davidmartin wrote: ↑Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:01 amJohn,
i was taking the accusations made against Jesus 'the literary figure' by the authorities
These folks were definitely accusing him of breaking the law - not just arguing over the oral Torah
John "Hath any of the rulers believed on him, or of the Pharisees? But this multitude that knoweth not the law are accursed."
Luke "And Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said unto them, Ye brought unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people"
Mark "And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of"
I'm not so sure (and am not arguing) that the gospel of John is associated with Nazarene Christianity, so let's set that one aside.
As for Mark, Matthew and Luke, since I view Mark as being the earliest, let's start there. While there are some earlier instances where the Pharisees did not approve of something Jesus did, the first time they accuse him of doing something "unlawful" is in 2:23-28 regarding proper Sabbath observance:
One Sabbath Jesus was passing through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick the heads of grain as they walked along. So the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
Jesus replied, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? During the high priesthood of Abiathar, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests. And he gave some to his companions as well.”
Then Jesus declared, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
The Pharisees are applying their interpretation of what constitutes work on the Sabbath, regarding which I agree with the argument made here:
The Mishna, which comes from the rabbinical oral tradition of Jesus’ day, lists “forty less one” tasks that it considers “work”—a violation of the Sabbath—for a Jew.
The list includes the agricultural activities of threshing and winnowing—the removal of husks from heads of grain and separating the resulting chaff from the grains (Mishna, Shabbath). Remember that to the scribes and Pharisees, a violation of their oral tradition about a law was equivalent to breaking the law itself. Therefore the Pharisees watching Jesus’ disciples picking and rubbing a few heads of grain could say, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” even though such activity is not specifically proscribed or defined as harvesting in the Pentateuch.
It is interesting that not all ancient Jewish authorities agreed with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. The writers of the Talmud stated that one could pluck and eat on the Sabbath if he only rubbed the grain with his fingertips and not the whole hand. Another authority (Rabbi Judah ben El’ai) said that the same act could be done if a utensil were not involved ...
The Pharisees who accused the disciples of breaking the Sabbath harvesting law had made an erroneous assumption. Because they saw divine law primarily as a system of limitations, they assumed that the most restrictive interpretation of a law was the most righteous, so they sought ever-finer degrees of limitation, sometimes losing sight of the law’s intent ...
When the Pharisees saw the disciples picking heads of grain, they could have interpreted the law mercifully, seeing hungry men preparing and eating. Instead, they chose to see the law in its most limiting sense, forbidding harvesting and winnowing ... Jesus used a scriptural precedent to show that they were wrong ...
https://www.lcg.org/lcn/2000/september- ... eads-grain
So I see it as being a matter of what constitutes work (in this case "harvesting") in the Torah, to which the Pharisees applied their interpretation and Jesus applied his. And as the article notes, plucking grain "is not specifically proscribed or defined as harvesting in the Pentateuch."
To say that he was only challenging traditions, well that isn't what he was accused of - the scope appears bigger including multiple aspects such as Shabbat observance, ritual impurity, and so on
I would need to see a specific reference regarding ritual purity, but regarding Sabbath observance, again it appears to be a matter of interpreting what constitutes work. Let's take a look at the next example of the Pharisees accusing Jesus of doing something "unlawful" in Mark (3:1-6):
Once again Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man with a withered hand was there. In order to accuse Jesus, they were watching to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.
Then Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stand up among us.” And he asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
But they were silent.
Jesus looked around at them with anger and sorrow at their hardness of heart. Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored.
At this, the Pharisees went out and began plotting with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
As noted here, the Torah does not forbid healing on the Sabbath:
The Hebrew Bible contains no incidents of healing on Shabbat. The sages who set about codifying Jewish law classified healing as “work” — it involves the mixing of medicines, travelling to the patient, carrying equipment and other tasks generally forbidden on the Sabbath day.
https://www.thejc.com/judaism/features/ ... at-1.65237
So not only does the Torah not say anything about healing on the Sabbath, it is forbidden in Rabbinic Judaism (when it doesn't involve saving a life) only when it involves mixing medicine and such, and Jesus only spoke words, and as noted below regarding his healing of a woman on the Sabbath in Lk. 13:10-17, "he merely prayed for her healing, which was not prohibited." So the Pharisees were only hassling him.
https://ourrabbijesus.com/articles/logi ... g_sabbath/