RE: [XTalk] early evidence of Passion responsibility
- There is another issue underlying the question of Passion responsibility:
collective responsibility and it rears its ugly head on this question and
also in the interpretation of the Parable of the Wicked Tenants since the
parable asked to whom will the vineyard be given.
Bock and those who interpret the Lucan version of the Parable of the Wicked
Tenants to include the Jewish people in the condemnation ignore not only the
explicit language that the chief priests knew that the parable had been told
'against them' but more importantly 'they feared the people.' However the
Matthean version of the parable supports such an interpretation since
Matthew has included "Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken
away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits thereof" [Matt
21:43] which Luke lacks. This Lucan interpretation, that the 'Wicked
Tenants' does not include the people, is strengthened by the unique point
about judgment made by Luke in 20:18 which is consistent with Luke's views
of individual responsibility. "Everyone who falls on that stone will be
broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls." [Matt. 21:44
is listed as a variant reading appearing in some of the later manuscripts.
Mark lacks this parallel.]
Luke has based this verse [20:18] on the 'stone of stumbling' passage of
Isa. 8:14 as a comment on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants. Bock indicated
there is no verbal allusion to Isaiah but that there is conceptual allusion
to Isaiah 8:14 and to Dan. 2:45. Combining two separate 'stone' passages to
provide a new understanding of the Song of the Vineyard is the type of
midrash one would expect of a first century rabbi.
The stone of stumbling passage is also quoted by Paul who has combined it
with the stone passage of Isa. 28:16 which concludes with a positive note:
'and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' [Rom. 9:32-33] Thus
Paul re-affirms that the decision to believe is an individual one as are the
The Lucan Parable of the Wicked Tenants is not directed against the people.
It is, like the original Song of the Vineyard, directed against those who
have accumulated excessive wealth at the expense of the peasants. These
individuals are identified by Luke as the chief priests and scribes, the
religious aristocracy of the Temple.
Matthew and Mark have re-introduced collective responsibility which the
Prophet Ezekiel had abandoned. [Ezek. 18:5-9. See also Lk. 14:24]. Matthew
and Mark's belief in collective responsibility is consistent with their
belief that the Gentiles replaced the Jews.
It is clear that Luke, who is clearly knowledgeable about what Ezekiel
taught, having alluded to him many times, was aware that there was no
concept of collective responsibility. [Ezk. 18:20] Matthew and Mark have
created such a concept.
Luke told Theophilus that Jesus died on a Roman cross in a crucifixion
carried out by Roman solders at the decision of the Roman Governor. Luke
also makes clear that the 'chief priests and rulers delivered him to be
condemned to death and crucified him.'[Lk. 22:20; see also Acts 4:10] Luke
sometimes indicates that Pilate and Herod had a prominent role [Acts 4:27]
and sometimes presents the 'Men of Israel' [Acts 2:23, 36] having a great
responsibility. In any event Luke has spread the blame. Peter tells the
sanhedrin that they acted in ignorance [Acts 3:17]. On the cross, Jesus
prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies as did Stephen [Lk. 23:34 and Acts
7:60]. More significantly Luke state that Jesus was 'delivered up according
to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God' and that Men united against
him, 'to do whatever thy hand and plan had predestined to take place' [Acts
2:23 and 4:28]. According to Luke, those involved in the crucifixion were
agents of God.
We need to address what the gospels say about collective responsibility if
we want to understand the early evidence of Passion responsibility.
Richard H. Anderson
- --- Rikk Watts wrote:
> (not sure I've been chattin' with Gordon .. do you mean Steve?)..No. What I was thinking of was a note I seem to recall wherein
Gordon dismissed the Jewish evidence with little explanation. That
you've chatted hardly at all with the main target of your argument I
find rather ironic - and somewhat frustrating as well. I would like
to have seen a more robust defense from Gordon than what he offered.
But you also have had several opportunities to respond to relevant
portions of Gordon's notes to others, and haven't done so.