Messianic résumés.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Messianic résumés.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:03 pm

I was doing some more work on Justin Martyr this morning and came to the following passage:

Justin Martyr, Dialogue 12.2: 2 This same Law you have despised, and His new holy covenant you have slighted; and now you neither receive it nor repent of your evil deeds. “For your ears are closed, your eyes are blinded, and the heart is hardened” (= Isaiah 6.10), Jeremiah has cried, and not even then do you listen. The Lawgiver is present, yet you do not see Him. “To the poor the Gospel is preached; the blind see” (= Isaiah 35.5; 61.1; Matthew 11.5 = Luke 7.22), and you do not understand. / 2 Τοῦτον αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς ἠτιμώσατε τὸν νόμον καὶ τὴν καινὴν ἁγίαν αὐτοῦ διαθήκην ἐφαυλίσατε, καὶ οὐδὲ νῦν παραδέχεσθε οὐδὲ μετανοεῖτε πράξαντες κακῶς. «Ἔτι γὰρ τὰ ὦτα ὑμῶν πέφρακται, οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ὑμῶν πεπήρωνται, καὶ πεπάχυται ἡ καρδία,» κέκραγεν Ἰερεμίας, καὶ οὐδ´ οὕτως ἀκούετε· πάρεστιν ὁ νομοθέτης, καὶ οὐχ ὁρᾶτε. «Πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται· τυφλοὶ βλέπουσι,» καὶ οὐ συνίετε.

Isaiah 35.4-6: 4 Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the retribution of God will come, but He will save you.” 5 Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened, and the ears of those who are deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then those who limp will leap like a deer, and the tongue of those who cannot speak will shout for joy. For waters will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. / 4 Παρακαλέσατε οἱ ὀλιγόψυχοι τῇ διανοίᾳ, «Ἰσχύσατε· μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ, ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κρίσιν ἀνταποδίδωσιν καὶ ἀνταποδώσει αὐτὸς ἥξει καὶ σώσει ἡμᾶς.» 5 τότε ἀνοιχθήσονται ὀφθαλμοὶ τυφλῶν καὶ ὦτα κωφῶν ἀκούσονται· 6 τότε ἁλεῖται ὡς ἔλαφος ὁ χωλός καὶ τρανὴ ἔσται γλῶσσα μογιλάλων, ὅτι ἐρράγη ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ὕδωρ καὶ φάραγξ ἐν γῇ διψώσῃ.

Isaiah 61.1-3: 1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners; 2 to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the cloak of praise instead of a disheartened spirit. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. / 1 Πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπ᾽ ἐμέ οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με· εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς ἀπέσταλκέν με, ἰάσασθαι τοὺς συντετριμμένους τῇ καρδίᾳ, κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, 2 καλέσαι ἐνιαυτὸν κυρίου δεκτὸν καὶ ἡμέραν ἀνταποδόσεως, παρακαλέσαι πάντας τοὺς πενθοῦντας, 3 δοθῆναι τοῖς πενθοῦσιν Σιων δόξαν ἀντὶ σποδοῦ, ἄλειμμα εὐφροσύνης τοῖς πενθοῦσιν, καταστολὴν δόξης ἀντὶ πνεύματος ἀκηδίας, καὶ κληθήσονται γενεαὶ δικαιοσύνης, φύτευμα κυρίου εἰς δόξαν.

Matthew 11.5 = Luke 7.22 seems to have influenced Justin's wording of the bits which ultimately derive from Isaiah:

Code: Select all

JM: πτωχοὶ  εὐαγγελίζονται·                         τυφλοὶ    βλέπουσι
Is: εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς | ἀνοιχθήσονται ὀφθαλμοὶ τυφλῶν
 M: πτωχοὶ  εὐαγγελίζονται |                        τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν
 L: πτωχοὶ  εὐαγγελίζονται |                        τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν
Those two synoptic texts, then, with a bit of context:

Matthew 11.4-6: 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed and those who are deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is any person who does not take offense at Me.” / 4 Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, «Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάννῃ ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ βλέπετε· 5 τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν καὶ χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, καὶ νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, καὶ πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται· 6 καὶ μακάριός ἐστιν ὃς ἐὰν μὴ σκανδαλισθῇ ἐν ἐμοί.»

Luke 7.22-23: 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up; the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who does not take offense at Me.” / 22 Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, «Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάννῃ ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε· τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν, χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται· 23 καὶ μακάριός ἐστιν ὃς ἐὰν μὴ σκανδαλισθῇ ἐν ἐμοί.»

This kind of listing of miracles performed seems to be the same sort of thing we find in the synoptic summary statements:

Matthew 4.12, 17 = Mark 1.14-15 = Luke 4.14-15: Rumor spreads (L); Jesus teaches in the synagogues (L), glorified by all (L), and calls for repentance (M+K) in Galilee (M+K+L).

Matthew 7.28b-29 = Mark 1.21b-22 = Luke 4.31b-32: Jesus teaches in the synagogues on the sabbath days (K+L), and the crowds (M) are amazed at his teaching (M+K+L), since his word (L) or teaching (M+K) is with authority (M+K+L), unlike the scribes (M+K).

Matthew 8.16-17 = Mark 1.32, 34 = Luke 4.40-41: Jesus casts out demons (M+K+L), not allowing them to speak (K+L), and heals (K+L) or carries away (M) various diseases (M+K+L), illnesses (M+K), and sicknesses (M+L).

Matthew 4.23 = Mark 1.39 = Luke 4.44: Jesus walks about (M), teaching (M) and preaching (M+K+L) in the synagogues (M+K+L) of Galilee (M+K) or of Judea (L), healing diseases and maladies (M).

Matthew 4.24: Rumor spreads to Syria (M); Jesus heals the diseased and tormented, as well as the demoniacs, lunatics, and paralytics (M).

Matthew 4.25 = Mark 3.7-8 = Luke 6.17-18a: A crowd follows Jesus from Galilee (M+K), Decapolis (M), Judea (M+K+L), Jerusalem (M+K+L), Idumea (K), beyond the Jordan (M+K), and around Tyre and Sidon (K+L).

Matthew 12.15-16 = Mark 3.10-12 = Luke 6.18b: Jesus heals (M+K+L) people of disease (L), unclean spirits (K+L), and afflictions (K), warning the people (M) or the spirits (K) not to make him known (M+K). People wish to touch Jesus (K+L) because of the power to cure that comes from him (L).

Matthew 9.35a = Mark 6.6b = Luke 13.22: Jesus goes about (M+K) or journeys (L) by cities (M+L) and villages (M+K+L), teaching (M+K+L) in the synagogues (M) on his way to Jerusalem (L).

Matthew 9.35b = Luke 8.1: Jesus preaches the gospel of the kingdom (M+L) and heals every disease and malady (M).

Matthew 14.35-36 = Mark 6.54-56: People bring their sick to Jesus (M+K), or he goes to cities, to villages, or into the country (K), and they beg him to let them touch the fringe of his clothing (M+K), and as many as touch it are cured (M+K).

Matthew 19.2 = Mark 10.1 = Luke 9.51: Crowds (M+K) follow (M) or journey to (K) Jesus, and he heals them (M) and teaches them, as is his custom (K).

Generic miracles are listed (among other activities, such as teaching or traveling), in contrast with the more specific narratives which feature particular miracles as events in the life of Jesus.

The Epistle of the Apostles combines both specific and generic miracles:

Epistle of the Apostles 5 (translation slightly modified from that of J. K. Elliott): 5. Then there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee (= John 2.1-11). And he was invited with his mother and his brothers (= John 2.12). And he made water into wine and awakened the dead and made the lame to walk. For him whose hand was withered, he stretched it out again (= Matthew 12.9-14 = Mark 3.1-6 = Luke 6.6-11), and the woman who suffered twelve years from a hemorrhage touched the edge of his garment and was immediately whole; and, while we reflected and wondered concerning the miracle he performed, he said to us, “Who touched me?” And we said to him, “O Lord, the crowd of people touched you.” And he answered and said to us, “I noticed that a power went out from me.” Immediately that woman came before him, answered, and said to him, “Lord, I touched you.” And he answered and said to her, “Go, your faith has made you whole” (= Matthew 9.20-22 = Mark 5.25-34 = Luke 8.43-48). Then he made the deaf to hear and the blind to see, and he exorcized those who were possessed, and he cleansed the lepers. And the demon Legion, that a man had, met with Jesus, cried and said, “Before the day of our destruction has come you have come to turn us out.” But the Lord Jesus rebuked him and said to him, “Go out of this man without doing anything to him.” And he went into the swine and drowned them in the sea, and they were choked (= Matthew 8.28-34 = Mark 5.1-20 = Luke 8.26-39). Then he walked on the sea (= Matthew 14.22-33 = Mark 6.45-52; John 6.16-21), and the winds blew, and he rebuked them, and the waves of the sea became calm (= Matthew 8.23-27 = Mark 4.35-41 = Luke 8.22-25). And when we, his disciples, had no denarii, we said to him, “Master, what should we do about the publican?” And he answered and said to us, “One of you cast the hook, the net, into the deep and draw out a fish, and he will find a denarius in it. Give that to the publican for me and for you” (= Matthew 17.24-27). Then, when we had no bread except five loaves and two fish, he commanded the people to lie down, and their number amounted to 5000 besides children and women, whom we served with pieces of bread; and they were filled, and there was left over, and we carried away twelve baskets full of pieces (= Matthew 14.15-21 = Mark 6.35-44 = Luke 9.12-17; John 6.3-15), asking and saying, “What meaning is there in these five loaves?” They are a picture of our faith concerning the great Christianity, and that is in the Father, the ruler of the entire world, and in Jesus Christ our Savior, and in the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, and in the holy Church and in the forgiveness of sins.

If we extract the two shorter, generic summary statements from among the specific miracles we get a longer, generic summary statement, essentially:

~ And he awakened the dead and made the lame to walk...; then he made the deaf to hear and the blind to see, and he exorcized those who were possessed, and he cleansed the lepers.

The gospels treat these activity lists almost as a collective résumé of what the Messiah is supposed to do, thus validating Jesus as the Messiah, since he did those things.

And the idea for a list of this kind seems to have predated the gospels, even apart from Isaiah:

4Q521, fragment 2, column 2, lines 1-14: 1 [...for the heav]ens and the earth will listen to his Messiah [למשיחו] 2 [and all th]at is in them will not turn away from the precepts of the holy ones. 3 Strengthen yourselves, you who are seeking the Lord, in his service! ~ 4 Will you not in this encounter the Lord, all those who hope in their heart? 5 For the Lord will consider the pious, and call the righteous by name, 6 and his spirit will hover upon the poor, and he will renew the faithful with his strength. 7 For he will honor the pious upon the throne of an eternal kingdom, 8 freeing prisoners, giving sight to the blind, straightening out the twis[ted.] 9 And for[e]ver shall I cling [to those who h]ope, and in his mercy [...] 10 and the fru[it of ...] ... not be delayed. 11 And the Lord will perform marvelous acts such as have not existed, just as he sa[id,] 12 [for] he will heal the badly wounded and will make the dead live; he will bring good news to the poor [ענוים יבשר] 13 and [...] ... [...] he will lead the [...] ... and enrich the hungry. 14 [...] and all ... [....]

Both the gospels and this Qumran text are drawing from those two passages in Isaiah; the blind receiving their sight comes from Isaiah 35.5, and the poor being brought good news comes from Isaiah 61.1. So already the combination of these two Isaianic passages to create such a list connects Matthew and Luke to the Qumran fragment (which comes from the so called Messianic Apocalypse). But the most striking parallel is the raising of the dead, which Matthew, Luke, and the Qumran passage all list as one of the miracles; it is not present in the two from Isaiah. Furthermore, this miracle immediately precedes the gospel message:

Matthew: the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Luke: the dead are raised up; the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Qumran: he... will make the dead live; he will bring good news to the poor.

Isaiah is not the proximal source, then, for Matthew and/or Luke; Qumran, too, listed miracles associated with the coming of a Messiah figure, and in ways which line up with Matthew and Luke but not with Isaiah.

If you know of any similar lists of marvels attributed to the advent of a Messiah figure, by all means let me know. Thanks in advance.

Ben.

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Peter Kirby » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:30 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:03 pm
If you know of any similar lists of marvels attributed to the advent of a Messiah figure, by all means let me know. Thanks in advance.
There's always this one:

"About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah."
- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63

:tomato:

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:41 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:30 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:03 pm
If you know of any similar lists of marvels attributed to the advent of a Messiah figure, by all means let me know. Thanks in advance.
There's always this one:

"About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah."
- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63

:tomato:
How could I have forgotten?

Let the one who is without sin throw the first tomato.

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:00 pm

This goes back to the Samaritan expectation of Moses' return (already attested in Josephus). https://books.google.com/books?id=O0mvA ... es&f=false. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... RZFkdmEqDV

For the three signs of Moses : the rod , into a serpent ; his hand in his bossom ; the river ' s waters turning to blood , see , Philo , De Vita Mosis , I , 14

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:13 am

I sometimes think my posts need further explanation.

1. the Jewish tradition was secondary to the Samaritan tradition (Gerizim and Samaritan locales are at the heart of the Pentateuch and the Pentateuch is at the heart of the tradition).
2. the messiah is an unknown concept to the Samaritans.
3. David is only a form of Moses.
4. the Pentateuch was written by someone living long after Moses as a witness to the author's coming (hence the 'one like me' references in Deuteronomy especially)
5. before any 'messianic' expectations there was the formula of Moses returning

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:19 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:13 am
I sometimes think my posts need further explanation.

1. the Jewish tradition was secondary to the Samaritan tradition (Gerizim and Samaritan locales are at the heart of the Pentateuch and the Pentateuch is at the heart of the tradition).
2. the messiah is an unknown concept to the Samaritans.
3. David is only a form of Moses.
4. the Pentateuch was written by someone living long after Moses as a witness to the author's coming (hence the 'one like me' references in Deuteronomy especially)
5. before any 'messianic' expectations there was the formula of Moses returning
I take it you are telling me not to waste my time searching Samaritan texts for messianic résumés, then. Only the later, derivative, Jewish tradition possessed a Messiah concept, not the earlier, original, Samaritan tradition.

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:53 am

The messiah is a corrupt returning Moses expectation filtered through Jewish nationalistic interests. The Samaritans always think in terms of the "greater we" (i.e. pan-Israelite) as opposed to the Jews whose mendacity (at least in Biblical historical terms) knows few limits. If the Bible is rooted in the Pentateuch then the Jewish interest in the son of David "messiah" is worse than any irrationality invented about Jesus by Christians. Jesus originally had no son of David dimension. It stood closer to the original expectation hence the inevitable "anti-Jewish" POV of its earliest authors. It is hard for anyone truly learned to avoid such vitriol (although it should be noted the modern Samaritans are among the most fervent supporters of Bibi in the state of Israel.

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:35 am

Another possible reason for the Christian superstition about the number 13.

Moses
Messiah

separated by 13. https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_ ... mption.htm

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Charles Wilson » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:52 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:03 pm
I was doing some more work on Justin Martyr this morning and came to the following passage:
Those two synoptic texts, then, with a bit of context:

Matthew 11.4-6: 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see...

Luke 7.22-23: 22 And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard...

Go and report to John...

Why is this important?
John is of Bilgah.
The Original Character who was rewritten as "Jesus" was a Priest of Immer

1 Chronicles 24: 1 - 2, 7, 14 (RSV):

[1] The divisions of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abi'hu, Elea'zar, and Ith'amar.
[2] But Nadab and Abi'hu died before their father, and had no children, so Elea'zar and Ith'amar became the priests.
...
[7] The first lot fell to Jehoi'arib, the second to Jedai'ah,
...
[14] the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,

John 1: 15 (RSV):

[15] (John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")

Why would "Jesus" ask that people report to John? Bilgah has committed an affront to the Priesthood! There was talk of eliminating Bilgah from the Mishmarot Service Groups! (Jewish Encyclopedia, "Bilgah") Why?

This is what was rewritten for the Glory of Rome (and the Flavians).

John is on Duty for Passover and the Feast Week in 4 BCE. The Coup finds Tuesday night - Wednesday as Day 1, Wednesday night - Thursday as Day 2, Thursday night - Friday (Three days and three nights) and then Immer rotates in for their week of Service on the Weekly Sabbath. (Remember that the first day of the Feast was a "High Sabbath" which figures into the corrupted Crucifixion Math of Friday night to Sunday morning).

This is why "Jesus" asks followers to report to "John" (Bilgah). The Temple will be re-dedicated by Immer on the weekly Sabbath but the Coup will be into the fourth day by then. Bilgah is left hanging there when Immer plans the Coup.

"Bilgah!!! This Coup will be successful! Herod has been moved to Jericho!! Who is left in Jerusalem? Archelaus?!?? Are you serious?!??"

All true. The Counter-Revolution, however, is getting started. Ptolemy, brother of Nicholas of Damascus, holds Herod's Seal and days before Passover, reports that Herod has changed his Will in favor of Archelaus.

Sure.

So all of this is playing out. "Jesus" is telling John that he can "Heal the sick and raise the dead". All of these groups of people, BTW, are Symbols. We have seen that "Aeneas", in Acts, may represent the 12th Legion. I still have problems with the Lepers but the others have a Symbolism that is recognizable.

There is value in evaluating the Resume of Jesus, no doubt. The question remains: "Who is "Jesus" reporting to? John.

Why?

CW

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Re: Messianic résumés.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:37 am

2. the messiah is an unknown concept to the Samaritans.
2. the messiah is an unused terminology in the Samaritan tradition. Corrected

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