- Slides: 28
The MUSEUM of INTERTESTAMENTAL ANTIQUITIES
INTERTESTAMENTAL INSTITUTIONS SYNAGOGUE l Conventional View l Arose among the exiled captives l To provide a religious center for worship and preservation of national identity l Alternative l Late View IT era (earliest evidence 1 st century BC) l To teach proselytes beyond Judea and a refuge from growing Jerusalem corruption
Significance of the Synagogue l Reading of Law & Prophets and prayer l Dispersed, personalized, communitized, democratized the Jewish faith l Diminished central importance of Temple l Synagogue Rulers l Some rejected Jesus’ ministry (Lk. 13) l Some received Jesus’ ministry (Lk. 8; Mk. 5) l Some responded to Apostolic ministry (Acts 18; Corinth)
Universal presence of synagogues cultivated a wider exposure to the Scriptures among Jews at large, heightened Messianic expectations, enhanced the effectiveness of Christ’s and Apostles’ public ministry, and facilitated later NT missions.
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: PHARISEES History l Pharisees (“separated ones”) heirs of the Hasidim (“pious ones”) who joined in the Maccabean revolt for religious purity l First mention, Jonathan’s rule (160 -143 BC) l Significant force by Hyrcanus (135 -104 BC) l Only Jewish party to survive AD 70 l By AD 200 Pharisaism = Judaism
Influence & Character l Instrumental in instituting educational system under Alexandra (76 -67 BC) l Controlled synagogues and popular religion; actively proselytized l “Appear more religious than others and seem to interpret the laws more accurately” l Primarily middle class l Aimed to make Law understandable and practical for people l Seven “kinds” but only one good; decried hypocrisy; ideal was inward genuineness
Doctrine l Immortality of the soul; final judgment; overruling providence (but free will) l Scrupulous attention to obeying all the Law and maintaining personal purity l God gave two laws: Written (Torah) and Oral (Tradition) l Oral Law hedged the written law, to guard against unintentional breaking of Law l Authority: Tradition = Torah l Hillel (moderate) vs. Shammai (conservative)
NT Windows l Negative Mt. 3: 7, “generation of vipers” l Mt. 23, woes on Scribes and Pharisees l Lk. 7: 24 -30, rejected God’s message from John l l Positive Mt. 5: 20, superlative (but insufficient) righteousness l Lk. 7: 36, Pharisee desired Jesus to eat with him l Lk. 13: 31, “certain Pharisees” warn Jesus of Herod l l Individuals l Nicodemus (Jn. 3, 7, 19) l Gamaliel (Acts 5: 34) l Paul (Acts 26: 5; Phil. 3: 5)
“ The degeneracy of Pharisaism serves as a warning to those who take a stand for separation from evil. . Pharisaism began well, and its perversion is a constant reminder that self-complacency and spiritual pride are temptations to which the pious are particularly susceptible” (Charles Pfeiffer).
Pharisees & Fundamentalists “Pharisaism” = u Separatism u Legalism u Hypocrisy – – – – double standard (Mt. 23: 3 -4) ostentation (Mt. 23: 5) self-promotion (Mt. 23: 6 -7) pretension (Mt. 23: 14) skewed values (Mt. 23: 16 -22) misplaced priorities (Mt. 23: 23 -24) externalism (Mt. 23: 25 -28) revisionism (Mt. 23: 29 -31
CHRIST & PHARISEES (Mt. 15; Mk. 7) u Christ faulted Pharisees for allowing tradition to define and prejudice their attitudes and views toward others u Christ faulted Pharisees for affirming or enforcing traditions in a way that undermined Scriptural texts
Fundamentalism sans Pharisaism u Maintain a tough Biblical evaluation of ourselves and our motives in all things u Maintain a charitable Biblical evaluation of others and their motives u Guard against a self-righteous attitudes and a hypocritical observances u Guard against a preoccupation with externals over or at the expense of internals u Maintain the distinction between personal applications/interpretations and the changeless truth upon which they are based, between Tradition and Text
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: SADDUCEES History l Appear around the beginning of the Hasmonean line, 142 BC l Prominent presence in the Gospels l Disappeared after AD 70
Influence & Character l Controlled Temple & Priesthood l Aristocratic; influence limited to wealthy and powerful upper class l Influence disproportionate to their numbers; dominated Sanhedrin under Herods l Aloof and condescending to the people l Even when in power, they agreed publicly with Pharisees for popular support l Focused more on Temple and liturgy than on Torah and life
Doctrine l Temple worship the focus and purpose of Law l In some ways, more “conservative” than Pharisees; rejected Pharisees’ view on authority of oral law l Pentateuch was supremely authoritative l Denied l Angels and demons l Resurrection and immortality l Reward and retribution l Little or no Messianic interest or expectation
NT Windows l Unlike some Pharisees, no identifiable Sadducee is recorded to have believed. l However, Luke says that many priests were later converted (Acts 6: 7). l Sadducees regarded themselves as representing original, authentic biblical religion, and viewed the Pharisees as “dangerous innovators. ”
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: ESSENES History l An even more separatist outgrowth of the Hasidim/Pharisees l Josephus repeatedly describes them as one of the three major Jewish sects l Flourished in 1 st century BC and AD l Not a single community but a class of separatist groups outside Judaic mainstream l Vanished after AD 70
Doctrine & Practices l Saw Temple ritual as corrupt and illegitimate l Initiates baptized; strict communal discipline l Stressed personal piety, strict obedience of the Law, daily worship and Scripture study l Considered themselves the only true remnant of Israel, their interpretations the only valid understanding of Scripture l Expected two Messiahs (a Priest and a King)
Significance l No clear NT reference l Their scribal work and collection of manuscripts furnish modern scholars with the oldest known OT manuscripts—the Dead Sea Scrolls l “It is one of the…ironies of Jewish history that this profoundly religious community, …seeking in all earnestness to recapture that which was of abiding spiritual value in the tradition of the Hebrew people, was prevented by its very exclusiveness from ushering in the Messiah … for whose coming it was striving so resolutely” (R. K. Harrison).
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: SAMARITANS Origin & History l Pre-Intertestamental in origin (600 s BC) l Religious syncretists (2 Kings 17) l Built temple in 300 s; John Hyrcanus destroyed temple (ca. 128 BC) l Ongoing conflicts with Jews; friction and mutual disdain continued
Doctrine l Monotheistic l Held sole authority of the Pentateuch l Insisted Mt. Gerazim was God’s appointed place for worship and sacrifice l Believed in a final judgment l Looked for the return of Moses as a messianic restorer
NT Windows l Good Samaritan (Lk. 10) l Grateful Samaritan (Lk. 17) l Samaritan Revival (Jn. 4) l More positive material about Samaritans than any other group l No wonder He raised the ire of some Jews (Jn. 8: 48) l Acts 1: 8 -9; 8: 5 -25
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: l Scribes seem to have originated during/after the exile (Ezra; Neh. 8: 1 -9) l Generally aligned with Pharisees, but repeatedly identified as a distinct group l Transmission and preservation of the sacred texts; the study and teaching of the law l Because the Jewish civil law was grounded in the Mosaic law, the scribes tended to function as “lawyers” as well
NT Windows l Herod asked Scribes where Christ would be born (Mt. 2: 4) l When he was 12, Jesus sat among these “doctors” asking and answering them (Lk. 2: 46 -47) l Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes … (Mt. 5: 20) l Jesus taught with authority and not like the scribes (Mt. 7: 29) l A scribe came to Jesus and said, “Master, I will follow you wherever you go” (Mt. 8: 19)
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: Chief Priests l l l Almost always in connection with the Passion Week. Consisted of the current high priest (and any former ones) along with other prominent priests of stature Sanhedrin (Council), the religious-civil governing body of the Jews, presided over by the current HP High Priesthood evolved into a civil-religious office, with as much maneuvering and intrigue involved in obtaining it as in the secular arm of government The rule of the high priest over national political-civiljudicial affairs in the NT should come as no surprise— nor should their character
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: Herodians l Appear only twice and in direct connection with the Pharisees: plotting with Pharisees early how to destroy Jesus (Mk. 3: 6) (2) asking Jesus about paying tribute to Caesar (Mt. 22: 16; Mk. 12: 13) (1) l Not mentioned outside the NT; political party apparently supportive of Roman/Herodian rule.
INTERTESTAMENTAL PEOPLE: l Only Zealots one mentioned in NT: Simon the Zealot (Lk. 6: 15; Acts 1: 13; cf. Mt. 10: 4, Mk. 3: 18, “Cananaean” =Aramaic “Zealot”). l Militant wing of Jewish nationalism; originated about 6 BC during the reign of Herod. l Political heirs of Maccabean revolt; founder, Judas the Galilean, led revolt against Rome in AD 6 (cf. Acts 5: 37). l Opposed taxes as treason against God; loyal to traditional Judaism; opposed use of Greek in Palestine; fostered messianic expectation. l Disappeared after Second Jewish Revolt (Bar Kochba Rebellion, AD 135).
Jesus stepped into a world conditioned by the Intertestamental Era, populated with political parties, religious factions, competing interests. He transformed people as diverse as Priests and Zealots, reconciled long-time enemies like Pharisees and Samaritans, touched everyone from commoners to lawyers, rulers of synagogues to Roman centurions. The relevance of Christ as Savior resides in that variety, and in that diversity is our hope.