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Re: [ematthew] The Strong One

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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 1 of 13 , Mar 15, 2003
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      >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 2 of 13 , Mar 17, 2003
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        >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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