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Re: [XTalk] Jesus was neither Jewish nor Christian

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  • Loren Rosson
    ... That Jesus is moving from Judea to Galilee can certainly effect the way a stranger (mis)understands him as a Ioudaios, if the geographical meaning is in
    Message 1 of 32 , Sep 10, 2007
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      Mark Goodacre wrote:

      > I am not convinced of this line of argument. The
      > fact that Jesus is
      > returning to Galilee in this story does not affect
      > his identity. The
      > narrator's aside ("for IOUDAIOI do not have dealings
      > with Samaritans",
      > 4.9b) suggests that what needs clarifying, for the
      > reader, is not that
      > the woman thinks Jesus is a IOUDAIOS, but rather
      > that it is unusual
      > for a IOUDAIOS to be talking to her. i.e. the
      > narrator's comment is
      > not "for she thought that Jesus was a IOUDAIOS", or
      > similar.
      > Moreover, 4.9 should be read contextually, with
      > 4.22, "Salvation comes
      > from the IOUDAIWN", clarifying that being a IOUDAIOS
      > is something with
      > which the Johannine Jesus claims continuity, and
      > casting doubt on the
      > idea that the Samaritan woman has made a mistake in
      > 4.9. To say that
      > this verse is "exceptional" rather confirms that it
      > does not fit with
      > the nearby reference to IOUDAIOS in 4.9.

      That Jesus is moving from Judea to Galilee can
      certainly effect the way a stranger (mis)understands
      him as a Ioudaios, if the geographical meaning is in
      view. In John's gospel the term is used this way or in
      the broader sense, and given its elastic meaning, it's
      perhaps making too much of the way 4:9 is at odds with
      4:22. I do acknowledge the problem here, but 4:22 is
      exceptional however we take 4:9.

      > To pick up on a point made previously, we just don't
      > know what Jesus'
      > usage was. What we have are some interesting
      > post-70 reflections in
      > Greek, some of which may have continuity with Jesus'
      > usage and some of
      > which may not. I agree that we need to take the
      > Gospel evidence
      > seriously, of course, but taking it seriously means
      > avoiding the
      > straight transference between the evangelists' usage
      > and Jesus'.

      Well Mark, we're going in circles. I realize that by
      this logic we know next to nothing about Jesus, for
      want of first-hand information. But I think the
      cumulative gospel testimony paints a telling picture
      here -- just as it points (for instance) to an
      historically apocalyptic figure, though the gospel
      writers clearly had an eschatological bias to begin
      with.

      > What do you make of texts like Mark 1.44, which
      > sounds a lot like
      > priestly Torah / Temple observance, as does the
      > whole emphasis in the
      > Gospels on the Passover and Temple, with
      > which they all climax?

      Taken in conjunction with all the gospel data (and
      assuming that a text like Mk 1:44 is historical), we
      have a Jesus who comes off as both pro- and
      anti-Torah, pro- and anti-Temple. I'm suggesting that
      the ambiguity can be accounted for, at least partly,
      in terms of centuries-long Galilean independence
      followed by Judean influence. When the Hasmoneans took
      over after centuries of independence, it must have
      resulted in some identification with the temple cult
      (on the basis of ancient allegiances more than forced
      conversions, I would think), but plenty of resentment
      too.

      But I doubt I'll persuade you... :(

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH
      http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com


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    • sdavies0
      ... I ve just read through April s recent postings and she says this: Whether Jesus was a Galilean or a Judean can be an interesting erudite discussion, but
      Message 32 of 32 , Sep 12, 2007
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        --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Loren Rosson <rossoiii@...> wrote:
        > Yes, I see. April DeConick had a strong reaction to
        > Elliott's essay today on her blog, and I can't help
        > but think that we come to rely on certain terminology
        > as a crutch to protect us from phantom fears, or that
        > we're fighting lost battles, however subconsciously.

        I've just read through April's recent postings and she says this:

        "Whether Jesus was a Galilean or a Judean can be an interesting
        erudite discussion, but it means nothing in regard to whether or not
        Jesus was Jewish by our conventional definition of that term. Like
        his brothers and sister Jews who lived in the south, Jesus was a
        Torah-observant, Temple-oriented, apocalyptic teacher who felt very
        strongly that God's covenantal promises would be fulfilled in
        Israel. He kept Sabbath, celebrated the festivals, was kosher, and
        worshiped Yahweh. I think that it is time for us to face up
        to Jesus' Jewishness, and ask ourselves why the some in the academy
        (which many of us are a part of) continue to want to deny, ignore or
        get around this."

        This sort of thing is just what I try to argue against. It's as
        though she had never seen a map showing the location of Galilee vis
        a vis Samaria and Judea and had no idea about the history of the
        place. But surely she does. Knowing that, though, she declares that
        it doesn't matter.

        Note that her description of Jesus as a Torah-observant, Temple-
        oriented Sabbath-keeping Jew is supposedly so obvious that anyone
        who might deny it must have their motivations questioned. "Why do
        some continue to want to deny this!?" Has she never read Mark's
        gospel? She's read Thomas for sure, but dismisses the evidence there
        against her own views without any trouble.

        The fact that Jesus is Galilean should enable us to select from the
        welter of contradictory evidence the more reliable bits. Instead, we
        select bits that are intended to show that his being Galilean is
        irrelevant.

        Is it that she doesn't know that Matthew's Gospel is a version of
        Mark re-written to give us the view of Jesus that she supports? Or
        that Paul first persecuted, as a Pharisee, the movement that he
        later joined, a movement that is not Torah-observant, Temple-
        oriented, Sabbath-keeping until false brothers crept in to make it
        so? (This is my eyewitness's testimony anyhow).

        "He made all foods clean." "You have made my Father's house a
        robber's cave." "The son of man is Lord of the Sabbath."

        But I suppose even thinking these sorts of things makes me one of
        the Nazis.

        >>But you don't really
        >>think I -- not to mention Elliott, Esler, Malina --
        >>are unwitting Nazis, do you?

        >No I certainly don't. Well, not you and Malina
        anyway.

        Steve Davies
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