A favorite teaching practice of many rabbis was the art of allegory. All of the most famous rabbis were masters of this practice, and of course Jesus and Paul are no exceptions. Paul used this technique often in his letters and knowing this is important to interpretation. However, what happens when a master like Paul blends solid teaching about salvation and an allegory that would make perfect sense to his original audience? We miss it, that’s what. Let’s look at something that could possibly be underlying Paul’s teachings on slavery.
This is the third part of my commentary on Mark 12 as we look at this chapter in its original context. We are asking the question, “what did this passage of scripture mean to its original hearers?” and it is transformative to our understanding for certain. Be sure to see the other parts of this commentary too as each builds on the previous.
This week my Tuesday night Bible class, The Jewish Context of the Bible, was on the Romans. You can find the audio online at the website of Prestoncrest Church of Christ and also on my Audio Lessons page (along with the handout).
In the lesson we talked about Roman history and how the evolution of the Roman Triumphal Procession became a powerful symbol for the believers in Rome who Mark was writing1. I’d like to go a bit deeper into one particular aspect of the Markan crucifixion narrative now with a short study on a brutal game that Roman soldiers played, likely with Jesus as their target.