The aptly named 'Golden Rule' was well known in its essential principle in many forms, both within Second Temple Judaism and beyond.202 This is regularly contrast with love of neighbour (255-57). Merklein emphasizes the eschatological context — love of enemy as the actualization of God's kingship (Jesu Botschaft 116-28).
199. Cited above, §8.5d. your enemy" would have meant "Love the Romans'" (Borg, Conflict, 130); not the Romans, but the local adversary (Horsley, Jesus 150, 261-73); Matt. 5.39-41 'a strategy of coping with soldiers who took what they needed, by violence if necessary' (Chilton, Rabbi Jesus 46). Perrin points out that the 'coat/cloak' saying is, literally taken, ridiculous ('A man acting in that manner would soon be back before the court on a charge of indecent exposure!') and concludes that it was never meant to be taken literally: 'What we have here are illustrations of a principle. The illustrations are extreme . . . but that is deliberate. They are intended to be vivid examples of a radical demand, and it is as such that we must regard them' (Rediscovering 147-48). 'So drastic and wellnigh intolerable a demand must almost certainly derive from the historical Jesus' (Catchpole, Quest 111). Cynic parallels in Downing, Christ and the Cynics 25-26.
200. Cf. G. Theissen, 'Nonviolence and Love of Our Enemies (Matthew 5:38-44; Luke 6:27-38)', Social Reality 115-56, who argues that 'experiences of the Jewish War and the postwar era are reflected in the way traditions about loving our enemies are formulated in Matthew' (132-37 [here 136]) and, once again, that those in view are 'wandering charismatics' (144-46); but Theissen also draws attention to the two classic examples of effective nonviolent resistance by Jews in Palestine during the 20s and 30s (Josephus, War 2.174; Ant. 18.271-72) to demonstrate that such teaching by Jesus would have offered a real and realistic political option (14954). Cf. and contrast Becker, Jesus 252-53.
201. 'The credibility of these radical demands is to be found in Jesus alone. He himself fully lived in accordance with these instructions. . . . These words are conceivable only as his own' (Gnilka, Jesus 230). See also Schrage, Ethics 76-79.
202. Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.686-88 again provide a convenient summary of the data, usually in the negative form ('Don't do to others what you would not want others to do to you'), including Tob. 4.15; Ep. Arist. 207; Philo, Hypothetica in Eusebius, Praep. evang. 8.7.6;
taken to indicate the likelihood that the principle has been drawn into the Jesus tradition and did not originate for that tradition in a particular articulation of Jesus.203 The inadequacv of such an argument should be obvious: if the principle was so common, Jesus himself mav well have signalled his agreement with it. But in this case one of the curiosities of the tradition is that the echoes in P. Oxy. 654 6.2 and GTh 6.2 are closer to the form in Tob. 4.15,204 which does indeed suggest that in these cases the tradition has indeed been drawn from sources other than Jesus. So the possibilitv certainlv cannot be excluded that the Golden Rule was drawn into the Jesus tradition as a wav of summing up Jesus' teaching on love as the motivating force for disciples' relations with others. Since it makes the same point as the law summed up in the call for neighbour love (§ 14.5a above), nothing is lost either wav.
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