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Welcome to episode 5 of Rational Faiths’ newest podcat series, The CES Podcast (for the rest of us), with Bible scholar, Dr. Sheldon Greaves and his co-host, Michael Barker. Dr. Greaves and Mike Barker will be looking at this year’s seminary and institute curriculum, which covers the New Testament, and will be distilling a week’s worth of lessons and readings down to a half hour podcast. Episode 5 will cover Matthew chapters 23-25
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– Dr. Greaves and Mike
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Dr. Sheldon Greaves received his Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible from UC Berkeley in 1996. He is a co-founder of Henley-Putnam University, a private university catering to the intelligence and counterterrorism communities. He has taught Old and New Testament and similar subjects at Stanford University. At present, Dr. Greaves leads seminars on biblical and related topics as Scholar-in-Residence at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon. He is also the founder of Guerrilla Scholars (501(c)(3) status pending), a loose association of learners, thinkers, teachers, artists, and recovering academics that can best be described as, "a bunch of geeks who want to save the world."
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Actually there is some info on Zacharias son of Barachias: that’s the lineage of the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1), there’s the murder of the prophet Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 (so Jesus is referring to all the martyrs, from Abel to Zechariah, A to Z, although that doesn’t match the Hebrew alphabet), and there’s Joseph Smith’s comment that that referred to the death of John the Baptist’s father; more discussion here: https://bycommonconsent.com/2006/10/11/the-murder-of-zacharias/
Ooo! Thanks for the info and thanks for listening. What do you think so far of this new series?
I have always gone with Occam’s Razor here.
Jesus wasn’t going from A to Z in an alphabetical sense, he was going from the beginning of scripture, Genesis, where you don’t get very far before the first martyr (Abel) appears, to the last book in the scriptures (Chronicles) wherein another righteous man is slain by the wicked. Jesus is placing his listeners as the spiritual heirs of the wicked who have fought against God from Day One, or from front cover to back cover (or from the beginning of the scroll to its end). Those listeners are just continuing the work of making martyrs of the righteous and they won’t slow up with Jesus. His illustration makes sense in that context and his listeners would have gotten the pointed barb.
The whole thing about the murder of Zacharias is (for LDS) taken from an article in the Times and Seasons in 1842. The article was actually a recap of a story that was in circulation from the Apocrypha. There is no reason to believe Joseph Smith wrote this article; in fact, he was in hiding at the time. The Times and Seasons ran all kinds of articles. Joseph Fielding Smith simply made a mistake including this article in the TPJS, which itself is a useful reference, not a standard work. The Restoration will survive it.
I believe the straight-forward explanation works best here.
Just a little note about clean and unclean animals. It isn’t whether or not an animal has “hooves” or not, but rather about the shape of the hoof. A clean animal “divideth the hoof and cheweth the cud.” In other words, a cud-chewing animal with a cloven hoof. Camels cheweth the cud but divideth not the hoof. Pigs divideth the hoof but cheweth not the cud.
Also, regarding Caiaphas, many believe that his ossuary was found in the early 90s and that his daughter’s ossuary was found in the mid-2000s.