[b-greek] Christ's Parlance

From: Randall Buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 13:58:24 EDT

I suppose I'll answer to myself
Randall Buth egrapsen:
>In the blessings in the synoptic Gospels it ususally says "he blessed" and
>NEVER quotes the words.
>The implication is that Jesus was using the standard blessings.
>This is partially confirmed by phrases like "fruit of the vine" in the
>supper, and the generic use of "bread" at the last supper.
>Well, if you can figure out what the common first century blessings were,
>you will at least have figured out what Jesus said "sometimes".

the standard blessings are:
... bore pri ha-gafen "creator of the fruit of the vine"
... motsi leHem min ha-arets "bringer of bread from the ground"
and to get an idea how old these are:
... she-ha-kol nihya bidvaro "that everything has come into being through
his word".
All these are first recorded in the Mishnah, in Hebrew of course, yet the
verbal allusions in the gospels suggest that they are all pre-New Testament
in date. We have what is called historical probability.

>The same argument applies to "unexplained idioms" like 'binding and
>loosing'. If the words are used without a context that would otherwise
>define them, then they are reflecting the "common understanding" and
>Jesus and the gospel sources (at least) assume that people would
>what was meant. So what did 'bind and loose' mean in the first century?
>was using such idioms, and what is the evidence?

We have 1000 examples of these idioms in rabbinic literature at all levels.

asur '[metaphor]:tied' means 'forbidden'
and mutar '[metaphor]:loosed' means 'permitted'.
(That these are not Greek idioms should be clear to any who would read the
note in BDAG.)
These are decisions about what is right and wrong for the Jewish believing
community. Such discussions and descisions are called "halaxa". asur, mutar
and halaxa are Hebrew words that were part and parcel of first century
Jewish culture, so much so that the preChristian DSS could lampoon the
mainstream as "seekers of 'smooth' things [halaqot=~halaxot]".

People should also understand that these discussions were not liturgical
prayers but revolved around daily life in a Jewish cultural framework.
Mishnaic Hebrew is filled with idioms and structures from daily life that
are not taken from either the Hebrew Bible or from Aramaic. They represent
another of the three languages in use in the first century and at least
"sometimes" used by Galilean Jewish teachers [I'm thnking of about 20 other
teachers recorded from the first century, not counting Yeshua] who would
teach Jewish audiences.

Shabbat shalom
Randall Buth

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