More JTB

by peacefulpete 2 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • peacefulpete

    Just another interesting morsel. The inigmatic words of Matt 11:12

    From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

    This statement certainly sounds as if John the baptist was a character from the distant past. I ran across this intriguing remark in the Clementine Recognitions:

    For the people (Jews) were divided into many beliefs that began in the days of John the Baptist. For as the Messiah was ready to be revealed for the abolition of sacrifices and in order to reveal and show forth baptism, the slanderer who was opposed recognized from predestination the point in time and created sects and divisions, so that if the former sin should receive renunciation and correction, a second vice would be able to obstruct redemption.

    The first of these then are the ones called Sadducees, who arose in the days of John when they separated from the people as righteous ones and renounced the resurrection of the dead. They put forward their unbelieving doctrine speciously when they said, namely, "It is not right to worship and fear God in prospect of a reward for goodness." In this doctrine, as I have said, Dositheus began and, after Dositheus, Simon who also started to create differences of opinions in the likeness of the former. Now the pure disciples of John separated themselves greatly from the people and spoke of their teacher as if he were concealed (or: said that their master was, as it were,

    The Sadducees arose in the 2nd century BC. They were famously supporters of the Maccabeans. Aside from Josephus (which was otherwise ammended for Christian cause) is there other evidence JTB was a first century CE figure?
  • Leolaia

    It could be totally unhistorical. On the other hand, we have the nameless "Teacher of Righteousness" of Qumran who arose in the Maccabean period as the leader of a schismatic sect of the broader Hasidean/Essene/apocalyptic-halakhic movement. But then there were many other leaders. What of Josephus' comments about John?

    I am suspicious of the reference to the Sadducees because it presents them as innovaters seperating from the others, when it was more the other way around....Sadducees were the conservatives, rooted in the Zadokite priesthood but non-Zadokite in the Hasmonean period, while Pharisees (lit. "Seperators", from prsh) were the ones who opposed the Sadducees and posited an alternative set of halakha and holiness rules (applying rules pertaining to the priesthood to everyone), and Essenes broke from the Pharisees over calendrical and halakhic disputes.

  • peacefulpete

    What I find intersting is the perception that JTB was from an earlier age. As far as Joe goes, of course he connects JTB with Herod the Tetrarch. Whether this is another of his colected legends or history is impossible to say. His exact dating is vague but seems to place JTB's death later than the Gospels. Is this simply repeating Essenic/Mandean legend or could it even be another Christian interpolation.

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