Matt 3, Mark 1, John 1, and Luke 3 : Baptism of Jesus by John
Both the Pharisees and Sadducees react to John baptising in the Jordan.
John Welch and John Hall have produced a book of New Testament charts, one of which compares these three groups. Here is that chart and commentary from the book:
The New Testament mentions several Jewish social institutions that can be quite confusing. The charts in this section provide basic information about the main groups with which Jesus interacted or may have had contact. Beyond the aristocratic Herodians, three main Jewish sects were religiously active during the time of Jesus: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. In addition, many Jews would have been unaffiliated with any of these particular movements.
Pharisaic (separatist) Judaism is known through later rabbinic writings. Jesus clashed with the Pharisees partly because he encountered them often in the outlying villages and also because he shared many of their underlying religious concerns. Friction is often the greatest between groups that are actually the closest to each other.
The Sadducees were largely hellenized Jews who controlled the temple and Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and cooperated with the Romans.
The Essenes, who awaited the impending arrival of the apocalyptic end of the world, occupied one neighborhood in Jerusalem and may have drawn adherents from all around Judea. They were centered at Qumran where they copied biblical scrolls and produced sectarian documents found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are never mentioned directly in the New Testament. This chart compares these three main sects on a few of their most salient points of doctrine and practice.
Elias J. Bickerman, The Jews in the Greek Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).
Victor L. Ludlow, “Major Jewish Groups in the New Testament,” Ensign, January 1975, 26-29.
Frederick J. Murphy, The Religious World of Jesus (Nashville: Abingdon, 1991).
A second chart looks at the legal views of Pharisees and Sadducees:
The most influential religious groups in Jesus’ world were the Sadducees and Pharisees. As chart 3-2 shows, the Sadducees are rarely mentioned by name in the New Testament. They were influential, however, in the political sphere. They probably controlled a majority of the Sanhedrin and may be identified or closely associated with the Chief Priests (see chart 3-9).
Chart 3-3 shows the most likely legal differences between the Pharisees and Sadducees during biblical times and perhaps later. These issues have been reconstructed out of later Jewish writings, especially the Talmud. One of the main differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was what they counted as “law.” Jesus was frequently asked questions about how the law should be understood, and from all appearances, this was a controversial topic of the day. The Pharisees included the oral law, or traditional rules that go beyond the legal materials found in the written Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Knowing something about the kinds of legal arguments that were controversial at the time of Jesus helps modern readers understand some of the questions that were asked of him and how his audiences may well have understood the contemporary significance of his answers and teachings.
Anthony J. Saldarini, “Pharisees,” ABD, 5:289-303.
Gary G. Porton, “Sadducees,” ABD, 5:892-95.
Chart 3-3 is drawn from Gregory R. Knight, “The Pharisees and the Sadducees: Their Respective Outlooks on Jewish Law,” BYU Law Review (1993): 925-48.
Two other charts are helpful this week: Passages on John the Baptist
and a chart paralleling the four different gospel accounts of the baptism, along with the JST version.
Each of the four Gospels gives an account of the baptism of Jesus, and further information is added by the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew. Most of the details are consistent among these accounts concerning where and how Jesus was baptized. Because of minor differences, however, major questions have arisen. Was the Spirit that descended that of God himself (Matthew) or the Holy Ghost (Luke) or just “the Spirit” (Mark, John)? Did the Spirit perhaps descend only once, or perhaps twice: once before the baptism (John) and again right after? Did the voice from heaven come right after the baptism, or apparently afterward as Jesus was praying (Luke)? Did the voice say to John, “This is my beloved Son” (Matthew), with the added words “Hear ye him” (Matthew JST), or did the voice say to Jesus, “Thou art my beloved Son” (Mark, Luke), or did only the Baptist testify, “This is the Son of God” (John)?
The purpose of this chart is not to create confusion but to display the source of considerable scholarly inquiry. The solution to these problems may rest in the fact that concurrent recipients of a spiritual experience may each receive a version of that divine manifestation suited to their own vantage point. Thus, John the Baptist could have heard “This is my beloved Son,” at precisely the same time that Jesus heard “Thou art my beloved Son.” Jesus could have been offering up a prayer while John was baptizing him. If God can listen simultaneously to prayers from multiple people, he can also respond to them both simultaneously and individually.
S. Brent Farley, “The Baptism and Temptations of Jesus,” in Studies in Scripture Vol. 5: The Gospels, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1986), 175-87.
Access to the book appears to be free online. I found it at this link: https://byustudies.byu.edu/new-testament-charts.
But, I have a subscription to BYU Studies so it may just recognize my computer.
Categories: Articole de interes general
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