The Pastorals

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:19 pm

Ben wrote:
The only reason Josephus' fourth category was so broad is that it was literally "everything else" after one had considered the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. And you already pointed out that he omitted the Samaritans (unless they, too, ought to be considered part of the Fourth Philosophy).
I don't think Josephus considered the Samaritans to be Jewish at all, so I figure that is why he does not count them as one of the Jewish sects. The key thing about "everything else" though (under the umbrella of the Fourth Philosophy) is that their ideas were new ("which we were before unacquainted"), which is why he refers to Fourth Philosophers as "innovators" and their doctrines as "innovations" (and which I think is reflected in the idea of the "new covenant" in the DSS and Christianity).

This is similar to what Mk. 1:27 says about Jesus:
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching, and with authority!
And as Lim notes:
... the [Dead Sea Scrolls] sectarians and early church were the only ones to have used the concept of “the new covenant” from the prophecy of Jeremiah. Other Jews did not comment on “the new covenant” nor did they use it in their writings.

http://www.christianorigins.div.ed.ac.u ... t-seventy/
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:15 pm

Now I'm thinking that the gospel of Mark could be a swipe against other Fourth Philosophic factions carried over into the literary realm. This would explain why Jesus warns against other "I am He" guys, and why his betrayer is named Judas Iscariot (which could be aimed at people like Judas the Galilean and the Sicarii), and why the Jewish crowd is bad for choosing a "bandit" over Jesus.

In other words, the words and descriptions that Josephus uses for Fourth Philosophers (bandits, sicarii, "I am He" guys) are being used in a negative way in Mark, which seems to me to be in keeping with the internecine strife that Josephus says was endemic of the Fourth Philosophy. Maybe Mark is just continuing this strife in writing. Jesus is the good "I am He" guy, and the other ones are bad.

And in this light, I suppose, this would be the case for Justus of Tiberius' writings too, which impugned Josephus, and Josephus' Life, which impugns Justus (e.g., "But as for Justus, the son of Pistus, who was the head of the third faction, although he pretended to be doubtful about going to war, yet was he really desirous of innovation, as supposing that he should gain power to himself by the change of affairs"). They were both prominent leaders (for a time, and in their respective ways) of the Fourth Philosophy, and just like the various factions had fought each other during the 66-70 CE war, they and others who survived it (perhaps including Mark) continued to fight with each other in writing.
Last edited by John2 on Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:54 pm

And let's just say that the Damascus Document (at least in the copies that mention the Teacher of Righteousness, which are dateable to the Herodian era and even later in the case of the two Egyptian copies) has something to do with Christianity (after all, it talks about "the Way," the "New Covenant," Damascus, the coming of the Messiah, seeing "yeshua," etc.). If I were to guess what kind of (Jewish) Christians wrote it, I would pick the kind described in Acts 21:20-36, 22:22-23 and 23:12-16:
Then they said to Paul, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the Law. But they are under the impression that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe our customs. What then should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.

Therefore do what we advise you. There are four men with us who have taken a vow. Take these men, purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is no truth to these rumors about you, but that you also live in obedience to the Law ...

When the seven days were almost over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and against our Law and against this place. Furthermore, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, the commander of the Roman regiment received a report that all Jerusalem was in turmoil. Immediately he took some soldiers and centurions and ran down to the crowd. When the people saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul ...

Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, and some another. And since the commander could not confirm the facts because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. For the crowd that followed him kept shouting, “Away with him!”
Then they lifted up their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He is not fit to live!” ... they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air ...
When daylight came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty of them were involved in this plot. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him down to you on the pretext of examining his case more carefully. We are ready to kill him on the way.” But ... the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush ...
If these kinds of people had written something about Jesus, I imagine it would look something like the Damascus Document. In other words, I don't picture it as having been written by moderates like the apostles.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:14 pm

I'm trying to think through the idea of what if Jesus was the Teacher of Righteousness in the Damascus Document (as written from the point of view of hotheaded Jewish Christians like the ones mentioned in Acts). I've never seriously considered it before and remain skeptical, but I'm curious to see how the chips may fall. But even if he was, it wouldn't be a big deal to me. So a Fourth Philosophic writing talks about the most famous Fourth Philosopher of all time. I'm shocked.

The first thing that sticks out to me in consideration of this scenario is the reference to the opponents of the Teacher of Righteousness and his followers in column one:
They banded together against the life of the Righteous One and loathed all who walked in perfection.
This stands out because it is directed at people who are commonly regarded as being the Pharisees (or "those who seek smooth things"), who were also in cahoots with what the writing elsewhere calls "the kings of the peoples." And Mark 14:53 even uses a similar word as "banded together" in reference to Jesus' opponents.

Mk. 3:6, 12:12-13, 14:10-11, 53-54, and 15:1:
Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
At this, the leaders sought to arrest Jesus, for they knew that He had spoken this parable against them. But fearing the crowd, they left Him and went away. Later, they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to catch Jesus in His words.

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this, and they promised to give him money. So Judas began to look for an opportunity to hand Him over.
They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together.
Early in the morning, the chief priests, elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin devised a plan. They bound Jesus, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate.
And Jesus is called a "Righteous One" several times in the NT.

1 John 2:1:
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Acts 3:14, 7:52 and 22:14:
You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him.
Then he said: The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.
And maybe even James 5:6 could be a reference to Jesus, or Jesus could at least be included among those who are "Righteous Ones," especially since it's in the context of "the coming of the Lord" (which I take to mean Jesus):
You have condemned, you have murdered the Righteous One. He does not resist you.


So Jesus was like the Teacher of Righteousness in that he was at least "a" Righteous One who was put to death by a conspiracy of the Pharisees and their cohorts (the Herodians in Jesus' case and "the kings of the peoples" in the Teacher's case). So I think Jesus and the Teacher sync up well in this respect.

And the reference to "walking in perfection" with respect to Torah observance in the Damascus Document is similar to what James says to Paul in Acts 21:24:
... take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly [στοιχεῖς], keeping the Law.
https://biblehub.com/greek/4748.htm
They banded together against the life of the Righteous One and loathed all who walked in perfection.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:58 pm

There is another aspect of Fourth Philosophers that I don't know why I never realized before could pertain to Jesus, and that is what Josephus says in Ant. 18.1.6 about their willingness to suffer and die:
They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord. And since ]this immovable resolution of theirs is well known to a great many, I shall speak no further about that matter; nor am I afraid that any thing I have said of them should be disbelieved, but rather fear, that what I have said is beneath the resolution they show when they undergo pain.
This is the last piece of the puzzle as far as I'm concerned. So here is how it looks to me:

1. Fourth Philosophers rejected the oral Torah ("the customs of our fathers were altered"), as did Jesus (“Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders?").

2. They consequently had a new "system of philosophy" ("which we were before unacquainted"), as did Jesus ("What is this? A new teaching, and with authority!").

3. They otherwise subscribed to Pharisaic "notions," such as belief in the resurrection of the dead ("These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions"), as did Jesus ("He must be killed and after three days rise again").

4. They were messianic ("one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth"), as was Jesus ("'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered, 'You are the Christ.' And Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him").

5. They had "I am He" guys who were like Jesus ("These were such men as deceived and deluded the people under pretense of divine inspiration, but were for procuring innovations and changes of the government; and these prevailed with the multitude to act like madmen, and went before them into the wilderness"; "See to it that no one deceives you. Many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many").

6. They were into Daniel and considered him to be a prophet ("they had it written in their sacred oracles, that then should their city be taken, as well as their holy house, when once their temple should become four-square," c.f., Dan. 9:25, "Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt with a city square and a moat during the troubles of those times"; and Josephus' opinion that he was "one of the greatest of the prophets ... he retains a remembrance that will never fail"), as was (and did) Jesus ("So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel"; and "he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke this message quite frankly").

7. They had an extraordinary willingness to suffer and die ("They also do not value dying any kinds of death ... the resolution they show when they undergo pain"), and so did Jesus ("the Son of Man must suffer many things ... he must be killed").

And the DSS exhibit all of these elements as well, and since the majority of them are dated to the Herodian era (with one of them, the Damascus Document, using similar terms and concepts used by Christians, such as "the Way," Damascus, and the "New Covenant"), if I had to pick which "system of philosophy" collected and wrote them, I would pick the Fourth Philosophy.
Archaic (250-150 BCE) 21 manuscripts
Archaic to Hasmonean (200-150) 20 manuscripts
Hasmonean (150-ca. 50) 224 manuscripts
Transition to Herodian (ca 75-1 BCE) 5 manuscripts
Herodian (50 or 30 BCE-68 CE) 418 manuscripts

https://books.google.com/books?id=SBMXn ... ts&f=false
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:06 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:58 pm
There is another aspect of Fourth Philosophers that I don't know why I never realized before could pertain to Jesus, and that is what Josephus says in Ant. 18.1.6 about their willingness to suffer and die:
They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord. And since ]this immovable resolution of theirs is well known to a great many, I shall speak no further about that matter; nor am I afraid that any thing I have said of them should be disbelieved, but rather fear, that what I have said is beneath the resolution they show when they undergo pain.
This is the last piece of the puzzle as far as I'm concerned.

....

They had an extraordinary willingness to suffer and die ("They also do not value dying any kinds of death ... the resolution they show when they undergo pain"), and so did Jesus ("the Son of Man must suffer many things ... he must be killed").
So did the Christian martyrs who modeled their behavior after Jesus. I could have sworn you had pointed out the parallel before at some point, but maybe not. Nice list, BTW.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:17 pm

In consideration of the idea that Jesus was the Teacher of Righteousness, what follows the remark about the Teacher's opponents "banding together" against him and his followers in the Damascus Document is catching my eye.
They banded together against the life of the Righteous One and loathed all who walked in perfection; they pursued them with the sword and exulted in the strife of the people.
Mk. 14:43:
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, scribes, and elders.
Mk. 15:6-11:
Now it was Pilate’s custom at the feast to release to the people a prisoner of their choosing. And a man named Barabbas was imprisoned with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd went up and began asking Pilate to keep his custom.

“Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asked. For he knew it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over.

But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas to them instead.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:01 pm

Ben wrote:
So did the Christian martyrs who modeled their behavior after Jesus. I could have sworn you had pointed out the parallel before at some point, but maybe not.
I don't recall, but that was where I started regarding Christian suffering this time, by thinking of early Christians who modeled their behavior on Jesus (like, say, Ignatius), but then I realized that (duh) it of course goes back to Jesus himself.

And I think 1 Peter (which I consider to be genuine) is also evidence that Jesus and Christians were willing to suffer:

2:21:
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps.
3:14-18:
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you possess. But respond with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body ...
4:1:
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same resolve, because anyone who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
4:12-19:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Indeed, none of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or wrongdoer, or even as a meddler. But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? ... So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should entrust their souls to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
5:1:
As a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and a partaker of the glory to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you ...
This is similar to the situation in the DSS, such as in 1QS:
They shall preserve the faith in the Land with steadfastness and meekness and shall atone for sin by the practice of justice and by suffering the sorrows of affliction.
In fact, it was 1 Peter's resemblance to the DSS that made me first think it could be genuine.

1 Peter 2:4-6:
As you come to Him, the living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and precious in God’s sight, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “See, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame.”
1QS:
When these are in Israel, the Council of the Community shall be established in truth. It shall be an Everlasting Plantation, a House of Holiness for Israel, an Assembly of Supreme Holiness for Aaron. They shall be witnesses to the truth at the judgment, and shall be the elect of goodwill who shall atone for the Land and pay to the wicked their reward. It shall be that tried wall, that precious cornerstone, whose foundations shall neither rock nor sway in their place.

It shall be a Most Holy Dwelling for Aaron, with everlasting knowledge of the Covenant of justice, and shall offer up sweet fragrance. It shall be a House of Perfection and Truth in Israel that they may establish a Covenant according to the everlasting precepts. And they shall be an agreeable offering, atoning for the Land and determining the and determining the judgment of wickedness, and there shall be no more iniquity.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:19 pm

1QpHab also refers to suffering in regard to the Teacher of Righteousness:
Interpreted, this concerns all those who observe the Law in the House of Judah, whom God will deliver from the House of judgment because of their suffering and because of their faith in the Teacher of Righteousness.
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John2
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Re: The Pastorals

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:37 pm

Regarding the dating of the DSS, the only problem I have with the idea that Jesus was the Teacher of Righteousness in that respect is the carbon dating results for 1QpHab, which go up to only 2 CE (plus or minus however many years). Since all of the other writings that mention the Teacher are dateable further into the Herodian era, 1QpHab sticks out. But I don't think it's impossible for it to have been written later than that, given the plus/minus, possible contamination, and some leeway given that we can't say exactly when the scroll was written on. Given these kinds of variables, It just doesn't seem reasonable to me to say it couldn't have been written after 2 CE. As Hurtado wrote in a recent blog post:
The bottom line is that C-14 testing can be useful when conducted with care. But C-14 testing can yield only an approximate date, as the case with palaeographical dating, and in some instances that approximate C-14 date can be frustratingly wide.

https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2018 ... nuscripts/


And Lonnqvist and Lonnqvist write in The Dead Sea Scrolls in Context:
The lower calibrated radiocarbon ages of the Community Rule (1QS) and Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab) around the turn of the millennium and the Common Era, however, could even indicate a date towards the end of the Qumran settlement and the First Jewish Revolt (66-73 C.E.).

https://books.google.com/books?id=xM7En ... ng&f=false
So I really don't stress it. I'm content to date the Teacher more or less anywhere between the first century BCE and the first century CE, and if you want to think that the Teacher lived before 2 CE, I think he was at least similar to Jesus and his followers were similar to Christians.
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