Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

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perseusomega9
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by perseusomega9 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:34 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 pm
It still commands my attention that Pontius Pilate finds such a firm place as he does in the early Christian creeds and creedal statements; I have suggested before that perhaps his presence therein was meant as a way of eliminating various alternate timelines for the crucifixion.

I am certain about none of this. But I did appreciate this interesting trajectory.
Something doesn't make it into a creedal statement unless there is an insider group saying something else to the effect.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:25 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:34 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 pm
It still commands my attention that Pontius Pilate finds such a firm place as he does in the early Christian creeds and creedal statements; I have suggested before that perhaps his presence therein was meant as a way of eliminating various alternate timelines for the crucifixion.

I am certain about none of this. But I did appreciate this interesting trajectory.
Something doesn't make it into a creedal statement unless there is an insider group saying something else to the effect.
That is rather how it seems to me. If my surmise about the equation between Jesus and John the Baptist having led to the notion that Jesus died at the hands of Antipas is anywhere near the mark, then it seems possible that Pilate could be there at least partly in order to combat the view that Jesus = John the Baptist. How could he be, after all, when John died under Antipas but Jesus under Pilate?
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:35 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:25 am
Pilate could be there at least partly in order to combat the view that Jesus = John the Baptist.
Why should we assume necessarily an opposition «against» a different connection (Jesus=John) for the origin of the connection Jesus/Pilate, when the proliferation of different dates for the same person could be merely the expected corollary of the process known as euhemerization?

In my view, an example of opposition of the kind «against» is the episode Jesus Barabbas: «the my hero Jesus is the guy called Christ, not the your mere Son of Father». Or, along the same line, the interpolation in Josephus of the costruct «called Christ» in connection with the his carnal brother (against the deniers of a fleshly Jesus), since there was the need of one against the same opponent.

But where is, behind the introduction of Pilate, the theological opposition against a different identity of Jesus, given a mere temporal dislocation of Jesus from the presumed time of John? I may see behind the baptism episode a rivaly against a John's sect, but not a rivalry that would require an entire dislocation of times.


If only John was the problem, why why did he still have to be brought up?

I think that Pilate could be introduced more probably because it was increasingly embarrassing, for a Jewish-Christian, to continue to have a Gospel where all the Jews are made the only killers of Jesus, especially when an increasing number of gentile Christians there out was going dangerously to connect not only the «Jews» with the death of Jesus, but also their god.

Well, this is the my point: Pilate serves to remind the ear of those Christians that the victim was formally and officially (and who better than a governor could state it?) a Jewish Christ. Something along the lines: even the Pagan State can confirm independently that Jesus was «their» king of Jews. (See Mark 15:12, “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?”)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:49 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:35 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:25 am
Pilate could be there at least partly in order to combat the view that Jesus = John the Baptist.
Why should we assume necessarily an opposition «against» a different connection (Jesus=John) for the origin of the connection Jesus/Pilate, when the proliferation of different dates for the same person could be merely the expected corollary of the process known as euhemerization?

In my view, an example of opposition of the kind «against» is the episode Jesus Barabbas: «the my hero Jesus is the guy called Christ, not the your mere Son of Father». Or, along the same line, the interpolation in Josephus of the costruct «called Christ» in connection with the his carnal brother (against the deniers of a fleshly Jesus), since there was the need of one against the same opponent.

But where is, behind the introduction of Pilate, the theological opposition against a different identity of Jesus, given a mere temporal dislocation of Jesus from the presumed time of John? I may see behind the baptism episode a rivaly against a John's sect, but not a rivalry that would require an entire dislocation of times.
It would not be about "a mere temporal dislocation of Jesus from the presumed time of John." It would be against the notion that Jesus (the exalted savior) was actually John the Baptist redivivus.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:59 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:49 am
It would be against the notion that Jesus (the exalted savior) was actually John the Baptist redivivus.
Why then was not John simply enumerated (and equally ignored) among the people who «will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many» (Mark 13:5) ?

The my point is that there was «something» in John (even if I don't realize fully what) that did the difference from a mere confusion of him (considered as redivivus) with the exalted savior.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:21 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:59 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:49 am
It would be against the notion that Jesus (the exalted savior) was actually John the Baptist redivivus.
Why then was not John simply enumerated (and equally ignored) among the people who «will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many» (Mark 13:5) ?
For the same reason John was not simply enumerated and equally ignored among "one of the prophets" in Mark 6.14-16; 8.27-28. If there is reason to single him out as one of the more specific theories about Jesus, then there is obviously reason to single him out as someone from whom to dissociate Jesus. You cannot have one without the other.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:26 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:30 am
Odd that, years after these gospel texts were penned, there should be a Jewish tradition which has the Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim meeting with Israelites in Galilee and then marching to Jerusalem, where, according to a few texts, he is slain. . . . .

Or could there have been an earlier Jewish tradition linking the Messiah ben Joseph with Galilee, a connection which early Christians exploited in their stories about their own Messiah ben Joseph, as it were?
The notion that rabbis would engage Christian beliefs about the messiah by interpreting their texts to similarly propose a dying messiah, a Galilean provenance, a resurrection, a son of Joseph, a journey to Jerusalem, and so forth is indeed difficult to swallow. Daniel Boyarin made that point bluntly in The Jewish Gospels:
This commonplace view (that the Jewish slain messiahs were a response to Christianity) has to be rejected completely. The notion of the humiliated and suffering Messiah was not at all alien within Judaism before Jesus’ advent . . .
Such ideas found in the rabbinic writings are best explained as originating in pre-Christian times. I've quoted Boyarin and others (who make similar arguments) at some length in Suffering and Dying Messiahs: Typically Jewish Beliefs.

There were various traditions, not just one, about various messiahs, some dying, many suffering, in the pre-Christian literature.
Hi Neil

Have you read Peter Schafer's The Jewish Jesus ?

This suggests (in chapter 9) that although the idea of the Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim who is slain in battle is independent of Christianity, the suffering Messiah as found particularly in Pesiqta Rabbati is a response to Christianity.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:47 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 am
neilgodfrey wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:26 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:30 am
Odd that, years after these gospel texts were penned, there should be a Jewish tradition which has the Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim meeting with Israelites in Galilee and then marching to Jerusalem, where, according to a few texts, he is slain. . . . .

Or could there have been an earlier Jewish tradition linking the Messiah ben Joseph with Galilee, a connection which early Christians exploited in their stories about their own Messiah ben Joseph, as it were?
The notion that rabbis would engage Christian beliefs about the messiah by interpreting their texts to similarly propose a dying messiah, a Galilean provenance, a resurrection, a son of Joseph, a journey to Jerusalem, and so forth is indeed difficult to swallow. Daniel Boyarin made that point bluntly in The Jewish Gospels:
This commonplace view (that the Jewish slain messiahs were a response to Christianity) has to be rejected completely. The notion of the humiliated and suffering Messiah was not at all alien within Judaism before Jesus’ advent . . .
Such ideas found in the rabbinic writings are best explained as originating in pre-Christian times. I've quoted Boyarin and others (who make similar arguments) at some length in Suffering and Dying Messiahs: Typically Jewish Beliefs.

There were various traditions, not just one, about various messiahs, some dying, many suffering, in the pre-Christian literature.
Hi Neil

Have you read Peter Schafer's The Jewish Jesus ?

This suggests (in chapter 9) that although the idea of the Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim who is slain in battle is independent of Christianity, the suffering Messiah as found particularly in Pesiqta Rabbati is a response to Christianity.

Andrew Criddle
Yes, I was swayed by Schafer's book when I read it but follow up exploratory reading on rabbinic literature and the emergence of Judaism persuaded me otherwise. Akenson, Surpassing Wonder, was one such -- along with others that are cited in the post I linked. There is ample evidence in the pre-rabbinic literature that a suffering messiah was conceivable to (and conceived by) Jewish groups to suggest we have an adequate explanation for the provenance of the later rabbinic writings about the messiah without what is surely the inconceivable model (contra Schafer) that rabbis felt threatened enough by the Christian messiah such that they responded by embracing yet distorting that figure.

The types of contrasts -- messiahs ruling 400 years then dying, messiahs hiding in backstreets of Rome biding their time, messiahs marching on Jerusalem and being slain, messiahs restoring other slain messiahs -- are not explained easily as reactions to Christianity. They are the sorts of contrasts that suggest independent "traditions".

We see Judean moves in the direction of the Christian messiah in the Second Temple era: e.g. the emerging view that Abraham did slay his son Isaac, who voluntarily gave himself as a human sacrifice, but who was restored again to life (e.g. to explain the angelic voice calling "Abraham" twice -- the second time being necessary because the first call failed to stop the knife) -- and the reason for this was so that Isaac's blood be shed for the saving atonement of all of Israel in future generations. That's the sort of Second Temple notion that Christianity arose from.

But there were other Judean notions playing around with same passages from which the other views emerged: the place of Galilee in Isaiah's prophecy, the suffering servant of Isaiah being picked up by the author of Daniel and turned into the "Son of Man" and then even into the saints who were represented by that Son of Man. -- All of this stuff is in the mainstream literature, by the way.

The point is that we have very plausible explanations for the various Jewish views of messianic figures within early Jewish writings and Schafer's thesis (not just on the rabbinic reaction on messiahs) is difficult to accept given everything else we know of Christian-Jewish relations in late antiquity and beyond.

-----

Added after posting the above:

Schafer concludes his chapter 9 with what could well be interpreted as a paen to ecumenicalism and Christian-Jewish dialogue -- a forceful ideology in biblical studies noted by Michael Goulder among others (cf the scholarly interest in rehabilitating Judas):
If we do not wish to see “Judaism” and “Christianity” as static entities forever confronting each other but rather as vital, dynamic forces in constant exchange with each other, then such demarcations and harmonizations become superfluous. It is true, as Michael Fishbane has noted, that the simplistic model of Christian “influence” on Judaism “impoverishes the Jewish theological tradition”;¹⁴³ but in appealing to the inexhaustible trove of Jewish theology, we must not forget that Judaism also developed and changed together with an emerging Christianity.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Nathan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:12 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:47 am
We see Judean moves in the direction of the Christian messiah in the Second Temple era: e.g. the emerging view that Abraham did slay his son Isaac, who voluntarily gave himself as a human sacrifice, but who was restored again to life (e.g. to explain the angelic voice calling "Abraham" twice -- the second time being necessary because the first call failed to stop the knife) -- and the reason for this was so that Isaac's blood be shed for the saving atonement of all of Israel in future generations. That's the sort of Second Temple notion that Christianity arose from.
Where do you find that in Second Temple texts?

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:20 pm

Nathan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:12 pm

Where do you find that in Second Temple texts?
See Jon D Levenson's The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son. -- https://vridar.org/series-index/death-a ... -levenson/

If we want to explore Christian origins a little more deeply then I think we need to break away from 1) the standards works by biblical scholars on the subject and 2) some will o' the wisps inspired by certain mythicist literature. There is a whole lot of other work going on by biblical scholars that is not directly related to, or at least not applied to, Christian origins. In fact some Christian origins scholars poo-pooh the relevance of the work for their topic of interest. Literary analysis and various "bizarre" strands of Second Temple thought (and I mean beyond obvious overlaps like concepts of the messiah) have a lot to contribute to the topic.
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