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RE: [XTalk] High Priest

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  • 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 1 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


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    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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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