Saturday, March 12, 2011

Allison: By Roman Hands 3

So far:
1. pp. 387-92
2. pp 392-95

Today, pp. 395-99
Two more points today in Allison's experiment--what could we infer about Jesus' death if all we had were Paul's writings.

3. We would infer that Jesus died at the hands of the Romans.
Allison points out that the Romans were pretty much the only ones that put people to death by crucifixion, indeed the only ones who put people to death in general.  Allison also spends a good deal of time arguing that 1 Cor. 2:6-8 refers to human rulers of this age, which would primarily be the Romans.

4. Jesus was likely put to death as an insurrectionist, although not because he had actively led an insurrection.
I find Allison's argument here a bit less solid, but of course I'm convinced anyway.  The references to Jesus as the Christ in itself points to an understanding of him as a king.  Yet Paul speaks of him in terms of peace, as one who "became obedient to death."

Like I said, I agree that the historical evidence points toward Jesus' dying as a messianic "insurrectionist," without him ever leading an insurrection.  But I'm not sure if Paul's writings alone could establish this point from a historical perspective.

1 comment:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

"Hell has no fury as a woman's scorn" as the saying goes, except those that want to "sit on the throne" of power over everyone elses's lives!

Whenever anyone challenges the prevailing power entities, in whatever realm, there is a price to be paid, IF these entities are NOT open to diversity of views. Such entities want control, not information, knowledge or liberty of opinion. These have too much to loose to allow such "freedom"!

Fortunately, America was founded on a freethinking heresy. Government wasn't to be prescribed anymore by Kings, but by the "rule of law", which loved liberty as its ultimate value, not domination.

Therefore, Jesus death was a useful "tool" in the hands of the ancients, whether the death was one of real history or historicized myth, the usefulness must be understood within the ancient world and its understanding of mythology, as myth was the language of the ancients. This was the way that the ancients taught. Paul was no different than other ancients in his time. He was a philosopher, as were the Church Fathers.