Here comes the Jewish Jesus

 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
06 November 2011 19:49
 

At the 2011 SBL Annual Meeting in San Francisco, there are two parallel sessions (Nov. 20) highlighting Jewish involvement in Jesus scholarship: book discussions will be on “The Jewish Jesus: Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation (Purdue University Press)” and perspectives on “The Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press).”

 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
07 November 2011 05:22
 

There is a heavy focus on the use of midrash by the New Testament writers in these two books.  The conservative Christian community might not respond very well.  And there is a question of interpretation.  Editor Amy-Jill Levine says, for example, Matthew’s Jesus infancy story recapitulates the story of Moses.  Does this mean (1) the author of Matthew started with facts about Jesus and then added material to make it resemble the account of Moses, or (2) The author of Matthew started with the account in the Old Testament about Moses and rewrote it using Jesus as the central character?

[ Edited: 07 November 2011 05:36 by john76]
 
 
Andrew
 
Avatar
 
 
Andrew
Total Posts:  8526
Joined  15-06-2006
 
 
 
07 November 2011 08:46
 
john76 - 07 November 2011 04:22 AM

Editor Amy-Jill Levine says, for example, Matthew’s Jesus infancy story recapitulates the story of Moses.  Does this mean (1) the author of Matthew started with facts about Jesus and then added material to make it resemble the account of Moses, or (2) The author of Matthew started with the account in the Old Testament about Moses and rewrote it using Jesus as the central character?

(Andrew):  I can recommend John Spong’s Liberating the Gospels for a good discussion of this and other examples of midrash in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles.

[ Edited: 07 November 2011 08:50 by Andrew]
 
 
robbrownsyd
 
Avatar
 
 
robbrownsyd
Total Posts:  6576
Joined  23-05-2008
 
 
 
07 November 2011 09:07
 

Yeah, Spong’s good. But I’d recommend not reading any of the rubbish - neither the Jewish nor the christian bable nor exegesis thereon. Life’s too short to waste.

 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
07 November 2011 13:13
 
Andrew - 07 November 2011 07:46 AM
john76 - 07 November 2011 04:22 AM

Editor Amy-Jill Levine says, for example, Matthew’s Jesus infancy story recapitulates the story of Moses.  Does this mean (1) the author of Matthew started with facts about Jesus and then added material to make it resemble the account of Moses, or (2) The author of Matthew started with the account in the Old Testament about Moses and rewrote it using Jesus as the central character?

(Andrew):  I can recommend John Spong’s Liberating the Gospels for a good discussion of this and other examples of midrash in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles.

An international team of Jewish scholars put together The Jewish Annotated New Testament.  I asked one of the editors (Dr. Marc Z. Brettler) this question about how the author of the gospel of Matthew wrote the Jesus infancy story (Does this mean (1) the author of Matthew started with facts about Jesus and then added material to make it resemble the account of Moses, or (2) The author of Matthew started with the account in the Old Testament about Moses and rewrote it using Jesus as the central character?) and Dr. Brettler said “You are asking a hard and sophisticated question.  Your two possibilities represent two poles of possibility, with lots of room in between.  I don’t know that we have enough information to answer that specific question—sorry.”  Maybe there is no way to choose between (1) and (2).  I just ordered Spong’s book.  Thanks for the reference.  It’s also somewhat interesting that Dr. Brettler’s answer is basically implying that Matthew’s Jesus infancy story cannot be used as a source of information about the historical Jesus.  I read Spong’s book long ago (borrowed it from a friend) but it will be nice to refresh my mind about the issues and have a copy of my own.

[ Edited: 07 November 2011 22:19 by john76]
 
 
goodgraydrab
 
Avatar
 
 
goodgraydrab
Total Posts:  7845
Joined  19-12-2007
 
 
 
07 November 2011 17:19
 
Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (Rob) - 07 November 2011 08:07 AM

Yeah, Spong’s good. But I’d recommend not reading any of the rubbish - neither the Jewish nor the christian bable nor exegesis thereon. Life’s too short to waste.

3) Neither 4) Both.

If Jesus existed the answer is 4, if not, the answer is 2. I’m done.

 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
07 November 2011 21:02
 

Here are some endorsements The Jewish Annotated New Testament is getting:

” This exciting collection by leading Jewish scholars not only annotates the New Testament but also brings out its themes, context, and interpretation over the centuries. Essential for libraries of scholars in Christian-Jewish studies, academic institutions offering degrees in theology, and dialogue groups at all levels.”—Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Distinguished Professor of Catholic-Jewish Studies, Saint Leo University; Former Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

” One volume must find its way to seminarians, preachers, and other students of Scripture: The Jewish Annotated New Testament. With insightful essays and page-by-page notes and sidebars on each book, this volume fills a huge gap in the world of biblical interpretation, providing an accessible guide to how this most Jewish document from antiquity is understood by Jewish scholars today.”—The Rev. William Brosend, School of Theology, Sewanee, TN and Executive Director, Episcopal Preaching Foundation


I think there may be some dangers here these gentlemen don’t realize.

 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
07 November 2011 21:37
 
Andrew - 07 November 2011 07:46 AM
john76 - 07 November 2011 04:22 AM

Editor Amy-Jill Levine says, for example, Matthew’s Jesus infancy story recapitulates the story of Moses.  Does this mean (1) the author of Matthew started with facts about Jesus and then added material to make it resemble the account of Moses, or (2) The author of Matthew started with the account in the Old Testament about Moses and rewrote it using Jesus as the central character?

(Andrew):  I can recommend John Spong’s Liberating the Gospels for a good discussion of this and other examples of midrash in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles.

This is also interesting for anyone who hasn’t read it: http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_midrash1.htm .  Price also takes up this issue a bit in the article Dubious Database, but I don’t think it’s online.  It may be that Christianity is more in danger from Jewish deconstruction than militant atheism.  If I were Sam Harris I would publicly endorse The Jewish Annotated New Testamenttongue wink

‘Execute order 66” The emperor, Star Wars, Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith

[ Edited: 07 November 2011 21:40 by john76]
 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
11 November 2011 03:25
 

I think Dr. Robert M. Price’s encyclopedia article “New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash” explores some interesting ideas, and I am happy “The Jewish Annotated New Testament” continues this discussion about “Midrash and The New Testament.”

[ Edited: 11 November 2011 03:29 by john76]
 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
30 November 2011 15:20
 

I once asked R. Joseph Hoffmann why he didn’t believe Robert M. Price’s midrash argument.  His response was that there was no reason the New Testament writers would do midrash.  John Shelby Spong’s new book, “Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World” makes the argument that midrash happened because of the way in which the oral tradition about Jesus was incorporated into the life of the synagogue.  He argues, for instance, that the gospel of Mark is organized around the liturgical year of the Jews.  This book by Spong is a highly sophisticated defence of the midrash argument.

 
 
Andrew
 
Avatar
 
 
Andrew
Total Posts:  8526
Joined  15-06-2006
 
 
 
30 November 2011 15:30
 

Spong’s a smart man.

 
 
john76
 
Avatar
 
 
john76
Total Posts:  700
Joined  15-12-2008
 
 
 
30 November 2011 16:11
 
Andrew - 30 November 2011 02:30 PM

Spong’s a smart man.


He clearly demonstrates that Mark’s first narrative of the crucifixion is not drawn from memories of eyewitnesses at all, but the scriptures of the Jewish people, primarily Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.  This means the crucifixion narrative is interpretive material, not eyewitness reporting.  The crucifixion is crucifictionLOL