Re: [John_Lit] Philo and the Passover lamb
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin O'Brien" <symeon@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2001 4:34 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Philo and the Passover lamb
> Comment: for the Paschal lamb to be a sacrifice it is necessary for its
blood to be poured out on the base of the National Altar in the Inner Court
of the Temple; it does not lie in the slaughtering of the lamb by the
disciples nor by any Jew nor in its later eating. Still less does it lie in
slaughtering the lamb in private houses by Jesus' disciples . You seem to be
weakening your seeming Philonic position by admitting: ". while it was
customary at Jerusalem to have the priests sacrifice the victims at the
temple." That being so, then I repeat what I insisted upon in a previous
e-mail, viz. that none of Jesus' disciples would dare set foot on the Temple
platform without first carrying out the necessary week long purificatory
lustrations required of those not visiting the Temple after a long time,
such as might be the case of Galilaeans and/or pilgrims. The penalty for
violating this cultic ruling , according to Jewish records, was death and
Jesus and they would know it.
My thesis is that, even if Jesus and his disciples sacrificed the victim
themselves and observed the Passover meal a day before its official
observance, they wouldn't necessarily have broken Mosaic Law. As far as I
can tell, nothing in what you say above brings this thesis into question.
For example, to the best of my knowledge, there is no ordinance of Mosaic
Law necessiting that "for the Paschal lamb to be a sacrifice it is necessary
for its blood to be poured out on the base of the National Altar in the
Inner Court of the Temple".
Again you write:
> Comment: Frank, you have given us elaborated perspectives of Philo based
not on Passover procedure in the time of Jesus but on the Passover of Egypt
1,280 years previously when the lamb was slaughtered in the Jewish private
houses! It is to be noted that the Samaritans at their Passover even today
sacrifice their Passover lambs at Mt. Gerizim according to the same order
and procedure as in Jesus' time. This is not a battle between what the
Mishnah (m. Pesah. 5 passim says and what Philo says; rather it is a matter
of correct understanding of what Philo is referring to.
Let us re-look at this part of the quotation I cited from Philo, "In this
festival many myraids of victims from noon till
eventide are offered by the whole people, old and young alike, raised for
that particular day to the dignity of the priesthood. For at other times
the priests according to the Law carry out both the public sacrifices and
those offered by private individuals. But on this occasion the whole nation
performs the sacred rites and acts as priest with pure hands and complete
immunity....On this day every dwelling-house is invested with the outward
semblance and dignity of a temple. The victim is then slaughtered and
dressed for the festal meal which befits the occasion." He clearly is not
referring to the original Passover, but, rather, to the annual re-enactments
of it being performed during his life-time..
> Since the lamb's slaughter, preparation etc. was not carried out in
private homes, eliminated from all historical consideration is a Passover
meal that same night. Eliminated from history is the preceding watercarrier
and the water. In regard to the lamb: The only operation conducted in
private homes was the lamb's roasting and its eating. In a previous e-mail I
think I gave you or the List a sufficient rationale for deleting Mark
14.12-16 par. as a chrono/geographical indicator for a Passover meal.
Instead, it is a midrash on 1 Sam 10.1-9 set in the context of Josh 9.21-23.
However, judging by what Philo states, there were Jews in the early first
century CE sacrificing the victims in private homes. Even if it is possible
to interpret Mark 14:12-16 in terms of the hypothesis that "it is a midrash
on I Sam 10:1-9 set in the context of Josh 9:21-23", this does not
necessitate that this hypothesis is true.