65Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles
- Oct 18, 2002
>Larry wrote...Originally I was plying with the idea that 28:19 was a later
>Steve, your tension persists gospel wide, not just at these two points.
>The problem is how do we reconcile the positive statements about
>inclusion of the Gentiles with statements that Jesus is only for
interpolation. There are problems with this approach - but not in
these early references to Gentiles. My [attempted and now mostly
aborted] reconstruction put Mt's mission (or whatever) as being
directed towards the Jews. These early Gentile references all have
Gentiles *coming to* the Jews. This theme of Gentiles coming to the
Jews can be found in the OT (Mt even quotes the OT in this regard as
if to highlight the "orthodoxy" of such an expectation - see;12:18ff)
and I think it might be considered as part of many "orthodox"
expectations of non-Xn Jews of the 2nd Temple era. Thus there is
nothing new or particularly Xn in the belief that Gentile will come
to the Jews and to their God. 28:19 changes all this by having the
Jews GO TO THE Gentiles. This "proactive" approach is a significant
As I said, I have [mostly] abandoned this theory because of other
Gentile references later in the gospel that would forces me to posit
too many interpolations in rather unplausible places. (Mt 21:43,
Your approach. if I understand it correctly, falls within my
previously "enumerated" approaches...
2. The tension can be dealt with by a "salvation history" approach.
3. These two texts can be explained by a pre-textual history.
It certainly makes sense - but it seems to me to require that Mt's
final redaction was very conservative. Not unlike the final redactor
of the Pentateuch who left blatant holes/bumps in the narrative in
order to preserve ancient traditions. I think Mt shows no hesitation
in changes his sources to suite his agenda. Why did he not alter
10:5b-6 to suggest that this legislation was only temporary? (don't
go to the Gentiles "until/yet/now/etc") As the text stands now we
have to add this provision extra-textually to the story ourselves.
Vancouver School of Theology
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...
-Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
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