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Re: [XTalk] Honor-Shame and eisegesis

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  • Loren Rosson
    ... of God , includes a superb demonstration of honor-shame as an interpretative tool, with illuminating results. However, in his treatment of the anointing
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 12, 2004
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      Ernie wrote:

      >>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
      (4) handwashing.

      [Ernie]
      >>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.

      [Ernie]
      >>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.

      [Ernie]
      >>Am I missing something?<<

      I don't know. Am I misunderstanding you?

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH
      rossoiii@...



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    • Linda & Ernest Pennells
      ... courtesies denied -- (1) foot washing (7:44), kiss of peace to feet (7:45), annointing of head to feet (7:46),
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 12, 2004
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        Loren Rosson III wrote:
        >The woman compensates for at least some of the
        courtesies denied -- (1) foot washing (7:44), "kiss of
        peace" to feet (7:45), "annointing of head" to feet
        (7:46),<

        Agreed.

        >though not of course handwashing since that
        would undermine the whole point of Jesus' riposte.<

        This is where I am missing the point.

        My problem is that Herzog's interpretation rests heavily upon details that
        are not actually stated in the text. Hand washing and related handling of
        food are pivotal to his analysis, and neither receive mention (negation or
        affirmation). By contrast "...feet ...feet ...feet ...feet ...feet ...feet
        ...feet ..." are present sevenfold, are not central to his exegesis, but
        do intensify the focus on the dramatic action of the anointing as presented
        by Luke.

        I question the supposition that silence on the subject of hand washing
        entitles us to conclude that such opportunity was overtly withheld, that
        this alleged withholding was intended as an insult, or that Jesus reversed
        the rebuff by contaminating a common dish. All of that detail is supplied
        by the methodology - not by the text.

        If honor-shame yielded an analysis focussing on feet, I would be readily
        convinced. As it is, I suspect that the honor-shame interpretative lens
        has hi-jacked the exegesis in this instance.
        I certainly don't dismiss the tool - but I do question this sample because
        it only works if you pad out the material to suit the methodology. That,
        in turn, prompts me to interrogate other applications.

        Regards,

        Ernie Pennells
        220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC V9A 7J4, Canada
        http://www.lukeacts.com
        Tel: 1-250-381 5674
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