mercredi 30 mai 2012

Historical Jesus, some questions

Dear students, this is an introduction to subject of Christology historical Jesus - Systematic Theology II - which you should read for class. Best wishes to all. JP.

Passion is a March / Dish / Dilated / Road that hurts / Charming flower / Labyrinth / Hold / network seems every root / root only / When not singing thunder / Transfiguration . " 
(Transfiguration, Cordel do Fogo Encantado).

This study search biblical foundations of social policy work of Jesus with text of Luke 4.14-30 and we take as reference Ben Witherington III [1] and John Howard Yoder [2].

Witherington III examines social marginality of Jesus from realities expressed by the priestly hierarchy of time about it. By not having a father was not known and recognized right to a name. So it was seen as someone unknown pedigree. And fact of being named man of Nazareth, came from a village of peasants and artisans, little known and away from trade routes, made their geographical identity also not classify him as possible messianic figure.
Portrait of the Palestinian figured Yeshua

Genealogy and geography made him a Jew on margins socially, which in its origins, did not deserve credit. But, this man-no-name, this man-without-the-holy-land started its activities in a manner at least unusual in synagogue at Nazareth, as Luke describes.

According Yoder, in time, there was a synagogue reading of prophets regularly prescribed. And fact that this passage was not present in later lectionaries known, tends to indicate that Jesus chose it on purpose. Morris says that this hypothesis corroborates statement of Luke: "opening the book, he found the place where it was written". [3]  Here two details deserve to be highlighted: first, is only clear reference in Gospels that Jesus knew how to read. And second, why, when reading Isaiah 61.1-2, he omitted a phrase,  to heal the brokenhearted  and added another,  liberate the oppressed, which is in Isaiah 58:6? In fact, we used the texts considered most useful to exposition of his political and social platform.

Use he made of political terms, as a kingdom and gospel, show that such selectivity had a purpose: to speak of a political promise of social intervention alternative to those powers present at the time. So, if you read text presented by Jesus, rabbinic perspective, we are facing a recurrence of promises of jubilee, when accumulated injustices should be remedied for years. The identity of man speaks not questioned claimed that Palestine would be rescued in time scale, but it should get impact on Palestinian life supportive of sabbatical year.

Likewise, coming kingdom emerged as a prophetic understanding of sabbatical year. Thus, Saturday of week is on Saturday widened years, which should be seventh of rest and retirement, as restored what had been exhausted, nature and people. This collection of regulations found in Leviticus 25.1-26.2 concernia property rights of land ownership and people, which formed basis of wealth. Purpose was to set limits on right of possession, since all property, nature and people, belong to God. Thus, anyone could own nature and people permanently, because this right belongs to God. And cycle of seven sabbatical years flowed into fiftieth year, messianic Jubilee (Lev. 25.8-24), which will only appear again throughout Old Testament only in Figures 36.4. But Jeremiah, in chapter 34.8-17 spoke of social reform in besieged Jerusalem, when Zedekiah proclaimed freedom of Hebrew slaves. Similarly, we find in Isaiah 58.6-12 reform as part of prophetic vision. In this sense, reform of jubilee pointed to economic restructuring and socio-political relations between peoples of Palestine.
Academic research on the historical Jesus

It is interesting that Josephus has stated years after presence of Jesus in Nazareth, that "there is no single Hebrew who, even today, not obey laws concerning sabbatical year as if Moses were there to punish him for offenses, and that even in cases where a violation would go unnoticed ". [4]

Despite assertion of Josephus, we know that an economic and social environment from provisions of Leviticus 25, which also included redistribution of property, was never literally lived among Jews. So it fell to a "no-promised land" of year to raise discourse of liberation.

Proposed reform of marginal Jesus was prophetic announcement of entry into force of a new era, where listeners accept news. I was not referring to a historical event, but a reaffirmation of hope known his listeners: reform and socio-economic policy that should change relations between Palestinian people.

The man known genealogy and geography placed centrality of marginal reform on himself by saying that at that time, synagogue of Nazareth,prophetic promise was fulfilled. And this is what Lucas will show the sequence of his Gospel: reform was the promised marginal Messiah.


ASH, AL  The Gospel According to Luke . New York: Christian Life, 1980.
Bratcher, R.  A Translator's Guide to The Gospel of Luke.  London: UBS, 1982.
BOFF, Leonardo,  Jesus Christ, Liberator , 16th edition Petrópolis, Voices.
Crossan, John Dominic,  The Historical Jesus, the life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant , St Paul, Wellington, 1994.
ECHEGARAY, Hugo,  The Practice of Jesus , Petrópolis, Voices, 1982.
Fitzmyer, JA The  Gospel According to Luke I-IX . New York: Doubleday, 1981.
GODET, F. A  Commentary on The Gospel of St. Luke . Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, SD
JONES, E. Stanley,  alternative to communism Christ , New York, 1953.
MORRIS, L.  Lucas - Introduction and Review . New York: New Life, 1990.
NORTH, Robert SJ,  Sociology of Biblical Jubilee , Rome, the Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1954.
PIKAZA, Xabier,  Figure of Jesus: Prophet, Healer, Rabbi, Messiah , Petrópolis, Voices, 1995.
PLUMMER, A.  Gospel According to St. Luke . ICC. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, nd
Reiling, J. & SWELLENGREBEL.  The Translator's Handbook on The Gospel of Luke .  Leiden: UBS, 1971.
SCHMID, J.  El evangelio Según San Lucas .  Barcelona: Herder, 1968.
Trocme, Etienne,  Jesus-Christ et la révolution non-violent  (VV.AA.), chap. III, Geneva, Labor et fides, 1961.
Vermes, G. Jesus,  the Jew , California, Loyola, 1990.
WITHERINGTON III , Ben,  The Christology of Jesus , Minneapolis, Fortress, 1990.
YODER , John Howard,  The Politics of Jesus , St. Leopold Synod, 1988.

[1]  Ben Witherington III,  The Christology of Jesus , Minneapolis, Fortress, 1990.
[2]  John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, St. Leopold Synod, 1988.
[3]  L. Leon Morris, Lucas, introduction and commentary, New York, 1990, p. 101.
[4]  Josephus,  Antiquitates III , 15, 3.

Research presented at the  III Brazilian Congress on Biblical Research / PUC-SP , from 08 to 10 September 2008.

Read also
Jorge Pinheiro, Biblical and Systematic Theology, Protestant practice of the ultimatum , Editorial Source, 2012, Chapter Five: The Christ.

Sou negra e bela!

I am black and beautiful!

"O women of Jerusalem, I am black and beautiful. I am black as the tents of the desert, as the curtains of Solomon's palace. " Song of Solomon 1.5.
Afrobrasilidade: this is a subject about which we have not bent too much. When we talk about Afro-Brazilian, we refer to our compatriots in sub-Saharan African ancestry or cultural influences brought by African slaves to Brazil. Currently in the world, Brazil is the country with the largest population of African origin outside Africa. According to IBGE, blacks represent 6.3% described themselves as mixed race and 43.2% of the population, ie, eighty million Brazilians. And genetic studies say that 86% of Brazilians over 10% contribution of sub-Saharan Africa in its genome, even when they have phenotypes characteristic of black populations.[1]  But today, we think afrodescendência from a biblical story . And the many ways that was read over the centuries.

A love story

The readers will remember the images of love that this is considered one of the most beautiful poems of humanity: the Song of Solomon. But the girl turns around which the narrative is a matter of strong debate, especially for black theologians and theologians. According to the American essayist Peggy Ochoa, the Song of Songs brings out the painful details of the animosity between ethnic groups in the reign of Solomon.

For many scholars, here we are faced with a fact: the Shulamite woman inspiring the love poems of the Song of Songs was a beautiful black. And when the daughters of Jerusalem, who were part of elite protests linked to the court to find the King's passion, the Shulamite biased answered the cry with the famous statement: " I am black and comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon "(Song 1:5).

The English King James, the Shulamite says in verses 5 and 6 (emphasis mine): " I am black, BUT comely . " And so in the Hebrew Bible we read the same text, phonetic representation, and my emphasis: " LV na'vah shekhorah animals . " In Hebrew there is no distinction between "however" and "e". The Hebrew conjunction "ve" can be translated "but" or "e". The translator decide on one or the other based on the context. However, both in English and in Portuguese, the choice can make a huge difference.

But why the translator of the King James version, as well as our translators have chosen "but"?Perhaps because these translations have been made ​​through the filter of Western culture, starting from the Latin version of the Bible, the Vulgate, which introduced the "but": " Nigra sum sed formosa". I'm black, "but" fair. Not black and beautiful, but beautiful black though.
The black queen
According to Susan Durber theologian, St. Columba's United Reformed Church, Oxford, in his essay "The Queen of the South will be present at trial when this generation is being judged , "a woman can help us understand this puzzle. In 10 Kgs find the story of Queen of the South or the Queen of Sheba. An intelligent woman, who did hard questions to Solomon. I wonder if he was as wise as you commented. Thus the Bible is interested in it because of his intelligence.

But one significant fact about the Sabbath is that she was black. It is unknown exactly that region. It could be Yemen or North Africa, possibly Ethiopia. The Falashas , Ethiopian Jews, and rastafaresclaim to be descendants of Menelik, the son of Solomon and Sheba. And also for black Christians from around the world, Sheba race appears as an icon and is seen as the muse of Song of Solomon.

The poet WB Yeats, for example, reread the verse " I am black and beautiful "and poemou well,"Solomon sang Sheba, a black face and kissed her . "

Also according Durber where African Christians celebrated the black of Sheba, the European Christianity marginalized its history. In the Queen of Sheba saw the story of a pagan woman, a foreign woman who had surrendered to the true faith. In his rendition, apparently lost Sheba also the color of his skin black.

Thus the story of a wise woman apparently did not match with the story of a black, and such a reading produced a terrible alienation in the Christian church in Europe and North America, which brought terror and fear to the other black. Thus, the other black was seduced, subdued and tamed.And reading the text is that capitulates to Solomon and Sheba becomes culturally white.

Actually, Sheba was companion of Solomon and the text can be read that way. But the tradition, from the Vulgate, made him a conqueror and a conquest of it, generating ideologies as the victory over Eastern Europe, the men over women and white on black.
But the Hebrew Bible speaks of blacks and African nations as Cush, Mizraim, and Phut, which is now Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya. And even the construction of the Suez Canal in 1859, did not distinguish between the biblical lands and these countries. The scenario of divine action also covered the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, which are in Africa, and Israel was seen as part of the African continent.Only with the construction of the Suez Canal, Africa came to be regarded as separate continent from the Middle East.

Thus, in the Hebrew Bible, Israel is a nation African and Semitic, and the message that leads the world began in the black continent. And although many see the church as Afro-Brazilians of European origin, the analysis of the biblical story shows that originated multiracial and the Bible began to be written in Africa.

Therefore, our sisters of African descent can, aware of their Brazilianness, race and color, the Shulamite say: " I am black and beautiful, as the tents of the desert, as the curtains of Solomon's palace . "

[1] PENA, Sérgio DJ; Bortolini, Maria Cátira. Can genetics define who should benefit from the university quotas and other affirmative action? Sao Paulo: Advanced Studies, Vol 18, No. 50, Jan. / Feb. 2004 .