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RE: [XTalk] Where to look for HJ

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  • David Hindley
    Ernie, ... Matthew stays on firm biblical grounds by citing the king list of Judah, from David to Jehoiachin, whereas Luke contradicts what must have been
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 3, 2005
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      Ernie,

      >>What strikes me about the conflicting genealogies is that
      Matthew stays on firm biblical grounds by citing the king list
      of Judah, from David to Jehoiachin, whereas Luke contradicts
      what must have been common knowledge by conspicuously omitting
      the name of any monarch who sat on David's throne, but
      nonetheless names Zerubbabel and Shealtiel who were descendants
      of David denied the throne. Sounds like a deliberate mistake to
      me. The best clue I can detect is the contrast between
      Matthew's fondness of the title "Son of David", and Luke's
      apparent avoidance of it, except when Jesus is greeted that way
      as he approaches Jericho.<<

      Luke does tend to be more Roman friendly, in the sense of not
      wishing to offend Roman sensibilities, and those sensibilities
      included a healthy suspicion of anything even remotely
      suggesting rebelliousness. Matthew was interested in explaining
      (away) the charge of rebellion (from the royal attribution Jesus
      seems to have received or perhaps claimed during his lifetime)
      as misunderstandings.

      >>Am not familiar with that title, David. Brandon's theme
      tended to be insurrection. No shortage of literature on that
      front.<<

      Brandon, S. G. F. (Samuel George Frederick), 1907-1971. _The
      fall of Jerusalem and the Christian church: a study of the
      effects of the Jewish overthrow of A. D. 70 on Christianity_,
      London: S.P.C.K., 1951.

      >>The polemic I was addressing targets Herod and the priestly
      regime of his era. Some may think that a subtle distinction,
      but I find it fundamental to the L-A narrative, with
      implications for other gospel tradition.<<

      The nature of any "priestly regime" that might have existed at
      the time, and whether their authority extended to Galilee or the
      Jewish Diaspora, hinges (I think) on the form or constitution of
      the temple organization. Unfortunately, most of the hypotheses
      about this form seem to be from critics interested in the
      relationship between the Roman authorities and Jews in general,
      or those interested in land-tenure or Roman taxation policy, and
      not so much the critics involved in NT scholarship.

      FWIW, for a variety of reasons I think that the form was that of
      a "temple state" under the general control of the governor of
      Judaea. It probably had authority over land in Judaea (with
      exception of significant tracts of Roman controlled land),
      collecting the tithes and taxes authorized by the Torah. Romans
      considered the Jewish people, no matter where they were, as
      members of a collective EQNOS, but Jews were pretty much
      expected to organize and govern themselves in these place they
      were settled according to their ancestral traditions, as much as
      they were able. While these collectives of self governing Jews
      were nominally subject to the temple (state) in Judaea, the
      level of control the temple authorities may have actually
      exercised was probably limited to supervising the transport of
      voluntary tithes and gifts from the provinces to the Temple, and
      advise to these congregations on points of observance of the Law
      and Jewish traditions. At that time, due to the limitation of
      the land under control of the temple to the Jewish sections of
      Judaea, these gifts likely constituted a good portion or even
      the majority of the income of the temple (state).

      >>I honestly don't think we have any substantive evidence as to
      the decade in which the gospels or their sources were written.
      The theories are just that. Robinson's "Redating ..." felt
      plausible to me when I read it, and matched my mood at that
      time, but I admit that one could create quite a list of
      significant events that fail to show up in the NT. What seems
      more important to me is material that seems well rooted in the
      narrative context - fact or fiction. Exploring that is
      challenge enough and offers a better key to historical
      evaluation IMHO.<<

      I would differ as to what constitutes "substantive" evidence. We
      have fairly detailed knowledge of the significant historical
      events of the period from Josephus and some non-Jewish sources.
      When we try to date early Christian documents we have to fit
      them within this historical framework by identifying ideas and
      possible historical allusions contained in them, and this is
      done by means of literary criticism. The problem is that there
      are huge numbers of possibilities. Critics differ on the
      methodologies employed to reduce these possibilities to a
      manageable number of "most-likely" ones.

      >>Undoubtedly [Jesus' family was making various claims about him
      to bolster his royal image]. This is an obvious candidate for
      fictional extrapolations. Hence my earlier question on XTalk
      about the likelihood of tribal affiliation with a southern tribe
      being likely in Galilee. People were identified by name,
      paternity, and home community. Am I right in saying that the
      tribal affiliation of the twelve passes without note or comment?
      Very odd, if the import of twelve was rooted in the twelve
      tribes of Israel. Tribes were allotted territory. Mention of a
      man's tribe might therefore reflect geography rather than
      antecedence. Would that make Jesus, Son of David, of the
      tribe of Judah, a misfit in Nazareth?<<

      My opinion is that there is some evidence that in that period
      tribal names were used as geographical indicators, but they were
      also still used in the older sense of a genealogical
      relationship, however tenuous. Don't mix up actual genealogical
      claims, which would also contain tribal association, with
      geographical labels.

      Any claim to royal lineage, though, by Jesus or his fans would
      have had serious repercussions. This probably explains why they
      seem to have ceased to exercise any authority after the 2nd
      rebellion.

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio USA
    • Ernest Pennells
      [David Hindley] ... offend Roman sensibilities,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 4, 2005
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        [David Hindley]
        >Luke does tend to be more Roman friendly, in the sense of not wishing to
        offend Roman sensibilities,<

        I am inclined to put it more forcefully than that - his profiling of
        centurions, for example, seems positively pro-Roman. As his concluding
        sequence is about using Roman courts to defend Paul against summary justice
        from Jerusalem's hierarchy, that is an understandable strategy. The case
        for identifying Theophilus as a former High Priest appears to clash with
        that stance, unless one regards the HP as leaning toward Rome heavily
        enough to be open to attacks on his fellow office holders.

        [David]
        >... The nature of any "priestly regime" that might have existed at the
        time, and whether their authority extended to Galilee or the Jewish
        Diaspora, hinges (I think) on the form or constitution of the temple
        organization.<

        I agree that the Galilee-Judaea distinction requires close attention.
        Despite the Galilean origins of Jesus of Nazareth and the twelve, the
        gospels do give major profile to Jerusalem. In addition to being the place
        of his destiny, it was also the principal seat of the religious code that
        Jesus challenged. My own inclination is to see the Pharisees as spokesmen
        for that regime in an area too far from Jerusalem to be much populated with
        priests. I know that there is also an argument about scant evidence for
        significant numbers of Pharisees in Galilee at the time, calling in
        question the profile given to them in gospel tradition, but is it right to
        draw negative conclusions from information gaps. What evidence is it
        legitimate to demand from that time, consistent with data that is
        available?

        [David]
        >Unfortunately, most of the hypotheses about this form seem to be from
        critics interested in the relationship between the Roman authorities and
        Jews in general, or those interested in land-tenure or Roman taxation
        policy, and not so much the critics involved in NT scholarship.<

        But here is a revealing spotlight to focus upon HJ. To reiterate a
        recurrent theme of mine, I am impressed by the provocative contrast between
        Jesus' reputation for friendly alliance with tax collectors, alongside his
        hostility toward temple traders. This strikes me as strident theatrical
        polemics regarding legitimate-v-corrupt revenue collection. Rome/tetrarch
        friendly: temple hostile. That speaks volumes!

        I am also intrigued by the apparent dichotomy between Jesus' reported
        antipathy toward the temple hierarchy, and Luke's minority witness that his
        disciples remained in Jerusalem and made the temple the focal point of their
        early ministry.

        [David]
        >I would differ as to what constitutes "substantive" evidence ... The
        problem is that there are huge numbers of possibilities.<

        Hence my reservations about "substantive" vis-a-vis dating tradition.

        Regards,

        Ernie Pennells
        220-50 Songhees Road
        Victoria BC V9A 7J4
        Tel: 250-381-5676
        http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
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