be Chilton's point that
          Matthew didn't make a "mistake" but was writing quite knowingly,
          Bethlehem, Galilee being used by Matthew after Micah 5:2: "There is
          good reason to surmise that the Bethlehem to which Matthew refers
          was in Galilee" (p. 9). Chilton does not give the "good reason", as
          Mike pointed out, so the best guess I can come up with in his place
          is the quite common idea that this is one of the places where words
          and/or ideas are made use of on the basis of their multivalency. At
          a textual level this is called "intertextuality". Perhaps Chilton is
          suggesting that Matthew keys into Bethlehem, Judea from Micah 5:2
          due to the fortunate fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Galilee.
          Thus, he can make use of things to hand like the prophecy of Micah
          5:2 and entwine prophecy with actuality. However, I must admit to
          being slightly shy of what you think the "essential Davidic Covenant
          point" was. It seems to be, as I read you, that the Messiah should
          historically be born in Bethlehem, Judea. If that be the case, my
          understanding of Chilton's suggestion in relation to your own is
          that Matthew, at least, is being more hermeneutically valid, within
          the context of Jewish biblical interpretation, than geographically
          correct. In short, Matthew is taking hermeneutical advantage of the
          (putative) geographical location of Jesus' birth.

          Andrew Lloyd (PhD Cand.)
          Nottingham, England
        • Loren Rosson
          ... Mike, For some time I ve wondered the same thing. According to both Chilton and Jacob Neusner, Jesus -- much like Hillel (and unlike Shammai) -- believed
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 30, 2002
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            Mike Grondin wrote:

            > I wonder if I might add a question about the
            > factual basis of another of Chilton's claims
            > that stuck in my mind after I read his
            > book? He claims that the selling of sacrificial
            > animals was moved into the temple area, from a
            > location outside, at around the time
            > that the temple incident was supposed to have
            > occurred. This hypothetical desecration of the
            > temple grounds would, of course, provide a
            > convenient explanation of J's (and others') outrage
            > at that particular time and place, but I've never
            > read any reference to such a shift of location of
            > the place where sacrificial animals
            > were sold. Has anyone else, or is this another
            > case of Chilton's creative imagination at work?

            Mike,

            For some time I've wondered the same thing. According
            to both Chilton and Jacob Neusner, Jesus -- much like
            Hillel (and unlike Shammai) -- believed that offerings
            brought to the temple should have hands laid on them
            by their owners before giving them over to the priests
            to be slaughtered. Caiaphas' installation of traders
            in the southern court not only brought in
            commercialism and forbidden purses but (more
            importantly) created a breach of the link between
            worshipper and offering in the southern and northern
            areas of the temple. They then claim that after
            Caiaphas' death, the vendors of animals were restored
            to their usual position -- not in the temple, but on
            the Mount of Olives opposite the Kidron Valley -- and
            this explains why the followers of Jesus were
            subsequently able to reintegrate with the sacrificial
            cult. Like you hint at, this reconstruction is able to
            hold together the two pieces of "conflicting" data --
            (1) Jesus' conflict with the temple and (2) the early
            followers' harmony with it. But I also would like to
            know where Chilton and Neusner get these nice clean
            ideas.

            The argument is presented in a more scholarly (and
            less narrative) fashion in two other books: Chilton's
            "Pure Kingdom" and Chilton and Neusner's "Trading
            Places". But in both books, the documentation for this
            reconstruction is lacking.

            Loren Rosson III
            Nashua NH
            rossoiii@...

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          • mwgrondin <mwgrondin@comcast.net>
            Loren- Thanks for your response. Perhaps Neusner gives some evidence for his claim in one of his other books. In any case, your mention of harmony with the
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 30, 2002
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              Loren-

              Thanks for your response. Perhaps Neusner gives some evidence for
              his claim in one of his other books. In any case, your mention
              of "harmony with the temple" on the part of J's followers brought
              to mind another question that's puzzled me for quite some time. As
              against the supposed fact that J's brother Jacob was highly regarded
              in some Judaean circles, we have the execution of Jacob bar Zebedee
              and the purported stoning of Stephen for the blasphemy of speaking
              _against_ the Temple! If Stephen was in fact stoned to death for
              blasphemy, how was it possible that temple-observant Judaeans could
              have appointed an anti-temple zealot to head up the Hellenists? The
              situation seems to cry out that the general dichotomy between 'pro-
              temple' and 'anti-temple' just doesn't cut it, but I'm not sure
              where to start in that religio-political morass. Do we start with
              the religious factions, the Roman rulers, the priestly families -
              some of which were evidently hostile to the Jesus-faction, others
              more tolerant - or all of the above? Frank McCoy has posted some
              information on the priestly families, but I don't recall whether he
              addressed the case of Stephen specifically. Furthermore, I'm not
              clear whether the Jesus-faction should be viewed as closer to the
              Hillel-pharisees or to the Essenes, with respect to their view of
              the temple. In fact, were all these factions pro-temple, but only
              differing on the issue of who should be in charge?

              Getting back to the specific question: what was most likely to have
              been Stephen's transgression? And how did that transgression likely
              reflect the views of those who appointed him? If Stephen wasn't
              criticizing the temple in general, was he perhaps criticizing the
              way it was run by certain priestly families? Or was it not what he
              said, but what he did (run afoul of one of the temple rules for
              gentiles)?

              Mike Grondin
              Mt. Clemens, MI
            • David C. Hindley
              Andrew and Michael, Has anyone else noticed that both Bethlehem of Galilee and the supposed market for sacrificial animals being moved to the temple courts
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 30, 2002
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                Andrew and Michael,

                Has anyone else noticed that both "Bethlehem of Galilee" and the supposed
                market for sacrificial animals being moved to the temple courts are both to
                be found in _The Urantia Book_, first published by the Urantia Foundation in
                1955, and supposedly channeled to a mysterious physician practicing in
                Chicago in the "early 20th century"?

                PAPER 138 - TRAINING THE KINGDOM'S MESSENGERS, Oct 19 2000

                line 144: The apostles carried on their personal work in Capernaum,
                Bethsaida-Julias, Chorazin, Gerasa, Hippos, Magdala, Cana, Bethlehem of
                Galilee, Jotapata, Ramah, Safed, Gischala, Gadara, and Abila.

                PAPER 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM, Oct 19 2000

                line 33: A huge commercial traffic had grown up in association with the
                services and ceremonies of the temple worship. There was the business of
                providing suitable animals for the various sacrifices. Though it was
                permissible for a worshiper to provide his own sacrifice, the fact remained
                that this animal must be free from all "blemish" in the meaning of the
                Levitical law and as interpreted by official inspectors of the temple. Many
                a worshiper had experienced the humiliation of having his supposedly perfect
                animal rejected by the temple examiners. It therefore became the more
                general practice to purchase sacrificial animals at the temple, and although
                there were several stations on near-by Olivet where they could be bought, it
                had become the vogue to buy these animals directly from the temple pens.
                Gradually there had grown up this custom of selling all kinds of sacrificial
                animals in the temple courts. An extensive business, in which enormous
                profits were made, had thus been brought into existence. Part of these gains
                was reserved for the temple treasury, but the larger part went indirectly
                into the hands of the ruling high-priestly families.

                I am NOT promoting this book, but only point out that these subjects appear
                there. You don't suppose .... NAAAAAH!

                Chilton claimed in a sermon (around Dec 24, 1999?) that this Bethlehem of
                Galilee, 7 miles northwest of Nazareth has been confirmed archeologically.
                Can anyone supply a citation for this archeological confirmation?

                http://www.nwaonline.net/pdfarchive/2000/December/15/12-15-00%20F8.pdf

                _The People's Bible Encyclopedia_ (Chicago: People's Publication Society,
                1924 [1913, 1900], Bethlehem, definition #2: "A town in the portion of
                Zebulon, named only in connection with Idala (Josh 19:15). Dr. [Edward?]
                Robinson locates it at Beit-laham, about six miles W. of Nazareth, and lying
                between that town and the main road from Akka to Gaza."
              • David C. Hindley
                Oops! Forgot to sign the name... Respectfully, Dave Hindley Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 30, 2002
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                  Oops! Forgot to sign the name...

                  Respectfully,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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