Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.2.4. Resurrection & Ascension as Enthronement)

Luke is also unique in his descriptions of the Resurrection and Ascension, portraying these events as Jesus’ divine royal enthronement. In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter uses the Psalms to show how the Resurrection and Ascension represent the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. Citing Ps 16:8-11, he explains that the Lord has fulfilled David’s prayer for preservation from death not in himself, for he died, but in Jesus who is raised from the dead (Acts 2:24-31). He then draws on Ps 110:1 to show how the Lord establishes Jesus as King at his right hand in his Ascension (Acts 2:32-36); through the Ascension Jesus is enthroned at the right hand of God.[1] Though Jesus was “anointed” as king in his baptism, it was only in his Resurrection and Ascension that he was elevated and installed as king. Strauss explains, “An analogy may be drawn here to David, who was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel long before he was enthroned as king.”[2]

[1] Strauss, The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, 140-45.
[2] Strauss, The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, 145.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little Bird told me...

Michael Bird has an awesome quote from Arland Hultgren up on his excellent blog, Euangelion.

Had to mention it...

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.2.3. Jesus' Galilean Ministry)

David Ravens points out that Luke’s unique telling of Jesus’ ministry in Samaria (Luke 9:52; 17:11), seems to emphasize Jesus’ role as the Davidic restorer of the united kingdom. David and Solomon were the only two to reign over all twelve tribes. “[Luke’s] understanding of the restored Israel is rooted in the idea of one nation under a Davidic king, modeled on the nation before its division into the two kingdoms.”[1] Furthermore, the program of the missionary enterprise of the Church described by Jesus in Acts 1:8, “Jerusalem . . . Judea and Samaria . . . the end of earth,” describes the territories of the original Davidic Empire in the reverse order in which they successively were lost. In Luke-Acts, the Kingdom is being restored in the reverse order that it was dismantled.

Continue to the next post in this series...

Complete outline (with links) of first two parts of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

[1] Ravens, Luke and Restoration of Israel, 105.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.2.2. Jesus' Baptism in Luke)

Luke’s description of Jesus’ baptism seems to imply that it represents his royal anointing. There Jesus is declared to be God’s Son in language evoking Psalm 2,[1] which was a royal enthronement psalm.[2] It is interesting to note that Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist, who Luke tells us was a Levite, the son of Zechariah, a priest (cf. Luke 1:5). This provides an interesting Davidic parallel for the baptism of Jesus: Solomon was likewise anointed by a Levite (1 Kgs 1:39).

In addition, immediately following his baptism, Luke gives the reader another important piece of information: "Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age" (Luke 3:23). Here we have another Davidic parallel. In 2 Samuel 5:4 we read:"David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years." Jesus begins his ministry at the same age David began his reign. Immediately after this Luke traces Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam through David (Luke 3:23).

Continue to the next post in this series...

Complete outline (with links) of first two parts of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom"

[1] “The wording of Ps. 2.1-2 in this passage is one of the few cases of an exact agreement between the lxx and Luke-Acts.” Darrell L. Bock, Proclamation from Prophecy and Pattern: Lucan Old Testament Christology (JSOT Supplement Series 12; Sheffield, JSOT Press, 1987), 203.
[2] Craig C. Broyles, Psalms (in New International Biblical Commentary; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting the Big Picture

I was blown away by the following quote from Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter, The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 182:
"If someone appears to us to be such a foreign body within his time and environment as not really to belong to it, then a historian would more likely suppose that we do not know enough about his time and environment. Correspondingly, it is valid to say with regard to Jesus that, if on the basis of some words and deeds Jesus sppares in the eyes of many theologians to have left the world of Judaism, it more liekly means that theological scholarship does not yet know this world well enough to judge what was or was not possible and conceivable within it."
In fact, simply chalking up other material deemed non-authentic to the influence of the early Church won't solve the problem since Matthew, Peter, Paul, etc., were all Jews!
So what of the role of Baptism and the celebration of the Eucharist in the New Testament? Many deny such things can be traced back to Jesus himself, recognizing them as later Christian "additions" to the Jesus tradition?
But, again, such an approach fails to account for the Jewishness of the early Church.
Could it be that perhaps we haven't yet adequately understood the cultic understanding of first-century Jews? Perhaps such an understanding could shed light on the development of the Christian cultic practices. Could it be that Christian rites flow from Jesus, a Jew?
Well, that in a nutshell is what I'm working on answering in my dissertation...

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.2.1. The Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom in Luke-Acts)

3.2. The Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom in Luke-Acts
For years very few studies have been done on Davidic themes in Luke. This is in part due to its “apparent lack of interest in the title. . .”[1] More recent studies have demonstrated the important role of David in Luke’s portrayal of Jesus.[2] For example, Mark Strauss has shown how Gabriel’s announcement to Mary mirrors God’s promise in 2 Sam 7 and Psalm 89, the later of which bases the hope for restoration on God’s promise to David.

2 Samuel 7
9 And I will make you a great name… 12... I will raise up your seed after you... 13 ... I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me.

Psalm 89
26 He shall cry to me, ‘Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ 27 And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of theearth... 29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens... 36 His line shall endure for ever, his throne as long as the sun before me.

Luke 1
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”[3]

From this we can already see the important role the Davidic covenant will play in the Lukan portrayal of Jesus.

Continue to the next post in this series...

Complete outline (with links) of first two parts of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

[1] Strauss, The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, 16.
[2] In addition to Strauss', The Davidic Messiah, see also David Ravens, Luke and the Restoration of Israel (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
Supplement Series 119; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) and, of course, Scott Hahn, “Kingdom and Church in Luke-Acts: From Davidic Christology to Kingdom Ecclesiology,” in Reading Luke: Interpretation, Reflection, Formation (C. G. Bartholomew, J. Green and A. Thiselton, eds; Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2005).
[3] Strauss, The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, 88-9.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.1.5. Conclusion)

In sum, Jesus’ ministry involved the preaching of the Kingdom of God, which for many in his day implied the restored kingdom of David—the two ideas were intricately linked. In fact, although “kingdom of God” never occurs in the Old Testament, it is important to note that the Davidic kingdom is expressly referred to as “the kingdom of the Lord” (1 Chr 28:5; 2 Chr 13:8). In addition, Solomon is said to have sat “on the throne of the Lord” (1 Chr 29:23). For a Jewish eschatological figure described as Jesus—identified as “the Son of God” and “the Son of David,” cleansing the temple, speaking in northern and southern regions of Judah, concerning himself with Gentiles, symbolically acting in the temple, entering Jerusalem on a donkey—to preach the Kingdom of God, meant in some way the restored Kingdom of David.

Continue to the next post in this series...

Complete outline (with links) of first two parts of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom Series--New Posts

I've gone back and updated the Table of Contents for this massive series.

I will post a short conclusion to the general survey of Part 3 before moving into the final section, Part 4: Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom in Luke-Acts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Daniel--son of Ruth?

A few weeks ago Brant wrote an excellent post on something we have been talking about at great length among ourselves--the possible Davidic pedigree of Daniel. In that post Brant highlighted some first-century sources that describe Daniel as a descendant of David.

This is a follow-up post...

I just recently finished Joseph Klausner's, The Messianic Idea in Israel (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1995). The book looks at "messianic" expectations in three sources: the Old Testament, the Pseudepigrapha, and the Rabbinic tradition. I was blown away by this book--I learned so much! The sections on the Pseudepigrapha and Rabbinic writings were especially informative.

I found something on page 467 that particularly caught me by surprise--and this is what relates to Brant's previous post. Klausner cites from Sanhedrian 93ab where R. Tanhum explains why Boaz gave Ruth six measures of barely in Ruth 3:17. His answer stunned me:
R. Tanhum said: Bar Kappara expounded in Sepphoris: Why is it written (Ruth 3:17), "These six [word missing?] of barely gave he to me"? . . . He (Boaz) symbolically intimated to her (Ruth) that six sons were destined to come forth from her, who should each be blessed with six blessings: David, Messiah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah."
Did you catch that? David, Messiah, and Daniel are all described as children of Ruth!

I went back and looked up Sanhedrin 93b and this Daniel's Judahite lineage is confirmed once again: "Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah." However, immediately following this line, we go on to discover that apparently some disagreed with part of this assessment:
R. Eleazar said: They were all of the children of Judah; but R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: Daniel was of the tribe of Judah, whilst Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were of the other tribes.
Note that while the Judahite lineage of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah is debated, there is no debate concerning Daniel's Davidic lineage.

Again, I have to ask: Why haven't I heard this before?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Leo XIII on Rationalist Biblical Interpretation

When I was in Rome I got to spend some time at the tomb of Leo XIII, who wrote what Pius XII called, "the supreme guide in biblical studies" (Divino Afflante Spiritu, 2), Providentissimus Deus (1893). Here's a brief excerpt...
Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, 10: But first it must be clearly understood whom we have to oppose and contend against, and what are their tactics and their arms. In earlier times the contest was chiefly with those who, relying on private judgment and repudiating the divine traditions and teaching office of the Church, held the Scriptures to be the one source of revelation and the final appeal in matters of Faith. Now, we have to meet the Rationalists, true children and inheritors of the older heretics, who, trusting in their turn to their own way of thinking, have rejected even the scraps and remnants of Christian belief which had been handed down to them. They deny that there is any such thing as revelation or inspiration, or Holy Scripture at all; they see, instead, only the forgeries and the falsehoods of men; they set down the Scripture narratives as stupid fables and lying stories: the prophecies and the oracles of God are to them either predictions made up after the event or forecasts formed by the light of nature; the miracles and the wonders of God's power are not what they are said to be, but the startling effects of natural law, or else mere tricks and myths; and the Apostolic Gospels and writings are not the work of the Apostles at all.

These detestable errors, whereby they think they destroy the truth of the divine Books, are obtruded on the world as the peremptory pronouncements of a certain newly-invented "free science;" a science, however, which is so far from final that they are perpetually modifying and supplementing it. And there are some of them who, notwithstanding their impious opinions and utterances about God, and Christ, the Gospels and the rest of Holy Scripture, would faro be considered both theologians and Christians and men of the Gospel, and who attempt to disguise by such honourable names their rashness and their pride. To them we must add not a few professors of other sciences who approve their views and give them assistance, and are urged to attack the Bible by a similar intolerance of revelation. And it is deplorable to see these attacks growing every day more numerous and more severe. It is sometimes men of learning and judgment who are assailed; but these have little difficulty in defending themselves from evil consequences. The efforts and the arts of the enemy are chiefly directed against the more ignorant masses of the people. They diffuse their deadly poison by means of books, pamphlets, and newspapers; they spread it by addresses and by conversation; they are found everywhere; and they are in possession of numerous schools, taken by violence from the Church, in which, by ridicule and scurrilous jesting, they pervert the credulous and unformed minds of the young to the contempt of Holy Scripture. Should not these things, Venerable Brethren, stir up and set on fire the heart of every Pastor, so that to this "knowledge, falsely so called,"(1 Tim 6:20) may be opposed the ancient and true science which the Church, through the Apostles, has received from Christ, and that Holy Scripture may find the champions that are needed in so momentous a battle?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Just Married!

Well, Kim and I are back from our honeymoon. (For more on Kim, go here.) It was amazing. I thank Brant for his kind post. There's so much to say... I never have been happier in my life than I am right now.

The Nuptial Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Covina--the parish I have always attended since childhood. It was celebrated by my uncle, the incredible priest, Father Peter Irving, whom I've talked a bit about him here on this site. We were deeply honored to have a number of other close priest friends there concelebrating: Fr. Ed Gomez, Fr. Michael Robinson, Fr. Brian Cavanagh, Fr. Scott Daughtery (also mentioned on this blog!), and Fr. Gregory Elder.
The Mass was very beautiful. The music was exceptional. We were very blessed to have the Sacred Heart Adult Choir, directed by Patrick Flahive (who was my grammar school music teacher), in the choir loft. There was a lot of Gregorian Chant--it was awesome!
We were very blessed to have a number of people also come from far away--thanks to the Scott, Kimberly, Michael, Jeremiah, Joe, and David Hahn and Kristin Geers for making the long trip!
Of course, I could go on and on thanking everyone who made it possible. The most important thanks goes to our parents, Tom and Ilene Gilmore and Patrick and Theresa Barber--from them we have learned the most important lessons about living the Christian faith. We are both so grateful to be part of one another's families.
The honeymoon was incredible. About five months ago, my sisters and cousins asked us out to dinner. They told us what they wanted to give us for a wedding present--a dream honeymoon to Rome (Italy, of course, not Alaska).
For two newly-wed Catholics, who both hold advanced degrees in theology, it just can't get any better than that! In fact, we were thinking of simply taking a drive up the coast after the wedding. The only far away locale we mused over was Rome--not truly thinking it was a realistic possibility.
We spent a week there. Here's a short summary.
We started off at the Wednesday general audience with Pope Benedict. We then went to St. Peter's Basilica. We did the Scavi tour under the Basilica, where one can see the excavation that has been done under the Church establishing the virtually certain site of the burial of St. Peter. That has to be among the most amazing things one can see while in Rome.
We then went to the Vatican museums where we spent 4 hours looking around. They have the picture that's on the cover of Coming Soon--an original work done by Raphael. There are so many famous works of art there it is unbelievable. They also have the archeological discoveries of ancient Egypt--including pictures and hieroglyphics from the period of the Exodus, including an image on stone of the Pharaoh who opposed Moses! It is incredible to think that these stones actually were sitting around while Egypt was being run over with locusts and frogs.
The tour ends with the Sistine Chapel, which is, of course, where they elect the new pope. The majority of the work was done by Michelangelo. The ceiling has that famous picture of God's finger touching Adam's in the center. The wall behind the altar is Michelangelo's Last Judgment.
After the museums we took a long walk--which is an awesome thing to do in Rome. It was fun for me because I remember how to get around. I can actually pretty much do it on on foot on my own. We walked from St. Peter's first over to the Pantheon, which was first built by Herod Agrippa. Of course, he was the Herod who condemned Jesus to death and handed him over to Pontius Pilate. He also had John the Baptist beheaded. The original building burned and it was rebuilt by Marcus Agrippa in 125 A.D. It still stands, and is the most ancient intact building in Rome. The building was once a Roman pantheon--a place for all the Roman gods. Now it is a Catholic Church and has priceless works of Christian art all around it.
We then went over to the Trevi Fountain. The legend is that if you throw a coin in the Trevi while you're in Rome you'll one day return. So far it has worked for Kim and I, so, of course, we did it again. Along our walk we also stopped in numerous churches (there's one on every corner--and all of them are spectacular!), including St. Ignatius' and St. Rita's. We also stopped in Herder's book store.
We then visited Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major), which is really the most important church dedicated to Mary in the whole world. One tidbit important to us Americans--it is said that the ceiling was made with the gold received by Queen Isabella from Christopher Columbus' first trip to the new world. The gold was donated to Rome.
We also went to the Basilica of John Lateran--the Pope's cathedral. A cathedral is a church with the bishop's "cathedra" or "chair"--this is the Pope's, the bishop of Rome. For seven centuries it was the primary Roman Church--since the Avingon excursion, the primary church of the Pope's has really become St. Peter's. Technically, however, his seat is here in John Lateran--a more ancient church. This church has some of the most amazing relics and statues you'll see anywhere, including the supposed-table on which Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. The blessed sacrament chapel has the gold which was taken by Cleopatra in a battle, later given to Augustus (Caesar when Christ was born), inherited by the Emperor Constantine, who used it first to build a temple and then, after his conversion, donated it to the Church. It finally is now in the Lateran. How's that for history!
We also got to go to the holy steps--an ancient site traced back to St. Helen, Constantine's mother.
One of the last things we did was make a trip out to St. Paul's Basilica. Of course, the greatest thing about this church is that St. Paul is buried here--something recently confirmed by an archeological dig. The findings are visible through a glass floor under the altar! This hadn't been done the last time we were here! Here's the news story as it appeared in 2005 when it made headlines (also here). St. Timothy, Paul's close friend a spiritual "child", is buried next to him there. The church also contains the portraits of every single pope through Pope Benedict XVI in chronological. These portraits surround the church. Up above are huge paintings of the life of St. Paul which start in chronological order and wrap around the church.
The greatest part of the visit was that Mass was about to begin when we got there so we got to celebrate the Eucharist there! It was in Italian, but we knew what was going on.
The last day we took a trip out to see the papal summer home in Castel Gandolfo. It is quite beautiful out there.
Thanks so much Noree', Tracee', Julia, Marita, Georgie, Beau, Peter, Kateri and Kellie! We will be able to thank you enough for sending us on this trip!
We made it back and, as much as we love Rome, it was good to be home.
Biblical posts to resume shortly...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Was the Prophet Daniel a Member of the Davidic Royal Family?

Michael, this one's for you.

One of the questions Michael (who's still off honeymooning) and I have been exploring in recent months is whether there is any Davidic imagery in the book of Daniel. In particular, we've been intrigued by connections such as the "Son of Man" imagery in the psalms of David (e.g., Psalm 8) and the famous messianic "Son of Man" in Daniel 7. There are many others which we will maybe discuss in future posts.

In the course of the conversations, Michael thought it would be very interesting support for this Davidic imagery if we could show that Daniel was perhaps a member of the royal house of David: i.e, that he may have been an heir to the throne. This was suggested to Michael by the opening verses of Daniel 1, which read:

In the third year of the riegn of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. ANd the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand... Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, the chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, handsome and skilful iin all wisdom, endowned with knowledge, understanding learngin, and competent to serve in the kings palan and to teach the the letters and langaue of the Chaldeans. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. (Dan 1:1-6)

In light of this verse, Michael and I were speculating that perhaps Daniel was not just one of the "people of Israel," but actually a member of the royal family and as such an heir to the Davidic throne. This would be important, because it would potentially heighten the significance of any Davidic imagery in the book of Daniel.

Sure enough, while reading a fascinating first-century A.D. Jewish work known as the Lives of the Prophets, I found the following tradition:

Daniel. This man was of the tribe of Judah, of the family of those prominent in the royal service, but yet while a child he was taken from Judea to the land of the Chaldeans. He was born in Upper Beth-horon, and he was a chaste man, so that the Judeans that that he was a eunuch (Lives of the Prophets 4:1-2)

In the footnote to this text, D.R.A. Hare states that "By combining Dan 1:3, 6 with Isa 39:7, Jewish tradition maintained that Daniel was a member of the royal family" (Charlesworth, OTP, 2:389). In support of this, he refers to both Isaiah and a text from Josephus:

Then Isaiah siad to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: Behold the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothings shall be left says the LORD. And some of your own sons, who are born to you, shall be taken away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." (Isa 39:5-7)

Even more explicit is Josephus:

Now Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king, such as were remarkably for their beauty of their bodies and comeliness of their countenances, and delivered them into the hands of tutors... He also made some of them to be eunuchs... Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah, of the most excellent dispositions, the one of whom was called Daniel... (Josephus, Antiquities 18.186-189)

One reason this is so significant (for those of you who may be wondering) is that if Daniel was actually a member of the family of Zedekiah--and thus an heir to the Davidic throne--then all of the "kingdom" imagery in the book of Daniel may not be simply generic "apocalyptic" imagery. It may in fact be (coded) Davidic imagery, and hence, by definition, messianic imagery.

All this plays into the debate over whether the "son of Man" in Daniel 7 is in fact the Messiah. Although the text does not explicitly say he is the "messiah" (although cf. Dan 9:24-27), if the "kingdom and dominion" that he receives is in fact the Davidic kingdom--and if it is an heir to the Davidic throne who is having this vision--then this is clearly a messianic text (which is how all the ancient Jews interpreted it, pace Joseph Fitzmyer). We'll do future posts on this, I'm sure, but let me just throw something out:

In Daniel 7, the "son of Man" comes and slays the beasts, in particular "the lion" (Babylonian empire) and "the bear" (the Medo-Persian empire), and then receives the "kingdom." Can you think of any other person who was famous for slaying "lions and bears" before he was elevated to receive a "kingdom"? I'll give you a hint... He's in the books of Samuel.

What's the poin then of Daniel 7? Eventually, the Davidic "son of Man" will triumph over the "beasts" of the pagan empires, and will reign over the universal "kingdom of God" (cf. Daniel 2) forever.

Of course, if Daniel's writing in the second century B.C., when the Davidic kingdom is long gone, none of this coded apocalyptic language makes any sense. But if he's writing during the reign of Babylon, when the Davidic empire is only freshly decimated and its heirs are captive, then all Davidic language and imagery would have to be secret. Which is exactly what we find in the book.

Just some thoughts. More to come.

Monday, September 03, 2007

April Fools'!... Sort of...

April Fool's!!!
Actually, such a document--a first-century work, associated with a disciple of Jesus, who was an eye-witness to the events described in the book, which in many ways reinforces the portrait of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels--already exists... it's called the "Gospel of John"!
I stole the idea for this post from Mark Allan Powell who has contributed an exciting essay to John, Jesus and History: Volume 1, Critical Appraisals of the Critical Views (SBL Symposium Series; ed. P. N. Anderson, F. Just, and T. Thatcher; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), entitled, "The De-Johannification of Jesus."
In the concluding paragraph he offers this provocative thought:
"If John's Gospel had not made it into the canon, if it had been lost to history only to be discovered now, the impact on historical Jesus studies would be revolutionary. Imagine! A book on the life and teachings of Jesus that is almost as early as the Synoptic Gospels, that claims to be based in part on eye-witness testimony, that contains some material that is almost certainly very primitive, that may very well be independent of the other Gospels while corroborating what they say at many points, and that offers what is ultimately a rather different (although not wholly incompatible) spin on the Jesus story. The implications of such a discovery would be phenomenal: every work previously written on the historical Jesus would be deemed obsolete and the full attention of scholarship would turn toward discovering what this alternative tradition had to offer. Of course, nothing like this has occurred, but many scholars seem to be saying, "we do have such a book; perhaps we should not ignore it."