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http://btb.sagepub.com/ The Construction of Galilee as a Place for the Historical Jesus−−Part I
Halvor Moxnes Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology 2001 31: 26 DOI: 10.1177/014610790103100105 The online version of this article can be found at: http://btb.sagepub.com/content/31/1/26
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what do we mean by Galilee? Place is not something that can be taken for granted. Renan.com by guest on January 28. That added an almost existential dimension to information about ancient Galilee that went beyond a general interest in the ancient history of various regions of the Mediterranean.e. the University of Oslo. How have scholars understood and constructed Galilee in discussions of the historical Jesus? What are the presuppositions behind the attempts to describe Galilee as the home or background for Jesus?And what aspects of Galilee are considered to be important? Moreover.sagepub. ESSAYS IN HONOUROF PETERRICHARDSON. not only Galilee. films.moxnes@teologi. Dr. towards the end of the century the Zionist movement focused its attention upon Palestine. and the emergence of nationality. therefore. followed by scientific explorations and archaeological investigations. they create. Theol. unmediated access to Galilee but approach it only through maps. MALINA. Drawing on nineteenth century studies of ethnicity and race in Nazi Germany in the first part of the twentieth century. Jesus was seen over against Judaism merely as a religious system. This question ofrace was discredited after World War 11. [Leiden: Brill. We do not have an immediate. To say that Galilee is socially constructed is. but taken for granted. What are the presuppositions that color an interpretation. It started with European political and military engagement.” that the categories used to understand it can be taken for granted. to question that it is “natural. Transformation5 of Place and Power in the Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Luke (pp. ethnicity. s. Schleiermacher. Finally. The idea of “the Holy Land” is of course much older. 2000]). as well by individual adventurers and eventually “mass” tourism and pilgrimages (Shepherd). I will start with the construction of Galilee as part of “the Holy Land” in the nineteenth century. and race as categories of identity. the more we know about Jesus. books that are produced by somebody. and in the Second Quest there was little interest in Galilee. Desjardin [Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion. 158-75 in TEXT A N D ARTIFACT IN THE RELIGIONS OF hlEDITERRANEAN ANTIQUITY. Hans Dieter Betz points out that by some scholars “Jesusuniqueness was attributed to his origin in GalileanJudaism. Wilson and M. it goes back at least to the fourth century. (University of Oslo) is Professor of New Testament at the Faculty of Theology. but also “the other. and PlacingJesrcs of Nazareth: Towards Q theory of Place in the Study of the Historical Jesus (pp. As a result of these activities “the Holy Land” became part and Halvor Moxnes. He is presently working on a book on the historical Jesus in relation to place. Central figures in this period were F. 2013 .The Construction of Galilee as a Place for the Historical Jesus-Part I Halvor Moxnes Abstract How have scholars understood and constructed Galilee as a place for the historical Jesus?This study traces the development of the image ofGalilee from the early nineteenth century until the Third Quest.. as something which has an existence independant of viewers. as self evident. it is always something which is posited. edited by G.uio. hy is it that the quest for historical Jesus has become a quest for the historical Galilee?There seems to be a conviction that is not discussed. some scholars portrayed Galilee as a non-Jewish region and the home ofa non-Jewish Jesus. His recent publications include Kingdom takes Place. 26 Downloaded from btb. 20001). and the start of pilgrimages (Wilken 1992: 101-25). Nonvay (e-mail: halvor. But the nineteenth century represented a new beginning. W To follow some of the traditions of interpretations of Galilee.no). photos. Jesus appeared to be unique because his Judaism was non-normative or regionally conditioned by Galilee” (100). 176209 in SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC MODELS FOR INTERPRETING THE BIBLE. D. F. The picture of Galilee in the nineteenth century was influenced by the major cultural ideas of Europe at the time: colonialism. with the establishing of Christian churches and monasteries. and what are the powers implied in the creation of an image of Galilee? Moreover. Pilch. that the more we can know about Galilee. what is outside and in contrast to Galilee (Duncan &Ley: 330-31). Strauss and E. edited by John J. It is this relationship between Galilee and Jesus research that I would like to look into. ESSAYS BY THE CONTEXT GROUP IN HONOR OF BRUCE J.” i.
so to speak naturalized it as an English place. of inclusion and exclusion. it is relevant to ask how these questions developed. the picture of Palestine and Galilee was shaped by the cultural and intellectual categories of this period of colonialism (Ben-Arieh). Finally. and which continued to play a role. emphasizing the importance of Palestine as the Holy Land for the English nation. economic and religious history of nineteenth-century European expansion into the Near East was important for the construction of Palestine in historical Jesus research. Consequently. which ones declined in interest. What was the cultural context for these studies and their underlying presuppositions? First.parcel of the imagination of Western Christians (Obenzinger). As a result the authors’ interest was primarily historical. which juxtaposes a surveyed area with the cartographer’s large eye. And even if Palestine did not have a memorable past as great power in the same way as Egypt. Since the nineteenth century was so influential in establishing biblical scholarship. Eurocentric observer who orders the world he looks upon. geographies and atlases of the Holy Land. of precedent and antecedent. The main interest behind many of the descriptions of Palestine was to provide background information for Weste m readers of the Bible. Moreover. ethnicity and race were all of major concern in nineteenth-century Europe and North America. Geography. Officers from the Royal Engineers did the surveys undertaken by the British Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF). geography shapes personality. This competition extended to Palestine. I will use these presuppositions to establish the main issues in the images of Galilee from the nineteenth century: Holy Land as colony. and the present inhabitants and their conditions hardly entered into the picture-at least not in a positive way. “it is usually a white. but with Germany. of inferior and superior” (Duncan & Ley: 2) Thus. nationality and race and ethnicity. which was accompanied by a large scientific expedition. but corresponded to a mentality about the relations behveen the great European powers and the region. And the development of historical-critical Bible studies as well as Jesus research created a market for histories. But the statement could also be given a less benign.com by guest on January 28. This mentality was summed up in one of the PEF publications: “The Ordnance Survey of Palestine was so obvious a duty for the English nation to undertake. because it was the scene of biblical history and especially the life of Jesus.” moreover. It started with Napoleon’s unsuccessful military expedition to Egypt. ideas of nationality. “In practice. male elite. they shared many presuppositions about culture and race with disciplines like anthropology and biology. scholars and also modern pilgrims. Topography claims to be an objective science. One such presupposition was the idea of a close relationship between physical geography and the character of the inhabitants of the area. these paradigms of understanding continued to exert their influence upon studies in the twentieth century. Setting the Agenda: Nineteenth-Century Galilee. Russia and other European powers also playing a role. But these divisions were of no interest to Western 27 Downloaded from btb. This was not a mere coincidence. This became the beginning of a military and scholarly competition for influence in the Ottoman Empire throughout the nineteenth century-mainly between England and France. as well as in scientific.” and the surveyor has the power of observation. that it is needless to dwell on its importance” (Stanley: xxii). This comment could be read as an illustration of how the maps and descriptions of Palestine made it a familiar place to the English. It illustrates the points made by Ley and Duncan regarding a drawing by Joanne Sharp titled Togographical Survey. It is also pertinent to ask whether new perspectives were brought into the attempt to construct “the Holy Land” and Galilee in the hventieth century. it still had a very important role. but it is actually a “science of domination. That was true of the first French surveys following in the steps of Napoleon I as well as Ernest Renan’s archaeological expedition under the reign of Napoleon 111 (Gavish). they originated in the context of the Western colonising influence in the Middle East and therefore represented a form of Orientalism. we might say that to undertake the survey of Palestine was a colonizing effort to make it a part of England.sagepub. which became the destination for innumerable visitors. and Nationalism Colonialism and the creation of the Holy Land The political. The region was part of the declining Ottoman Empire and was divided into various administrative sub-regions. especially geographical studies that were often carried out by scholars as part of or in conjunction with military expeditions. Surveillance and mapmaking went hand in hand with collecting Near Easte m antiquities. and a more colonizing interpretation. 2013 . one whose observations and classifications provide the rules of representation. proudly displayed in the major museums of European capitals as symbols of the continuity between these nations and the great nations of the past (Silberman: 105). since geography and history were an integral part of the scientific development of the nineteenth century. Many of these visits resulted in eye- witness reports. Thus.
” Nazareth was an exceptional place. because it seems to question one of the main presuppositions of human geography until the middle of last century: that descriptive fieldwork. are charming and no place in the world 28 Downloaded from btb. based on observation.. as a person who is able to read this landscape. Since “the Holy Land” did not correspond to any political or administrative region. this makes him describe Galilee as a gospel that is “torn. for the visitor.” But it was not easy to describe this place in light of expectations of its uniqueness: What is the Sea of Galilee like? Is one of the first questions a traveller is asked on his return from the Holy Land. in which the interpreter is engaged with the data in an act of interpretation. Galilee held a special place. nature and character. there was widespread agreement about what were the central parts of the “Holy Land” (Ben-Arieh: 71).” Renan presents himself. but still legible. where there is no “objective” truth underneath. The way in which Renan makes place. Samaria and Galilee. perhaps. When Renan describes Nazareth it is as a representation of the ideal state: “Even in our times Nazareth is still a delightful abode. i. Thus. It is because he is unique that the place becomes so interesting. His descriptions of Jesus in Galilee are now perhaps best known through Albert Schweitzer’s scathing criticism of his romantic pictures of a sun-drenched Galilee peopled by Jesus and his happy group of disciples (181-82). landscape. Eastern Palestine. Instead. There is a statement that encapsulates Renan’s view on the ideal relations between nature and populations: “The environs. A comparison of various nineteenth-century sources shows that the areas could be ranked according to degrees of holiness: Jerusalem was the most holy. is attributed to its role as the place where Jesus lived and worked. though perhaps representing the impression produced at the time on the writer’s mind [Wilson: 3371. This is summed up by the British cartographer Captain Wilson in his introduction to the survey of the Sea of Galilee: “With the exception of Jerusalem. landscape and characters? They perceived that there was a close relationship between place as nature. is quite extraordinary in its explicit expression of a position that in a weaker form was shared by many scholars of historical geography. The observations by Wilson on “the lake district” shows what first caught the interest of the visitor: the geography of the Galilee: what it looked like and its relationship to Jesus’ life and activities. and a question which he finds it extremely difficult to answer satisfactorily. the only place. into gospel. This becomes visible especially in Renan’s 1863 work. Western Palestine.visitors. then followed the core areas of Judea. there were no agreed upon fixed borders. This is an interesting observation. in Palestine in which the mind feels itself relieved from the burden which oppresses it in this unequalled desolation.e. could give an accurate understanding of the area under study (Duncan & Ley: 2). geography and the human situation. Social biology.” But he also comments on the present state of the area. the gardens fresh and green.sagepub. Geography and Character Within this constructed Holy Land. and in which he performed so many of his mighty works. 2013 . Historical geography combined many elements that played a part in the general cultural climate in the middle and later part of the nineteenth century. i. Here the uniqueness of the place. LA VIE DE J6SUS. Some authors describe its beauties in glowing terms. Wilson appears to represent a different approach to representation. However. neither perhaps quite correct.e. we shall ask: how did the nineteenth century authors conceive of the relations between geography and human life.” In a way the Nazareth of the present was living in an idealized past. whilst others assert that the scenery is tame and uninteresting. Renan could conclude: “The people are amiable and cheerful. who were interested in Palestine as the “Holy Land” and who based their picture of the land upon their readings of the Bible. there is no place in Palestine which excites deeper interest than that lake district in which our Lord passed so large a portion of the last three years of his life. philology and ethnography shared a set ofpresuppositions about the interdependence between race. It was taken for granted that nature and landscape made an impression upon the character of an individual. The main theme that runs trough these descriptions is the correspondence between nature and the people in Galilee (Renan: 85-86). the area on the Eastern side of the Jordan and the Negev. which he sees as desolate and disappointing. in particular the human mind (Ben-Arieh: 76-77). he finds in the landscape of Galilee nothing less than a “fifth gospel. He appears to point towards a hermeneutical approach. then. the Galilean countryside. after Jerusalem.com by guest on January 28. Renan is explicit about the role of geography. was considered secondary in holiness. moreover. in that it had escaped the contemporary desolation and showed the same correspondence between charming environment and a happy population that characterized its situation in antiquity. Thus.
so that Jesus became a dreamer and a visionary. based on relations between geography and the nature of communities. Schleiermacher gave his lectures on the life of Jesus in the first part of this century. responded with energy. but Smith confidently draws the conclusion: “For this cause also our Lord chose His friends from the people. autocratic rule by kings and princes (Dawson). the idea of a causal relationship between geography and the psychological character of the inhabitants was typical of the nineteenth century. as when he describes “one another national feature of Galilee. while D. Smith sees similar parallels between the landscape of Galilee and its inhabitants (420-22). sulphur springs and a history of earthquakes. For him.. they were implicitly or explicitly contrasting them with their images of Jerusalem and Judea. concluding with the observation that “such was the horizon of Jesus. F. people and nation. moreover.” they were sincere. It is in the context of Jesus’ mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God that he discusses his relations to various localities: 29 Downloaded from btb. At the same time they cut Nazareth off from the world and formed a perfect setting for dreams and visions.” viz. What were the categories that nineteenth-century scholars used to describe Galilee? I shall look at two different nineteenth-century approaches to the question of the uniqueness of Galilee. on the basis of his belief in a correspondence between nature and the character of the inhabitants. to discern between what physical nature contributed to the religious development of Israel. with a range of mountains that was awe-inspiring.” Smith adds a whole range of examples from the Gospels. how human nature corresponds to nature.” Renan’s interpretation of this scene of natural grandeur and beauty as well as of historical reminiscences is that these mountains formed an “enchanted circle. therefore. He thinks that students can discover from the ‘lie of the land’why the history took certain lines and the prophecy and the gospel were expressed in certain styles-to learn what geography has to contribute to questions of Biblical criticism-above all. to consider how they conceived of this larger area at the time of Jesus.” Thus. anxious for honor more than for money. and delighting in seditions.” Here description and interpretation are mixed.was so well adapted for dreams of perfect happiness. during that part of her history which concerns us. This type ofpicture of Galilee was not just a romantic idea of Renan. Schleiermacher gave his lectures on Jesus in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars in Europe. etc. The Galileans showed real manhood. It is important. they were ‘‘a chivalrous and gallant race. it was particularly the view from Nazareth that was important. A. Smith draws a broad picture of the benefits of combining a vision of the land as a whole and its history (Butlin). A.. Renan has established a unity between Jesus and the nature of Galilee. In speaking of the luxurious vegetation of Upper Galilee he finds a relationship of cause and effect: “To so generous a land the inhabitants. In his famous HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF T H E HOLY LAND the Scottish theologian and geographer G.F.” He elaborates on that in the following section on the view from the mountains overlooking Nazareth. He concludes that this “was for years his [i. We may find in this list more a reflection of Victorian masculine ideals than of Galilean nature. His remarks on Galilee should be read against his own endeavors at the time to develop democratic ideas of a German nation and a German people amidst a situation of conservative.” Thus. Smith proceeds: “The nature of the people was also volcanic.e. This is partly because he follows the chronology and outline ofJohn’s Gospel. and the movement from “enchanted circle” to “cradle of the kingdom of God” is so swift that it appears obvious-natural-that this meaning should be attached to the scene that Renan draws up before his readers with the authority of “us” who have seen it. is attributed a new meaning: it is the “cradle of the kingdom of God. Smith: ix]. the First Testament.” In other instances he sees parallels. Jesus’] world.’They had an ill name for quarrelling. but I think there are also other presuppositions that have to do with his notions about country. and by nature disposed to changes. and the Talmud to bring home his point. This idea was shared by Joseph Klausner in the first part of the twentieth century in one of the earliest Jewish studies of the historical Jesus (229-38). 2013 . and it was not a Galilean who betrayed him. its volcanic extrusions into the limestone massive of mountains. Schleiermacher denies any special relationship between Galilee and Jesus.” To this circle. Strauss wrote his later work on Jesus “for the German people” in 1864. Galilee and Nationality \%en Renan and Smith drew their pictures of the nature of Galilee and the character of the Galileans. In modern time the relation between geography and identity is found in a modified way in Sean Freyne (1980).com by guest on January 28. and what was the product of purely moral and spiritual forces [G. Josephus describes them as ‘ever fond of innovations.sagepub.
Aher describing how Jesus chose two strategies. however. This subject is so important to him that he portrays Jesus as avoiding conflicts with the Pharisees and the Sadduces because he shared with these groups a common concern for the nation. Schleiermacher shows that he is aware of the forms of rule that existed in Palestine at the time ofJesus.e. and of visiting other parts of the country. The regions of Palestine are described explicitly in their relations to Rome.com by guest on January 28. Galilee is the main scene for Jesus’ ministry. and with the presence of the Roman empire always in view (Strauss: 334). with Jesus as a teacher for the totality of the Jewish land. Galilee is part of the Jewish land and Jewish “Volk. Strauss points to three elements: the population was mixed with Gentiles.” The critical spirit of the life of Jesus research was in direct continuation with the spirit of the Reformation.since he himself considered his vocation as limited to Palestine. he concludes: “We see. the attachment to sacrifices and purifications.. which are under Roman administration.” in utterly negative terms: “There the Pharisaic part ruled over a population readily excitable to fanaticism.” These are entities that are difficult to define clearly: there are no fixed borders. very different from the dry school traditions of the Pharisees. of remaining in Jerusalem where people from all over the country could come and meet him. he meant explicitly “the German people. Galilee was far away from Judea. Sarnaria and Perea. Strauss and his revision of his LIFE O F JESUS (1835). F. there the spirit of formalism in religion.part of it from the scene of his personal ministry” (Schleiermacher: 172. according to “common use. there is no room for a special relationship between Jesus and Galilee. we find in D. and the Galileans. had its hold in the numerous priesthood. I think that we can read here reflections of Schleiermacher’s attempts to argue for the existence of a “Volk“ as the basis for the nation and for the state. which was a characteristic representation of the identity of the German people. Strauss saw himself therefore in opposition both to Catholic Southern Germany and to state and church bureaucracy. ANE\VLlFEOF JESUS (1879) does not convey the double meaning of the German orginal: DAS LEBEN JESU mR DAS DEUTSCHE VOLK BEARBEITET (1864). and there are also Jews outside of the land. this is the way things appear: Judea was a Roman province and other parts of the country were sometimes under various members of the Herodian family and sometimes united. 173). with Jerusalem and Judea under direct Roman administration. Strauss does not use terms like “Jewish land. then. but as one of contrast between Galilee and Jerusalem.”The introduction shows that Strauss did not intend this merely as a popular version. Schleiermacher also speaks highly of national interests. but the terms that were in common use were Judea. that Christ neglected no part of the Jewish land (das jiidische Land). In this structure. Strauss presents the scene not as one of national unity. instead of an ideology built around a sovereign monarch who ruled over his people. and excluded no. 2013 . i. regardless of political divisions. the splendid temple and its solemn sacrifices” (345). Galilee. despised by the Judeans. These stereotypes were also employed in inter-Christian conflicts.” but what is most important to him was “the totality of the Jewish land” and “his people. his description of Palestine is different from that of Schleiermacher. that is introduced. To explain this. not only because he uses the Synoptic Gospels for his outline of the life of Jesus. Strauss lists most of the characteristics of the uniqueness of Galilee 30 Downloaded from btb. They were Roman provinces and personal princedoms over shifting areas (like Germany).” but a vocabulary of political geography.Galilee. He recognises various regions. represented the opposite of this. a Life ofJesus “revised for the German people.If we now take a look at all the local relationships and ask how the public life of Jesus was related to the totality of the Jewish country . The English title. this fact explains why he put himself as much as possible into contact with them. The uniqueness of Jesus’ speech is ascribed to his background in Galilee. Ifwe now have to say that Christ thought of himself as called to proclaim the kingdom of God and to establish it among his people [Vok] by that proclamation. it was above all characterised by an open mind.sagepub. Moreover. while he avoids Judea and Jerusalem. Here enters the idea of uniqueness ascribed to Galilee. but these are not important to him. were not granted full privileges as Jews. but it is the idea of a Jewish people in a Jewish land. of course. Strauss’ presents Jerusalem as a picture of the “Other.” In Schleiermacher’s construction of national unity there is no room for a uniqueness of Galilee. particularly in Protestant accusations against the Catholic church. In consequence. That. Strauss saw himself in opposition both to Catholic Southern Germany and to state and church bureaucracy. with a focus on his Galilean ministry. Strauss here employs stereotypes that were prevalent in contemporary Christian studies of the Pharisees and Jewish religion.
Houston S. However. Therefore. argued for a Germanized religion. the emphasis upon the ethnic aspect of identity.sagepub. And more than Lagarde he explicitly discusses the character of Galilee and its people. idealistic “men of action” who stood up against the Romans. part of the solution was a return to Jesus. Even if the people of Galilee might be observant Jews. Renan. Chamberlain. Before we eulogize 31 Downloaded from btb.” Strauss is influenced by Charles Darwin. was influenced by Lagarde. It appears to be an argument from biology that has been transferred to humans.com by guest on January 28. Did the Assyrians settle other ethnic groups in Galilee at that time? This discussion was well known among historians and biblical scholars. but it assumed a new importance when the question of the ethnic composition of Galilee was made into a matter of Jewish identity and the identity of Jesus. not like the Jews who accommodated to Roman rule.e. and to seek to ascertain what blood flowed in the veins of him who has contributed most to efface the distinction of blood in humanity” (83). Moreover. whom Lagarde distanced from Judaism: Jesus grew up in the mountain country of Galilee. and that the province had many inhabitants who were not Jews. Lagarde. He likewise remarks that conversions to Judaism were not rare. Chamberlain. Chamberlain here relied on the new science of anatomical anthropology and on racial theories that were now becoming popular.S. and his “inner being” was formed in conflict with the Judaism of his time (Lagarde:229-30). History had shown that the population of Galilee was a mixture. the English-born son-in-law of Richard Wagner. religion is not the same as race.he did not belong to the Jewish race. introduced from the start by the apostle Paul. the determining factor was race according to biology. T H E OLD FAITH AND THE NEW. distant from the centre of Judaism. their remote location. he did not have anything in common with Judaism. Race and Ethnicity With the argument that a mixed population..” not racial purity. The question of ethnic and racial identity was raised in particular within the context of German aVolks-ideology>> that prepared the way for the later Nazi ideology. Galileans had a different national character from other Palestinians. is thrown into relief by a comparison with Ernest Renan’s discussion of Jesus and Galilee. But the inference he draws seems almost designed to counter the growing interest in race and ethnicity in the nineteenth century: “It is therefore impossible to raise here any question of race. but this widely held notion frequently appears in discussions of nationality. it was the historical Jesus in contrast to the developments of the later church that was his main interest.that are also found in later scholarship: the negative attitude of the Jerusalem elite (and maybe also the non-elite). but the consequences that Lagarde draws are more drastic. as he held that Christianity was distorted by Jewish ideas. The ultimate purpose of the discussion of Galilee is of course to distance Jesus from Judaism of his day: Chamberlain holds that Jesus as a Galilean did not have a drop of Jewish blood. This last proposition was part of a discussion of what happened after the capture of Galilee in 732 BCE when the reDon became an Assyrian province. too. in which he also returns to the question of “mixed races. and Renan. and even Greeks. but also by a different ethnic composition. Darwin argued that it was “hybrid vigour. French and German nations old Celtic. Strauss shows how important issues of ethnicity and race were for identity and character in the nineteenth century.” i. and-above all-the mixed ethnic composition of the population. Lagarde. Arabs. the present nationality. whereas Galilee was a mixed area. that does not give proof 3f their descent. originally published in German in 1872. Since this last aspect has come to play a significant role. He was especially concerned to divorce Christianity from Judaism. that was the key to success. Especially in his last work. with ideas that later inspired Deittsche Christen. 2013 . This proves that purity of race is no advantage. an ardent critic of his contemporary German Protestant church. Teutonic. Darwin held this as an explanation of the European colonial expansion (Christie: 37). and other elements have blended into a new formation. It may seem strange that a mixed race should be regarded as more positive than a pure race. although Jesus was a Jew by education. Moreover. was a positive sign of uniqueness. Strauss explains the success of the large European nations in the same way. For Chamberlain (189-260) too. The argument from Strauss about mixed population re-enters. but Phoenicians. remarks that the population of Galilee was very mixed. In the English. Syrians. characterized by purity. The ideological presupposition in asking about “blood. Of particular relevance were Paul de Lagarde and H. it is time to look more closely at the role that ethnicity and race played in discussions of identity in the nineteenth century. they were energetic. incorporating social Darwinism and “survival of the fittest” (Mosse 1964: 92-93). A central piece in this argument was the contention that Galilee in fact was not Jewish-that it distinguished itself not only by geographical and religious distance from Jerusalem. In terms of his observations there are many similarities behveen the discussions in Strauss. Chamberlain.
and Galilee remains part of this larger entity. or in Strauss’s term. the special character of Galilee will be downplayed. It took on a special significance in Germany (with the association with “Volk”) and later for the ideology of Nazi Germany (Mosse 1964). anthropology. Jewish “people. but of conflict and contrasts not only between Jesus and the leadership in Jerusalem. Political and regional differences are not so important. something that set them apart. Strauss and Renan. and it happened in a period when the idea of the nation state became stronger. Pious pilgrimage and political power thus belonged together and continued to do so even more in the twentieth century. on the other hand.” “land. which was strongly influenced by European nationalism in the nineteenth century (Christie: 165-94). we noticed how the very concept of “Holy Land” was part of a colonizing attitude from Western-i. not only between Jews and Christians. Towards the latter part of the nineteenth century ethnicity and race made up a very popular area of research in human biology. race and language.. there is no special relation to Galilee. spoke about Jews as arace. language and disposition towards “others.” and therefore not questioned. to distinguish privileged people (Aryans) from degenerate ones (Jews).” and “nation” are the important categories of identity. Strauss saw the contrast explicitly as one of religious attitudes. European-powers.” “people. an open mind in religious matters as well. T h e Heritage of the Nineteenth Century What was the heritage of the nineteenth century so far as the description of Galilee was concerned? In terms of Galilee as part of the Holy land. they did not focus so strongly on race as Chamberlain. in short. He used race as a category in a study of Galilee. Since Jesus’ ministry is directed to the people as a totality. In this regard. 32 Downloaded from btb. but also between Jerusalem and Galilee and their respective inhabitants. there has been a mutually reinforcing relationship between historical studies of Jesus and contemporary religious and cultural conflicts. Likewise the explanatory force of geography that was established in the nineteenth century continued to play a role. a Holy land as a special privilege for Christians. This view was based on the presupposition of the mimetic role of geography that was common until the last part of the twentieth century. viz.e. This ‘‘mimetic role” suggested that it was possible to reach a description of geography that gave a true representation of the essence of the place. However. It seems as ifnational and religious identity are so similar that they cannot be distinguished. This added a new hvist to the question of nationality: it could be used to make divisions within a population. The German concept was based on ethnicity. however. Moreover. macher. gue for the unity of a Jewish nation. Described and disguised as a religious right to the land of Jesus. and made them superior to others. Schleiermacher and Strauss represent two different descriptions of Galilee. but also between Roman Catholic and Protestants. the picture was not one of unity. To nineteenth-century historians and geographers the geographical characteristics as well as the location of Galilee influenced human factors like beliefs. From Schleiermacher’s work we may draw the conclusion that if the main concern is to ar. we should notice that he too.. 2013 .sagepub. For Schleier. especially England and France. This made for easy contacts with non-Jews and created an openness towards others.com by guest on January 28. Schleiermacher’s concern with “country. Of special importance for Palestine was the role the idea of the nation had for Zionism. When nationality and the nation state emerged in nineteenth-century Europe as references for identity. But especially in his famous 1884 lecture “What is a nation?” (Christie: 39-47) we should notice two very different concepts of “nation” within Europe. between fanaticism and liberal openness. while the French was based on democratic participation. for instance. Woolf: 1-39). The nation as state was one of the most common assumptions of nineteenth-century Europe (Mosse 1988: 65-100. it was part of a political attempt by European powers to establish a sphere of influence in the Middle East when the Ottoman empire was in decline. it has become a paradigm within which to interpret many other conflicts. It is this picture of the Jewish milieu that has dominated Christian scholarship on the historical Jesus for more than hundred years after Strauss. For Strauss.” “nation” is characteristic of the nineteenth century. Great explanatory power was ascribed to it regarding both animal and human characteristics. they became important for images of the Holy Land and Galilee as well. the Judeans and Jerusalemites.Renan too enthusiastically. etc. The engagement of European powers in the Near East was also part of their own national endeavors. most markedly contrasted in France and Germany. used the “mixed” ethnic character of Galilee to explain characteristics of the population. Thus. Both are based on descriptions characterized by dichotomies that have been regarded as “natural” or “given. and that was not a positive characterization.” For Strauss and Renan it was important that Galilee was a border area between a predominantly Jewish area and areas with Gentile populations. but with different configurations in different regions or countries.
and Jesus’relation to Galilee became a taboo in German biblical scholarship. in terms of Hellenistic philosophy. and consequently less interest in Galilee as well. JESUS DAS GALIGER UND DAS JUDENTUM (1941) was introduced as a response to the question of the relationship ofJesus to Judaism that. Galilee became a part of Palestine with which Germans could identify. the am-haaret. Grundmann argued that the “Jewish danger” was SO great that the need to defend oneself against Judaism in all aspects of life became vital. The judaization that followed under the Maccabeans was a forced measure. and thereby also in the relations betweenJesus and Galilee? Galilee in Twentieth-CenturyInterpretation Extreme Nationalism In the first part of the twentieth century there was less interest in the historical Jesus. Since Jesus could not have been a Jew in terms of his spirituality. special attention was paid to the question of the race and identity of the Galileans. In addition to “blood.sagepub. Second.com by guest on January 28. was the question of the ethnic identity of the Galileans and of Jesus (165-74).g. What changes took place in descriptions of Galilee. Ethnic identity is expressed in terms of “Blut und Boden” (“blood and soil’’). This influence was partly conveyed through the Decapolis cities. according to the author. It is also seen in terms of its cultural diversity. and Galilee is characterised by an ethnically nonJewish diversity that corresponds to a Hellenistic cultural identity. Grundmann concludes that Jesus’ Galilean origin was secure.g. He ends his discussion of the ethnic background of Jesus by saying that it is not possible to reach a positive conclusion as to Jesus’ identity. Here surfaces once more the nineteenth-century concern with “blood” as the basis for ethnic identity. 2013 . Grundmann argued that Galilee at the time of the Maccabean revolt had a mixed population. The ideological context of Grundmann’s discussion is obvious. In contrast to its extreme anti-Jewish attitude. with the result that the Galileans might belong to the Jewish confession. Thus. Like most Galileans he belonged to the Jewish confession.but he had utterly broken with Judaism. radical Judaism represented by the Zealots. Grundmann struggled with the facts of the historical origin of Jesus.” whose syncretistic beliefs were represented in the Henoch literature. it was the political situation in Nazi Germany that governed this construction ofCalilee.” at’least a place where there were enough Aryans to make Jesus a plausible non-Jew. It had two major components: a small. and the larger group. the question (and its relevance for the identityof Jesus) is no longer phrased in terms of race or ethnicity. without being ethnically Jewish. Even if there is still a discussion of whether there was a continuity of (Jewish) population in Galilee or an influx of new settlers (see. Walter Grundmann’s book. most likely he was not a Jew “by blood” either (205). represented by Hellenistic dominance. German Second Testament scholars elaborated the non-Jewish character of Galilee in a number of studies in the 1930s and 1940s. Specifically in Nazi Germany. e. was of burning concern for the German people. Grundmann emphasises the heavy Hellenistic influence in Galilee. The Jewish confession is only a layer that was superimposed by oppressors. Grundmann holds that the structure of Jesus’ thoughts brought him closer to the Greeks than to the Jews. but in a certain way also parallel to the nationalism of German scholars. Thus we can say that the descriptions of Galilee in the nineteenth century were formed by the major cultural paradigms of European societies of the time.”culture was regarded an important aspect of identity. it became imperative to find a part of Palestine that was twt identified with Judaism. he belonged to some of the other ethnic groups in Galilee. this was a distinction with clear implications for debates in contemporary Germany. Obviously. That question was totally discredited after the Second World War. to Palestine as his place of origin. Rather. This attempt by-Grundmann represented the end of the construction of Jesus’ Galilean identity in terms of race. but also by the Hellenistic inhabitants of Sepphoris and Tiberias. but most likely he was not an ethnic Jew.Obviously. which had been raised by Lagarde and Chamberlain. in contrast to Jewish legalism and Jewish ethnicity. e. Given Grundmann’s ideological warfare against Judaism. Galilee is viewed primarily in terms of the ethnic composition of its inhabitants. Grundmann’s first point was to establish the religious identity of Galilee (81-90). But there was one question that received intense. if not quite a “little Germany. It is time to ask what happened to these paradigms in the hventieth century. Freyne 1997: 53).. It became. the “common people. Grundmann therefore reformulated the question of the relationship of the German church to the historical origin of Jesus in terms of place: the loyalty of Christians is not to Judaism. architecture and art. but to the historical space of Jesus. Galilee provided the answer. the first major monograph on Jesus by a Jewish 33 Downloaded from btb. and more important. It was the Jewishness of Jesus that caused the problem. since we find traces of both “non-Aryan and Aryan peoples” in the population of Galilee (200). if limited interest.
They do not share the specific presuppositions. The book was written in Hebrew in 1922 and translated into several langtmges. Klausner claimed that Jesus obeyed the Torah as well as the ritual laws until the end of his life. they emphasize those elements that place Jesus within a Jewish context. the temple. published in 1925. Vemes’Jesrls theJew (1973) explicitly reads the Judaism of Jesus much more in individualistic categories. Many of the positions that Klausner held became standard among later Jewish studies of Jesus. is entitled JESUS OF NAZARETH: HIS LIFE. Therefore there was little interest shown in specific social. which seems to have been strongly influenced by his Zionist ideology. which was at the time a British protectorate. Klausner’s evaluation of Jesus as a Jew is extremely ambivalent: he is a Jew. which itself was an integral part of Judaism at the time. who was born in Lithuania. attitudes toward the Law. Klausner claims that Jesus was fully part of Judaism of his time and has a description of his background in Galilee that is totally different from that of Chamberlain and Grundmann. etc. This suggestion anticipated the contribution of Qumran studies to a picture of a much more multiform Judaism than had been known before. the Law. Dahl.” Bornkamm writes about the Jewish people. nor were any of his activities located in Hellenistic towns.. Bornkamm places Galilee squarely within the bounds ofJudaism. The interest in “Jesus the Jew” was more concemed with the general traits of Judaism. e. the English translation. Bomkamm holds that Jesus showed no trace of Greek influence.A. As a result. It was quite exceptional that N. and it is only this Jewish community that comes into view. Vennes and E. Jewish religion. P. that underlie these quests. Sanders The division of studies of the historical Jesus into various quests is only provisional. But the picture of Judaism in this period remained above all the religious system and the various religious groups. he saw Judaism above all as a religion for a people. His negative reading of Jesus within a Zionist version of Judaism does not seem to have been followed up in the same way. David Flusser’s I968 work JESUS. He gives a picture ofGalilee that is close to Klausner’s. Thus. Thus. Flusser emphasizes that Galilee is the main geographical setting for Jesus’ activities. Between the Quests: Is there a Galilean Judaism? G. TIMES AND TEACHING. For instance. This is probably a result of Klausner’s view of “normative” Judaism. Klausner found Jesus wanting: his individualism represented an absolute break with the collectivism of Klausner’s Judaism.g. Moreover. also represents a reading of him within a consciously nationalistic ideology. and the Scribes and Pharisees were carriers of the idea of a Jewish state. but without his agressive Zionism. O n the basis of this picture of Judaism. Sadducees and Essenes. In a discussion of “Period and Environment.scholar in the twentieth century presented a Zionist nationalism. it was only the distance from the temple that made synagoguesinto the religious centres. Jesus is identified as a Jew. G. In cultural terms. Jewish studies of Jesus are not easily put within the framework of the three quests. O n the contrary. Galilee was a centre of Jewish observance of the Law.. 2013 . and does not create absolute boundaries or categories. but became an eager Zionist and moved to Palestine. Klausner found Galilee to be a center of Pharisaic piety. It was written by Joseph Klausner. moreover. but he does not conform to a Zionist ideology. The works of Geza Vermes. but the distancing was done now in ideological rather than in ethnic terms. especially his emphasis on the “Jewishness”of Jesus. often of a Christian and theological type. but not regions. who consciously locates Je- 34 Downloaded from btb. in his 1953 argument for a new quest (96). That is true of the first major study of Jesus by an Israeli scholar in this period.com by guest on January 28. A typical example is Gunther Bornkamm’s JESUS VON NAZARETH. and groups and movements. a nation. Klausner’s Jesus. John the Baptist. Bomkamm places Jesus in the Jewish part of the community. said that more knowledge about Judaism in Palestine at the time was one of the most important sources for the history of Je- sus. and Jesus represented the Pharisaic Judaismof his time that was loyal to the Holy Scriptures. or ethics. fully part of a Jewish community in Galilee. Another influential . but rejecting the Aryan hypothesis (53). as is to be expected. like Pharisees.and that aim at placing Jesus within a specifically Christian trajectory. and not with specific locations. but the region does not enter with distinctive religious characteristics in his discussion of Jesus’ relations to. Jestu against Judaism: The Disappearance of Galilee in the Second Quest The New Quest continued the trend of distancing Jesus from Judaism. Flusser is primarily concerned with Judaism as a religious system. Galilee had no religious peculiarities.Jewish study of Jesus. Klausner claims that they did not in the least influence Jesus. Galilee is presented as an area with a mixed race. Granting that there were many non-Jews in Galilee. and this distance also made it easier for religious movements to develop (42). cultural or regional aspects of Judaism in Palestine. locations or social issues. Thus.sagepub.
” In consequence. covenantal nomism (a central category in Sanders’ major reconstruction of Jewish beliefs in PAUL AND PALESTINIAN JUDAISM). Protesting strongly against the negative picture of Judaism and the dichotomy that characterized many of the second-quest studies. “We have also situated Jesus believably in first-century Judaism” (1985: 335).P. 101-07.sagepub. In some later studies. Important aspects of this system are Jewish restoration eschatology. Thus. but as a theological context. quite different: whereas Bauer and later Grundmann drew the conclusion that since Jesus was a Galilean. all of which he rejects. but at the same time people led simple lives more concerned with honor and pride than wealth. not a theologian. Vermes emphazises Jesus’ role as an exorcist and healer and places him in a charismatic Judaism that he associates with Galilee. Galilee was also wealthy. Thus Sanders does consider the social. Although he does recognize some differences between Galilee and Judea. Jesus is situated in Judaism not as a geographical. in many ways he continues the tendency in the second quest to focus on Judaism primarily as “religion. Vermes has a much broader concept of Judaism. prompted by the positions of scholars like Mack (1988). He rejects the idea that there was a strong influence of Hellenistic culture and Roman politics in Galilee. So. concluding instead that his popular following made him look like a potential rebel to the political authorities. Vermes’ focus on Galilee and a specifically Galilean Judaism was not followed up by E. Vermes finds that the picture of Jesus in the Gospels conforms to the specifically Galilean type: Jesus was “at home among the simple people of rural Galilee” where he had a following of people. and not even a reference in the index. Sanders has successfully established a much more positive picture with his JESUS AND JUDAISM (1985). Sanders mentions that Jesus was ‘‘a Galilean who preached and healed” as one of the “facts” about him (1985: l l ) . Sanders minimizes the presence and influence of gentiles in Galilee. self-contained politico-ethnic unit. thus represent a new beginning of interest in Galilee. But “situated” refers. In contrast to Bauer and Grundmann. which Sanders regards as the common denominator underlying all varieties of Judaism. as well as an economic oppression of the peasant population by the elite. he does not pay much attention to Jesus’ Galilean context.sus in Galilee as a region with specific characteristics. The peasants of Galilean villages are law-abiding Jews. different from Judea. He also represented a challenge to the established religious order. and economic situation of Galilee. in contrast to halakhic Judaism that became the comer stone of rabbinic Judaism. More than any other Christian First Testament scholar in the present generation. he says that “Antipas’ Galilee was mostly Jewish” and that Jesus probably had little contact with the cities of Galilee. 35 Downloaded from btb.Bauer. Klausner and later Vermes used the Galilean context to explain what sort of a Jew Jesus was. “place” in the geographic sense does not play an important part in Sanders’ description of Jewish identity. Combining socio-economic and religious factors in his picture of Jesus’ Galilean background. and Horsley (1987).” When he poses the question of which aspects of Palestinian history and religion are most relevant. Thus. Vermes does not see Jesus as a revolutionary.” he understands himself as an historian. so that “the world Jesus knew was that of the small towns and villages of Galilee” (1996: 76-77). not to place. He finds in Galilee a special religious identity based partly on the fact that the province was an autonomous. Parallel to Sanders’ contextualization of Paul in a Palestinian Judaism.com by guest on January 28. Crossan (1991). they appear to be of little consequence for the historical reconstruction of Judaism and of Jesus. Kee (1992). The conclusions are. Vermes therefore finds a specific Galilean regional identity. Vermes builds his picture of Galilee primarily on the descriptions in Josephus and in the Gospels. but mostly in criticism of other positions in which they play an integral part (1993a: 20-22. 2013 . cultural. however. 1993b). Sanders. and Galilee is an example of “the same” in terms of Jewishness. it is not surprising that Galilee blends into Judaism. for Sanders it is possible to write a book about the historical Jesus and his relations to Judaism without broaching the question of whether his Galilean background contributes to our understanding of who Jesus was as a preacher and healer. first century Galilee. but he does not have a section on Galilee. His more recent picture of the complexity and plurality of Judaism makes it easier to defend the assertion that Jesus was a Jew. Vermes continues a perspective that was launched by Klausner in 1925.” and speaks specifically of a “Galilean Judaism of his day” (43). Sanders has discussed the situation in Galilee. and at the same time in a study of Jesus and Galilee by the German scholar W. notably in the more popular book The Historical Figure of Jesus (1993). However. Thus it is Jesus’ relationship to the Temple that is Sanders’starting point for his description of Jesus. Sanders has contributed to a new understanding of ancient Judaism. he was not a Jew. Vermes’ goal in JESUSTHEJEWis “to fit Jesus and his movement into the greater context of first-century Palestine. he focuses on the need to fill in Jesus’ “natural background. but rather to Judaism as a system of religious beliefs. Sanders concludes his book by saying. In contrast to the “second questers.
Pp. Richardson. REPRESENTAn O N . TTVAIN ANDTHE HOLY LAND MANIA. ~01. edited by W. Philadelphia. South Florida Studies in the History ofJudaism 143.WREDE. Jerry F.In terms of the heritage from the nineteenth century. W. FRIEDRICH SCHLEIERMACHERTHE EVOLUTION OF A NATIONALIST. TIMES AND TEACHING. 1991. THE HISTORICAL FIGURE OF JESUS. A MYTH OF INNOCENCE: MARK AND CHRIS. Wilmington. Freyne.1. CA: Harper. Hans Dieter.B. edited by Douglas R. NJ: Princeton University Press. of Vie deJestcs 1863. 1991. MELVILLE. JESUS AND THE SPIRAL OF VIOLENCE: POPULAR JEWISH RESISTANCE IN ROMAN PALESTINE. Stuttgart. Ektz. Bornkamm. 91-108 in AUFSAnE UND KLEINE SCHRlFTEN. CO: Westview Press. Grundmann. Klausner. 3rd ed. Princeton. 1993b. Germany: Kohlhammer. the national characteristic is expressed as “religion. 1987. CA: Harper 6. Pp.. Germany: Mohr. Leiptig. Obenzinger. THEOLOGY TODAY 50: 42948. Schweitzer. NY: Jewish Theological Seminary of America. & D. JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY 14: 38144. 1993a. Mack. Jerusalem. Germany: G. MD: John Hopkins University Press. Philadelphia. Town and Country Once More: The Case of Roman GaIilee. Ben-Arieh. London. HIS LIFE. 81-1 11 in JESUSTHECHNST. Boulder. Works cited Bauer. French Cartograhhy of the HoIy Land in the Nineteenth Century. Schleiermacher. Naomi. Dov. Ernest 1927. C. JOURNALOF HISTORICALGEOGRAPHY 15: 69-79. and the regions. 1997. GALILEEFROMALEXANDERTHEGREATTOHADRIAN: 323 BCETO 135 CE. THE CULTURE OF WESTERN EUROPE THE NINETEENTHAND TWENTIETH CENTURIES.”Judaism is the common factor. 1989. Yehoshua. 1993. Shepherd. 3-22 inTHEGALILEE IN L A E .S. Dahl. GA: Scholars Press. Christie. Crossan. Tiibingen. DE: Glazier. Verheyden. Munich. 1977. 1878. Juel. H.F. Silberman. A. Walter. 1980. PAUL AND PALESTINIAN JUDAISM. SrUDIA THEOLOGICA 45: 83-1 10. 1988. 1941. NY: Modem Library. are not important in this regard. U K Allan Lane. Natio~lism and Archaeology. UK: Routledge. H. Burton. THE CRISIS OF GERMAN IDEOLOGY. San Francisco. 1991. New York. Thomas McCollough. Pp. Gdttingen. but a Jew” in Light of Present Scholarship. Kee. AMERICAN PALESTINE. Pp. Germany: Dieterische Verlagsbuchhandlung. like Galilee. JESUS. 1999. New York. J. UK: I. Austin. Sanders has decidedly broken with the tradition from Strauss. Horsley. Bruckmann. Giinther (1960) JESUS VON NAZARETH. 1899. PA: Fortress. CA: Harper & Row. DIE GRUNDLAGEN DES NEUNZEHNTEN JAHRHUNDERTS. 1998. eds.com by guest on January 28. Duncan. 1988.P. The HistoricalJesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. Steven Notley. JESUS AND JUDAISM. Richard. C. Butlin. edited by D. John Dominic. Pp. New York. Germany: F. London. We shall see that in the Third Quest. Early Christianity m Galike. H. San Francisco. Paul de. edited by Lee I. JESUS OF NAZARETH. 1994. Sanders. PALESTINE EXCPLORATION QUARTERLY 126: 24-3 1. Levine. Baltimore. Edited and with introduction by ]. 1992. 1966. UK: SCM.Row.” etc. D. with its dichotomy between Judaism and Christianity. with its strong interest in socio-historical context. Lagarde. PA: Fortress. Tauris. E. Renan. Minneapolis: Fortress (orig. N. Gavish. Edwards & C. This dichotomy often implied that there was also a split within Judaism. In some ways Sanders’ position shows similarities with that of Schleiermacher: national unity was more important than regional differences. RACE AND NATION: A READERhndon. The problem of the historical Jesus. Atlanta. Joseph 1989 (1925). 1964. between “law” and “faith. THE WESTERN REDISCOVERY OF PALESTINE. Israel: Magnes Press. Flusser. TMN ORIGINS. there is renewed interest in Galilee as the home place of Jesus. in collaboration with R. 103-12 in OXFORD ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE 36 Downloaded from btb.sagepub. Bauer. 1997. S. THE ZEALOUS INTRUDERS. PLACE. In Sanders’ conception. Mosse. London. Nineteenth-cen~ury historical geographies ofthe Holy Land. Wigand. Chamberlain. NY: Grosset & Dunlap. Hilton. JESUS DER G A L I ~ E RUND DAS JUDENTUM. R. Wellhausen’s Dictum ‘yesus u-as not a Christian. and between the Galilean Jesus and the leadership in Jerusalem. 1997. Clive. TX: University of Texas Press. 1975. GeoTge Adam Smith and the Historical Geographyof the Holy h n d .THE LIFEOF JESUS. Norwegian 1953) Dawson. Albert 1998. 2013 . 1998.j a m in Historicalh e n . NY Bloch. Ley. Translation.L.Jesrcs der Galiliier. DEUTSCHE SCHRIFTEN.Peter. G. New York. 1988. CULTURE. 1985. San Francisco. Second augmented edition. a contrast between Galilee and Jersualem. 1997.4NTiQUITY. THE Q U E S OFTHE HISTORICAL JESUS : A CRITICAL STUDY OF ITS PROGRESS FROM REIhlARUS TO . THE LlFE OFJESUS. 49-56 in ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE GALILEE. Nils A. 1967.
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