The Judaean cultural context of community of goods in the early Jesus movement: Part IV. The Jesus movement and holy community of life and property amongst the poor of Judaea
Capper, B. 2019. The Judaean cultural context of community of goods in the early Jesus movement: Part IV. The Jesus movement and holy community of life and property amongst the poor of Judaea. Qumran Chronicle. 27.
This article explores the origins of the earliest Jerusalem believers’ communal lifestyle (Acts 1:13–14, 2:42–47; 4:32–5:11; cf. 6.1–6). Jesus’ example and authority sanctioned community of life and property. Wealthy supporters made benefactions (Luke 8:1–3) to his travelling party’s shared purse. Jesus’ group financed from their common purse support for the poor, common meals and other needs (John 6.5–7; 12:4–6; 13:29). Ideals of holiness and complete consecration dominated ancient Judaea more than Galilee. Highly dedicated service to God in common life amongst the poor had originated as a Judaean response, amongst the Essenes, to the harshness of agrarian subsistence economy. The verb nosphizomai, used of Ananias’ crime in Acts 5:2–3, means ‘embezzle, misappropriate’; Peter’s reference to Ananias’ sale of property (5:4) may reflect the Hebrew verb macar in its root sense ‘hand over’. Ananias’ property-surrender, which was only provisional, reflected both the Essene novitiate (1QS 6.13–23, cf. Josephus, Jewish War 2.8.7 §§137–142) and the nascent Church’s associations with Essenes in Jerusalem.
|Keywords||Jesus movement; Essene Community; Palestine; Judea; Early Christians|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||12 Jul 2019|
|Accepted||10 Jul 2019|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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