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Re: [XTalk] Luke's Concept of Jesus as a Davidic Messiah

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  • ABuglass1@compuserve.com
    In a message dated 07/10/01 02:03:58 GMT Daylight Time, FMMCCOY@msn.com ... Dear Frank, Of course your latter statement is true in the terms in which it is
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 8, 2001
      In a message dated 07/10/01 02:03:58 GMT Daylight Time, FMMCCOY@...
      writes:


      > Despite knowing how tricky and complicated the situation is, I still
      > think that Luke's concept of Jesus as a Davidic Messiah is primarily rooted
      > in the Essenes' concept of the Branch of David.
      >
      > The best evidence for this way of thinking comes from Luke 1:30-33--where
      > Gabriel tells Mary, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And
      > (lo!). you shall conceive in (your) womb and bring forth a son, and you
      > shall call his name Jesus. For he shall be great, and shall be called Son
      > of (the) Highest. And (the) Lord God shall give him the thone of his father
      > David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages, and of his
      > kingdom there shall be no end."
      >
      > As I point out in several previous posts, there appears to be an influence
      > from the Essene text 4Q174 on this passage. In particular, the Lukan idea
      > that Jesus, as a Davidic Messiah, will be a Son of God and will reign
      > forever finds a strong parallel in this passage from 4Q174, "'I will
      > establish the throne of his kingdom [for ever] (2 Sam. vii, 12). [I will
      > be] his father and he shall be my son (2 Sam. vii.14).' He is the Branch of
      > David."
      >
      > Conversely, I am not aware of any passage from Isaiah where, it is said, the
      > Branch of David will reign forever and/or be Son of God.
      >
      >

      Dear Frank,
      Of course your latter statement is true in the terms in which it is stated.
      However, Isa.11:1 should not be taken in isolation from other messianic texts
      such as Isa.9:2-7, where it does explicitly say his reign will be eternal
      (9:7). It is also likely that Luke (and those among whom he developed his
      theology) would be aware or the same Messianic prooftexts and source material
      as the Essenes. Most Christian groups would be aware of and use the same
      texts (Ps.110:1; 2 Sam.7:14, and the usual suspects). You have not yet
      demonstrated to my satisfaction that "Luke's concept of Jesus as a Davidic
      Messiah is **primarily** rooted in the Essenes' concept of the Branch of
      David" (your phrase).

      As you stated in your reply to me, the situation is much more complicated
      than my response suggested. (OK, I was in a hurry!) Given the fluid
      complexity of the various Jewish/Christian/Messianic groups in the 1stC,
      there are surely a number of possible routes for exegetical and theological
      influence. To say that Luke has been *primarily* influenced by a specific
      group is surely stretching the evidence further than it will go. Luke has
      *possibly* been influenced by the Essenes - are there other points of his
      theology which show such influence? Or does his 'breadth' compared to the
      sectarian 'narrowness' of the Essenes militate against it? Or does that
      simply sho that Luke is discerning enough to be able to take ideas where he
      finds them without swallowing the whole package of that group?

      I am still interested in the parallel, but I am not yet persuaded of a direct
      influence. It is more likely that we are seeing two of several independently
      developed parallel traditions, or two traditions which are themselves
      derivative of a root-development in the late intertestamental period or early
      Christian era. (POssibly even HJ himself, or is that too radical a thought!) (
      <G>)

      The verdict so far has to be 'not proven'.

      Blessings,
      Rev Tony Buglass
      Pickeirng Methodist Circuit



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dennis C. Duling
      Comment from an old timer : Regardless of direct influences, one should not forget the LXX rendering of *zemach* as *anatole* in Zechariah 3:8, 6:12 and Jer
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 11, 2001
        Comment from an "old timer":
        Regardless of direct influences, one should not forget the LXX rendering
        of *zemach* as *anatole* in Zechariah 3:8, 6:12 and Jer 23:5 in relation
        to Luke 1:78 (Duling, NTS 20 [1973]).

        D. Duling
        ABuglass1@... wrote:
        >
        > In a message dated 07/10/01 02:03:58 GMT Daylight Time, FMMCCOY@...
        > writes:
        >
        > > Despite knowing how tricky and complicated the situation is, I still
        > > think that Luke's concept of Jesus as a Davidic Messiah is primarily rooted
        > > in the Essenes' concept of the Branch of David.
        > >
        > > The best evidence for this way of thinking comes from Luke 1:30-33--where
        > > Gabriel tells Mary, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And
        > > (lo!). you shall conceive in (your) womb and bring forth a son, and you
        > > shall call his name Jesus. For he shall be great, and shall be called Son
        > > of (the) Highest. And (the) Lord God shall give him the thone of his father
        > > David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages, and of his
        > > kingdom there shall be no end."
        > >
        > > As I point out in several previous posts, there appears to be an influence
        > > from the Essene text 4Q174 on this passage. In particular, the Lukan idea
        > > that Jesus, as a Davidic Messiah, will be a Son of God and will reign
        > > forever finds a strong parallel in this passage from 4Q174, "'I will
        > > establish the throne of his kingdom [for ever] (2 Sam. vii, 12). [I will
        > > be] his father and he shall be my son (2 Sam. vii.14).' He is the Branch of
        > > David."
        > >
        > > Conversely, I am not aware of any passage from Isaiah where, it is said, the
        > > Branch of David will reign forever and/or be Son of God.
        > >
        > >
        >
        > Dear Frank,
        > Of course your latter statement is true in the terms in which it is stated.
        > However, Isa.11:1 should not be taken in isolation from other messianic texts
        > such as Isa.9:2-7, where it does explicitly say his reign will be eternal
        > (9:7). It is also likely that Luke (and those among whom he developed his
        > theology) would be aware or the same Messianic prooftexts and source material
        > as the Essenes. Most Christian groups would be aware of and use the same
        > texts (Ps.110:1; 2 Sam.7:14, and the usual suspects). You have not yet
        > demonstrated to my satisfaction that "Luke's concept of Jesus as a Davidic
        > Messiah is **primarily** rooted in the Essenes' concept of the Branch of
        > David" (your phrase).
        >
        > As you stated in your reply to me, the situation is much more complicated
        > than my response suggested. (OK, I was in a hurry!) Given the fluid
        > complexity of the various Jewish/Christian/Messianic groups in the 1stC,
        > there are surely a number of possible routes for exegetical and theological
        > influence. To say that Luke has been *primarily* influenced by a specific
        > group is surely stretching the evidence further than it will go. Luke has
        > *possibly* been influenced by the Essenes - are there other points of his
        > theology which show such influence? Or does his 'breadth' compared to the
        > sectarian 'narrowness' of the Essenes militate against it? Or does that
        > simply sho that Luke is discerning enough to be able to take ideas where he
        > finds them without swallowing the whole package of that group?
        >
        > I am still interested in the parallel, but I am not yet persuaded of a direct
        > influence. It is more likely that we are seeing two of several independently
        > developed parallel traditions, or two traditions which are themselves
        > derivative of a root-development in the late intertestamental period or early
        > Christian era. (POssibly even HJ himself, or is that too radical a thought!) (
        > <G>)
        >
        > The verdict so far has to be 'not proven'.
        >
        > Blessings,
        > Rev Tony Buglass
        > Pickeirng Methodist Circuit
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • FMMCCOY
        ... From: Dennis C. Duling To: Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 7:58 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Luke s
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 19, 2001
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Dennis C. Duling" <duling@...>
          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 7:58 AM
          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Luke's Concept of Jesus as a Davidic Messiah


          > Comment from an "old timer":
          > Regardless of direct influences, one should not forget the LXX rendering
          > of *zemach* as *anatole* in Zechariah 3:8, 6:12 and Jer 23:5 in relation
          > to Luke 1:78 (Duling, NTS 20 [1973]).
          >
          Dear D. Duling:

          I started getting "junk mail" from AARP a decade ago, so I'm not exactly a
          spring chicken either!

          Your paper is quite a revelation. It's going to take several months,
          and several re-readings, for me to "digest".

          Leaving out the Hebrew letters (which I don't know how to render into
          English letters), your rendering of these three passages is as follows (p.
          76):

          Jer. xxiii. 5: Behold the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I shall raise
          up (anastesw) to David a righteous Shoot (anatolen).

          Zech. iii. 8: Behold, I am causing to come (ego ago) my servant, the Shoot
          (anatolen).

          Zech. vi. 12: Behold the man whose name is Shoot (anatole); for he shall
          shoot up (anatelei) in his place, and he shall build the temple of Yahweh,
          and shall bear royal honour, and shall sit and rule upon his throne.

          It is noteworthy that you render "anatole" as "Shoot" in these three
          passages. In explanation, you state that "a comparison of the language in
          Hebrew and Greek will show a consciousness on the part of the translators
          that a number of these traditions are to be related. Perhaps the best-known
          example is the translation anatellw and its noun form anatole. Thus the
          'shoot of Isa. iv. 2, Jer. xxiii. 5, and Zech. iii. 8, vi. 12 is constently
          rendered by the unusual anatole, 'East', apparently a reflection on the verb
          antellw which translates 'shoot up' not only in Zech. vi. 12, but is found
          with the 'star' of Num. xxiv. 17, the 'horn' of Ps. cxxxii. 17, and the 'Sun
          of Righteousness' in Mal. iii. 20." (p.61)

          You relate these Hebrew versions of these passages from Zecharaiah and
          Jeremiah to three Dead Sea scrolls from Cave IV (i.e., 4QPB, 4QpIsa, and
          4QFlor), stating, "Thus, the three examples from Cave IV indicate the
          centrality of the metaphor Shoot of David from Jeremiah and Zechariah, and
          in the case of 4QFlor, the Shoot of David interprets the original promise in
          all its boldness. This figure will stand up at the end of days, execute
          justice and righteousness over the nations, and save Israel. If all three
          texts are considered, it would appear that the priestly messiah is being
          surpassed."

          This means that we have this interesting situation:
          1. Those who wrote the Dead Sea scrolls (and who, I believe, were the
          Essenes) understood that the Shoot in three passages from Jeremiah and
          Zechariah is the Shoot of David--an important figure, descended from David,
          who will appear at the end of days.
          2. In the Septuagint, the Greek word used in these three passages for Shoot
          is Anatole.
          3. According to Philo (Conf. 62-63), this Anatole (at least in one of these
          three passages, i.e., Zechariah 6:12), is the Logos.

          The first two points lead to the equation: the Shoot of David = the Anatole.
          The third point leads to the equation: the Anatole = the Logos. Together,
          therefore, they lead to the equation: the Shoot of David = the Anatole = the
          Logos. That is to say, they lead to the idea that the Shoot of David will
          be the pre-existent and heavenly Anatole, i.e., the Logos, incarnate in the
          flesh as a descendent of David--an idea that, I suggest, underlies Luke
          1:68-79..

          In turn, when the middle term is dropped from this equation, it then
          becomes: the Shoot of David = the Logos. That is to say, it then becomes
          the idea that the Shoot of David will be the Logos incarnate in the flesh as
          a descendent of David.

          What this means, then, is that the idea that the Shoot of David will be the
          Logos incarnate in the flesh as a descendent of David could have arisen in a
          group or in the mind of an individual in contact with both the Qumran group
          (or, at least, its literature) and Alexandrian Judaism (which was based on
          the Greek language eptuagint) as espoused by Philo. Perhaps the greatest
          likelihood of this happening would have been among the Therapeutae--for they
          had many affinities with the Qumran group, yet most of them resided in and
          near Aexandria.

          Significantly, as I point out in a post of 8-25-01 titled "Conceptions of
          Israel's [and Christianity's] God and the divinity", Mark 4:10-34 indicates
          that there were some followers of Philo in Galilee and that they were
          intimate friends of Jesus. If so, and if Jesus had also been in contact
          with some Essenes, then he might have developed this idea that the Shoot of
          David will be the Logos incarnate in the flesh and, beyond that, believed
          himself to be this Logos incarnate in the flesh as the Shoot of David.

          In addition, (1) as I point out in a post of 10-02-01, titled, "Luke's
          Greek", the basic Christology in Chapter 1 of Luke appears to be that of
          Jesus having been the Logos incarnate in the flesh as the Branch (Shoot) of
          David and (2) as I point out in some earlier posts this appears to be the
          basic Christology in Mark as well.

          Well, as (1) the idea that the Shoot of David will be the Logos incarnate in
          the flesh as a descendent of David could have arisen in a pre-Chistian group
          (e.g., the Therapeutae) or even in the mind of Jesus, and as (2) the basic
          Christology in Chapter 1 of Luke and in Mark appears to be that of Jesus
          having been the Logos incarnate in the flesh as the Branch (Shoot) of David,
          then (3) the basic Christology in Chapter 1 of Luke and in Mark might have
          its roots in a pre-Christian context (e.g., among the Therapeutae) or even
          in the thinking of the real Jesus of history.


          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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