Re: [XTalk] The Dutch Radical Approach to the Pauline Epistles
- "Robert C. Davis" wrote:
> Part of the issue, it seems to me, is whether it is credible to assume thatRobert,
> the overwhelming attention paid to apocalyptic thinking in Jewish Palestine
> during the period before the destruction of Jerusalem was not shared
> generally by Palestinian Jews and thus by Palestinian Jewish-Christians by
> extension. In order to make that assumption, one would have to suggest that
> this apocalyptic world-view was not as generally accepted by traditional
> Palestinian Jews as has been suggested, and that thus there were whole
> groups/factions among Palestinian Jews that in fact neglected or overlooked
Thank you for your note. "not as generally accepted by traditional
Palestinian Jews," as you know from my note is where we will disagree.
Just to stir the pot a tad;)!, a central issue in this, as you are well
aware, is how one conceives of what is "core/ early" and what is the
product of extended reflection/ redaction/ extension. Just as a thought
model from an earlier era... the Ezra-Nehemiah traditions tell of the
central "official thought" of the post Exilic era. Such as the
Chronicler retells Israel's story with an eye towards Central cultic
faithfulness. And this represents a dominant Temple piety viewpoint.
And yet the Hebrew Scriptures also contain a lampooning of this dominant
viewpoint (Jonah!... a parabolic response in the guise of a prophetic
book). This little example shows the vibrancy of the tradition and the
strength of maintaining the various strong voices from the past. And
the Duetero canonical books reveal the continuation of this diversity.
To jam, so to speak, the Wisdom of Solomon and Ben Sira into "a
generally held apocalyptic view," in my view, does not do justice to the
breadth of the theological constructive possibilities that were accessed
in the Hebraic tradition and parties. And so again, from TANAK and from
the Deutero Canonicals we know of a Hebraic/ Jewish wisdom heritage.
The parables and aphorisms of Jesus are wisdom theological and ethical
forms. The mission strategy is "here and now" response that is
consonant with a wisdom theological and ethical response. And then
besides... that Jesus voiced something that wasn't "generally accepted"
seems to be very much the case! (thus the crowds in Nazareth and others
puzzle: "What is this wisdom that has been given to him?" Mark 6:2).
And so again, that this profoundly thoughtful and provocative response
was quickly reflected upon in relation to the range of theological
voices from the past comes as no surprise to me at all. That the
apocalyptic took on a special cogency across the following decades makes
special sense;)! After all, someone who was understood by his friends
as parabling "the Kingdom of God" would be seen to be a pretty dim sage
if that wisdom wasn't understood as taking into account the increasing
slide into violence and mayhem. That, after the Roman Jewish War, a
central emphasis was placed on this (such as in Mark 13), pardon, "just
sort of makes sense!" But then again... the collected writings that
came together preserve not just "a general apocalyptacism," but indeed
such as Ep. James, which is clearly a wisdom focused epistle, Hebrews a
work that is centered in Priestly Theology, etc.
So, we will have to continue to disagree about this. With Dom Crossan I
think underneath both Q and Thomas is a common sayings source. That
source is a wisdom collection. And such views as you present here just
don't push me away from paying close attention not only the genre of
that collection, but, of course... the content! And so just to end this
with a bit of a poem:)... let me end with what I think is vintage HJ:
"The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor
will they say, "Look here it is!" or "There it is!" For the kingdom of
God is among you." (NRSV Luke 17:21). Pardon my southern expression,
but "this just ain't an apocalyptic affirmation."