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Re: Fwd: [XTalk] what the devil is the Devil "up to" in the wilderness temptation narrative?

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... Well, most commentators accept an Israel in the Wilderness typology for the testing story. But only some read the story with the particular reference
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2008
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      Gordon Raynal wrote:
      > Whether Matthew and Luke got the expanded "40" narrative from Q or a
      > popular common sermon/ lesson both had access to, the expanded midrash
      > on the wilderness wanderings is structurally about the 3 great
      > challenges of nationhood: the intersection of economics (bread),
      > religion (the temple trip) and political power (to the mountains). As
      > Jesus embodies Israel's life and is recapitulating the journey in "the
      > way" of faithfulness he is confronted by Satan (aka the tempter) with
      > Israel's past, namely--- Israel had whined in the wilderness over
      > bread and said to Moses "let's go back to Egypt," at the wilderness
      > temple of God... Mount Sinai... they gave up on the very life of God
      > by building the golden Hathor of Egypt while Moses was up there
      > getting that life and then they feared "the nations" and refused to
      > go forth thus incurring the judgement of God. Jesus, of course, does
      > not fall to the ancient fears, idolatry and thus cowardice. He is
      > faithful. And this makes for stinging commentary on the leadership of
      > Jesus' day who had "sold out" economically, religiously and
      > politically to the Roman overlords. As the Christos of the Kingdom he
      > thus begins by embodying the very heart of the Torah story and the
      > expanded midrash particularly emphasizes this.
      > Anyone writing about the narrative in this way?
      Well, most commentators accept an Israel in the Wilderness typology for
      the testing story. But only some read the story with the particular
      reference points in the post exodus narrative that you've adduced. And
      note that you have to mix up a few things in the story (bread testing at
      the temple? Jesus on the mountain (in Matthew) people below?) to get
      the typologies that you think are there. And, if I read you correctly,
      on your understanding -- which seems to be that of T.W. Manson (see
      below), all the Matthean and Lukan Jesus ends up doing by the end of it
      is having an understanding of what Sonship does *not* entail, what he
      wont do, not what he is called to be and will do as Son. But in the
      light of the evidence of Mt. 5.39-46//Lk 6.27-35, where the Evangelists
      have Jesus precisely delineate who sons of God are and what being Son
      entails, can this be maintained? How can Jesus have such knowledge if
      after his temptation he was still unclear on what positively was
      involved in living out that office?


      T.W. Manson (/The Sayings of Jesus/ [London: SCM Press, 1949] p.
      46): `And here we may note that Jesus does not set forth the
      positive features of His own conception of His ministry. He rejects
      a number of proposals quite decisively, as much as to say: Whatever
      else God may have appointed me to do, it is not this or this' (my

      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...

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