> For myself, I wonder whether Paul may be referring to something like
> the moneychanging in the Temple, which Jesus characterized as
> thievery. The fact that Paul is writing to Rome rather than to
> Jerusalem seems to weaken this argument, but perhaps does not
> entirely invalidate it.
To repsond to your musing, Randy.
Assuming that Paul IS referring to Jesus' saying during the
"cleansing" of the Temple (an assumption which holds problems of its own,
is reason to think that the saying is a Markan construction), there
surely must be grave doubt that the Jesus saying, and therefore the
Pauline expression, deals with thievery. Jesus' saying in Mark (you have
made it a SPHLAION LHSTWN is a quotation from Jeremiah 7.11 which deals
with how the temple
is used against God's purposes to reinforce a nationalistic exclusivism,
and in the context of Mark seems to be used to castigate the course the
Jewish nation took against Gentiles and collaborators with Rome which
led to the Jewish War (i.e., that roughly characterized by Zealotry). And
even if it is not this, but to robbing those exchanging coins to buy
sacrificial animals, it is
difficult to equate economic exploitation of those in the temple with
plundering a temple's stores or trappings.
Just some thoughts. Take them for what there worth.