104Re: [ematthew] The Strong One
- Mar 14, 2003Yoju are probably right and the traditional interpretation is to be
preferred - but just to make my case a bit I'll give a few reasons
why I came up with it.
The tradition reading pairs v. 29 with 24-28 which makes it clearly
about demons. My suggestion pairs v. 29 with 30-34, which would make
it a polemic attack on the Pharisees. Certainly the traditional
reading works - I am not suggesting that it doesn't - although it
does raise some difficult questions about what Jesus means. When are
these demons bound? Have they already been bound - and if so when did
that occur? In the temptations? Perhaps but that seems a bit of a
reach. You could suggest that the demons are bound by Jesus' words -
but when then is the strong man "plundered" (if not in his command
[words] to come out??) - which is a distinct step according to the
logic of the parable.
With my reading I am not saying that Jesus is actually bound - but
rather that Jesus is revealing the Pharisees strategies of *trying*
to bind him. The irony is that Jesus is finally bound and killed -
but this turn to his ultimate victory.
As far as reference in other works - the book of Rev orbits in a
completely different symbolic universe from Mt and so I am not sure
it is helpful - other older works might reflect a traditional
understanding of Mt - Lk for example seem to understand this pericope
as referring the demons - but of course that doesn't mean Mt did. It
could be that Mark, the source of this pericope for Mt - might have
also understood this differently.
Anyways - there you go... I gave it one for the kipper...
>Daniel M. Gurtner wrote
>I think that is an insightful question which can be
>particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope
>alone. I think, however, context demands the
>traditional view for a number of reasons: 1. Jesus
>has just healed a demon-possessed man (12.22-23) which
>immediately calls forth "binding" imagery with Jesus
>as the agent and the demonic as the bound; 2. Jesus'
>reference to Satan driving out Satan (12.26) suggests
>he understands, again, the demonic to be 'bound.' 3.
>The association by JEsus' opponents of His action with
>Satan seems to occasion Jesus' response in vv. 30ff.
>Furthermore, one is hard pressed to find other
>occurrences of Jesus being 'bound' in any sense save
>his physical binding in Mt 27:2. Hagner (WBC) points
>us to As. Mos 10.1, T. Lev 18.12 and Rev 20.2, the
>latter of which has obvious implications. T Levi, in
>my opinion, is another important source particularly
>for Matthew. Though questions of its date and
>frequent Christian interpolations suggest caution,
>Chap 18 makes explicit reference to binding of
>'Beliar'. Matt and TLevi have much in common,
>particularly views of the temple and Abrahamic
>St. Mary's College
>University of St. Andrews, Scotland
>--- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
>> Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house
>> and plunder his
>> goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then
>> indeed he may
>> plunder his house.
>> I'm going against 2000 years of interpretation here
>> - but can anyone
>> tell me why the strong "man" here isn't Jesus rather
>> than the devil?
>> In other words - Jesus is saying that his opponents
>> are trying to
>> bind him with their accusations and character
>> slander. If people
>> believed that Jesus was acting by the power of the
>> devil (as he was
>> being accused) - this would turn them away from him
>> and thwart his
>> Am I just reaching here?
>> Steve Black
>> Vancouver School of Theology
>> Vancouver, BC
>> The lion and the calf shall lie down together
>> but the calf won't get much sleep.
>> -Woody Allen
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Vancouver School of Theology
The lion and the calf shall lie down together
but the calf won't get much sleep.
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