Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Rejected Stone

The parable of the wicked tenants concludes with an allusion to Psalm 118:22 about “the stone which the builders rejected.” None of the Gospels tell us Jesus is the stone that was rejected or that 'builders' is a term for the religious aristocracy. Luke tells us in his second publication that Jesus is the stone that was rejected. Acts 4:7-12. It was a favorite quotation of the early Church as a description of the death and the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 4:11; 1 Peters 2:7; Barnabus 6:4). By the time of Justin Martyr, “the stone” had become a name for Jesus (Dialogue with Trypho 34). In Acts 4:11, Peter calls the religious aristocracy of the Temple, “builders”.

The stone as a messianic image in Judaism draws especially on Isa. 28:16 and Dan 2:44-45. Consequently one would expect that Josephus would somehow acknowledge the “stone”. The closest Josephus comes to discussing a Messianic theme in his rewriting of sacred scriptures is his reference to the meaning of 'the stone' in Dan. 2, 'which I do not think proper to relate' (Ant. 10, 10. 4).

copyrighted 2005


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