The Patristic Reception of Zechariah ben JehoiadaThe Old Greek of 2 Chronicles 24:20 speaks of a character named Azariah son of Jodae, whereas the Masoretic Text calls this person Zechariah son of Jehoiada. This alteration of names had a significant impact on the patristic interpretation of Matt. 23:35 // Lk. 11:51, a dominical statement referencing the blood of Abel and Zechariah. While most modern scholars locate Jesus’ Zechariah in 2 Chron. 24:20, this interpretation was not obvious to the Fathers who did not find the name Zechariah in this passage, bur rather Azariah. For instance, Origen knows the character of 2 Chron. 24:20 by his traditional LXX name (Azariah), so that this passage from Chronicles never appears in Origen’s multiple discussions of Matt. 23:35. Instead, Origen relates this Zechariah to the canonical prophet, or alternatively to the father of John the Baptist. However, Josephus does attest the name Zechariah in his retelling of 2 Chron. 24 (A.J. 9.168–71), and this may have been the source for a confused statement by John Chrysostom regarding the Zechariah mentioned by Jesus. Nevertheless, it does not seem that the Fathers were able to confidently link the Zechariah of Matt. 23:35 to the character in 2 Chron. 24, in the manner of modern scholars, until Jerome argued forcefully for this identification, partly at least, it seems, so that it would allow him to display his knowledge of Hebrew, demonstrate its great usefulness for biblical exegesis, and highlight the insufficiency of relying on a Greek translation of scripture.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
SBL 2012 Greek Bible Paper Accepted
Last night I received the acceptance notice for the paper I submitted to the Greek Bible section for the SBL meeting this Nov. in Chicago. Here's the abstract.