2nd Temple - Gospels /was Question
- Thomas Butler:
I believe it was John Lupia who questioned what the
historical situation might have been that would have
caused temple priests to leave the temple. It seems
to me that this level of corruption might be one such
I do not question the historical situation, which
existed during the public ministry of Jesus, I was
only pointing out critical sources that do reveal what
it was. Let me make myself clear by explaining what
the situation was.
Saddukaioi = Tzaddikim = �the upright or righteous
men� the chief Kohanim in the Jerusalem Temple. This
cultic or sectarian group of Kohanim was so called
drawn from the second oracle of Habakkuk (c. 597 BC)
A TZADDIK shall live by his faith, (Habakkuk 2:4).
Tzaddik [also spelled tsaddik or tsaddiq] is both and
adjective (righteous) and a noun (one who is just).
This group of chief-priests was Epicurean in their
philosophical outlook on politics, life and religion.
Consequently, they were materialists who rejected the
ideas of spirit or incorporeal being, such as angels,
and denied the resurrection since it implied spirit
and life to dead inanimate matter, something that was
very unscientific much like the skeptics today in the
so-called Historical Jesus research. They also strove
to eliminate the Jewish Apocalyptic literature, which
Jews and Protestants today called the LXX Apocrypha
and epigraphy and pseudoepigraphy, but which has been
perpetuated in Jewish tradition with the misnomer
�Oral Tradition�. Jewish Apocalyptic literature was
considered very dangerous because it pointed to a
Messiah who would lead what they thought was a
political revolution. Being materialistic thinkers
they translated this into a Messiah-Revolutionary who
would throw off Roman suppression. This they saw as
suicidal since they knew all too well that the Jewish
nation could never endure such a revolutionary effort
and would be completely defeated. They were right
about that, but wrong about the import of Jewish
Apocalyptic literature. Jesus continuously taught the
true meaning of what this literature meant, counter to
what they believed.
The Tzaddikim composed their own literature to counter
the Book of the LXX, and when Jesus began to teach
they began to compose literature against him. Tzaddik
literature depicts acts in opposition to a ma'aseh,
i.e., a similar story, about a rasha, or a wicked man.
(See Targum J. Numbers 31:8, Yalkut Shimoney 785,
Zohar II 194 A).
Fleer and Afterman tell us: �All distinction depends
on the man who separates light from darkness. He
knows, and he can interpret the great disparity
between stories. For the stories of Tzaddikim come
from the Side of Holiness and are the result of
prayer. As is taught concerning the verse: "Tell me,
please, of all the great things Elisha has done"
(Kings II 8:4), the Talmud (Megilla 27) explains,
"Elisha accomplished 'great things', miracles, through
his power of prayer." But the stories told of r'shaim
are rooted in wicked plans, deceptions, magic; those
things that come from the Other Side of Holiness.�
�Hence only one who knows how to separate light from
darkness, good from evil, can differentiate between
stories.� (cf. Jerusalem Talmud, Brachot, perak 5,
halacha 2.) see Gedaliah Fleer and Alan Afterman,
�Tales of the Tzaddikim,� B'or Ha'Torah (1986)
The Tzaddikim literature that began to circulate after
the crucifixion and death of Jesus was propaganda to
refute the earliest kerygma of the apostolic community
in its very first few years. This I have identified
as the Gospel of Thomas, a cacographic portrait of
Jesus and the apostles meant to deride them and
dissuade others from believing in him. I have already
shown how the various logia in this corpus are ribald
puns meant to elicit guffaws from the public who heard
St. Luke�s prologue clearly shows that the many other
writings were cacography which were intended to
dissuade Theophilus, the High Priest in Jerusalem AD
37-41. Consequently, Luke must necessarily be the
first written Gospel since he tells us that he has
gone over everything from the beginning. Since Luke
did not characterize the Passion Narrative with
complete accuracy: Jesus is not crowned with thorns,
scourged and doe not carry his cross, St. John
immediately seized the opportunity to compose his
Gospel to add to that of Luke in order to establish a
fuller and more complete picture and portrait of Jesus
and the teachings conveyed by him in speeches which
John had copies of suggesting that he was a
stenographer who made the records. This too I have
pointed out before that, he took down the lengthy
speeches that comprise the Last Supper.
St. John�s Gospel does not mention the Tzaddikim by
name in translation in the Greek, but rather, uses the
Greek DIKAIOS in John 7:24 "Do not judge according to
appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
Tzaddik Nistar (pl. Tzadikim nistarim) = concealed
righteous ones. This is how St. John characterizes
both Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-9).
Tzaddik v'ra lo = a righteous man on whom evil
befalls. This is how St. John characterizes Jesus and
omits the account of the martyrdom of John the
Baptist, because, it was already given by Luke and
John wished to focus not on him, but on Jesus.
The other leading sect were the P'rushim = Pharisees,
commentators on Halakhah, hence called scribes,
lawyers and teachers. These opposed the Tzaddikim and
accepted the Jewish literature of the later books in
the LXX. They maintained belief in spirits and angels
and held the resurrection from the dead and also the
Messianic Son of God who would redeem all of Israel.
It was sometime after the Council of Jerusalem in AD
54 when disciples of St. John the Baptizer were found
at Ephesus and were rebuked for not baptizing using
the Trinitarian formula that St. Matthew wrote his
Gospel that gives this in Mt 28:19.
As the Church began to make inroads into Rome and
establish communities there it was then that St. Mark
composed his Gospel to appeal to the Gentile audience
in terms that made the theology of Jesus
understandable to them.
This is the thesis I had arrived at over a decade ago,
but I still need to complete the manuscript. For the
past 3 years I have been posting the crux of this
thesis and have profited from many discussions to help
tweak and focus the essential material.
With warm regards,
John N. Lupia, III
31 Norwich Drive
Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
Phone: (732) 341-8689
Editor, Roman Catholic News
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