Frank's Report April 15 2012

Seven of our ‘regulars ‘ were unable to be with us, but we welcomed Sarah Kamm from Wotton on her first visit, and Andy’s parents joined us again. Summary We all have to live in the particular age, world, matrix into which we are born. Crossan continues his thesis that Jesus had to work out his ministry and destiny not only in relation to the influential religious traditions of his own Jewish people, but also in relation to the ruthless Roman imperial domination of his people as applied in the rule of Herod Antipas. Antipas had ambition to be King of the Jews like is father, Herod the Great. On his father’s death, despite a visit to Rome, Antipas was made only a Tetrarch ( a quarter kingdom...) of Galilee and Peraea . In order to boost his image with Tiberius, he decided- i. to increase his tax base – without provoking revolt. He decided to tax the Galilee fishing industry. Crossan refers to the first century fishing boat recovered from the lake during a drought. Its patched up condition suggests the struggling poverty of its owner. ii. - to build a new city on the lakeside near Magdala, naming it Tiberius in tribute to the emperor. iii. - to marry into the Hasmonean family –Herodias. Daughter of Mariamne. Antipas encouraged the ‘Romanising’ of the north of the country as his father had done in the south His policies did not gain him the kingdom he sought ,in fact he finished in exile, but they did increase unrest in the Galilee region Two protest movements appeared led by John the Baptist and Jesus. Jesus was baptised by John, admired him, watched him, learned from him, but did not agree with him. John the Baptist • God is going to clean up this mess soon - when the people are cleansed and repentant. Baptism as a sacramental reenactment of the Exodus crossing Jordan into the promised land as a renewed people. Imminent eschatology – the end of this oppression will come any time now and it is transcendental –ie God will do it. It will also be violent, the axe to the tree, the chaff burned away. But John was the single agent- so to remove him was to end the movement, which Antipas did. Jesus ‘Kingdom of God movement. The kingdom is already here! You have been waiting for God and God has been waiting for you. Collaborative eschatology -a paradigm shift in Jewish eschatology. It is also a nonviolent eschatology not punitive, vindictive, or retributive. ( Pilate understood this because he did not removed all Jesus followers.) Jesus did not call people to him as the Baptist did, but went out on the road and sent his followers out too, To remove Jesus would not end the movement. We found Crossan’s material fresh and interesting, though not all were persuaded about the motivation of Herod. Nazareth is some miles from Galilee,yet so much of the gospel story is based round the lake, with fish and fishermen. Jesus focussed there because that is where the action was, where the injustice was felt so deeply. We spent some time talking about the new PCN Website and our contributions to it Andy took a picture of us all for it ( a pity some of our most charming members couldn’t be there......) Next meetings May 5th and June 9th (note - this has changed ) Look forward to seeing you all then. Frank G

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