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[XTalk] Re: metanoia and aphesin

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  • odell mcguire
    Liz Fried wrote:-----Original Message----- From: odell mcguire [mailto:omcguire@wlu.edu] The question which keeps coming to my mind is
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 1999
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      Liz Fried wrote:

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: odell mcguire [mailto:omcguire@...]
       The question which keeps coming
      > to my mind is
      > what word(s) did *Josephus* (in Ant.) use in describing what JB
      > did and did not
      > claim his baptism of metanoia led to And
      > what he said the >others< who came and got John in trouble said
      > it led to.
      >[snip] For Herod had put him to death, though he>was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to lead righteous lives, to
      practice justice towards their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing
      to join in Baptism (Baptsmo sunienai.) In his view this was a necessary
      preliminary if baptism was to be acceptable to God. They must not employ it
      to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of
      the body imply that the soul was already cleansed by right behavior.  When
      others too joined the crowds about him, because they were aroused tothe<
      highest degree by his sermons, Herod became alarmed. [snip]<

      >Interesting. Is this what you wanted?<


      Not quite all of it. The corresponding  word to (aphesin) in:  >metanoias eis aphesin hamartiwn<  from Mark, would be (pardon) in: >They must not employ it *to gain pardon* for whatever sins they committed<  from Josephus above. For >they< appears to be logically antecedent to the >others< who caught the attention of Herod. So if some form of the noun aphesis is used or perhaps a passive of its  cognate verb aphihmi AND that word has special Jubilee overtones as you have suggested, perhaps a *general amnesty* for sinners, then:

      (1) Josephus is purposely contrasting the harmless >coming together in baptism< after repentence which John actually preached, with >a baptism leading to liberation from all their sins<  which latter is something else; and no great distance from what *Mark* said the Baptist preached. I believe this much has been admitted by several scholars. Even if the words don't match. But if they do, I think the overtones of Jubilee give the passage a more sinister, more revolutionary, flavor as well as greater authority and contextual coherence.

      (2) It becomes quite conceieveable that a group of Jesus' followers, or followers to be, with or without HJ are the >others<. etc. etc.

      I am grateful for your trouble. Incidentally, my conception of Jubilee is forever colored by my southern musical and historical heritage; the time is fulfilled and the liberation of the slaves is at hand.

      Best, Odell, Lexington, VA

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