posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 02:56 AM
This is a little response from me to your discussion of the tablet Hazon Gavriel in this podcast:
'In three days, you shall live'
By Israel Knohl
The first mention of the "slain Messiah" called Mashiah ben Yosef (Messiah Son of Joseph) is in the Talmud (Sukkah 52a). In my book "The Messiah
Before Jesus" (University of California Press, 2000), I argue that the story of this slain messiah is based on historical fact. I believe it is
connected to the Jewish revolt in the Land of Israel following the death of King Herod in 4 B.C.E. This Jewish insurrection was brutally suppressed by
the armies of Herod and the Roman emperor Augustus, and the messianic leaders of the revolt were killed. These events set the slain Messiah Son of
Joseph tradition into motion and paved the way for the emergence of the concept of "catastrophic messianism." Interpretations of biblical text
helped to shape the belief that the death of the messiah was a necessary and indivisible component of salvation. My conclusion, based on apocalyptic
writings dating to this period, was that certain groups believed the messiah would die, be resurrected in three days, and ascend to heaven (see "The
Messiah Before Jesus," 27-42).
I quote the above text as it represents a good short summary by Israel Knohl in his own words stating the assertions for which he is most well known.
For my part, I believe he is dead wrong, and I do not like they way he throws out conjectures so as to get headlines. The Suffering Servant/Slain
Messiah of the Isaiah Scroll and the Targums is too conveniently glossed over.
But he does draw money to the area of research. And that is important for quite a few livelihoods. While various sorts of people get in a lather
about Israel Knohl's conjectures, I don't. He throws grease on the fire, and then other scholars are left to tease out what the truth is. If the
Tablet Hazon Gavriel
proves to be genuine, scholars far better than Israel Knohl will be explaining that over the next five to ten years.
The Talmud to which Knohl referers is a partisan text by the way, having been recast in response to the growth of the jesus movement/christianity.
Bearing in mind that partisanship is helpful. I don't want to get off track here in a discussion of just who the Messiah Son of Joseph is, but
suffice to say I disagree with Knohl.
Anyone in this area knows that death and resurrection is a very common theme in ancient religions. One can find the concept in very old Ugaritic
texts. The idea of birth, death, and resurrection deeply penetrates the rites of the High Priest even in the Second Temple of the Hebrew religion (as
it did the First Temple).
What is unique about the Jesus narratives is that no heavenly angel announces his impending death and resurrection to follow although it is believed
that Elijah and Moses discuss this matter with him at the event christians call "The Transfiguration". He himself announces his coming death and
the promise of the resurrection to his followers. And at that resurrection he does something unprecedented in having Mary (i magdalini) become the
first voice of that resurrection event. Having a woman whose name can be left as Mary Magdalene or translated as "Mary the Strong Tower" (as
opposed to "Peter the Rock") is its own fascinating investigation. Yes, there are angels at the tomb, but the real story is the revelation of the
resurrection to women first.
And now we are into my area of bias.
[edit on 11/7/08 by Pellevoisin]