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

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  • 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 1 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]
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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