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Re: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive

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  • Jim Bacon
    Jack, Your comments about Pilate and Caiaphas are intriguing, especially the notion that Caiaphas was siphoning off some of the Temple wealth to bribe Pilate
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2001
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      Jack, Your comments about Pilate and Caiaphas are intriguing, especially the
      notion that Caiaphas was siphoning off some of the Temple wealth to bribe
      Pilate (and presumably Gratus before him). I haven't seen that view
      expressed before. Understanding the relationship between these two figures
      is critical for any analysis of who arrested Jesus, who wanted him crucified
      and why. One thing I like about your hypothesis is that, unlike so much
      contemporary commentary that I read, you don't relegate Caiaphas to the
      status of passive collaborator, lackey and supplicant. Presumably, you
      regard him as an active participant in the politics of the time.

      However, by placing the crucifixion around 30 A.D., you suggest that the
      passion drama occurred in an environment in which Sejanus still ran things
      back and Rome and Pilate's position in Judea was secure. However, should we
      place the crucifixion in 33 A.D., Sejanus has been executed and Pilate's
      position is extremely vulnerable. Now, I acknowledge that the Gospel
      accounts strain credulity in a number of areas, including those that you
      suggest. However, I find the Gospel of John's narrative entirely plausible
      when the priests shake up Pilate with the accusation that he is no friend of
      Caesar if he lets Jesus off the hook. Tiberius had already chastised him
      severely over the issue of the votive shields. The last thing Pilate needed
      at that moment was a second embassy of the Jews going to Rome. Dealing from
      a position of weakness, not strength, he capitulated. Therefore, a 33 A.D.
      dating implies a very different dynamic between the priests and the
      procurator than a 30 A.D. dating. A 33 A.D. dating also implies that the
      initiative to crucify Jesus came from the priests, not Pilate.

      Jim Bacon

      Original Message -----
      From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 12:45 PM
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive


      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>
      > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 1:49 AM
      > Subject: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive
      >
      >
      > > I'm sure Jim Bacon won't mind my drawing list members' attention
      > > to an interesting "Chat with Paula Fredriksen" recently uploaded to
      > > the Jesus Archive:
      >
      > Anything from Fredriksen is always interesting, She is one of those
      > scholars,
      > among whom I count you, Mark, that will break new ground. Ground
      breakers,
      > even if they are plowing rocky ground, always stimulate re-examination.
      >
      > I am one of those who accepts the temple "cleansing" as an historical
      event
      > because
      > it is a model that explains some otherwise puzzling issues...such as why
      > Jesus alone
      > was targeted by Pilatus. There is so much in the "passion story" that I
      > find unbelievable
      > such as the "Sanhedrin trial," the Barabbas story, the "blood be on our
      > children"
      > statement. My take is that the arrest and execution of Jesus was entirely
      a
      > Pilatus
      > driven event with some cooperation from Caiaphas and his father-in-law.
      >
      > Professor Fredriksen makes a very good point that is obvious to anyone who
      > has
      > walked the perimeter of the temple mount while reconstructing Herod's
      temple
      > district in their mind. Jesus, opening up a can of wup-ass on a few
      hawkers
      > at
      > the balustrades would not have the whole temple district in chaos. At
      best,
      > only a few
      > would have seen it. Other than the usual paranoia of the Roman
      authorities
      > during
      > Pesach at the temple, what larger issue could have risen from what was
      > probably
      > an incident unseen and unheard by most?
      >
      > The temple in Jerusalem was the magnet for the largest accumulation of
      > wealth
      > in the ancient world and Caiaphas was the overseer. What is unique about
      > this High Priest is his length of service. Appointed by Gratus in 18CE,
      he
      > served for 18 years, the longest reign of any high priest. His
      > father-in-law
      > was appointed by Quirinius himself and reigned the second longest period
      > (9 years from 6-15). All the other high priests were lucky to make 3
      years.
      >
      > The period of Jesus' public life, which I take to be 27-30 CE, is the peak
      > of
      > Sejanus' power in Rome and Pilatus was his appointee. I think Caiaphas
      > was siphoning some of the temple wealth to Pilatus and Sejanus as a means
      > of maintaining a peaceful detente with the otherwise ruthless prefect.
      Some
      > of that wealth came from the High Priests "cut" of the ancillary temple
      > businesses (money changers, animal dealers, peanuts, popcorn, Coke and
      > Cracker Jacks) that served 300,000 or so Pesach pilgrims. I would also
      bet
      > the barley farm that Tiberius was not in on the take. Add one irate
      > itinerate
      > Galilean preacher railing publicly about this "den of thieves" and you
      have
      > an incendiary situation that necessitated the elimination of Jesus.
      > Pilatus'
      > enterprise is protected and Caiaphas continues to keep the peace by
      > helping Pilatus sacrifice one man. Caiaphas, vilified by Christian
      history
      > was probably a good guy trying to avoid the massacres of Jewish people
      > the best way he knew how...bribery.
      >
      > An historical temple incident is actually one of the few gospel events
      that
      > makes sense to me.
      >
      > Jack
      >
      >
      > -----
      > ______________________________________________
      >
      > taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon
      >
      > Jack Kilmon
      > North Hollywood, Ca.
      > jkilmon@...
      >
      > http://www.historian.net
      >
      > sharing a meal for free.
      > http://www.thehungersite.com/
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
      >
      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
      >
      > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
      >
      > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
    • Jack Kilmon
      ... From: Jim Bacon To: Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 3:14 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jim Bacon" <jabacon@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 3:14 AM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive


        > Jack, Your comments about Pilate and Caiaphas are intriguing, especially
        the
        > notion that Caiaphas was siphoning off some of the Temple wealth to bribe
        > Pilate (and presumably Gratus before him). I haven't seen that view
        > expressed before. Understanding the relationship between these two figures
        > is critical for any analysis of who arrested Jesus, who wanted him
        crucified
        > and why. One thing I like about your hypothesis is that, unlike so much
        > contemporary commentary that I read, you don't relegate Caiaphas to the
        > status of passive collaborator, lackey and supplicant. Presumably, you
        > regard him as an active participant in the politics of the time.
        >
        > However, by placing the crucifixion around 30 A.D., you suggest that the
        > passion drama occurred in an environment in which Sejanus still ran things
        > back and Rome and Pilate's position in Judea was secure.

        But how secure would it be if Tiberius, frolicking on Capris with his little
        boys,
        discovered Sejanus was funding his "war chest" through his conduit (Pilatus)
        with skim-offs from the temple industry? Sejanus was going to need some
        major
        bucks to lavish on his own Praetorians and the Roman legionnaires to assume
        the imperial throne when Tiberius died.


        > However, should we
        > place the crucifixion in 33 A.D., Sejanus has been executed and Pilate's
        > position is extremely vulnerable. Now, I acknowledge that the Gospel
        > accounts strain credulity in a number of areas, including those that you
        > suggest. However, I find the Gospel of John's narrative entirely plausible
        > when the priests shake up Pilate with the accusation that he is no friend
        of
        > Caesar if he lets Jesus off the hook.

        I don't think that Caiaphas would threaten the very prefect with whom his
        "quid pro quo" arrangement was working so well. He could, however,
        suggest to Pilatus that this Nazarene rabble-rouser's accusations might get
        back to Rome to find Tiberius' ear. For Caiaphas to remain in office for
        the entire tenure of Pilatus (as Gratus before him) strongly suggests a
        chummy relationship at a time when Legatus Syriae, Prefects, and
        procurators (after 49 CE) changed High Priests more often then their
        underwear. Further support, I believe, is in John 18:14 for the need to
        eliminate ONE man (Jesus) to prevent "you know what" from hitting the
        Imperial fan.

        Caiaphas was too astute a politician to threaten Pilatus.


        > Tiberius had already chastised him
        > severely over the issue of the votive shields. The last thing Pilate
        needed
        > at that moment was a second embassy of the Jews going to Rome. Dealing
        from
        > a position of weakness, not strength, he capitulated.

        I think it was a collaboration/conspiracy, and not a coersion, between
        Caiaphas, Annas and a few Sadducees and Pilatus.

        > Therefore, a 33 A.D.
        > dating implies a very different dynamic between the priests and the
        > procurator than a 30 A.D. dating. A 33 A.D. dating also implies that the
        > initiative to crucify Jesus came from the priests, not Pilate.

        Yes, but the priests were Roman toadies. I am convinced no Pharisees
        were involved..after all, they were Democrats. <g>

        Jack

        >
        > Jim Bacon
        >
        > Original Message -----
        > From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
        > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 12:45 PM
        > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive
        >
        >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>
        > > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 1:49 AM
        > > Subject: [XTalk] Paula Fredriksen on Jesus Archive
        > >
        > >
        > > > I'm sure Jim Bacon won't mind my drawing list members' attention
        > > > to an interesting "Chat with Paula Fredriksen" recently uploaded to
        > > > the Jesus Archive:
        > >
        > > Anything from Fredriksen is always interesting, She is one of those
        > > scholars,
        > > among whom I count you, Mark, that will break new ground. Ground
        > breakers,
        > > even if they are plowing rocky ground, always stimulate re-examination.
        > >
        > > I am one of those who accepts the temple "cleansing" as an historical
        > event
        > > because
        > > it is a model that explains some otherwise puzzling issues...such as why
        > > Jesus alone
        > > was targeted by Pilatus. There is so much in the "passion story" that I
        > > find unbelievable
        > > such as the "Sanhedrin trial," the Barabbas story, the "blood be on our
        > > children"
        > > statement. My take is that the arrest and execution of Jesus was
        entirely
        > a
        > > Pilatus
        > > driven event with some cooperation from Caiaphas and his father-in-law.
        > >
        > > Professor Fredriksen makes a very good point that is obvious to anyone
        who
        > > has
        > > walked the perimeter of the temple mount while reconstructing Herod's
        > temple
        > > district in their mind. Jesus, opening up a can of wup-ass on a few
        > hawkers
        > > at
        > > the balustrades would not have the whole temple district in chaos. At
        > best,
        > > only a few
        > > would have seen it. Other than the usual paranoia of the Roman
        > authorities
        > > during
        > > Pesach at the temple, what larger issue could have risen from what was
        > > probably
        > > an incident unseen and unheard by most?
        > >
        > > The temple in Jerusalem was the magnet for the largest accumulation of
        > > wealth
        > > in the ancient world and Caiaphas was the overseer. What is unique
        about
        > > this High Priest is his length of service. Appointed by Gratus in 18CE,
        > he
        > > served for 18 years, the longest reign of any high priest. His
        > > father-in-law
        > > was appointed by Quirinius himself and reigned the second longest period
        > > (9 years from 6-15). All the other high priests were lucky to make 3
        > years.
        > >
        > > The period of Jesus' public life, which I take to be 27-30 CE, is the
        peak
        > > of
        > > Sejanus' power in Rome and Pilatus was his appointee. I think Caiaphas
        > > was siphoning some of the temple wealth to Pilatus and Sejanus as a
        means
        > > of maintaining a peaceful detente with the otherwise ruthless prefect.
        > Some
        > > of that wealth came from the High Priests "cut" of the ancillary temple
        > > businesses (money changers, animal dealers, peanuts, popcorn, Coke and
        > > Cracker Jacks) that served 300,000 or so Pesach pilgrims. I would also
        > bet
        > > the barley farm that Tiberius was not in on the take. Add one irate
        > > itinerate
        > > Galilean preacher railing publicly about this "den of thieves" and you
        > have
        > > an incendiary situation that necessitated the elimination of Jesus.
        > > Pilatus'
        > > enterprise is protected and Caiaphas continues to keep the peace by
        > > helping Pilatus sacrifice one man. Caiaphas, vilified by Christian
        > history
        > > was probably a good guy trying to avoid the massacres of Jewish people
        > > the best way he knew how...bribery.
        > >
        > > An historical temple incident is actually one of the few gospel events
        > that
        > > makes sense to me.
        > >
        > > Jack
        > >
        > >
        > > -----
        > > ______________________________________________
        > >
        > > taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon
        > >
        > > Jack Kilmon
        > > North Hollywood, Ca.
        > > jkilmon@...
        > >
        > > http://www.historian.net
        > >
        > > sharing a meal for free.
        > > http://www.thehungersite.com/
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
        > >
        > > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
        crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
        > >
        > > List managers may be contacted directly at:
        crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        > The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
        >
        > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
        >
        > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
        >
        > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
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