Jewish Sub-Culture interests in Christ per the "Ascension of Isaiah"

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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dbz
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:48 am

Jewish Sub-Culture interests in Christ per the "Ascension of Isaiah"

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[T]he Ascension [section] participates in innumerable ways in a Jewish apocalyptic ascent framework . . . The christological features thus seem to have developed within that framework—not through precise editorial additions but as part of a [Jewish] “continuous religious subculture,” as I described in a 2003 article, in which features we now call Christian came about as part of apocalyptic speculation and composition. What we see in Ascension of Isaiah, then, is a moment in evolution, Jewish but with interests in Christ. [David Frankfurter, "Beyond 'Jewish Christianity': Continuing Religious Sub-Cultures of the Second and Third Centuries and Their Documents." In The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, edited by Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiko Reed (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 131-43.]

David Frankfurter (21 November 2021). "The Ascension of Isaiah: Some Thoughts". Ancient Jew Review.


If a "Jewish apocalyptic ascent framework" is indicative of a "Jewish Sub-Culture"?

Then the clichéd "What would Jesus DO?" and "What would a second temple period Jew never DO?" needs to be evaluated.

A) Scrolls found in the caves around Khirbet Qumran
Some scholars even suggested that the Qumran caves were the hiding place of the temple library during the first Jewish war.
Lange, A. (2006). "The Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls—Library or Manuscript Corpus?". In From 4QMMT to Resurrection: Mélanges qumraniens en hommage à Émile Puech. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789047410287_011
B) Religious syncretism of Second Temple Jewish texts.
[M]any Second Temple Jewish texts, including the writings of Philo of Alexandria, mention eschatological concepts developed in a Greco-Roman context. Significant among these are the many references to the Greco-Roman subterranean prison of Tartarus and the related mythology of the Titans and Giants. What are we to make of these references to Hellenistic mythology within Jewish works?
Burnett, Clint (2013). "Going Through Hell; ΤΑΡΤΑΡΟΣ in Greco-Roman Culture, Second Temple Judaism, and Philo of Alexandria". Journal of Ancient Judaism. 4 (3): 352–378 (352). doi:10.30965/21967954-00403004.
[Jewish and Christian Demonology] Among the Middle Platonists, Philo attempted to unite Platonic philosophy with Jewish theology. He is important to our study because his results were sometimes used by later patristic writers, He also points the way towards a different sphere of speculation on the subject of demons which in many ways is quite different from that pursued among the Greeks, Philo seems to have been the first person to make the identification between Greek demonology and Jewish angelology. (p. 35)
Walzel, D. L. (1972). Pagan and Christian demonology of the ante-Nicene period (PDF). MS thesis, Rice University.
Philo, who made the first attempt in Jewish history to reconcile the Bible with Greek philosophy, cannot have been unique; he must have had peers and a considerable audience, even in Palestine itself.

[But] Rabbinic literature betrays no hint that such interests existed. It is hard to believe that this silence is accidental.
[...]
[The goal] is clearly to demonstrate to Jews, and to any pagans who might read Aristeas, that the most highly regarded of all Hellenistic kings valued the Jews and treated them as equals; but it also served, surely, to show the Jews that it was possible to share in the intellectual and even social life of their Hellenistic environment without compromising their religion.

Moses Hadas (1956). "Judaism and the Hellenistic Experience: A Classical Model for Living in Two Cultures". Commentary Magazine.

  • The degree to which Jews reconciled the Bible with Greek philosophy, cannot be known beyond Philo—all else is lost!
C) Other types of exposure to Greek learning.
Hadas writes,
[S]ince the central institution of the Greek city was the gymnasium (which embraced literature as well as athletics), and “graduation” from the gymnasium was an indirect prerequisite for citizenship, many “barbarians” in Alexander’s empire—including Jews—as citizens of the Hellenistic cities, must have been subjected to at least a minimum of Greek learning.
  • Greek names began appearing within Jewish families as early as the late third century BCE.
  • Jews outside of Palestine, namely in Egypt, exhibited greater signs of Hellenization.
  • At times during the Second Temple period (516 BCE – 70 CE) a Male Jew, would be OK with changing his normative sexuality and his body image as Jew.
[When] a Jewish man appeared in the gymnasium nude, circumcised or otherwise, given the status of nudity within Judaism, he would be changing his image as a Jew. A reverse circumcision on top of this would not only be breaking the covenant, but would also be saying as clearly as possible that his image as a Jew has changed forever.

In addition to issues of nudity, ideas of normative Jewish sexuality became increasingly defined during the Second Temple period […] While not as prevalent in the East as it had been in Greece, pederasty remained a part of the education of gymnasia. [Percy, Pederasty and Pedagogy, 34.]
Jordan, H. A. (2009). A history of Jews in Greek gymnasia from the Hellenistic period through the late Roman period (PDF). Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia.
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