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  • Michael M Yugovich
    Hi! Was just approved for membership into the group yesterday. I d like to pose a question in regard to Christian Origins. How much influence (if any) from
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
      Hi!

      Was just approved for membership into the group yesterday. I'd like
      to pose a question in regard to Christian Origins. How
      much "influence" (if any) from the Messianic Sect at Qumran can be
      detected in the NT Gospels and Epistles? Did the Christian theology
      have any antecedents?

      Michael M. Yugovich
      Illinois
    • Richard H. Anderson
      Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2: You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents? The core doctrine of Christianity is the
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
        Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2:

        You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents?

        The core doctrine of Christianity is the statement that Jesus died
        on the cross for our sins. Scholars have debated the origins of the
        doctrine of atonement generally referred to as the theology of the
        cross. The true origin of the doctrine is in the death of the Jewish
        High Priest. The death of the High Priest had atoning significance.
        The Jews believed that the death of the High Priest had atoning
        significance. Persons charged with accidental homicide who had fled
        to a city of refuge were permitted to return home after the death of
        the High Priest without facing prosecution [Num. 35: 11, 25, 28,
        32]. The death of the High Priest was regarded as atonement for the
        innocent blood that had been shed. Jacob Milgrom in his JPS Torah
        Commentary on Numbers with respect to Num. 35:25 states 'As the High
        Priest atones for Israel's sins through his cultic service in his
        lifetime (Exod. 28:36; Lev. 16:16, 21), so he atones for homicide
        through his death. Since the blood of the slain, although spilled
        accidently, cannot be avenged through the death of the slayer, it is
        ransomed through the death of the High Priest which releases all
        homicides from their cities of refuge. That it is not the exile of
        the manslaughter but the death of the High Priest that expiates his
        crime is confirmed by the Mishnah: "If, after the slayer has been
        sentenced as an accidental homicide, the High Priest dies, he need
        not go into exile." The Talmud, in turn comments thereon "But it is
        not the exile that expiates? It is not the exile that expiates, but
        the death of the high priest."' [footnotes omitted]. The doctrine
        of the theology of the cross replaced both the High Priest and the
        Day of Atonement.

        Creed and those who agree with him note that Luke has no equivalent
        of the ransom saying (Mk. 10:45; Mt. 20:28), nor of Matthew's
        connection of Jesus's covenant blood with the remission of sins (Mt.
        26:28). Luke does not connect forgiveness of sins with the death of
        Jesus. Whether one agrees with Creed who says there is no theology
        of the cross in the Gospel of Luke or with I. Howard Marshall who
        asserts Luke has chosen not to emphasize a theology of the cross,
        the question remains why did Luke present his material in this
        manner?

        Luke has no theology of the cross because he believes that the death
        of the High Priest has atonement value. The author of Hebrews
        expressed his belief that the death of the High Priest has atonement
        value in these words: 'Therefore he [Jesus] had to be made like his
        brethren in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and
        faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for
        the sins of the people' [Heb.2:17]. Paul could not have written
        these words. His theology of the cross eliminated the need for a
        high priest, temple and the Day of Atonement. Rather than adopt
        Pauline terminology, the unknown author reached the same result by
        making Jesus Christ the High Priest that he might make a sacrifice
        of atonement for the people. The designation of Jesus Christ as the
        High Priest is the most distinctive theme of Hebrews and it is
        central to the theology of the book.

        The next step in understanding the development of the doctrine is
        the Septuagint which Matthew, Mark and Luke all utilized.
        The LXX in Isa. 53:9a, 10-11b rewrites the outcome of the servant's
        suffering excising his sacrificial death and any notion of
        vicarious atonement. Paul trained in the Hebrew MT was certainly
        aware of the differences between the MT and LXX. One synoptic writer
        used the LXX and consistent therewith has no atonement theology.
        Luke has no equivalent of the ransom saying (Mk 10:45; Matt 20:28)
        nor of Matthew's connection of Jesus' covenant blood with the
        remission of sins (Mt 26:28). [I accept the conclusions of Bart
        Ehrman that verses {Lk 22:19b-20} were added by second century
        scribes.] The other two synoptic writers also used the LXX but
        influenced by Paul included atonement theology. Mark does recognize
        having traveled with Paul that the theology of Luke is pre-Pauline
        and very Jewish. He therefore includes the theology of the cross
        missing in Luke and adds the ransom saying in Mk 10:45 that appears
        in Matthew. This is the gospel message and appropriately there are
        11 instances of EUAGGELION (4 in Matthew, 7 in Mark, 0 in Luke) in
        the synoptics.

        Therefore the origin of the most important doctrine in Christianity
        can be traced to Judaism and its High Priest.

        Richard H. Anderson
        Wallingford, PA
      • Steve Black
        ... Another very interesting book to consider regarding antecedents for Christian theology is Jon Levenson s, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
          On Tuesday, November 11, 2003, at 11:51 AM, Richard H. Anderson wrote:

          > Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2:
          >
          > You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents?
          >
          > The core doctrine of Christianity is the statement that Jesus died
          > on the cross for our sins. [snip]...

          Another very interesting book to consider regarding antecedents for
          Christian theology is Jon Levenson's, "The Death and Resurrection of
          the Beloved Son" (1993, Yale University Press) where the theme of the
          loss and subsequent return of a beloved son is shown to be an important
          and recurring theme in the Hebrew Scriptures demonstrating that this
          theme also is not a Christian invention/innovation.

          Steve Black
          Vancouver School of Theology
          Vancouver, BC
          Canada

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Lisbeth S. Fried
          ... From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@comcast.net] Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:52 PM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: [XTalk] Re:
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:52 PM
            To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [XTalk] Re: origins of the doctrine of atonement


            Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2:

            You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents?

            The core doctrine of Christianity is the statement that Jesus died
            on the cross for our sins. Scholars have debated the origins of the
            doctrine of atonement generally referred to as the theology of the
            cross. The true origin of the doctrine is in the death of the Jewish
            High Priest. The death of the High Priest had atoning significance.
            The Jews believed that the death of the High Priest had atoning
            significance. Persons charged with accidental homicide who had fled
            to a city of refuge were permitted to return home after the death of
            the High Priest without facing prosecution [Num. 35: 11, 25, 28,
            32]. The death of the High Priest was regarded as atonement for the
            innocent blood that had been shed. Jacob Milgrom in his JPS Torah
            Commentary on Numbers with respect to Num. 35:25 states 'As the High
            Priest atones for Israel's sins through his cultic service in his
            lifetime (Exod. 28:36; Lev. 16:16, 21), so he atones for homicide
            through his death.

            Dear Richard,
            I respectfully disagree with both you and with Prof. Milgrom here.
            I usually accept Milgrom's opinion's on most everything, but this,
            pardon the expression, is utter nonsense!
            The rabbis delveloped this theme to explain the biblical verse. It
            is totoal midrash, and total rubbish.
            If there is any truth to the notion at all that there were cities of
            refuge where those accused of manslaughter could flee, and if there
            is any truth at all to the notion that the accusation ended when the
            high priest died (all of which I sincerely doubt), then I suspect it may
            be related more to the notion of the anduarum. The anduarum was the
            release of debts which occurred Old Babylonian times when a new king
            came to the throne. The new king would declare a release of debts.
            If the idea of new High Priest is modeled after the new king, the author
            might be trying to suggest that a new priest on his throne would be
            accompannied by a similar release of debts and a general amnesty.
            This has zero to do with an antoning value of the high priest.

            Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian mystery
            religions involving participation in the death and resurrection of the
            dying
            and rising god. It has naught to do with Judaism.

            Best,
            Liz Fried

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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
            ... [snip] ... I have grave doubts that the center of NT theology is where you say it is. But even if we accept the truth of what you say, your thesis about
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
              "Richard H. Anderson" wrote:

              > Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2:
              >
              > You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents?
              >
              > The core doctrine of Christianity is the statement that Jesus died
              > on the cross for our sins.

              [snip]

              > Therefore the origin of the most important doctrine in Christianity
              > can be traced to Judaism and its High Priest.

              I have grave doubts that the center of NT theology is where you say it
              is. But even if we accept the truth of what you say, your thesis about
              the origin of this center seems to me not only highly questionable (have
              you really interpreted the Numbers text or what Milgrom says about it
              correctly? Does Milgrom himself assert that the background of atonement
              theology in the NT is where you say it is? Was there really an idea of
              atonement for **all** sins attached to the high priest's death in first
              century Judaism? And even if there was, does, e.g., Paul, for whom
              "Christ died for us" is an exceptionally important topos, second only,
              as Hengel has argued, to proclamations of Jesus' resurrection, ever
              allude or appeal to this idea? Does the author of 1 Peter? Does
              Mark?).

              It is also something that seemingly ignores the fact that there were
              other -- and far more widely known and more conspicuously analogous --
              "theologies" of atoning death apart from the one you argue for known to
              NT writers.

              Another curious thing about your thesis is that those like Sam Williams
              (_Jesus Death as Saving Event_) ; David Seely (_The Noble Death_);
              Martin Hengel (_the Atonement_) who have dealt with the origins of the
              "dying for others/our sins" formula and the origin of the idea of Jesus
              death as atoning have *never* felt that the place where you see the
              origin of the atonement idea found in early Christianity is where you
              say it is, let alone that your interpretation of the death of the high
              priest as "atonement" is correct.

              Can you explain this?

              Yours,

              Jeffrey Gibson
              --

              Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

              1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
              Chicago, IL 60626

              jgibson000@...



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jeffrey B. Gibson
              ... Besides the fact that what you see as part and parcel of the so called mystery religions was actually never one of their emphases or that there was any
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
                "Lisbeth S. Fried" wrote:

                > Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian mystery
                > religions involving participation in the death and resurrection of
                > the
                > dying
                > and rising god. It has naught to do with Judaism.
                >

                Besides the fact that what you see as part and parcel of the so called
                "mystery religions" was actually never one of their emphases or that
                there was any borrowing on the part of early Christianity from these
                "religions" (see David Seeley's deconstruction of these notions in his
                _The Noble Death_ as well as the destruction of the ideas by Burket in
                his _The Mystery Religions_ and by J. Smith in his _Drudgery Divine_) ,
                your assertion about proclamations of Jesus (or any Jewish martyr's
                death) as atoning as having naught to do with Judaism rides roughshod
                over the data in 4 Maccabees. May I recommend that you have a look at
                Sam Williams' _Jesus Death as Saving Event_ and especially at Martin
                Hengel's _The Atonement_? And there's that nice little discussion of
                the Greek background of the "dying for us/our sins" proclamation found
                in Paul available at

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JBGibsonWritings/files/Paul%27sDyingFormula.pdf

                and at:

                http://www.ibiblio.org/corpus-paul/afr/Paul's+Dying+Formula.pdf

                under the title of little "Paul's "'Dying Formula"" Prolegomena to
                Understanding Its Import and Significance".

                Yours,

                Jeffrey


                --

                Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                Chicago, IL 60626

                jgibson000@...



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lisbeth S. Fried
                I have certainly read Burkett s book on Mystery Religion s and see a reinforcement of the theory of Christianity s dependence on these ideas. Paul refers to
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
                  I have certainly read Burkett's book on Mystery Religion's
                  and see a reinforcement of the theory of Christianity's
                  dependence on these ideas. Paul refers to Christianity as
                  a mystery. Paul's emphasis on putting off the sinful material
                  body and putting on the spiritual body of Christ through baptism
                  is the participation in the death and resurrection of the god through
                  that rite.
                  Sorry, it ain't Jewish -- it's Greek/Egyptian.
                  You'll have to show me some *pre-Christian* Jewish evidence in order for
                  me to accept the notion that a doctrine of vicarious atonement is
                  Jewish.
                  Best,
                  Liz
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Jeffrey B. Gibson [mailto:jgibson000@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:54 PM
                  To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: origins of the doctrine of atonement




                  "Lisbeth S. Fried" wrote:

                  > Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian mystery
                  > religions involving participation in the death and resurrection of
                  > the
                  > dying
                  > and rising god. It has naught to do with Judaism.
                  >

                  Besides the fact that what you see as part and parcel of the so called
                  "mystery religions" was actually never one of their emphases or that
                  there was any borrowing on the part of early Christianity from these
                  "religions" (see David Seeley's deconstruction of these notions in his
                  _The Noble Death_ as well as the destruction of the ideas by Burket in
                  his _The Mystery Religions_ and by J. Smith in his _Drudgery Divine_) ,
                  your assertion about proclamations of Jesus (or any Jewish martyr's
                  death) as atoning as having naught to do with Judaism rides roughshod
                  over the data in 4 Maccabees. May I recommend that you have a look at
                  Sam Williams' _Jesus Death as Saving Event_ and especially at Martin
                  Hengel's _The Atonement_? And there's that nice little discussion of
                  the Greek background of the "dying for us/our sins" proclamation found
                  in Paul available at


                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JBGibsonWritings/files/Paul%27sDyingFormula.pd
                  f

                  and at:

                  http://www.ibiblio.org/corpus-paul/afr/Paul's+Dying+Formula.pdf

                  under the title of little "Paul's "'Dying Formula"" Prolegomena to
                  Understanding Its Import and Significance".

                  Yours,

                  Jeffrey


                  --

                  Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                  1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                  Chicago, IL 60626

                  jgibson000@...



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                • Bob Schacht
                  ... Is it really? According to who? Other core doctrines abound, e.g., that Jesus was THE son of God (GJohn), or the centrality of the Resurrection (Paul),
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
                    At 07:51 PM 11/11/2003 +0000, Richard H. Anderson wrote:
                    >Michael M. Yugovich, greetings and Welcome to Crosstalk2:
                    >
                    >You ask: Did Christian theology have any antecedents?
                    >
                    >The core doctrine of Christianity is the statement that Jesus died
                    >on the cross for our sins. ...

                    Is it really? According to who?

                    Other "core doctrines" abound, e.g., that Jesus was THE son of God (GJohn),
                    or the centrality of the Resurrection (Paul), or Soteriological doctrines
                    ("What must I do to be saved?"). There were many strands of early
                    Christianity before the Nicene Creed (or even the Apostle's Creed) became
                    normative, and each had its own "core doctrines."

                    The first answer to Yugovich's question should be obvious: Christian
                    theology is largely based on Jewish theology. Every response that does not
                    begin with that basic fact is off on the wrong foot to start out with. But
                    I take it that there is an implicit assumption within the question that
                    takes for granted the Jewish connection and seeks to ask what is different
                    about Christian theology, when compared with Jewish theology, and where
                    does that begin?

                    One good place to start is with Jesus himself, and with E.P. Sanders'
                    attempts to deal with this question, e.g. in his The Historical Figure of
                    Jesus. I start with Sanders here because he is one of the few to seriously
                    think of Jesus as a *theologian.* Of course, he does not use that word in
                    the modern sense, but in its basic elemental sense, and that is probably
                    the best place to start. At this stage, doctrine is not yet an issue,
                    although theology certainly is. So I begin by suggesting that Christian
                    theology began before Christian doctrine became established.

                    Next, we must not jump too quickly to equating theology with Christology.
                    Jesus' theology was about God, and what he thought God was doing, or
                    wanted, or whatever.

                    It is reasonable to ask if Jesus' theology included anything about the
                    cross, or at least, in Anderson's words, "that Jesus died on the cross for
                    our sins." I think that Anderson's formulation depends on later
                    developments (e.g., by Paul and later "Fathers" of the church). However,
                    one might argue that the Markan refrain contains the original Christian
                    theology, i.e., "Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must
                    undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests,
                    and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." (8:31 &
                    //). The Markan repetition of this point might be taken as an indication
                    that it was an early liturgical formula.

                    I take it that there were at least several early Christian theologies: One
                    was probably Pauline, and another Jewish Christian. They differed as to
                    whether Jesus was understood as fully human, or as God incarnate. They
                    probably also differed in their theology of the resurrection. Not long
                    after Paul and James, additional theological traditions began to emerge,
                    e.g. a rather gnostic tendency to see Jesus as fully divine, and
                    assimilating ideas from Middle Platonism.

                    Whether or not one agrees with these specifics, I want to redirect
                    attention from later Christian doctrines to First Century probabilities,
                    beginning with Jesus himself, and to the various threads of Jewish theology
                    current in the First century (e.g., Pharisaic, Sadducean, Essene). It would
                    be interesting to hear Jim Davila's take on this.

                    Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                    Northern Arizona University



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                    ... To convince me that you ve not read into Paul what you think is there, you ll have to point me to where Burket says this (especially in the light of his
                    Message 9 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
                      "Lisbeth S. Fried" wrote:

                      > I have certainly read Burkett's book on Mystery Religion's
                      > and see a reinforcement of the theory of Christianity's
                      > dependence on these ideas. Paul refers to Christianity as
                      > a mystery. Paul's emphasis on putting off the sinful material
                      > body and putting on the spiritual body of Christ through baptism
                      > is the participation in the death and resurrection of the god through
                      > that rite.

                      To convince me that you've not read into Paul what you think is there,
                      you'll have to point me to where Burket says this (especially in the
                      light of his assertions on p. 23 that "while it is tempting to assume
                      that the central idea of all initiations [in the mysteries] should be
                      death and resurrection ... the pagan evidence for pagan resurrection
                      symbolism is uncompelling at best" and on p. 75 that "There is a
                      dimension of death in all of the mystery initiations, but the concept of
                      rebirth or resurrection of either Gods ot mystae is anything but
                      explicit:.

                      You'll also have to show me why and how G. Wagner, who set out to
                      examine the validity of the claims you are making about what Paul's
                      terminology indicated Paul believed regarding Jesus death in his
                      _Pauline Baptism and the Pagan Mysteries: The Problem of the Pauline
                      Doctrine of Baptism in Romans VI, 1-11, in the Light of Its
                      Religio-Historical; "Parallels"_ , came to the conclusion, after
                      examining even the remotest parallels in the primary data on the
                      Mysteries in Greek Roman and Egyptian literature, that the mysteries
                      are not the source for Paul's language about Jesus death or the origin
                      of his beliefs about its atoning significance.

                      You'll also have to show me where it is indicated in the actual primary
                      sources which describe ot attest to the beliefs of the cults of Isis or
                      Osiris, or of Attis and Cybelle, or of Dionysus or Adonis, or of Mithras
                      or Demeter, that there was **any** idea of resurrection of these cult
                      figures or of those who believed in them that was held by members of
                      these cults or that, contrary to what the old History of Religions
                      School asserted early in the 20th century, the whole idea of any
                      ancient Mediterranean acceptance of and belief in "dying and rising
                      saviours" is, as Jonathan Smith (_Drudgery Divine_ 101-105; "Dying and
                      Rising Gods" in M. Eliade, ed. _Encyclopedia of Religion_ 4:521-527 and
                      many others like A. Wedderburn ("Paul and the Mystery Cults: On Posing
                      the Right Questions" , P. Lambrechts (especially _De fenomenologyische
                      Methode in Godsdienst-wetenschap_) , and K. Prumm ("Mystery" in
                      Sacramentum Verbi and "I considetti "dei morti e risort"
                      nell'Ellenisimo") have argued, a product of the modern imagination, a
                      "category of more interest to the history of scholarship than to the
                      history of religions".

                      It's curious, isn't it, if we grant any degree of historicity to Luke's
                      depiction of Paul's Areopagus speech, that no one there amongst the
                      people Paul preached to -- people we would have every reason to expect
                      as knowing what the beliefs of the "Mystery Religions" -- had a clue as
                      to what Paul is talking about when he preaches on Jesus as the
                      resurrected one. This should not have been the case if your scenario is
                      true.

                      As ever,

                      Jeffrey
                      --

                      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                      1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                      Chicago, IL 60626

                      jgibson000@...



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Richard H. Anderson
                      Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote: Was there really an idea of atonement for **all** sins attached to the high priest s death in first century Judaism? RHA: NO, this
                      Message 10 of 21 , Nov 11, 2003
                        Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote: Was there really an idea of
                        atonement for **all** sins attached to the high priest's death in first
                        century Judaism?

                        RHA: NO, this relates only to manslaughter. see verses cited.

                        And even if there was, does, e.g., Paul, for whom
                        "Christ died for us" is an exceptionally important topos, second only,
                        as Hengel has argued, to proclamations of Jesus' resurrection, ever
                        allude or appeal to this idea? Does the author of 1 Peter? Does
                        Mark?).

                        In my email I cited Heb. 2:17 which states: 'Therefore he [Jesus] had to be
                        made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and
                        faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins
                        of the people'. This response discuss Heb. 2:10 which serves as an
                        introduction to Heb. 2:17.
                        As long as the Temple stood, the High Priest was in office, the Day of
                        Atonement was being observed and Judaism recognized the followers of Jesus
                        as Jews there was no need or reason for Luke to proclaim a theology of the
                        cross. Judaism defined atonement to be the reconciliation between God and
                        man through repentance. The role of the High Priest in obtaining that
                        atonement was recognized by Josephus in Bell. 4.318 wherein he called the
                        Jews' High Priest 'the captain of their salvation.'
                        In Hebrews 2:10 we read: For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and
                        by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the
                        captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. In most
                        translations, archegos [Strong's 747] is translated something other than
                        "captain." By translating as captain, we can draw a direct connection
                        between the Jewish belief of the role of the High Priest in obtaining that
                        atonement and Jesus who becomes the new High Priest and who is called by the
                        author of the Epistle to the Hebrews "captain of their salvation. The author
                        of the epistle intends to draws upon the belief structure relating to the
                        Jewish High Priest including the limited atonement value of his death to
                        show the superior efficiacy of the new High Priest with unlimited atonement
                        value because he died on the cross for our sins. Therefore no further
                        sacrifices are necessary. The author of the Epistle has equated the Jewish
                        High Priest with Jesus the new High Priest only to show the inferiority of
                        the Jewish High Priest. He has done so by appropriating all of the belief
                        structure pertaining to the Jewish High Priest, including but not limited
                        to, the title, "captain of their salvation".
                        Mark does allude by using ransom in 10:45. But there could be no ransom in
                        Judaism when a life has been taken. Luke has no equivalent of the ransom
                        saying (Mk 10:45; Matt 20:28) nor of Matthew's connection of Jesus' covenant
                        blood with the remission of sins (Mt 26:28). [I accept the conclusions of
                        Bart Ehrman that verses {Lk 22:19b-20} were added by second century
                        scribes.]

                        Richard H. Anderson
                        Wallingford, PA
                      • Lisbeth S. Fried
                        ... From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@comcast.net] Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 6:17 AM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [XTalk]
                        Message 11 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@...]
                          Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 6:17 AM
                          To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: RE: [XTalk] Re: origins of the doctrine of atonement

                          Dear Richard
                          Y ou write:

                          The role of the High Priest in obtaining that
                          atonement was recognized by Josephus in Bell. 4.318 wherein he called the
                          Jews' High Priest 'the captain of their salvation.'


                          Josephus means that the High Priest effects salvation or atonement by his
                          role
                          in the sacrificial cult, not by his own death.
                          If by his own death, people would pray for the death of the high priest in
                          order to
                          have atonement. That couldn't be further from the truth. Read Ben Sira or
                          Josephus
                          to get the reverential attitude of the people toward the high priest --
                          alive and well
                          and doing his job.

                          Liz

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                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Richard H. Anderson
                          ... mystery religions involving participation in the death and resurrection of the dying and rising god. It has naught to do with Judaism. Martin Hengel,
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                            --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Lisbeth S. Fried"
                            <lizfried@u...> wrote:

                            > Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian
                            mystery religions involving participation in the death and
                            resurrection of the dying and rising god. It has naught to do with
                            Judaism.

                            Martin Hengel, Atonement: pp. 60-65. Esp. his conclusion on p.
                            64: "As a result, after careful consideration of all the sources
                            indicated, we must agree with Jeremias and Lohse that the vicarious
                            atoning effect of the death or even the suffering of a righteous man
                            was not unknown in the Palestinian Judaism of the first century AD,
                            independently of the question of terminology."

                            Psalm 34 states in verse 22
                            The LORD ransoms the life of his servants, *
                            and none will be punished who trust in him.


                            Joseph Bonsirven, Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Christ,
                            Translated from the French by William Wolf, At page 116 wrote: "The
                            doctrine of vicarious atonement through suffering, by death, and
                            especially by martyrdom, seems to have been generally accepted in
                            the Jewish world before Christ (2 Macc. 7:37; Sifre on Num.,
                            25:13)."

                            Richard H. Anderson
                          • Lisbeth S. Fried
                            ... From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@comcast.net] Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 2:40 PM To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: [XTalk] Re:
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Richard H. Anderson [mailto:randerson58@...]
                              Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 2:40 PM
                              To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [XTalk] Re: origins of the doctrine of atonement



                              Joseph Bonsirven, Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Christ,
                              Translated from the French by William Wolf, At page 116 wrote: "The
                              doctrine of vicarious atonement through suffering, by death, and
                              especially by martyrdom, seems to have been generally accepted in
                              the Jewish world before Christ (2 Macc. 7:37; Sifre on Num.,
                              25:13)."

                              Richard H. Anderson
                              Dear Richard,
                              Again, I don't agree. I do agree, however, that this passage in 2 Macc 7
                              may be the
                              only passage which discusses the pre-Christian Jewish attitude toward
                              suffering. The story is the famous one of the murder of the 7 brothers.
                              7:32 "We are
                              suffering for our own sins.". ..7:36 "For our brothers, after enduring a
                              brief suffering,
                              have fallen into ever flowing life, under God's covenant..." The point is
                              that a person's
                              suffering and death has atoning value for him. This is a well-known
                              doctrine
                              repeated by the rabbis. The punishment that you endure on earth
                              substitutes for any
                              punishment you might have to endure after death. But each must suffer for
                              his
                              own sins.
                              Best,
                              Liz



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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Richard H. Anderson
                              ... mystery religions involving participation in the death and resurrection of the dying and rising god. It has naught to do with Judaism. Where did the notion
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Lisbeth S. Fried"
                                <lizfried@u...> wrote:

                                > Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian
                                mystery religions involving participation in the death and
                                resurrection of the dying and rising god. It has naught to do with
                                Judaism.

                                Where did the notion that the death of an ordinary person had
                                salvific value originate? As you know I claim, citing Milgrom, that
                                the death of any high priest had limited salvific value. I also
                                claim that the death of the Jewish High Priest is the origin of the
                                NT doctrine of atonement. Boyarin would say that it is difficult
                                when dealing with cultural border crossings to determine if the
                                origin of a particular idea is Jewish or Christian citing his Jewish-
                                Christian martyrdom discussions. In this instance however, I
                                believe I have the better argument in that the idea of substitution
                                is present, in the sense of 'take the place of' or 'substitute for'
                                the necessity of suffering for one's transgression, BCE.

                                The vicarious intercession of a mediator is present in the
                                following: when the people intercede for Jonathan (1 Sam 14:45) and
                                Abraham for Sodom (Gen 18:22-23), when Moses places himself between
                                the people and God's chastising wrath (Exod 32:30-32) and in a
                                prayer of David for the people (2 Sam 24:17).

                                In response to guiltless suffering the idea of a just man atoning
                                vicariously for Israel became common in early rabbinic Judaism,
                                especially in relation to Moses and Isaac. By the third century CE,
                                whatever soteriological significance the Christians claimed for
                                Jesus, the Jews in turn tended to claim for Moses and/or Isaac.

                                Was pre-Christian Judaism familiar with the idea of a suffering,
                                atoning Messiah? Except possibly for Wis 2:13 and 3:19, the 4th
                                servant song was not interpreted this way in early rabbinic
                                Judaism.

                                Both 2 Maccabees (1st century BCE) and 4 Maccabees contain a martyr
                                theology which provides a significant pre-Christian source for the
                                idea of the vicarious suffering and death of the martyrs. These
                                ideas are strongly suggested in 2 Maccabees, esp. 7:37-38 and 12:42-
                                45, and are stated with clarity in 4 Maccabees, esp. in the prayers
                                of the dying martyrs. Eleazar prays to the Lord to be "merciful unto
                                thy people, and let our punishment be a satisfaction in their
                                behalf. Make thy blood their purification and take my soul to ransom
                                their souls" (4 Maccabees 6:28-29).

                                Something interesting happened in the Alexandrian Septuagint (LXX)
                                translation of Lev. 17:11 from the third century BCE. The final
                                phrase of this verse "It is the blood that makes atonement by reason
                                of the life."

                                There is no question that the LXX of Lev. 17:11 is strongly
                                evocative of substitutionary ideas. This may be the source of
                                Eleazar's prayer in 4 Maccabees 6:28-29.

                                Eleazar is not just any person. Eleazar is the High Priest.

                                Richard H. Anderson
                              • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                ... Good quotes. Note though, that not one of the authorities you cite -- or who are cited by the authorities you cite -- sees the High priest as someone
                                Message 15 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                  "Richard H. Anderson" wrote:

                                  > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Lisbeth S. Fried"
                                  > <lizfried@u...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > Jesus' atoning death has more to do with Greek and Egyptian
                                  > mystery religions involving participation in the death and
                                  > resurrection of the dying and rising god. It has naught to do with
                                  > Judaism.
                                  >
                                  > Martin Hengel, Atonement: pp. 60-65. Esp. his conclusion on p.
                                  > 64: "As a result, after careful consideration of all the sources
                                  > indicated, we must agree with Jeremias and Lohse that the vicarious
                                  > atoning effect of the death or even the suffering of a righteous man
                                  > was not unknown in the Palestinian Judaism of the first century AD,
                                  > independently of the question of terminology."
                                  >
                                  > Psalm 34 states in verse 22
                                  > The LORD ransoms the life of his servants, *
                                  > and none will be punished who trust in him.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Joseph Bonsirven, Palestinian Judaism in the Time of Christ,
                                  > Translated from the French by William Wolf, At page 116 wrote: "The
                                  > doctrine of vicarious atonement through suffering, by death, and
                                  > especially by martyrdom, seems to have been generally accepted in
                                  > the Jewish world before Christ (2 Macc. 7:37; Sifre on Num.,
                                  > 25:13)."
                                  >

                                  Good quotes. Note though, that not one of the authorities you cite --
                                  or who are cited by the authorities you cite -- sees the High priest as
                                  someone whose death is atoning or finds anything within Judaism that
                                  points or attests to the particular theological topos that you would
                                  have us believe is the origin of the early Christian proclamations of
                                  Jesus' death as atoning.

                                  Again, how do you explain this?

                                  Yours,

                                  Jeffrey
                                  --

                                  Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                  1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                  Chicago, IL 60626

                                  jgibson000@...



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Crispin Fletcher-Louis
                                  Richard, Geoffrey, Liz and all, I ve come in a little late to this fascinating discussion about the high priest in atonement. But may I offer a few
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                    Richard, Geoffrey, Liz and all,
                                    I've come in a little late to this fascinating discussion about the high
                                    priest in atonement. But may I offer a few observations:

                                    1. In response to Geoffrey's question, 'how come no one has suggested this
                                    high priestly context for atonement before?' I would suggest this is because
                                    the high priest has been ignored, period. (see my article at
                                    http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf)

                                    2. Richard's ideas need now to be supplemented by a consideration of
                                    Margaret Barker's thesis that the goat 'lyhwh' on the Day of Atonement is a
                                    substitute for the high priest (who plays the role of YHWH) in the cultic
                                    drama. It is the blood of this goat that makes the atonement (in the
                                    pre-eminent act of atonement) as a substitute for the life (i.e. Death) of
                                    the high priest/yhwh. (See e.g. M. Barker, The Revelation of Jesus Christ
                                    (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2000), 45 ...; M. Barker, The Great High Priest.
                                    The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy (London: T. & T. Clark, 2003), chapter
                                    3). In both books Barker has fascinating interpretative observations on a
                                    number of late second temple texts to support her thesis.

                                    3. For further texts relating the suffering of the high priesthood and the
                                    Day of Atonement - supportive of Barker's thesis, though not explicitly
                                    referring to atoning suffering, see C. H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "The Revelation
                                    of the Sacral Son of Man: The Genre, History of Religions Context and the
                                    Meaning of the Transfiguration," Auferstehung - Resurrection. The Fourth
                                    Durham-Tübingen-Symposium: Resurrection, Exaltation, and Transformation in
                                    Old Testament, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity (eds. F. Avemarie and
                                    H. Lichtenberger; WUNT 135; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2001) 247-298 (pp.
                                    286-88).

                                    4. With regards to the Pauline language of putting off the old body and
                                    putting on the new one, that Liz quotes, this too might, in fact, be very
                                    adequately explained in terms of a (high) priestly background given the
                                    evidence from Philo that different priestly garments were identified with
                                    different physical/non-physical states. (Barker mounts an impressive case
                                    that here Philo attests mainstream Jewish thinking).

                                    Yours

                                    Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis


                                    Dept. of Theology,
                                    University of Nottingham,
                                    UK
                                  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                    ... This link doesn t seem to work. Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.) 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1 Chicago, IL 60626 jgibson000@comcast.net [Non-text
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                      Crispin Fletcher-Louis wrote:

                                      > Richard, Geoffrey, Liz and all,
                                      > I've come in a little late to this fascinating discussion about the
                                      > high
                                      > priest in atonement. But may I offer a few observations:
                                      >
                                      > 1. In response to Geoffrey's question, 'how come no one has
                                      > suggested this
                                      > high priestly context for atonement before?' I would suggest this is
                                      > because
                                      > the high priest has been ignored, period. (see my article at
                                      > http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf)
                                      >

                                      This link doesn't seem to work.

                                      Jeffrey
                                      --

                                      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                      1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                      Chicago, IL 60626

                                      jgibson000@...



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Crispin Fletcher-Louis
                                      Geoffrey, ... Sorry about that. In that case, you¹ll have to go to http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/ And then scroll down the page until you get to ŒJesus and
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                        Geoffrey,

                                        >> http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf)
                                        >>
                                        >
                                        > This link doesn't seem to work.
                                        >
                                        Sorry about that. In that case, you¹ll have to go to
                                        http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/
                                        And then scroll down the page until you get to ŒJesus and the High Priest
                                        (Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis)¹ under Theme 14.

                                        I hope that works.
                                        Crispin.



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                        ... Thanks for this. I look forward to reading your paper. May I note, though, that one of my reasons for not seeing the death of the high priest, whether
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Nov 12, 2003
                                          Crispin Fletcher-Louis wrote:

                                          > Richard, Geoffrey, Liz and all,
                                          > I've come in a little late to this fascinating discussion about the
                                          > high
                                          > priest in atonement. But may I offer a few observations:
                                          >
                                          > 1. In response to Geoffrey's question, 'how come no one has
                                          > suggested this
                                          > high priestly context for atonement before?' I would suggest this is
                                          > because
                                          > the high priest has been ignored, period. (see my article at
                                          > http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf)
                                          >
                                          > 2. Richard's ideas need now to be supplemented by a consideration of
                                          > Margaret Barker's thesis that the goat 'lyhwh' on the Day of Atonement
                                          > is a
                                          > substitute for the high priest (who plays the role of YHWH) in the
                                          > cultic
                                          > drama. It is the blood of this goat that makes the atonement (in the
                                          > pre-eminent act of atonement) as a substitute for the life (i.e.
                                          > Death) of
                                          > the high priest/yhwh. (See e.g. M. Barker, The Revelation of Jesus
                                          > Christ
                                          > (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2000), 45 ...; M. Barker, The Great High
                                          > Priest.
                                          > The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy (London: T. & T. Clark, 2003),
                                          > chapter
                                          > 3). In both books Barker has fascinating interpretative observations
                                          > on a
                                          > number of late second temple texts to support her thesis.

                                          Thanks for this. I look forward to reading your paper. May I note,
                                          though, that one of my reasons for not seeing the "death" of the high
                                          priest, whether on the Day of Atonement or not, as the origin of the
                                          belief in the atoning significance of Jesus is that the language used to
                                          describe the significance of Jesus death -- especially in Paul and in
                                          his "died for us/our sins" formula (the background of which is largely
                                          Greek) ---- has little in common with the imagery or the language
                                          surrounding the Temple cult and never seems to allude to the DoA..

                                          Perhaps you deal with this in your article?

                                          Yours,

                                          Jeffrey
                                          --

                                          Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                          1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                          Chicago, IL 60626

                                          jgibson000@...



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Brian Trafford
                                          ... mula.pdf Hi Jeffrey Would it be possible for you to link this particular essay into the XTalk archives? Thank you, Brian Trafford Calgary, AB, Canada
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Nov 13, 2003
                                            --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
                                            <jgibson000@c...> wrote:
                                            >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JBGibsonWritings/files/Paul27sDyingFor
                                            mula.pdf

                                            Hi Jeffrey

                                            Would it be possible for you to link this particular essay into the
                                            XTalk archives?

                                            Thank you,

                                            Brian Trafford
                                            Calgary, AB, Canada
                                          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                            ... It s now at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/files/Paul%27sDyingFormula.pdf Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.) 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Nov 13, 2003
                                              Brian Trafford wrote:

                                              > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
                                              > <jgibson000@c...> wrote:
                                              > >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JBGibsonWritings/files/Paul27sDyingFor
                                              > mula.pdf
                                              >
                                              > Hi Jeffrey
                                              >
                                              > Would it be possible for you to link this particular essay into the
                                              > XTalk archives?
                                              >

                                              It's now at:

                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/files/Paul%27sDyingFormula.pdf

                                              Jeffrey

                                              --

                                              Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                              1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                              Chicago, IL 60626

                                              jgibson000@...



                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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