The Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot: A Response to John P. Meier

The Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot: A Response to John P. Meier Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6 (2008) 33-48 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/174551908X266015 www.brill.nl/jshj Th e Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot : A Response to John P. Meier Jonathan Klawans Boston University, Boston, MA, USA jklawans@bu.edu Abstract Th e following response to John Meier’s article begins by raising initial questions concerning the relationship between oaths and vows, and the criterion of dou- ble dissimilarity. Th e focus then turns to the complicated relationship between the Pentateuch and Jewish legal sources of the Second Temple and Rabbinic periods. It will be suggested that demonstrating Jesus’ legal disagreement with either the plain meaning of scripture or other fi rst-century Jewish legal sources does not yield suffi cient evidence to claim that Jesus clearly and unambigu- ously abrogated a matter of Jewish Law. It will also be argued that, in the case of oaths, it is particularly diffi cult to demonstrate either a contradiction with the Pentateuch or a complete disagreement with the preponderance of con- temporary legal sources. Th erefore, while Jesus may indeed have prohibited all oaths, this ought not be taken as clear evidence of an abrogation of a matter of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Brill

The Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot: A Response to John P. Meier

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1476-8690
eISSN
1745-5197
D.O.I.
10.1163/174551908X266015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6 (2008) 33-48 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/174551908X266015 www.brill.nl/jshj Th e Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot : A Response to John P. Meier Jonathan Klawans Boston University, Boston, MA, USA jklawans@bu.edu Abstract Th e following response to John Meier’s article begins by raising initial questions concerning the relationship between oaths and vows, and the criterion of dou- ble dissimilarity. Th e focus then turns to the complicated relationship between the Pentateuch and Jewish legal sources of the Second Temple and Rabbinic periods. It will be suggested that demonstrating Jesus’ legal disagreement with either the plain meaning of scripture or other fi rst-century Jewish legal sources does not yield suffi cient evidence to claim that Jesus clearly and unambigu- ously abrogated a matter of Jewish Law. It will also be argued that, in the case of oaths, it is particularly diffi cult to demonstrate either a contradiction with the Pentateuch or a complete disagreement with the preponderance of con- temporary legal sources. Th erefore, while Jesus may indeed have prohibited all oaths, this ought not be taken as clear evidence of an abrogation of a matter of

Journal

Journal for the Study of the Historical JesusBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: VOWS; JEWISH LAW; JOHN P. MEIER; JESUS; JAMES; DOUBLE-DISSIMILARITY; MATTHEW; OATHS; CONTRA-SCRIPTURAL HALAKHOT

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