Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (Part 6: Chilton)

Bruce Chilton has made an attempt to find parallels between Jesus’ use of the concept of the Kingdom in the Gospels and its function in the Targums (1984).[1] Chilton argues that though they date to a later period, unlike the rabbinic literature of the same era, they uniquely preserve older traditions.[2] Chilton acknowledges that the overall image of the Kingdom in this literature is that of an earthly-political entity, however, he believes this image—as dominant as it is—was only introduced into the Tarugumic tradition after the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70.[3] He believes that the description of the Kingdom as God’s spiritual rule found in two strains of the Targumic tradition (Targum of Isaiah and Jonathan) represents an older tradition. It was this conception of God’s Kingdom that is expressed in Jesus’ teachings.
[1] Targums are ancient Aramaic translations of Old Testament texts. Bruce D. Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible: Jesus’ Use of the Interpreted Scripture of His Time (Good News Studies 8; Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1984)..
[2] Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi, 139: “We have repeatedly cautioned that Jesus did not depend on the Targum as we know it, but he does seem to have been influenced and informed by traditions which the Targem preserves better than anything else.”
[3] Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi, 63-4.
Continue to the next post in this series...
Complete outline (with links) of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

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