á¼œÎ½Î¿Ï‡Î¿Ï‚ (Mt 5, 21-22) and the Jurisprudence of Heaven 97
Talmud47. He and others using Mishna, Tosefta, and Talmuds index all
their sources. After Davies and his companion Dale Allison48 comes Geza
Vermes, who though not primarily a Talmudist includes, as many do,
Jewish indications suggesting that Jesus agreed with his coreligionists:
but Vermes says nothing of the court(s) of Heaven49. The many works of
E.P. Sanders, luminary of the English-speaking world, likewise ignores
that jurisdiction50. Sanders occupies himself with Mishna, Talmud and
Midrash. The present writerâ€™s own delinquency has been confessed above.
How did these omissions arise? Videant quorum interest.
Instead of being on a mountain Jesus has taken us up into the
spectatorsâ€™ gallery of the court of Heaven. We are astonished at the
information supplied by the great bureaucracy of angels51, the criteria
applied, the principles of the Jurisprudence of Heaven, and the speed
with which matters are disposed of by the delegates and official principal
of the Supreme Judge. We do not have to wait for the End. To neglect what
we have learned is to collapse (Mt 7,24-29) and to fall (or be thrown) into
GÃªhinom, the ultimate penalty. We must obey Mosesâ€™ injunctions (Mt
l8,18-20) and open oneâ€™s purse to the poor, and thereby acquire treasure
in Heaven where the angels, the bankers, can certify oneâ€™s freedom from
the snares of the world. The Sermon on the Mount is a privileged ticket
to that gallery. The old question of the Sermonâ€™s â€œimpracticabilityâ€
J. DUNCAN M. DERRETT
Half Way House, High Street,
Blockley, Moreton in Marsh,
Glos. GL 56 9EX (ENGLAND)
W.D. Davies, Christian Origins and Judaism (London 1962); The Setting of the
Sermon on the Mount (Cambridge 1964) 235-37.
W.D. Davies and D. C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel
according to Saint Matthew (Edinburgb 1988) 512,514. There also Dale C. Allison, Studies
in Matthew (Grand Rapids 2005), ch.10 and The Sermon on the Mount (New York 1999). H.
Clarkeâ€™s amusing study of the Sermon, ch. 3 in his The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers
(Bloomington & Indianapolis 2003) charts ignorance and ingenuity in double harnees.
His fifth work on Jesus is The Authentic Gospel of Jesus (London 2004). Note pp.
E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (London 1985) (note p. 330, 4l2 n. 22); Jewish Law
from Jesus to the Mishnah (Londonâ€“Philadelphia 1990); The Historical Figure of Jesus
1993) (note pp. 201-02, 211).
See n. 28 above.