SBL Annual Meeting 2011 Program and My Paper

The Online Program Book for SBL’s 2011 annual meeting in San Francisco is up to search through. I will be presenting a paper there in the Historical Jesus Session. See below for the details and abstract.

Historical Jesus
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Room TBD – Hotel TBD

Theme: The Historical Jesus in Recent Research

Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University, Presiding (5 min)

Jeffrey S. Siker, Loyola Marymount University
The Historical Jesus, Moral Imagination, and Sin (25 min)

C.D. Elledge, Gustavus Adolphus College
Jesus, Divorce, and Qumran: Reorienting the Discussion (25 min)

Jeffrey Paul Garcia, New York University
Jesus and the Halakhic Obligation to Give to the Poor (25 min)
Break (10 min)

Brant Pitre, Notre Dame Seminary, Graduate School of Theology
The Last Supper, the Lost Tribes of Israel, and the World to Come (25 min)

Brent Landau, University of Oklahoma
“Jesus Never Existed”: An Intellectual History of the Jesus-Myth Thesis (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)


Jesus and the Halakhic Obligation to Give to the Poor
While Jesus’ view on halakha (i.e. Jewish law) has been of general interest to New Testament scholars, “giving to the poor” as an integral part of this discussion has been largely neglected. Even the pioneering studies of New Testament scholars E.P. Sanders (Jewish Law between the Bible and the Mishnah [Trinity Press, 1990]) and J.P. Meier (A Marginal Jew: Law and Love [vol 4; YUP, 2009]) have overlooked the manner in which “giving to the poor” functions in Jesus’ view of the law. Yet, biblical legislation, as well as the subsequent legal developments in the Second Temple Period, indicates that charity played a distinctive role in observing the commandments. Moreover, there are several narratives preserved in the Synoptic gospels that discuss charity in relation to other commandments. In fact, these discussions at times closely parallel the legal discussions codified in the literature of the early rabbis, especially the Mishnah and Tosefta. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be to explore four Synoptic narratives, “The Rich Young Man” (Matt 19:16-22; Mk 10:19-22; Luke 18:18-23), “The Law and Righteousness” (Matt 5:17-20, 6:1-4), “The Widow’s Mites” (Luke 19:1-10), and “Zacchaeus the Tax Collector” (Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4), in light of the legal context of “giving to the poor” in Second Temple texts and early rabbinic literature in order to shed light on an area of Jesus’ so-called halakha that has been heretofore ignored.


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