>>William R. Herzog II, 'Jesus, Justice and the Reign
of God', includes a superb demonstration of
honor-shame as an interpretative tool, with
illuminating results. However, in his treatment of
the anointing (Lk. 7.36-50) I fear the tool runs away
with the interpretation. To lean heavily on a negative
honour challenge that denies Jesus opportunity to wash
his unmentioned hands, which causes him to counter
challenge by contaminating unspecified food, becomes a
strained interpretation of a pericope that lays heavy
emphasis on feet - mentioned seven times.<<
Ernie, I�m not following. As I understand Herzog, the
argument hinges on Jesus being denied all the rituals
of courtesy: (1) footwashing, (2) kiss of peace, (3)
annointing of the head as a distinguished guest, and
>>This emphatic stress on feet even admits the
speculation that hands at table were, in fact, given a
token washing; but the real problem of dusty feet,
away from table, was neglected.<<
I don't follow.
>>Add to that the fact that Jesus is subsequently
challenged (Lukan order) because his disciples neglect
to wash their hands before eating - a challenge that
presupposes facilities were available on that occasion
- and Herzog's exegesis looks suspect.<<
That Jesus and the disciples didn't practice
handwashing anyway is irrelvant to the fact that being
denied the offer is rude; a hostile honor challenge.
Of course, the point of the narrative is that Jesus
counter-challenges by reclining at the table anyway.
The woman compensates for at least some of the
courtesies denied -- (1) footwashing (7:44), "kiss of
peace" to feet (7:45), "annointing of head" to feet
(7:46), though not of course handwashing since that
would undermine the whole point of Jesus' riposte. I
can't imagine Simon going out of his way to insult
Jesus by denying him three but offering one courtesy
-- that last becomes empty at this point.
>>Am I missing something?<<
I don't know. Am I misunderstanding you?
Loren Rosson III
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