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RE: "Jews" in John and Acts

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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