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dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Didn't want to let this one slip into the archieves so i brought forward again to get more people involved as Robert adds more to it. :-)


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D.Miller

 2005/10/12 10:55Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
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 Re:

The Jewish Freedom Movement
Part 3 (THE "ROBBERS")

There was a great expectancy for the advent of the Messiah following the 400 Years of silence. The magi came to pay their respects to the birth of the King and Herod had waxed paranoid. The situation in Galilee was volatile and many were expecting Messiah to come and loose the chains of Rome and restore Israel to the glory days. Ironically, this expectancy for many would be almost permanently silenced in 135 CE when Bar Kochba, anointed by Rabbi Akiba was killed and the Jews were banned from Jerusalem for over 1000 years. Soon Israel was renamed Palestine and Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina. Much blood had been spilled. Atrocities that are almost unmentionable took place in a span of about 130 years; the greatest of which was the crucifixion of our Lord.

The "Robbers" (Gk. les-tes) as we touched on in the previous study was the preferred term to describe participants in the Jewish Freedom Movement by Josephus. These people were brutal and violent. Some have said they were the original ‘terrorists.’ They used terror as one of many means to their own end. Yet, this term ‘robber’ sheds much light on the Gospels and the crucifixion of Jesus. When the temple guards came to get Jesus He asked them the question "Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled"(Mark 14:48, 49).

Literally the passage says, "Have you come out against a ROBBER?" The teachings of Jesus were well contrary to the doctrines of the Zealots (Robbers, Sacarii, Barjone, etc.). He taught the people to love each other and not to rebel against Rome. He will be shown to die for the very sins and behaviors he TAUGHT AGAINST. In fact, He said if you are asked to carry a load for a mile- carry it two miles (Matthew 5:41). And again... render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God's (Mark 12:17). And again I say unto you that you RESIST NOT evil (Matthew 5:39). Many like teachings that were totally contrary to the Zealot cause. Jesus did MUCH to squelch the Zealot uprising! We will see what they did with Him.


Many wanted to force Jesus into the mold of their own interpretation of prophesy and Messianic concepts of that day. His words were oracles and His deeds were miracles. If Samson could slay thousands with a jawbone- what could this man that raises the dead do? Samson lay with a prostitute and did these miracles of deliverance- what could a man that none could convince of sin do? David slew Goliath of Gath with a small stone- but this man can walk on water and still violent storms. He thrust a legion of devils from a demoniac with one command- surely he could thrust a legion of Roman soldiers from Jerusalem as if it were a light thing. He commanded sickness to go at a distance- He was a man of great authority. Surely He will deliver us from our oppressors!?

The application I make of this for today in my life is thus: Their misinterpretation of key Messianic passages proved to be deadly dangerous in the end for all those who did not believe. The Zealots and others error speaks to us today that we ought to use caution in how dogmatic we are about the timing of the Coming of the Lord. We are looking into a dark glass when we look into prophecy and the reflection we see all to often is our own self-will. It will distort reason and revelation. The Jews had the timing... they were in the dark as to the details and purpose of the first coming. We as the Church seem to have the details, but are in the dark concerning the timing.

The struggle is almost always an issue of authority. In this case it was no different. The Sadducees and Pharisees were made friends at the prospect that they together could defeat Christ. They accused Him of being what He was NOT. The made Him out to be a Galilean freedom fighter. Martin Hengel comments on this saying, "His enemies, however, had him condemned before Pilate as a messianic pretender who endangered the state and, together with two "robbers", who may have been real Zealots, he suffered the same death as so many menbers of the Jewish Freedom Movement before and after Him." (Martin Hengel, The Zealots, Edinburg 1989)

In John 18:40 we find Barabbas being referred to as a "robber." And again... A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9 "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. (Mark 15:7-11)

What madness is this? To condemn with lies a man for doing the very thing you know the man you are asking the release of is guilty of? Yes, I believe, Jesus was condemned in Barabbas' place-- the truly guilty one. Barabbas was released as was common with the scapegoat and Christ bore our sin dying for the very things He preached and taught against.

Talk about a riddle? How did that riddle Peter's mind? The whole situation was insane. Not only did he have to come to terms with what he thought the Messiah was supposed to do; but He watched Him die for the very things He preached against. Only by the prayer of Jesus and the sovereign grace of God did Peter (Petras i.e. "the rock") not watch his faith be dashed into powder.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/12 11:07Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

The Jewish Freedom Movement
Part 4 ("THE ASSASSINS" Sacarii)

In Matthew 24:2 Jesus asked... "Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." Jesus knew what was coming Jerusalem and those who rejected Him and it was total devastation. After the death and resurrection of Christ- the Sadducees, Pharisees, and the Zealots were still at work. The Christians were a new sect called the Notzrim (Nazarenes). According to Dr. Ron Moseley there were around 20 other mini sects that were likewise out of step with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots and were given the harsh name "the Minim" (All the while the Church is spreading the Gospel and coming under intense persecution-- the Zealots and the other sects were promoting their agenda.) The "Minim" is sort of like saying "the heretics."

To cut through a lot of historical details it happens that Marcus Antoniu Felix lied to the leader of the Zealots and lured him into being taken prisoner to Rome. This upset them greatly. They retaliated by forming a group called the SACARII. These men were brutal killers. They carried a short dagger under their clothing and would wade through crowds to assassinate people. Some scholars believe that there was a connection between the Sacarii and the Temple leaders in those days and refer to the incident with Paul in Acts 23:12. Their actions are typical of the Sacarii. The fact that Roman guards were taken to protect is good indication that this may have been the case.

The Zealots and especially the Sacarii would threaten people with DEATH who would not follow them in their uprising. They had a very believable reputation and track record for doing it, as they were not mere idle threats. FROM these facts we begin to see why Josephus so resented the Zealots and referred to them as "robbers." He saw them as common criminals. Josephus reports that they were scattered around in bands of rebels that would rob and steal and kill like outlaws. They took the property of the rich, killed the owners, and plundered their possessions (Antiquities 20, 185). At the beginning of the Jewish Revolt, the Sicarii, with the help of other Zealots, gained access to Jerusalem and committed a series of atrocities, in order to force the people into war. In one account, given in the Talmud, they destroyed the city's food supply, so that the people would be forced to fight against the Roman siege instead of negotiating peace.

When the food supply deteriorated to a severe crisis the Zealots were said to have gone into peoples homes and reach into their throats before they could swallow their food and steal it from them. He gives a gruesome account of a mother cooking her own child, which horrified even the Zealots.

Josephus says that the Sacarii (and Zealots) in many cases had a "senseless thirst for blood." He believed they were motivated by greed and desire for spoils and not merely religion. Most of their behavior was cloaked in religion- but had nothing to do with it. This was not true for all, but for many. This was the context of our Lord’s teachings. Eventually the Zealots would commit suicide and the Sacarii would be killed as we discussed in an earlier study.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/12 14:37Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Quote:
have a passage of scripture in mind but will hold it until you are ready to move on from the Zealots.


I'm sure it will be well known to SI Bible students but there is extra detail in John's account of the feeding of the 5000. “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”(John 6:14-15, KJVS) This is a fascinating glimpse into the volativity of those times. Jesus was almost taken 'hostage' by a crowd who were clearly looking for the kind of Messiah who would lead the nation in a war of independence against Rome.

Christ's reaction was to get the disciples out of the area by sending them across the sea and by retreating himself high on the hill to pray.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/12 15:23Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Quote:
Christ's reaction was to get the disciples out of the area by sending them across the sea


Interesting note here, ,I'll need to chew on that one abit!


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D.Miller

 2005/10/12 17:52Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
This is a fascinating glimpse into the volativity of those times. Jesus was almost taken 'hostage' by a crowd who were clearly looking for the kind of Messiah who would lead the nation in a war of independence against Rome.



Yes it is interesting to process through even the more obvious occasions when He was bringing correction to those who were radical in their belief in independence. Yet, this philosophy flourished after our Lord was crucified.

Among the Jews:

For I bear them record that they [i]have[/i] a zeal of God, but [u]not according to knowledge.[/u] (Romans 10:2)

There were many that were zealous towards ; Acts 21:20 (law), 21:3 (God) , Galatians 1:4 (traditions);

Among Saul of Tarsus:

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Php 3:6)

Again we seem to have the missing element in Romans 10:2... [i]they have a zeal of God, but [u]not according to knowledge.[/u][/i]

I think this goes back to the whole issue of the mind being in inutility and the love of darkness rather than light. I think it may also be interesting to explore how zeal may manifest itself and emulate [i]unction[/i] or maybe look at what the difference between being fervent in Spirit serving the Lord is and being zealous and deceived promoting fervently a falsehood.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/13 8:43Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 wooh

Quote:
There were many that were zealous towards ; Acts 21:20 (law), 21:3 (God) , Galatians 1:4 (traditions); {/quote]

Wow I see that today in my own denomination! All under the guise of being zealous for Christ, but really its being zealous for the specific denomination
:-o


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D.Miller

 2005/10/13 8:54Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: wooh

Quote:
Wow I see that today in my own denomination! All under the guise of being zealous for Christ, but really its being zealous for the specific denomination



I recall an illustration Dake used once that I kind of liked. If I can reconstruct the jest of it- it happens that an angel appeared to a minister and asked him for his [i]zeal[/i]. The angel then reached into the man and removed his zeal and at once placed it into a vial and over a burner. As it began to seperate into strata he seperated out the slices weighing and labeling each one. His results?

Pride for the denomination 20 %
Desire for vain glory.......... 19%
Pride for the congregation.. 17%
Malice towards those who oppose his doctrinal views... 22%
Love towards his fellow man... 10%
Love for God... 11%


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/13 10:41Profile
PreachParsly
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Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Hey Robert!

I am really enjoying this. What are some of your main sources? I would like to do some studying on this myself.


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Josh Parsley

 2005/10/13 10:58Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Preachparsley,

Merton Hengel has done a tremendous job synthesizing many of the resources on this topic. He was a German and the works were translated by David Smith into English in 1989 or so. this book is called [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0567093727/002-2935193-1274425?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance]THE ZEALOTS[/url], Investigations into the Jewish Freedom Movement in the period from 1 CE to 70 CE. He draws mostly upon Josephus works as well as Bell's version. He alos lists over 100 or so other sources from that era. It is heavy reading- but very good.

From 70-135 there are some good synthesized titles. One is Daniel Gruber's "Rabbi Akiba's Messiah." That work is cutting edge on the events leading to the second revolt in my opinion and has been for about 5 years or more.

Other than that you would have to look into Josephus and Rabbinic works mainly. Many are not trustworthy, so you have to do some good research and weed out what is obviously bogus. There are also a host of apocraphal works, especially Qumran texts. These give some insight into the Essenes especially and offer some Messianic concepts of the day.

My personal sources are lectures I have of Dr. Ron Mosely and Jerry Feldman of the Jewish Roots and American Insititues of Holy Land Studies. Most of which are from a class I took called "Messianic Concepts in the First Century."

GOd Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/13 11:42Profile





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