Re: [XTalk] News of the "Passion"
- From: "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
The text of Matthew uses the expression PAS TO LAOS (the whole people) in
this connection; a few verses previously this same group is described merely
as TO OXLOS (the crowd). But where do these people come from? In 27:1 its is
"hOI ARCHIEREIS KAI hOI PRESBUTEROI TOU LAOU" (the priests and the elders of
the people) who put Jesus in chains and bring him before Pilate. Now at
27:15 a crowd is said to have gathered in front of Pilate's residence. These
would presumably include the priests and elders of the people perhaps joined
by some of their followers. The text is a not specific on this point, but in
any event "all the people" at 27:25 cannot be understood otherwise than
"everyone present." The author cannot have intended it to refer to all Jewry
and all future generations as it has unfortunately been interpreted in the
past. He speaks only of the particular group gathered in front of Pilate's
residence, consisting of the priests, the elders and their supporters, the
Temple establishment one might call them. These are the very people that
Paul was trying to dislodge with the help of Caesar's Court and I do
consider that their calling guilt upon their own heads and those of their
children, should be viewed in terms of the polemics c. 60 AD. After the
Temple's destruction Christians would not have had a motive to accuse the
elders, the high priests and their followers of a crime. But such
accusations make perfect sense in the context of a trial in which charges
are being pressed against Paul by this very establishment. The only problem
was that the people responsible for getting Jesus put to death were already
dead by then, so Matthew inserted a sentence whereby they helpfully passed
their own guilt onto the succeeding generation, the one in control of the
temple at the time of Paul's trial. After the trial the Christians (who
became a proscribed religion as a result of the verdict rendred in this
trial) were subject to open persecution and their best hope for survival was
to try to merge in with the rest of Jewry, who still enjoyed the privileges
of a recognized religion. This strategy worked to a degree at least until
the expulsion of the Christians from Jewish synagogues later in the first
century. Matthew's description of events would have been counterproductive
to this strategy of self-preservation, had it originated at a subsequent
>>--- Jan Sammer wrote:
>> The text does not refer to all future generations of Jews, as the
>> critics seem to assume; it refers to the the children of Caiaphas
>> and his fellow members of the Sanhedrin...
>Hmm. My bible says that "_All the people_ answered and said..."
>And this comes immediately after Pilate washes his hands in front
>of the crowd, saying (obviously to them - not just to the priests
>and elders) "see to it yourselves". Sorry, but your revisionism -
>unlike Pilate - won't wash, Jan.
- [Robert Davis]
> >John's use of the term "Jew" as one (or a[Bob Schacht]
> >group) opposed to Christ
> >because they are too much a part of "the world."
> >This sort of "opposition
> >language" simply exists in the texts themselves,
> >and no amount of
> >rationalizing will make it go away.
> But it is also important not to read too much intoFor John's gospel I have found Bruce Malina & Dick
> the text... Was John really
> referring to all those whom
> we would now call Jews? Or was he referring, at
> least some of the time, to
> "Judeans" (as opposed to Galileans)?
Rohrbaugh's social science commentary (which I've
mentioned on this list before) to be a very helpful
tool. It explores the idea of the Johannine community
as an ostracized or marginalized "anti-society",
hostile to the Judean world at large. Deals with the
nature of anti-language, and what terms like "this
world", "eating Jesus", "abiding in him", etc mean.
Loren Rosson III
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Finance: Get your refund fast by filing online.
- --- Jan Sammer wrote:
> ... "all the people" at 27:25 cannot be understood otherwise thanAgreed.
> "everyone present." The author cannot have intended it to refer to
> all Jewry and all future generations as it has unfortunately been
> interpreted in the past.
> He speaks only of the particular group gathered in front ofI'm not sure what counts as a "supporter", but in any case there's
> Pilate's residence, consisting of the priests, the elders and
> their supporters, the Temple establishment one might call them.
no indication in the text that this crowd consisted solely or
primarily of such folks. Furthermore, the extent of Matthew's
broadly condemnatory attitude is revealed by another kind of
argument at 23:29-36, where he's addressing scribes and Pharisees
(if these also are Temple "supporters" in your view, then I guess
that word would include almost all Judaeans - thus making your
interpretation of the sentencing scene unfalsifiable because
uninterestingly tautological). There, he argues that _anyone_ who
persecutes Christians is calling down upon themselves "the guilt of
all the righteous blood shed on earth". So I don't think that the
author's condemnation was restricted to the Temple establishment,
much as your exclusive focus on one factor would have it so.