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

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  • Linda & Ernest Pennells
    [Robert M. Schacht] ... methods or assumptions.
    Message 1 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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      [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 I gather from your comment that view may be superseded: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 2 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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        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 3 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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          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 4 of 16 , May 4, 2004
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            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 5 of 16 , May 4, 2004
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              [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 6 of 16 , May 4, 2004
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                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 7 of 16 , May 5, 2004
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                  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 8 of 16 , May 5, 2004
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                    [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 9 of 16 , May 9, 2004
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                      [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 10 of 16 , May 9, 2004
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                        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 11 of 16 , May 20, 2004
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                          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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