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Re: [ematthew] Peter in Matthew

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... It s the latter. The concluding paragraph will give you a good hint of the tone of this piece: In the light of this reading, one now has a great deal of
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
      On 26 Feb 2003 at 6:54, Steve Black wrote:

      > Is he suggesting that this is within the "authorial intent" of
      > Matthew, or something that can be achieved with a contemporary
      > reading strategy that is not so based upon "authorial intent".

      It's the latter. The concluding paragraph will give you a good hint
      of the tone of this piece:

      "In the light of this reading, one now has a great deal of difficulty
      even conceiving of a church established on the PETRA and governed by
      a PETROS. Since, in Section I, it was indicated that the existence
      of an animated and robust church was a necessary condition for the
      existence of the Gospel of Matthew, the origin of that book has
      effectively been reduced to absurdity. Consequently, I have killed
      two birds with one stone, so to speak: I have depicted both an
      institutional church in ruin and a Gospel in the process of self-
      deconstruction." (pp. 156-7).

      > I find Matthew very easy to "deconstruct" as I don't find his "logic"
      > particularly consistent - I suspect that at times he is more the
      > redactor than author (although only at times) who lets major
      > discrepancies stand in his text - perhaps simply due to
      > inattentiveness - while at other times he is VERY attentive. So I
      > don't construe him as "consistent". This makes "deconstruction" easy -
      > but it also violates authorial intent - which is only as important as
      > - well as important as you make it...

      I know what you mean -- I have sometimes felt about Matthew like that
      myself. However, I do think the characterization of Peter is pretty
      consistent; the behaviour of the rocky ground in 13.20-21 seems to
      be the pattern of Peter's behaviour throughout the Gospel, and in
      this Matthew is underlining and nuancing the characterization of
      Peter he inherited from Mark. The only question I think we need to
      ask is whether Matthew thought that Peter would in the long run come
      up trumps in spite of his repeated bad record in the Gospel. And
      here the hints are strong that he thinks Peter would, in the end,
      make it through. Jesus prophesies that Peter is the rock on which
      his church will be built and the reader of Matthew expects Jesus'
      prophecies to come true. And then at the end of the Gospel we have a
      hint that his rehabilitation is now being effected -- the eleven
      follow Jesus to Galilee as Jesus had prophesied in 26.32. I think in
      the end we are left with a picture of the disciples, and especially
      Peter, that chimes in well with the way *Mark's* characterization of
      the disciples is sometimes depicted, fallible followers constructed
      for the pastoral needs of the church (e.g. Tannehill, Malbon).
      Perhaps Matthew himself saw the seeds of that depiction in Mark (e.g.
      Mark 16.7) and underlined it and nuanced it, as he often does
      elsewhere.

      Mark
      -----------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
      Birmingham B15 2TT UK

      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
      http://NTGateway.com
    • Steve Black
      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
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
        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
      • Daniel Gurtner
        Steve, I think that is an insightful question which can be particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope alone. I think, however, context demands the
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
          Steve,
          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?


          Daniel M. Gurtner
          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
          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.
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
            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
          • Daniel Gurtner
            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.
            Message 5 of 13 , 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
              > >>
              > >
              > >
              > >__________________________________________________
              > >Do you Yahoo!?
              > >Yahoo! Web Hosting - establish your business online
              >
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              > >
              > >
              > >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
              > ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of
              > Service.
              >
              >
              > --
              > 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
              ... You are right - this is a good argument - the particle (translated or here) does connect this with the previous and not the latter sections. This
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 15, 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 ëhí requiring a preceding referent.
                > Markís (3:27) begins with an even stronger
                >disjunctive ALLí, but links it not to a statement like
                >Mt 12.28 but rather Mk 3.26, most closely associated
                >with Mt 12.26.

                You are right - this is a good argument - the particle (translated
                "or" here) does connect this with the previous and not the latter
                sections. This particle was added by Mt - as Mk does not have it -
                making it fairly clear that Mt saw this as referring to demons. My
                little theory had a short shelf life...

                >
                >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.

                I'm afraid I don't quite follow you on this step. If I understand you
                correctly - you are proposing what I would call a "canonical" reading
                to explain Mt. But I see no reason to justify the use of Rev to
                explain an ambiguous passage in Mt. We can import the Rev passage to
                make sense of Mt - but I see no evidence within Mt that would justify
                this move. I see no reason to posit literary or even any traditions
                connections between Mt and Rev. Rev seems to orbit in a more
                Johannine universe.

                In any event - I may have entirely misunderstood you on this point!

                >[snip]
                >4. When you said "Rev orbits in a completely different
                >sphere" ñ 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 ëbindingí 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 ëJewishí origins in
                >the Second Temple texts mentioned previously and
                >explore how it is employed/modified in the Christian
                >tradition.

                Simply sharing a apocalyptic approach does not mean that metaphors
                will signify the same things. Mt and Rev use language very
                differently and so attempting to understand one by the other I think
                will tend to suggest false comparisons.

                Sincerely
                --
                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
              • Daniel Gurtner
                ... canonical reading ... Sorry to be so vague. What I meant primarily by this was that the questions you asked previously are nearly identical to those
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 17, 2003
                  >I'm afraid I don't quite follow you on this step. If
                  >I understand you
                  >correctly - you are proposing what I would call >a
                  "canonical" reading
                  >to explain Mt. But I see no reason to justify the
                  >use of Rev to
                  >explain an ambiguous passage in Mt. We can import
                  >the Rev passage to
                  >make sense of Mt - but I see no evidence within Mt
                  >that would justify
                  >this move. I see no reason to posit literary or even
                  >any traditions
                  >connections between Mt and Rev. Rev seems to orbit
                  >in a more
                  >Johannine universe.
                  Sorry to be so vague. What I meant primarily by this
                  was that the questions you asked previously are nearly
                  identical to those raised for the Rev 20 text. They
                  tend to be more comprehensively discussed there.


                  >Simply sharing a apocalyptic approach does not mean
                  >that metaphors
                  >will signify the same things. Mt and Rev use
                  >language very
                  >differently and so attempting to understand one by
                  >the other I think
                  >will tend to suggest false comparisons.
                  Excellent point, and I�m with you to a degree. We
                  must let Matthew be Matthew and look to him primarily
                  for his own understanding of the pericope. Thus we
                  look at themes, language, OT allusions, etc. I agree
                  that just because they share a similar portion of
                  genre (if we can call apocalyptic that) and canonical
                  status can lead to, as you say, �false comparisons�.
                  (I must add this applies not just to using Revelation
                  in Matthew, but also Mark in Matthew � a method too
                  often used in my opinion).

                  While I do recognize validity in a �canonical� reading
                  I have more in mind what I consider an �intertextual�
                  reading. That is, there are texts in the Assumption of
                  Moses, T. Levi and Rev which are quite similar to the
                  Matthean texts. While one must examine each of these
                  texts and contexts in detail before one can discern
                  what, if any, comparisons can be made, I think that
                  the fact that the issue of the binding of Satan is one
                  so rarely attested in either Jewish or Christian
                  sources from antiquity some degree of consultation is
                  in order. Moreover, if you examine the Matthean text
                  without regard to Rev whatsoever, you run the risk of
                  assuming Matthew wrote in a theological vacuum when it
                  is more likely that he wrote within an evolving
                  Christian tradition. Again, their uses of the concept
                  may differ but to write off the Rev text off hand
                  because it is a different work than Matthew may
                  equally lead to a distortion. That being said, I must
                  confess a great deal of ignorance on apocalypticism in
                  Matthew so my ability to comment on it vis-�-vis
                  Revelation is quite limited.

                  I do want to ask, however, what you mean by �Rev seems
                  to orbit in a more Johannine universe�?


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


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