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Book Reviews 195 result is a richly textured ethnographical study of a society at the comparatively early moments of dissolution. David Cooperman Department of Sociology University of Minnesota Jesus Within Judaism: New Light from Exciting Archaeological Discoveries, by James H. Charlesworth. The Anchor Bible Reference library. New York: Doubleday, 1988. 265 pp. $22.00. This book is the literary precipitate of the Gunning Lectures delivered at New College, Edinburgh in 1985. Its purpose is primarily threefold: to report to a wider audience the resurgence of scholarly interest in the historical Jesus, to stress the Jewishness of Jesus, and to survey the contribution to "Jesus Research" (the older "quest" language is repudiated ) of the pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi codices, Josephus, and Palestinian archaeology. After presenting various prolegomena, the author turns in Chapter 2 to the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, a body of literature in which he is a recognized expert. This chapter provides a helpful introduction for the uninitiated, and interprets such concepts as "apocalypticism" and "eschatology." The author proposes that Jesus was directly or indirectly influenced by the Parables of Enoch (1 En. 37-71), in which we read about a mysterious figure called "the Son of man." (Charlesworth is not troubled by the fact that the phrase is used very differently in the gospels than in the Ethiopic document.) Perhaps the most important contribution of this chapter is its emphasis on the parallels between the piety of first-century Jews and the piety ofJesus (pp. 45-51). Chapter 3 reviews the sensational discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and briefly assesses their importance to Jesus Research. Since only a minority of the Essenes lived at Qumran, it is very probable that Jesus interacted with members of the sect. Charlesworth argues that Jesus reacted both positively and negatively. He was impressed by their selfdesignation "the poor in spirit," and may have taken from them his categorical rejection of divorce. On the other hand, he rejected their rigorous sabbatarianism, and 'openly flaunted his distaste for excessive purity by associating with lepers (Charlesworth, p. 73, maintains that Mark 14:3 locates Jesus in a leper colony). 196 SHOFAR Winter 1993 Vol. 11, No.2 Chapter 4 discusses the Nag Hammadi codices and argues in favor of the Jewish roots of Gnosticism. Extended attention is paid to the Gospel of Thomas, whose importance to Jesus Research is obvious. Selected sayings are examined and compared with parallels in the canonical gospels. It is urged that the Thomas version may sometimes be closer to Jesus' original utterance. Also included in this chapter is a discussion of the Testimonium Flavianum, the extended reference to Jesus in the Antiquities ofJosephus. The author argues in favor of the hypothesis that underlying the extant passage, which has been heavily edited by Christian scribes, is an authentic testimony to the historical Jesus. This hypothesis is supported by an Arabic version of the testimony which was discovered and published by S. Pines of Hebrew University. Charlesworth properly insists that the authenticity ofJosephus's testimony should put to rest the nonsense that Jesus was created by Christian imagination. The chapter on Palestinian archaeology presents a potpourri of recent discoveries relevant to Jesus Research. Archaeologists have recently unearthed three pre-destruction synagogues (Masada, Herodium, Gamla). Most synagogues in the first century were apparently large rooms in private homes. The same is true of the earliest churches. A first-century house discovered in Capernaum under the Church of St. Peter is probably Peter's house (see Mark 1:29-31), which was later modified into a house church. The geographical allusion ofJohn 5:2 has been confirmed by the discovery of twin pools with five porticoes. The bones of a young victim of crucifIXion provide new evidence concerning the precise nature of the death (slow asphyxiation) and indicate that at least in some cases a crucified man was granted the privilege of a private burial. New evidence suggests that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the rock on which Jesus was crucified, which in 30 C.E. was just outside the western wall of Jerusalem. The rock is scarred by ancient quarrying. Charlesworth proposes that this rejected quarry stone suggested the application...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 195-197
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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