Sunday, June 28, 2020

Jesus Christ On The Deuterocanonical Books

        "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’ (Luke 11:51)

        "so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar." (Matthew 23:35)

        In rebuking the religious leaders of His day for moral hypocrisy, Jesus Christ alluded to the Hebrew canon in its entirety. The first instance of innocent blood shed took place when Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:1-16). Zechariah, also a righteous man, was killed by the Jews in 2 Chronicles, which is placed last in order of books comprising the Hebrew canon. His blood cried out to God as it was shed in a temple (2 Chronicles 24:22). The Encyclopedia Britannica expounds on the nature of the Tanakh:

        "The Torah contains five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Neviʾim comprise eight books divided into the Former Prophets, containing the four historical works Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and the Latter Prophets, the oracular discourses of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve (Minor—i.e., smaller) Prophets—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Twelve were all formerly written on a single scroll and thus reckoned as one book. The Ketuvim consist of religious poetry and wisdom literature—Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, a collection known as the Five Megillot (Five Scrolls; i.e., Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, which have been grouped together according to the annual cycle of their public reading in the synagogue)—and the books of Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, and Chronicles. The number of books in the Hebrew canon is thus 24...English Bibles list 39 books for the Old Testament because of the practice of bisecting Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles and of counting Ezra, Nehemiah, and the 12 Minor Prophets as separate books."

        In addition, it should be noted that Christ, in referring to the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, omits the martyrs spoken of in the Roman Catholic Apocrypha. This seems to show us that He did not ascribe to them books the same status as that which is found in the Old Testament canon. Following is an excerpt addressing Matthew's use of "ben Berechiah:"

        "In rabbinical haggadah different characters from Scripture who are linked by a similarity of name or of other characteristics are often said to be the same person." "Adopted as one of their methods that of calling different personages by one and the same name if they found them akin in any feature of their characters or activities or if they found a similarity between any of their actions." This practice can be found in the Haggadic Midrashim, Babylonian Talmud, and back to the Jerusalem Talmud, Halakic Midrashim, and to the Mishnah. You can even see the practice in non rabbinical works like pseudo-Philo. Or in the second book of Esdras. Older still, you can see the practice in the tile prefix to Psalm 34. Ashish king of the Philistines (1 Sam. 21:10-22:1) is referenced as Abimelech the Philistine king (Gen. 20-21, 26). This might also explain why Jesus says "Abiathar" instead of "Ahimelech" in Mark 2:26. The Targum on Lamentations 2:20 also talks about killing Zechariah ben Iddo in the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. "ben Iddo" is coming from Zechariah 1:1. But the details follow the traditions for Zechariah ben Jehoiada that I referenced earlier. So this Targum shows the conflation of Zechariah ben Berechiah with Zechariah ben Jehoiada in terms of name usage, just like Jesus did. So even after all of this, if you don't want this to be a reference to the scope of the canon, you have two more problems. The last prophet murdered before Jesus was John the Baptist. If you ignore and bypass John the Baptist, the last chronologically from the canon would be Uriah ben Shemaiah (Jeremiah 26:20-23)." (http://goyforjesus.blogspot.com/2015/02/zechariah-son-of-barachiah-some-textual.html)

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