My thanks to Gene Harker for alerting me to this Newsweek article on a new essay by Dale Martin in JSNT. The link to the journal article is here and its title is "Jesus in Jerusalem: Armed and Not Dangerous." According to the Newsweek write-up and the abstract, which I'll include below, Martin highlights the fact that Jesus' disciples were apparently armed at Passover in expectation of a fight. I've never really bought into the wholly-pacifistic Jesus that my self-professed tree-hugging friend and colleague Dr. Le Donne espouses (and many, many others it should be said). This is partially because of precisely the issues that Martin appears to be addressing and partially because I like to imagine Jesus and the disciples unwinding on the weekend Fight Club-style. Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading this article. I'll report back in due course.
"In debating the meaning of Jesus’ arrest and death at Jerusalem, scholars have paid too little attention to normal Roman practices of dealing with persons found armed in public in Rome or other cities under their control. Moreover, the idea that only one or two of Jesus’ disciples were armed has been accepted uncritically in spite of the probability that more or all of them were armed. This article highlights the signiﬁcance of Jesus’ disciples being armed when he was arrested just outside the walls of Jerusalem, linking that fact with other details from the sources, such as Jesus’ opposition to the temple, the presence of Samaritans among his early followers, the absence of lamb at the last supper, and the fact that he was executed by the Romans as a ‘social rebel’. Jesus led his followers, armed, to Jerusalem to participate in a heavenly-earthly battle to overthrow the Romans and their high-priestly client rulers of Judea."