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Featured Was Jesus really a Jewish rabbi?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Harel13, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Well-Known Member

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    In John 3:26, John the Baptist is called 'Rabbi'. The context is quite interesting, because it's clear that many Jews came to question John, believing him to be a prophet of God.

    There's no indication that John had a formal ordination.

    John 3:25-31. 'Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
    And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth
    [Jesus' disciples actually did the baptising], and all men come to him.
    John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
    He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
    He must increase, but I must decrease.
    He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.'

    Should the Christ, who comes from above, be ordained by men? John, who was called 'Rabbi', said that Christ was greater than he. How can Christ be any less of a teacher?

    I don't believe Jesus became a teacher by the authority of men, because his Father was of heaven. He was called 'teacher' because he demonstrated God's authority in word and deed.
     
  2. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    He seemed to know what he was talking about when it came to tithing herbs.
     
  3. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    Yep, I concur with your distinction here - it's the reason why the scholar Geza Vermes referred to Jesus as a "charismatic man of the spirit".

    We see this in Mary Magdalene's exclamation to Jesus, in the garden tomb scene in John chapter 20:


    Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means ‘Master’ (Διδάσκαλε (Didaskale)).

    John 20:16

    What we have here is the Aramaic rab, “master” plus a first person pronominal suffix, “my master”.

    Rabbouni has ‘been described as … a form of endearment’, equating to ‘my dear rabbi’ (Brown 1986:991-992). Rabbouni is thus a way of saying rabbi, meaning ‘my master’, with strong emphasis (McKenzie 1965:718), which fits with your description above of a dearly beloved charismatic teacher given the highest titles of authority and endearment by his close band disciples, irrespective of 'formal education' or training on his part.


    From Strong's concordance:


    Cognate: 1320 didáskalos (a masculine noun derived from 1321 /didáskō, "to teach") – a teacher, an instructor acknowledged for their mastery in their field of learning See 1319 (didaskalia), of those who by their great power as teachers drew crowds about them
     
  4. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Hi.... again.
    Ah! I did not tell you that Jesus was not wise. I expect that he was well versed in the Laws of Moses. He must have been or he would not have insisted upon their reinstatement, whgich I would bet that the Baptist did as well.

    You did not tell me his full name. Do you know it? Who was he the son of?
    Merchants could do very well! Many members of the Temple courts were merchants. That was one of the ways that a smart peasant could rise out of the working classes. Being a very successful brigand worked as well.

    Didn't the Romans elevate Herod, a successful brigand in his time?

    No full name?
    Another merchant! A man who lives ten miles from me sold coal, or his grandad did. He's one of the wealthiest men in the county.
    Merchants can rise.
    Jesus was not a merchant.

    I already covered Smiths, amazing people back then, lookred upon as wizards almost. Magis? Probably.
    Jesus was not a forger of metals.

    How many Galilean peasants became Rabbis, back then?
    How many Rabbis were in the Northern Provinces in early 1st century Palestine?

    I know that a Pharisee did not have to be a Levite, of the Priesthood, and there were a good few of those around. Bit how many rabbis were around Galilee back then?

    You could extend my horizons on this count, for sure.

    What? All you needed for nobility back then was to be a very very dangerous, ruthless leader of men. Why do you think that the Romans elevated Herod..... when was that, circa 39BC?
    Brigands did very well.
    Jesus was not a Brigand. :)

    ----------------------
    But really, the Gospel of Mark is probably the most accurate account of an 11-12 month period in Jesus's life. The Baptist may well have been his tutor.

    And Celcus (copied by Origen) could actually throw some light upon Jesus and his 'two taxmen and ten boatmen' followers. I think Celcus wrote that his mother had been a (Hellenised) Temple virgin possibly in Sepphoris, and the Roman Patronus his true father? But his step Dad was a handworker.... nagarra?, probably a tented traveller since there were no solid buildings on Nazareth back then (only one).

    Ummm.... No........ Peasants who might have called Jesus 'rabbi' (if any did at all) were probably just thinking he was.
     
  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    So, once the red part above had been completed, was there some outwardly detectable or physically visible change to the person who had undergone this ceremony and received this "Smicha?" That is to say, if a person walked up to you on the street and claimed that they had it, by what method would you then go about the means of determining that they did, indeed possess the blessing doled out in this ceremony? I understand that you can request that they divulge the identity of 3 rabbis that layed hands on them, and then attempt to check back with those people. But, is it possible for someone to make the claim while having convinced 3 other people to lie and claim to also be rabbis ordained in this manner, so that when their names are given, anyone that checks in with those people would find that they did, indeed claim to have performed the ceremony? Perhaps you have a list you could check to verify that any one of these people's names were on it also?

    My point being, its not like a halo or some signifying physicality suddenly appeared to distinguish these people from anyone else. Literally, you have to have the esoteric knowledge of who has been ordained to even know whether or not a person's claim stands. And how easy in that type of case is it for someone to convince anyone who doesn't have access to that esoteric knowledge? That is, they aren't allowed to see "the list?" To the point that perception to those people becomes reality, and then as the lie is handed around more and more, it seems less and less of a lie to the uninitiated. The system in place of "laying hands" and "saying some words" just isn't good enough to prevent something like this from happening.
     
  6. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    I reckon that is right, although I suggest that Jesus took over after the Baptist was arrested, maybe?
     
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  7. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Yes...After John was executed, apparently.
     
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  8. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Hello, Harel13. As I understand it, rabbi means teacher in a defacto sense. Jesus certainly was that. It seems that the certification of rabbis, if I may call it like that, was not long being practiced when Jesus was teaching.
     
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

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    I believe that Jesus wasn't a rabbi by the definition of rabbinic Judaism but he was a rabbi as defined as defined by first century Jewish beliefs.
     
  10. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    @Harel13 @Jayhawker Soule and @Vouthon
    One or all of you might be able to help ...... please...

    Questions:-
    Do you have any ideas about how many Rabbis were practicising in Galilee and Northern Provinces in the early first century 0-30 CE?

    How many synagogues existed in the early first century CE?

    Several years ago Jayhawker offered this document dedicated to Mrs and Mrs Meyer which featured archaeological finds and sites in the Galilee and surrounding areas. If you would turn to pages 120/121 you can review the sites of synagogues which were known by them at that time.

    But all but one were dated at around 2nd-3rd century CE, Gamla being dated to the 1st century CE.

    So do you know what has been gathered since that document was produced, because it doesn't look as if so many rabbis were around, Pharisees maybe?

    OB
     

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  11. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Ah ha! :)
    I launched in to a 'why Meier?' response to your post (and your post lower down) as I quoted other gospels and scholars to contrast......... I went on........ and on....

    And then I wondered, 'Why does Vouthon like Meier's ideas?' So I 'googled' Meier......... Now I get it!

    Meier has more than studied opinion, he has Faith. That stops me dead, because I always acknowledge Faith. But if you want to see my points about what he says I'll PM them to you. They are 'off piste' here. :)
     
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  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    The original ordination, that of Moshe (Moses), according to Jewish tradition, came from God, and meticulously passed down through the generations. You decide whether you think Jesus should have been bestowed that...
    I'm here merely to say that whether Jesus should or shouldn't have been bestowed that ordination doesn't matter, because it is highly unlikely that it did not happen either way. :)
     
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  13. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    Likely because most rabbis at the time lived in Judea or Babylon and not in the Galilee. There's a story in the Jerusalem Talmud that I've brought on RF a couple of times recently about Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai, a 1st century rabbi, going to the Galilee to serve as their posek (the person who decides the various rulings of Jewish law) and he leaves after 18 years, lamenting that he was only ever asked two questions...in other words, Judaism was not very strong in the Galilee at the time. More evidence that Jesus could have easily based himself as a freelance scholar doing as he pleased in the area. I'm not great with the NT, but it seems that he only really started getting into hot water the more he went into Judea and Jerusalem in particular.

    It was only after the destruction of the Temple that the Sanhedrin moved to Yavneh and sometime around the 2nd century they moved to Usha, in the Galilee. At the same time, the Galilean cities of Tiberias and Zippori started to become major centers of Torah.
     
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  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    Evidence?

    In any case, the main point of my OP was to offer criticism of the Christians who claim that Jesus was a rabbi in the modern sense - that is, ordained - as he was most likely not.
     
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  15. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    You are free to believe that, but I wonder why you differentiate between "1st century Judaism" and "rabbinic Judaism"?
     
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  16. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    I don't think his father's name is ever mentioned anywhere. He's usually referred to just as Hillel or Hillel the Elder or the Sage: Hillel the Elder - Wikipedia
    Wasn't Herod a military general?
    He's usually just plain Rabbi Yehoshua in the Talmud, but his full name is Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananyah.
    While that may be true for some, in the Talmudic story from which we learn that he was a coal maker and merchant, he defines it as the sort of work that is not respectable and does not earn him a lot of money.
    Yes, I wrote that in my OP:
    "Revering their teacher, the disciples, who it seems were not too learned, chose the popular title without really understanding what it truly meant in Judaic terms, past basic Aramaic vocabulary skills."
     
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  17. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    I'm not saying he was an idiot, I'm saying he was too far off in most of his rulings to have been considered Smicha-material. In modern language - and as many Christians over the millennia enjoyed putting it - he might be described as "the one rebel who dared to face off against the (evil) rabbinical monopolistic control of the law". Sure, that's a nice way of putting it. It makes him out to be a hero - which is exactly what the NT was trying to do.
    Now look at it from the other side: Preserving of traditions is a key factor in the continuous survival of the Jewish people. If that tradition is destroyed, then the people will eventually disappear, too, no longer having much of anything to hold them together. The sages have always attempted their best at preserving the traditions. Then along comes this hotshot who thinks he can do whatever he wants, essentially calling for anarchy, a total upturning of the law and the traditions as he sees fit. This is obviously not okay in the eyes of the people who are calling for order. Such a person would never be considered for an acting role among the sages, obviously. It's not some sort of monopoly, it's that he's going against everything they hold dear, which they believe is needed for preserving their people.
     
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  18. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    Well, if the book of Matthew is accurate, he enjoined his followers to obey the Scribes and Pharisees because they sat in Moses' seat.
     
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  19. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Indeed...he was not.
    More and more theologians and historians agree on that.
     
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  20. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    But in other instances went against the sages.
    He seemed to be inconsistent...
     
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