Kingdom of God Kingdom of my Father
- Just wondering if we have any reason to believe that the reality that
Jesus speaks of in Matt. 26:29 and parallels ("my father's kingdom") is
not the same one that he proclaims in Matt. 4:17 ("the Kingdom of
The reason I ask is that I have a suspicion that we might be wrong to
assume, as most exegetes do, that the "kingdom" whose "coming" Jesus
tells his disciples to pray for ((which, in context, is strictly
speaking, not the Kingdom of God, but their "Father's kingdom") is the
reality that he designates elsewhere in the Synoptic tradition as the
basileia tou theou..
If there is a difference in referent between "my father's kingdom" and
"the kingdom of God" (which, BTW, is never used in conjunction with the
verb "to come), then there may be something else going on in the
"kingdom petition of the LP than what is usually supposed.
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- At 11:31 AM 3/8/2009, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
>Just wondering if we have any reason to believe that the reality thatFirst thought is to what Jesus means generally when he refers to "my
>Jesus speaks of in Matt. 26:29 and parallels ("my father's kingdom") is
>not the same one that he proclaims in Matt. 4:17 ("the Kingdom of
>The reason I ask is that I have a suspicion that we might be wrong to
>assume, as most exegetes do, that the "kingdom" whose "coming" Jesus
>tells his disciples to pray for ((which, in context, is strictly
>speaking, not the Kingdom of God, but their "Father's kingdom") is the
>reality that he designates elsewhere in the Synoptic tradition as the
>basileia tou theou..
>If there is a difference in referent between "my father's kingdom" and
>"the kingdom of God" (which, BTW, is never used in conjunction with the
>verb "to come), then there may be something else going on in the
>"kingdom petition of the LP than what is usually supposed.
father". I know that it is generally assumed that he is referring to God
rather than to Joseph, but what is the evidence for that?
As a more general issue, Psychologists would probably have a field day with
the idea of Jesus being affected by an absent father. We don't actually
know when Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, died, except that he supposedly
died after Jesus was 12 years old and on the verge of adulthood (by Middle
Eastern standards). This triggers talk about the "Absent Father Syndrome"
made popular by some people with special reference in modern times to
There's also this interesting work:
><http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119976271/abstract#fn1>TalesThis publication is from Wiley InterScience, which seems reputable.
>of the Absent Father: Applying the "Story" Metaphor in Family Therapy
> a Coordinator of Family Therapy Services, Manville School, Judge Baker
> Children's Center, 295 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA. Send reprint requests
> to author at 397 Highland Street, Newton MA 02165.
>The author wishes to thank Renée Brant, M.D., Anne Fishel, Ph.D., Sheila
>McNamee, Ph.D., Vicky Steinitz, Ph.D., and Kathy Weingarten, Ph.D., for
>their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.
>Copyright 1993 Family Process
>Father-absent families often function with a lively father-presence
>conveyed by stories the family members share. The metaphor of "story"
>proposed by social constructionist and narrative approaches to therapy
>helps us to conceptualize the role these family stories play. The story
>metaphor draws attention to four issues: the rendition of what is said and
>unsaid about the father; the connections among past, present, and future
>ideas about father and family; the reciprocal influences of expression and
>experience, seen in the family's stories and interactions; and the impact
>on the family and the therapeutic process of dominant narratives about
>father-absence. Exploration of these issues demonstrates how client and
>therapist stories about the absent father mediate the impact of
>father-absence on the family.
>Issue 4, Pages 441 - 458
>Published Online: 29 Jul 2004
>© 2009 Family Process Institute
You may draw your own conclusions about whether or not this is relevant.
University of Honolulu
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
> First thought is to what Jesus means generally when he refers to "myGod
> father". I know that it is generally assumed that he is referring to
> rather than to Joseph, but what is the evidence for that?Well, the following could be construed as evidence in either direction,
but taking (what most scholars take as) the earliest strata, certain
turns of speech do pop up that seem worth some scrutiny. I don't
pretend to have some magic key to what each one may mean, but here are
what _appear_ to be the earliest such replies that talk in such terms.
First, I give the full texts and contexts of the three seemingly more
clear (IMO) passages, and then I get to the two more ambiguous passages
First off, Luke(Q):22:28-30. Here are the lead-in sentences, followed by
the key passage and subsequent verses:
[LEAD-IN SENTENCES] Position in the Coming Kingdom
22.24 A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded
as the greatest.
22.25 And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship
over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors.
22.26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as
the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
22.27 For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who
serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one
[KEY PASSAGE] 22.28 " You are those who have continued with me in my
22.29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,
22.30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on
thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
[FOLLOWED UP BY] Simon Peter's Denial Predicted
22.31 " Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might
sift you like wheat,
22.32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when
you have turned again, strengthen your brethren."
22.33 And he said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and
22.34 He said, "I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day,
until you three times deny that you know me."
The Gospel of Thomas is structured like the Analects of Confucius: that
is, individual anecdotes strung together without a narrative context
before and after. So here is Thomas:99:
99) The disciples said to Him, "Your brothers and Your mother are
standing outside." He said to them, "Those here who do the will of My
Father are My brothers and My mother. It is they who will enter the
Kingdom of My Father."
And now, Mark:14:61-62. Here are the lead-in sentences, followed by the
key passage and subsequent verses:
[LEAD-IN SENTENCES] 14.55Now the chief priests and the whole council
sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.
14.56For many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not
agree. 14.57And some stood up and bore false witness against him,
14.58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with
hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'"
14.59Yet not even so did their testimony agree.
14.60And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, "Have
you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?"
[KEY PASSAGE] 14.61But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high
priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"
14.62And Jesus said, "I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at
the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."
[FOLLOWED UP BY] 14.63And the high priest tore his garments, and said,
"Why do we still need witnesses?
14.64You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all
condemned him as deserving death.
And now, here are the same for the two seemingly more ambiguous passages
(IMO). First, Luke(Q):10:21-22:
[LEAD-IN SENTENCES] The Return of the Seventy
10.17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are
subject to us in your name!"
10.18 And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
10.19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt
10.20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject
to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
[KEY PASSAGE] Jesus' Thanks to the Father
10.21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I
thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden
these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
10.22 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one
knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the
Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
[FOLLOWED UP BY] The Blessedness of the Disciples
10.23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the
eyes which see what you see!
10.24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what
you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear
And finally, Thomas:61:
61) Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will die, and other
will live." Salome said to him, "Who are You, man, that You, as though
from the One, have come up on my couch and eaten from my table?" Jesus
said to her, "I am He who exists from the Undivided. I was given some of
the things of my Father." <Salome said,> "I am Your disciple." <Jesus
said to her,> "Therefore I say, if he is <undivided>, he will be filled
with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness."
These five remarks are, arguably, the ones that one should start with if
one wants to get some kind of idea of what Jesus seemed to be speaking
of when suggesting someone "special" was his father.
My two cents,