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Jesus as High Priest (RE: [XTalk] Comments from a new member)

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
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      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 2 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
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        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 3 of 25 , Nov 13, 2003
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          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 4 of 25 , Nov 14, 2003
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            [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 5 of 25 , Nov 15, 2003
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              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 6 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                --- 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 7 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                  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 8 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                    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 9 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                      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 10 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                        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 11 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                          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 12 of 25 , Nov 16, 2003
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                            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 13 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                              --- 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 14 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                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 15 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                  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 16 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                    --- 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 17 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                      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 18 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                        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 19 of 25 , Nov 17, 2003
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                                          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 20 of 25 , Nov 18, 2003
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                                            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 21 of 25 , Nov 18, 2003
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                                              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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