New Testament

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 4: by John P. Meier

By John P. Meier

John Meier’s earlier volumes within the acclaimed sequence A Marginal Jew are based upon the inspiration that whereas reliable ancient information regarding Jesus is sort of constrained, humans of other faiths can however arrive at a consensus on basic old proof of his lifestyles. during this eagerly expected fourth quantity within the sequence, Meier ways a clean topic—the teachings of the ancient Jesus referring to Mosaic legislation and morality—with a similar rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on exhibit in his past works. After correcting misconceptions approximately Mosaic legislation in Jesus’ time, this quantity addresses the lessons of Jesus on significant criminal themes like divorce, oaths, the Sabbath, purity ideas, and a number of the love commandments within the Gospels. What emerges from Meier’s study is a profile of a classy first-century Palestinian Jew who, faraway from looking to abolish the legislation, was once deeply engaged in debates approximately its observance. in simple terms through embracing this portrait of the ancient Jesus grappling with questions of the Torah can we stay away from the typical mistake of making Christian ethical theology below the guise of learning “Jesus and the Law,” the writer concludes.

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John Meier’s prior volumes within the acclaimed sequence A Marginal Jew are based upon the proposal that whereas good ancient information regarding Jesus is sort of restricted, humans of other faiths can however arrive at a consensus on primary historic proof of his lifestyles. during this eagerly expected fourth quantity within the sequence, Meier methods a clean topic—the teachings of the old Jesus relating Mosaic legislation and morality—with a similar rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on demonstrate in his previous works.

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The agreement of the two earliest Synoptic sources with Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (earlier than Mark and Q from a literary point of view) is an especially strong argument. Not only do we have three independent sources, we also have three different literary genres: a dispute story within the narrative of a whole Gospel (Mark), a stray saying within a collection of logia (Q), and a letter written to a specific church about specific problems (1 Corinthians). (4) The criterion of coherence is brought into play only after a certain amount of historical material has been isolated by other criteria.

Deut 5:12–15). Resting from work, and not any organized assembly for study and worship (the later synagogue), was from the beginning—and remains—the essence of the biblical institution of the sabbath. The problem inherent in the sabbath command is that neither the Pentateuch in particular nor the Jewish Scriptures in general give an exhaustive list of the kinds of activities that qualify as work (mělāʾkâ) and so violate the sabbath. 33 A few cases are mentioned: for example, no plowing or harvesting in the fields (Exod 34:21), no lighting a fire (Exod 35:3), no gathering or cooking food (Exod 16:22–30, in the special case of the manna).

Significantly, the very last of the prohibitions is against waging war on the sabbath (v 12). ” 39 In other words, a pragmatic decision about sabbath rest, made by nonZadokite priests during a crisis, is here roundly condemned with the weightiest rhetoric imaginable for a Jew: such a compromise of the inviolable sanctity of the sabbath contradicts the primordial revelation preserved on heavenly tablets and revealed by the august Angel of the Presence to none other than Moses himself on Sinai. In the mind of the author of Jubilees, the Torah does deal directly with fighting on the sabbath, and it totally forbids it.

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