Re: [XTalk] Re: Messiah in spite of himself
- Hi Richard,
Yes I am aware of 4Q521 (Mark Goodacre also mentioned it in a post some time
ago). When it was first discovered it created some interest, but the reading
you propose I think has largely been rejected. First, it is not clear who
performs these deeds (as I think Bockmuehl argued), second, given that this
text comes from Qumran one has to take into account that they elsewhere read
blindness in Isaiah as metaphorical, and that they envisage the blind and
lame still being present when messiah comes and are thus to be are excluded
from the messianic feast and the great battle (so presumably they are on the
right side but excluded probably because they are perceived in some way as
unclean). This suggests that the language of 4Q521 has more to do with the
topoi of Israel¹s restoration than an expectation of Messianic healings. In
other words, there is surely some later evidence that wonders were to attend
the Messiah¹s coming (e.g. a repetition of the manna miracle). But none that
I know of that he was to perform them, nor that they were to be of the kind
most commonly attributed to Jesus in the gospels.
Re Isa 61.1: several problems here. The MT makes no reference to physical
healing. The LXX mentions the blind, but it is not clear that physical
healing is in view. The blindness language of Isaiah is metaphorical (if Isa
6 is taken as the guide, cf. Israel¹s blindness and deafness throughout,
which is how the Targums and Qumran elsewhere seemed consistently to take
it. And given that various figures are anointed, it is not clear that the
writer is speaking of The Messiah.
What the gospels do with Isa 61 is as you note unusual, as is Luke¹s
combining additional features. Something inspired them to read this and
other texts in a strikingly unexpected way, but I have grave doubts it was
because they thought Jesus was the Messiah (or conversely that they thought
he was the Messiah because he fulfilled messianic wonder expectations).
Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
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- Dear Listers,
I had indicated two weeks ago that I would submit my own response to
responses of others re the thread "Messiah in spite of himself" in an
article which Jeffrey Gibson has offered to upload to the Xtalk articles
page. With the demand of other matters, it has taken far longer than I had
envisioned to complete the article. And with the holidays at hand, it
looks like I cannot get this article out until after the first of the year.
I plan in the article not only to deal with matters related to the "Messiah"
thread but also to incorporate in it issues related to the "4Q521" thread
and the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene" thread, which I had introduced.
Happy holidays to you all.