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Re: [XTalk] Historicizing prophecy and propaganda in the passion narratives

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  • expcman@aol.com
    Thanks for these thoughtful comments which provide good content for reflection, but one preliminary difficulty I perceive - shouldn t a show trial to be
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 2, 2001
      Thanks for these thoughtful comments which provide good content for
      reflection, but one preliminary difficulty I perceive - shouldn't a "show
      trial" to be effective happen in a way that is known to "the public"? Yet
      this one was "in camera" and in haste, done literally "over-night" with what
      was known to the public was the public execution. The gospels seem to have
      gotten this right, that the haste and privacy was to prevent "the public"
      from getting wind that such events were happening, until it was too late to
      prevent such from happening. But if the arrest of Jesus ran the risk of
      provoking a riot, why would the "authorities" (Jewish and/or Roman) have
      thought that a public execution of a "popular figure" would not provoke a
      riot? Hmmm.

      Clive


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert Raphael
      The Roman authorities probably did have a fear of the public execution of Jesus provoking a riot - this is a good reason to believe the burial account, and the
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 2, 2001
        The Roman authorities probably did have a fear of the public execution of
        Jesus provoking a riot - this is a good reason to believe the burial
        account, and the possible stationing Roman guards at the tomb. It will
        probably never be known the full extent of Roman security measures that were
        in effect at the execution and burial of Jesus, but my guess the security
        measures were considerable.

        Robert Raphael
        -----Original Message-----
        From: expcman@... <expcman@...>
        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Thursday, August 02, 2001 3:45 PM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historicizing prophecy and propaganda in the passion
        narratives


        >Thanks for these thoughtful comments which provide good content for
        >reflection, but one preliminary difficulty I perceive - shouldn't a "show
        >trial" to be effective happen in a way that is known to "the public"? Yet
        >this one was "in camera" and in haste, done literally "over-night" with
        what
        >was known to the public was the public execution. The gospels seem to have
        >gotten this right, that the haste and privacy was to prevent "the public"
        >from getting wind that such events were happening, until it was too late to
        >prevent such from happening. But if the arrest of Jesus ran the risk of
        >provoking a riot, why would the "authorities" (Jewish and/or Roman) have
        >thought that a public execution of a "popular figure" would not provoke a
        >riot? Hmmm.
        >
        >Clive
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
      • Jim Bacon
        ... some ... Bob, what credence do you give to Bruce Chilton s notion that the sanhedrin in the early 1 cen. C.E. was a consultative body appointed by the
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 3, 2001
          Bob Schacht said:
          > I think some of this is anachronistic. For one thing, if I remember
          > correctly, it is a matter of dispute that the Jews even had a formalized
          > Sanhedrin during Jesus' lifetime. We often make the mistake of projecting
          > back onto it the legal formalisms with which we are familiar, but which
          > scarcely belong to that Sitz. In some ways both Jewish institutions,
          > Sanhedrin and Synagogue, developed during the first century from informal
          > gatherings to formalized bodies.
          >
          > That said, I think that the Jewish High Priest would have had some kind of
          > consultative body (sanhedrin-- small s) consisting of important members of
          > the Jewish elite in Jerusalem-- as Crossan reconstructs it in Who Killed
          > Jesus. While not a formalized body, I think it included those with a
          > knowledge of traditional procedures. I am convinced that such a body did
          > convene, and that the charge was probably similar to that mentioned in
          some
          > of the oblique traditions of the Mishnah-- leading the people astray, and
          > blasphemy.
          >
          Bob, what credence do you give to Bruce Chilton's notion that the sanhedrin
          in the early 1 cen. C.E. was a consultative body appointed by the Romans to
          hold the local Judean leadership accountable for the collection of taxes and
          maintenance of order... that there comparable bodies in other cities in
          Palestine (certainly the Samaritans had their own)... and that it took on
          added functions and responsibilities with the passage of time? Do you see a
          possibility that members of the sanhedrin would have been appointed by the
          prefect, not the high priest? If so, would that not totally change the way
          we interpret the dynamics between Pilate, Caiaphas and the sanhedrin during
          Jesus' trial?

          Jim Bacon
          jabacon@...
        • Robert M. Schacht
          ... Jim, Frankly, I don t know what to make of that. What evidence does Chilton base this on? Also, your comments seem founded on the assumption that there was
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 3, 2001
            At 02:37 AM 08/03/01, you wrote:
            >Bob, what credence do you give to Bruce Chilton's notion that the sanhedrin
            >in the early 1 cen. C.E. was a consultative body appointed by the Romans to
            >hold the local Judean leadership accountable for the collection of taxes and
            >maintenance of order... that there comparable bodies in other cities in
            >Palestine (certainly the Samaritans had their own)... and that it took on
            >added functions and responsibilities with the passage of time? Do you see a
            >possibility that members of the sanhedrin would have been appointed by the
            >prefect, not the high priest? If so, would that not totally change the way
            >we interpret the dynamics between Pilate, Caiaphas and the sanhedrin during
            >Jesus' trial?
            >
            >Jim Bacon
            >jabacon@...

            Jim,
            Frankly, I don't know what to make of that. What evidence does Chilton base
            this on?
            Also, your comments seem founded on the assumption that there was only one
            sanhedrin, i.e. THE Sanhedrin, capital S.
            What if there were ad hoc sanhedrins, convened as needed for different
            purposes?

            The problem is that most of our first century sources on the sanhedrin
            were written after 70 C.E., even when they depict events before 70 C.E.

            Bob



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • expcman@aol.com
            Thanks for this succinct reply, with which I fully agree. But I do notice that you did not respond to the core of my question, which is simply this - how can
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 3, 2001
              Thanks for this succinct reply, with which I fully agree. But I do notice
              that you did not respond to the core of my question, which is simply this -
              how can a secret trial
              held in private be considered a "show trial"? I quite agree that the
              "authorities" were
              intent in discrediting Jesus in the eyes of his supporters, but I imagine
              that this was accomplished by the public execution, not the trial. Indeed, I
              would take that the apparent "rush to judgment" was to reach this public
              execution precisely because it would discredit anyone's claim that he was
              "Messiah," as "messiah does not die" ... at least, not before achieving the
              "messianic (royal) task" of restoring the kingdom of David by a successful
              revolt against occupying foreign forces. Would not a public execution
              achieve this far better than a "rigged" show trial?

              Clive


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jim Bacon
              ... sanhedrin ... to ... and ... base ... only one ... sanhedrins, convened as needed for different ... I don t recall Chilton s reasoning on why the
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 4, 2001
                JIM BACON SAID:
                > >Bob, what credence do you give to Bruce Chilton's notion that the
                sanhedrin
                > >in the early 1 cen. C.E. was a consultative body appointed by the Romans
                to
                > >hold the local Judean leadership accountable for the collection of taxes
                and
                > >maintenance of order... that there comparable bodies in other cities in
                > >Palestine (certainly the Samaritans had their own)...

                Bob SCHACHT SAID:

                > Frankly, I don't know what to make of that. What evidence does Chilton
                base
                > this on? Also, your comments seem founded on the assumption that there was
                only one
                > sanhedrin, i.e. THE Sanhedrin, capital S. What if there were ad hoc
                sanhedrins, convened as needed for different
                > purposes?
                >
                > The problem is that most of our first century sources on the sanhedrin
                > were written after 70 C.E., even when they depict events before 70 C.E.
                >
                I don't recall Chilton's reasoning on why the sanhedrins were created by the
                Romans, and I'll admit that I haven't studied this carefully. But I would
                offer a couple of points in support of Chilton's view:

                (1) The word sanhedrin was of Greek origin. That suggests that the council
                itself was of foreign origin. If the council had been created by the
                initiative of local Judean leaders, presumably they would have selected a
                word in Hebrew or Aramaic to describe the institution.
                (2) The earliest references to the Sanhedrin or sanhedrins appear to refer
                to the early period of direct Roman rule.
                (3) When the Romans set up direct rule after deposing Archelaus, what
                institutions of control did they set up? They held local elites responsible
                for making sure the taxes were collected and order was maintained. How did
                they communicate to these elites? There had to be a mechanism and an
                institution through which the Roman governor could confer with the local
                aristocrats. It would have made sense for the Romans to have set up
                councils, or sanhedrins, in Jerusalem, Samaria and perhaps elsewhere in
                Achelaus' former realm.
                (4) The Romans would not have relied solely upon the High Priest, whom they
                appointed and deposed at will. Neither would they have allowed the High
                Priest to stack the membership of the sanhedrin through his own
                appointments. The prefect probably had the authority to appoint members to
                the local councils. I do recall that Chilton argues that the Romans would
                have sought a representative sampling of the local aristocracy, which in the
                case of the Jerusalem sanhedrin would have included members from the leading
                priestly families and other wealthy individuals, along with members of
                various factions such as Pharisees, Essenes, Sadducees, etc.
                (5) Given the obscure origins of the institution, how else do you imagine
                that it would have been created? Is it logical to think that the leading
                families of Jerusalem, or perhaps the high priest, spontaneously created a
                council on their (or his) own initiative under the eyes of the Romans?

                Jim
              • John Lupia
                Jim Bacon wrote: (1) The word sanhedrin was of Greek origin. That suggests that the council itself was of foreign origin. If the council had been created by
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 4, 2001
                  Jim Bacon wrote:

                  (1) The word sanhedrin was of Greek origin. That suggests that the council
                  itself was of foreign origin. If the council had been created by the
                  initiative of local Judean leaders, presumably they would have selected a
                  word in Hebrew or Aramaic to describe the institution.

                  SUNEDRION is a LXX translation of four different Hebrew words occurring 22
                  times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint
                  (Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 1313 cols. 1 & 2.

                  Hatch & Redpath list:

                  SUNEDREUEIN (4 times)
                  Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 11,9; 23,14; 42,12
                  Daniel (LXX) Su. 28

                  SUNEDRIA (-EIA) (3 times)
                  Judith 6,1,17; 11,9

                  SUNEDRIAZEIN (Hapax)
                  Proverbs 3,32

                  SUNEDRION (12 times)
                  Psalm 25 (26) (mat)
                  Proverbs 11,13; 15,22 ; 22,10 (twice); 24,7; 26,26; 27,22; 31,23
                  Jeremiah 15,17
                  2 Maccabees 14,5
                  4 Maccabees 17,17

                  SUNEDROS (2 times)
                  Judith 5,10
                  4 Maccabees 5,1

                  BHMA is a LXX translation of two different Hebrew words occurring 6-10
                  times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint
                  (Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 217 col. 3.

                  BHMA (Judgment seat) (6-10 times)

                  Deut. 2,5
                  1 Esdra 9,42
                  Nehemiah 8,4
                  Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 19,30; 45,9
                  2 Maccabees 13,26
                  Aquila: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13; Proverbs 14,15
                  Samaritan: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13
                  Theodotion: Isaiah 26,6



                  On the obverse of Hasmonean lepta a paleo-Hebrew inscription always bore the
                  name of the incumbent High Priest followed by a boiler-plate formula: "the
                  High Priest and the Jewish Assembly". (Cf. John J. Rousseau & Rami Arav,
                  Jesus & His World (Minneapolis, 1995) 56) Queen Salome Alexandra had placed
                  a large number of Pharisees of Bet Shammai in the Sanhedrin. (cf. Rousseau &
                  Arav, ibid., page 232). There is also archaeological evidence where the
                  Sanhedrin Chamber was located at the Temple of Jerusalem. (cf. Rousseau &
                  Arav, ibid., page 176). After the destruction of the Second Temple
                  Sepphoris became the center of the Sanhedrin (cf. Rousseau & Arav, ibid.,
                  page 249, 317).

                  See also the Catholic Encyclopedia (1912) "Synagogue" look under IV.
                  Organization. (1) Judicial.

                  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14379b.htm


                  Cordially,
                  John


                  John N. Lupia
                  501 North Avenue B-1
                  Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
                  JLupia2@...





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                • Robert Raphael
                  The Roman authorities most likely feared that the public execution of Jesus would have provoked a riot. That is the reason why I believe the burial of Jesus in
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 4, 2001
                    The Roman authorities most likely feared that the public execution of Jesus
                    would have provoked a riot.
                    That is the reason why I believe the burial of Jesus in a tomb and the
                    purported guarding of the tomb by the roman soldiers is credible.

                    We probably will never know the full extent of the Roman Security measured
                    that were in effect at the execution of Jesus.

                    Robert Raphael

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: expcman@... <expcman@...>
                    To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Thursday, August 02, 2001 3:45 PM
                    Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historicizing prophecy and propaganda in the passion
                    narratives


                    >Thanks for these thoughtful comments which provide good content for
                    >reflection, but one preliminary difficulty I perceive - shouldn't a "show
                    >trial" to be effective happen in a way that is known to "the public"? Yet
                    >this one was "in camera" and in haste, done literally "over-night" with
                    what
                    >was known to the public was the public execution. The gospels seem to have
                    >gotten this right, that the haste and privacy was to prevent "the public"
                    >from getting wind that such events were happening, until it was too late to
                    >prevent such from happening. But if the arrest of Jesus ran the risk of
                    >provoking a riot, why would the "authorities" (Jewish and/or Roman) have
                    >thought that a public execution of a "popular figure" would not provoke a
                    >riot? Hmmm.
                    >
                    >Clive
                    >
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
                    >
                    >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                    crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                    >
                    >
                  • Jim Bacon
                    Thank you, John, I stand corrected. My apologies for disseminating inaccurate information. ... Septuagint ... Septuagint ... the ... placed ... & ...
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 5, 2001
                      Thank you, John, I stand corrected. My apologies for disseminating
                      inaccurate information.

                      > Jim Bacon wrote:
                      >
                      > (1) The word sanhedrin was of Greek origin. That suggests that the council
                      > itself was of foreign origin. If the council had been created by the
                      > initiative of local Judean leaders, presumably they would have selected a
                      > word in Hebrew or Aramaic to describe the institution.
                      >
                      > SUNEDRION is a LXX translation of four different Hebrew words occurring 22
                      > times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the
                      Septuagint
                      > (Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 1313 cols. 1 & 2.
                      >
                      > Hatch & Redpath list:
                      >
                      > SUNEDREUEIN (4 times)
                      > Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 11,9; 23,14; 42,12
                      > Daniel (LXX) Su. 28
                      >
                      > SUNEDRIA (-EIA) (3 times)
                      > Judith 6,1,17; 11,9
                      >
                      > SUNEDRIAZEIN (Hapax)
                      > Proverbs 3,32
                      >
                      > SUNEDRION (12 times)
                      > Psalm 25 (26) (mat)
                      > Proverbs 11,13; 15,22 ; 22,10 (twice); 24,7; 26,26; 27,22; 31,23
                      > Jeremiah 15,17
                      > 2 Maccabees 14,5
                      > 4 Maccabees 17,17
                      >
                      > SUNEDROS (2 times)
                      > Judith 5,10
                      > 4 Maccabees 5,1
                      >
                      > BHMA is a LXX translation of two different Hebrew words occurring 6-10
                      > times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the
                      Septuagint
                      > (Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 217 col. 3.
                      >
                      > BHMA (Judgment seat) (6-10 times)
                      >
                      > Deut. 2,5
                      > 1 Esdra 9,42
                      > Nehemiah 8,4
                      > Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 19,30; 45,9
                      > 2 Maccabees 13,26
                      > Aquila: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13; Proverbs 14,15
                      > Samaritan: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13
                      > Theodotion: Isaiah 26,6
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On the obverse of Hasmonean lepta a paleo-Hebrew inscription always bore
                      the
                      > name of the incumbent High Priest followed by a boiler-plate formula: "the
                      > High Priest and the Jewish Assembly". (Cf. John J. Rousseau & Rami Arav,
                      > Jesus & His World (Minneapolis, 1995) 56) Queen Salome Alexandra had
                      placed
                      > a large number of Pharisees of Bet Shammai in the Sanhedrin. (cf. Rousseau
                      &
                      > Arav, ibid., page 232). There is also archaeological evidence where the
                      > Sanhedrin Chamber was located at the Temple of Jerusalem. (cf. Rousseau &
                      > Arav, ibid., page 176). After the destruction of the Second Temple
                      > Sepphoris became the center of the Sanhedrin (cf. Rousseau & Arav, ibid.,
                      > page 249, 317).
                      >
                      > See also the Catholic Encyclopedia (1912) "Synagogue" look under IV.
                      > Organization. (1) Judicial.
                      >
                      > http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14379b.htm
                      >
                      >
                      > Cordially,
                      > John
                      >
                      >
                      > John N. Lupia
                      > 501 North Avenue B-1
                      > Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
                      > JLupia2@...
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > _______________________________________________________
                      > Send a cool gift with your E-Card
                      > http://www.bluemountain.com/giftcenter/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > The XTalk Home Page is http://www.xtalk.org
                      >
                      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
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                    • Robert M. Schacht
                      I apologize for my delayed response, but I was traveling and unable to consult my reference books. To review: On Fri, 3 Aug 2001 07:53:43 -0700 (PDT) , JOHN
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 5, 2001
                        I apologize for my delayed response, but I was traveling and unable to
                        consult my reference books. To review:

                        On Fri, 3 Aug 2001 07:53:43 -0700 (PDT) , JOHN MOON
                        <johnmoon37172@...> wrote:

                        >Considering the various families that existed from
                        >which the priesthood came( was drawn) and their wide
                        >sway.( as well as the number of persons) which came
                        >from these High priestly families.
                        >It would seem inconceivable to me that the Sanhedrin
                        >would not exist in some formal form.
                        >With the ruling family(of the high priest) and his
                        >supporters on the one hand, and the opposition on the other
                        >This can be seen by he protection which was exerted
                        >by the Boethan Family.( over James) in the early church)
                        >Which collapsed when the Boethans were not in Power( James is executed)
                        >It would seem then that there existed a Formal system
                        >prior to 70 CE. Based largely along the Power structure of the Various
                        >Families,
                        >While there might have been informal sanhedrin for
                        >minor matters.You can bet that if the opposition was
                        >left out of a decision and it violated some alliance or
                        >Rules ( especially a civil Law) That that would have
                        >been used against the Family in question and led to
                        >the down fall of the Family and the High priest.
                        >I was wondering if you would expand on the subject
                        >of the composition of the Sanhedrin as we know it in Jesus
                        >time.Which families were represented and which would have been there?
                        >Might the meeting of the New testament have been a
                        >power play by rival sanhedrin which indeed brought
                        >down a family and subsequent replacement by another
                        >High priest. That is the mishandling of the Matter.
                        >What Historical evidence do we have for this other
                        >than the New testament, and perhaps Josephus for this
                        >matter. That might give evidence to support the claim
                        >that this was a sanhedrin(small s) rather than Sanhedrin.
                        >Regards John Moon

                        John,
                        Instead of regarding what is or is not "inconceivable," let's look at the
                        evidence.

                        On Sat, 4 Aug 2001 07:26:06 -0400, Jim Bacon wrote:

                        >(1) The word sanhedrin was of Greek origin. That suggests that the council
                        >itself was of foreign origin. If the council had been created by the
                        >initiative of local Judean leaders, presumably they would have selected a
                        >word in Hebrew or Aramaic to describe the institution.
                        >(2) The earliest references to the Sanhedrin or sanhedrins appear to refer
                        >to the early period of direct Roman rule.
                        >(3) When the Romans set up direct rule after deposing Archelaus, what
                        >institutions of control did they set up? They held local elites responsible
                        >for making sure the taxes were collected and order was maintained. How did
                        >they communicate to these elites? There had to be a mechanism and an
                        >institution through which the Roman governor could confer with the local
                        >aristocrats. It would have made sense for the Romans to have set up
                        >councils, or sanhedrins, in Jerusalem, Samaria and perhaps elsewhere in
                        >Achelaus' former realm.
                        >(4) The Romans would not have relied solely upon the High Priest, whom they
                        >appointed and deposed at will. Neither would they have allowed the High
                        >Priest to stack the membership of the sanhedrin through his own
                        >appointments. The prefect probably had the authority to appoint members to
                        >the local councils. I do recall that Chilton argues that the Romans would
                        >have sought a representative sampling of the local aristocracy, which in the
                        >case of the Jerusalem sanhedrin would have included members from the leading
                        >priestly families and other wealthy individuals, along with members of
                        >various factions such as Pharisees, Essenes, Sadducees, etc.
                        >(5) Given the obscure origins of the institution, how else do you imagine
                        >that it would have been created? Is it logical to think that the leading
                        >families of Jerusalem, or perhaps the high priest, spontaneously created a
                        >council on their (or his) own initiative under the eyes of the Romans?

                        Then on Sat, 4 Aug 2001 11:08:49 -0700 (PDT), John Lupia added some references:

                        >SUNEDRION is a LXX translation of four different Hebrew words occurring 22
                        >times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint
                        >(Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 1313 cols. 1 & 2.
                        >
                        >Hatch & Redpath list:
                        >
                        >SUNEDREUEIN (4 times)
                        >Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 11,9; 23,14; 42,12
                        >Daniel (LXX) Su. 28
                        >
                        >SUNEDRIA (-EIA) (3 times)
                        >Judith 6,1,17; 11,9
                        >
                        >SUNEDRIAZEIN (Hapax)
                        >Proverbs 3,32
                        >
                        >SUNEDRION (12 times)
                        >Psalm 25 (26) (mat)
                        >Proverbs 11,13; 15,22 ; 22,10 (twice); 24,7; 26,26; 27,22; 31,23
                        >Jeremiah 15,17
                        >2 Maccabees 14,5
                        >4 Maccabees 17,17
                        >
                        >SUNEDROS (2 times)
                        >Judith 5,10
                        >4 Maccabees 5,1
                        >
                        >BHMA is a LXX translation of two different Hebrew words occurring 6-10
                        >times. See Edwin Hatch & Henry A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint
                        >(Baker, 2nd ed., 1998) 217 col. 3.
                        >
                        >BHMA (Judgment seat) (6-10 times)
                        >
                        >Deut. 2,5
                        >1 Esdra 9,42
                        >Nehemiah 8,4
                        >Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 19,30; 45,9
                        >2 Maccabees 13,26
                        >Aquila: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13; Proverbs 14,15
                        >Samaritan: 1 Kings 20,3; 2 Kings 6,13
                        >Theodotion: Isaiah 26,6
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >On the obverse of Hasmonean lepta a paleo-Hebrew inscription always bore the
                        >name of the incumbent High Priest followed by a boiler-plate formula: "the
                        >High Priest and the Jewish Assembly". (Cf. John J. Rousseau & Rami Arav,
                        >Jesus & His World (Minneapolis, 1995) 56) Queen Salome Alexandra had placed
                        >a large number of Pharisees of Bet Shammai in the Sanhedrin. (cf. Rousseau &
                        >Arav, ibid., page 232). There is also archaeological evidence where the
                        >Sanhedrin Chamber was located at the Temple of Jerusalem. (cf. Rousseau &
                        >Arav, ibid., page 176). After the destruction of the Second Temple
                        >Sepphoris became the center of the Sanhedrin (cf. Rousseau & Arav, ibid.,
                        >page 249, 317)....

                        John,
                        The lepta (coin?) data is particularly interesting, and thanks for the
                        reference to the Rousseau & Arav book.

                        But before assuming too much from the data compiled above, let us also
                        consult the Anchor Bible Dictionary article on Sanhedrin by Saldarini
                        (which was published before the Rousseau & Arav book). There are
                        controversies over how many Sanhedra there were, and the extent to which
                        they were religious, political, or both. As Saldarini summarizes it,
                        Both textual and wider historical evidence indicates that there was a
                        central council in Jerusalem, but its membership, structure and powers are
                        not clear in the sources and probably varied with political circumstances....
                        ...the rabbinic vision of an assembly of scholars and learned judges,
                        debating points of the law and establishing halakic policy for the Jewish
                        community, fits the social and political situation of the Talmudic period;
                        its highly articulated version of Jewish law and life bears the marks of
                        intensive thought and effort in the aftermath of the destruction of the
                        temple. Attribution of such a pattern to the Hellenistic-Roman period is
                        anachronistic.
                        The theory of two sanhedrins, one political and one religious, during this
                        period is improbable in the extreme because political and religious life
                        were one. ... Diversity and change in Palestinian Jewish life must
                        constantly be kept in mind. The forms and structure of government evolved
                        in response to conflicts among the Hasmoneans, the hegemony of the Romans,
                        and the civil unrest during the Herodian period. The powers of traditional
                        leaders waxed and waned and governmental offices, taxation districts,
                        judicial arrangements, and laws were changed in complex ways only dimly
                        glimpsed in the sources. ... Only in the relative power vacuum after the
                        two wars with Rome did the rabbinic version of Jewish life take hold and
                        the rabbinic court (bet din) become the central and authoritative council
                        of the Jewish community. ... While the temple stood, the traditional
                        priestly and aristocratic leaders met in council to rule, guide, supervise
                        and judge the Jewish community in its internal and external social relations.

                        At any rate, we should be careful about retrojecting too much about the
                        sanhedra attributed to the time of Jesus.

                        Bob


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • John N. Lupia
                        Robert M. Schacht wrote: After citing Giovanni Cardinal Saldarini (Archbishop emeritus of ... about the ... I concur with you that a caution is necessary to
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 6, 2001
                          Robert M. Schacht wrote:

                          After citing Giovanni Cardinal Saldarini (Archbishop emeritus of
                          Turin), Dr. Schacht said:

                          >At any rate, we should be careful about retrojecting too much
                          about the
                          >sanhedra attributed to the time of Jesus.

                          I concur with you that a caution is necessary to separate post AD
                          70 Sanhedrin from that of a pre AD 70 Sanhedrin. As Saldarini
                          aptly pointed out the pre AD 70 Sanhedrin " The forms and
                          structure of government evolved in response to conflicts among
                          the Hasmoneans, the hegemony of the Romans, and the civil
                          unrest during the Herodian period. The powers of traditional
                          leaders waxed and waned and governmental offices, taxation
                          districts, judicial arrangements, and laws were changed in
                          complex ways only dimly glimpsed in the sources. ...

                          On this issue of social structure evolution that Saldarini raises it
                          had already been addressed, for example, by McEleney (1968),
                          who pointed out in Maccabees the "senate" (GEROUSIA). the
                          equivalent of the "elders," later evolved into the Sanhedrin. (Cf.
                          Neil J. McEleney, "1-2 Maccabees" The Jerome Biblical
                          Commentary, I:477 (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1968) 27:43).

                          However, we must keep in mind as Saldarini has also pointed
                          out: "While the temple stood, the traditional priestly and
                          aristocratic leaders met in council to rule, guide, supervise and
                          judge the Jewish community in its internal and external social
                          relations." So, there is no controversy in reconciling a judicial
                          Sanhedrin that acted as a regulatory body to decide court cases
                          as described and depicted in the New Testament. Meier, for
                          example, insightfully points out how Mark 11,27 depicts the
                          classes of the membership of the Sanhedrin regulatory body
                          challenging Jesus by questioning him, "By what authority do you
                          do these things?". (Cf. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, (New
                          York, 1994) II: 163,886, 986 footnote 64). On the other hand,
                          Meier also points out that any Sanhedrin c. AD 30's would not
                          have the Pharisees equal in power with the high priests. He
                          establishes this in a critical reading on John 11,47-48 to clarify
                          what was going on was an unofficial or informal meeting
                          consisting of members of both groups in contradistinction from
                          the formal official Sanhedrin. (Cf. Meier, ibid, II: 799, 861,
                          footnote 112.).

                          The Sanhedrin controversy appears in the anachronistic
                          interpretations in the form of objections posed, for example, by
                          Hain M. Cohn (Israeli Supreme Court judge), cited by John J.
                          Rousseau & Rami Arav, Jesus & His World (Minneapolis, 1995)
                          138. Even if some of Cohn's objections are to be considered
                          valid they were already addressed years earlier by P. Benoit,
                          "Jésus devant le Sanhédrin," Ang. 20 (1943) 143-165; Exégèse I,
                          265-359. Benoit pointed out that there is a contradistinction
                          between the preliminary interrogation of Jesus during the night
                          (Matthew, John) and the formal hearing before the whole
                          Sanhedrin during the morning convened session (Luke, Mark).
                          In this regard, however, there remains among some
                          researchers a lack of certainty that the Sanhedrin was
                          empowered with "ius gladii," i.e., the power and authority to mete
                          out capital punishment. (cf. J. Blinzer, The Trial of Jesus
                          (Westminster, 1949): 157-163; P. Winter, On the Trial of Jesus
                          (St. Jud. 1, Berlin, 1961); Raymond E. Brown, death of the
                          Messiah, (New York, 1994) I: 548-560.

                          My intention in the previous posting was only to establish a
                          legitimate basis that a Sanhedrin existed pre AD 70, which was
                          being challenged by a few of our very fine list members, most
                          likely due to some confusion regarding this matter in the survey
                          of the corpus of literature.

                          Cordially,
                          John

                          John N. Lupia
                          501 North Avenue B-1
                          Elizabeth, New Jersey 07209-1731
                        • John N. Lupia
                          Robert Raphael wrote: archive No. 7578 ... execution of Jesus would have provoked a riot. That is the reason why I believe the burial of Jesus in a tomb and
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 7, 2001
                            Robert Raphael wrote:

                            archive No. 7578

                            >The Roman authorities most likely feared that the public
                            execution of Jesus
                            would have provoked a riot.
                            That is the reason why I believe the burial of Jesus in a tomb and
                            the
                            purported guarding of the tomb by the roman soldiers is
                            credible.

                            >We probably will never know the full extent of the Roman
                            Security measured
                            that were in effect at the execution of Jesus.


                            Robert, I agree that Jerusalem at the time Jesus was crucified
                            was a tinderbox and that the emotions and tensions at the time
                            could easily have sparked into a conflagration among the
                            crowds gathered there. Pilate, a master strategist employed
                            brilliant maneuvers to sway and manipulate the crowds. The
                            scourging and crowning with thorns was employed as a political
                            strategy to dissuade and subdue the crowds who believed
                            Jesus might have been the Messiah. The popular notion of a
                            powerful redeemer as a militant Messiah was incompatible with
                            a scourged and thorn crowned Jesus. Punishing Jesus this way
                            and displaying him publicly Pilate was able to disarm and
                            persuade the crowds through this gruesome exhibition that
                            Jesus was not the Messiah. This surely created doubts in the
                            minds of many which quickly gave way to loosing faith in him.
                            This strategic tactic defused a volatile situation since the Roman
                            authorities most likely feared that the public execution of Jesus
                            might easily have instigated a riot.

                            Roman tactics were more thorough than this. Prisoners were
                            taken away to be crucified wearing a titulus, that is, a rectangular
                            tabula or placard composed of a piece of wood or cut-leaf of
                            parchment or papyrus, worn like a medallion that hung from a
                            cord around their neck. On that placard was written their name
                            and the crime for which they were being punished. This was the
                            legal complaint given public notice of the identification of the
                            prisoner and their crime. That inscription was always written in
                            Latin, the official language of Rome. Since many citizens of local
                            populaces did not know Latin it was customary to write in their
                            vernacular as well. In this case, Greek and Hebrew (Aramaic)
                            were appropriate for Palestine since these were the patois of the
                            native bilingual people. The fact that the public notice was
                            written in these three languages is only attested to by Luke and
                            John. Each of the Evangelists refers to the titulus differently.
                            Luke 23,38 refers to it as the "superscription written above him,"
                            since the placard was taken from the prisoner's neck and hung
                            on top of the cross. Matthew 27,37 and Mark 15,26 refer to the
                            "titulus" as his "cause" (AITIAS) or "charge against him."
                            Matthew says it was hung above Jesus' head following Luke, but
                            Mark is the "only" Gospel that is silent about this. John 19,19 is
                            the only one who refers to this as the TITLON "titulus," or public
                            notice that Pilate had dictated to one of his clerks. John also
                            follows Luke saying that it was hung upon the cross. According
                            to all four Gospels, Pilate used Jesus as an example citing his
                            crime as being "King of the Jews." This is strengthened in John
                            19,21-22 when he is the "only" Evangelist that reports that the
                            Jews were protesting, and Pilate letting them know who is in
                            charge. John appears to have been alluding to the act of
                            "clarigationem", the solemn demand for redress prior to
                            declaring war. In other words John appears to be telling us that
                            the Jews were giving Pilate a hard time and demanding that he
                            change the reading of the crime since they found it provocative to
                            the point of declaring war. The phrase: "What I have written, I
                            have written." was a formula used in Rome that meant "my
                            orders shall be carried out to the last letter." In other words,
                            Pilate was sternly warning the Jews of Rome's intolerance
                            toward insubordination and insurrection. Furthermore, this
                            action was intended to silence the Sicarii Zealots and their
                            sympathizers and supporters once and for all. What made this
                            even more stinging was the fact that a Jewish herald, according
                            to the Talmud, had to call out the crime and carry a parchment or
                            papyrus with the inscription held for all to read in broad daylight.
                            Following the three Gospels: John, Matthew, and Mark their
                            accounts depict Jesus scourged and crowned by the Romans
                            with thorns was satirically declared King of the Jews in an
                            imagery which amplified this Roman anti Semitic ploy to silence
                            any thought of insurrection through terror tactics. (Luke is the
                            "only Gospel silent about this). Pilate's inscription and the
                            scourging and crowning with thorns, therefore, served as a
                            commonitory, that is, it served as a written reminder warning and
                            admonishing the Jews by making an example of Jesus. So,
                            instead of considering the crucifixion of Jesus as inciting a riot a
                            careful reading shows quite the opposite.

                            Roman tactics were even more thorough than this. Pilate, a
                            master strategist had sufficient Roman soldiers on patrol to
                            serve as a riot squad if any altercation broke out. Prisoners were
                            led to the place of execution by a centurion designated as the
                            exactor mortis or demius (hO DHMIOS) the public executioner
                            called the carnifex at Rome. He was preceded by lictors
                            (RABDOUCOS) who carried the fascies, and was attended with
                            at least a four soldier detail of those who drove nails and helped
                            hoist the crossbeam in place, and the furciferi, those who
                            carried the furcae (STAUROKOMISTOS) which were wooden two
                            tine forked instruments to help hoist the patibulum "crossbeam"
                            into place. Magistrates attended by lictors had also
                            supernumerary attendants called accensi, who served as
                            backups for the lictors and summoned the people to the
                            business at hand (comitia). Lictors were also responsible in
                            arresting, scourging and beheading condemned criminals. The
                            mentioning of the centurion, a Roman classification of an officer
                            in charge of many men signifies that a large number were on
                            patrol. Originally the term referred to a Roman "century"
                            consisting of one hundred men. However, through time the
                            number was varied. A century became classified as half a
                            maniple. A maniple was a subdivision of a legion. The hastati
                            and principes cohort consisted of three maniples of one
                            hundred and twenty men each. The triarii maniple consisted of
                            sixty men. So, to answer your question Robert about "how many
                            Roman soldiers accompanied or attended the execution of
                            Jesus?" a century, therefore, probably contained sixty men, but
                            by definition no less than thirty.

                            The guard patrol at the cross reminds us of a tale told by
                            Rhinthon of Tarentum (fl. 300 B.C.), who followed Hipponax of
                            Ephesus (fl. 540 B.C.), the father of parody or burlesque poetry,
                            was the inventor of burlesque tragedy called hilarotragoedia,
                            which were travesties of tragedy. A well known satirical and
                            erotic tale, based on Rhinthonean hilarotragoedia, called the
                            Widow of Ephesus, one of the Milesiaca of Aristides of Miletus (fl.
                            100 B.C.), published by Cornelius Sisenna in Latin as the
                            Milesiae Fabulae, has survived in Petronius, Satyricon, relates
                            how a Roman soldier was posted to guard a condemned man at
                            crucifixion in order to keep his family from stealing his body and
                            giving him a proper burial. While at his post he hears the tears
                            and sobbing of a mourner coming from a nearby tomb.
                            Disturbed by the weeping he goes to the tomb to see what is
                            happening. There he finds a beautiful woman accompanied
                            only by her handmaid weeping over the corpse of her recently
                            departed husband. The soldier finds the woman so beautiful he
                            immediately falls in love with her and their amorous affair begins
                            at once. Meanwhile the criminal he was guarding was removed
                            from the cross by his family. When the soldier returns to his post
                            finding the body gone he knows that he will be condemned to die
                            for failing in his duty. Knowing the penalty that awaits him both
                            he and his new love, the widow of Ephesus, mount the corpse of
                            her dead husband on the cross so that they could go off together
                            without the soldier's fear of reproach. Both were guilty of
                            violating their moral duty. The soldier neglected his post and the
                            widow failed to observe the annus luctus, the required period
                            during which a widow was morally obligated to remain chaste.
                            Although the story is a bawdy comedy it reflects some truth about
                            the Roman custom regarding executions and the government's
                            refusal to allow criminals from being removed from the cross by
                            family and friends. So, Pilate's guard detail at the cross was part
                            of a standard protocol observed by the Romans.

                            However, Roman tactics were even more thorough than this,
                            they were flawless. Pilate had to be asked for permission to
                            remove the body of Jesus since it was an extraordinary action.
                            Pilate granted Joseph of Arimathea permission to remove
                            Jesus' body from the cross. The deposition of Jesus' body from
                            the cross was a strategic ploy on Pilate's part to avoid an uproar
                            among the Jews. Pilate had given in to the Jews demand to
                            crucify Jesus to avoid an insurrection a few hours earlier. Now
                            that Jesus was dead controversy over his corpse may have been
                            grounds for a renewed heated affair. Jesus' disciples wanted
                            his body removed. The opponents wanted to see Jesus' body
                            hang on the cross and eaten by crows. Avoiding any more public
                            disturbances regarding Jesus, Pilate probably saw it wise to
                            grant Joseph's request. Pilate released the body but did not
                            send along with it a guard detail to accompany it to the tomb
                            where they would stand guard. This concerned the Jewish
                            officials who confronted Pilate about it. Matthew 28,65 is the
                            "only" Gospel that reports that Pilate told the Jewish officials to
                            send their guards to secure the tomb. Matthew 28,66 tells us
                            that they sealed (SFRAGISANTES) the stone. The stone was
                            bound by a "linum" linen triple thread cord and fastened by a wax
                            or clay seal about the knot and then stamped with the seal of the
                            signet ring of the high priest to prohibit forgery. The seal
                            impression was called a sphragitis (SFRAGITES). These seal
                            impressions were produced by hand held seals, most
                            commonly signet rings. These rings were stored in a
                            dactyliotheca (DAKULIOQHKA) as mentioned by Pliny, H. N.
                            37.1.5.11. The seal itself was called "cretula" and clay seals
                            were usually called creta Asiatica. These seals were sigillated
                            or impressed into the soft clay or wax and left to harden. Anyone
                            breaking the seal was committing a serious crime. Guards
                            came by periodically to inspect the seal ensuring there was no
                            tampering.


                            Cordially,
                            John

                            John N. Lupia
                            501 North Avenue B-1
                            Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731
                          • mgrondin@tir.com
                            ... (emphasis mine) I m surprised no one picked up on this (he says, tongue in cheek), since it provides a neat explanation of ALL those different numbers in
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 8, 2001
                              --- John N. Lupia wrote:
                              > The mentioning of the centurion, a Roman classification of an
                              > officer in charge of many men signifies that a large number were
                              > on patrol. Originally the term referred to a Roman "century"
                              > consisting of ONE HUNDRED men. However, through time the number
                              > was varied. A century became classified as half a maniple. A
                              > maniple was a subdivision of a legion. The hastati and principes
                              > cohort consisted of three maniples of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY men
                              > each. The triarii maniple consisted of SIXTY men. So, to answer
                              > [the] question about "how many Roman soldiers accompanied or
                              > attended the execution of Jesus?" a century, therefore, probably
                              > contained SIXTY men, but by definition no less than THIRTY.
                              (emphasis mine)

                              I'm surprised no one picked up on this (he says, tongue in cheek),
                              since it provides a neat explanation of ALL those different numbers
                              in the various versions of the sower parable! It also provides a
                              possible answer to the subject question, namely that Jesus spoke in
                              parables because his general subtext was such that, if made explicit,
                              it would have been dangerous to his own life and limb. In the sower
                              parable (so the argument might go, of which I'm playing devil's
                              advocate at the moment), Jesus was really talking about his words
                              creating literal "legions" of followers. To what end? Well, if he
                              spoke in parables because he couldn't come right out and say what
                              he meant, then the goal of creating legions of followers must have
                              either actually been, or at least perceived to be, subversive. The
                              virtue, then, of this answer to the subject question, is that it
                              connects up rather directly with his having been regarded as a
                              dangerous fellow in certain ruling circles.

                              But (and those who respond to a message one paragraph at a time,
                              take heed here), how many of the parables attributed to J are
                              amenable to an interpretation like the above? Not many, although
                              there's at least one: the tenants and the vineyard. (Note that this
                              parable also is in GTh.) Not enough evidence to make a convincing
                              case, of course, but sufficient to make it plausible, I think, that
                              SOME of what Jesus wanted folks to change their thinking about may
                              have been dangerous if uttered directly. But what about the other
                              parabolic material - the stuff that doesn't strike us as having been
                              dangerous? Unless one wants to gird up for what seems to be an
                              impossible case, it might be better to view the handling of dangerous
                              stuff to have been only one benefit (though perhaps an important one)
                              of the adoption of the parabolic technique, rather than to have been
                              the primary cause of its adoption. But what, then, was/were the
                              primary cause(s) for J's having used that technique?

                              Let's try this: Jesus spoke in parables because that was/is a
                              particularly efficient technique to bring the listener to think
                              about things differently. Sounds innocent, but no one deliberately
                              sets out to use such a rhetorical technique with no point in mind,
                              do they? What I mean is, a significant part of the reason why a
                              "wisdom teacher" might want others to "think differently" must be
                              that the way they're thinking _now_ isn't to his liking - which is
                              to say that he wants them to have a different set of beliefs than
                              they do in fact have. He's not trying to get his listeners to adopt
                              better methods of reasoning, for example; rather, he wants them to
                              think about Yahweh and political realities and human relations in a
                              new way that will necessarily lead to different conclusions than
                              those already in his listeners' minds - conclusions that he himself
                              (the teacher) has quite probably already come to. But if this is so,
                              then it seems that the purpose of any "parabolic jolt" in a
                              supposedly authentic Yeshuine parable could not have been to jolt
                              the listeners just for the sake of jolting them (so that they might,
                              for example, be forever jumpy thereafter whenever anyone started
                              telling a story!), nor to startle them into re-thinking the parable
                              in whatever way they wanted, but rather to startle them into
                              interpreting it in a certain specific way. Thus, any "jolt" seems
                              quite unlikely to have been directionless; more probably it would
                              also be a pointer to the direction Jesus wanted them to go. The
                              fact that we may not be able to determine what interpretation the
                              numerical "jolt" was supposed to have imparted to the main body of
                              the sower parable doesn't require the abandonment of the general
                              principle - a general principle which may point more toward a man
                              like Gandhi than one like Socrates (that being the "parabolic jolt"
                              of this note, BTW :-)

                              Mike G.
                            • Loren Rosson
                              ... Fair enough, Ted. Since I m not poetically inclined, I won’t press my skepticism on this point any further. Thanks again for ongoing dialogue with The
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                Ted Weeden wrote:

                                >Loren, I am not suggesting that those who heard
                                >Jesus tell the Parable of the Sower were "riveted on
                                >the sequence" of the poetic form of the parable
                                >in any formal or analytical sense. Nor is Barbara
                                >Smith suggesting that with respect to those who hear
                                >a poet reciting poetry. What she is suggesting, as I
                                >am with respect to hearing the parable, is that the
                                >mind tends to recognize certain rhetorical
                                >patterns and
                                >rhythms in the course of recitation and thus on the
                                >basis of this recognition becomes conditioned to
                                >expect the continuance of such patterns and rhythms
                                >once they have been established in recitation.
                                >Any variance in such patterns or rhythms tweaks
                                >the mind into more conscious awareness of the shift
                                >from what the mind has come to anticipate and
                                >causes some questioning, however
                                >minimal, in the mind as to why the variance.

                                Fair enough, Ted. Since I'm not poetically inclined, I
                                won�t press my skepticism on this point any further.
                                Thanks again for ongoing dialogue with The Sower.


                                John Lupia wrote:

                                >The mentioning of the centurion, a Roman
                                >classification of an officer in charge of many
                                >men signifies that a large number were
                                >on patrol. Originally the term referred to a
                                >Roman "century" consisting of ONE HUNDRED men.
                                >However, through time the number was varied. A
                                >century became classified as half a maniple. A
                                >maniple was a subdivision of a legion. The hastati
                                >and principes cohort consisted of three maniples
                                >of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY men each. The triarii
                                >maniple consisted of SIXTY men. So, to answer
                                >[the] question about "how many Roman soldiers
                                >accompanied or attended the execution of Jesus?" a
                                >century, therefore, probably
                                >contained SIXTY men, but by definition no less
                                >than THIRTY.
                                (emphasis Mike Grondin's)


                                Mike Grondin replied:

                                >I'm surprised no one picked up on this [Lupia's
                                >numbers], since it provides a neat explanation of ALL
                                >those different numbers in the various versions of
                                the
                                >sower parable! It also provides a possible answer
                                >to the subject question, namely that Jesus spoke
                                >in parables because his general subtext was such
                                >that, if made explicit, it would have been dangerous
                                >to his own life and limb...Jesus was really
                                >talking about his words creating literal
                                >"legions" of followers. To what end? Well...the
                                >goal of creating legions of followers must have
                                >either actually been, or at least perceived to be,
                                >subversive. The virtue, then, of this answer to the
                                >subject question, is that it connects up rather
                                >directly with his having been regarded as a
                                >dangerous fellow in certain ruling circles.


                                Mike,

                                This is certainly an interesting suggestion, which may
                                perhaps yield more profittable results than
                                scrutinzing for poetical or mathematical patterns. If
                                you are correct, then the successful harvest in The
                                Sower would stand for the Jesus movement like the
                                mustard shrub and leaven. We then have Jesus likening
                                his followers to the following:

                                1. a mustard shrub --
                                uncleanliness, disorder

                                2. leaven --
                                unholiness, moral corruption

                                3. a 30-60-100 (or 60-120) harvest --
                                a dangerous force to be reckoned with

                                A combustible trio of metaphors, indeed.


                                [Mike]
                                >But how many of the parables attributed to J are
                                >amenable to an interpretation like the above? Not
                                >many, although there's at least one: the tenants
                                >and the vineyard.

                                Are you suggesting that the tenants who lash out and
                                beat/abuse/kill the landowner's servants stand as
                                metaphors (or allegories) for Jesus' followers? That's
                                a hazardous proposal (though I somehow doubt you're
                                really suggesting this). The Leased Vineyard (like The
                                Rich Fool and The Unmerciful Servant) targets the
                                issue of subversive violence without condoning it.
                                True, one's sympathies would naturally go with those
                                "wicked" tenants (who are really not as "wicked" as
                                commonly assumed), but Jesus seems to have been using
                                these figures (whose motives would have hit close to
                                home) so as to explore ways of being equally
                                subversive minus the violence. In this way, The Leased
                                Vineyard, The Rich Fool, and The Unmerciful Servant
                                are completely different from The Mustard Shrub, The
                                Leaven, and The Sower.

                                [Mike]
                                >the purpose of any "parabolic jolt" in a
                                >supposedly authentic Yeshuine parable could not
                                >have been to jolt the listeners just for the sake
                                >of jolting them (so that they might, for example,
                                >be forever jumpy thereafter whenever anyone started
                                >telling a story!), nor to startle them into
                                >re-thinking the parable in whatever way they wanted,
                                >but rather to startle them into interpreting it in
                                >a certain specific way. Thus, any "jolt" seems
                                >quite unlikely to have been directionless; more
                                >probably it would also be a pointer to the direction
                                >Jesus wanted them to go.

                                Yes, I agree that Jesus was a far cry from our
                                postmodernists who invite us to make "whatever we
                                want" of these stories. Of course, because he refused
                                to spell out his answers, people will continue to do
                                exactly this!

                                Loren Rosson III
                                Nashua NH
                                rossoiii@...

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                              • Ted Weeden
                                Loren Rosson wrote August 09, 2001 in reply to what I wrote: [Ted} ... [Loren] ... My response [Ted]: Loren, your skepticism is a healthy one. It keeps me
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                  Loren Rosson wrote August 09, 2001 in reply to what I wrote:

                                  [Ted}

                                  > >Loren, I am not suggesting that those who heard
                                  > >Jesus tell the Parable of the Sower were "riveted on
                                  > >the sequence" of the poetic form of the parable
                                  > >in any formal or analytical sense. Nor is Barbara
                                  > >Smith suggesting that with respect to those who hear
                                  > >a poet reciting poetry. What she is suggesting, as I
                                  > >am with respect to hearing the parable, is that the
                                  > >mind tends to recognize certain rhetorical
                                  > >patterns and
                                  > >rhythms in the course of recitation and thus on the
                                  > >basis of this recognition becomes conditioned to
                                  > >expect the continuance of such patterns and rhythms
                                  > >once they have been established in recitation.
                                  > >Any variance in such patterns or rhythms tweaks
                                  > >the mind into more conscious awareness of the shift
                                  > >from what the mind has come to anticipate and
                                  > >causes some questioning, however
                                  > >minimal, in the mind as to why the variance.

                                  [Loren]

                                  > Fair enough, Ted. Since I'm not poetically inclined, I
                                  > won't press my skepticism on this point any further.
                                  > Thanks again for ongoing dialogue with The Sower.

                                  My response [Ted]:

                                  Loren, your skepticism is a healthy one. It keeps me from being too
                                  assured of my conclusions regarding the Sower. I appreciate you pressing
                                  me on points in my argument. You have helped me in the evolution of my
                                  own insights into its "making" and meaning. I certainly do not claim that
                                  I have "the answer" to the how and why the parable was formulated by Jesus.
                                  But hopefully I have offered a cogent and compelling suggestion for "the
                                  answer."

                                  Ted Weeden
                                • Gordon Raynal
                                  Mike, Loren and all, Interesting discussion, but I ve got to dig a little at these closure statements: ... Hunting for a specific direction and eschewing
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                    Mike, Loren and all,

                                    Interesting discussion, but I've got "to dig" a little at these closure statements:

                                    Loren Rosson wrote:

                                    > [Mike]
                                    > >the purpose of any "parabolic jolt" in a
                                    > >supposedly authentic Yeshuine parable could not
                                    > >have been to jolt the listeners just for the sake
                                    > >of jolting them (so that they might, for example,
                                    > >be forever jumpy thereafter whenever anyone started
                                    > >telling a story!), nor to startle them into
                                    > >re-thinking the parable in whatever way they wanted,
                                    > >but rather to startle them into interpreting it in
                                    > >a certain specific way. Thus, any "jolt" seems
                                    > >quite unlikely to have been directionless; more
                                    > >probably it would also be a pointer to the direction
                                    > >Jesus wanted them to go.
                                    >
                                    > Yes, I agree that Jesus was a far cry from our
                                    > postmodernists who invite us to make "whatever we
                                    > want" of these stories. Of course, because he refused
                                    > to spell out his answers, people will continue to do
                                    > exactly this!

                                    Hunting for a specific "direction" and eschewing polyvalence in parables
                                    as being "postmodern" and aimed at "making whatever we want" both are
                                    inadequate understandings, in my view. I will maintain that parables
                                    are a type of wisdom riddle and that their employment is both a
                                    reconciliation and empowerment strategy. Yes, they are ripe for
                                    allegorization towards the ends of specific moral lessons and this is
                                    one commendable redactional path. But sticking to hearing the parable,
                                    then and there, so to speak, they are word plays that at once, don't
                                    take sides and lampoon "every side." The effect of this is to undermine
                                    all directions thus paving the way for a truly new arrangement of people
                                    to find a new way ( and the WAY... the movement was first called!). And
                                    these were not delivered in some abstract way as being simply mental
                                    gymnastics. Parabling and parabolic events are fused... most especially
                                    meal fellowship with "the usual" boundaries just laid waste... women/
                                    men/ children/ clean/ unclean/ destitute/ the moneyed, and then
                                    spiritualist sorts, apocalyptic sorts, messianic sorts, prophetic sorts,
                                    Temple piety sorts all called together... such as this was a new milieu/
                                    a new relationship base/ a new communion (if you will!) where in these
                                    stories in like fashion invited a whole new conversation. In a world of
                                    multi party mayhem where directions were being aroused all over the
                                    place... and the religious ones all claiming to be rooted in TANAK, in a
                                    world ever so close to breaking out in rapacious violence (and that also
                                    includes the verbal violence of damning others/ crushing spirits, etc.)
                                    it was highly dangerous to dare to raise this strategy/ these
                                    reconciliation riddles. But these words connected to this strategy did,
                                    so to speak, get folks back into a reconciliation context/ milieu/ frame
                                    of reference. With that Herculean feat accomplished... THEN...
                                    direction finding could commence... then strategizing for consensus
                                    could start. Put one way... Jesus got everyone to shut up and shut
                                    down... the very first thing that needs accomplishing before any
                                    reconciliation work/ new direction thought can even begin. Loren,
                                    parables don't "have an answer" (they are not problem/ solution
                                    stories). Mike, parables are not allegories (moral stories seeking to
                                    elicit a moral directive). Jesus parables are the sorts of verbal
                                    constructions that raise and leave "a hanging question!" For those
                                    who'll listen deeply enough (who have "those ears to hear") to be "shut
                                    up" and "shut down" by them, then they function to make possible the
                                    circumstances where we can bring all our views/ directions/ thoughts/
                                    experiences "to the table." That HJ could do this... well... just awesome!

                                    Gordon Raynal
                                    Inman, SC
                                  • David C. Hindley
                                    ... invite us to make whatever we want of these stories.
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                      Loren Rosson III said:

                                      >>Yes, I agree that Jesus was a far cry from our postmodernists who
                                      invite us to make "whatever we
                                      want" of these stories.<<

                                      Aaargh! Postmodernists do NOT "invite" us to do so, but want us to
                                      take into consideration the fact that we all actually *do* so,
                                      including the originators of our sources. Postmodernism is a reaction
                                      to excesses of the scientific method ("Modernism"), especially as it
                                      relates to history and social sciences, and objects to an
                                      all-too-sure-we-got-the-facts-straight attitude. That is not the same
                                      thing as unrestrained relativism.

                                      >>Of course, because he refused to spell out his answers, people will
                                      continue to do exactly this!<<

                                      This, of course, suggests that we have Jesus' actual words, and that
                                      entire stories or sayings have been transmitted without omissions or
                                      changes. The aporias that allow such speculation regarding the
                                      original intent or meaning of the stories and sayings are the result
                                      of changes made to sources, and/or attempts to adapt sayings to the
                                      source-user's agenda. We cannot acknowledge that changes have occurred
                                      in transmission and still speak of the forms we have them in as
                                      "Jesus'" actual sayings. We just do not know, and language of caution
                                      is necessary.

                                      Respectfully,

                                      Dave Hindley
                                      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                                    • Steve Black
                                      ... I read a critique (I forgot by whom) of NT Wright s evaluation of post-modernism that seems relevant here. The reviewer suggested that NT Wright treated
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                        >
                                        >Loren Rosson III wrote
                                        >Yes, I agree that Jesus was a far cry from our
                                        >postmodernists who invite us to make "whatever we
                                        >want" of these stories. Of course, because he refused
                                        >to spell out his answers, people will continue to do
                                        >exactly this!
                                        >

                                        I read a critique (I forgot by whom) of NT Wright's evaluation of
                                        post-modernism that seems relevant here. The reviewer suggested that
                                        NT Wright treated post-modernism as if it were an option among
                                        options, whereas in reality it is more of the overall intellectual
                                        environment that we live in. In other words, we are all postmodern.
                                        I'm not entirely sure of this interpretation, but I do think it is
                                        worth considering.

                                        Loren, for what its worth, I think that you are more post-modern than
                                        you may realize. You may not make the text say "whatever you want it
                                        to say", but I do think that you make the text say "whatever you
                                        think it says". This is postmodern. I think you might be hard pressed
                                        to escape this conclusion. Of course, some interpretations are more
                                        informed than others, but the "plurality" of meaning that exists
                                        (around the parables and, really, ALL the relevant HJ texts) in
                                        modern scholarship (and within your own interpretation) strongly
                                        suggests this view, in my mind.
                                        --
                                        Steve Black
                                        Vancouver, BC

                                        Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question

                                        E.E. CUMMINGS
                                      • Steve Black
                                        [This msg seems to been lost in cyber-space, so I am resending it. I apologize for the inevitable duplication as when this happens, and I re-post, the lost one
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                          [This msg seems to been lost in cyber-space, so I am resending it. I
                                          apologize for the inevitable duplication as when this happens, and I
                                          re-post, the lost one pops up shortly afterwards.]

                                          >Loren wrote
                                          >
                                          >... We then have Jesus likening
                                          >his followers to the following:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >...2. leaven --
                                          > unholiness, moral corruption
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >

                                          Steve replies
                                          I have not heard this interpretation before.

                                          Are you suggesting that Jesus meant that it was looked at from by
                                          outsiders as "moral corruption", or that it actually was "moral
                                          corruption"?
                                          If the latter, why would Jesus think or say this - what would be the
                                          transformative "point"?
                                          --
                                          Steve Black

                                          Dig deep for dreams, or you will be toppled by slogans...
                                          ee cummings
                                        • mgrondin@tir.com
                                          ... No, not at all. I think Frank McCoy s interpretation was well-nigh spot on (as they say in Mark Goodacre s corner of the world), involving as it does a
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                            --- Loren Rosson asked me:
                                            > Are you suggesting that the tenants who lash out and
                                            > beat/abuse/kill the landowner's servants stand as
                                            > metaphors (or allegories) for Jesus' followers?

                                            No, not at all. I think Frank McCoy's interpretation was well-nigh
                                            "spot on" (as they say in Mark Goodacre's corner of the world),
                                            involving as it does a religio-political element wherein the tenants
                                            are the then-ruling forces in charge of the "vineyard". Even Gordon
                                            Raynal would agree that Jesus had a "program", perhaps even had in
                                            mind a "movement" (though not Xianity, of course), the difference
                                            seeming to be that on Gordon's account, anti-Temple sentiment would
                                            seem to have no role (or only a very minor one) in J's program,
                                            whereas on mine, anti-Temple sentiment is regarded as integral to
                                            J's (northern) prophetic stance. Perhaps if Gordon would comment on
                                            the parable of the tenants (or point to where he's already done so,
                                            if I've overlooked it), this difference might be sharpened (or
                                            eliminated)?

                                            Mike
                                          • Loren Rosson
                                            Gordon, Steve, Dave -- Thanks for replies, and see below for comments. [Gordon] ... You and I have discussed this before, Gordon. The parables certainly do
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Aug 9, 2001
                                              Gordon, Steve, Dave --

                                              Thanks for replies, and see below for comments.


                                              [Gordon]
                                              >Loren, parables don't "have an answer" (they
                                              >are not problem/ solution stories).

                                              You and I have discussed this before, Gordon. The
                                              parables certainly do pose problems, and they at least
                                              hint at solutions. If they do neither of these, then
                                              Jesus was about some fairly purposeless business. I
                                              can agree that Jesus wanted people to arrive at the
                                              solutions themselves, and hence the lack of closure in
                                              the stories. But I'm baffled as to how you can deny a
                                              "problem/solution" dimension altogether. The Prodigal
                                              Son, for instance, portrays a beleaguered father with
                                              two equally lousy sons, who dishonor and insult him in
                                              different (but equally apalling) ways. Can't you see
                                              any solution(s) to the problem of self-centered and
                                              dishonorable sons offered in the example of the
                                              father?


                                              [Loren]
                                              >...2. leaven --
                                              > unholiness, moral corruption

                                              [Steve]
                                              >I have not heard this interpretation before.
                                              >Are you suggesting that Jesus meant that it
                                              >was looked at from by outsiders as "moral
                                              >corruption", or that it actually was "moral
                                              >corruption"?

                                              Steve, there is the association of leaven with the
                                              unholy, unleaven with the holy. During the seven days
                                              of the feast of unleavened bread, people ate this
                                              bread to symbolize their holiness, and anyone who ate
                                              leavened bread during this time was cut off from
                                              Israel altogether (Exod. 12:15-19). Paul ranted and
                                              raved about how "a little leaven leavens the whole
                                              lump" (Gal. 5:9; I Cor 5:6). So Jesus portrays the
                                              kingdom of God in terms of a metaphor for moral
                                              corruption -- or, at least, what is traditionally
                                              understood as such. But Jesus believed that he and his
                                              followers were the "truly" moral ones. Right?

                                              [Loren]
                                              >>I agree that Jesus was a far cry from our
                                              >>postmodernists who invite us to make "whatever we
                                              >>want" of these stories.

                                              [Steve]
                                              >Loren, for what its worth, I think that you
                                              >are more post-modern than you may realize. You
                                              >may not make the text say "whatever you want it
                                              >to say", but I do think that you make the text
                                              >say "whatever you think it says". This is postmodern.
                                              >I think you might be hard pressed to escape this
                                              >conclusion

                                              I am horrified at the thought that I may have come off
                                              as a postmodernist! And no, I don't accept your above
                                              definition. If simply "making the text say what one
                                              thinks it says" constitutes being a postmodernist,
                                              then just about everyone is a postmodernist.

                                              [Dave]
                                              >[Postmodernists] want us to take into
                                              >consideration the fact that we all actually
                                              >*do* so, including the originators
                                              >of our sources.

                                              This can be just as bad, when taken to extremes.
                                              Obviously no one is a wholly neutral observer. No one
                                              is wholly objective. Something of "us" always gets in
                                              the way of our interpretations. But there's no denying
                                              that some are able to discipline that subjectivity
                                              better than others.

                                              [Dave]
                                              >Postmodernism is a reaction to excesses of the
                                              >scientific method ("Modernism"), especially as it
                                              >relates to history and social sciences, and
                                              >objects to an
                                              >all-too-sure-we-got-the-facts-straight attitude.

                                              I'm well aware of this. Much in modernism needed to be
                                              (and still needs to be) criticized. But the same holds
                                              true for postmodernism. I don't exactly consider
                                              myself a modernist (though, for me, it's not the foul
                                              cuss-word "postmodernist" is), but I am certainly of
                                              the mind that we must continue to force rigorous
                                              constraints on our interpretations -- not under any
                                              delusion that we're guaranteed truth in the process,
                                              only in order to maintain some standards of
                                              objectivity.

                                              Loren Rosson III
                                              Nashua NH
                                              rossoiii@...

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                                            • Steve Black
                                              Thank you for engagement in these ideas ... [Steve] Humm. The question, But Jesus believed that he and his followers were the truly moral ones. Right? ,
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Aug 10, 2001
                                                Thank you for engagement in these ideas
                                                >[Loren]
                                                >...So Jesus portrays the
                                                >kingdom of God in terms of a metaphor for moral
                                                >corruption -- or, at least, what is traditionally
                                                >understood as such. But Jesus believed that he and his
                                                >followers were the "truly" moral ones. Right?

                                                [Steve]
                                                Humm. The question,"But Jesus believed that he and his followers
                                                were the "truly" moral ones. Right?", seems rhetorical? Once again,
                                                are you suggesting that Jesus believed otherwise (which really was
                                                the heart of my original question)?

                                                >[Loren]
                                                >...If simply "making the text say what one
                                                >thinks it says" constitutes being a postmodernist,
                                                >then just about everyone is a postmodernist.

                                                [Steve]
                                                Part of the point I was offering as a possibility to consider was
                                                exactly this - everyone IS "postmodern" - this is not merely a
                                                philosophical choice among choices, but rather the overall
                                                environment we have collectively reached intellectually. I suggest
                                                that some are perhaps more reflective of this than others...

                                                That Jesus had a specific intent with each of his parables seems to me likely.
                                                That the means by which he attempted to convey that specific intent
                                                (parables) is veiled (at least to us) and is open to more than one
                                                interpretation is certain (look no farther than the debates regarding
                                                meaning on this list!).
                                                That this specific intent is now lost in the sands of time with the
                                                death of the historical Jesus is a reasonable statement.
                                                That we now are in the position of trying to sift threw the texts and
                                                other relevant clues to reconstruct (imaginatively) what his thought
                                                might have actually been seems descriptive of our present task.

                                                I share your suspicion for the dishonesty that seems to be involved
                                                in various attempts at "making the text say want you WANT it to say".
                                                My belief that we "make the text say what one THINK it says", when
                                                considered reflectively, reveals the "constructed" quality of the
                                                "meaning" in the text. The text by itself has no meaning. Meaning is
                                                the alchemy that occurs when text and human meet. This happens solely
                                                in the human part of the equation. The text part "has no brain" (the
                                                original mind [the author] are GONE!) - the only mind involved NOW is
                                                that of the reader's. This is (I believe) where we ALL are, and I see
                                                this as "postmodern". Postmodern thought truly occurs when this is
                                                reflected upon (at least this is my definition - post-modernism is
                                                not a unilateral "school", and includes many approaches).

                                                [Loren]
                                                >...I don't exactly consider
                                                >myself a modernist (though, for me, it's not the foul
                                                cuss-word "postmodernist" is)...

                                                [Steve]
                                                Fairly strong feelings...
                                                Given my above explanation, I see a postmodern approach as an ally to
                                                understanding the parables.
                                                It seems like a great match to me.
                                                It also seems to me as being merely honest.
                                                --
                                                Steve Black
                                                Vancouver, BC

                                                Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question

                                                E.E. CUMMINGS
                                              • JTMoore20112@aol.com
                                                Good afternoon, all. John Moore here. I am coming in on the end of this discussion of parabolic jolt, and may well have missed critical earlier portions of
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Aug 11, 2001
                                                  Good afternoon, all. John Moore here.

                                                  I am coming in on the end of this discussion of parabolic jolt, and
                                                  may well have missed critical earlier portions of the exchange, but
                                                  this particular "leaven" discussion sent me scurrying to Brandon
                                                  Scott's Hear then the Parable, Chapter 15, One Rotten Apple. I
                                                  thought I would mention it since I do not see his name cropping up
                                                  anywhere here. Scott notes that the parable of the leaven's "radical
                                                  nature coheres with those parables of Jesus that attack ...
                                                  boundaries...." "Here," he says, "the kingdom (the holy and the good)
                                                  is pictured in terms of an epiphany of corruption.... Does it mean to
                                                  state that good is evil in an ethics of absurdity? Or is its function
                                                  to subvert a hearer's ready dependency on the rules of the sacred, the
                                                  predictability of what is good, and warn that instead the expected
                                                  evil that corrupts may indeed turn out to be the kingdom." (pp 328f)

                                                  As for myself, I hear Jesus saying here, as in the parable of the
                                                  mustard seed, that the kingdom spreads like leaven or like a weed once
                                                  it takes root, and that once God's rule takes root it cannot be
                                                  contained. I think that his audience would immediately have
                                                  identified with the task of "unleavening" flour or eradicating mustard
                                                  weeds from their gardens, and would have drawn their own conclusions
                                                  from personal experience.

                                                  I apologize if someone pointed this out earlier, but I have always
                                                  fround Scott's treatment of the parables to be compelling.

                                                  John Moore
                                                  Manassas, VA

                                                  --- In crosstalk2@y..., Steve Black <sblack@a...> wrote:
                                                  > [This msg seems to been lost in cyber-space, so I am resending it. I
                                                  > apologize for the inevitable duplication as when this happens, and I
                                                  > re-post, the lost one pops up shortly afterwards.]
                                                  >
                                                  > >Loren wrote
                                                  > >
                                                  > >... We then have Jesus likening
                                                  > >his followers to the following:
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >...2. leaven --
                                                  > > unholiness, moral corruption
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > Steve replies
                                                  > I have not heard this interpretation before.
                                                  >
                                                  > Are you suggesting that Jesus meant that it was looked at from by
                                                  > outsiders as "moral corruption", or that it actually was "moral
                                                  > corruption"?
                                                  > If the latter, why would Jesus think or say this - what would be the
                                                  > transformative "point"?
                                                  > --
                                                  > Steve Black
                                                  >
                                                  > Dig deep for dreams, or you will be toppled by slogans...
                                                  > ee cummings
                                                • Loren Rosson
                                                  [Steve] ... [John Moore] ... [Loren] Actually, John, I d alluded to Scott many times in discussing The Sower. This Leaven discussion has evolved as a
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Aug 12, 2001
                                                    [Steve]
                                                    > Are you [Loren] suggesting that Jesus meant
                                                    > that it was looked at from by
                                                    > outsiders as "moral corruption", or that it
                                                    > actually was "moral corruption"?

                                                    [John Moore]
                                                    > this particular "leaven" discussion sent me
                                                    > scurrying to Brandon Scott's Hear then the
                                                    > Parable, Chapter 15, One Rotten Apple. I
                                                    > thought I would mention it since I do not see
                                                    > his name cropping up anywhere here.

                                                    [Loren]
                                                    Actually, John, I'd alluded to Scott many times in
                                                    discussing The Sower. This "Leaven" discussion has
                                                    evolved as a sub-thread of The Sower.

                                                    [John]
                                                    > Scott notes..."Here," he says, "the kingdom (the
                                                    > holy and the good) is pictured in terms of an
                                                    > epiphany of corruption.... Does it mean to
                                                    > state that [A] good is evil in an ethics of
                                                    > absurdity? Or is its function to [B] subvert a
                                                    > hearer's ready
                                                    > dependency on the rules of the sacred, the
                                                    > predictability of what is good, and warn that
                                                    > instead the expected
                                                    > evil that corrupts may indeed turn out to be the
                                                    > kingdom." (pp 328f)

                                                    [Loren]
                                                    Steve apparently thought I was implying [A]. I meant
                                                    no such thing, only that Jesus used a kingdom-metaphor
                                                    of moral corruption to imply that what is
                                                    **traditionally understood** to be unholy may well
                                                    turn out not to be [B]. It's easy to see here the
                                                    allusion to Jesus' counter-temple activities,
                                                    conflicts with Torah, indiscriminate association with
                                                    sinners, etc.

                                                    [John]
                                                    > As for myself, I hear Jesus saying here, as in
                                                    > the parable of the
                                                    > mustard seed, that the kingdom spreads like leaven
                                                    > or like a weed once
                                                    > it takes root, and that once God's rule takes root
                                                    > it cannot be contained.

                                                    [Loren]
                                                    I agree; this addresses the question of process --
                                                    whether leavening or the wild growth of a mustard
                                                    shrub. Now if that process describes Jesus and his
                                                    followers, look out.

                                                    [John]
                                                    > I apologize if someone pointed this out earlier,
                                                    > but I have always fround Scott's treatment of
                                                    > the parables to be compelling.

                                                    [Loren]
                                                    As I argued in many posts throughout The Sower thread,
                                                    I think Scott leaves much to be desired in many
                                                    places. But in the cases of The Leaven and Mustard
                                                    Shrub, I do happen to agree (for the most part) with
                                                    his presentations.

                                                    Loren Rosson III
                                                    Nashua NH
                                                    rossoiii@...

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