[XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L] The Miracle Maker
- Mark, Sukie, everybody,
Mark, I should have put in a brief word about being pleased that we are
being presented with a non Nordic Jesus in this new film, which I will look
And I hope you did not read my response as mere bickering.
For years I have wondered a) what Jesus looked like b) what sort of music
and song he and the disciples might have known or sung.
And i have often thought that he probably looked more like a Palestinian
than like many contemporary Israeli Jews. But other Israeli Jews also look
quite like many Palestinians.
Recently I have become aware of how problematic the term 'Jew'--I mean the
Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew etc equivalents--were as regards their reference in
Jesus' time, and so hoped to stir an interesting discussion about that.
Which was getting far away from your original point.
You probably heard about the choice of a representation of Jesus made a
little while back by the NCR--Natioanl Catholic Reporter. It certainly was
not North European--which, I assume, was the reason it was chosen, but it
wasn't particularly Med. or Semitic either. Perhaps slightly Ethiopian,
Thanks again for the reference to the film.
Brian McCarthy, Madison WI
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Goodacre <M.S.GOODACRE@...>
To: <email@example.com>; <synoptic-l@...>
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2000 8:32 AM
Subject: [XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L] The Miracle Maker
On 31 Mar 00, at 8:13, Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:
> > > > And one striking thing about this film -- Jesus actually looks
> > > > Jewish. Shock! Horror!
> I am puzzled about this one. What do Jews look like? To be fair, we
> have certain stereotypes, but in my experience there are many Jews
> do not fit that stereotype - and I suspect that it was true in late
> antiquity as well.
Good point, of course. Actually, when I looked at my second
message I wondered if anyone would ask that. Without wanting to
dig myself in deeper, I suppose that what I mean is that he is not the
stereotypical western blond haired, blue eyed, square jawed Jesus.
When I saw Jesus in The Miracle Maker, he looked Jewish to me and
I assume that it was a conscious attempt on their part to evoke that
feeling in viewers. But perhaps it's just me. Incidentally, if you get
time, you can see some pictures:
I've got information about other Jesus films on the NT Gateway
(which incidentally now has a much easier to remember address at
ntgateway.com, in full http://www.ntgateway.com)
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
The New Testament Gateway
All-in-One Biblical Resources Search
Mark Without Q
Aseneth Home Page
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- Brian McCarthy wrote:
"Recently I have become aware of how problematic the term 'Jew'--I
> Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew etc equivalents--were as regards their reference inI am very intrigued by your raising the issue of the term "Jew" and its
> Jesus' time, and so hoped to stir an interesting discussion about that.
> Which was getting far away from your original point."
during the time of Jesus. I have become fascinated by the unusual ways this
term has been used, to the point where I have almost starting writing
in my personal notes, instead of Jew. The term Jew, to the ear of the
audience, is too quick to mean it in "ethnic" terms, instead of purely
Even in the New Testament, there seems to be a sound use of other terms
to refer to the "ethnic" "Jewish" population in Palestine: "a son of
references to the seed of Abraham, and the like. But sometimes I hear a
sub-text "echo" with some uses of the word "Jew/Judaoi" which seems to be
purely in contrast with the "Am Haretz".... something akin to - - if you are
a Sadduccee, Scribe, Pharisee, or Essene, THEN you are a "Jew". Otherwise,
you are just a resident in Palestine, of the Am Haretz, a "sinner", or what
I started thinking along these lines while studying the Maccabees in
with some DSS scrolls. Mentions were frequently made to the House of
And conventionally we have all been taught to understand this to mean the
from the Babylonian captivity, which included not just Judah-ites, but also
But then the time of the Maccabees arrives. And Judah becomes a national
And The Law and Purity and "ethnic/spiritual" solidarity becomes paramount
the land. Maccabeean hit squads seem to systematically "silence" (execute)
those who collaborate with the Greeks, and perhaps even to impose a
or die" mentality on outlying communities. Almost as if to say, "if you are
Judah' you are, by definition, a 'sinner'."
In the DSS materials we read "House of Judah".... as well as "House of
Sure, these could be symbolic references. But what if House of Absalom
DOES refer to the clan or followers of Absalom, which is a personal name in
current usage in the literature at that time.
And considering the heroic status of Judah, with brothers that continue his
for decades, perhaps ... just maybe.... House of Judah is a specific
reference to the
followers of Judah's "school" and "covert militia" driving the Greeks out of
land. And those who are so "zealous" are "of Judah", Judah-ites, whether
are Levites, or Benjaminites, or even converting gentiles.
This is conceivable because through decades of resistance, Judah and the
of Judah have DEFINITELY had the opportunity to put their "family stamp" on
all the religious politics of Jerusalem - - the post of highest military
leader and the
most of High Priest all belongs to the family. Appointments within the
hierarchy are being made by a "family business" for a generation.
And, with complete predictability, once the victories have been won, and
Jewish independence has been secure, the schisms and divisions emerge within
this "School or House of Judah". The emergence of the Sadducees with their
interests, countered by the less elite, but more numerous Pharisees. They
emerge out of this "possible" House of Judah tradition. They are ALL
even if they are now called Sadducees, Scribes and Pharisees.
And those "of the land", the Am Haretz, who never signed-on zealously
to the Judah-ite agenda, and just tried to stay out of trouble, they are
from the point of view of the men and families of men who risked their life
and blood for the sake of God's Temple, and God's chosen.
Granted, this is a huge amount of speculation. And I accept this criticism.
But I thought I would paint a mural of a particular depiction of what might
going on with "the Jews" (the Judaoi, or Judah-ites), and let people who are
so inclined blast huge holes in the worst part of the mural.
Then I can start again with a better canvas.