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Source: (consider it) Thread: Pharisees: Friends with Jesus?
Golden Key
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# 1468

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We've been discussing this on the "Jamat, you self-righteous fuckwit" thread in Hell. I figured it will either be shut down or moved here, so I've copied it over. Quotes will be in the next post.

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Golden Key
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Posted by leo (# 1458) on 20 June, 2017 10:40 AM :
quote:Originally posted by Jamat:
Yes, It is rather pharisaical behaviour witnessed here. As I recall, they ganged up to confront Jesus on many occasions. The object inevitably was to justify what their little 'collective' taught and believed.

They did not 'gang up'- they enjoyed discussing with Jesus as with one of their number.

They did not have a collective belief - everything was disputable and they always recoded all opinions.


Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on 20 June, 2017 08:52 PM :

leo--

Hmmm...I wonder if any of them had been around when Jesus was 12 and debated with them? Could've made for interesting dynamics. "Young upstart... (or) Seems to have matured well... (or) He's BA-AAACK!"


Posted by leo (# 1458) on 21 June, 2017 08:06 AM :


quote:Originally posted by Golden Key:
leo--

Hmmm...I wonder if any of them had been around when Jesus was 12 and debated with them? Could've made for interesting dynamics. "Young upstart... (or) Seems to have matured well... (or) He's BA-AAACK!"

point is they were friends, not enemies
[ 21. June 2017, 15:06: Message edited by: leo ]


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on 22 June, 2017 08:45 PM :


quote:Originally posted by leo:

quote:Originally posted by Golden Key:
leo--

Hmmm...I wonder if any of them had been around when Jesus was 12 and debated with them? Could've made for interesting dynamics. "Young upstart... (or) Seems to have matured well... (or) He's BA-AAACK!"

point is they were friends, not enemies

Before or after he called them hypocrites and whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones?


Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on 22 June, 2017 08:57 PM :


quote:Originally posted by mousethief:

quote:Originally posted by leo:

quote:Originally posted by Golden Key:
leo--

Hmmm...I wonder if any of them had been around when Jesus was 12 and debated with them? Could've made for interesting dynamics. "Young upstart... (or) Seems to have matured well... (or) He's BA-AAACK!"

point is they were friends, not enemies

Before or after he called them hypocrites and whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones?

What I had heard was that it was part of the way Pharisees debated. Insults given to the losers with no animosity. A sport or Bro kinda thing.
This was from an RCC priest.


Posted by mousethief (# 953) on 22 June, 2017 09:00 PM :

I'd want to see some kind of contemporary verification of that.


Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on 22 June, 2017 09:26 PM :


quote:Originally posted by mousethief:
I'd want to see some kind of contemporary verification of that.

I think that would have to come from a scholar of Judaism, I am just repeating what I heard.


Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on 22 June, 2017 10:41 PM :

{Tangent--Pharisees}

I did some searching on "pharisees debating style". One interesting hit is "Talk:Jesus/Scribes Pharisees and Saducees" (Wikipedia). The page cites various scholars. I only skimmed it, but it seems to support leo's statement.

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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mousethief

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Thanks for this. Can you copy over your links too?

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Golden Key
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mt--

This has the only info link of mine that I see in that convo:

quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{Tangent--Pharisees}

I did some searching on "pharisees debating style". One interesting hit is "Talk:Jesus/Scribes Pharisees and Saducees" (Wikipedia). The page cites various scholars. I only skimmed it, but it seems to support leo's statement.



--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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Does anyone know of any traditions, historical research, etc., that has possible matches between the men that 12-year-old Jesus argued with in the temple, and the ones he argued with as an adult?

Thanks.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Alan Cresswell

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I guess there are two options:

  1. Jesus was taken home to Nazareth and had no further contact with the scribes and pharisees he'd been debating with until the start of his ministry almost 20 years later.

    In which case, there may have been a recollection among the scribes and pharisees of a prodigious 12 year old in the Temple, but unless Jesus himself made a point of reminding them he'd been that boy nothing for them to make a connection between the two people.
  2. The scribes and the pharisees encouraged Joseph and Mary to let Jesus continue to study under a rabbi in Nazareth, and then he would probably return to the debates in Jerusalem whenever they made a pilgrimage there for Passover and other festivals.

    In which case Jesus would be known to the scribes and pharisees as a regular contributor to their debates over many years, and that long standing connection would follow through.

My understanding is that scholars have often suggested that Jesus had been a Pharisee, it was where he learned the craft of teaching. And, he had come to see the short-comings in the approach of the Pharisees and to a large extent his ministry was to try and offer a correction to where the Pharisees were in error. That would explain why it's usually the Pharisees who are engaging with him, and getting the worst of the "white washed tomb" comments. Because they were discussions between Pharisees - or at least Pharisees and an ex-Pharisee.

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leo
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Jewish leaders called each other thus - see Ezekiel 13:10-15.

That doesn't stop them being 'friends' - the pharisees loved arguing and criticism and Jeus debated with them in their familiar manner.

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leo
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The lectionary leaves out the stuff about whitewashed tombs - but pharisees wre qually rude to one abother using other words - see e.g.Ecc Rab 4.1,1 - whic h is quoted in the link and sounds just like the Jesus of Matthew's gospel.

In Jesus the Pharisee : A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus, Rabbi Falk suggests that all of Jesus’ hostile denunciations of Pharisees (eg, Matthew 23) refer to the Shammaites, who had supplanted the Hillelites shortly after Jesus appeared in the Temple as a youth.

See also here.

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Jengie jon

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Warning below is simplified Middle Eastern Politics. It is wrong but hopefully sheds some understanding on a situation we read too easily as black and white.

You need to get beyond 2000 years of sermons and try and look at what might actually have been the situation in 1st Century Palestine.

There are two mainline political religious groupings within the Jewish at the time: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Yes, there are the Essense and the Zealots but these are not mainstream. The Essenes is a purity sect who have largely withdrawn from society, while the zealots are your radicalised element.

The Sadducees come from the relatively wealthy Jerusalem-based theological school. They know the tradition and tend to be conservative theologically. For instance, they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead a doctrine that developed after the exile. The chief priest tends to come from their number. With power and wealth comes the accommodation with authority particularly when that authority is giving patronage.

Then there are the Pharisees, the radical group which have adopted the newer theological trends that came about during the Exile. I believe some think that their name 'Pharisee' in some way comes from that for 'Persian'. Their power base is with the people. They are a radical group in many ways believing that God will restore Israel only when Israel truly keeps the law.

There are of course subgroups within these groupings. However, if you ask where Jesus is closer allied it quickly becomes clear that it was with the Pharisees and not the Sadducees. If you like Jesus is a bit of Corbyn style figure within the Pharisaic group.

Most modern Judaism that survives is of Pharisaic lineage. It is agreed that the Sadducee's line was largely wiped out with the fall of the Temple due to its dependence on it.


Jengie

[ 23. June 2017, 17:58: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Sarah G
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I'd agree with the first part of this, and certainly for the need to simplify.

Jesus came to C1 Israel with an agenda. He wanted to bring about that thing that Israel had longed for, the time of God's forgiveness. He wanted to inaugurate the long promised Kingdom of God, and set free a world and a humanity that had been in bondage. This would be through his death.

The Sadducees were the ruling group, who regarded the Temple process as central to religious life, their control of the political process as a key aim, and keeping the Roman legions in their garrisons as vital. Therefore Jesus was seen only as a potential threat, and little discussion was needed.

The Pharisees had been in power, had been very violent at times when they had power, and were trying to get back again. They sought a theocratic Israel moulded in their image, which would trigger God's intervention and Kingdom.

Although Jesus got on with individual Pharisees (Nicodemus etc), his agenda and that of the Pharisees were diametrically opposed. They wanted to intensify Torah observance, Jesus saw Torah as being on the cusp of completing its task. They concluded that his eschatology was to be utterly rejected.

Having decided that Jesus was wrong on all levels, the Pharisaic agenda meant that major conflict was inevitable.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Sarah G:
Jesus saw Torah as being on the cusp of completing its task.

Not so - he said not 'one jot' of it would pass away.

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ThunderBunk

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Leo, I know you have a quotation behind you, but there are a whole series of quotations directly against that argument. All the times Jesus uses the structure "it stands written.....but I say to you......", the giving of love as a new commandment, and so many others. The basic point on which he surpasses, and supplants the law is in his incarnation. As a physical expression of God in creation, surely we have no choice but to receive him as the primary expression of God's nature, words notwithstanding?

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Jengie jon

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Sarah G

You say 'theocracy' as though it was automatically a bad thing. In a conquered society where the way to bring it about is seen as strict adherence to a law on religious observance rather than violent overthrow, I am not at all as certain.

Jengie

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Sarah G:
Jesus saw Torah as being on the cusp of completing its task.

Not so - he said not 'one jot' of it would pass away.
But the sentence goes on. A fuller version:

quote:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

With the context here.

In other words, Jesus is reminding his listeners that Torah has a holy purpose, as described by the OT Prophets. Jesus' actions are not in defiance of the Torah (a regular accusation by the Pharisees amongst others), but entirely in accordance with it. When Jesus has seen the Torah's purpose through, it's over.

The Torah is like the taxi driver who drops you at your destination. He's done his job, there's no problem with him, but you don't need him to stay now.


It might be worth saying that suggestions of Jesus having any attachment to the Pharasaic movement have no foundation at all, with strong enough evidence against. For example, it's one of the times when the argument from silence works magic.

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Sarah G
You say 'theocracy' as though it was automatically a bad thing. In a conquered society where the way to bring it about is seen as strict adherence to a law on religious observance rather than violent overthrow, I am not at all as certain.
Jengie

I wasn't putting a value judgement on theocracy; I'm not sure how that would work, anyway.

Is it the case that the Pharisaic movement saw good Torah observance as an alternative to violence?There's a debate on amongst scholars, and different Pharisees may have held different views (Shammaites were particularly likely to favour revolution), but there is certainly a good case for the claim that many believed that good Torah observance was seen as a necessary condition for a successful violent revolution.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Leo, I know you have a quotation behind you, but there are a whole series of quotations directly against that argument. All the times Jesus uses the structure "it stands written.....but I say to you......", the giving of love as a new commandment, and so many others. The basic point on which he surpasses, and supplants the law is in his incarnation. As a physical expression of God in creation, surely we have no choice but to receive him as the primary expression of God's nature, words notwithstanding?

He's not superceding the law, he's deepening it, as did the prophets before him (and many of the pharisees too).

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Sarah G:
Is it the case that the Pharisaic movement saw good Torah observance as an alternative to violence?There's a debate on amongst scholars, and different Pharisees may have held different views (Shammaites were particularly likely to favour revolution), but there is certainly a good case for the claim that many believed that good Torah observance was seen as a necessary condition for a successful violent revolution.

Surely it was a different group altogether, the zealots, which wanted violent revolution.

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Surely it was a different group altogether, the zealots, which wanted violent revolution.

The various zealot revolutionary groups* certainly were in the violence game, but so were Messianic movements from all backgrounds. It was the done thing.

The portrayal in Life of Brian is pretty accurate. All sorts of groups were running around shouting “Romanes eunt domus”.

It was pretty much expected that when God's kingdom arrived, it would be by force of arms. When Gamaliel wanted to describe the way to identify God's purpose for Israel, he did it in terms of violent revolution.

Saul, as a Pharisee, was prepared to kill his fellow Jews without a second thought- how much more would he be prepared to kill those unclean Gentiles? And certainly the Pharisees had used violence when in power.

That's not to say that all Pharisees were pushing the violence route qua Pharisees.


*[tangent]When Jesus did the Temple disruption thing, and used his 'Den of Thieves' phrase, the word for thieves is the same as that used for violent revolutionary groups. The implication being that the Temple authorities were engaged in the same sort of rebellion against God that the Judean People's Front were against the Romans.

Despite every sermon you've ever heard, it's not at all about commercialisation of religion, or money changers charging airport terminal prices.[/tangent]

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