Re: [John_Lit] Passover lamb and Philo
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin O'Brien" <symeon@...>
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2001 5:10 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Passover lamb and Philo
> To lay to rest this debate, it would help you and me I am sure, if you
would consult the fifth chapter of m. Zevahim where it gives every detail of
the places where the various sacrifices were slaughtered. See also Encyc.
Biblica (Cheyne & Black (1901) Art. "Sacrifice" 26 and (blood) 43.
> Frank, it must be taken into account that Philo was mostly in Egyptian
Alexandria throughout his life - a highly significant point I submit. His
allegorical interpretation of Holy Writ and his attribution of symbolic
meanings to "blood" etc. plus the fact that the Persian monarch (I think it
was either Darius 1st. or 2nd). issued a binding decree on how the Jews in
Alexandria were to minutely observe the Feast of Azymes (acc. probably to
the monarch's own Zoroastrian based sacrificial praxis) all lead me to
conclude that when compared to the descriptions of minute ritual observances
in the Mishnah as applied to the Passover lamb and the Jewish Temple, that
Philo as a responsible and accredited authority would rate a very poor
runner-up to that same Mishnah record.
Dear Kevin O'Brien:
I think that Philo is a a more reliable source than the Mishnah on how the
Passover/unleavened bread festival was observed at the time of the Last
Supper because he was alive at the time that the Last Supper was held, while
the Mishnah dates to long after the death of Jesus and, so, probably
contains much false legendary material..
Still, your point that Philo's accounts of how the Jews observed the
Passover/unleavened bread festival reflect the situation in the Eyptian
Jewish community is well taken. There undoubtedly were regional differences
in how the festival was observed. So, I concede to you, some of the
customs observed in Alexandria undoubtedly were not observed in Judea and,
conversely,. some of the customs observed in Judea undoubtedly were not
observed in Alexandria.
Also, there undoubtedly were sectarian variations in observing the festival.
For example, Joseph Caiaphus, the reigning High Priest at the time of the
Last Supper, was a Sadducee. Therefore, unless he were forced to do
otherwise by the Jerusalem Sanheidrin, I think he would have ordered the
temple priests to perform the temple rites (including the sacrificing of the
victims) during the festival in accord with Sadducic beliefs rather than in
accord with the Pharisaic traditions of the elders.
Does anyone know if the Galileans had some of their own regional "quirks"
regarding how to observe this festival? Also, does anyone have any
information on how much freedom the High Priest had to dictate how this
festival was to be officially observed in Jerusalem?
Maplewood, MN USA