Beberapa waktu lalu, sebelum berdiskusi tentang masalah penyebutan Abiathar dalam Markus 2:26, saya mengirim pesan kepada Profesor Craig A. Evans. Saya bertanya kepada beliau tentang pendapatnya mengenai tuduhan Ehrman (yang digunakan oleh Jones) bahwa penyebutan Abiathar dalam Markus 2:26 adalah sebuah anakronisme.

Malam ini, pada pukul 11.44 PM (WIB), tanggal 28 November 2011, Profesor Craig A. Evans, membalas pesan saya via inboxFB.Sebelum saya cantumkan komentar dari Profesor Craig A. Evans, saya ingin menyampaikan sesuatu kepada beliau terlebih dahulu:

Special Note for Profesor Craig A. Evans:

I really appreciate your kindness and humiliation to reply my messages. And I’m sure that your thought on this issue will enrich us in Indonesia. Coz I’ve read your comments, and I think it is an excellent perspective. So, I decided to share your thought on my weblog. My prayer, may The Trinity God bless you and always lead you to be a wonderful means of blessing for all nations in the world.

Deky Hidnas Yan Nggadas
Th.M student at Great Commission Theological Seminary, Jakarta – Indonesia. 

Berikut ini saya copas komentar Profesor Craig A. Evans. Meskipun isi komentar Dr. Evans berbeda dengan pandangan yang saya kemukakan dalam diskusi dengan J.p. Jones, saya melihat bahwa ada hal-hal yang bisa dihubungkan dengan pandangan saya (lihat: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150408258681740). Saya berharap akan menulis sebuah artikel yang mengkombinasikan pandangan yang saya anut dengan beberapa poin dari Dr. Evans. Harapan tertinggi saya adalah komentar beliau memberikan pencerahan kepada kita semua dan mendorong kita untuk mengadakan riset lebih lanjut demi memperkaya khasanah pemikiran Kristiani di Indonesia. Selamat membaca.

Hello:
The reference to Abiathar is not an anachronism. We have in fact a priest at the time David entered the house of God and ate the sacred bread. The question has to do with the sequence of Ahimelech and Abiathar. 1 Samuel 21 seems to suggest that Ahimelech was the father and Abiathar was his son, but elsewhere in the Old Testament it seems to be the other way around. Accordingly, Jesus (or the evangelist Mark – remember, in the original Greek text there are no quotation marks or punctuation, so we are not always sure who is speaking) could refer to either Abiathar or Ahimelech and his hearers (or Mark’s readers) would immediately recognize which story is being referred to. I attach my article that appeared recently in a German encyclopedia. The one that that you mention is not available in electronic form, so I cannot send it. The attached one covers the ground sufficiently. All the best to you:)
C. A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College PS. I will send the article to you on the next message.

Beberapa saat kemudian, Profesor Craig Evans mengirimkan kepada saya artikelnya yang beliau sebutkan di atas. Saya cantumkan sebagai berikut:

Abiathar

Abiathar and Ahimelech were priests under David (1 Sam 22:22–23). Abiathar is mentioned by Jesus in a dispute with Pharisees over picking grain on the Sabbath (Mk 2:23-28). Mentioning Abiathar, rather than Ahimelech, as the “high priest” when David and his men were given sacred bread is problematic. According to 1 Sam 21:1-6 Ahimelech, not Abiathar, was priest when approached by David. The name Abiathar is omitted in both Matthew (12:3-4) and Luke (6:3-4), as well as in some mss of Mark.

There may have been two traditions with regard to Ahimelech and Abiathar. The major tradition narrates Abiathar as the son of Ahimelech. Accordingly, the latter is the priest who gave the bread to David and his men. This is the tradition of 1 Samuel 21–22. But there is also a minor tradition, in which Ahimelech is said to be the son of Abiathar, who survives and serves David alongside Zadok (2 Sam 8:17; 1 Chr 18:16; 24:3-31; contrast 1 Kgs 4:4, where it is Abiathar who serves alongside Zadok; see also 4Q245 frag. 1, col. i, line 7). The saying attributed to Jesus (whether uttered by Jesus or supplied by the Markan evangelist) apparently reflects the minor tradition.

Jesus’ appeal to the action of Abiathar (or Ahimelech) touched on a very sensitive issue. According to Lev 24:5-9 the twelve loaves of the Presence were sacred and were to be eaten only by the priests. David’s consumption of this sacred bread was potentially scandalous. Even in Jesus’ day there was reluctance to acknowledge this part of the story.

Although he provides an enriched paraphrase of the story, Josephus carefully sidesteps mention of the bread: “He requested to receive provisions . . . once he had obtained these things” (Ant. 6.243-244). Josephus provides no hint that David and his men requested or ate sacred bread. The author of Biblical Antiquities not only omits the part about David and his men receiving the sacred bread, it actually justifies the slaying of the priests, who “were profaning the holy things of the Lord and desecrating the first fruits of the people” (Ps.-Philo, Bib. Ant. 63:1). In contrast, the Fathers of the Church (e.g., Ephrem, Augustine). saw in David’s action of eating the consecrated bread evidence of his priestly status, a status passed on to his messianic descendant.

Bibliography

  1. Evans, C. A. “Patristic Interpretation of Mark 2:26: ‘When Abiathar was High Priest’.” VC 40 (1986) 183-86.
  2. Morgan, C. S. “When Abiathar was High Priest,” JBL 98 (1979) 409-10.
  3. Mulholland, M. R. “Abiathar,” DJG 1-2.
  4. Whitelam, K. W. “Abiathar,” ABD 1:13-14.