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Re: [XTalk] Seventy(-two) what?

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... One way would be to begin by examining the history of the Sanhedrin. I recommend to you the article on the sanhedrin in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, which
    Message 1 of 16 , May 2, 2004
      At 09:29 PM 5/2/2004 -0700, you wrote:

      >As I read the NT, I see (or imagine) unopened doors. I recently flagged
      >one marked "JBap the priest." [22 Apr. 15782]. A few months ago I mentioned
      >another you might label, "Herodias - Royal star of socio-political the
      >firmament in Galilee." [1 Feb. 14640]. I dream about the days when I was
      >an inadequate card player, and play out a fantasy exegetical hand with
      >several Ace of Spades. My next one is, "Seventy - the rival Sanhedrin."
      >So let me start the week on a light hearted note, and play out this illegal
      >hand, even if it gets me expelled from the Bridge Club.
      >
      >Admittedly, the socio-political backdrop of the Herodias affair, and
      >potential implications of JBap being a priest, do offer more varieties of
      >play in the exegetical game than a rival Sanhedrin, except that - if
      >perchance this has the slightest historical grounds - it must qualify as the
      >most blatantly provocative political act of the Galilean period. It rivals
      >denouncing the Sanhedrin as wicked vintners. If unhistorical, it sure
      >makes potent political fiction.
      >
      >How do you research an historical proposition like that, anyway?

      One way would be to begin by examining the history of the Sanhedrin. I
      recommend to you the article on the sanhedrin in the Anchor Bible
      Dictionary, which includes the following introduction:

      "...the Greek political terminology adopted as words for Jewish governing
      bodies, especially ....synedria and synedrion (all translated "council" in
      RSV) is general and imprecisely used. Most theories of the sanhedrin have
      been developed with seriously flawed methods or assumptions."

      This probably means that you can find support for your theories about the
      sanhedrin, but that it is likely that your support will be flawed. This
      article includes almost a full page on Josephus.

      >... On the other hand,
      >Jewish literature from antiquity includes a whole string of references to
      >seventy(-two) as the number for ruling councils and representative bodies.
      >Josephus even manages a parallel of sorts with Luke; mentioning groups of
      >twelve and seventy in his account of conflict with Varus (Life 11).

      Could you spell this out a bit more? Life 11 does not refer to a sanhedrin,
      but to 70 "principal men". Josephus does refer to a sanhedrin in Jerusalem
      in Life 12, which on the surface of it would date to ca. 66 C.E.

      In any case, I suggest you do a bit more research before going further with
      this. Besides the Anchor Bible Dictionary article, I'd suggest consulting
      the Encyclopedia Judaica.

      Bob
      Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
      Northern Arizona University
      Flagstaff, AZ

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... Umm, just one point. Can the incident in the Temple -- which is what I presume you are referring to when you speak of Jesus demonstrating against the
      Message 2 of 16 , May 3, 2004
        Linda & Ernest Pennells wrote:

        >
        > Having rescued a gathering of five thousand in the wilderness from the
        > ignominy of a failed insurrectionist rally, turning it into a peaceful
        > celebration of YHWH's provision of manna for his starving people, Jesus
        > determines to march on Jerusalem - not against Rome. He appoints his own
        > ruling council; tells them to broadcast the arrival of the KofG; speaks
        > constantly about riches and poverty; is welcomed at Jerusalem by a cheering
        > crowd who really want an insurrectionist figurehead (Barabbas will do);
        > demonstrates against temple tax (not against taxes to Caesar); and
        > denounces wicked vintners (the Sanhedrin), instead of Rome.
        >

        Umm, just one point. Can the incident in the Temple -- which is what I presume
        you are referring to when you speak of Jesus demonstrating against the temple tax
        -- really be seen as a demonstration against the Temple Tax, the text that all
        male Jews were bound to pay for the maintenance of the Temple? Is the
        collection/payment of this tax really what Luke presumes is going on when Jesus
        throws out the money changes and the animal sellers?

        And what in Luke indicates that the 5000 Jesus fed were gathered for an
        insurrectionist rally?

        Yours,

        Jeffrey

        --

        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

        1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
        Chicago, IL 60626

        jgibson000@...
      • Loren Rosson
        ... The variations in the lists are hardly significant. On this point I m with John Meier: If one considers that this list of twelve men (many of whom were
        Message 3 of 16 , May 3, 2004
          Ernie wrote:

          > Maybe twelve and seventy were rival traditions.
          > Perhaps the naming of
          > twelve was designed to bolster that version and draw
          > attention away from a
          > controversial challenge to the religious
          > establishment. The Evangelists are
          > not entirely consistent regarding who the twelve
          > actually were.

          The variations in the lists are hardly significant. On
          this point I'm with John Meier: "If one considers that
          this list of twelve men (many of whom were otherwise
          unknown individuals) was handed down orally during the
          first and possibly second Christian generations, the
          surprising fact is that only one name varies in all
          the four lists: Thaddeus versus Jude of James."
          (Marginal Jew, Vol III, p 131) I suspect that The
          Twelve gradually diminished in importance (and thus
          precision) after Jesus died and the apocalypse failed
          to come. This number was so important for Jesus
          because it embodied his urgent hopes for restoration
          and regathering.

          And I take Mt 19:28/Lk 22:28-30 as completely
          reliable, where the betrayed savior embarassingly
          promises a heavenly throne to Judas Iscariot. Luke
          censored the explicit reference to "twelve" thrones,
          since in his gospel Jesus' promise follows right on
          the heels of Judas' betrayal (Lk 22:3-6), while in
          Matthew it occurs outside any reference to Judas.

          Loren Rosson III
          Nashua NH
          rossoiii@...




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        • Bob MacDonald
          Jeffrey asked: can the incident in the temple really be seen as a demonstration against the Temple Tax? Mary Coloe takes this as given in her book, God
          Message 4 of 16 , May 3, 2004
            Jeffrey asked: can the incident in the temple really be
            seen as a demonstration against the Temple Tax?

            Mary Coloe takes this as given in her book, 'God Dwells with
            us, Temple Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel'. She bases her
            comments in this area (p 72) on Neusner, Money Changers in
            the Temple: The Mishnah's Explanation." NTS 35 (1989b)
            287-90

            This incident represents for her the destruction of the
            cultic practice as representing the meeting place between
            God and us. The temple is replaced by Jesus' body.

            Not a bad lead by Ernie.

            Bob

            Bob MacDonald
            http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
            Victoria, B.C., Canada
          • Linda & Ernest Pennells
            [Robert M. Schacht] ... methods or assumptions.
            Message 5 of 16 , May 3, 2004
              [Robert M. Schacht]
              >Most theories of the Sanhedrin have been developed with seriously flawed
              methods or assumptions.<

              Thanks Bob, I will check out the articles you mention. I have IDB on my
              own shelf. From the article in the IDB Supp. volume, Mantel considered
              Hellenistic and tannaitic sources, and came down firmly in favour of both a
              political and a religious authority, thereby resolving a perceived conflict
              of information. I gather from your comment that view may be superseded:
              more reading to do!

              [Robert M. Schacht]
              >Could you spell this out a bit more? Life 11 does not refer to a sanhedrin,
              but to 70 "principal men<
              Twelve and seventy(-two) each have close connections with governance,
              broadly defined, which is the essential link I am trying to explore. Maybe
              I should soft peddle on the title, Sanhedrin, and simply stick with the
              numbers. Sanhedrin is GTrad terminology that may have lured me into
              unnecessary specifics.
              My sources include:
              Exodus 24.1,9: Seventy elders accompanied Moses on Mount Sinai.
              Num 11.16, 24f: Seventy elders appointed by Moses.
              War 2.18.6 (482); Life 2 (56): Seventy elders of the council at Batenaea.
              War 2.20.5(570); Life 14.(79): Josephus appointed seventy elders in
              Galilee.
              War 4.5.4 (336): The Zealots set up a tribunal of seventy in Jerusalem.
              Ant. 12.2.5 (49-57): The number of translators of LXX.
              mSanh 1.5; 1.6; 2.4: Seventy-one members of the Great Sanhedrin.
              mShabu 2.2: Seventy-one members of the Great Sanhedrin.
              tSuk 4.6: Seventy-one elders of the Council of Alexandria.
              Boule: Seventy-one members of the Great Senate.
              M.Hag 2.2: Seventy-one members of the Great Senate.
              mZeb 1.3: Seventy-two elders of the academy of Yavneh.
              mYad 3.5; 4.2: Seventy-two elders of the academy of Yavneh.
              Zebahim 1.3: A council of seventy-two.
              Yadaim 3.5; 4.2: A council of seventy-two.
              Many of these references are rabbinic, but the Moses connections place the
              magic number early. I find the narrative parallels between the synoptics
              and the Sinai sequence compelling. That would appear to be the source drawn
              upon by the Evangelists, although Luke is the only one to replicate a group
              of seventy.
              The point becomes whether or not seventy is a link with the Sanhedrin
              contemporary with Jesus, or Luke. A late date for Luke might get me off
              this hook - but I'm not really tempted.

              [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
              >Is the collection/payment of this tax really what Luke presumes is going on
              when Jesus throws out the money changes and the animal sellers?<

              I'm still working on this, but that is the way I would like to see it. It
              offers the perfect foil to Caesar's denarius. It also complements the
              condemnation of wicked vintners. Jesus has preached frequently about the
              conflict between mammon and KofG. He enters the most ostentatious building
              complex he is ever likely to have set foot in, denounces the managers as
              robbers, and scatters piles of revenue they are extorting from every Jew -
              rich or poor - in the name of devotion to YHWH. It fits rather nicely - No?

              [Bob MacDonald]
              >Jeffrey asked: can the incident in the temple really be seen as a
              demonstration against the Temple Tax? Mary Coloe takes this as given in her
              book, 'God Dwells with us, Temple Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel'.<

              Thanks Bob - us Victoria residents should stick together!

              [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
              >And what in Luke indicates that the 5000 Jesus fed were gathered for an
              insurrectionist rally?<

              Well, Antipas was busy raising an army to ward off an irate Aretas. He had
              silenced the dissident voice of JBap and was turning his attention to the
              Galilean rabbi who had appointed twelve lieutenants and sent them out to
              recruit for his own cause - a rival kingdom. Jesus withdrew from Antipas'
              territory to safer ground. Lots of men joined him. Maybe they just wanted
              to avoid the draft, and an unpopular battle against Aretas. However, the
              wilderness is renowned as a messianic rallying ground - Peter certainly got
              that message. But the twelve were slightly better at harvesting fish than
              gathering armies - they overlooked the fundamental logistical challenge of
              feeding the hoard. Rape and pillage might be more the style of Antipas's
              recruiting parties, but Jesus had peaceful priorities and sent the
              volunteers away before he retreated to Mt Hermon, where he was given his
              marching orders to go to the heart of the problem - Jerusalem.

              Convincing! Well, would you grant me interesting? It does read a bit
              like the Gospel According to Ernie.


              [Loren Rosson III]
              >The variations in the lists are hardly significant.<

              Point taken; but does this detract from the notion that twelve and
              seventy(-two) may have been rival traditions? Both are symbolically
              significant.


              Regards,

              Ernie Pennells
              220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
              http://www.lukeacts.com
              Tel: (250) 381 5674
            • nancy
              Hi Ernie, ... Perhaps there is an easier answer -- 12 divides into 72 evenly. Perhaps each of the 12 tribes originally were granted 6 representatives or
              Message 6 of 16 , May 3, 2004
                Hi Ernie,

                At 10:06 PM 5/3/2004, you wrote:
                >Point taken; but does this detract from the notion that twelve and
                >seventy(-two) may have been rival traditions? Both are symbolically
                >significant.

                Perhaps there is an easier answer -- 12 divides into 72 evenly.

                Perhaps each of the 12 tribes originally were granted 6 representatives or
                members on the councils. After all, the tribes weren't small if you read
                the numbers in Exodus.
                And, since Moses, & I assume Aaron, were already going -- perhaps they were
                2 representatives of the Levites -- and that's why he only needed 70 more,
                if you want to get into the nit-picks.

                Just my 2 cents -- but remember, the simplest answer is often the correct one.

                Nancy Jones
                Chicago


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David C. Hindley
                Ernie Pennells says, ... sent them out to recruit for his own cause - a rival kingdom. Jesus withdrew from Antipas territory to safer ground. Lots of men
                Message 7 of 16 , May 3, 2004
                  Ernie Pennells says,

                  >> ... Galilean rabbi [i.e., Jesus] who had appointed twelve lieutenants and
                  sent them out to recruit for his own cause - a rival kingdom. Jesus withdrew
                  from Antipas' territory to safer ground. Lots of men joined him. Maybe they
                  just wanted to avoid the draft, and an unpopular battle against Aretas.<<

                  I believe Antipas used both mercenary troops and recruited from among his
                  gentile subjects, as did all the Herodians. While many of their top generals
                  were Jews, I'm sure that the princes did not recruit them from the ranks of
                  those who would be attracted to Jesus's message. Of all the complaints
                  against Herod and his sons etc, I do not believe that pressing men into army
                  service against their will was one of them.

                  Respectfully,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                  ... Only if you ignore certain features of the text and read into it things that are not there. There is no evidence that in Luke -- or elsewhere for that
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 4, 2004
                    Linda & Ernest Pennells wrote:

                    > [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                    > >Is the collection/payment of this tax really what Luke presumes is going on
                    > when Jesus throws out the money changes and the animal sellers?<
                    >
                    > I'm still working on this, but that is the way I would like to see it. It
                    > offers the perfect foil to Caesar's denarius. It also complements the
                    > condemnation of wicked vintners. Jesus has preached frequently about the
                    > conflict between mammon and KofG. He enters the most ostentatious building
                    > complex he is ever likely to have set foot in, denounces the managers as
                    > robbers, and scatters piles of revenue they are extorting from every Jew -
                    > rich or poor - in the name of devotion to YHWH. It fits rather nicely - No?
                    >

                    Only if you ignore certain features of the text and read into it things that are
                    not there.

                    There is no evidence that in Luke -- or elsewhere for that matter that what the
                    money changers whom Jesus drives out of the Temple were up to was facilitating the
                    payment of the Temple Tax or that they were the people to whom the Temple tax was
                    paid. Their service was in the interest of allowing people to buy animals for
                    sacrifice in the currency that was accepted for such sales. There's even less
                    evidence that they were engaged in extortionary practice or that what Jesus was
                    objecting to was economic exploitation, let alone economic exploitation of those
                    who wanted to pay the Temple tax. As Borg, Wright, Watts, Barret and others
                    have argued, and as the juxtapositioning of this event by Luke with the account of
                    Jesus' lament over Jerusalem shows, Jesus' charge (a direct allusion to Jer. 7)
                    that the temple has been made into a SPHLAION LHSTWN is not a charge that it has
                    become a place where economic thievery is taking place. It is a charge that it
                    has become a stronghold of nationalism and a plank in the ideological platform of
                    those who ultimately sided with the things that "made for war" and not "for
                    peace".

                    And the condemnation of the "wicked vinters" does not center in economic
                    exploitation or the Temple tax, does it?

                    > [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                    > >And what in Luke indicates that the 5000 Jesus fed were gathered for an
                    > insurrectionist rally?<
                    >
                    > Well, Antipas was busy raising an army to ward off an irate Aretas. He had
                    > silenced the dissident voice of JBap and was turning his attention to the
                    > Galilean rabbi who had appointed twelve lieutenants and sent them out to
                    > recruit for his own cause - a rival kingdom. Jesus withdrew from Antipas'
                    > territory to safer ground. Lots of men joined him. Maybe they just wanted
                    > to avoid the draft, and an unpopular battle against Aretas. However, the
                    > wilderness is renowned as a messianic rallying ground - Peter certainly got
                    > that message. But the twelve were slightly better at harvesting fish than
                    > gathering armies - they overlooked the fundamental logistical challenge of
                    > feeding the hoard. Rape and pillage might be more the style of Antipas's
                    > recruiting parties, but Jesus had peaceful priorities and sent the
                    > volunteers away before he retreated to Mt Hermon, where he was given his
                    > marching orders to go to the heart of the problem - Jerusalem.
                    >
                    > Convincing! Well, would you grant me interesting? It does read a bit
                    > like the Gospel According to Ernie.

                    Interesting yes. Convincing -- at least on the level of what Luke says -- no. But
                    thanks for sharing your view of what historically underlies the account.

                    Jeffrey
                    --

                    Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                    1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                    Chicago, IL 60626

                    jgibson000@...
                  • Linda & Ernest Pennells
                    [Dave Hindley] ... gentile subjects, as did all the Herodians. While many of their top generals were Jews, I m sure that the princes did not recruit them from
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 4, 2004
                      [Dave Hindley]
                      >I believe Antipas used both mercenary troops and recruited from among his
                      gentile subjects, as did all the Herodians. While many of their top generals
                      were Jews, I'm sure that the princes did not recruit them from the ranks of
                      those who would be attracted to Jesus's message.<

                      Jesus sent the 5,000 away. Does that suggest they came because they were
                      interested in his message, avoiding a fight against Aretas, or keen to
                      oust Roman puppet rulers? Probably an assortment of all three. GJohn says
                      that assembly wanted to make Jesus king. Peter wasn't listening straight
                      either.

                      Josephus says Aretas and Antipas both raised armies for this scrap (Ant.
                      18.5.1 (113)). The implication is that their standing army was expanded,
                      which seems to me to reflect standard military practice at times of
                      conflict, through the ages. Recruitment often takes the form of coercion.
                      It isn't only professional soldiers who prepare for war. Antipas was
                      expecting an invasion.

                      Jews were exempted from service in the legions, but I nonetheless have a
                      problem with the notion that the only Jews in any army were Generals.

                      [Nancy Jones]
                      >Perhaps there is an easier answer -- 12 divides into 72 evenly ...<

                      Let me think about this one - is six a "significant" number?

                      [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                      >There is no evidence that in Luke-or elsewhere for that matter that what
                      the money changers whom Jesus drives out of the Temple were up to was
                      facilitating the payment of the Temple Tax. Their service was in the
                      interest of allowing people to buy animals for sacrifice in the currency
                      that was accepted for such sales.<

                      The Tyrian shekel was obligatory for the temple tax. Is there evidence from
                      second temple period that this coinage was required for other transactions?

                      [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                      >Jesus' charge (a direct allusion to Jer. 7) that the temple has been made
                      into a SPHLAION LHSTWN is not a charge that it has become a place where
                      economic thievery is taking place.<
                      Jer. 7: "deal fairly with one another, cease to oppress the alien, the
                      fatherless, and the widow ... you steal ... perjury." That reads as
                      economic exploitation, to me! I don't see any call for peacemakers in
                      Jer. 7. On the contrary: "What I did to Shiloh I shall do to this house
                      ... ... my anger and my fury will pour out on this place."

                      LHSTWN carries strong associations with banditry in current scholarship,
                      but that is not what Jer. 7 is about, and not what Jesus had on his mind,
                      as portrayed in the NT.

                      [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                      >And the condemnation of the "wicked vinters" does not center in economic
                      exploitation or the Temple tax, does it?<

                      I would have thought it does just that. In the parable, the wicked
                      vintners set out to secure the benefits of ownership for themselves, by
                      foul means.

                      [Jeffrey B. Gibson]
                      >It is a charge that it has become a stronghold of nationalism and a plank
                      in the ideological platform of those who ultimately sided with the things
                      that "made for war" and not "for peace".<

                      Eisegesis in defence of a particular dating of GTrad - ouch!!! (I wince in
                      anticipation of a painful counter-punch).


                      Regards,

                      Ernie Pennells
                      220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
                      http://www.lukeacts.com
                      Tel: (250) 381 5674
                    • David C. Hindley
                      ... interested in his message, avoiding a fight against Aretas, or keen to oust Roman puppet rulers? Probably an assortment of all three. GJohn says that
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 4, 2004
                        Ernest says:

                        >>Jesus sent the 5,000 away. Does that suggest they came because they were
                        interested in his message, avoiding a fight against Aretas, or keen to
                        oust Roman puppet rulers? Probably an assortment of all three. GJohn says
                        that assembly wanted to make Jesus king. Peter wasn't listening straight
                        either.<<

                        There is likely to be some rhetoric at work there. I tend to look at the
                        gospels as apologies for Christian origins more or less in the dress of a
                        bios. The 5,000 (or even 4,000) strongly suggests a military size unit, and
                        Luke's "groups of fifty" seems to strengthen this idea (although I am not
                        personally aware of a specific military organization of the day that used a
                        group of fifty).

                        To me, the gospel authors were reacting to charges that Jesus had raised and
                        was maintaining an army. That they do not flatly deny it suggests that they
                        considered a fact that such a number had flocked to him was irrefutable.
                        What you do is turn that sows ear into a silk purse. Jesus was simply
                        "teaching" them, and any feeding of them was miraculous, not due to
                        organization such as would have been required to feed an army).

                        >>Josephus says Aretas and Antipas both raised armies for this scrap (Ant.
                        18.5.1 (113)). The implication is that their standing army was expanded,
                        which seems to me to reflect standard military practice at times of
                        conflict, through the ages. Recruitment often takes the form of coercion.
                        It isn't only professional soldiers who prepare for war. Antipas was
                        expecting an invasion.

                        Jews were exempted from service in the legions, but I nonetheless have a
                        problem with the notion that the only Jews in any army were Generals.<<

                        I wouldn't want to suggest that no Jews were active in the rank and file of
                        the armies of the Herodian princes. However, even the later Hasmoneans
                        started using mercenaries rather than Jewish soldiers, since they could
                        dispense with religious scruples when strategy dictated Saturday offensive
                        action or foodstuffs needed to be procured. Don't forget that there were a
                        significant number of Greek cities all over Jewish ruled territories, chock
                        full of retired soldiers who can be called into service.

                        Respectfully,

                        Dave Hindley
                        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                      • Loren Rosson
                        Ernie, Jeffrey -- I would point out to Ernie that while Jesus seems to have shared the outrage of some of his contemporaries over taxation -- whether the poll
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 5, 2004
                          Ernie, Jeffrey --

                          I would point out to Ernie that while Jesus seems to
                          have shared the outrage of some of his contemporaries
                          over taxation -- whether the poll tax (MK 12:13-17/Mt
                          22:15-22/Lk 20:20-26) or temple tax (Mt 17:24-27), as
                          I've argued in the past on this list -- it's doubtful
                          that the temple incident has anything to do with
                          outrage over taxation per se. It seems most profitable
                          to interpret the incident in an over-arching
                          eschatological sense. Simply put, Jesus (outraged over
                          many things, taxation but one of them), rhetorically
                          denounced the temple establishment as a "den of
                          robbers", promising that God would soon demolish the
                          temple and rebuild another in three days. That
                          erroneous prophecy was placed on the lips of
                          slanderers and false witnesses in Mark and Matthew,
                          censored in Luke (or perhaps revised and placed at
                          Stephen's trial in Acts), spiritualized in John, and
                          revised in Thomas.

                          I'm less sure than Jeffrey, however, about the "den of
                          robbers" text (though I certainly agree that no
                          significant thievery, or swindling, was taking place
                          in the temple by the standard commercial activities;
                          these would have occasioned no outrge per se).
                          Obviously "den" doesn't literally refer to the place
                          where a robbery is carried out. So it could be a
                          refuge/sanctuary (in the way Borg and Wright suggest);
                          but it could also be a storage (the place where
                          robbers store their "plunder", as suggested by Malina
                          and Rohrbaugh). I incline to the latter while
                          eschewing a literal application of the metaphor in any
                          case. If historically authentic, Jesus was engaged in
                          rhetorical denunciation, and for his purposes the
                          revised Jeremiah citation was an appropriate (as uses
                          of prophecy often went). That Jesus inverted the
                          targets of Jeremiah's rage -- making the "robbers"
                          priests instead of incoming worshippers -- strikes me
                          as something we should expect rather than be surprised
                          by. Jesus was no more saying every member of the
                          temple establishment was a thief than Jeremiah was
                          saying this about every person in Judah. The latter
                          targetted those who oppressed "aliens, orphans, and
                          widows"; the former, those who oppressed the poor.

                          Loren Rosson III
                          Nashua NH
                          rossoiii@...




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                        • Linda & Ernest Pennells
                          [David Hindley] ... dispense with religious scruples when strategy dictated Saturday offensive action or foodstuffs needed to be procured.
                          Message 12 of 16 , May 5, 2004
                            [David Hindley]
                            >... using mercenaries rather than Jewish soldiers, since they could
                            dispense with religious scruples when strategy dictated Saturday offensive
                            action or foodstuffs needed to be procured.<

                            One idea I like to toy with is that the Dominical instructions to the
                            twelve/seventy are modelled on a contrast with military enlisting and
                            provisioning parties: Visit in pairs, no show of strength. No staff,
                            absolutely no offensive weapon. Minimal equipment, no kit bag or boots.
                            Accept what is offered, no requisitioning. Stay in one house, no
                            scavenging. Message of Shalom, not war. If support is withheld, don't
                            even purloin the village dust!

                            It fits rather nicely with Antipas and Aretas preparing reluctant people for
                            battle.

                            [Loren Rosson III]
                            > ... while Jesus seems to have shared the outrage of some of his
                            contemporaries over taxation-whether the poll tax (MK 12:13-17/Mt
                            22:15-22/Lk 20:20-26) or temple tax (Mt 17:24-27), as I've argued in the
                            past on this list-it's doubtful that the temple incident has anything to do
                            with outrage over taxation per se.<

                            But allow me to introduce Zacchaeus, as I believe Luke intended (my reserve
                            Ace of Spades): not the titchy penitent beloved of preachers, but a
                            political giant who stands astride the principal trade route from the east,
                            at the border of a Roman province, scooping up tax revenue for his foreign
                            paymasters.

                            Luke seems to like ironic contrasts. This particular little man is the
                            fiscal boss in no mean city. The name of this social pariah (his neighbours
                            actually call him a sinner) means "pure one", and it is a name this high
                            profile collaborator also shares with an officer in Judas Maccabeus' army,
                            although we can only surmise as to whether Luke actually knew that.

                            Luke's story presents Zacchaeus as an honest man. He vows before witnesses
                            to give away half his possessions, and compensate anybody he has defrauded
                            fourfold, in compliance with Roman law. What this means is that if
                            anything more than ten percent of his wealth was acquired by illegitimate
                            means, he just wiped himself out financially. Accountants and taxmen don't
                            have to sit down and calculate such things - this is reflex arithmetic for
                            them.

                            So, Zacchaeus is rich, but apparently not corrupt. He shares such virtue
                            with another very rich man Jesus met on his way to Jericho who could claim
                            he had kept all the commandments, but balked at exchanging his wealth for
                            the KofG.

                            The Galilean pilgrim band had to run the gauntlet of Antipas by staying in
                            his territory as they travelled down the Jordan valley, because they had
                            been rebuffed by Samaritans, with good cause. While Antipas was preparing
                            for war with Aretas, it was not sensible policy for border villages to
                            offer aid and succour to draft dodgers who, rumour had it, had recently
                            taken part in a messianic gathering just outside Antipas' eastern borders.

                            Jesus (Yeshua to his Aramaic speaking friends, Joshua to those familiar
                            with Hebrew) wades across Jordan and approaches Jericho - will those walls
                            come tumbling down as this second Joshua sets foot in a Roman province?
                            That tension promptly melts: the only walls under attack at Jericho this
                            time are the prejudices of zealots who might see Zacchaeus as public enemy
                            number one within Judaism; and any adherents of notions of priestly
                            purity, who would regard the defiled home of an unclean tax collector as
                            the last place they would choose to accept hospitality on the eve of their
                            arrival at the Holy City.

                            Rich and collaborative Zacchaeus is not only the exception who proves the
                            rule that camels cannot pass through the eye of a needle, he is also the
                            most offensive of all examples of Jesus embracing the wrong sort of
                            people - Damn it, he's filthy rich, a despised tax collector, and
                            actually works for the Roman Governor! All this trouble about associating
                            with the wrong sort of people originated in a local tax office in Galilee -
                            at least that was under the jurisdiction of a Jewish (well, sort of)
                            tetrarch!

                            Zacchaeus brings several Lukan themes to a point of resolution.

                            Doesn't it strike you as odd that Jesus - in conversation with an honest
                            collaborator - utters no single word of complaint about Roman taxes, nor
                            even hints that Zacchaeus ought to change his job? This really does make it
                            starkly obvious what is really on Jesus' mind as he travels to Jerusalem
                            (Luke keeps on and on about that), where his first action will be a
                            demonstration against traders in the temple, which leads to him having to
                            defend himself against malicious charges that he really intended to complain
                            about Roman tax. Matt., Mk. And Jn. Specifically mention money changers as
                            Jesus' initial target, but Luke himself is a bit coy about some things
                            relating to the temple. A well intentioned scribe noted this blatant
                            omission, and helped him out with a gloss.

                            Luke is rather good at story telling. History, or creative political
                            fiction on a theme of public finances? Mammon -v- KofG.

                            Returning to your comments, Loren, Zacchaeus is not an apocalyptic figure,
                            but highly political, and sets the scene splendidly for Jesus' true agenda
                            in Jerusalem.

                            Regards,

                            Ernie Pennells
                            220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
                            http://www.lukeacts.com
                            Tel: (250) 381 5674
                          • Linda & Ernest Pennells
                            [Dave Hindley] ... 4,000) strongly suggests a military size unit
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 9, 2004
                              [Dave Hindley]
                              >There is likely to be some rhetoric at work there. ... The 5,000 (or even
                              4,000) strongly suggests a military size unit<

                              I'm rather fond of rhetoric!

                              Do I scent an interplay between numbers and geography, here?

                              When Jesus heads for the wilderness in Gentile territory, he expels a
                              legion of demons but is sent back.

                              When he steps into Philip's domain (near Bethsaida) he is joined by a legion
                              of volunteers, but sends them peacefully away.

                              Luke mentions three teams of disciple messengers:

                              1. Twelve, who Matt maintains were instructed to confine their mission to
                              the House of Israel.

                              2. An unspecified number who probe Samaria after Jesus set his face toward
                              Jerusalem, but meet with rebuff.

                              3. Seventy(-two), to "bring in the harvest," after he just turned away
                              three wannabe disciples.

                              So, five thousand reflects an insurrectionist option; twelve a
                              reconstituted Israel; seventy(-two) ... ... . A medley of revolutionary
                              potential.

                              Significant numbers crop up in forays beyond the borders of Galilee.

                              Just musing.

                              Regards,

                              Ernie Pennells
                              220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
                              http://www.lukeacts.com
                              Tel: (250) 381 5674
                            • RSBrenchley@aol.com
                              ... the money changers whom Jesus drives out of the Temple were up to was facilitating the payment of the Temple Tax. Their service was in the interest of
                              Message 14 of 16 , May 9, 2004
                                Jeffrey writes:

                                >There is no evidence that in Luke-or elsewhere for that matter that what
                                the money changers whom Jesus drives out of the Temple were up to was
                                facilitating the payment of the Temple Tax. Their service was in the
                                interest of allowing people to buy animals for sacrifice in the currency
                                that was accepted for such sales.<

                                There is apparently evidence from the Mishnah and the Talmud (yes, I realise
                                its late) that an agio was payable when money had to be changed. According
                                to one source I found, the Mishnah says that it was payable if a half-shekel
                                was paid for one person, but not if a shekel was paid for two.
                                _http://www.begedivri.com/shekel/teachings/kadman.htm_
                                (http://www.begedivri.com/shekel/teachings/kadman.htm)
                                It seems, however, that the Talmud contradicts this, saying that if two
                                people paid together, they still had to pay the fee.
                                _http://amphoracoins.com/articlesfrmst.htm_ (http://amphoracoins.com/articlesfrmst.htm)
                                Unfortunately I don't have access to either; is anyone able to check what
                                they actually say? Is it possible that this could be what Jesus was objecting
                                to?
                                Regards,
                                Robert Brenchley


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Ron Price
                                After complaining that Q scholars didn t treat Q scientifically, i.e. take the 2ST as a hypothesis and check its predictions, I was referred to Jacobson s
                                Message 15 of 16 , May 20, 2004
                                  After complaining that Q scholars didn't treat Q scientifically, i.e. take
                                  the 2ST as a hypothesis and check its predictions, I was referred to
                                  Jacobson's article _The Literary Unity of Q_ in JBL 101/3 (1982) 365-389.

                                  To his credit, Jacobson did attempt to set the philosophical scene. But he
                                  did so, in my opinion, incorrectly.

                                  "... A source hypothesis has no predictive power. Since it cannot predict
                                  anything, it cannot be tested and falsified in the way ordinary scientific
                                  hypotheses can be tested and falsified." (p.366, n.4)

                                  But a source hypothesis *does* have predictive power. For instance the Two
                                  Source Theory, based on Luke's ignorance of Matthew, predicts that the
                                  double tradition (with perhaps a few small additions) once existed as a
                                  stand-alone document. Whether the testing is like that of scientific
                                  hypotheses seems to depend on the interpretation of the word "ordinary".
                                  However that may be, Jacobson's denial of testability and falsifiability
                                  let him off the hook. From that point on he could set aside any worry that
                                  his investigation might undermine the basis for Q. How convenient.
                                  Yet curiously he seemed almost to come full circle when five pages later
                                  he added: "If this double tradition material came from a single document,
                                  then it would be reasonable to expect the material to give some evidence of
                                  literary unity." The difference is that now he was in a safer world, where
                                  failure need not be contemplated.

                                  After several more pages of argumentation, he concludes that " ... the
                                  deuteronomistic tradition provides the theological framework for Q" (p.386).

                                  This would give it a degree of coherence. But how much? Insofar as the
                                  deuteronomic characteristic is uniform, the removal of one or more pericopes
                                  will not affect the coherence. This means it doesn't stick together very
                                  well. For in a strongly coherent document, the removal of pericopes will
                                  almost certainly shatter the coherence. Perhaps a small degree of coherence
                                  is better than nothing.

                                  But the deuteronomistic characteristic is evidently not uniform. For
                                  he goes on to perceive the imposing of a deuteronomistic-Wisdom layer on a
                                  Son of Man layer (p.388), and "the beginning of a tradition history of Q"
                                  (p.389).
                                  The ink on his defence of the literary unity of Q is not yet dry, and
                                  already he perceives a multi-layered document. Well is it a literary unity
                                  or isn't it? Jacobson can't have his cake and eat it, at least not in any
                                  self-consistent view.

                                  Ron Price

                                  Derbyshire, UK

                                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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