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[XTalk] Re: HMt and Hebrew in 1 c Israel

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  • Jim West
    ... in fact hebrew was used in ist c. palestine like latin was used in 15th century germany- as the language of the scholar . you cannot suppose that hebrew
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 3, 2000
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      At 03:31 PM 1/3/00 -0500, you wrote:
      >
      >Crosstalkers,
      >
      >Doubts have been expressed by Jack and others as to what extent Hebrew was
      >used in Israel in the 1 c. These doubts seem to be misplaced. Hebrew was
      >certainly both spoken and written in Israel in the 1 c. Much religious
      >literature was written at that time in Hebrew. Here's some info from the
      >Enc. Britannica,

      in fact hebrew was used in ist c. palestine like latin was used in 15th
      century germany- as the language of the "scholar". you cannot suppose that
      hebrew was used by the common folk any more than you can suggest that latin
      was used by the filty urchins in stuttgart.

      that we have hebrew lit is not surprising- since literature is the venue of
      the learned. you are a bit more pressed to find evidence of common folk
      (and thus the majority of the population) speaking hebrew (much less reading
      it).

      Best,

      Jim

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Jim West, ThD
      jwest@...
      http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
    • Yuri Kuchinsky
      Crosstalkers, What kinds of early Jewish-Christians existed in the first century of Christianity? There appears to have been quite a few often divergent sects,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 10, 2000
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        Crosstalkers,

        What kinds of early Jewish-Christians existed in the first century of
        Christianity? There appears to have been quite a few often divergent
        sects, and much literature exists on this subject. Naturally, all of this
        is extremely important for understanding the milieu in which the
        Historical Yeshu was conducting his ministry.

        It is my belief that low Christology, along with Torah-observance, would
        have been the mark of the earliest Jesus movement post-Easter, but very
        soon substantial theological developments and splits took place.

        Very good insight into early Jewish Christianity may be provided by
        _Dialogue with Trypho, A Jew_, by Justin Martyr (d. ca. A.D. 165).
        Overall, it may be said that Justin portrays four kinds of Jewish
        Christians. One may divide them according to the Christology they
        followed, and also according to their attitude towards the Torah
        observance.

        (1) According to Justin, some Jewish Christians were in complete agreement
        with the greater Church on both accounts (Dial 39, 43, 48). They accepted
        the orthodox view, affirmed also by Justin, of course, that Jesus is the
        Messiah, the pre-existent and virgin born Son of God (cf. chaps. 43, 48);
        they rejected the Law as having present relevance, and did not observe its
        provisions. According to Justin, these Jewish Christians redeemed all
        their compatriots, and "for their sake the nation was not completely
        destroyed." (chaps. 43, 48).

        (2) Other Jewish Christians held a form of an adoptionist Christology.
        They believed Jesus "to have been a man, and to have been appointed by
        election, and then to have become Messiah" (Dial 45, 47).

        Also, the Dialogue describes other Jewish Chistians who, while holding an
        "orthodox" Christology, yet also wished to observe the institutions of
        Torah (cf. chaps. 46, 47). Justin divides these into two groups.

        (3) He is critical of those Jews who say they believe in Christ but try to
        persuade others, particularly Gentile Christians, to observe the Law
        (circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, observing months and times of the
        year, ritual washing after touching prohibited things or after sexual
        intercourse, etc.) and who refuse to "associate intimately with Christians
        who do not keep the Law." According to Justin, such Hebrew Christians will
        not be saved.

        (4) Justin also knows of other Jewish Christians who keep the Law, he
        says, "through weak-mindedness" (dia to asthenes tes gnomes), but do not
        try to persuade others to do so. He believes these will achieve salvation,
        and that other Christians "ought to join ourselves to such, and associate
        with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren" (chap. 47). However, he
        acknowledges that there were some Christians who refused to have Christian
        fellowship with such Jewish Christians.

        So here's a summary of these 4 types,

        CHRISTOLOGY TORAH OBSERVANCE

        1 High No (group fully in accord with proto-Catholics)
        2 Low Yes
        3 High Yes (and attempting to persuade other Christians)
        4 High Yes (but no attempt to persuade)

        In reference to these divisions, it is my view that the earliest form of
        Jewish Christian belief would have been (2). I prefer to call these Jewish
        Christians Ebionites. I believe these would have been the earliest
        followers of Yeshu who later became the first Jerusalem community.

        Then, we have the group (3) that seems to have been partly accommodated to
        the more mainstream proto-Catholic theology of Justin's time, while still
        having substantial differences with them over the Torah observance.

        Even more accommodated seems to be the group (4). And finally, there's the
        group (1) that appears to have surrendered any differences they may have
        had in the past with the proto-Catholics.

        It is quite natural to suppose that all these four groups may have had
        their own devotional texts, probably various recensions of the Gospel of
        Matthew, as the Church Fathers so often insist, as well as others. So
        there would have been quite a variety of theologies reflected in their
        liturgical and devotional texts.

        Any opinions?

        Regards,

        Yuri.

        P.S. There has not been a great outpouring of interest so far re my
        proposal to start a new Hebrew Matthew list, but the subject is still
        being discussed on email with various parties. Meanwhile the discussion of
        HMt has now shifted to TC-List where it is quite lively at the moment,

        http://www.egroups.com/group/tc-list

        Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

        The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
        equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
      • Daniel Grolin
        Dear Yuri, There is one thing that strikes me: You wrote:
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 12, 2000
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          Dear Yuri,

          There is one thing that strikes me:

          You wrote:
          <(2) Other Jewish Christians held a form of an adoptionist
          Christology. They believed Jesus "to have been a man, and to have been
          appointed by election, and then to have become Messiah" (Dial 45, 47).>

          This is the group you favour for the most ancient of Judeo-Christians. It
          occurs to me that the formulation, that Jesus was "appointed by election",
          follows the concepts of Horsley's "popular messianic movement", rather
          than a scribal variant. I would consider this to be a plus for your
          hypothesis, since Jesus' movement was undoubtedly popular in origin.

          Regards,

          Daniel
        • Yuri Kuchinsky
          ... Hi, Daniel. Well, first of all, let me correct what I wrote previously. For some reason I wrote appointed instead of annointed , although the general
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 12, 2000
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            On Wed, 12 Jan 2000, Daniel Grolin wrote:

            > Dear Yuri,
            >
            > There is one thing that strikes me:
            >
            > You wrote:
            > <(2) Other Jewish Christians held a form of an adoptionist
            > Christology. They believed Jesus "to have been a man, and to have been
            > appointed by election, and then to have become Messiah" (Dial 45, 47).>
            >
            > This is the group you favour for the most ancient of Judeo-Christians.
            > It occurs to me that the formulation, that Jesus was "appointed by
            > election", follows the concepts of Horsley's "popular messianic
            > movement", rather than a scribal variant. I would consider this to be
            > a plus for your hypothesis, since Jesus' movement was undoubtedly
            > popular in origin.

            Hi, Daniel.

            Well, first of all, let me correct what I wrote previously. For some
            reason I wrote "appointed" instead of "annointed", although the general
            meaning is still roughly similar. Here are a couple of corrected quotes
            from Justin.

            (2) Other Jewish Christians held a form of an adoptionist Christology.
            They believed Jesus "to have been a man, and to have been anointed by
            election, and then to have become Christ",

            "For there are some, my friends," I [Justin] said, "of our race, who admit
            that He is Christ, while holding Him to be man of men."

            "And Trypho said, "Those who affirm him to have been a man, and to have
            been anointed by election, and then to have become Christ, appear to me to
            speak more plausibly than you who hold those opinions which you express.
            For we all expect that Christ will be a man [born] of men, and that Elijah
            when he comes will anoint him. But if this man appear to be Christ, he
            must certainly be known as man [born] of men." (Dial 48-49)

            [end quotes]

            The complete text is available here,

            http://ccel.wheaton.edu/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-48.htm#P4043_787325

            As Trypho says in the quote, for the believing Jews it would have made a
            lot more sense, and a lot less troublesome, to accept Yeshu as a common
            man at first, who was later made the Messiah at the time, or shortly
            after, his death by Crucifixion.

            Regards,

            Yuri.

            Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

            The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
            equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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