Price Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT
- At 12:59 PM 12/8/2011, Ronald Price wrote:
>Dennis Goffin wrote:Ron,
> > You say "Jesus was recognized as the Jewish Messiah." What in
> your view were
> > the reasons why, and to what in the Hebrew Bible and/or the
> > literature did he correspond in order to enable that recognition ?
>It's a good question, but I don't yet have a clear view of what
>first-century Jews would have thought of the role of the Messiah, nor of the
>specific sources on which their views would have been based. It's really a
>question for someone who knows ancient Judaism much better than I do.
>That said, I have today borrowed a library book which may have the answer.
>It is "How Jesus became Christian", by a Canadian Professor of Humanities
>and Religious Studies, Barrie Wilson. He writes that the clearest exposition
>of the idea is to be found in the Psalms of Solomon. The Messiah must
>overthrow foreign rule, establish an independent Jewish state, be a Davidic
>king, and usher in universal peace, establishing the kingdom of God.
It strikes me that the very concept of your treasured book is
misplaced. I would not have even opened that book. The question in
the title seems to me preposterous on its face: How could Jesus
become something that did not yet exist? Furthermore, in your
explication of the book, you seem to be interested in a different
question than the one suggested by the title of the book: your focus
is on how Jesus became the Messiah, rather than how he became a
Christian. It seems to me that if Jesus had any concept of being the
Messiah, it was his intention to be a Jewish messiah.
Whether he intended to be a Jewish messiah, ISTM, is not well
established. An intention to gather the lost sheep of Israel points
to a prophetic calling, not necessarily a messiahship.
I view the whole messiah issue as one that mainly concerned second
generation followers of Jesus as they sought to understand the
meaning of his life, death, and resurrection. It was an
interpretation that grew among people who searched their holy
writings to understand what had happened. It may even have been a
rationalization by the followers of Jesus.
Northern Arizona University
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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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