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RE: [XTalk] Comments from a new member

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  • Richard H. Anderson
    ... Michael, Following up on the email from Crispin. In an article which was published in 1999 I wrote: Except for minor references no one has discussed the
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
      > Michael M Yugovich wrote:
      >
      > 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?

      Michael,

      Following up on the email from Crispin. In an article which was published
      in 1999 I wrote: "Except for minor references no one has discussed the
      possible influences of the Jewish High Priest on New Testament theology.
      Roger David Aus has probably prepared the most complete discussion to date
      but he does not discuss the death of the High Priest. The Wicked Tenants and
      Gethsemane (Atlanta 1996) and works cited therein at 67, fn 10." Since 1999
      works by Margaret Barker, Bruce Chilton, and Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis
      have begun the discussion of the possible influences of the Jewish High
      Priest on New Testament theology.

      Margaret Barker has had the audacity to suggest that we do not need to look
      to hellenistic borrowings to explain the beginnings of Christianity. In her
      latest book, Great High Priest (2003), Barker has emphasized the importance
      of the Melchizedek text that was found in cave 11. The first century BCE
      text was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Cave 11, was composed of 13
      fragments and focused on the end time and the coming deliverance of
      Melchizedek. Barker finds that the Melchizedek text at Qumran is the missing
      link for understanding the Melchizedek chapter in the book of Hebrews. The
      Old Testament does not say much about Melchizedek. Yet, in Hebrews,
      Melchizedek is emphasized as a great high priest, and he is associated with
      Jesus. Barker argues that the Qumran text put Hebrews into its contemporary
      perspective and helps us to see more clearly that Melchizedek represents
      Jesus, because Melchizedek is the great high priest in Israelite tradition.

      Richard H. Anderson
    • rwjohnso@csuniv.edu
      On 13 Nov 2003 at 9:15, Richard H. Anderson wrote: Yet, in Hebrews, Melchizedek is ... Actually, in Hebrews, the term priest is applied to Melchizedek, but
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
        On 13 Nov 2003 at 9:15, Richard H. Anderson wrote:

        Yet, in Hebrews, Melchizedek is
        > emphasized as a great high priest, and he is associated with Jesus.

        Actually, in Hebrews, the term "priest" is applied to Melchizedek, but
        not "high priest" much less "great high priest." The mekchizedekian
        material in Hebrews is present primarily (only, I would say) to explain
        how a non-Aaronic Jew can be a priest.

        Also, in Hebrews, when the death of Jesus is mentioned, he is
        described as a sacrifice; his status as "dying high priest" is not
        mentioned. I think we should be reticent to put such ideas into the text
        of an author who demonstrated great rhetorical skill. If he avoided
        something, we should be extremely reluctant to claim that he meant to
        say it.


        Richard Johnson
        Charleston Southern University
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Richard, Jeffrey, Liz, and Crispin, Thanks for an interesting exchange. With respect to the high priest and atonement, and the idea that the death of the
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
          At 09:15 AM 11/13/2003 -0500, Richard Anderson wrote:

          > > Michael M Yugovich wrote:
          > >
          > > 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?
          >
          >Michael,
          >
          >Following up on the email from Crispin. In an article which was published
          >in 1999 I wrote: "Except for minor references no one has discussed the
          >possible influences of the Jewish High Priest on New Testament theology.
          >Roger David Aus has probably prepared the most complete discussion to date
          >but he does not discuss the death of the High Priest. The Wicked Tenants and
          >Gethsemane (Atlanta 1996) and works cited therein at 67, fn 10." Since 1999
          >works by Margaret Barker, Bruce Chilton, and Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis
          >have begun the discussion of the possible influences of the Jewish High
          >Priest on New Testament theology....

          Richard, Jeffrey, Liz, and Crispin,
          Thanks for an interesting exchange. With respect to the high priest and
          atonement, and the idea that the death of the high priest had some salvific
          import, most of your discussion has focussed on general theory or theology.
          If we turn our attention to the death of *specific* high priests, e.g. as
          recorded in Josephus, is there any evidence of discussion of the salvific
          import of the death of that specific high priest?

          What I'm wondering is if the salvific significance of the death of the high
          priest was enhanced with the death of the last high priest at the time of
          the destruction of Jerusalem in general and the temple in particular ca. 70
          C.E.? Or was there any other *specific* high priest whose death was
          regarded as especially significant in this regard?

          Bob


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Richard H. Anderson
          Richard Johnson, greetings: ... I reread my email on Margaret Barker s New book, Great High Priest to better understand what you wrote. Everything in my email
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
            Richard Johnson, greetings:
            you wrote:
            >Actually, in Hebrews, the term "priest" is applied to Melchizedek, but
            >not "high priest" much less "great high priest." The mekchizedekian
            >material in Hebrews is present primarily (only, I would say) to explain
            >how a non-Aaronic Jew can be a priest.

            I reread my email on Margaret Barker's New book, Great High Priest to better
            understand what you wrote. Everything in my email refers to her new book.
            The Title of her book is Great High Priest. It is her argument that in
            Hebrews, Melchizedek is emphasized as a great high priest not that he is
            called a great high priest. I should note that in 11QMelch Melchizedek is
            called, heavenly deliver, the great high priest and leader of the sons of
            heaven.

            Yet in reviewing the passages in Hebrews wherein Melchizedek is mentioned it
            is clear to me that he is greater than any priest of Aaron. Hebrews
            demonstrates that Melchizedek is superior to the Aaronic priesthood. He is
            described as without parents. Abraham returning from his victory gave him a
            tenth of his loot.

            Hbr 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having
            neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of
            God; abideth a priest continually.

            Hbr 7:4 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the
            patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

            I think you have understated the role and significance of Melchizedek.

            you also wrote:
            >Also, in Hebrews, when the death of Jesus is mentioned, he is
            >described as a sacrifice; his status as "dying high priest" is not
            >mentioned. I think we should be reticent to put such ideas into the text
            >of an author who demonstrated great rhetorical skill. If he avoided
            >something, we should be extremely reluctant to claim that he meant to
            >say it.

            I did not make the claim of Jesus as "dying high priest" in my email
            discussing Margaret Barker. I think you should be reticent in put such idea
            into the text of what I wrote regardless of what you think of my rhetorical
            skill.

            Richard H. Anderson
          • Mike Grondin
            ... Perhaps Richard J. was in mind of your original note of Nov. 11th, ... Have you here put ideas into the text ? Consider what follows the statement you
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 14, 2003
              [Richard Johnson]:
              > ... in Hebrews, when the death of Jesus is mentioned, he is
              > described as a sacrifice; his status as "dying high priest" is not
              > mentioned. I think we should be reticent to put such ideas into
              > the text of an author who demonstrated great rhetorical skill. If
              > he avoided something, we should be extremely reluctant to claim
              > that he meant to say it.

              [Richard Anderson]:
              > I did not make the claim of Jesus as "dying high priest" in my
              > email discussing Margaret Barker. I think you should be reticent
              > in put such idea into the text of what I wrote regardless of what
              > you think of my rhetorical skill.

              Perhaps Richard J. was in mind of your original note of Nov. 11th,
              wherein you wrote:

              > 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].

              Have you here "put ideas into the text"? Consider what follows the
              statement you quote:

              "For having suffered being tempted, he is able to help those
              (others) who are tempted." (Heb 2:18)

              It seems impossible to escape the conclusion that 2:17-18 are not
              expressing any belief in the atonement value of the death of a High
              Priest. They seem rather to be saying that the pre-incarnate savior
              was made human so that he would be able to understand and sympathize
              with human temptation, so that in turn he could be a merciful
              mediator when he took up his role as heavenly high priest. Whether
              or not there's other evidence in Heb, 2:17 doesn't appear to be a
              smoking gun for the view you propose.

              On another matter, I'm puzzled that you find the basis of the
              atonement doctrine in ideas about the death of a High Priest,
              rather than in the suffering servant motif in Isaiah. Either one
              would serve to fend off the claim that the atonement doctrine must
              have come from non-Jewish sources, but the servant motif seems to
              have been much more readily adaptable. Yet in your original note,
              you assign it a secondary importance:

              > 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.

              Why "the next step"? Why not the primary step? I'm sure you're not
              suggesting, for example, that Paul's thinking proceeded from the
              rather obscure references to an amnesty for accidental homicide upon
              the death of a High Priest (which death, n.b., wouldn't have
              normally involved any untoward suffering), to the much more
              universal (ALL sins) and suffering-oriented servant motif in Isaiah.
              But if that isn't what you mean, I'm hard-put to understand how the
              servant motif lost its intuitive allure as primary source. (My guess
              would be that Fletcher-Louis' ideas about J's self-conception as
              heavenly-ordained High Priest are the controlling factor here, but
              I don't recall that the logical connection between his ideas and
              yours has been spelled out in so many words. It now seems to me that
              they rise or fall together.)

              Leaving aside Fletcher-Louis for the moment, your own arguments
              about the relationship between the use of the LXX and the presence
              or absence of an atonement doctrine seem to me to suggest that the
              servant motif is sufficient in itself to serve as an historical
              basis for that doctrine, and that the dying High Priest idea is at
              most secondary. Why do I say that? Because the limited amnesty
              associated (at least textually) with the death of a high priest was
              presumably in the LXX, and yet the one writer (Luke) whom you say
              used the LXX exclusively didn't have the atonement doctrine. That
              would seem to constitute a prima facie proof that the doctrine arose
              not from what was in the LXX (in particular, not from the Numbers
              passage mentioned in your note), but from what wasn't in the LXX -
              i.e., from that portion of the servant material that was familiar to
              Paul and other readers of the MT, but was "excised" from the LXX as
              you state above.

              Regards,
              Mike Grondin
            • Richard H. Anderson
              Mike Grondin, greetings: Thank you for your email. I was wondering when someone would attempt to tie together in a question ideas originally written in 1995 &
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 15, 2003
                Mike Grondin, greetings:

                Thank you for your email. I was wondering when someone would attempt to tie
                together in a question ideas originally written in 1995 & 96 but published
                in 1997 & 99, which in emails to this list I have combined with ideas
                developed since then, to attempt to show not only origin but also to show
                progression of a complex and significant belief structure in a Jewish
                Palestinian environment. Theologians have been struggling for 2,000 years to
                understand the atonement doctrine beginning with Luke, the first irenical
                theologian. One thing is certain, its origin is not Hellenistic.

                I think your email demonstrates an interesting human phenomenon. I was
                discussing Margaret Barker being very careful not to mix apples and oranges.

                You say Richard Johnson was thinking about what I wrote earlier, not what
                was in my email about Margaret Barker.

                I suppose this goes to the purpose of Hebrews and why the author made Jesus
                the new High Priest, a concept that many say is unique to Hebrews. It is my
                position the Epistle to Hebrews was addressed to a Jewish Christian
                community. This background is important to understanding Hebrews and also
                my statements. The first audience of Hebrews had certain views about the
                cultic system and the HP. The HP was the captain of their salvation. As
                Jewish Christians they did not believe in the atoning death of Jesus.

                Yet as followers of Jesus they have experience tremendous changes. As a
                result of these political and theological developments, these sorely tried
                Jewish Christians faced peculiar circumstances. These Jewish Christian
                communities were orphans - stranded from Judaism- and they were
                uncomfortable associating with and engaging in table fellowship with
                Gentiles. These communities are the recipients of the Epistle of Hebrews.
                A person believing that Jesus died on the cross as a ransom for his sins can
                not participate in the services for the Day of Atonement. A Jewish follower
                of Jesus who had not accepted the doctrine of the cross, received by Paul
                sometime after the crucifixion and further developed by him, could continue
                to share religious experience with other Jews. According to Lawrence H.
                Schiffman, Judaism did not develop rules that excluded Jewish followers of
                Jesus until the Bar Kokhba revolt early in the second century C.E. The
                believer in this segment of the religious community, all of whom are
                followers of Jesus, would experience anomie. I discuss the concept of anomie
                in my 1999 article. The Epistle to Hebrews describes such a situation
                experienced by Jewish followers of Jesus. The unknown author of Hebrews
                offered a solution to these 'orphans' that made the doctrine of the theology
                of the cross palatable to them. He suggested that Jesus was the new High
                Priest.

                There is also a change in thinking exhibited in Luke and Acts that I said
                was a theology in transition. This is also true of the 1st audience of
                Hebrews. Jewish Christians had a belief structure based on Judaism. I have
                argued that part of that belief structure includes the limited atoning value
                of the death of the HP. The purpose of Hebrews was to solidify the beliefs
                of the recipients of Hebrews in Jesus as the new HP and the new captain of
                their salvation.

                I said:
                > 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].

                The HP in Hebrews is not the dying HP. The dying HP is the HP of Judaism.
                Jesus dies on the cross, rises again and becomes the new HP. However Jesus
                is the HP so that one can say he dies on the cross as the HP. In fact, Heb
                10:11-12 states: "Indeed every priest . . . but this one, having offered one
                sacrifice for sins . . . ." Does not this one mean this priest, Jesus? And
                what did the first recipients think the author meant?

                In Hebrews, Christ functions as HP in matters pertaining to God and this
                function is manifested in his expiation for sins. Hebrews does not at this
                point (Heb 2:17) indicate how this expiation takes place. This expiation
                does not take place through Christ's continual intercession for his
                followers as you seem to suggest from citing verse 18 but through his
                singular sacrificial death.

                I stand by my statement. I am also appreciative that my ideas are now being
                seriously discussed rather than summarily dismissed as nonsense.

                But as noted ideas develop because new ideas are combined from several old
                ideas. This can also result in a mixing of apples and oranges. The
                recipients of Hebrews were experiencing a clash of ideas by virtue of their
                background and beliefs.

                The second portion of your email questions the origin as well as the
                progression of the ideas presented. Paul proceeded from what he read in the
                MT of Isa. 53 and he avoids high priestly images in his writings. The
                suffering servant equals atonement is not part of Luke but I have to
                acknowledge that Peter Doble has argued that Luke is describing a righteous
                man drawing his material primarily from Lk 23:46-47 and Wisdom 2-5. However
                Luke attributes no atoning value to the death of the righteous man.

                The suffering servant of Isa 53 is not present in Hebrews but the notion of
                a righteous sufferer is present. In Hebrews, there is also a notion of
                perfection attained by suffering. The idea of suffering and perfection by
                death is present in 4 Macc. 7:15 and Philo uses a similar concept in
                discussing the death of Aaron, the first HP. Luke 13:32 (and on the third
                day I shall be perfected) is a reference to the perfection of Jesus and is
                probably the only such reference in the NT outside of Hebrews. Also in
                language used in connection with perfection, Hebrews uses the designation of
                'archegos' of salvation. In the NT 'archegos' appears only in Hebrews and
                Acts.

                In my Cross and Atonement from Luke to Hebrews (1999), I did not discuss the
                suffering servant motif nor did I discuss the righteous sufferer or
                perfection attained by perfection. I do not consider the suffering servant
                to be motif number one. Merely because an idea may exist in the progression
                I have presented does not mean that every one uses that idea. The author of
                Hebrews did not use that idea to present Jesus as the new High Priest. The
                priestly christology of Hebrews is not to be derived from the image of the
                suffering servant.
                In my opinion based on Heb. 2:10-18, Hebrews' understanding of the death of
                Jesus is as a priestly act.

                Finally I consider it an honor to be linked with Crispin.

                For these reasons, I disagree with the conclusions you draw.

                Richard H. Anderson
                Wallingford, PA
              • Mike Grondin
                ... Perhaps not, but neither is it to be derived from the limited amnesty ascribed to the death of an HP in Numbers. ... Yes, but ... the sacrifice of his body
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                  --- Richard H. Anderson wrote (taken out of order):

                  > The priestly christology of Hebrews is not to be derived from the
                  > image of the suffering servant.

                  Perhaps not, but neither is it to be derived from the limited
                  amnesty ascribed to the death of an HP in Numbers.

                  > In my opinion based on Heb. 2:10-18, Hebrews' understanding of the
                  > death of Jesus is as a priestly act.

                  Yes, but ... the sacrifice of his body is not compared to the death
                  of any other HP, but rather to the slaughter of the sacrificial
                  animals whose blood is carried into the Holy of Holies on the Day
                  of Atonement (excepting, of course, that the sacrifice of J's body
                  occurs only once).

                  > The HP in Hebrews is not the dying HP.

                  Exactly so, and this is the very reason I question your statement:

                  > The author of Hebrews expressed his belief that the death of the
                  > High Priest has atonement value ...

                  It was not the death of ANY HP that had atonement value for the
                  author of Heb, but the death of just ONE HP - namely, Jesus. And
                  it wasn't just that he died, but that he sacrificed his own body,
                  as animals were sacrificed on the Day of Atonement. Thus, it's
                  incorrect to use the words "the death of the HP" as is done above -
                  incorrect, because that way of putting it implies that the author of
                  Hebrews attributed atonement value to the deaths by any causes of
                  HP's other than Jesus, which in fact he did not.

                  Does this make a difference? Suppose you had said:

                  > The author of Hebrews expressed his belief that the death of
                  > Jesus had atonement value ...

                  No one would disagree with that, but it wouldn't have advanced your
                  argument. Only by wording it the way you did does it _appear_ that
                  Hebrews can be used to advance the argument. In fact, however, it
                  can't. Hebrews has Jesus as HP, and it has atonement, but it doesn't
                  have atonement deriving from the mere death of any old HP.

                  Mike Grondin
                  Mt. Clemens, MI
                • David C. Hindley
                  ... high priest was enhanced with the death of the last high priest at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in general and the temple in particular ca. 70
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                    Bob Schacht says:

                    >>What I'm wondering is if the salvific significance of the death of the
                    high priest was enhanced with the death of the last high priest at the time
                    of the destruction of Jerusalem in general and the temple in particular ca.
                    70 C.E.? Or was there any other *specific* high priest whose death was
                    regarded as especially significant in this regard?<<

                    How might the Seleucid and Roman practice of replacing High priests at will,
                    affect such a belief (if it existed)? In such circumstances, more than one
                    former high priest was living, and dying, at any one time.

                    Also, how about the former high priest(s) who were murdered in the
                    revolution of 66-70 (I'm thinking of Ananus Jr), or assassinated by the
                    Sicarii? Josephus says a couple of times that his murder was the reason for
                    the destruction of the city of Jerusalem.

                    If their deaths were perceived as somehow realizing some sort of final
                    release of guilt or forgiveness of accumulated sin, would not we see a hint
                    or two of it in the books of Maccabees or Josephus? Something like "the
                    people rejoiced in the death of X, for he carried away the sins of the
                    people" is what I'd feel better seeing.

                    Respectfully,

                    Dave Hindley
                    Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                    ... The author of Hebrews attributes the atoning value of Jesus death to Jesus faithful obedience as a son, not as a priest. It is because he is an obedient
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                      Mike Grondin wrote:

                      > No one would disagree with that, but it wouldn't have advanced your
                      > argument. Only by wording it the way you did does it _appear_ that
                      > Hebrews can be used to advance the argument. In fact, however, it
                      > can't. Hebrews has Jesus as HP, and it has atonement, but it doesn't
                      > have atonement deriving from the mere death of any old HP.

                      The author of Hebrews attributes the atoning value of Jesus' death to
                      Jesus' faithful obedience as a son, not as a priest. It is because he
                      is an obedient son, who leaned obedience through what he suffered, that
                      he can function as a priest (i.e. be an intermediary between the God of
                      Israel and humans, and humans and the God of Israel) and as an HP -- one
                      who stands in the very presence of Israel's God and brings the people of
                      God into that presence.

                      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]
                    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                      Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                        Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

                        <The author of Hebrews attributes the atoning value of
                        Jesus' death to Jesus' faithful obedience as a son,
                        not as a priest. It is because he is an obedient son,
                        who leaned obedience through what he suffered, that
                        he can function as a priest (i.e. be an intermediary
                        between the God of Israel and humans, and humans and
                        the God of Israel) and as an HP -- one who stands in
                        the very presence of Israel's God and brings the
                        people of God into that presence.>

                        I'm merely guessing, but could it be that the author
                        of Hebrews (or prior tradition?) made Jesus the High
                        Priest because there was a felt need of a perfect
                        priest to offer the perfect sacrifice?

                        If the Son was a sacrifice, then who was the priest?
                        Usually, it would be those who sacrificed the
                        sacrifice, but this would be a bit odd, given that the
                        Romans carried it out -- hardly perfect priests.

                        Thus the necessity of having the Son offer himself,
                        acting out both roles.

                        Or am I being too logical?

                        Has anyone suggested some motivation such as this?

                        Jeffery Hodges

                        =====
                        Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
                        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                        447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                        Yangsandong 411
                        South Korea

                        __________________________________
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                      • Richard H. Anderson
                        Jeffery, greetings: I am not aware that anyone has suggested the necessity of having the Son offer himself, acting out both roles as a motivation such as
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                          Jeffery, greetings:

                          I am not aware that anyone has suggested "the necessity of having the Son
                          offer himself, acting out both roles" as "a motivation such as this." As
                          Crispin noted little has not been a lot done in this area of the influence
                          of the High Priest on The NT. But as I said before my articles were written
                          in 1997 and 1999. My focus since then has been on Johanna of Luke 8:3 and
                          24:10 which I contend is another piece to the puzzle. The mere fact that
                          this debate is occurring will prompt me to follow up on a number of leads
                          and may promote other research on the influence of the High Priest on The
                          NT. It ought to be subject of an SBL panel!

                          Richard H. Anderson
                        • Richard H. Anderson
                          Dave Hindley wrote: If their deaths were perceived as somehow realizing some sort of final release of guilt or forgiveness of accumulated sin, would not we
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                            Dave Hindley wrote:
                            "If their deaths were perceived as somehow realizing some sort of final
                            release of guilt or forgiveness of accumulated sin, would not we see a hint
                            or two of it in the books of Maccabees or Josephus? Something like "the
                            people rejoiced in the death of X, for he carried away the sins of the
                            people" is what I'd feel better seeing."

                            What about the notion of "vicarious atonement" found in the 4 Maccabees
                            telling of the death of Eliazar? 4 Macc. 6:26ff reads: "When he was now
                            burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to God
                            and said, 'You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, i am
                            dying in burning torments for the sake of the law. Be merciful to your
                            people, and let our punishment suffice for them. Make my blood their
                            purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs.'"

                            However Eliazar is only a priest, not the HP, although he probably was named
                            for the High Priest, son of Aaron or the HP by that name who served in the
                            first century of the common era. Perhaps the author of Hebrews was
                            influenced by this text in the development of his idea that Jesus is the new
                            HP.

                            Richard H. Anderson
                          • Richard H. Anderson
                            Michael, David, Jeffrey, Jeffery, Crispin and all who have participated andor are interested in the origins of the NT doctrine of atonement. Paul uses language
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
                              Michael, David, Jeffrey, Jeffery, Crispin and all who have participated
                              andor are interested in the origins of the NT doctrine of atonement.

                              Paul uses language of perfection in Phil. 3:12, 15, but in a polemical sense
                              suggesting he did not accept/approve the idea of the suffering and
                              perfection through death. I suspect this was one of the issues confronting
                              the communities of the followers of Jesus with Paul rejecting the concept
                              but the Jewish Christian communities endorsed this idea from Judaism. The
                              person who wrote Hebrews was a mediator and irenical theologian. There have
                              been many attempts to identify Paul's opponents but I am not aware that any
                              one has suggested that his opponents could be found among the community of
                              believers who were the first audience of Hebrews. Paul engages in rhetoric
                              confrontations that includes polemic rhetoric. "His comments about Jews are
                              those of intra-Jewish polemics rather than anti-Jewish rhetoric. Polemics
                              were an expected element of effective ancient argumentation. Rather than
                              reflecting Paul's bigotry against fellow Jews, Paul's attacking remarks
                              indicate that he was an ancient communicator who was comfortable with the
                              conventions of his culture (Brian J. Dodd, The Problem with Paul, 1996,
                              114)." It is undisputed that Paul's form of presentation was at times less
                              than conciliatory.

                              On the other hand, The author of Hebrews used techniques of mediation and
                              irenical theology to create a common ground. The author calls this work a
                              "message of encouragement" (Hebrews 13:22), a designation that is given to a
                              synagogue sermon in Acts 13:15. The compromise is that Jesus becomes the new
                              High Priest. Therefore Jeffrey Gibson has accurately recorded my views:
                              > Therefore the origin of the most important doctrine in Christianity
                              > can be traced to Judaism and its High Priest.

                              It is important to remind you what I consider the purpose of Hebrews is so
                              you can understand the argument that I have developed. However before I
                              proceed further I would like to quote a paragraph from Hebrews: A Commentary
                              on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1989) written by Harold W. Attridge, Dean of
                              Yale University Divinity School & Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament.
                              PBS called Harold W. Attridge the "leading scholar of Jewish and Greek
                              literature in relation to the New Testament and early Christianity." I
                              think this quoted paragraph is responsive to several issues recently raised.
                              "Neither is the priestly christology of Hebrews to be derived from the image
                              of the Suffering Servant. The Servant Songs of Isaiah were certainly one of
                              the scriptural complexes to which early Christians appealed in interpreting
                              the death of Jesus as a sacrifice for others. Hebrews may echo certain
                              motifs derived from those texts, but it does not explicitly cite any servant
                              passage in developing the theme of Christ's self sacrifice. More importanly
                              nowhere in the early Christian applications of the servant texts, or motifs
                              possibly derived from them, is the servant explicitly described as a priest.
                              Hebrews' understanding of Christ's death as a priestly act is rooted in the
                              widespread Christian understanding of that death to which the servant songs
                              are made to bear witness; yet the traditional high-priest title and the
                              image of the priest as heavenly intercessor are not drawn from the servant
                              complex."
                              Attridge after further acknowledgement that the priestly christology of
                              Hebrews has not been isolated says "In summary, then the understanding of
                              Christ as high Priest is probably based on Jewish notions of priestly angels
                              and was already a part of the Christian liturgical or exegetical tradition
                              on which our author draws, but that tradition hardly explains the way to
                              which the motif is developed."

                              I realize that each of you could argue that the above quotes support your
                              position but only my proposal explains "the way to which the motif is
                              developed."
                              I call the death of the Jewish High Priest the origin of the NT doctrine of
                              atonement. Some of you seem to the idea that is the origin has to have every
                              element of it in the final product.

                              Mike Grondin wrote:
                              Only by wording it the way you did does it _appear_ that
                              Hebrews can be used to advance the argument. In fact, however, it
                              can't. Hebrews has Jesus as HP, and it has atonement, but it doesn't
                              have atonement deriving from the mere death of any old HP.
                              You objected to this partial quote:
                              In fact, Heb
                              10:11-12 states: "Indeed every priest . . . but this one, having offered one
                              sacrifice for sins . . . ."

                              First of let me show the full quote from the KJV:
                              And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same
                              sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
                              But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down
                              on the right hand of God; but "autos" Strong's 846 does not translate as
                              "this man"
                              In RSV we read: "But when Christ" with a footnote stating "Greek this one"
                              In the NEB we read: "But Christ" with no footnote.

                              Consequently the way I presented it recognizes that "this one" refers back
                              to "priest". Attridge does not explain why his translation reads "this one"
                              but I do not know why an explanation is necessary since he does say
                              "Hebrews' understanding of Christ's death as a priestly act. . . ."

                              So Michael perhaps you can explain your statement:

                              Only by wording it the way you did does it _appear_ that Hebrews can be used
                              to advance the argument.

                              Perhaps I am not familiar with all the variant readings but I suggest to you
                              that the King James, Revised Standard and the New English Bible have added a
                              word not appearing in the Greek. Is your argument based on adding a word to
                              the Greek text or is it something else?

                              Mike Grondin also wrote quoting me:
                              > The author of Hebrews expressed his belief that the death of the
                              > High Priest has atonement value ...

                              And
                              >It was not the death of ANY HP that had atonement value for the
                              >author of Heb, but the death of just ONE HP - namely, Jesus. And
                              >it wasn't just that he died, but that he sacrificed his own body,
                              >as animals were sacrificed on the Day of Atonement. Thus, it's
                              >incorrect to use the words "the death of the HP" as is done above -
                              >incorrect, because that way of putting it implies that the author of
                              >Hebrews attributed atonement value to the deaths by any causes of
                              >HP's other than Jesus, which in fact he did not.

                              There is an idea I have which has not been expressed on this list but
                              appears in my 1999 article that will at least explain why I wrote the
                              sentence the way I did.
                              It is my opinion that the author of Hebrews is none other than Luke.
                              The following factors, not inclusive, suggest there is a relationship
                              between the Gospel of Luke and the Epistle to the Hebrews:
                              1) Theophilus, the High Priest, is the addressee of Luke's Gospel; 2) Luke
                              does not condemn the animal sacrificial system; 3) there is no theology of
                              the cross in the Gospel of Luke; 4) the community that received Hebrews were
                              Jewish Christians who believed in the Temple, High Priest and the Day of
                              Atonement and 5) the Epistle to the Hebrews has made Jesus the High Priest.
                              Twenty years later the audience that favorably received the Gospel has a
                              dilemma. They are twist and between the demands of Judaism and a desire to
                              be ardent followers of Christ.
                              The author of Hebrews has brilliantly rescued the orphans.
                              This is central to Hebrews. Only a person enamored by the Jewish High Priest
                              could equate Jesus Christ with the High Priest. However, it is not necessary
                              to identify Luke as the author of Hebrews to make the point that Lucan
                              theology with its focus on repentance, the High Priest and the Day of
                              Atonement is addressed to the High Priest. Nor is it necessary to establish
                              the link to show the 'step progression' method from the limited atonement
                              value in Judaism to the unlimited atonement value in Hebrews of Jesus Christ
                              as the High Priest. The doctrine of the theology of the cross provided no
                              comfort for the Jewish Christians who clung to the Levitical cult, the Day
                              of Atonement and the HP.

                              Jeffrey Gibson wrote:
                              The author of Hebrews attributes the atoning value of Jesus' death to
                              Jesus' faithful obedience as a son, not as a priest. It is because he
                              is an obedient son, who leaned obedience through what he suffered, that
                              he can function as a priest (i.e. be an intermediary between the God of
                              Israel and humans, and humans and the God of Israel) and as an HP -- one
                              who stands in the very presence of Israel's God and brings the people of
                              God into that presence.

                              Your interpretation is possible; however, the author of Hebrews introduces
                              the idea that Jesus is the HP and that Christ's death is a priestly act
                              before any discussion of faithful obedience. As I noted at the beginning,
                              the author of Hebrews includes other ideas acceptable to his audience so
                              that he can get them to accept the idea of Paul that Jesus died on the cross
                              for our sins. Furthermore your interpretation does not explain in the words
                              of Attridge "the way to which the motif is developed." My interpretation
                              does.

                              I think that "origin" in this instance is like the germ of an idea or the
                              seed of an idea. It is not necessary that every element of the original idea
                              be present in the idea as presented in Hebrews. I reinterate that the author
                              of Hebrews synthesizes the atonement beliefs of Judaism, Luke-Acts and
                              Pauline theology by providing that Jesus Christ is the new High Priest. Why
                              does the author of Hebrews equate Jesus Christ with the Jewish High Priest?
                              Because the recipients of the Epistle are Jewish followers of Jesus and
                              believe that the duties of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement and his
                              death have atoning value. They perhaps were disturbed by the implications of
                              Lucan and Pauline theology. They are comfortable with the theology of the
                              Epistle to the Hebrews because its inclusive approach using imagery drawn
                              chiefly from the Levitical cult and Day of Atonement meant that they are no
                              longer orphans.

                              Richard H. Anderson
                            • Mike Grondin
                              ... Hi Jeffery- The crucial question to my mind is When did the author of Hebrews think that the Son became HP? Heb 5:5 seems to suggest that it was at the
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                --- Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
                                > If the Son was a sacrifice, then who was the priest?
                                > Usually, it would be those who sacrificed the
                                > sacrifice, but this would be a bit odd, given that the
                                > Romans carried it out -- hardly perfect priests.
                                >
                                > Thus the necessity of having the Son offer himself,
                                > acting out both roles.

                                Hi Jeffery-

                                The crucial question to my mind is "When did the author of Hebrews
                                think that the Son became HP?" Heb 5:5 seems to suggest that it was
                                at the moment of the heavenly proclamation "You are my son...". If
                                this is so, and if the author believed that this proclamation came
                                prior to the death of Jesus, then the Son, who inhabited the body of
                                Jesus, would have been acting in the role of HP when he sacrificed
                                his own body. The acting out of both roles seemingly requires this
                                sort of active passivity.

                                Mike Grondin
                              • David C. Hindley
                                ... telling of the death of Eliazar? 4 Macc. 6:26ff reads: When he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to God and
                                Message 15 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                  Richard H. Anderson responded:

                                  >>What about the notion of "vicarious atonement" found in the 4 Maccabees
                                  telling of the death of Eliazar? 4 Macc. 6:26ff reads: "When he was now
                                  burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to God
                                  and said, 'You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, I am
                                  dying in burning torments for the sake of the law. Be merciful to your
                                  people, and let our punishment suffice for them. Make my blood their
                                  purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs.'"<<

                                  I kind of got the idea that he considers himself a kind of sin offering, the
                                  fatless carcass of which is burnt outside the camp, or maybe a burnt
                                  offering to atone for unintentional sins, although this would be burnt on
                                  the alter. Still, there is no blood sprinkled about the alter, curtain,
                                  etc., (perhaps some sort of bloody torture was assumed to have occurred in
                                  the temple itself) but it seems to be the general idea.

                                  Respectfully,

                                  Dave Hindley
                                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                                • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                  Mike Grondin wrote:
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                    Mike Grondin wrote:

                                    <The crucial question to my mind is "When did the
                                    author of Hebrews think that the Son became HP?" Heb
                                    5:5 seems to suggest that it was at the moment of the
                                    heavenly proclamation "You are my son...". If this is
                                    so, and if the author believed that this proclamation
                                    came prior to the death of Jesus, then the Son, who
                                    inhabited the body of Jesus, would have been acting in
                                    the role of HP when he sacrificed his own body. The
                                    acting out of both roles seemingly requires this
                                    sort of active passivity.>

                                    Was there a tradition of calling the High Priest the
                                    "Son of God"? Or is this a blending of the Royal and
                                    Priestly Messiahs?

                                    Jeffery Hodges

                                    =====
                                    Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
                                    Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                                    447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                                    Yangsandong 411
                                    South Korea

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                                  • Frank McCoy
                                    ... In terms of first half of the first century CE Judaism, I am aware of two cases where a High Priest is conceived to be a Son of God. The first case is
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                      --- Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...>

                                      > Was there a tradition of calling the High Priest the
                                      > "Son of God"? Or is this a blending of the Royal and
                                      > Priestly Messiahs?


                                      In terms of first half of the first century CE
                                      Judaism, I am aware of two cases where a High Priest
                                      is conceived to be a Son of God.

                                      The first case is found in the Messianic Rule (1QSa =
                                      1Q28a). Here (II, 10-15), it is stated, "When God
                                      engenders (the Priest-) Messiah, he shall come with
                                      the them [at] the head of the whole congregation of
                                      Israel with all [his brethren, the sons] of Aaron the
                                      Priests,...". Here, we are dealing with an awaited
                                      High Priestly Messiah. Since he will be engendered by
                                      God, there is a meaningful sense in which he is a Son
                                      of God (Note: As respects the word translated as
                                      "engenders", the translator, Geza Vermes, states,
                                      "This reading (*yalid*), which has been queried by
                                      many, including myself, seems to be comfirmed by
                                      computer image enhancement.").

                                      The second case is found in Fuga (108-109), where
                                      Philo states, "We say, then, that the High Priest is
                                      not a man, but a Divine Word and immune from all
                                      unrighteousness whether intentional or
                                      unintentional...because, methinks, he is the child of
                                      parents incorruptible and wholly free from stain, his
                                      father being God, who is likewise Father of all, and
                                      his mother Wisdom, through whom the universe came into
                                      existence,...". Here, since the High Priest, the
                                      Word, has God as his Father, there is a meaningful
                                      sense in which he is a Son of God.

                                      Frank McCoy
                                      1809 N. English Apt. 15
                                      Maplewood, MN USA 55109


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                                    • Richard H. Anderson
                                      Dave Hindley wrote in commenting upon 4 Macc. 6:26ff: Still, there is no blood sprinkled about the alter, curtain, etc., (perhaps some sort of bloody torture
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                        Dave Hindley wrote in commenting upon 4 Macc. 6:26ff:
                                        Still, there is no blood sprinkled about the alter, curtain,
                                        etc., (perhaps some sort of bloody torture was assumed to have occurred in
                                        the temple itself) but it seems to be the general idea.

                                        Are you suggesting that an atoning death has to be on or about the alter or
                                        in the temple
                                        and/or that blood has to be sprinkled?

                                        Richard H. Anderson
                                      • Bob Schacht
                                        ... Richard, Since your original point, if I remember correctly, is that the doctrine of atonement has its roots in Jewish theology and practice, and since the
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                          At 10:47 PM 11/17/2003 -0500, you wrote:

                                          >Dave Hindley wrote in commenting upon 4 Macc. 6:26ff:
                                          >Still, there is no blood sprinkled about the alter, curtain,
                                          >etc., (perhaps some sort of bloody torture was assumed to have occurred in
                                          >the temple itself) but it seems to be the general idea.
                                          >
                                          >Are you suggesting that an atoning death has to be on or about the alter or
                                          >in the temple
                                          >and/or that blood has to be sprinkled?
                                          >
                                          >Richard H. Anderson

                                          Richard,
                                          Since your original point, if I remember correctly, is that the doctrine of
                                          atonement has its roots in Jewish theology and practice, and since the
                                          original context of atonement in Jewish ritual included a blood sacrifice
                                          on an altar, the connection is reasonable. Would your point would be that
                                          the idea of atonement *evolved* such that blood sprinkled on an altar was
                                          no longer necessary? If so, at what point did this separation occur?

                                          Besides, Christian theology was not an airtight argument like a theorem of
                                          Aquinas; rather it was often loosely suggestive, and an important part of
                                          that for present purposes was the idea of Jesus as sacrificial lamb. Jewish
                                          ritual was often rather earthy, so I think blood would have been expected--
                                          and was supplied in John 19:34, wasn't it? Everything gets allegorized--
                                          the cross becomes the altar, and the blood for it is supplied by the
                                          soldier's spear in John 19:34, and by the passion of Jesus' sweat in Luke
                                          22:44.

                                          There's also the interesting case of Luke 13:1, by way of blood sacrifices.
                                          I'm not suggesting that this was a fundamental part of Jewish theology, but
                                          rather that it provided "food for thought," or whatever the appropriate
                                          Jewish idiom would be.

                                          Bob
                                          Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                                          Northern Arizona University
                                          Flagstaff, AZ

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • taino_leon
                                          I am one of he lay lurkers around here. I d like to thank everyone who has been discussing the Hebrews/High Priest/Atonement complex. I ve been enjoying the
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
                                            I am one of he lay lurkers around here. I'd like to thank everyone
                                            who has been discussing the Hebrews/High Priest/Atonement complex.
                                            I've been enjoying the discourse tremendously.

                                            I have what I hope is not too silly a question. I understand why the
                                            letter was in all probability not written by Paul and I smiled when
                                            Mr. Anderson recently suggested that it might have been the author of
                                            Luke/Acts himself who wrote it. I somewhere read Barnabbas cited as
                                            the possible writer but I don't remember why. Clement? My question
                                            has to do with the provenance of the Letter to the Hebrews. How much
                                            do we know about it? I'd appreciate a synopsis and maybe some reading
                                            suggestions.

                                            peace

                                            รณ
                                          • Richard H. Anderson
                                            My question has to do with the provenance of the Letter to the Hebrews. How much do we know about it? I d appreciate a synopsis and maybe some reading
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Nov 18, 2003
                                              My question
                                              has to do with the provenance of the Letter to the Hebrews. How much
                                              do we know about it? I'd appreciate a synopsis and maybe some reading
                                              suggestions.

                                              The scholarship is all ovewr the broad on such questions as to who are the
                                              recipients and the purpose of the writing. My proposal provides the best
                                              explanation on the audience and purpose of Hebrews.

                                              I suggest Peter Kirby's excellent internet site on Early Christian Writings:
                                              http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/hebrews.html

                                              Richard H. Anderson
                                            • Richard H. Anderson
                                              Bob Schacht, greetings: ... atonement has its roots in Jewish theology and practice, and since the original context of atonement in Jewish ritual included a
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Nov 18, 2003
                                                Bob Schacht, greetings:

                                                At 10:47 PM 11/17/2003 -0500, RHA wrote:

                                                >>Dave Hindley wrote in commenting upon 4 Macc. 6:26ff:
                                                >Still, there is no blood sprinkled about the alter, curtain,
                                                >etc., (perhaps some sort of bloody torture was assumed to have occurred in
                                                >the temple itself) but it seems to be the general idea.>>
                                                >
                                                >Are you suggesting that an atoning death has to be on or about the alter or
                                                >in the temple
                                                >and/or that blood has to be sprinkled?
                                                >

                                                Bob wrote:
                                                >Since your original point, if I remember correctly, is that the doctrine of
                                                atonement has its roots in Jewish theology and practice, and since the
                                                original context of atonement in Jewish ritual included a blood sacrifice
                                                on an altar, the connection is reasonable. Would your point would be that
                                                the idea of atonement *evolved* such that blood sprinkled on an altar was
                                                no longer necessary? If so, at what point did this separation occur?

                                                Besides, Christian theology was not an airtight argument like a theorem of
                                                Aquinas; rather it was often loosely suggestive, and an important part of
                                                that for present purposes was the idea of Jesus as sacrificial lamb. Jewish
                                                ritual was often rather earthy, so I think blood would have been expected--
                                                and was supplied in John 19:34, wasn't it? Everything gets allegorized--
                                                the cross becomes the altar, and the blood for it is supplied by the
                                                soldier's spear in John 19:34, and by the passion of Jesus' sweat in Luke
                                                22:44.>


                                                Your response to the question I asked David is very helpful because you have
                                                put into words better than I did a concept that I had mentioned. The fact
                                                that all of the elements of the original idea are not in the developed idea
                                                does not preclude the origin I proposed. You are correct under my view
                                                Christian theology was often loosely suggestive using your words and that
                                                they developed over time. However the development is not necessarily a
                                                straight line from the OT of Numbers to Luke, Paul then Hebrews. You
                                                indicate that in Luke the blood is supplied in the passion by Jesus' sweat.
                                                As I noted earlier I accept the conclusions of Bart Ehrman that verses {Lk
                                                22:19b-20} were added by second century scribes. I also accept Ehrman's
                                                argument with respect to Lk. 23:44. Later scribes added the blood to make
                                                Luke conform because the blood would have been expected. But I argue that
                                                Luke has no theology of the cross because he is writing to Theophilus, the
                                                HP. Did it exist and Luke ignored it or was it not yet developed? I argue
                                                that it was not yet developed nor was need to develop as no exclusions had
                                                yet occurred.

                                                Bob ask: If so, at what point did this separation occur?
                                                After the publication of Luke's Gospel. Paul does not use "lamb of God" but
                                                does retain blood imagery. John, 1Pe 1:19 and Rev 12:11 have the "lamb of
                                                God" imagery. If you using separation in the sense of a split, then Esler
                                                states: "It is indeed, very difficult to imagine how a theory of atoning
                                                death of Jesus, already present in Paul and Mark and, indeed, in pre-Pauline
                                                and pre-Marcan traditions, could have arisen among Jews who preserved close
                                                links with the sacrificial cult." Later Esler opines that the exclusion of
                                                Greek-speaking Christians from the temple "may have led them actually to
                                                forsake attendance at temple services and even to develop a theology which
                                                attributed to Jesus, rather than the sacrificial cult, the central role in
                                                forgiveness of sin." Thus, Esler has cogently shown how the theology of the
                                                cross may have developed out of acts of exclusions directed against
                                                Greek-speaking Christians.
                                                I agree that Jewish ritual rather earthy, and blood would have been
                                                expected. This imagery is retained in the Epistle to Hebrews.

                                                Richard H. Anderson
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