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Old 03-08-2001, 09:28 AM   #31
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Some additional thoughts.

After rereading your post I must admit that I am somewhat confused. First you seem to deny that Pharisees were militantly opposed to Roman rule, then you say that Maccoby argues that Jesus was a political revolutionary bent on throwing the Romans out of Palestine, and finally you say that Maccoby believed that Jesus was a Pharisee. Which is it? And I must say, that the view that Jesus was a Pharisee is widely rejected by the vast majority of New Testament scholars (as is the notion that Jesus was an Essenne).

On the other hand, the majority of scholars do accept that Paul was a Pharisee. Paul explicitly identifies himself as a Pharisee. Phil. 3:5-6. Moreover, just as Pharisees observed traditions above and beyond the written law, Paul explicitly says that he was "exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my father." Gal. 1:14. Additionally, Paul's belief in the resurrection and in angels reflect Pharisee, rather than Sadduccee origins.

Finally, the fact that Paul was a Pharisee supports Acts' contention that Paul was educated in Jerusalem. As you say, the Pharisees were based in Jerusalem. Additionally, Paul identifies himself as a "Hebrew," which a Jew of the diaspora most likely would not do. 2 Cor. 11:22.

Accordingly, from Paul's own letters, as well as Acts, the evidence seems very strong that he was indeed a Pharisee who was educated in Jerusalem.

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