Saturday, April 16, 2016

Jesus and intel

THE ASOR BLOG: Jesus as a Security Risk: Intelligence and Repression in the Roman Empire (Rose Mary Sheldon).
Intelligence personnel tend to have a view of events that differs from historians, even other people in government, and certainly from the general public. They are often accused of being realpolitikers or just plain cynical. Although crude jokes are made about the lack of morality in the intel game (the world’s second oldest profession — with far fewer morals than the first, etc.), the fact is that these are men and women serving their country. Their goal is to keep their own country safe, or in a colonial situation, to keep control of their country’s possessions. Insurgencies are their worst nightmare. They have to provide intelligence to decision-makers in a timely manner in what may turn out to be life and death situations. Like historians they never have as much evidence as they would like, but unlike historians they don’t get to ruminate on issues for a long time with 20-20 hindsight.

I would like to discuss some of the assumptions about messianism in first-century Judaism and about the historical Jesus, but nevertheless an interesting perspective.

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