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Re: [XTalk] Re: Honorable debate in agonistic cultures

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  • Robert M. Schacht
    ... Why this ad hominem? We might equally ask, are you pushing the honor-shame model because you *want* to see this traceable back to the HJ? It is not our
    Message 1 of 109 , Jun 3, 2001
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      At 11:27 AM 06/02/01, Loren Rosson wrote:
      > > > "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!...
      > > > It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and
      > > > Sidon than for you." (Mt. 11:21-22/Lk. 10:13-14)
      > > I don't think this is HJ, but rather the voice of those later
      > > disappointed by rejection of what were originally welcoming towns.
      >Is this simply because you don't want to see this as being traceable back
      >to HJ?

      Why this ad hominem? We might equally ask, are you pushing the honor-shame
      model because you *want* to see this traceable back to the HJ?
      It is not our wants that are at stake, but what methodology can we used to
      evaluate whether this model applies, or not.

      >Why would you suppose those towns were originally welcoming?

      You are missing the point. In general in this debate, you haven't been very
      keen on seeing any differences between the authorial point of view of the
      evangelist, and the voice of Jesus. In other words, it seems to mean
      nothing to you that the date of composition of the gospels is several
      generations after the time at which the debates are supposed to have taken

      > > > And it's easy to see the bitterness and rage behind parables
      > > > like the Rich Man and Lazarus, The Talents, The Laborers in the
      > Vineyard, etc.
      > > You go on and on about bitterness and rage. ...

      It is easy to see bitterness and rage if that is what you want to see.
      However, I am leery of projecting into the text the things that we want to
      see there.

      The tricky thing about using "models" is that they are generally imposed on
      the evidence. We need to be able to test the appropriateness of the models.
      You are satisfied that this has already been done. I am not so satisfied.
      With Gordon, I look for the Hebrew 'voice' that we see in the Tanakh,
      Josephus, and the DSS, which seems to me a more reliable guide to the
      temperament of Jesus than the honor-shame model.

      To over-emphasize the bitterness and rage makes Jesus into a social radical
      and seems to de-emphasize the spiritual dimension. I am more persuaded by
      E.P. Sanders' judgment that Jesus' agenda was theological more than
      political or economic. Not that Jesus didn't care about the latter, but
      that he was *more* interested in restoring the relationship between Jews
      and their God than in fomenting revolution, which seems to be the logical
      implication of all your 'bitterness and rage.'


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Loren Rosson
      [James] Do you think these folks were armed? [Loren] No. With the possible exception of the Samaritan Prophet, the popular prophets didn t lead armed revolts.
      Message 109 of 109 , Jun 18, 2001
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        Do you think these folks were armed?

        No. With the possible exception of the Samaritan
        Prophet, the popular prophets didn't lead armed
        revolts. "Violence" was left as the prerogative of God
        alone, when He soon acted. Jesus followed suit here,
        never condoning human violence, elsewhere promising
        divine retribution (as in Mt. 11:20-24/Lk. 10:13-16).

        So, would you say that it is possible that the masses
        went out just to see IF a miracle would be performed,
        rather than to participate? Would they necessarily
        had any clue as to the chance of being
        slaughtered as they were?

        I think the masses went out because they believed,
        fervently, that God would act; that the Kingdom was
        imminent. I see no reason to question the enthusiastic
        level of their participation in the march around
        Jerusalem's walls.

        How many do you suppose there actually were?

        A lot -- these are called "popular" prophets for good

        Josephus is surely exaggerating with the numbers
        though, isn't he?

        Probably. I imagine hundreds, rather than thousands,
        of followers for the Egyptian prophet.

        What do you think was their reason for being
        there? Just to innocently see if the Egyptian's
        claim would come to pass or to
        actually fight their way into Jerusalem?

        I believe they circled Jerusalem with the expectation
        that (at the prophet's command) the walls of the city
        would come tumbling down, as Joshua's legendary shout
        had done to the walls of Jericho in ages past. This
        would have been the first apoacalyptic prelude to the
        Kingdom of God. I don't know how "innocent" this is,
        but I sense your sarcasm. However preposterous and
        naive such expectations may seem to us, they were no
        more so than, say, those of the followers of Theudas,
        who was supposed to have parted the waters of the
        Jordan before getting decapitated by Cuspius Fadus.

        Well, I'm wondering how we know any of these people
        were really doing anything more than going out to
        possibly observe a miracle...I'm reacting to the
        following article written by an historian who seems to
        paint first century peoples with too broad of a brush
        of gullibility, in an attempt to give us the
        background against which we should view claims about
        Jesus' miracles:


        If you have the time, I'd appreciate any
        feedback/guidance on the overall quality of/points
        raised in that article.

        I would say the author of this article is daft,
        deluded, and devoid of sense. His disdain for the
        people of antiquity is galling. He writes:

        "The age of Jesus was not an age of critical
        reflection and remarkable religious acumen. It was an
        era filled with con artists, gullible believers,
        martyrs without a cause, and reputed miracles of every
        variety. In light of this picture, the tales of the
        gospels do not seem remarkable at all. Even if they
        were false in every detail, there is no evidence that
        they would have been disbelieved or rejected as absurd
        by a people largely lacking in education or critical
        thinking skills. They had no newspapers, telephones,
        photographs, or public documents to consult to check a
        story...The shouts of the credulous rabble overpowered
        their voice and seized the world from them, boldly
        leading them all into the darkness of a thousand years
        of chaos."

        First of all, we cannot dismiss the movements of
        Theudas, the Egyptian Prophet, John the Baptist, or
        Jesus of Nazareth with the above sort of indictment.
        Much in these prophetic movements can be commended,
        just as much can be criticized. But we fail miserably
        in the historical task when we judge the past by
        so-called "enlightened" standards. Secondly, far from
        lacking "religious acumen", the age of Jesus -- that
        is, 2nd-Temple Judaism -- was marked by vibrancy,
        diversity, and (often enough) fierce intelligence.
        Obviously the author and I have very different views
        of the people of antiquity.

        So I can appreciate you reacting against this fellow.
        But that the Egyptian prophet and his followers were
        incited to riot (mad as they were under the Romans and
        Judean elite), and that they fervently believed Yahweh
        would soon act dramatically in history (in accordance
        with ways He had in the past), does not necessarily
        make the leader a "con artist" nor his followers
        "gullible". Does it?

        Loren Rosson III
        Nashua NH

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