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Author Topic:   Jesus the rabbi ?
ConsequentAtheist
Member (Idle past 4285 days)
Posts: 392
Joined: 05-28-2003


Message 31 of 42 (65366)
11-09-2003 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by jes
11-09-2003 8:51 AM


Re: Jesus the rabb?
The great Jewish masters who lived in the age of Jesus Christ,Hillel,Shammai,Gamaliel,are all called "elders" not "rabbis'. I suspect anachronism!

Perhaps you mean "Rabban Gamaliel the Elder"? I found the following of interest: Rabbi
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jes
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 42 (65509)
11-10-2003 12:24 AM


Jesus the Rabbi?
Thank you ConsequentAthiest.I shall take some time to digest this article.At first glance it seems to reinforce my suspicion that the term is an anachronism .I must say that I attach little value to the thoughts of Herschel Shanks since I read his comments re Finkelstein,and his obdurance re the alleged "James Ossuary".
  
Zealot
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 42 (66210)
11-13-2003 7:25 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by crashfrog
09-19-2003 2:10 AM


Crash, what was the date of the wedding.. Just interested
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 42 (66231)
11-13-2003 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Zealot
11-13-2003 7:25 AM


August 2nd.
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RebWlmJames
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 42 (66783)
11-16-2003 5:02 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by crashfrog
11-13-2003 9:45 AM


Jesus as rabbi
ConAtheist: Thanks for that outstanding article. Hegg's conclusion is that calling Jesus a rabbi is probably anachronistic, though calling Rabban Gamliel the Elder presents a problem with that conclusion. Was that your point?
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ConsequentAtheist
Member (Idle past 4285 days)
Posts: 392
Joined: 05-28-2003


Message 36 of 42 (66793)
11-16-2003 6:34 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by RebWlmJames
11-16-2003 5:02 AM


Re: Jesus as rabbi
Again, the Catholic Encyclopaedia referenced above notes:

Evidently the scribe in his own estimation belonged to a higher caste. And so it was understood by the people who, after the time of Hillel introduced the custom of saluting them "Rabbi". The word, derived from the Hebrew Rab, "great", originally seems to have been equivalent to "my lord"; when it became the distinctive title of the scribes the specific force of its pronoun was lost, and "Rabbi" was used very much like our "Doctor". That this title was far from unpleasant in the ears of the scribes we know from Matt., xxiii, 7. In point of fact a pupil never would omit it when speaking to or of his teacher (Berach., xxvii, 1), and it became a universal usage never to mention the name of a doctor of the Law without prefixing "Rabbi". Nay more, in order to show the person greater honour, this title was intensified into "Rabban", "Rabboni", so that in the course of time custom established a kind of hierarchy among these various forms: "Rabbi", the doctors said, "is more than Rab, Rabban more than Rabbi, and the proper name more than Rabban." The latter part of this traditional regulation has particularly in view the two great Doctors Hillel and Shammai, always designated by their unqualified proper names; the successors of Hillel, as Gamaliel were titled Rabban, and so also was by exception Johanan ben Zakkai; Palestinian doctors are commonly known as Rabbi So-and-so, yet Rabbi Judas the Saint, who composed the Mishna, is not infrequently called merely Rabbi (par excellence); in the same manner, Rab, without the proper name, designates Abba Arika (died A. D. 247), the founder of the School of Sora, while Rab is the title prefixed to the names of the Amoras of Babylon. [emphasis added - CA]

gMat's use of the term 'Rabbi' may well be an anachronism, but the case is hardly certain. To argue that a term in use after 70 CE was unknown in 30 CE seems pretty week.

[This message has been edited by ConsequentAtheist, 11-16-2003]


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RebWlmJames
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 42 (66980)
11-17-2003 1:18 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by ConsequentAtheist
11-16-2003 6:34 AM


Re: Jesus as rabbi
Your point is well taken. It is unlikely, though possible, that a relatively unknown itinerant preacher in 30 C.E. or so, would be called "rabbi" by anyone other that his closest and devout disciples, if even they would have used the term.

We don't have any evidence that I know of that Jesus received "semikhah" (as Hegg points out so well). If, as the Cath Ency. says, the term would be like "doctor" today, calling someone a "doctor" (as in one who is permitted to teach doctrine) who had not been licensed with the title by some legimate granting authority would be highly irregular, if not faintly fraudulent. Calling oneself doctor/rabbi would be worse.

I doubt that Jesus would have allowed himself to be called Rabbi, had he not been granted semikha, like Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, etc. And if he had been granted semikha, one would think that he would have been called Rabbi throughout the New Testament.

I would still hold that calling Jesus rabbi is more than an unfortunate anachronism; it is an attempt to license him with a public title of authority that he probably did not have, and indeed, probably did not seek.


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ConsequentAtheist
Member (Idle past 4285 days)
Posts: 392
Joined: 05-28-2003


Message 38 of 42 (67007)
11-17-2003 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by RebWlmJames
11-17-2003 1:18 AM


Re: Jesus as rabbi
I doubt that Jesus would have allowed himself to be called Rabbi, had he not been granted semikha, like Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, etc. And if he had been granted semikha, one would think that he would have been called Rabbi throughout the New Testament.

I suspect that the term was used to denote "master" long before it became institutionalized. It is this sense of the term that is found in Matthew 23:8 and John 1:38. Talk of semikha is irrelevant.
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ConsequentAtheist
Member (Idle past 4285 days)
Posts: 392
Joined: 05-28-2003


Message 39 of 42 (67210)
11-17-2003 7:01 PM


I had promised earlier that I would post the following ...

quote:
RABBI, RABBINATE. The title rabbi is derived from the noun rav, which in biblical Hebrew means "great" and does not occur in the Bible; in its later sense in mishnaic Hebrew, however, the word rav means a master as opposed to a slave (e.g., "does a slave rebel against his rav"—Ber. 10a; "It is like a slave who filled a cup for his rav and he poured the water over his face"—Suk. 2:9). It was only during the tannaitic period, in the generation after Hillel, that it was employed as a title for the sages. The passage in the New Testament (Matt. 23:7) in which the Scribes and Pharisees are criticized because they "love... to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi" probably reflects the fact of its recent introduction.

[also]

HILLEL (the Elder; end of first century B.C.E. and beginning of first century C.E.), the greatest of the sages of the Second Temple period. ... It is stated that Hillel was appointed nasi a century before the destruction of the Temple (Shab. 15a), i.e., in 30 B.C.E., and held office for 40 years, that is, until the year 10 C.E. (Sif. Deut. 357; according to this source he lived 120 years). These are only approximate figures, however, and it is more likely that the period of Hillel's activity is to be placed at the end of Herod's reign, from about the year 10 B.C.E. to about 10 C.E.

- see The Encyclopaedia Judaica


So, according to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the introduction of term Rabbi "employed as a title" is to be dated to "the generation after Hillel", i.e., the generation of the Jesus cult.

Conversely, the Jewish Encyclopedia notes:

quote:
Sherira's statement shows clearly that at the time of Jesus there were no titles; and Grätz ("Gesch." iv. 431), therefore, regards as anachronisms the title "Rabbi" as given in the gospels to John the Baptist and Jesus, Jesus' disapprobation of the ambition of the Jewish doctors who love to be called by this title, and his admonition to his disciples not to suffer themselves to be so styled (Matt. xxiii. 7, 8).

Given the above, the best that can be said, in my opinion, is that the case for anachronism is unsettled and unproven.


  
jes
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 42 (81804)
01-31-2004 12:38 PM


Hi,I,d like to reopen the speculation that the term "rabbi" being applied to Jesus is an anachronism.CA posted that "it was only during the tannaitic period ,in the generation after Hillel,that it [rabbi] was employed as a title for sages.." [from the Encyclopaedia Judaica ,I think.]I know this is revealing my learner status ,but I had never come across the term "tannaitic" before and I'm wondering just what date this period begins.Does it start AFTER 70c.e.?If so does this support the idea that "Jesus as rabbi" is an anachronism?
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ConsequentAtheist
Member (Idle past 4285 days)
Posts: 392
Joined: 05-28-2003


Message 41 of 42 (81815)
01-31-2004 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by jes
01-31-2004 12:38 PM


The Jewish Encyclopaedia suggests that the period runs from 10-220 CE.
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jes
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 42 (81933)
02-01-2004 7:25 AM


JC the rabbi
Thank CA,your conclusion seems unavoidable.But I learned something and will continue to pursue the topic generally.
  
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