an addendum to my article
- I have not yet addressed in my article on the WTS the question of the
function that the WTS might have had, particularly if was composed by
someone other than Matthew, had pretty much the form and substance in
which it is presented to us by Matthew and Luke, and circulated for a
time as a free floating tradition (assumptions made by virtually all
of those who those who speak of the stories "original" function).
Here's a list of what to my knowledge are all of the positions that
commentators have taken on this matter:. If you know of more, please
let me know!
With respect to the question of the function of the story commentators
have given a variety of answers. It served to
1. admonish the community by showing how Jesus withstood the human
temptations "such as every believer knows" to succumb to gluttony, vain
glory, and greed;
2. show how a human being overcomes the enticements that materialism,
thrill seeking, and power hold for human beings;
3. demonstrate, perhaps in response to claims to the contrary, that
Jesus was not a qeioj a0nh/r or a magician in league with dark forces;
4. explain why Jesus refused to engage in miracles of display'
5. denounce certain "political options" advocated in times of crises by
anti Roman Jewish parties or by Jewish collaborators with Roman rule as
6. promote Jesus as one who represented the true people of God;
7. promote Jesus as one who was called to, and who could rightfully clam
the "messianic offices" of prophet, priest, and king.
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
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