HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies

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Jesus en geweld: Markus 12:1-12 (en par) en Thomas 65

E van Eck


Jesus and violence: Mark 12:1-12 (and par) and
Thomas 65
As an advanced agrarian (aristocratic) society, first-century Palestine's social fabric was built on systemic tensions and conflicts between the elite (rulers) and the peasantry (the ruled). At the root of these conflicts were incompatible values (ideologies) and
interests. Mediterraneans in general were agonistic (fight-prone) in nature – hence willing to engage in physical conflict at the slightest provocation. Violence in the first-century, however, was more than just physical conflict – it was establishment violence. What was
Jesus' stance on violence? An ideological-critical reading of Mark 12:1-12 (and par) indicates that the canonical versions of the Tenants – in which Jesus condones violence – cannot be seen as reflecting the historical Jesus' attitude towards violence. Jesus' stance on violence is rather reflected in GThom 65, in which Jesus is pictured as criticizing all kinds of violence. This study also reiterates the necessity of reading the Biblical text from an ideological-critical perspective to avoid the peril of “gospelizing” Jesus.

HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies Vol. 64 (4) 2008: pp. 1735-1765

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