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Extra resources for AJS REVIEW The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies Vol. IX, No. 1 Spring 1984

Example text

Leslie W. Barnard, Studies in the Apostolic Fathers and Their Background (Oxford, 1960), p. 118. 76. As an illustration, note Irenaeus' description of Simon Magus' view of the law in his Treatise against Heresies, II, 23:2-3. 77. Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion (Boston, 1963), p. 142. ANALYSIS OF AN EXEGETIC TRADITION 25 be its biblical basis, our passage utilized this very text to teach that Abraham was blessed because he observed the mitzvot, because he acted out of his faith. Even if earlier traditions could imply that Abraham's righteousness was expressed through his faith alone,78by the middle of the second century the rabbis had no choice but to underscore his obedience to the law as the expression of his faith.

He did not have any function in the Temple service which might support his demand to direct and interpret the rites. On the contrary the sage's only authentication was his teaching and his own embodiment of the burden of his message. He represented a third force in religion, opposed to the two primary elements of charisma and traditional routine. ' 46 STUARTA. COHEN tion hardly explored at all. Carefully selected biblical verses are subjected to close scrutiny,2' and then tendentiously set to a purpose which is as avowedly political as manifestly moralistic.

The sage was not a charismatic leader. He could not claim authority by reason of a legitimate place in the cult. He did not have any function in the Temple service which might support his demand to direct and interpret the rites. On the contrary the sage's only authentication was his teaching and his own embodiment of the burden of his message. He represented a third force in religion, opposed to the two primary elements of charisma and traditional routine. ' 46 STUARTA. COHEN tion hardly explored at all.

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