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105Re: [ematthew] The Strong One

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  • Daniel Gurtner
    Mar 14, 2003
      I understand what you are saying, but let me make a
      couple more points:
      1. With respect to paring v. 29 with v. 30:
      Grammatically you are on shaky ground. V. 29 begins
      with a disjunctive �h� requiring a preceding referent.
      Mark�s (3:27) begins with an even stronger
      disjunctive ALL�, but links it not to a statement like
      Mt 12.28 but rather Mk 3.26, most closely associated
      with Mt 12.26.

      2. With respect to the sequence of events, etc. with
      the 'binding' I'm afraid we can't avoid Rev 20 which
      obviously is a notoriously complicated and
      controversial passage and probably beyond the scope of
      this list or at least my mental faculties at the
      moment.

      3. If you want to consider the Markan �source� you�d
      probably need to examine the material unique to
      Matthew in this pericope � and there is a bit. This
      might be telling of how Matthew intended to use it
      vis-�-vis Mark. That would be an interesting and
      worthwhile project in my opinion.

      4. When you said "Rev orbits in a completely different
      sphere" � I assume you are referring to the
      apocalyptic language and imagery of Revelation. If
      that is the case, I strongly challenge that
      assumption. Matthew and Rev 20 are using nearly
      identical imagery which begs at least some degree of
      comparison, though each approaches it from a slightly
      different way. Though apocalypticism in Matthew is in
      need of further development, works such as David C.
      Sim Apocalyptic Eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew.
      SNTSMS 88. Cambridge: University Press, 1996.
      Apocalyptic imagery is abundant in the parables,
      though admittedly more prominent following the
      Triumphal entry. Clearly both Mt and Rev in reference
      to this �binding� are employing some sort of
      metaphorical language that is eschatological in
      orientation. It would be interesting to try to trace
      this imagery through its alleged �Jewish� origins in
      the Second Temple texts mentioned previously and
      explore how it is employed/modified in the Christian
      tradition.


      Daniel M. Gurtner
      St. Mary's College
      University of St. Andrews, Scotland





      --- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
      > Yoju 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
      > >descendence.
      > >
      > >Other thoughts?
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >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
      > >> mission.
      > >>
      > >> 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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      >
      > --
      > 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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