Galilee in the First Century (3)

by Shmuel Safrai

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Galilee in the First Century (2)

by Shmuel Safrai

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Galilee in the First Century (1)

by Shmuel Safrai

Below you find part 1 of a long article, titled:

The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century

It is translated from Hebrew by Edward Levine.
Also available in scanned pages and in a pdf-file.

Because of its length it is divided in three parts.
Here we give the Introduction
and the Table of Contents,
with links to the other parts.

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The Charge of Hypocrisy in Matthew 23 and in Jewish Sources

by Moshe Weinfeld

Matthew 23 constitutes, as is known, a charge sheet against the Pharisees. The main charge is hypocrisy. The author compiled all sorts of traditions and structured them in a way that would enhance the image of insincerity and hypocrisy.1Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979). The chapter may be divided into three main parts: 1) the programmatic section (Mt 23:1-12); 2) seven passages that open with “woe to hypocrites” (Mt 23:13-30); and 3) a concluding section about the doom of Jerusalem (Mt 23:31-39). Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979).

Plucking on the Sabbath and Christian-Jewish Polemic

by Menahem Kister

Study of the Gospels makes it increasingly clear that their fundamental stratum must be read as a Jewish text, to be understood within the context of Second Temple Judaism, its halakhic outlook, its beliefs and concepts, its midrashic techniques and ways of argumentation, and the vocabulary and style of the texts it produced. However, the original Jewish outlines of the traditions from which the Gospels are formed have become blurred in the Christian version of these traditions.1Very long note; see note 1 The following pages will examine a passage that provides a good example, namely the story of the plucking of grain on the Sabbath. Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Very long note; see note 1

Torah in the Flesh

A New Reading of the Prologue of the Gospel of John as a Contribution to a Christology without Anti-Judaism

by Jacobus Schoneveld

Christian theology, in particular the doctrine on Christ, has for many centuries been infested with anti-Judaism. After Auschwitz, Christians are challenged to develop a Christology without anti-Judaism: a doctrine on Christ that does not deny but affirms the integrity and worth of the Jewish people and the Jewish faith. At the heart of Christology lies the doctrine of the incarnation, and at the source of this doctrine lies the prologue of the Gospel of John, in particular the short sentence: “And the word became flesh,” or in the Greek original: Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο (Jn. 1:14). A new look at this central statement of Christian faith is therefore necessary. Continue reading

Do You Prefer New Wine?

by David Flusser

The following remarks are based on three criteria:

  1. The observation of Robert L. Lindsey1Robert Lisle Lindsey. A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, Jerusalem 1973. that the synoptic material, as preserved in Luke, was rewritten by Mark and that Matthew depends on Mark;
  2. The importance of contemporaneous Judaism for the interpretation of the Gospels;
  3. The simple truth that old wine is better than new wine.

This truth should be taken into account in the exegesis of Jesus’ words about fasting, contained in Mark 2:18-22; Mt 9:14-17 and Luke 5:33-39.  Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Robert Lisle Lindsey. A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, Jerusalem 1973.

Some Notes to the Beatitudes

(Matthew 5:3-12, Luke 6:20-26)

by David Flusser

In one of my articles1D. Flusser, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit,” Israel Exploration Journal Vol. 10, Jerusalem, 1960, pp. 1-13. I tried to show the Essene background of Jesus’ Beatitudes, and at the same time succeeded in finding in the Thanksgiving Scroll (XVIII, 14-15) a passage, which not only comes near to the general ideology of the Beatitudes, but also resembles Mt. 5:3-5 in literary patterns. The sectarian author thanks God:

To [have appointed] me in truth
a messenger [of the peace] of Thy goodness
to proclaim to the meek the multitude of
Thine mercies, and to let them that are
of contrite spirit
[hear salvation]
from [everlasting] source and to
them that mourn
everlasting joy.
Matthew 5:3-5
3. Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,
5. Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth,
4. Blessed are they that mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. D. Flusser, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit,” Israel Exploration Journal Vol. 10, Jerusalem, 1960, pp. 1-13.