Info

in the absence of a communal cultic centre. Mount Gerazim, the sacred site of the Samaritans, who styled themselves 'Israelites who worshipped on holy Argarizin', might have been expected to play such a role.11 Yet all indications are that the Samaritans were as hostile to Galileans as they were to Judaeans, especially when they went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke 9:52; Josephus AJ 20.118-36).12 Thus, the theory of the Judaisation of Galilee in the sense that adherents to the Jerusalem temple in Judaea were settled there, would appear to be the most likely hypothesis, in our present state of knowledge. Archaeological surveys have shown a marked increase in new foundations from the Hasmonean period onwards, and at the same time the destruction of older sites, like Har Mispe Yamim (between upper and lower Galilee) which had a pagan cult centre.13 Excavations at various sites have uncovered such instruments of the distinctive Jewish way of life as ritual baths (miqvaot), stone jars and natively produced ceramic household ware. These finds indicate a concern with ritual purity emanating from Jerusalem and its temple as well as an avoidance of the cultural ethos of the encircling pagan cities.14

Social stratification

Lenski's model envisages a pyramid view of society in which most of the power, prestige and privilege resides at the top among the narrow band of ruling elite and native aristocracy (if and when these are to be distinguished). Beneath these are the retainer classes, who help to maintain the status quo on behalf of the elites, thereby gaining for themselves some measure of relative prestige. On a rung further down the ladder, as the base broadens, are the peasants, the free landowners who are the mainstay of the society, but cannot themselves aspire to a higher position on the social scale. Instead, they are in constant danger of falling among the landless poor, due either to increased taxation, a bad harvest or simple annexation of property by the ruling elites. Lenski's model indeed corresponds generally with what we know of Roman Galilee, once certain adjustments are made to this ideal picture to account for local circumstances.

While Antipas never seems to have been given the title king, despite the attribution by Mark (6:14), there is no doubt that within Galilee itself he and his court represented the ruling elite. In one sense they could be considered

11 Kraabel, 'New evidence'.

12 Freyne, 'Behind the names', 116-19; Kraabel, 'New evidence'.

13 Frankel, 'Har Mispe Yamim'; Frankel and Ventura, 'Mispe Yamim bronzes'.

14 Chancey, The Myth of a Gentile Galilee, is the most detailed and up-to-date report of the evidence. Cf.also Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 23-62.

0 0

Post a comment