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RE: [XTalk] "Jews" in John and Acts

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  • Linda & Ernest Pennells
    [jim Holman] ... this word between the two writings?
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 13, 2004
      [jim Holman]
      > If Luke-Acts was composed by one author, why the differences in the use of
      this word between the two writings?<

      There are a number of major contrasts between Luke and Acts. Perhaps the
      most striking is that two conspicuous features of Judaism in the Roman world
      (circumcision and sabbath) are key controversial issues in one volume, but
      raise no ripples in the other. That circumcision was not a contentious
      issue in Judaea or Galilee is none too surprising, although Galilee did
      have a substantial gentile population. More startling is that sabbath was
      a major source of dispute for Jesus among Jews; but, as gentiles become
      his followers, sabbath is never mentioned as an issue despite the fact that
      it would seem to be a natural flash point between Gentile and Jewish
      converts.

      Another shock is that whereas table fellowship with undesirables was a key
      feature of Jesus' itinerant lifestyle, this vanishes in Acts. Table
      fellowship actually becomes a divisive issue within the NT church, calling
      for restructuring the leadership to ensure even handedness in food
      distribution, and - according to Paul - provoking sharp confrontation with
      Peter.

      Sepphoris and Tiberias are conspicuously avoided in the Gospels. Rome,
      Athens, Antioch, Corinth, Caesarea ... a whole string of major cities
      provide the venues for the spread of the gospel - the rural population all
      but disappears, along with most of the twelve.

      Regards,

      Ernie Pennells
      220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
      http://www.lukeacts.com
      Tel: (250) 381 5674
    • John E Staton
      Actually, the issue of table fellowship with undesirables *does* come up in Acts, but the undesirables are Gentile believers. This issue lies behind a great
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 13, 2004
        Actually, the issue of table fellowship with undesirables *does* come up in
        Acts, but the "undesirables" are Gentile believers. This issue lies behind a
        great deal of the tension between the "Judaising tendency" and Paul.

        I would see the more frequent reference to "the Jews" in Acts as being due
        to two circumstances:
        1. The persecution of the Christians by the Jewish authorities
        2. The rise of the Gentile mission. Paul is presented as preaching to "the
        Jews" first, and then after rejection, preaching to "the Gentiles".

        As for John, there is a remnant of a geographical use of the term "Jew" to
        mean "resident of Judea", but there is also a use of the term to represent
        the unbelieving Jews. Believing Jews (e.g. Nathanael) are called Israelite
        (cf. Nicodemus, "teacher of Israel"). John appears to have a doctrine of the
        righteous remnant that narrows down to one man (Jesus) and then expands to
        include everyone who joins themselves to Jesus (which will include both Jews
        and Gentiles)

        The whole matter is confused, of course, by the references to Jews who
        believed in Jesus, but he did not put his trust in them (John 2), which
        presumably believes their faith was not genuine, and the "Jews who believed
        in Jesus in John 8 who appear to get the sharp edge of his tongue. Perhaps
        Jesus felt their faith was suspect, too.

        Best Wishes
        JOHN E STATON
        Penistone, Sheffield UK
        www.jestaton.org
        jestaton@...
      • Linda & Ernest Pennells
        [John E Staton] ... Acts, but the undesirables are Gentile believers.
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 14, 2004
          [John E Staton]
          >Actually, the issue of table fellowship with undesirables *does* come up in
          Acts, but the "undesirables" are Gentile believers.<

          That's an interesting way of looking at this, but whereas Jesus is
          portrayed as a willing guest/host who drew criticism from his detractors,
          the dispute between Jew/Gentile factions points to internal tensions among
          his followers. Those tax harvesters whose collaborative posture provoke
          hostility in the Gospels, simply vanish in Acts.

          Luke expressly acknowledges using sources. Whether he intended to or not,
          one of the consequences is to reveal a number of major shifts between the
          praxis of Jesus and his followers. There are notable limitations on the
          extent to which the final redactor shaped the material to suit his own
          praxis. The label "Jews" is but one among many.

          Regards,

          Ernie Pennells
          220 - 50 Songhees Road, Victoria BC, Canada V9A 7J4
          http://www.lukeacts.com
          Tel: (250) 381 5674
        • John E Staton
          Ernest wrote: That s an interesting way of looking at this, but whereas Jesus is portrayed as a willing guest/host who drew criticism from his detractors,
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 16, 2004
            Ernest wrote:
            "That's an interesting way of looking at this, but whereas Jesus is
            portrayed as a willing guest/host who drew criticism from his detractors,
            the dispute between Jew/Gentile factions points to internal tensions among
            his followers. Those tax harvesters whose collaborative posture provoke
            hostility in the Gospels, simply vanish in Acts."

            This is what one would expect as the scene shifts from Jesus earthly
            ministry to the history of the church. One may suspect the concerns of the
            church lie beneath the surface in the gospel, but Luke is too good a writer
            to let them intrude too obviously. It may well be, however, that the stories
            about the tax harveters are being told with an eye to the dispute concerning
            Gentile believers in Luke's day. It is likely that the practice of having
            table-fellowship with uncircumcised people (even though they are believers)
            was one of (if not the main) points of issue between Paul's group and the
            Judaizers (cf Galatians 2)

            Best Wishes

            JOHN E STATON
            Penistone, Sheffield UK
            www.jestaton.org
            jestaton@...

            JOHN E STATON
            Penistone, Sheffield UK
            www.jestaton.org
            jestaton@...
          • Linda & Ernest Pennells
            [John E. Staton] ... told with an eye to the dispute concerning Gentile believers in Luke s day
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 22, 2004
              [John E. Staton]
              >It may well be, however, that the stories about the tax harveters are being
              told with an eye to the dispute concerning Gentile believers in Luke's day<

              Mmmmm ... that demotes the taxation issue more than I feel willing to grant.
              Criticism of Jesus' attitude to table fellowship started from a local tax
              office in Galilee, according to the synoptics. This escalated to a public
              insurrectionist dispute over the denarius in Jerusalem after what, IMHO,
              was a public demonstration against temple tax just after Jesus had been
              given a messianic welcome. Luke adds a powerful demonstration of
              willingness to embrace a high profile Roman tax official - Zacchaeus.

              Previous discussions on XTalk have aired this theme, and I would add
              m.Sheqalim 1.3: "On the fifteenth of that same month [Adar] they set up
              money changers tables in the provinces. On the twenty-fifth [of Adar] they
              set them up in the temple. Once they were set up in the temple, they began
              to exact pledges [from those who had not paid the tax in specie]" (Jacob
              Neusner translation, 1988). At face value, this establishes a connection
              between money changers IN THE TEMPLE, and temple tax.

              Taxation was an explosive issue in Roman-Jewish relationships, given high
              profile by Josephus as well as the synoptic gospels. It plays a prominent
              role in the political profile of the gospels.

              The divisive issue for gentile mission was whether gentile converts should
              become Jews. For me, that debate is in different territory.

              Regards,

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

              -----Original Message-----
              From: John E Staton [mailto:jestaton@...]
              Sent: June 16, 2004 11:13 AM
              To: Crosstalk
              Subject: [XTalk] RE: RE: "Jews" in John and Acts
            • Mike Grondin
              ... Ernie- What Neusner work is this from? What is m.Sheqalim ? What year is being talked about? Mike Grondin Mt. Clemens, MI
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 23, 2004
                > m.Sheqalim 1.3: "On the fifteenth of that same month [Adar] they
                > set up money changers tables in the provinces. On the twenty-
                > fifth [of Adar] they set them up in the temple. Once they were
                > set up in the temple, they began to exact pledges [from those
                > who had not paid the tax in specie]" (Jacob Neusner translation,
                > 1988). At face value, this establishes a connection between
                > money changers IN THE TEMPLE, and temple tax.

                Ernie-

                What Neusner work is this from? What is "m.Sheqalim"? What year is
                being talked about?

                Mike Grondin
                Mt. Clemens, MI
              • pennells@islandnet.com
                Hope to reply on Friday, when I am back at base. Regards, Ernie
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 23, 2004
                  Hope to reply on Friday, when I am back at base.

                  Regards, Ernie


                  > > m.Sheqalim 1.3: "On the fifteenth of that same month [Adar] they
                  > > set up money changers tables in the provinces. On the twenty-
                  > > fifth [of Adar] they set them up in the temple. Once they were
                  > > set up in the temple, they began to exact pledges [from those
                  > > who had not paid the tax in specie]" (Jacob Neusner translation,
                  > > 1988). At face value, this establishes a connection between
                  > > money changers IN THE TEMPLE, and temple tax.
                  >
                  > Ernie-
                  >
                  > What Neusner work is this from? What is "m.Sheqalim"? What year is
                  > being talked about?
                  >
                  > Mike Grondin
                  > Mt. Clemens, MI
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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