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RE: [XTalk] Intertestamental Judaisms and their messiahs

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  • Davis, Robert C.
    Bob: On the point of the Messiah being Davidic, I would have to disagree with your conclusion that the entire NT is an oblique repudiation of the Davidic
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2003
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      Bob:

      On the point of the Messiah being Davidic, I would have to disagree with your conclusion that the entire NT is an oblique repudiation of the Davidic requirement. Instead, I would wish to suggest that it is basically affirmed in some cases, while held to be irrelevant in others.

      The difference is with the audiences, no so much the authors. As you and many have pointed out over the past few postings, Jews (whether Palestinian or Hellenistic-based) would have known and accepted the Davidic criteria for the Messiah, which is why such tortured ancestries are included in two of the gospels. Hellenistic Gentiles, on the other hand, could not have cared less--but this led not to a "repudiation" of the original idea as much as it did a shelving of it in certain circumstances. Later on, of course, (probably by the time of Luke), this was perhaps as much a holdover become tradition as anything else (recall that I date Luke to the second century!!!), but still it had survived the overwhelming "Gentilizing" of the movement as it crossed into a new century, which has to say something about its staying power among earlier Jewish-Christians.

      The larger point, of course, is whether Jesus ascribed to himself this Davidic standing. Here I continue to maintain that it was not necessary for him to do so in order to articulate the message most on his mind. And indeed, if I am correct in suggesting that it was the message, rather than any personal form of glory, that was on Jesus' mind, then his indulging in any such Davidic claims would have been a large tactical mistake.

      Still, we must also be honest and admit that we each are coming to whatever may be our conclusions on the basis of particular assumptions which are both prior and not always clear to our colleagues--but which are crucial for our own arguments to work out satisfactorily. And there is always the possibility that my (or your) assumptions could be wrong...

      But as they say, "you pay your money and you take your choice..." At least until more definitive evidence becomes available.

      All the best,

      Robert Davis





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