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RE: [XTalk] Jesus Temple Act

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  • Ernest Pennells
    [Gordon Raynal] ... interpretation of the commandment about graven images than were the Pharisees?
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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