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The Social Configuration of the Rabbi-Disciple Relationship: Evidence and Implications for First Century Palestine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores that Jesus was also their "Rabbi" or "teacher" (cf. Matt 23:7, 8; 26:25, 49; Mark 9:5; 10:51; 11:21; 14:45; and John 1:39, 49; 3:2, 26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8). The immediate contribution of the Old Testament to the formation of the Rabbinate appears minimal. The typology of the Rabbi-disciple relationship which emerges in the chapter contains many interesting details. The Rabbis were drawn from a broad spectrum of social classes and from localities both in Palestine and the Diaspora. The literary portraits of the Pharisees and their role in the social and political life of first century Palestine must be filtered through something like Harold Attridge's assessment of the Antiquities. As with Josephus, the use of Philo in reconstructing the historical situation in first century Palestine is beset with methodological questions.

Keywords: Antiquities; Diaspora; first century Palestine; Jesus; Josephus; Old Testament; Pharisees; Philo; Rabbi-disciple relationship



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