Week 3, Renewal Movements and the Resistance to Empire in Ancient Judea, Richard A. Horsley (Sugirtharajah)

October 15, 2007

Horsley’s reinterpretation of the role of the Pharisee was one of the most eye opening aspects of this chapter. Horsley notes that the “’scribes and Pharisees’ often took the lead in anti-imperial protests and other agitation in ancient Judea” (71). He later notes that New Testament scholarship tends to paint the Pharisees primarily as antagonistic figures who were opposed by Jesus for their legalism. I have found this to be true, even more so in the teaching I have received from the church. Due to this, Horsley’s alternative perspective on the role of ancient Pharisees is not expected and offers an important insight for anyone looking to address biblical criticism from a postcolonial perspective.

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