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Jesus Temple Act

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  • Ernest Pennells
    We simply disagree as to whether or not this happened. Fact or fiction, an important issue is what it means. The dramatic highlights in the temple scenario at
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 31, 2005
      We simply disagree as to whether or not this happened. Fact or fiction, an
      important issue is what it means.

      The dramatic highlights in the temple scenario at Passover were a rumpus
      with traders, and a cliff-hanger about paying taxes to Caesar. I believe
      the two are thematically joined. The record is brief. Jesus' defence of
      his actions takes the form of denouncing the robbers' cave; the parable of
      wicked vintners; and, "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and
      to God the things that are God's."

      The temple should be God's: the prevailing regime had hijacked it. Baited
      on the nationalistic issue of Roman tax, Jesus calls for a Roman coin and
      assigns legitimate ownership to Caesar because it bears his image. To whom
      would he say the Tyrian shekels he had scattered belonged, if asked - to
      Yahweh, or to Herecles? "Render to God the things that belong to God", is
      an apt explanation of his dramatic scattering of coins that depict the pagan
      god, imposed upon worshippers at a temple supposedly devoted to Yahweh but
      actually managed by those Jesus denounced as robbers.

      So, ISTM that Jesus was the one who raised the issue of taxes. His
      sustained polemic against the dominant priestly regime finally erupted in a
      public display that rejected support for their economic base at HQ - temple
      tax and sacrifice. They were hoist upon the petard of their own compromise
      over forbidden images, at the very point where they claimed Torah's mandate
      for the half-shekel (assuredly not Tyrian). If he wants a demonstrate
      against taxes, they retaliate by luring him into the path of Roman wrath.

      Regards,

      Ernie Pennells
      Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
      Level 12 Apartment 4
      28 Corniche el Nil
      Cairo, Egypt
      http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Ernie, ... Thank you for the kindly expression of difference. ... True, indeed. ... Do you make any connection to the Poor Widow s Offering in your
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 31, 2005
        Hi Ernie,

        >
        >
        >
        > We simply disagree as to whether or not this happened.

        Thank you for the kindly expression of difference.

        > Fact or fiction, an
        > important issue is what it means.

        True, indeed.
        >
        > The dramatic highlights in the temple scenario at Passover were a
        > rumpus
        > with traders, and a cliff-hanger about paying taxes to Caesar. I
        > believe
        > the two are thematically joined. The record is brief. Jesus' defence
        > of
        > his actions takes the form of denouncing the robbers' cave; the
        > parable of
        > wicked vintners; and, "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
        > and
        > to God the things that are God's."

        Do you make any connection to the Poor Widow's Offering in your
        interpretation? There Jesus obviously highly praises a woman for her
        financial gift. Thoughts?
        >
        > The temple should be God's: the prevailing regime had hijacked it.
        > Baited
        > on the nationalistic issue of Roman tax, Jesus calls for a Roman coin
        > and
        > assigns legitimate ownership to Caesar because it bears his image. To
        > whom
        > would he say the Tyrian shekels he had scattered belonged, if asked -
        > to
        > Yahweh, or to Herecles? "Render to God the things that belong to
        > God", is
        > an apt explanation of his dramatic scattering of coins that depict the
        > pagan
        > god, imposed upon worshippers at a temple supposedly devoted to
        > Yahweh but
        > actually managed by those Jesus denounced as robbers.

        I know you favor this interpretation. But the utilization of the
        Tyrean Shekel began circa 125 BCE (so in free Hashmonean times) and not
        in terms of the present era. Silver coins had been minted in
        Jerusalem back in an earlier era, but those were copies of the Athenian
        Drachms and Tetradrachms (bearing Athena and an Owl, not Jewish
        symbols). The Hashmoneans, for instance, didn't start minting new
        silver coins that did away with the former designs. According to David
        Hendin, one of the world's experts on this coinage, Tyre was the
        closest place to get the silver and he and others think the reason for
        the choice was the high silver content as compared with Antiochene
        coins (noting Roman coins were usually about 80% silver, the Tyre money
        more than 90%). He quotes the later Rabbinic writings: Tosephta
        Kethuboth 13,20 "Silver, whenever mentioned in the Pentateuch, is
        Tyrian Silver. What is a Tyrean silver (coin)? It is Jerusalemite."
        He notes it's not quite certain how the Jerusalem priesthood got the
        privilege of minting the silver coins themselves, but at roughly the
        same time HTG began his massive Temple makeover they started to do so.
        So, long before Jesus this began with no association to the present
        leadership or the Romans. In the later Rabbinic writings there is no
        complaint about this coinage among the keepers and interpreters of
        Torah. True enough, in the midst of the RJ war the practice was
        overturned by the Zealot leadership. You could be correct, but I just
        don't see the issue the way you frame it in what I conclude to be the
        authentic materials from HJ.

        As for the aphorism about money and God, well, it turns it back to the
        listeners and crowds to figure this out, eh? It's a wisdom saying, not
        a commandment. It raises the question in a sharp manner of what is
        owed to God. What I note about chapter 12 of Mark is that after the
        parable the questions fly: taxation, resurrection, the heart of Torah,
        David's son and then his warning about the Scribes. What ends this
        series of scenes is the widow's offering and I take it for Mark this
        gives Jesus' answer about what is "owed to God" (namely everything!).
        In Mark's great drama we're soon going to see someone who follows
        through on that, eh! As an abiding question, the aphorism, I would
        suggest points towards the answer of "all that is necessary" to show
        forth YHWH's justice and mercy.
        >
        > So, ISTM that Jesus was the one who raised the issue of taxes. His
        > sustained polemic against the dominant priestly regime finally erupted
        > in a
        > public display that rejected support for their economic base at HQ -
        > temple
        > tax and sacrifice. They were hoist upon the petard of their own
        > compromise
        > over forbidden images, at the very point where they claimed Torah's
        > mandate
        > for the half-shekel (assuredly not Tyrian). If he wants a demonstrate
        > against taxes, they retaliate by luring him into the path of Roman
        > wrath.

        This interpretation surely fits with the characterization of Jesus as a
        fiery polemicist of the prophetic mold. We also disagree about that
        characterization of the historical fellow. But that is for another
        time and another day.

        Thanks for the conversation.

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
      • Ernest Pennells
        [Gordon Raynal] ... interpretation? There Jesus obviously highly praises a woman for her financial gift. thoughts?
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 31, 2005
          [Gordon Raynal]
          >Do you make any connection to the Poor Widow's Offering in your
          interpretation? There Jesus obviously highly praises a woman for her
          financial gift. thoughts?<

          Quite a contrast with the money changers incident. Both the sum, her sex,
          and the comparison between the widow's paltry gift and a flourish of wealth
          by others clearly separate this from temple tax. This is free will
          offering. So while men line up meet their obligations, or topple the table
          in protest :-)', and those with surplus wealth brandish it about, the
          widow slips in a costly expression of genuine devotion, which Jesus
          applauds even if he did think it misdirected. On occasion, he also
          applauded prostitutes.

          [Gordon]
          >I know you favor this interpretation. But the utilization of the Tyrean
          Shekel began circa 125 BCE ...<

          I don't see that the provenance should prevent Jesus objecting to being
          taxed by impostors using pagan coinage.

          [Gordon]
          >As for the aphorism about money and God, well, it turns it back to the
          listeners and crowds to figure this out, eh?<

          I have figured it out! :-)'

          Incidentally, Gordon, you have me very angry with the media for all the
          fiction they publish as news: Suicide bombers can't possible get past
          several screens of trained military on high security alert in Iraq. The
          IRA(?) can't possible penetrate elaborate bank security systems to abscond
          with umpteen million. You try it! None of this can be historic, but there
          was gullible old me taking it seriously.


          Regards,

          Ernie Pennells
          Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
          Level 12 Apartment 4
          28 Corniche el Nil
          Cairo, Egypt
          http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Gordon Raynal [mailto:scudi1@...]
          Sent: 31 March 2005 22:09
          To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Michael Ensley
          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Jesus Temple Act



          Hi Ernie,

          >
          >
          >
          > We simply disagree as to whether or not this happened.

          Thank you for the kindly expression of difference.

          > Fact or fiction, an
          > important issue is what it means.

          True, indeed.
          >
          > The dramatic highlights in the temple scenario at Passover were a
          > rumpus
          > with traders, and a cliff-hanger about paying taxes to Caesar. I
          > believe
          > the two are thematically joined. The record is brief. Jesus' defence
          > of
          > his actions takes the form of denouncing the robbers' cave; the
          > parable of
          > wicked vintners; and, "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
          > and
          > to God the things that are God's."

          Do you make any connection to the Poor Widow's Offering in your
          interpretation? There Jesus obviously highly praises a woman for her
          financial gift. Thoughts?
          >
          > The temple should be God's: the prevailing regime had hijacked it.
          > Baited
          > on the nationalistic issue of Roman tax, Jesus calls for a Roman coin
          > and
          > assigns legitimate ownership to Caesar because it bears his image. To
          > whom
          > would he say the Tyrian shekels he had scattered belonged, if asked -
          > to
          > Yahweh, or to Herecles? "Render to God the things that belong to
          > God", is
          > an apt explanation of his dramatic scattering of coins that depict the
          > pagan
          > god, imposed upon worshippers at a temple supposedly devoted to
          > Yahweh but
          > actually managed by those Jesus denounced as robbers.

          I know you favor this interpretation. But the utilization of the
          Tyrean Shekel began circa 125 BCE (so in free Hashmonean times) and not
          in terms of the present era. Silver coins had been minted in
          Jerusalem back in an earlier era, but those were copies of the Athenian
          Drachms and Tetradrachms (bearing Athena and an Owl, not Jewish
          symbols). The Hashmoneans, for instance, didn't start minting new
          silver coins that did away with the former designs. According to David
          Hendin, one of the world's experts on this coinage, Tyre was the
          closest place to get the silver and he and others think the reason for
          the choice was the high silver content as compared with Antiochene
          coins (noting Roman coins were usually about 80% silver, the Tyre money
          more than 90%). He quotes the later Rabbinic writings: Tosephta
          Kethuboth 13,20 "Silver, whenever mentioned in the Pentateuch, is
          Tyrian Silver. What is a Tyrean silver (coin)? It is Jerusalemite."
          He notes it's not quite certain how the Jerusalem priesthood got the
          privilege of minting the silver coins themselves, but at roughly the
          same time HTG began his massive Temple makeover they started to do so.
          So, long before Jesus this began with no association to the present
          leadership or the Romans. In the later Rabbinic writings there is no
          complaint about this coinage among the keepers and interpreters of
          Torah. True enough, in the midst of the RJ war the practice was
          overturned by the Zealot leadership. You could be correct, but I just
          don't see the issue the way you frame it in what I conclude to be the
          authentic materials from HJ.

          As for the aphorism about money and God, well, it turns it back to the
          listeners and crowds to figure this out, eh? It's a wisdom saying, not
          a commandment. It raises the question in a sharp manner of what is
          owed to God. What I note about chapter 12 of Mark is that after the
          parable the questions fly: taxation, resurrection, the heart of Torah,
          David's son and then his warning about the Scribes. What ends this
          series of scenes is the widow's offering and I take it for Mark this
          gives Jesus' answer about what is "owed to God" (namely everything!).
          In Mark's great drama we're soon going to see someone who follows
          through on that, eh! As an abiding question, the aphorism, I would
          suggest points towards the answer of "all that is necessary" to show
          forth YHWH's justice and mercy.
          >
          > So, ISTM that Jesus was the one who raised the issue of taxes. His
          > sustained polemic against the dominant priestly regime finally erupted
          > in a
          > public display that rejected support for their economic base at HQ -
          > temple
          > tax and sacrifice. They were hoist upon the petard of their own
          > compromise
          > over forbidden images, at the very point where they claimed Torah's
          > mandate
          > for the half-shekel (assuredly not Tyrian). If he wants a demonstrate
          > against taxes, they retaliate by luring him into the path of Roman
          > wrath.

          This interpretation surely fits with the characterization of Jesus as a
          fiery polemicist of the prophetic mold. We also disagree about that
          characterization of the historical fellow. But that is for another
          time and another day.

          Thanks for the conversation.

          Gordon Raynal
          Inman, SC




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        • Loren Rosson
          ... Gordon replied (surely tongue in cheek, I thought, but maybe not...) ... First of all, the Bank of New Hampshire is never crowded shoulder-to-shoulder with
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
            I had written:

            > Whether or not the temple incident happened,
            > it was doubtfully the
            > immediate cause of arrest and crucifixion --
            > though following reports
            > about it may have helped drive the nail
            > in Jesus' coffin.

            Gordon replied (surely tongue in cheek, I thought, but
            maybe not...)

            > Again... think through going to the Nashua
            > bank with a whip and
            > spilling out the money drawers across the
            > floor. How likely are you to not get arrested?

            First of all, the Bank of New Hampshire is never
            crowded shoulder-to-shoulder with masses of "pilgrims"
            when I cash my checks there. It's **much** easier for
            authorities to spot and pinpoint untoward behavior in
            modern day banks than the ancient temple during a
            passover festival.

            But more importantly, people get away with bank
            robberies all the time -- at least for a time. Here
            are a few recent examples from NH:

            1. Boden Hughes got away with multiple robberies
            before being arrested.

            http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nh/pdfreleases/May04/DF%20Robbins%20Hughes%20indict1.pdf

            2. This guy robbed a NH Bank and made away before
            being apprehended:

            http://nhmostwanted.org/index.cfm?ac=casedetails&CaseID=20040007

            3. And I believe this guy is still at large:

            http://theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=52257

            So I do share some of Ernie's sentiments, when he
            writes:

            [Ernie]
            > Incidentally, Gordon, you have me very angry with
            > the media for all the
            > fiction they publish as news: Suicide bombers can't
            > possible get past
            > several screens of trained military on high security
            > alert in Iraq. The
            > IRA(?) can't possible penetrate elaborate bank
            > security systems to abscond
            > with umpteen million. You try it! None of this can
            > be historic, but there
            > was gullible old me taking it seriously.

            Maybe the above media citations are, indeed, extended
            April Fools jokes. :)

            In any case, it seems very likely that Jesus could
            have gotten away after the temple incident (assuming
            it happened). This suggestion is one of the real
            strengths of Fredriksen's book.

            Loren Rosson III
            Nashua NH
            rossoiii@...



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            Show us what our next emoticon should look like. Join the fun.
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          • Gordon Raynal
            Hi Ernie, ... Thanks for writing of how you see this fitting in. ... So, in this case and as regards the coinage, Jesus was stricter in interpretation of the
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
              Hi Ernie,
              >

              > Quite a contrast with the money changers incident. Both the sum, her
              > sex,
              > and the comparison between the widow's paltry gift and a flourish of
              > wealth
              > by others clearly separate this from temple tax. This is free will
              > offering. So while men line up meet their obligations, or topple the
              > table
              > in protest :-)', and those with surplus wealth brandish it about, the
              > widow slips in a costly expression of genuine devotion, which Jesus
              > applauds even if he did think it misdirected. On occasion, he also
              > applauded prostitutes.

              Thanks for writing of how you see this fitting in.
              >
              > [Gordon]
              >> I know you favor this interpretation. But the utilization of the
              >> Tyrean
              > Shekel began circa 125 BCE ...<
              >
              > I don't see that the provenance should prevent Jesus objecting to being
              > taxed by impostors using pagan coinage.

              So, in this case and as regards the coinage, Jesus was stricter in
              interpretation of the commandment about "graven images" than were the
              Pharisees? As most all the coinage in Israel was produced at foreign
              mints (and all silver coinage, save for the Jerusalem produced T.
              Shekels), and as all of that coinage bore pagan symbols, how do you
              understand Jesus' stance on the coinage use in this case, as opposed to
              just the daily transactions utilizing this coinage?
              >
              > [Gordon]
              >> As for the aphorism about money and God, well, it turns it back to the
              > listeners and crowds to figure this out, eh?<
              >
              > I have figured it out! :-)'

              For yourself:)!
              >
              > Incidentally, Gordon, you have me very angry with the media for all
              > the
              > fiction they publish as news: Suicide bombers can't possible get past
              > several screens of trained military on high security alert in Iraq.
              > The
              > IRA(?) can't possible penetrate elaborate bank security systems to
              > abscond
              > with umpteen million. You try it! None of this can be historic, but
              > there
              > was gullible old me taking it seriously.

              Well, I'll leave your worries about news reporting to you, as well as
              your preferred "self assessment" (which I judge to be an interesting
              rhetorical move, BTW. Have you resorted to fictional self
              representation to score a rhetorical point? <g>). This note was about
              the plausibility of this story. That's not the sole reason I take this
              to be a fictional creation by Mark, not even the first reason. Sure,
              highly improbable things happen and crimes/ terrorist acts that (in
              most of these cited cases) are based on long term study, surveillance,
              planning and teamwork. But back to my assessment of this as a
              fictional creation: [1] I judge that we have one source for this story
              (Mt., Lk. and Jn. copying from Mark), so I have no outside data to say
              "yea" or "nay." [2] This is yet another story that is attached to
              prophetic fulfillment related to a text source we do have (TANAK) [3]
              In Mark it immediately follows another story rooted in fulfillment of
              the Psalm 118/Zech. 9. As I noted this story falls into a whole series
              of stories where in Jesus, the Christ, challenges all the ruling
              powers/ dominions great and small (the power of the native royal
              heritage, the temple, the piety of Pharisees and Saducees and Scribes,
              the Priestly Court system, the Roman Court system and then, let me add,
              the power of the masses and the self assurance of his own followers).
              All are found wanting and so this story fits into this as a piece of
              the high drama Mark is creating. [4] Precisely that John likes the
              story, but was free to move it. And [5] this implausibility factor
              that I've spelled out. These and the judgment that I think Mark is
              creating an extended parable are what goes into my judgment that we are
              not dealing with a report of some past event, but rather another fine
              example of Mark's creative mind to create a powerful drama.

              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
            • Gordon Raynal
              Hi Loren, ... What are your sources for this judgment? BTW I looked up in JJ Rouseau s book ( Jesus and His World ). He notes, based on conservative
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
                Hi Loren,
                >

                > First of all, the Bank of New Hampshire is never
                > crowded shoulder-to-shoulder with masses of "pilgrims"
                > when I cash my checks there. It's **much** easier for
                > authorities to spot and pinpoint untoward behavior in
                > modern day banks than the ancient temple during a
                > passover festival.

                What are your sources for this judgment?

                BTW I looked up in JJ Rouseau's book ("Jesus and His World"). He
                notes, based on conservative estimates, that the annual tax brought in
                14.5 tons... tons!... of silver each year. I would rather suggest that
                considering this amount of riches, the value of each coin that the
                organization of the collection and the care with which it were done
                were indeed high, very high. Could such be overcome (is it possible?),
                well sure, but I take it that it would take much planning and scoping
                out.

                >
                > But more importantly, people get away with bank
                > robberies all the time -- at least for a time. Here
                > are a few recent examples from NH:
                >
                > 1. Boden Hughes got away with multiple robberies
                > before being arrested.
                >
                > http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nh/pdfreleases/May04/
                > DF%20Robbins%20Hughes%20indict1.pdf
                >
                > 2. This guy robbed a NH Bank and made away before
                > being apprehended:
                >
                > http://nhmostwanted.org/index.cfm?ac=casedetails&CaseID=20040007
                >
                > 3. And I believe this guy is still at large:
                >
                > http://theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=52257

                But again... what they did were crimes and the police are on the hunt.
                In the Gospels the authorities after this are still looking for a way
                to trap this guy with a legal charge and he's not rushing in and out
                of anywhere nor hiding. Again, on the basis of this act I'd judge they
                had plenty of grounds to arrest him. I'd also judge that his known
                followers would at least be nabbed for questioning, if not arrested.
                All these crooks are on the lam after committing the crime, not walking
                around Nashua in broad daylight with a bunch of friends:)! Jesus is
                nicely moving in and out of the city and standing right out there in
                the public and challenging all sorts of folks with ties to the
                authorities.
                >
                > So I do share some of Ernie's sentiments, when he
                > writes:
                >
                > [Ernie]
                >> Incidentally, Gordon, you have me very angry with
                >> the media for all the
                >> fiction they publish as news: Suicide bombers can't
                >> possible get past
                >> several screens of trained military on high security
                >> alert in Iraq. The
                >> IRA(?) can't possible penetrate elaborate bank
                >> security systems to abscond
                >> with umpteen million. You try it! None of this can
                >> be historic, but there
                >> was gullible old me taking it seriously.
                >
                > Maybe the above media citations are, indeed, extended
                > April Fools jokes. :)

                Well, do have a good April Fool's Day and as I wrote to Ernie, I'll
                leave such as this for you guys to ponder:)!
                >
                > In any case, it seems very likely that Jesus could
                > have gotten away after the temple incident (assuming
                > it happened). This suggestion is one of the real
                > strengths of Fredriksen's book.

                Are you wanting to go with Fredrickson's idea that Jesus did this near
                the start of his 3 year (Johannine) career? In other words, there's
                really no arrestable offense in this? And if there were, then the
                authorities, what, just ignored it for 3 years? I'd say if it did
                happen, Paula's ideas is the least likely scenario.

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
              • Ernest Pennells
                [Gordon Raynal] ... interpretation of the commandment about graven images than were the Pharisees?
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
                  [Gordon Raynal]
                  >So, in this case and as regards the coinage, Jesus was stricter in
                  interpretation of the commandment about "graven images" than were the
                  Pharisees?<

                  Jesus' complaint is clearly articulated: "robbers cave", "wicked
                  vintners" - misappropriation of the temple by a regime he unambiguously
                  denounced. The coinage wasn't his primary concern, but scattering it was
                  hardly an expression of approval. ISTM that the principle role of that
                  coinage would have been to inhibit taking action against Jesus for his
                  demonstration because - although this was undoubtedly an arrestable
                  offence - the prospect of a counter charge of Torah violation about images,
                  compounded by the depiction of a pagan deity, would make prosecution
                  embarrassing. So, instead of promptly arresting him as soon as he had been
                  identified as the culprit, they bait him on Roman tax. Having them on the
                  defensive about the Tyrian shekel, Jesus presses his advantage with the
                  denarius.

                  As I see it, it wasn't Jesus who was troubled by these coins, but his
                  adversaries.

                  Regards,

                  Ernie Pennells
                  Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
                  Level 12 Apartment 4
                  28 Corniche el Nil
                  Cairo, Egypt
                  http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
                • Loren Rosson
                  [Loren] ... [Gordon] ... Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the money-changers, and evade
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
                    [Loren]
                    >people get away with bank
                    >robberies all the time -- at
                    >least for a time

                    [Gordon]
                    >But again... what they did were crimes and
                    >the police are on the hunt.
                    >In the Gospels the authorities after this
                    >are still looking for a way
                    >to trap this guy with a legal charge and he's
                    >not rushing in and out of anywhere nor hiding.

                    Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy
                    for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the
                    money-changers, and evade capture for a time.

                    >Are you wanting to go with Fredrickson's
                    >idea that Jesus did this near the start
                    >of his 3 year (Johannine) career? In other
                    >words, there's really no arrestable
                    >offense in this?

                    I don't think it's necessary to endorse the Johannine
                    placement of the temple incident for Fredriksen's
                    point to hold. The temple incident could have happened
                    hours or days before crowds and pilgrims became
                    galvanized enough to attract serious attention. The
                    crucial question is whether or not Caiaphas is in the
                    driver's seat getting Jesus nailed. Sanders (and
                    others) think this is the case -- that the high priest
                    wanted Jesus dead for threatening the temple.
                    Fredrisken disputes this for (a) archeological reasons
                    (the size of the temple mount, especially seen in
                    scale to masses of very "small" people), (b)
                    historical reasons (if Pilate were just doing a favor
                    for Caiaphas, it would explain Jesus being murdered,
                    but not crucified), and (c) literary ones (John's
                    repositioning). But no, I don't think (c) calls for
                    endorsement of the way John actually places it, only
                    that a strict reading of the synoptics yields
                    problems. (That's old news anyway.)

                    >I'd say if it did happen, Paula's
                    >ideas is the least likely scenario.

                    Fredrisken is convincing by drawing a strong line
                    between the "triumphal entry" (or whenever during the
                    crowds succumbed to messianic enthusiasm) and the
                    crucifixion. She is also persuasive about the chief
                    reason for Caiaphas' involvement -- helping Pilate
                    pinpopint and apprehend Jesus in order to avoid wider
                    bloodshed (Jn 11). I doubt, however, that Pilate
                    hitherto "knew" that Jesus' movement was harmless, as
                    she claims. Authorities would have been suspicious of
                    any kingdom talk. Then too, there seems to have been a
                    charge of sedition in the air over the question of
                    taxation. Jesus' veiled transcript ("Render to
                    Caesar") would have caused alarm while keeping him
                    safe at the same time. And threatening the temple was
                    obviously no joke, once people could identify Jesus
                    and tie him to the incident. I think it's a mistake to
                    look for a single reason for Jesus's execution. But it
                    makes sense to distinguish between immediate reasons
                    and subsequent charges (the latter of which don't
                    depend on truth when enaging in a show trial as a
                    preliminary to killing a low-life).

                    So messianic enthusiasm is a strong candidate for the
                    immediate reason for arrest and crucifixion. Charges
                    of temple threats and tax evasion only sealed Jesus'
                    fate, for the most part serving the purposes of a
                    theatrical show trial and more public example. Those
                    charges needn't have been true, though I think they
                    were.

                    You, however, deny all of the above three (messianinc
                    enthusaism, temple incident, tax evasion) as causes
                    for arrest. (Do I understand you correctly?) So how do
                    **you** account for the "King of the Judeans'"
                    crucifixion? Or do you?

                    Loren Rosson III
                    Nashua NH
                    rossoiii@...



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                  • Gordon Raynal
                    Hi Loren, ... What do you think about the pandemonium issue? I don t know how many of these coins (with the other trade ins) would be on a given table, but
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
                      Hi Loren,
                      On Apr 2, 2005, at 7:47 AM, Loren Rosson wrote:
                      >
                      > Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy
                      > for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the
                      > money-changers, and evade capture for a time.

                      What do you think about "the pandemonium" issue? I don't know how many
                      of these coins (with the other trade ins) would be on a given table,
                      but if these very valuable coins just started rolling all over the
                      place don't you think there would be a large scramble? Such would make
                      a getaway more plausible. Any thoughts?
                      >
                      > I don't think it's necessary to endorse the Johannine
                      > placement of the temple incident for Fredriksen's
                      > point to hold.

                      Thanks for the clarification.
                      >

                      > You, however, deny all of the above three (messianinc
                      > enthusaism, temple incident, tax evasion) as causes
                      > for arrest. (Do I understand you correctly?)

                      Yes (more below).
                      > So how do
                      > **you** account for the "King of the Judeans'"
                      > crucifixion? Or do you?
                      >
                      I honestly don't know. I think "the reason(s)" he got killed was
                      because he was the recognized "voice" of "a kingdom movement" that was
                      taking root in Galilee, H. Philip's domain, Samaria and Judea
                      (including Jerusalem). But as to the precise scenario of his
                      identification at Passover time, his arrest and crucifixion I don't
                      think we have records of that, rather we have a theological (and very
                      effective one) drama that is part of a parable created by Mark. Just
                      showing up and being identified as "this guy," as far as I'm concerned,
                      is quite enough to get hauled off for official state execution by
                      tortuous means of crucifixion to send the clear message that the state
                      would in no way tolerate any other kingdom allegiances than those
                      authorized by the state. I think that this grand drama that Mark
                      creates works, as I've said, to raise up the breadth of challenges that
                      were and are in Jesus' language about "God's Kingdom." Again... the
                      whole messianic heritage as it was popularly interpreted (so often to
                      such grievous and violent ends... and I think about the time when
                      Archelaus killed 3000 of his own subjects at Passover time because of
                      fears of sedition); what was being offered by the Pharisees, by the
                      Saducees, by the Scribes; the current rulers of the Temple
                      establishment; the current jurisprudence practice of the Temple
                      leadership; the Roman system of rule, "Pax" and "law;" the mob
                      mentality and even the self-assurance of Jesus' own followers is
                      powerfully raised up as being **entirely** wanting. The Markan parable
                      works to dramatize the choice being offered and the harsh realities for
                      those in the community to live with the choice they have made. In my
                      view, Mark written after the R-J war works to show precisely just how
                      right Jesus was some 50 years earlier. Popular messianism was squashed
                      again and again. The Roman appointed Temple establishment did nothing
                      to create unity. The "law" was anything but. The Roman "Pax" was
                      murderous. The mob mentality fueled by statist notions of Covenant had
                      led to Vespasian and Titus coming and so the utter destruction that
                      ensued. And counting on "self-assurance" was a sure path to denial or
                      flight into the proverbial night. The drama, in other words, clearly
                      works to show that Jesus was correct then and still correct in Mark's
                      time. I'd like to no more historical details, but I just don't think
                      the data we have contains them. I think what we do have is **far,
                      far** more important.

                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                    • Ernest Pennells
                      [Josephus] ... grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman
                      Message 10 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
                        [Josephus]
                        >And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers,
                        grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length
                        from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae,
                        [or sickles,] as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got
                        their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they
                        mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were
                        come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said
                        before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay.<

                        Is this fiction; or historical evidence that you could actually get away
                        with murder - repeatedly - in the middle of a festival crowd? The surprise
                        element still works, even when something similar has happened previously
                        (One up for GJohn).

                        Regards,

                        Ernie Pennells
                        Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
                        Level 12 Apartment 4
                        28 Corniche el Nil
                        Cairo, Egypt
                        Tel: (20-2)526 6383 Mobile 0121001490
                        http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
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