Karel Hanhart wrote:
> Dear Jeffery,
> Your questions are notoriously difficult. As to your third question: I
> proposed the incident of the baptismal voice and the descent of the H.Sp
> "like a dove into" Jesus, is a midrash on Gen 22,2 (re. the baptismal
> voice) and Gen 1,2; 8,12 (re. the Spiriti) AND the book of JONAH!
I am sorry I cannot help you with other rabbinic references. However, let me
on my remarks above. The Greek PERISTERA (dove). And someone with an ear
for Hebrew would see the word play at once. If Mark was indeed a Judean
(the John Mark of Acts and the epistles) and wrote his post-70 Gospel to a
Christian Judean ecclesia in Rome or Alexandria the reference to the
prophecy of Jonah would become relevant indeed. For the book of Jonah
features the 'sea' , 'conversion' and new beginning and in the Gospels
made to the Jonah story (Mt 12,39; 16,4 par). The same keywords return in
I haven't read any commentary seriously considering this possibility.
Leander Keck (I believe) wrote a thorough article on the 'spirit like a
dove' in one of the earlier issues of NTS.
The name of Jonah would bring to the mind of the readers the delightful and
profound message of Jonah. It is a jewel of hebrew Wisdom literature, one of
the four scrolls (megilloth) dealing with the relations of Judeans and
Gentiles - cf the scroll of Esther and of Ruth). The local presbyter at any
rate would be able to explain how the Spirit "like Jonah - a dove" went into
Jesus. Jonah is so to speak the incorporation of God's message to Nineveh;
it is a message of judgment delayed and of mercy on condition that Nineveh
repents. So the name Jonah (dove) symbolizes both the attitude and the
mission of Jonah. He was powerless, armed only with the Word of JHWH,
trembling with fear as he was mindful of the the cruel deeds of the superior
might and cruel deeds of the Assyrians. Nineveh had become the byword for
all that is evil. The verb SHUB, to turn, is at the heart of the
booklet. "All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is
in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind' he may TURN
from his fierce anger, so that we (the Ninevites) do not perish (Jonah 3,8b
The tension between Judea and Rome had gradually increased until it
exploded. Now in the aftermath of the war the message became particularly
relevant, especially because both Judeans and Roman Gentiles were hearing
this message. The flight of the dove was destined IMHO for imperial Rome.
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