Jesus the Jew and Christianity’s Indebtedness to Judaism
Thus, even decades into the Third Quest with its overall agreement about Jesus’ core belonging to Second Temple Judaism, assessments of his Jewishness as “marginal” continue. Depicting Jesus as a “marginal Jew” allows for distance from and criticism of “common Judaism.” Inadvertently, Jesus becomes somewhat “less” Jewish, enabling identification for today’s Christians.
A new essay in Bible and Interpretation is worth a look-
However, in addition to its theological features, the Fourth Gospel is also the most mundane of the gospels. John has more empirical (sensorily attributed) references, topographical details, and archaeologically attested features than all the other gospels combined—canonical and otherwise. This is an empirical fact, which creates upheaval among scholarly theories regarding John’s character, origin, and implications, as it must also be seen as the Mundane Gospel.
Many scholars, largely disregarding linguistic data, insist that most or all of the Hebrew Bible was written in the second half of the first millennium BCE, during the Persian and/or Hellenistic periods, and draw the inference that there is little or no historical content that predates this era….The ages of the books of the Hebrew Bible span a vast chronological range, from the early Iron Age to the Greek age, which we can discern at different degrees of focus. There is much that we can know about these topics, more than most scholars are willing to grant.
Hendel and Joosten are on fire.
Give it a look. It’s got a new host at a new site and it’s a re-developed page. Enjoy!
And check it daily.
Bible and Interpretation has posted Philip’s contribution to our Whitelam Festschrift. Give it a read (and get a copy of the Festschrift).
New in Bible and Interpretation–
New Carbon-14 tests show that massive Middle Bronze fortifications near the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem shall not be regarded to this period anymore. The archaeological community is in a rage. If the Canaanite fortifications did not exist, how credible would be the biblical account of the United Monarchy?\
It’s a good one. And very fair.
By Martin Ehrensvärd. Give it a read in Bible and Interpretation. Great stuff.
What Do Old, Dirty, Broken Pieces Of Pottery Have To Do With The Bible?
Robbing tombs is illegal. Most of the “museum pieces” found in Israel are rather homely and plain. Yes, you will dig up hundreds of potsherds if you do an excavation (along with bones, metal objects, and perhaps glass, among other things). And if you find “anything good,” you will not get to take it home.
I really wish they’d get an email subscription widget or something so that we can get alerts for new articles. It would be a boon.
New in Bible and Interpretation from Thomas Thompson.
This essay is written in direct response to Jeffrey Morrow’s article and should be read with Morrow’s paper in hand. The first section of my response, in its attempt to deal with such ringing echoes of Peter Abelard’s sic et Non is such that the charge of prejudicial bias fundamental to the methods and principles of biblical criticism has brought back memories of my early student examinations at Blackfriars! I hope the reader will have patience and forgive the logical stiltedness of my prose in this opening section.
New in Bible and Interpretation–
A History of the Hasmonean State: Josephus and Beyond
Josephus cautiously avoided messianism in his history of the Has- monean period. He appears to have been reluctant to document any Hasmonean history that involved the violent messianism of the type that had contributed to the outbreak of the First Jewish War. Instead, he stresses that the Hasmonean family’s rule had gone well until they had established a monarchy and allowed sectarian factions to inﬂuence politics. Josephus wrote his books partly to support the aristocracy, namely the rule of the Pharisees and their leaders. For Josephus, these groups represented caution and Roman aristocratic values. They were opposed to the religious zeal of the Zealots and related Jewish groups that had caused the rebellion against Rome. For Josephus, the priests and the aristocrats were the only legitimate Jewish leaders.
New in B&I–
The perspective of Dtr [Deuteronomistic Historian] is clear: Israelite worship should be centralized. As such, he uses Jeroboam as a literary tool to construct the portraits of and pass judgment on northern kings. As rivals to the Davidic throne, northern kings, are almost always judged negatively. The bad kings are like Jeroboam. The standard by which they are measured has little to do with their comprehensive behavior as kings, but instead is concerned with their actions for and against uncentralized worship and (in)fidelity to the deuteronomistic covenant. This issue becomes of the utmost importance in the eyes of the historian. Despite other kings’ wrongdoing—emptying the temple treasury (Jehoash, 2 Kgs 11:15), warring against the other kingdom (Asa, 1 Kgs 15:16), even idolatry (Omri, 1 Kgs 16:25-26) — for Dtr, Jeroboam remains the evil king par excellence.
A new essay at Bible and Interpretation discusses the subject.
But setting aside the means through which Nehemiah sought to deal with opposition and to assert himself, the heart of the imperial mission seems to have been the establishment of a birta (citadel) in Jerusalem which is likely to have been a response to problems in the region. These problems concerned the aggrandisement of indigenous elites who seem to have extended their rule beyond what the Persian government permitted.