Re: Synonyms in John 21; Jesus' language

From: David B. Gowler (
Date: Sun Jun 23 1996 - 22:11:37 EDT

> David Gowler wrote:
> > . . . Jesus might have spoken some Greek. Douglas Oakman's work
> >concerning the social setting (economics, in particular) also should
> >be considered (i.e., about carpenters from Nazareth probably working
> >in Sepphoris, etc.).

To be fair to Doug's work, I should clarify. His book and articles
deal primarily with Jesus and the economic setting of first century
Palestine. He uses extensive literary, social, cultural, and
historical data to illuminate Jesus as a "peasant artisan" who -- in
the language of the parables, for example -- utilizes detailed
aspects of the economic networks (elite and peasant) like those in
and around Sepphoris. Jesus' language in part assumes the cultural
perspective of a peasant artisan, but he critiques that perspective
-- as well as the perspective of the elite culture -- through his
message about the Reign of God. Oakman's arguments about "peasant
culture" provide some interesting, unexpected insights about
parables like the Good Samaritan.


David B. Gowler
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Religion
Chowan College

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