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8456Re: [XTalk] Matthew 18:23-35//Luke 16:1-8: a common oral tradition? An Oral Q?

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  • Loren Rosson
    Oct 1, 2001
      Bob Schacht wrote:

      >Suppose at the punchline level, the moral of
      >the story was, "Show mercy, and you will receive
      >mercy; but if you demand justice, that is what you
      >will get." Both stories could be generated from
      >this same principle.

      The punchline of The Shrewd Manager seems more like,
      "Show mercy and you will come out ahead". The master
      reinstates his manager neither out of charity nor
      mercy (on the contrary, he **praises** the manager for
      his shrewd tactic), but rather because the manager
      made him look good. Your punchline does apply to The
      Unmerciful Servant -- at least, as it stands in its
      Matthean context. Originally, that story's punchline
      may have been a bit more complex.

      >I am suggesting that the common core was a
      >teaching on Mercy vs. Justice.

      "Mercy" figures into The Shrewd Manager only when the
      manager forgives part of the bills owed by the
      debtors. He may have done this out of
      self-preservation as much as charity.

      >...unfortunately for my thesis, Luke does not end
      >with a conclusion about mercy, but with a conclusion
      >about shrewdness (phronimos). And we cannot claim
      >shrewdness is one of Luke's editorial propensities...


      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH

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