Blood wrote: ↑Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:45 pmBut would the Judeans [in Jerusalem] (not Alexandria) have been using the Septuagint? Why? If Christianity's origins are going to be associated with that city, then we would also need good reasons to believe that, for some reason, the Greek text was also considered the primary text even in Jerusalem. And if that was the case, where in the world was the Hebrew text used as the base text in the first century? Qumram? Anywhere?
Blood wrote: ↑Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:18 pmThe point being that if Christianity's origins are to be associated with Jerusalem [Judea], then we would expect to find greater emphasis on Hebrew words and texts, not Greek ones. We cannot assume that because Jews in Alexandria were using the LXX, that Jews in Jerusalem [Judea] were also. The argument would be more consistent if Christianity's origins were instead associated with Alexandria, since we have stronger reasons to believe that the LXX was the main base text there.
Apparently as the Jewish conflict with the Romans grew before the first Roman-Jewish War (66-70 AD/CE), the 'nations' surrounding Judea (then part of the Roman Iudaea province) all sided with the Romans: the House of Shammai proposed that all commerce and communication between Jew and Gentile should be completely prohibited. The House of Hillel disagreed, but when the Sanhedrin convened to discuss the matter, the Zealots sided with the House of Shammaia. How much 'communication between Jew and Gentile' involved the leaders, particularly those in the Sanhedrin, and others involved in theological determinations, may be hard to determine; but it may be relevant to the issue at hand.
- Eleazar ben Ananias, the Temple captain and a leader of the militant Zealots, is said to have invited the students of both schools to meet at his house ... many of the House of Hillel were killed, meaning that those present from the House of Shammai were able to force all the remaining individuals to adopt a radically restrictive set of rules known as 'The Eighteen Articles'
After the fall of the 2nd Temple the Sanhedrin is said to have decamped to Yevnah (in Judea; aka Yavneel/Jabnah/Jamnia) (It may have first moved to Usha (a small village in west Galilee) until 116 AD/CE, before moving to Yevnah, but ended up in Usha after the Bar Kokhba revolt).
The Roman-Jewish War had diminished Jews appetites for conflict: under Gamaliel II, the opinions of the House of Hillel won the reconstituted Sanhedrin's support on most issues (eg during 'the Council of Jamnia'*, if it did actually happen).
The Sanhedrin is said to have moved [or returned] to Usha in 135 or 146 AD/CE (or somewhere in between).
- Simeon/Shimon ben Gamliel II was elected president of a restorated 'college' at Usha [after the end of the Bar Kokhba Revolt], in recognition of his personal worth and influence as much as or more than because he was a descendant of the house of Hillel. He was then elected president of the Sanhedrin.
- According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Shimon ben Gamliel II seems to have been trained in Greek philosophy; this is thought to account for his declaration that the Scriptures be written only in the original text and in Greek (Meg. 9b; i. 8; Yer. Meg. 71c). There were many children in his family (including Judah ha-Nasi b. 135 CE): one-half of whom were instructed in the Torah, and the other half in Greek philosophy (Gittin 58a; Sotah 49b; Bava Kamma 83a;). Perhaps Shimon ben Gamliel II's father - Gamliel II - was also trained in Greek philosophy or language.
* The Council of Jamnia, is a hypothetical late 1st-century council, presumably held in Yavneh (aka Jamnia) in Judea, in which it has been proposed the Jewish authorities decided to exclude believers in Jesus as the Messiah from synagogue attendance, as interpretation of John 9:221 is thought to indicate. The Birkat haMinim benediction (attributed to Shmuel ha-Katan) is supposed to have been written during this council.
- John 9:22 22 -- 'His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue' -- is part of a long involved passage about a blind man Jesus heals, but the Pharisees cast him out when he argued with them = John 9:13-41