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3702Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Four-gospel-collection

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  • John C. Poirier
    Feb 4, 2000
      Your argument that Jesus was crucified during the week of Sukkoth,
      rather than Pesach, is interesting. I have never thought about the
      detail of the “upper room” in that way.

      Of course, the view that the Triumphal Entry happened during Sukkoth is
      not new. (As everyone notes, Mark’s time indicators, from which our
      notion of a “Passion Week” is derived, come from his hand.) It has been
      argued by a number of scholars already.

      Yet, I don’t think anyone has given the argument for a Sukkoth dating
      the attention it really deserves, and a couple of more supports could be
      added to the argument.

      First, recent studies have emphasized that Sukkoth was primarily a
      celebration of the Temple. (See esp. Hakan Ulfgard, *The Story of
      Sukkot*.) This brings an added dimension to Jesus’ comments directed
      against the Temple.

      Secondly, I don’t think that Peter’s outburst at the Transfiguration has
      been properly interpreted. Those scholars who have interpreted Peter’s
      words in the light of Sukkoth have unfortunately tended to combine it
      with other details of the story, and have only posited a general Sukkoth
      imagery lies behind the account. This, I think, is a
      misinterpretation. Peter’s reference to booths is a chronological
      indicator: the forthcoming journey to Jerusalem had the celebration of
      Sukkoth as its (immediate) purpose. The Transfiguration is the last
      thing that happened in Galilee before Jesus and the disciples made for
      Jerusalem. Peter’s comment, “Lord, let us make three booths here,” was
      a lastditch effort to dissuade Jesus from going to Jerusalem, *where he
      was going to celebrate Sukkoth*.

      John C. Poirier
      Middletown, Ohio
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