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[XTalk] 4Q521 and Luke

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  • Brian Trafford
    ... Before we go to Luke 13, let s look at Jesus statement to JBap s disciples: Luke 7:22-23 So he replied to the messengers, Go back and report to John what
    Message 1 of 76 , Dec 3, 2003
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      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Richard H. Anderson"
      <randerson58@c...> wrote:
      > Brian Trafford wrote:
      > But I do not see Luke drawing his language from 4Q521, but, rather,
      > from previously known texts like Mark and Isaiah.

      Richard:
      >There is one more instances cited in 4Q521 that warrants discussion.
      >Luke 13:11-13 Jesus healing the woman who had been bent over double
      >for eighteen years.
      >Only Luke performs this miracle. In 4Q521 we read: He who liberates
      >the captives, restores sight to the blind,

      Before we go to Luke 13, let's look at Jesus' statement to JBap's
      disciples:

      Luke 7:22-23
      So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you
      have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those
      who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and
      the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does
      not fall away on account of me."

      Matthew 11:5-6
      Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The
      blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured,
      the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to
      the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of
      me."

      The agreement in the Greek is just as remarkable as it is in English
      translations.

      Luke 7:22-23
      kai apokritheis eipen autois poreuthentes apaggeilate iwannh a eidete
      kai hkousate tufloi anablepousin chwloi peripatousin leproi
      katharizontai kai kwfoi akouousin nekroi egeirontai ptwchoi
      euaggelizontai kai makarios estin os ean mh skandalisthh en emoi

      Matt 11:5-6
      kai apokritheis o Ihsous eipen autois poreuthentes apaggeilate iwannh
      a akouete kai blepete tufloi anablepousin kai chwloi peripatousin
      leproi katharizontai kai kwfoi akouousin kai nekroi egeirontai kai
      ptwchoi euaggelizontai kai makarios estin os ean mh skandalisthh en
      emoi

      We have no less than 27 verbatim word agreements in the above texts.
      Clearly Luke can be said to have taken his language from Matthew (or
      Q if you prefer the 2DH). From this, we certainly have no reason to
      argue that Luke took it from 4Q521, or even that he knew of it at all.

      Now for Luke 13:11-13
      "And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness
      caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten
      up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to
      her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness." And He laid His
      hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began
      glorifying God."

      This is generally seen as a Lucan reproduction of a miracle first
      found in Mark 5:25-33. Luke has little problem rewriting miracles
      and presenting them with his own language, as well as removing the
      parts that he would have found embarrassing (like Jesus seeming to
      not know who touched him).

      >straightens the b[ent]. Coincidence or dependence! Certainly not in
      >Isaiah or Mark.

      It is in Matthew.

      >This thread started because Rikk disputed my statement about the
      >signs of the Messian being performed by Jesus. Rikk E. Watts
      >wrote: "An interesting idea. On the other hand, I am not aware of
      >any explicit expectation of the Messiah performing Œmiracles¹
      >although in some sources there is the idea that signs and wonders
      >might attend his coming, though apparently not performed by him.
      >BUT I¹d be very interested if you have some documentation
      >of a messianic expectation along these lines."

      I believe Rikk argued that the Messiah was expected to usher in the
      Messianic Age, and when this happened, there would be no more
      sickness, suffering or death, and there would be a general
      resurrection of the dead. 4Q521 can certainly be read in such a
      light, and need not be considered to reflect an expectation of a
      miracle working Messiah.

      Your own understanding of 4Q521 is plausible, of course, but it looks
      to me like a back reading of the text in light of the Gospels, and
      probably did not reflect the expectations of the author himself.

      >You wrote: "Actually there was near universal expectation that the
      >Messianic Age would include a general resurrection of *all* of the
      >dead."
      >
      >Luke's statement in Lk. 14:14 is more accurate: 'the resurrection of
      >the righteous.'

      No, the expectation as given in Daniel 12:2 is that everyone would be
      resurrected, with the righteous living in the new and improved
      Israel, and the wicked suffering "everlasting shame". I grant that
      the latter can have a number of possible interpretations, but the
      fact would remain that everyone would be raised at the dawn of the
      Messianic Age, even if some did not avoid annihilation after.

      >Although we know what the Pharisees and Saduccees believed, we
      >have no indication what the masses believed.

      I do not think we can, or even need, to guess at what the masses
      believed. Luke was writing for an educated man who was a member of
      the elite, and as such would have been familiar with the Pharisees
      and the Sadducees, if not with all of their specific beliefs.

      >The 'marginal status of immortality and resurrection'in the belief
      >structure of first century Judaism is more accurate as stated by
      >Pheme Perkins, Resurrection: New Testament Witness and Contemporary
      >Reflection, (New York 1984), 62. See also H.C.C. Cavallin, Life
      >After Death: Paul's Argument for the Resurrection of
      >the Dead in 1 Cor. 15, (1974). The best that can be said is
      >whatever belief is expressed by 4Q521, it represents only the belief
      >of the community that created the writing.

      Of course, but this cuts both ways in your argument. You are arguing
      that Luke betrays a knowledge of 4Q521 based upon the statement he
      attributes to Jesus when he speaks to JBap's disciples. But we can
      already see that he got this from Matthew, which then requires us to
      ask if Matthew might have known of this text. Perhaps he did, but we
      do not have sufficient information to know this with any degree of
      confidence.

      Moreover, since 4Q521 represents the views of, at most, the Qumran
      community, we cannot know if this belief was known to a wider
      audience, and in this case, to Matthew.

      >It does not demonstrate the belief of the entire
      >society. This is no evidence to support such an assertion.

      I agree so far as 4Q521 is concerned, but I believe that Daniel 12:2
      did represent a much more widely known, and authoritative set of
      beliefs for 1st Century Jews.

      >You dispute my statement: "Luke envisions Jesus to be a Messiah but
      >modeled after Moses, Elijah and Elisha." You state that: Luke
      >specifically tells us that Jesus will be given the throne of David
      >(1:32-33), from whom he is descended. Likewise in Acts, Luke
      >confirms that Jesus is king sitting on David's throne (Acts 2:30).
      >
      >Did David raises anyone from the dead, heal a man full of leprosy,
      >heal the woman who had been bent over double for eighteen years;
      >heal the man with dropsy; or heal/restore the ear of the servant of
      >the High Priest? Are there any passages alluding to any act
      >performed by David or anything said by David. The role model is
      >Moses, Elijah and Elisha.

      The fact that Jesus did not fulfill the standard expectations of the
      Davidic Messiah is exactly what we are debating here, and unlike
      Rikk, I am not so certain that Jesus *did* see himself in such a
      light, at least in the beginning of his ministry. The belief that he
      *was* the Davidic Kingly Messiah may well have grown up toward the
      end, and this does explain why the Romans decided to kill him, but
      that would still not necessarily have reflected how Jesus viewed
      himself.

      The fact that Luke saw Jesus as the descendent and heir to David's
      throne is, on the other hand, indisputable, and his gospel and Acts
      are dedicated to demonstrating that his belief was correct.
      Moreover, as he directly connects John the Baptist to Elijah (in
      agreement with Mark, Matthew and John) is sufficient to tell us that
      he does not see Jesus as another Elijah. Jesus' miracles were like
      those of Elijah, but he is certainly greater than any of the prophets
      in Luke's eyes.

      >The central kingdom message was that the kingdom of Jesus was not of
      >this world.

      Even if this is true (and this falls outside the scope of the thread,
      so I do not want to pursue it too deeply at this point), this does
      not change the fact that Luke saw Jesus as the Davidic Messiah.

      >No to all three. Peter's vision of the messiah is premised upon the
      >use of violence.

      This requires us to accept the portrayal of Peter in Luke as being
      historical. This is problematic, to say the least, and leads to
      assuming our conclusion first, before evaluating the evidence in
      support of the conclusion.

      >Furthermore you misconstrue the purpose of any reference to David.
      >Only a Jew would listen to an argument based on the fulfillment of
      >the promises to David through Jesus the Messiah.

      I disagree. The Jews were known as an ancient people with a long and
      noble history, especially with the history of David and Solomon.
      Romans deeply respected such things, and this is a large part of why
      Luke tries to connect Jesus so deeply to his Jewish roots (see the
      infancy narrative in particular, where Luke goes to great lengths to
      show Jesus' family as righteous and observant Jews who carefully
      follow Jewish law. He does this even when he does not get all of his
      details of that observance quite right).

      >The Jewish expectation for a coming Davidic King was particularly
      >prominent among Palestinian Jews; it was less so among
      > Jews in the Diaspora.

      What evidence do you have for this?

      >Luke does not create the impression that Jesus will be like any
      >earthly king or that that he will lead an army as did King David. He
      >rides a donkey and the people do not shout Hosanna.

      Like Paul and the Gospel writers, Luke is working, as best as he can,
      with what he's got. And what he has is a dead man who his followers
      claim is not dead, and on this basis God has proven that Jesus is the
      Messiah. Each evangelist, and Paul, works this basic theme in his
      own way, but none of them would, or could, hope to present Jesus as a
      military/political figure like King David simply because this is not
      what Jesus was like, ever.

      >Rather Luke direct his audience to the examples of Elijah and Elisha
      >Lk 4:26-27 and in Lk 9:35 alluded to the LX version of Deuteronomy
      >18:15 "listen to him" and is part of Luke's claim that Jesus is "a
      >prophet like Moses." Neither Matthew nor Mark have this language or
      >includes these examples.

      Well, David was a prophet as well, so in this sense all prophets are
      a prophet like Moses. And as for connecting Jesus to Moses, Matthew
      goes to much greater lengths to do this than does Luke. But since
      Luke can be shown to be dependent upon Matthew, this similarity
      should not surprise us. This also means that we do not have to posit
      awareness of 4Q521 on Luke's part.

      >No the statement represents a thorough analysis of Mark by Roger
      >David Aus, The Wicked Tenants and Gethsemane (Atlanta 1996), 112.

      Unfortunately, without some citations from Aus, it is difficult to
      know the extent of the argument. I am not saying that you have
      misunderstood his work, but I tend to shy away from arguments based
      on general summations without quotes.

      Peace,

      Brian Trafford
      Calgary, AB, Canada
    • Ted Weeden
      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
      Message 76 of 76 , Dec 18, 2003
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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.

        Ted Weeden
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