The New Testament under discussion

Caravaggio, "The Entombment of Christ"
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By ARI MARCELO SOLON*

Two different readings about the figure of Jesus Christ

There is no language more beautiful than Italian. This becomes evident when the New Testament it is translated into Dante's language and, at the same time, the expressions used by Jesus in the Hebrew language are maintained. It is the mark of perfection. This wonderful work carried out by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri is witnessed, so that it is possible to hear the words that Jesus would utter:

love - love

son - son

blessing – blessing

alliance - alliance

good news - good news

faith - faith

gentili, pagani - gentile, heathen

bread - bread

Regno dei Cieli - Kingdom of Heaven

parable – parable

Christ – Christ/Messiah

I change my mind - world to come

question world – this world

mercy - compassion

Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit) - Holy Spirit

right - fair

justice – justice

Saturday – Saturday

conversion – conversion

baptism – baptism.[I]

However, would it make sense to present a Hebrew reading of the New Testament that would have replaced the Hebrew Old Testament?

Yes. And the reason lies with Daniel Boyarin: the interpretation of the Messiah as a suffering servant did not constitute a revolutionary departure from religious history, but an obvious and plausible convergence of an established tradition. In tradition, suffering has an expiatory effect even more important than sacrifice and atonement for suffering and death is not limited to those who suffer: the expiatory effect goes much further, especially if it derives from the death of a just person.[ii]

There are two different revolutionary postures: Jesus, as a defender of tradition, faced the innovations introduced by the Pharisees, who wanted to extend to the entire population the Levitical prescriptions, originally reserved only for priests. They were indeed convinced of Israel's priestly mission.[iii]

After all, as Leonardo Boff says,[iv] faith is expressed through the practice of justice, solidarity, denunciation of oppression, protest and the practice of solidarity without borders, social love and universal fraternity.

And this is what we read in these Hebrew evangelicals: “[…] mette in evidence che le critiche più aspre nei confronti dei farisei si trovano proprio nella rabbinica letteratura e si riferiscono non ai veri, ma ai falsi farisei, i quali non hanno l'interno simile all'esterno”. […] makes it clear that the harshest criticisms of the Pharisees are found in the rabbinic literature itself and do not refer to the true, but to the false Pharisees, who “do not have an inside similar to the outside”.[v]

Bearing in mind that the most acidic criticisms of the Pharisees are in the rabbinic literature itself, we selected this excerpt from the Hebrew evangelicals that corroborate what was said by Leonardo Boff:

Mt 5,17-19: “Non pensiate che io sia venuto ad abolire la Torah oi Neviim. Non sono venuto ad abolirli ma a diffonderli nella loro pienezza. In verità vi dico: finché non passeranno i Cieli e la terra, non passerà neppure una yod o un taam dalla Torah, senza che tutto sia compiuto. Chi dunque trasgredirà una sola di queste miṣwot, anche minime, e insegnerà agli uomini a fare altrettanto, sarà considerato minimo nella Malkhut ha-Shamayim. Chi invece le osserverà e le insegnerà agli uomini, sarà considerato grande nella Malkhut ha-Shamayim".

Mt 5, 17-19: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to spread them in their fullness. Truly I say to you, even heaven and earth will pass away, not even a jot or tittle will pass from the Torah, until all is accomplished. Whoever then violates even one of these commandments, even a small one, and thus teaches men will be considered a minimum in the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, whoever observes them and teaches men will be considered great in the Kingdom of Heaven”.[vi]

*Ari Marcelo Solon is a professor at the Faculty of Law at USP. Author, among others, of books, Paths of philosophy and science of law: German connection in the development of justice (Prisms).

 

References


BOFF, Leonardo. San Francisco. the earth is round, 5 Oct. 2021. Available at: https://aterraeredonda.com.br/saofrancisco/?doing_wp_cron=1633452118.2700181007385253906250.

BOYARIN, Daniel. Il Vangelo Hebrew. Le vere origini del cristianesimo. Tr. by S. Buttazzi. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2012.

NEW TESTAMENT: A Hebrew letter. Vangeli and Atti degli Apostolli. Translate and comment by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2021.

 

Notes


[I]NEW TESTAMENT: A Hebrew letter. Vangeli and Atti degli Apostolli. Translate and comment by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2021. pp. 9-10. Free translation.

[ii]See: BOYARIN, Daniel. Il Vangelo Hebrew. See the origins of Christianity. Tr. by S. Buttazzi. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2012. pp. 132-136.

[iii]Cf. NEW TESTAMENT: A Hebrew letter. Vangeli and Atti degli Apostolli. Translate and comment by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2021. p. 76.

[iv] BOFF, Leonardo. San Francisco. the earth is round, 5 Oct. 2021. Available at: https://aterraeredonda.com.br/saofrancisco/?doing_wp_cron=1633452118.2700181007385253906250.

[v]NEW TESTAMENT: A Hebrew letter. Vangeli and Atti degli Apostolli. Translate and comment by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2021. p. 49.

[vi]NEW TESTAMENT: A Hebrew letter. Vangeli and Atti degli Apostolli. Translate and comment by Marco Cassuto Morselli and Gabriella Maestri. Rome: Castelvecchi, 2021. p. 322.

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