Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Samaritans

Outside the Camp suggested that the unknown author of the Epistle to the Hebrews wrote to the Jewish Christian communities in Jerusalem served by the ministry of meals. One of those communities was the Samaritans. There are a number of points favorable this identification noted by Knox (1927) and Scobie (1973). Manson observed that Acts 6-7 and Hebrews have eight common elements. Knox and Scobie have nine points which have been critiqued by Hurst (1990).

None of these scholars considered the possibility that the recipients of Hebrews represented a mixed audience each attempting to remain exclusive. Both groups had been excluded from the Temple and its alms distribution program yet they were unable to share the community meals provided by the followers of Jesus.

The Hellenists complained that their widows were neglected in the distribution of food. The surviving spouse had been a member of the community by virtue of marriage. That the surviving spouse was no longer a member suggest that the surviving spouse was not Jewish and further suggest that intermarriage was the issue lurking in the background that had resulted in the problem described in Acts.

The author is not talking about the sharing of food or the economy. He was talking about sacred space and the inclusion of outsiders.

This is a work in progress.

Copyrighted 2009


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