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RE: Rick Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)

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  • Judy Redman
    ... the term might ... for ... and Rick responded: I have no idea. Something makes me think you have some ideas about this, so maybe you can take some time to
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 12 6:23 AM
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      Judy asked:
      ||Do you think that it has to be a money lender per se? Is it possible that
      the term might
      ||be used to refer to anyone who lends money for interest, rather than just
      ||someone who does this for a profession?

      and Rick responded:

      I have no idea. Something makes me think you have some ideas about this, so
      maybe you can take some time to expand?

      and Judy answers:

      What I was thinking was this:

      It seems that the expected Jewish practice was to lend (at least to other
      Jews) without charging interest, yet it was also common for people to lend
      and expect the loan to be repaid with interest. In a previous post, you
      suggested that other farmers who had had better years might make a loan in
      kind and expect to be repaid with interest. Such a person might well be
      described as XRHSTHS - an usurer in the classic, non-pejorative sense of the
      word, without being a professional money-lender. In non-Jewish circles,
      lending to a neighbour to help him out, but expecting interest on the loan
      would not have been considered in the same negative light as it was in
      Jewish society, which might go some way to explaining the rather (or
      extremely) naive behaviour that the person exhibited in sending his son when
      the tenants had beaten up.

      Looking at the actual text (which I hadn't done), this doesn't quite fit,
      but it might be possible that XRHSTHS is a term for someone who lends
      anything (not just money), expecting interest in return, but not necessarily
      exorbitant amounts of interest. The owner of the vineyard could certainly be
      seen to be lending his land to the tenants so that both he and they might
      benefit - he by getting some produce back without having to work it and they
      by also (one assumes) being able to get some produce without having to have
      the money to buy land in the first place. If that is the case, then XRHSTHS
      might simply be a technical term for what the man is doing, rather than
      saying that he is nasty. The neutrality of the term in the mind of the
      author of GosThom seems to be backed up by the fact that in 109, the kingdom
      is likened to a man who, on finding a treasure in his field, lends money
      with interest to whomever he wishes.

      I guess the question is what truth the author of Thomas' gospel wanted his
      readers to get from the story. I would be inclined to read the story
      substituting RWME for the problem word, analyse the message and then try to
      decide whether XRHSTOS or XRHSTHS makes more sense. But not at this hour of
      night, I'm afraid. J



      Judy Redman
      PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
      University of New England
      Armidale 2351 Australia
      ph: +61 2 6773 3401
      mob: 0437 044 579
      web: http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
      email: <mailto:jredman@...> jredman2@...

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