Through the window of a single New Testament episode we can gain insight into how Jesus and his Jewish contemporaries employed sacred texts with creative ingenuity to grapple with the complex issues of their day.
One of the most poignant pictures which exemplify the chasm of historical misunderstanding between Jews and Christians is that found in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. It is a photograph of a life-size crucifix that stood outside an unknown German village prior to World War II. In a twist of tragic irony a sign was hung on the cross to warn Jews not to enter the village. It read: “Jews are not welcome here.”
Scholarship has recognized the similarities between the Parable of the Talents and the historical account of Archelaus’ attempts to inherit the kingdom of his father, Herod the Great. When Herod died, Caesar Augustus divided the kingdom between Herod’s three sons, Archelaus, Antipas and Philip.
The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research held its Second Annual Symposium on Tuesday, November 20. The meeting for members and the reception for affiliates, budding scholars and friends of the Jerusalem School took place at the Hotel Monaco in Denver, Colorado.
Do the Gospels together comprise an accurate, factual account of what Jesus said and did, so that although they give us different views of the same facts, they are all equally correct? Or, are they only partly a factual account, thus requiring us to tease out the historical facts from the literary glosses of later editors?