Timothy H. Lim – The Formation of the Jewish Canon

Background

Based on Google’s Youtube suggested videos, I am catching up on Nabeel Qureshi.

I am listening to the video titled “Does Unscripted Oral Proclamation Account for the Short Ending of Mark’s Gospel?“.

 

Video

As always there is a lot over my head, but I really couldn’t get pass this little segment.

 

  1. Reading the Scripture & Helping Others
    Link
  2. Does Unscripted Oral Proclamation Account for the Short Ending of Mark’s Gospel
    Link

 

 

Book

I googled on the phase  “those who read the scripture must be able to help outsiders“.

And, here is what came up.

Timothy H. Lim – The Formation of the Jewish Canon

Page 99

The Prologue helps clarify the grandson’s understanding of the scribal curriculum.
It provides direct access in the form of the grandsons own words:

Whereas many great teachings have been given to us through the Law and the Prophets and the others that followed them, and for these we should praise Israel for Instruction and wisdom.

Now those who read the scriptures must not only themselves understand them, but must also as lovers of learning be able through the spoken and written word to help the outsiders.

So may grandfather Jesus, who had devoted himself especially to the reading of the Law and the Prophets and the other books of our ancestors, and had acquired considerable proficiency in them, was himself also led to write something pertaining to instruction and wisdom, so that by becoming familiar with his book those who love learning might make even further progress in living according to the law.

You are invited therefore to read it with goodwill and attention, and to be indulgent in cases where, despite our diligent labor in translating, we may seem to have rendered some phases imperfectly.

For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same sense when translated into another language. Not only this book, but even the Law itself, the Prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little when read in the original.

When I came to Egypt in the thirty-eight year of reign of Euergetes ad stayed for some time, I found opportunity for no little instruction.

It seemed highly necessary that I should myself devote some diligence and labor to the transcribing.

 

Page 100

The rationale for writing the Prologue is clear enough. The grandson wants to introduce his grandfather’s book of wisdom to those who love learning.

The addresses, “you” in the plural, are invited to read it, so that they will make further progress in living according to the law.

The grandson’s intended audience is the Greek-speaking Jews of Egypt. He describes them as “those living abroad”.

Moreover, they were probably scribes as the following descriptors, imply: “those who read (scripture)” and the “lovers of learning”.

The word “scribe” occurs in several verses of scripture.

These scribes must not just understand the great teachings of Israelite scriptures, but must also help the outsiders.

Skehan and Di Lella have suggested that what stands behind this reference to the outsiders is the narrative of Nehemiah 8:8-12.

The phrase is better rendered as “those who are without them” and refers to the laity or to those who are unable to read the original scriptures because they lack the scriptures or wisdom. The scribes, therefore, must in speech and in writing help the laity.

The nature of the scribal assistance, however, is not through translation and explication in the way that the Levites went around and offered help to those who heard the reading of the law in the square before the Water Gate ( Neh 8:7).

The scribes, to be sure, must have been bilingual, as the appeal to goodwill and indulgence in assessing the imperfect translation implies.

But, it is not their translational skills that are needed here.

Rather, so the grandson specifies, the scribal aid consists of oral teaching and the drafting of a book of instruction and wisdom.

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