Re: [XTalk] Festinger and Wright
- I wrote:
They *didn't* make expectations fit the circumstances,
because nobody expected those particular expectations.
Dave Hindley replied:
You have lost me here. Which particular circumstances? The danger I see is
assuming that what the NT Gospel writers *say* were the expectations of
Jesus and his followers were their *actual* expectations. However, we have
other information from Josephus, Philo, Sibylline Oracles, Jewish
pseudepigrapha and Greek/Roman writers, etc, that allow us to make educated
guesses as to the kinds of people (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who might be
attracted to a messianic movement...
My phrase was "particular expectations", because as far as I'm aware, nobody expected the resurrection of an individual. There were expectations of general resurrection at the end, and there were hellenistic expectations of immortality for individuals, but there doesn't appear to have been any expectations of the resurrection of an individual before the end. Therefore it cannot be argued that they made their expectations fit the circumstances.
As to whether the NT writers faithfully represent or conveniently reconstruct the expectations of Jesus and his immediate followers, your references to Philo, the Sibylline oracles, etc seem to me to be less appropriate to a Galiliean peasant messianism than the picture offered by the NT tradition. I still argue that they would have been more likely to go with maccabean martyr theology to account for the execution of their leader.
Rev Tony Buglass
Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
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