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Re: Birkat ha-minim and Deuteronomy 13:1-5

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  • Brian Trafford
    ... Hello Andrew I would also like to thank you for sharing your draft essay with us, and found it to be very informative. Like many (I assume), I have
    Message 1 of 5 , May 27, 2003
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      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew" <abernhar@y...> wrote:
      >In any case, I have temporarily posted a draft of the essay I am
      >working on entitled "John 9:22 and the _birkat ha-minim_" It can be
      >viewed at: http://www.gospels.net/draft10.pdf
      >As the file name indicates, it is a work in progress. The essay
      >itself is pretty close to final form, but please forgive the
      >somewhat unpolished footnotes. I'm in the process of finishing it
      >up, but just wanted to go ahead and post it since people have been
      >kind enough to consider the question of the _birkat ha-minim_ and
      >early Jewish-Christian relations.
      >I'd be more than interested in any and all feedback (preferrably on
      >list, since it generates more discussion). In short, the essay is an
      >argument that John 9:22 should be used to date the Gospel of John.
      >Thanks to all who've responded so far. Look forward to what I'm sure
      >will be insightful critique.

      Hello Andrew

      I would also like to thank you for sharing your draft essay with us,
      and found it to be very informative. Like many (I assume), I have
      traditionally accepted John 9:22 as a rough dating marker for the
      Gospel as a whole, pointing to a post-85 period. Given the arguments
      you present in your essay, however, I see that this is probably
      unwarranted. Peter's point on John Chrysostom is also well made, and
      casts further doubt on the existence of a late 1st Century Jewish
      condemnation of all Jewish Christians. Unfortunately, of course,
      this leaves the already difficult task of dating the Fourth Gospel in
      even greater doubt.

      Several questions came to mind while reading your essay, so if I may:

      First, would you equate the kind of more "ad hoc" expulsions you
      envision in your essay as being what John is referencing in John 9:22
      with what Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15? In my view this
      seems entirely reasonable, and if they are connected, adds to the
      weight of evidence that John could be speaking of earlier localized
      expulsions, rather than a more general excommunication.

      Second, I was fascinated by your notation that the verb SUNETEQEINTO
      (usually translated as "agreed" or "to make a compact") is found only
      here in John 9:22, as well as in Luke 22:5 as well as Acts 23:20
      (SUNEQENTO) and Acts 24:9 (SUNEPEQENTO). I have been increasingly
      interested in a possible link between John (or his sources) and
      Luke. I understand that this is completely outside the scope of your
      essay, but has anyone examined this question of how often the
      specific verbiage found John matches that found in Luke and Acts?

      Finally, what evidence, if any, did you find in your research that
      the Jewish leaders, from an early time, may have been applying the
      law of Deuteronomy 13:1-5 against the followers of Jesus? In my
      view, the events of John 9, and the reaction of the Pharisees to the
      healing of the blind man can only be understood in light of this law,
      but it is obviously never mentioned by John (nor any other early
      Christian writer with which I am familiar). At the same time, I am
      unaware of this law being applied against early Christians, though it
      might offer an explaination on Paul's silence on Jesus' miraculous
      acts during his ministry prior to his crucifixion.

      Thanks again for the essay, and if you, or anyone else, can provide
      additional information on my questions, I would greatly appreciate it.


      Brian Trafford
      Calgary, AB, Canada
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