Re: Thiering Conjecture

From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Wed Jun 18 1997 - 18:08:59 EDT

On Wed, 18 Jun 1997, Jonathan Robie wrote:

> Jeffrey Gibson wrote:
> >Thiering doesn't know pesher from pomegranites
> Neither do I. Now don't get me wrong, I know what pomegranites are, but I
> haven't the foggiest what pesher is. Could someone enlighten me?
> Jonathan

Pesher is both a t.t. from Hebrew meaning "commentary", a descriptive
designation of certain DDS, and a method of interpretation of
Scripture resulting in Haggadic Midrash) generally associated with the
members of the Dead Sea sect (is the appelation Essenes still acceptable
these days?) in which the true meaning of a particular biblical text,
thought to contain a divine mystery about the last days, was
secured. The interpreter would say (if memory serves) something like "The
pesher of this text (say, Is. 42.1) is x". Now part of where Thiering
goes wrong is that Pesherists always identify when they are engaged in
this particular type of exegesis/interpretation. But nowehere in the
Gospels do we find any similar identification.

Again, I recommend Tom Wright's little book _Who Was Jesus?_ for a more
complete answer to your question, since he engages Thiering on her own
ground regarding what Pesher is, as well whether she is correct in seeing
the Gospels as examples of Pesherim.

Jeffrey Gibson

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