Learning

As disciples, the group round Jesus was a learning community. As disciples (mathetes), they were learners (from manthanö, 'to learn'), with Jesus as their teacher (didaskalos) 62 Mark explicitly states that Jesus chose twelve 'in order

58. Hengel, Charisma tic Leader 50-51; see also his response on this point (84-86) to H. D. Betz, Nachfolge und Nachahmung Jesu Christi im Neuen Testament (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1967) 27-43. But he also notes that the adherents of first-century 'prophets' reported by Josephus 'followed' them, to the Jordan (Ant. 20.97) or into the desert (20.167, 188) {Charismatic Leader 21 n. 19). See also Meier, Marginal Jew 3.50-54.

59. 2 Kgs. 2.3, 5, 15; 4.1; 5.22; 6.1; 9.1; Isa. 8.16; Jer. 36.4-10, 32; Amos 7.14.

60. See further Hengel, Charismatic Leader 16-18. Schräge, Ethics 46-49, Gnilka, Jesus 161-64, and Theissen and Merz, Historical Jesus 214-15, follow Hengel on the substance of this paragraph. See also Meier, Marginal Jew 3.91-92 nn. 25, 26.

61. Hengel, Charismatic Leader 1-2, 42-50, 53.

62. Data already in §8.1b. Occasionally in the Jesus tradition Jesus is even addressed as 'Rabbi'/'Rabbouni* (Mark 9.5; 10.51; 11.21; 14.45 par.; Matt. 26.25; John 1.38, 49; 3.2; 4.31;

б.25; 9.2; 11.8); indeed, the Baptist (John 3.26) and Jesus are the earliest Jewish teachers for whom such an address is attested (see also Theissen and Merz, Historical Jesus 354-55). Hengel makes too much of the relative absence of manthanö in the Synoptic tradition — only once in Mark 13.28/Matt. 24.32; he attributes the other two references (Matt. 9.13; 11.29) to redaction (Charismatic Leader There is truth in his further assertion that Jesus' intention was not 'to create a new tradition, but to prepare for the service of the approaching rule of God'

that they might be with him' (Mark 3.14). This, of course, is part of Mark's emphasis on Jesus as 'teacher'.63 But there can be little doubt that Jesus did give much teaching. And the fact that so much of it has been retained in the tradition is evidence enough that his disciples remembered the teaching, treasured it, and presumably attempted to live it out in their discipleship. To so argue is not to revert to Gerhardsson's portrayal of discipleship as a kind of proto-rabbinic school.64 As has now been illustrated repeatedly, the present form of the Synoptic tradition is much more fully explained on the pattern of informally controlled community traditions. But that is wholly consistent with the characteristic portrayal of Jesus teaching, whether in synagogue and at table, or at lakeside, on hillside, or as they journeyed. What Jesus taught made a deep and abiding impression, still clearly evident in the Jesus tradition itself. It requires no stretch of the imagination to deduce that Jesus himself intended his teaching to provide the structure of the discipleship to which he made summons. On this specific point the distance between Jesus and a Pharisaic or Wisdom teacher is not great, though much more still needs to be said (§14.4 below).

Study Aid

Study Aid

This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To Getting A Scholarship And Financial Support For Your Studies.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment