Jesus amidst the tensions of Palestinian Judaism as viewed in the synoptic gospel records.
Sewell, George Alexander
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1. A Statement of the Problem with Limitations. The primary problem of this disoertation is to determine the Synoptic Gospel view of the manner in which Jesus met the various conflict situations present in the social intercourse of the Palestinian community of the first century A. D. Essentially, the concern here is with the behavior of Jesus as seen in interpersonal relations. This study proposes to observe Jesus' demeanor as he is caught up in the various struggles of his time. The goal in mind is. not to analyze Jesus' historical acts as such, but to portray the ways in which the Synoptic Gospel writers viewed them. This study is limited geographically and politically to Palestine, religio-culturally to Judaism. Its primary data are confined to the Synoptic Gospel records.of Old Testament Scripture, Opponents 1 use of Interrogation, Jesus 1 use of Counter Question. The other is via Discourse. This is done urider three sub-heads: Prolegomenon, Background Factors; The Charge, in the particular situation, and Jesus 1 Reaction. 3. Conclusion (Part 1). The seventeen primary conflict situations may be grouped under the following general clas suications: Healings and Exorcisms, The Tradition, Legal Matters, Theological Matters, Messianic Implications, Nationalism, and Jesus as Offender. Ten of the situations take place in Galilee. Members of the Pharisaic group are seen as the chief adversaries. Transgressing the Tradition is responsible for most of the charges. In Galilee Jesus assumes, or otherwise indicates, his messianic consciousness on six separate occasions. He is not seen doing such even once while in Judea. Of the seven instances in which Jesus quotes Scripture in Galilee, three are from the Prophets, two from the Writings, and one from the Torah. In Judea he refers to the Scriptures five times--once from the Prophets, and four times from the Torah. Conclusions (Part 2). This investigation reveals that Jesus does not follow any definite behavior-pattern while involved in the tension-situations present in the social intercourse of the first century Palestinian community. It also revals certain fundamental characteristics of Jesus' behavior-in-controversy. Religion is not an empty ceremonialism, nor observance of a set of rules, but a total attitude generated by love for God and for one's neighbor. Loyalty to God is man's supreme responsibility. All persons irrespective of race, color, or class are children of a common Father-God, and as such share his concern. Jesus brings a fresh, unique spontaneity to each new situation. Jesus is seen. as a revolutionist of the spiritual type. He sometimes provokes conflict-situations. Although he does not court conflict, he does not avoid it by abandoning his basic principles. He is openly opposed to the social and religious status quo. At no time is he seen compromising his position. He is opposed to the Scriptural literalism of the Sadducees and the "Tradition-Minuta" of the Pharisees.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Boston University
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