Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT
- -----Original Message-----
From: Ronald Price
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:20 AM
Subject: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT
This is my take on the key people and events in the first period of the
Jesus movement before any of the NT documents were written. It is not
practicable here to present the evidence for all of the assertions below,
but comments on specific points would be welcome.
(a) ca. 28-30 CE
Jesus was an influential Jewish teacher.
He appointed twelve 'apostles', among whom:
James, was his brother and the leading apostle;
Peter was the second most prominent apostle.
JK] What evidence do you have that Ya'aqob Bar Yahosef was among the
Talmidda prior to the crucifixion? Although my opinion from collective
circumstantial evidence is that Jesus' ministry was a family supported
enterprise (at least half his disciples were relatives), all I have to hang
my hat on for Ya'aqob is Thomas #12.
(b) ca. 30 CE
Jesus was recognized as the Jewish Messiah.
His head was anointed as a demonstration of this status (c.f. Mk 14:3).
His entry into Jerusalem enacted the prophecy of Zech 9:9.
A clash in the temple resulted in his arrest.
He was condemned to death for claiming to be 'king of the Jews'.
He was crucified by the Roman authorities.
JK] Appearing to be an Enochian, Jesus repeatedly claims to be the Danielic
Bar Nasha and not once clearly claims to be "the Messiah," a title or status
totally unclear or variable in its interpretation. I agree that his "hissy"
at the temple causeway got him arrested and nothing to do with blasphemy,
messiahship or kingship.
(c) ca. 45 CE
James decided it was now time to have his brother's sayings written down.
For this task he needed someone who had writing and poetic skills.
So he co-opted as an apostle a certain 'Matthew' (the Matthias of Ac 1:26).
Matthew edited and penned the sayings of Jesus ('logia') in poetic form in
JK] I agree with this except I do not think that Matthias of Acts' election
of an apostle to replace Judas was the same as the original disciple Matthew
(who was Jesus' cousin). Mattaya Bar Halfy would indeed have had the writing
skills and this would have been around the time that followers wanted to
preserve sayings, perhaps nervous that the "imminent" malkutha d'alaha had
not yet materialized.
All the aphorisms of the logia were later to be translated into Greek and
incorporated, with varying degrees of accuracy and completeness, into one or
more of the three synoptic gospels.
JK] I think the Markan notebook of sayings had a different source and an
Aramaic "proto-John" (smaller and Christologically less complex than the
expanded Greek version) predated Mark's gospel and written by another
Thanks for this, Ron. I like posts that make us look at our own paradigms.
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- This topic ran for a while back in January.
I have just seen a review of a book on Philo
which gives particular attention to Philo's
use of some passages from the haftarot which, it is
argued, match part of a later cycle of such readings.
Naomi Cohen, Philo's Scriptures ... (Brill 2007) is
the book, and a very interesting and detailed review
of it by Tzvee Zahavy is in Review of Rabbinic
Judaism 15 (2012) 133-136.
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
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