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By John G Gager

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36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 17 Bampton Lectures of 1934), and H. J. CADBURY, The Making of Luke-Acts (London: SPCK, 1958). VANSINA, Oral Tradition, p. 112. SCHWEITZER, Quest, p. 4. For an excellent example of this kind of approach see W. A. MEEKS, "The Man from Heaven in Johannine Sectarianism," Journal of Biblical Literature 91 (1972), pp. 44-72. Meeks remarks that "it is astonishing that attempts to solve the J ohannine puzzle have almost totally ignored the question of what social function the myths may have had.

This is a typical feat of prophetic authority-purifying the sacred place, fallen into corrupt and impure hands-and the quotations from Isa. 56:7 and Jer. 7: 11 merely serve to reinforce this aspect by presenting the event as a deliberate fulfillment of scriptural prophecy. ' " Matt. " John 2:19 When read in the light of the scene in the temple, these words imply not that Jesus sought to do away with it altogether, but that its original purity could only be restored through a radical act of destruction and rebuilding.

C. 7 To these we need add only a fifth, namely, the central role of a messianic, prophetic, or charismatic leader. Without further argument at this point, we will take it as given that earliest Christianity meets these criteria and thus deserves to be designated a millenarian movement. But we must confront one apparent difficulty at the outset-the last of Jarvie's four traits. If a brief life span is fundamentally inherent in such a movement, what are we to make of Christianity's obvious and, from the perspective of this chapter, somewhat embarrassing longevity?

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