Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The New People of God

Both groups have created a new definition of the people of God. Luke and Paul have said the followers of Jesus and even those believers who are not ethnic Jews are part of the people of God. For Josephus, you are part of the people of God if you are interested in Judaism; Josephus also includes Jews who marry non-Jews, Jews who do not believe in the covenant status of Judaism and Jews who allow outsiders to participate in the family Passover meal. Both groups were competing for the same prospects for members.

Josephus removed all evidence of exclusivism from Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple particularly the references to war and enemies. In his prayer Solomon had asked that God hear and answer the prayer of a non-Jewish foreigner who comes to Jerusalem and directs his petition toward this house (1 Kings 8:41-43). Josephus rewrote this petition at the prayer’s conclusion to read: “For so would all know that Thou Thyself didst desire that this house should be built for Thee in our land, and also that we are not inhumane by nature nor unfriendly to those who are not of our country, but wish that all equally should receive aid from Thee and enjoy Thy blessings” (Ant. 8.117). For Josephus, God is not the exclusive God of Israel.

It is not surprising that Josephus has redefined the people of Israel. Judaism and the followers of Jesus were competing for members among same prospects.

Copyrighted 2008


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