Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

the mission to the gentiles

Expand Messages
  • Steve Black
    There is, it seems to me, a real tension, or even contradiction between Mt 10:5b-6 and Mt 28:19. First the disciples are explicitly told NOT to go to the
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 17, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      There is, it seems to me, a real tension, or even contradiction between Mt 10:5b-6
      and Mt 28:19. First the disciples are explicitly told NOT to go to the gentiles,
      and then they are told explicitly so to do. I have encountered a few suggested
      harmonizations, which haven't convinced me. Some of the possibilities I have
      encountered...
      1. Mt 10:5b-6 is about a pre-Easter event and thing changed with Easter. The
      problem with this is that this text is obviously addressing a post-Easter scenario!
      All the event and persecutions and so forth mentioned in ch. 10-11 certainly
      didn't happen within a pre-Easter context. This reads very much like missionary
      instructions for a post-Easter situation.
      2. The tension can be dealt with by a "salvation history" approach. Something
      like going to the Jews first and then to the gentiles. This approach seems
      unlikely for the same reason as #1 - namely that we are dealing with a post-Easter
      situation. It would have been easy for Mt to add in Mt 10:5b-6 a "now", or a
      "yet" - as in "don't go to the gentiles NOW/YET"... if this is what he was thinking.

      3. These two texts can be explained by a pre-textual history. This is certainly
      a completely adequate explanation - but it still doesn't tell us what Mt was
      intending. Mt show no hesitations in changing Mk when it suits his purpose -
      and so I see no reason to believe that he would not have changed either 10:5b-6
      or 28:19 if either did not suit his purpose.

      I am wondering if any one has given this any thought.

      Steve Black
      Vancouver School of Theology
      Vancouver, BC
      ---

      Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

      -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
    • Munachi E. Ezeogu
      Dear Steve Black, Your observation that there seems to be a real tension, or even contradiction between Mt 10:5b-6 and Mt 28:19 is right on target. It would
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 17, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Steve Black,

        Your observation that there seems to be "a real tension, or even contradiction
        between Mt 10:5b-6
        and Mt 28:19" is right on target. It would be more accurate, though, to say that
        there is a tension in our
        readings of (one of) these passages. My suspicion is that the first readers of
        Matthew did not see these tensions.

        Matt 28:19 presents a whole lot of textual and semantic challenges which we must
        resolve in order to appreciate what is going on here. Almost every word and
        phrase in this verse is a challenge: poreuthentes, matheteusate, panta ta ethne,
        baptozontes, eis to onma, and of course, the triadic formula.

        I will share with you my semantic study on matheteusate which,in my view, is
        one of the least understood of Matthean terminilogies

        matheteusate(28:19)
        The two most influential Bible translations in the history of Christianity, the
        Vulgate and the King James Bibles, both translate matheteusate as "teach." This
        innocuous translation has contributed immensely in the perception of Matt
        28:16-20 as a missionary as opposed to a proselytizing text which would have
        aroused questions regarding the value of the text as an agenda for world
        mission. Today the translation of matheteusate(aorist imperative active 2nd
        person plural of matheteuo) as "teach" survives only in older Bible translations
        and commentaries. Virtually all modern translations and commentaries translatle
        matheteusate as "make disciples" and so shall we.

        Now what does "make disciples" mean? The King James Bible which has "Go ye
        therefore, and teach all nations" also has the following explanatory note:
        "teach..: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations." For the
        translators of this version, making disciples simply means making Christians.
        This has remained the traditional understanding of matheteusate in Matt 28:19.
        Today, however, this position has been challenged by some Matthean scholars who
        argue that this understanding of "making disciples" is not Matthean.

        Paul S. Minear would be reckoned among the foremost Matthean scholars who have
        explicity committed themselves "to penetrate Matthew's thought-world" and "take
        seriously the integrity of his language-world."[1] In a recent publication, the
        nonagenarian had this to say:

        "Ordinary readers suppose that to make disciples is simply to convert
        unbelievers into believers by persuading them to accept Jesus as Lord and
        Savior. Missionaries go out to make such converts and, if successful, they call
        them disciples. People rarely consider the alternative option, one that is, I
        think more at home in this Gospel. . With few if any exceptions, this narrator
        limits the term disciple to those carefully selected believers whom Jesus
        authorized as messengers to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and to teach
        and judge the "crowds" of believers. Disciples are those who have left homes,
        occupations, families, fixed residences, and had become prophetic mendicants
        moving from house to house and village to village."[2]

        Minear first sounded this "caveat lector" twenty-six years earlier in his
        pioneering study of the use of ochloi ("crowds") and mathetai ("disciples") in
        Matthew's Gospel.[3] Minear arrives at the conclusion that, "without advancing a
        double standard of obedience,"[4] Matthew has preserved "a rather sharp
        distinction"[5] in the way he uses ochlos/ochloi to refer to followers of Jesus
        in general and mathetai to refer to "a much more limited and specialized group
        than is usually supposed."[6] Minear's thesis has withstood the test of time.
        Scholars, especially those engaged in mission studies, have ignored it, but none
        has refuted it.[7] It would, therefore, be logical for us to understand making
        disciples not as making converts or recruiting new Christians but as recruiting
        new messengers who will continue the work of the twelve disciple.




        [1]. Minear, Good News, ix.
        [2]. Minear, Good News, 118.
        [3]. Paul S. Minear, "The Disciples and the Crowds in the Gospel of Matthew,"
        Anglican Theological Review Supplement, no. 3 (1974): 28-44.
        [4]. Minear, "Disciples and Crowds," 33.
        [5]. Minear, "Disciples and Crowds," 30.
        [6]. Minear, "Disciples and Crowds," 31.
        [7]. The two other passages in which Matthew uses matheteusate (transitive: make
        [somebody] a disciple; intransitive or passive: be or become a disciple) make
        perfect sense when "making disciples" is understood as induction into the school
        of ministers rather than conversion. Thus, Matt 13:52 could be translated,
        "every scribe having become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven;" and 27:57
        could be translated "a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also became a
        disciple of Jesus." Note that in both cases, the person in question was already
        occupying some position of authority or prominence in the community prior to
        accepting Jesus' teaching. The transition does not divest them of the authority
        they had in the community, rather they are admitted into the rank of leadership
        in the community of Jesus' followers. The common description of Joseph of
        Arimathea as someone "who was also a disciple of Jesus" (RSV) is open to
        misunderstanding. The aorist does not demand that he be a disciple prior to the
        narrative time. It only demands that he be a disciple prior to the real time in
        which the evangelist wrote. The aorist would still be in order if he only became
        a disciple subsequent to the incident described by Matthew.

        I will stop here for now. The conflict persists as long as we keep reading the
        Great Commission as a mission mandate. I will be prepared to share more on this
        issue and on the Great Commission in general if need be.

        Ernest Munachi. Ezeogu, (Ph.D. Cand)
        Toronto School of Theology, Toronto


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Steve Black
        To: ematthew@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 9:46 AM
        Subject: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles


        There is, it seems to me, a real tension, or even contradiction between Mt
        10:5b-6
        and Mt 28:19. First the disciples are explicitly told NOT to go to the gentiles,
        and then they are told explicitly so to do. I have encountered a few suggested
        harmonizations, which haven't convinced me. Some of the possibilities I have
        encountered...
        1. Mt 10:5b-6 is about a pre-Easter event and thing changed with Easter. The
        problem with this is that this text is obviously addressing a post-Easter
        scenario!
        All the event and persecutions and so forth mentioned in ch. 10-11 certainly
        didn't happen within a pre-Easter context. This reads very much like missionary
        instructions for a post-Easter situation.
        2. The tension can be dealt with by a "salvation history" approach. Something
        like going to the Jews first and then to the gentiles. This approach seems
        unlikely for the same reason as #1 - namely that we are dealing with a
        post-Easter
        situation. It would have been easy for Mt to add in Mt 10:5b-6 a "now", or a
        "yet" - as in "don't go to the gentiles NOW/YET"... if this is what he was
        thinking.

        3. These two texts can be explained by a pre-textual history. This is certainly
        a completely adequate explanation - but it still doesn't tell us what Mt was
        intending. Mt show no hesitations in changing Mk when it suits his purpose -
        and so I see no reason to believe that he would not have changed either 10:5b-6
        or 28:19 if either did not suit his purpose.

        I am wondering if any one has given this any thought.

        Steve Black
        Vancouver School of Theology
        Vancouver, BC
        ---

        Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

        -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
      • L. J. Swain
        Ernest, Thanks very much for your response to Steve s point. However, I would have to say that even when we accept your conclusion we really haven t done away
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 17, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          Ernest,

          Thanks very much for your response to Steve's point. However, I would
          have to say that even when we accept your conclusion we really haven't
          done away with the tension Steve points to. In 10:5, we have a
          prohibition not to go to the Gentiles. In 28:19 we have a command that
          involves all nations. The tension Steve points to lies in the audience,
          and that tension persists even if we stress that we are not talking
          about missions in the traditional sense, but about specifically making
          disciples which has a specific kind of meaning.

          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
          Israel? On the one side we have the Gentile women in the Genealogy, the
          reference to Abraham, the visit of the Magi who are the first to honor
          him, and Jesus' first preaching is fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah
          (the prophet who predicted the coming of the nations to Israel to
          worship YHWH) and takes place in GALILEE of the GENTILES. In chapter 8
          we have Jesus and the Centurion with the Centurion lifted up as more
          faithful than Israel. Then Gentiles disappear from the gospel until
          10:5 where entrance is prohibited, and in chap 15 with the Canaanite
          woman where Jesus himself says that he is sent only to the lost sheep of
          Israel. Gentiles don't come up again until 28:19ff. So the question
          you ask is more than a tension between 2 verses but rather a tension of
          the presentation of the Gentiles in the gospel of Matthew.

          Part of the solution to the puzzle, if there is one, involves arguments
          about Matthew's community, audience, date, provenance, and of structure.

          Briefly though, let me suggest the following. For the immediate context
          of Matt. 10, remember that at the end of 9 Jesus has just seen the
          crowds as shepherd less and said pray to the Father that he send
          laborers. The next section is Jesus choosing 12 and telling them to
          preach the same message that Jesus preached, but only to Israel. Thus,
          chap. 10 is a direct response to a need Jesus sees for the crowds who
          have come to hear him.

          I think the nomenclature here very interesting. In 10:1 it is the 12
          disciples, in 10:2 it is the 12 apostles.
          I wonder here if in Matt. 10, we have an example of internecine conflict
          between the community in Jerusalem who are would be fairly conservative
          and be concerned to keep the Jesus movement Jewish, and the more liberal
          community in Antioch where I would place Matthew--a community not
          originally evangelized by any of the 12, but rather by the apparently
          some of the so-called "Hellenistic party" of Steven. Thus, the overall
          view of the Gentiles in the gospel is explained by the situation of the
          mixed, liberal community of Matthew, but the negative positions reflect
          the older connections to the Jerusalem community--the overall picture in
          Matthew then being an attempt at compromise.

          Which brings me to look at the structure for a moment. The full
          statement of Matt 28:19 is prefigured at the beginning of the gospel
          through to chapter 8. After Jesus initial tour of proclamation, his
          first major teaching in Matthew, followed by a string of miracles
          Matthew begins to sharpen his focus. We move inexorably from all Israel
          to Judea, to Jerusalem to a hill. Then we move outward from the tomb to
          a mountain in Galilee to all nations, to the big picture, the end of the
          age. The statements in chap. 10 and chap 15 about only to Israel take
          place as the narrative focuses and leads us up to the Passion.

          So rather than say "pre/post Easter" I would say that the conflict on a
          thematic level is pre/post rejection by Israel of the message; and for
          pragmatics of addressing the community 1) to the Jew first and then the
          Gentile and 2) from an historical perspective of the original 12 in
          Jerusalem working for the Jews only, others spread the message to the
          Gentiles.

          This needs some fleshing out as you can see, but that's my take on it.

          Larry Swain
        • Steve Black
          ... Originally I was plying with the idea that 28:19 was a later interpolation. There are problems with this approach - but not in these early references to
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            >Larry wrote...
            >
            >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
            >Israel? [snip]

            Originally I was plying with the idea that 28:19 was a later
            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
            shift.

            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,
            24:14)

            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.
            and
            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.

            --
            Steve Black
            Vancouver School of Theology
            Vancouver, BC
            ---

            Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

            -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
          • Steve Black
            [I sent this once already and it seems to have been lost in cyber space. If the lost posting suddenly appears I apologize now in advance for the double
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              [I sent this once already and it seems to have been lost in cyber space. If the
              lost posting suddenly appears I apologize now in advance for the double posting]


              Larry wrote...

              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
              Israel? [snip]

              I respond...

              Originally I was plying with the idea that 28:19 was a later 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 shift.


              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, 24:14)

              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.
              and
              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.

              --
              Steve Black
              Vancouver School of Theology
              Vancouver, BC
              ---

              Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

              -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
            • Munachi E. Ezeogu
              Larry, You are right that reading Matt 29:19 as an in-house directive to admit non-Jews to the ministerial circle of disciples as opposed to making converts
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Larry,

                You are right that reading Matt 29:19 as an in-house directive to admit non-Jews to the ministerial circle of disciples as opposed to making converts does not resolve all the tensions in Mt's gospel. But as Steve pointed out in his second posting on this thread, a major component of the tension is that between giving Gentiles access to the Good News as opposed to proactively persuading them to join (mission).

                I submit that it is possible to see some consistency in all of Mt's Gospel as it relates to Jews, Gentiles, and access to the message of Christ. The message is directed primarily to Jews. Gentiles, however, are not excluded from it. But there is no requirement to actively invite Gentiles into it. This is what we see in the Coming of the Magi, the Mission discourse in chapter 10 (do not go out of your way to invite Gentiles), the Canaanite Woman in chap 15, and Matt 28:19. Note the interesting case of the Canaanite woman where Mt changes Mk 7:24 "He went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house..." to "He withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried..." (Mt 15:21-22). Mt would not let Jesus go into Gentile territory. The Gentile woman needed to come out to Jesus. I think Steve is right in his observation that what we have in Mt is openness to Gentiles (access) but not mission to Gentiles. If this is correct, then it resolves a major part of the tensions and conflicts we see in Mt.

                Ernest Munachi Ezeogu
                Toronto School of Theology

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • RSBrenchley@aol.com
                In a message dated 18/10/02 17:43:32 GMT Daylight Time, eezeogu@munachi.com ... Canaanite ... Sidon. ... Sidon. ... If Gentiles are to have a status comparable
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  In a message dated 18/10/02 17:43:32 GMT Daylight Time, eezeogu@...
                  writes:

                  > I submit that it is possible to see some consistency in all of Mt's Gospel
                  > as it relates to Jews, Gentiles, and access to the message of Christ. The
                  > message is directed primarily to Jews. Gentiles, however, are not excluded
                  > from it. But there is no requirement to actively invite Gentiles into it.
                  > This is what we see in the Coming of the Magi, the Mission discourse in
                  > chapter 10 (do not go out of your way to invite Gentiles), the Canaanite
                  > Woman in chap 15, and Matt 28:19. Note the interesting case of the
                  Canaanite
                  > woman where Mt changes Mk 7:24 "He went away to the region of Tyre and
                  Sidon.
                  > And he entered a house..." to "He withdrew to the district of Tyre and
                  Sidon.
                  > And behold a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried..." (Mt 15:
                  > 21-22). Mt would not let Jesus go into Gentile territory. The Gentile woman
                  > needed to come out to Jesus. I think Steve is right in his observation that
                  > what we have in Mt is openness to Gentiles (access) but not mission to
                  > Gentiles. If this is correct, then it resolves a major part of the tensions
                  > and conflicts we see in Mt.
                  >
                  > Ernest Munachi Ezeogu
                  > Toronto School of Theology

                  If Gentiles are to have a status comparable to that of resident aliens in
                  the Torah - accepted but not invited, as it were - then that might explain
                  much of the text, but it still leaves 28:19 as a problem. It's tempting to
                  regard it as an interpolation, but there seems to be a good deal of Matthean
                  language there, and it seems like an easy way out.

                  Regards,

                  Robert Brenchley
                  RSBrenchley@...
                  Birmingham UK
                • Steve Black
                  ... I agree that the interpolation as much as it would [almost] tidy things up - it is not very persuasive. For me this is so because of the references to the
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 19, 2002
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >Robert Brenchley wrote...
                    >
                    > If Gentiles are to have a status comparable to that of resident aliens in
                    >the Torah - accepted but not invited, as it were - then that might explain
                    >much of the text, but it still leaves 28:19 as a problem. It's tempting to
                    >regard it as an interpolation, but there seems to be a good deal of Matthean
                    >language there, and it seems like an easy way out.

                    I agree that the interpolation as much as it would [almost] tidy
                    things up - it is not very persuasive. For me this is so because of
                    the references to the Gentiles in Mt 21:43 and 24:14. This still
                    leaves us with a tension. Perhps I am wrong - and Mt really was a
                    conservative redactor??

                    As an aside - why is it, do you think, that in NT studies the
                    presence of interpolations are only granted with extreme reluctance
                    whereas in OT studies the are commonly seen everywhere and at all
                    times?? Its not like we have enough textual witnesses to eliminate
                    the possibilities. Scribal activity is just as volatile. Just
                    wondering...

                    --
                    Steve Black
                    Vancouver School of Theology
                    Vancouver, BC
                    ---

                    Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

                    -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                  • L. J. Swain
                    ... Includes both, yes. I m suggesting that the tension be read on multiple levels. In terms of Matthean structure, which chiastically moves us inward from a
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Steve Black wrote:
                      >
                      > 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,
                      > 24:14)
                      >
                      > 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.
                      > and
                      > 3. These two texts can be explained by a pre-textual history.

                      Includes both, yes. I'm suggesting that the tension be read on multiple
                      levels.
                      In terms of Matthean structure, which chiastically moves us inward from
                      a general perspective (within certain parameters) slowly into focus on
                      Israel, Judea, Jerusalem, and then explodes outward at the last, and
                      most important section....the final words of Jesus on earth, on a
                      mountaintop, in Galilee, which "assumes" the going out of the apostles
                      from the mountain into all nations.

                      Narratively, the mission in chapter 10 is a response to Jesus'
                      perception of a need WITHIN ISRAEL of "harvesting", and it is then and
                      only then that the 12 are "summoned" and named (and the significance of
                      12 should not be overlooked here), and sent out to proclaim the same
                      message Jesus did (the kingdom of heaven is at hand) and to confirm the
                      message with the same wonders that Jesus had to that point performed
                      (except the power over the weather, which isn't specifically
                      mentioned). It is interesting that one half of the references to the 12
                      in the gospel are here in this passage. And in spite of Matthew's
                      persistent reminders of prophecies regarding the Messiah's extending the
                      "kingdom" to the Gentiles, Jesus himself has only so far been within
                      Jewish territory. As you pointed out the Gentiles generally come to
                      Jesus. Anyway, I'm getting far afield, I don't think we should read too
                      much into the narrative of chapter 10 in terms of Matthew's overall
                      scheme or understanding of the Gentiles: in chap 10 the 12 are
                      commissioned to do what Jesus has so far done: proclaimed the message to
                      Israel and confirmed it with signs.

                      Theologically, I think Matthew's community is hammering out its own
                      stance yet. And the solution they come to is the one Paul does (see
                      below.). That is, the message of the kingdom is principally a Jewish
                      message. The Gentiles will come to it by faith, hence the Isaiah
                      passages that Jesus fulfills which rather than promise that the Gentiles
                      will come to Israel, promise instead a going out of the message to
                      include the Gentiles (he will give justice to the Gentiles, NOT the
                      Gentiles will seek justice from him), the parable of the wedding feast
                      in 21 (go out into the highways and byways....), sheeps and goats in 25,
                      and finally at the end, make disciples of all nations.....(that is, of
                      Jews and Gentiles). Rather than a "to the Jew first and then the Greek"
                      Matthew seems to be saying "the Jews and the Gentiles through
                      faith"(remember that in pivotal points of the gospel a Gentile's faith
                      is upheld in the light of Israel's lack of faith, and also remember that
                      the gospel begins with relating Jesus to two men who believed: David
                      (and the promise of the universal kingdom) and Abraham (father of many
                      nations).

                      This still leaves something of tension, but not a large one. Last, the
                      text is explained by a historical situation. I think that Matthew's
                      community is Antioch. If Acts is in some way historical, we are told
                      that the Antioch community was founded after the persecution following
                      on Stephen's death, and that believers came there and preached to the
                      Jews, but others came and preached to the Gentiles (Ac. 11:19). Thus,
                      the picture presented to us of the 12 in Matt 10 suffering persecution
                      etc is not so much the current situation of Matthew's community, but
                      rather illustrates the historical situation from which the church in
                      Antioch sprang....a "mission"(I use the word cautiously) to Israel
                      alone, carried out by the 12, with resultant persecutions etc. that
                      resulted in the founding of the community. I think this is probably
                      where you and I differ most, for I think you would read these statements
                      in chapter 10 as referring to the Matthean community's current
                      condition.

                      It is interesting to me as well that this "tension" in Matthew's gospel
                      reflects the community's history in another way. It is the Antioch
                      community after all that sent out Paul who eventually came to stress a
                      mission to the Gentiles regardless of the original intent of the
                      tradition behind Matt 28:18ff, and also claimed to have had Peter, who
                      according to Acts was the first to preach to the Gentiles (Cornelius)
                      and at the same time according to Paul kept his sphere of preaching to
                      those of the circumcision. And here we can see both a tension in how
                      the church is to accept the Gentiles, their relation to the Torah, and
                      whether the Gentiles come to the church and express faith and so are
                      accepted (as the Gentile characters in Matthew's narrative do) or
                      whether they are to be sought out and made disciples (as the prophecies,
                      the parables, and the "commission" indicate). We see these tensions in
                      the gospel, but also in the history of the Antioch community.

                      Finally, at long last, I will point out that one answer to the question
                      of why there is a Jewish diaspora that if my memory serves (I'll have to
                      go look this up again) correctly is 1st cent. BCE states that the Jews
                      were scattered among the nations so that the nations be not left without
                      the light. Clearly, Matt. 28:18f conveys this very same attitude: the
                      Torah/Jesus message is a Jewish one, steeped in jewish tradition, rooted
                      in the Jewish scriptures, and yet is not for the Jews alone, but is to
                      be seen among the Gentiles as well.

                      In my meandering way, I guess, I would say that Matthew does have a
                      tension that ultimately he doesn't resolve so much as override.

                      Larry Swain


                      > 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.
                      >
                      > --
                      > Steve Black
                      > Vancouver School of Theology
                      > Vancouver, BC
                      > ---
                      >
                      > Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...
                      >
                      > -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                      >
                      > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
                      > Plan to Sell a Home?
                      > http://us.click.yahoo.com/J2SnNA/y.lEAA/jd3IAA/9rHolB/TM
                      > ----------------------------------------------X-Mozilla-Status: 0009-~->
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > ematthew-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • L. J. Swain
                      ... Includes both, yes. I m suggesting that the tension be read on multiple levels. In terms of Matthean structure, which chiastically moves us inward from a
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Steve Black wrote:
                        >
                        > 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,
                        > 24:14)
                        >
                        > 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.
                        > and
                        > 3. These two texts can be explained by a pre-textual history.

                        Includes both, yes. I'm suggesting that the tension be read on multiple
                        levels.
                        In terms of Matthean structure, which chiastically moves us inward from
                        a general perspective (within certain parameters) slowly into focus on
                        Israel, Judea, Jerusalem, and then explodes outward at the last, and
                        most important section....the final words of Jesus on earth, on a
                        mountaintop, in Galilee, which "assumes" the going out of the apostles
                        from the mountain into all nations.

                        Narratively, the mission in chapter 10 is a response to Jesus'
                        perception of a need WITHIN ISRAEL of "harvesting", and it is then and
                        only then that the 12 are "summoned" and named (and the significance of
                        12 should not be overlooked here), and sent out to proclaim the same
                        message Jesus did (the kingdom of heaven is at hand) and to confirm the
                        message with the same wonders that Jesus had to that point performed
                        (except the power over the weather, which isn't specifically
                        mentioned). It is interesting that one half of the references to the 12
                        in the gospel are here in this passage. And in spite of Matthew's
                        persistent reminders of prophecies regarding the Messiah's extending the
                        "kingdom" to the Gentiles, Jesus himself has only so far been within
                        Jewish territory. As you pointed out the Gentiles generally come to
                        Jesus. Anyway, I'm getting far afield, I don't think we should read too
                        much into the narrative of chapter 10 in terms of Matthew's overall
                        scheme or understanding of the Gentiles: in chap 10 the 12 are
                        commissioned to do what Jesus has so far done: proclaimed the message to
                        Israel and confirmed it with signs.

                        Theologically, I think Matthew's community is hammering out its own
                        stance yet. And the solution they come to is the one Paul does (see
                        below.). That is, the message of the kingdom is principally a Jewish
                        message. The Gentiles will come to it by faith, hence the Isaiah
                        passages that Jesus fulfills which rather than promise that the Gentiles
                        will come to Israel, promise instead a going out of the message to
                        include the Gentiles (he will give justice to the Gentiles, NOT the
                        Gentiles will seek justice from him), the parable of the wedding feast
                        in 21 (go out into the highways and byways....), sheeps and goats in 25,
                        and finally at the end, make disciples of all nations.....(that is, of
                        Jews and Gentiles). Rather than a "to the Jew first and then the Greek"
                        Matthew seems to be saying "the Jews and the Gentiles through
                        faith"(remember that in pivotal points of the gospel a Gentile's faith
                        is upheld in the light of Israel's lack of faith, and also remember that
                        the gospel begins with relating Jesus to two men who believed: David
                        (and the promise of the universal kingdom) and Abraham (father of many
                        nations).

                        This still leaves something of tension, but not a large one. Last, the
                        text is explained by a historical situation. I think that Matthew's
                        community is Antioch. If Acts is in some way historical, we are told
                        that the Antioch community was founded after the persecution following
                        on Stephen's death, and that believers came there and preached to the
                        Jews, but others came and preached to the Gentiles (Ac. 11:19). Thus,
                        the picture presented to us of the 12 in Matt 10 suffering persecution
                        etc is not so much the current situation of Matthew's community, but
                        rather illustrates the historical situation from which the church in
                        Antioch sprang....a "mission"(I use the word cautiously) to Israel
                        alone, carried out by the 12, with resultant persecutions etc. that
                        resulted in the founding of the community. I think this is probably
                        where you and I differ most, for I think you would read these statements
                        in chapter 10 as referring to the Matthean community's current
                        condition.

                        It is interesting to me as well that this "tension" in Matthew's gospel
                        reflects the community's history in another way. It is the Antioch
                        community after all that sent out Paul who eventually came to stress a
                        mission to the Gentiles regardless of the original intent of the
                        tradition behind Matt 28:18ff, and also claimed to have had Peter, who
                        according to Acts was the first to preach to the Gentiles (Cornelius)
                        and at the same time according to Paul kept his sphere of preaching to
                        those of the circumcision. And here we can see both a tension in how
                        the church is to accept the Gentiles, their relation to the Torah, and
                        whether the Gentiles come to the church and express faith and so are
                        accepted (as the Gentile characters in Matthew's narrative do) or
                        whether they are to be sought out and made disciples (as the prophecies,
                        the parables, and the "commission" indicate). We see these tensions in
                        the gospel, but also in the history of the Antioch community.

                        Finally, at long last, I will point out that one answer to the question
                        of why there is a Jewish diaspora that if my memory serves (I'll have to
                        go look this up again) correctly is 1st cent. BCE states that the Jews
                        were scattered among the nations so that the nations be not left without
                        the light. Clearly, Matt. 28:18f conveys this very same attitude: the
                        Torah/Jesus message is a Jewish one, steeped in jewish tradition, rooted
                        in the Jewish scriptures, and yet is not for the Jews alone, but is to
                        be seen among the Gentiles as well.

                        In my meandering way, I guess, I would say that Matthew does have a
                        tension that ultimately he doesn't resolve so much as override.

                        Larry Swain


                        > 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.
                        >
                        > --
                        > Steve Black
                        > Vancouver School of Theology
                        > Vancouver, BC
                        > ---
                        >
                        > Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...
                        >
                        > -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                        >
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > ematthew-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      • L. J. Swain
                        ... f ! ... Ernest, Thanks very much for the clarification. I think you and I are going in the same direction. Where I would differ from the position you
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment
                          "Munachi E. Ezeogu" wrote:
                          >
                          > Larry,
                          >
                          > You are right that reading Matt 29:19 as an in-house directive to admit non-Jews to the ministerial circle of disciples as opposed to making converts does not resolve all the tensions in Mt's gospel. But as Steve pointed out in his second posting on this thread, a major component of the tension is that between giving Gentiles access to the Good News as opposed to proactively persuading them to join (mission).
                          >
                          > I submit that it is possible to see some consistency in all of Mt's Gospel as it relates to Jews, Gentiles, and access to the message of Christ. The message is directed primarily to Jews. Gentiles, however, are not excluded from it. But there is no requirement to actively invite Gentiles into it. This is what we see in the Coming of the Magi, the Mission discourse in chapter 10 (do not go out of your way to invite Gentiles), the Canaanite Woman in chap 15, and Matt 28:19. Note the interesting case of the Canaanite woman where Mt changes Mk 7:24 "He went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house..." to "He withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried..." (Mt 15:21-22). Mt would not let Jesus go into Gentile territory. The Gentile woman needed to come out to Jesus. I think Steve is right in his observation that what we have in Mt is openness to Gentiles (access) but not mission to Gentiles. I!
                          f !
                          > this is correct, then it resolves a major part of the tensions and conflicts we see in Mt.

                          Ernest,

                          Thanks very much for the clarification. I think you and I are going in
                          the same direction. Where I would differ from the position you outline
                          here is that there are within Matthew's gospel other statements that do
                          indicate a proactive approach to the Gentiles. 4:13-16 seems to me to
                          be active; as does the promised extension of justice in 12:18ff; one
                          also thinks of the parable in 21:41, 22:1-14; 25:31-46 (Significanlty
                          the last words of teaching given by Jesus as we enter the Passion
                          account). I want to seperate the ideas here of requirement and being
                          active or proactive. I would agree that this is not a command to go out
                          and convert Gentiles; but it does seem to me to be more active than
                          merely waiting for the Gentiles to come to the church and if they accept
                          the faith, well and good.

                          I see Mt 28:18ff IN PART in this way (it is a very rich text and full of
                          polysemy it seems to me). The gospel begins by telling us that this is
                          the book of the genesis, a phrase echoed only at Gen 5:1 and Gen 2:4, of
                          Jesus, so from the very first words we're invited to consider a wider
                          scope. Next we're told that Jesus is the "son of David" and all that
                          loading. Finally, the son of Abraham....Abram is presented in Genesis
                          as God's answer to the judgement at the Tower of Babel, with the
                          "diaspora" of the church to all nations, Jesus has fulfilled the reason
                          Abram was called. Thus, the words at the end of the gospel form a
                          chiasm and "book end" with the opening of the gospel that just like the
                          Hebrew Bible, focuses on the relationship between God and His chosen
                          people, without ever loosing sight of a larger scope that affects all
                          nations.

                          Larry Swain
                        • Munachi E. Ezeogu
                          Robert Brenchley wrote: If Gentiles are to have a status comparable to that of resident aliens in the Torah - accepted but not invited, as it were - then that
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Robert Brenchley wrote:

                            If Gentiles are to have a status comparable to that of resident aliens in
                            the Torah - accepted but not invited, as it were - then that might explain
                            much of the text, but it still leaves 28:19 as a problem. It's tempting to
                            regard it as an interpolation, but there seems to be a good deal of Matthean
                            language there, and it seems like an easy way out.

                            I respond:

                            1. It should not surprise anyone that Mt accords Gentiles the same status as in
                            the Torah. Mt is, after all, a very Jewish book and no other evangelist takes is
                            so close to the Torah as Mt is. This reading leaves 28:19 as a problematic text
                            only when one insists on reading 28:19 as a missionary text. But there are no
                            grounds for that. For one thing, there is no command to "go." Poreuthentes is a
                            participle and not an imperative. As a Hebraism, it could be explained as having
                            a pleonastic sense, simply serving to reinforce the main verb Matheteusate. For
                            more on this see Malina, Bruce "The Literary Structure and Form of Matt. XXVIII.
                            16-20" New Testament Studies 17 (1970-71): 87-103.

                            2. As I said in my first response to Steve, every word and phrase in this verse
                            is a semantic and literary challenge. We usually assume that panta ta ethne "all
                            nations" is geographic. It doesn't have to be. There is a view, among others,
                            that "all nations" refers to Gentiles living within the Jewish milieu. In many
                            ways this view seems more appropriate for the Matthean context. Even though he
                            comes to the text with a decidedly missionary interest, James LaGrand [The
                            Earliest Christian Mission to 'All Nations' in the Light of Matthew's Gospel
                            (University of South Florida International Studies in Formative Christianity and
                            Judaism, 1995) 239] points out that the initial reference of "all the nations"
                            was probably to "kinsmen and resident aliens, with jews and foreigners who make
                            their home in Galilee of the Goyim." In a monograph devoted to reconciling the
                            apparent contradiction between the mission discourse (Matt 10:5, 35) and the
                            Great Commission (Matt 28:19), T.W. Manson makes the illuminating observation
                            that "It was the incorporation of Gentiles into the Christian body, not the
                            inculcation of Christian ideas into Gentile minds, that was the living issue in
                            the middle of the first century." [T.W. Manson, Only to the House of Israel?
                            Facet Books Biblical Series (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1964), 5-6.] In other
                            words, the issue was how and to what extent Gentile proselytes within the
                            Matthean church are to be admitted to membership, not proactive mission to
                            persuade Gentiles to accept the Christian faith. My opinion builds on that
                            observation: the issue in the Great Commission pericope was the admission of
                            Gentiles into the ministerial circle of disciples and not to ordinary membership
                            which many of them had already attained by the 80s when Mt wrote.

                            3. We have come a long way from the early days of form criticism when 28:19 was
                            regarded as an interpolation. In the good old days of the Textus Receptus, maybe
                            there was ground for that. But given the fact that the NT texts we use today are
                            critical editions that have gone throught the sieve of textual criticism, we
                            should be very slow in attributing any passage to interpolation simply because
                            it does not fit neatly into our intrepretive model.

                            Ernest Munachi Ezeogu
                            Toronto School of Theology
                          • Steve Black
                            Thanks Ernest for including references - very helpful!! ... Forgive me is I am being obtuse. Could you expand on what you ve said here - I am not sure that I
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Thanks Ernest for including references - very helpful!!

                              >Ernest Munachi Ezeogu wrote:
                              >
                              > [snip]My opinion builds on that
                              >observation: the issue in the Great Commission pericope was the admission of
                              >Gentiles into the ministerial circle of disciples and not to
                              >ordinary membership
                              >which many of them had already attained by the 80s when Mt wrote.

                              Forgive me is I am being obtuse. Could you expand on what you've said
                              here - I am not sure that I am "getting it".

                              >
                              >3. We have come a long way from the early days of form criticism
                              >when 28:19 was
                              >regarded as an interpolation. In the good old days of the Textus
                              >Receptus, maybe
                              >there was ground for that. But given the fact that the NT texts we
                              >use today are
                              >critical editions that have gone throught the sieve of textual criticism, we
                              >should be very slow in attributing any passage to interpolation simply because
                              >it does not fit neatly into our intrepretive model.

                              I agree that interpolations can provide an easy way out. BUT i also
                              see no reason to suggest that they still don't exist in the NT. I
                              mentioned this earlier - but in NT studies you have to pull teeth to
                              get something admitted as an interpolation - whereas in the hebrew
                              scriptures its as easy as a walk in the park. Why have these two
                              interrelated disciplines have diverged so significantly here? There
                              is plenty of time and room as far as I understand the textual witness
                              to believe that there are [plenty of?] interpolations in the NT.
                              --
                              Steve Black
                              Vancouver School of Theology
                              Vancouver, BC
                              ---

                              Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

                              -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                            • L. J. Swain
                              ... To a degree, politics. X-Mozilla-Status: 0009 for Christian interpreters in the NT than there is in the OT , so a greater degree of precision is
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Steve Black wrote:
                                >
                                > >Robert Brenchley wrote...

                                >
                                > As an aside - why is it, do you think, that in NT studies the
                                > presence of interpolations are only granted with extreme reluctance
                                > whereas in OT studies the are commonly seen everywhere and at all
                                > times?? Its not like we have enough textual witnesses to eliminate
                                > the possibilities. Scribal activity is just as volatile. Just
                                > wondering...


                                To a degree, politics. X-Mozilla-Status: 0009 for Christian
                                interpreters in the NT than there is in the "OT", so a greater degree of
                                precision is necessary to prove something in the received text is an
                                interpolation or not. Most Christians could jettison the Hebrew Bible
                                and still maintain the tenets of their faith.

                                Larry Swain
                              • L. J. Swain
                                ... To a degree, politics. There is more at stake for Christian interpreters in the NT than there is in the OT , so a greater degree of precision is
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Steve Black wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >Robert Brenchley wrote...

                                  >
                                  > As an aside - why is it, do you think, that in NT studies the
                                  > presence of interpolations are only granted with extreme reluctance
                                  > whereas in OT studies the are commonly seen everywhere and at all
                                  > times?? Its not like we have enough textual witnesses to eliminate
                                  > the possibilities. Scribal activity is just as volatile. Just
                                  > wondering...


                                  To a degree, politics. There is more at stake for Christian
                                  interpreters in the NT than there is in the "OT", so a greater degree of
                                  precision is necessary to prove something in the received text is an
                                  interpolation or not. Most Christians could jettison the Hebrew Bible
                                  and still maintain the tenets of their faith.

                                  Larry Swain
                                • Steve Black
                                  Mt conflates the sent with the not sent in the missionary passage. The motif of family turning against family does not make much sense for itinerants who
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Mt conflates the sent with the not sent in the "missionary" passage.
                                    The motif of family turning against family does not make much sense
                                    for itinerants who presumably aren't at home and thus cannot really
                                    be betrayed by other family members. Thus it seems that the
                                    "missionary" passage isn't entirely a missionary passage at all.
                                    --
                                    Steve Black
                                    Vancouver School of Theology
                                    Vancouver, BC
                                    ---

                                    Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

                                    -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                  • L. J. Swain
                                    ... Ernest, I will say that you give one plenty to think about in your posts. I have several issues here. a) what do you mean by a missionary text . If you
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      "Munachi E. Ezeogu" wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Robert Brenchley wrote:
                                      >
                                      > If Gentiles are to have a status comparable to that of resident aliens in
                                      > the Torah - accepted but not invited, as it were - then that might explain
                                      > much of the text, but it still leaves 28:19 as a problem. It's tempting to
                                      > regard it as an interpolation, but there seems to be a good deal of Matthean
                                      > language there, and it seems like an easy way out.
                                      >
                                      > I respond:
                                      >
                                      > 1. It should not surprise anyone that Mt accords Gentiles the same status as in
                                      > the Torah. Mt is, after all, a very Jewish book and no other evangelist takes is
                                      > so close to the Torah as Mt is. This reading leaves 28:19 as a problematic text
                                      > only when one insists on reading 28:19 as a missionary text. But there are no
                                      > grounds for that. For one thing, there is no command to "go." Poreuthentes is a
                                      > participle and not an imperative. As a Hebraism, it could be explained as having
                                      > a pleonastic sense, simply serving to reinforce the main verb Matheteusate. For
                                      > more on this see Malina, Bruce "The Literary Structure and Form of Matt. XXVIII.
                                      > 16-20" New Testament Studies 17 (1970-71): 87-103.


                                      Ernest,
                                      I will say that you give one plenty to think about in your posts. I
                                      have several issues here.

                                      a) what do you mean by a "missionary text". If you mean that Matt. 28
                                      should not be read as a general summons on Christians to go and make
                                      converts to a new religion I would agree. If you however mean that Matt
                                      28 is not a missionary text in the sense that the "disciples" here are
                                      not being sent out, I would have to disagree.

                                      b) I would like to see a defence of your position here on
                                      "poreuthentes". Yes, it is a participle, but how is that participle
                                      used? Attendant circumstance in which it is best translated as a
                                      parallel to the main verb (the typical understanding). Circumstantial,
                                      explaining the the circumstances of the verb--such as temporal (as you
                                      go, while you go, etc)? I might accept this, but would like to see an
                                      argument for it. Supplementary, filling the action of the verb? I
                                      don't see how this makes sense in the context--Make disciples of all
                                      nations going, ....baptizing.....teaching. The "going" hardly fits this
                                      description, though certainly the baptizing and teaching do.

                                      c) How is "poreuthentes" a pleonasm--if it were "Calling, make
                                      disciples..." or "teaching, make disciples..."I could see it, but don't
                                      see how poreuthentes is pleonistic, and I would like you to explain this
                                      to me, I don't have Malina's article and it will take me a few days to
                                      find a library that does, get to it, and read it.


                                      > 2. As I said in my first response to Steve, every word and phrase in this verse
                                      > is a semantic and literary challenge. We usually assume that panta ta ethne "all
                                      > nations" is geographic. It doesn't have to be. There is a view, among others,
                                      > that "all nations" refers to Gentiles living within the Jewish milieu.

                                      What exactly does this mean? a) I would like to see a systematic study
                                      of Matthew's use of "ethne", Saldarini did in his _Matthews
                                      Christian-Jewish Community_, but I see nothing in there that would
                                      indicate that Mt. 28.19 is a special and unique use of "ethne" to mean
                                      "those nations liviing only within a "Jewish milieu"?
                                      b) What do you mean by a Jewish milieu? "Nations" living within Jewish
                                      hegemony? There wasn't any. Nations having Jewish communities within
                                      them? Hardly counts as a Jewish milieu then. Or do you mean specific
                                      "gentiles" who have become "god-fearers" are eligible to become
                                      Christians? I'm not sure "ethne" can bear that but would entertain an
                                      argument. c) what do you mean by "geographic" meaning or intent to
                                      ethne? I'm not sure territory is a necessary component to the notion of
                                      "ethne".

                                      > ways this view seems more appropriate for the Matthean context. Even though he
                                      > comes to the text with a decidedly missionary interest, James LaGrand [The
                                      > Earliest Christian Mission to 'All Nations' in the Light of Matthew's Gospel
                                      > (University of South Florida International Studies in Formative Christianity and
                                      > Judaism, 1995) 239] points out that the initial reference of "all the nations"
                                      > was probably to "kinsmen and resident aliens, with jews and foreigners who make
                                      > their home in Galilee of the Goyim."

                                      Then why not say so in the text? Where else in Jewish or Christian
                                      literature does PANTA TA EQNH refer to only those non-Jews living in a
                                      particular region? Doesn't this understanding exclude "Jews", and
                                      suggests that Matthew's view is Galilee and Galilee alone, nowhere else
                                      on the planet quite fits the description there. This assumes a great
                                      deal about Matthew's community, its relationship to other Christian
                                      communities, and its mileau that I would like to see spelled out
                                      better. I'll have to get LaGrand's book.

                                      In a monograph devoted to reconciling the
                                      > apparent contradiction between the mission discourse (Matt 10:5, 35) and the
                                      > Great Commission (Matt 28:19), T.W. Manson makes the illuminating observation
                                      > that "It was the incorporation of Gentiles into the Christian body, not the
                                      > inculcation of Christian ideas into Gentile minds, that was the living issue in
                                      > the middle of the first century." [T.W. Manson, Only to the House of Israel?
                                      > Facet Books Biblical Series (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1964), 5-6.] In other
                                      > words, the issue was how and to what extent Gentile proselytes within the
                                      > Matthean church are to be admitted to membership, not proactive mission to
                                      > persuade Gentiles to accept the Christian faith.


                                      Agreed, but this doesn't change the tension any. One says, Only
                                      Israel. The other says, All Nations. We can tone down the import of
                                      that tension by not reading the latter as "missionary" text (though one
                                      can not help but think of it in those terms since chap 10 is clearly a
                                      "missionary" text), but the it does not do away with the tension.


                                      My opinion builds on that
                                      > observation: the issue in the Great Commission pericope was the admission of
                                      > Gentiles into the ministerial circle of disciples and not to ordinary membership
                                      > which many of them had already attained by the 80s when Mt wrote.

                                      Ok, I would like to see an explication of this. But I do have
                                      questions: a) if Mt. 28:19ff relates to the making of leaders in the
                                      community and not to the rank and file, 1) how do interpret the
                                      participle "going"? 2) the mountain top experience? 3) how do you
                                      grammatically make sense of PANTA TA EQNH--it clearly isn't a genitive,
                                      so it can't be partitive or source. It says, "Disciplize all nations",
                                      not "make disciples FROM all nations" even if we restrict "ethnh" to
                                      Galilee. b) how do you picture the baptism? Were not all members of
                                      the community baptized? And if so, were those not in leadership only
                                      baptized into the F ather, not the Son or Spirit? Or some other
                                      formula? If on the other hand you take the baptism here as the same for
                                      all members of the community, how do you claim that "making
                                      disciples...baptizing them; is any different on a leadership level and
                                      indicates that this pertains only to leadership? c) similarly how do
                                      you take the "teaching them" to be different on this level....aren't all
                                      Christians, even the rank and file, to be taught all that Jesus
                                      instructed and observe it? Or do we have a division, and the gospel
                                      rather than written for the community, is really written only for the
                                      leadership since it contains all the things that Jesus instructed, to be
                                      observed by the leadership but not the rank and file?


                                      I look forward to you comments, Ernest. Thanks very m uch.

                                      Larry Swain
                                    • Munachi E. Ezeogu
                                      Steve Black Wrote: Mt conflates the sent with the not sent in the missionary passage. The motif of family turning against family does not make much sense for
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Steve Black Wrote:
                                        Mt conflates the sent with the not sent in the "missionary" passage.
                                        The motif of family turning against family does not make much sense
                                        for itinerants who presumably aren't at home and thus cannot really
                                        be betrayed by other family members. Thus it seems that the
                                        "missionary" passage isn't entirely a missionary passage at all.
                                        ~~~~~

                                        In addition, it is to be noted that whereas Mk (6:12) and Lk (9:6) indicate that
                                        the disciples actually "go" after receiveing the "missionary" instructions, Mt
                                        fails to indicate that the disciples actually "go" anywhere after the
                                        "missionary" instructions in chap 10. Is this perhaps a pointer to Mt's interest
                                        or lack thereof in outside mission?

                                        Ernest Munachi Ezeogu
                                        Toronto School of Theology
                                      • L. J. Swain
                                        ... Interesting observations, from both of you. I m not sure I would read too much into Matthew s silence. a) What do you, Ernest, mean by outside mission ?
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Oct 23, 2002
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          "Munachi E. Ezeogu" wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Steve Black Wrote:
                                          > Mt conflates the sent with the not sent in the "missionary" passage.
                                          > The motif of family turning against family does not make much sense
                                          > for itinerants who presumably aren't at home and thus cannot really
                                          > be betrayed by other family members. Thus it seems that the
                                          > "missionary" passage isn't entirely a missionary passage at all.
                                          > ~~~~~
                                          >
                                          > In addition, it is to be noted that whereas Mk (6:12) and Lk (9:6) indicate that
                                          > the disciples actually "go" after receiveing the "missionary" instructions, Mt
                                          > fails to indicate that the disciples actually "go" anywhere after the
                                          > "missionary" instructions in chap 10. Is this perhaps a pointer to Mt's interest
                                          > or lack thereof in outside mission?
                                          >
                                          > Ernest Munachi Ezeogu
                                          > Toronto School of Theology


                                          Interesting observations, from both of you. I'm not sure I would read
                                          too much into Matthew's silence.

                                          a) What do you, Ernest, mean by "outside mission"? If you mean a
                                          mission among the Gentiles, in Matthew 10 where you observe Matthew not
                                          mentioning the disciples'departure (or their return later), since this
                                          "mission" is aimed at Israel. b) since it is interested in Israel,
                                          would you say that Matthew's community is disinterested in "mission" or
                                          "making disciples" even within Israel? and if so c) how do we explain
                                          things like Matt 4 in which Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom to all and
                                          sundry, or the analogy at the end of chapter 9, and the explict
                                          statement that Jesus sent them out.

                                          This is one of those places I think we're invited by the author to
                                          assume that what he described in 10:5 (These 12 Jesus sent out after
                                          instructing them....) is what happened. In any case, the focus of the
                                          section is on Jesus and Jesus instruction, par for the course in
                                          Matthew, and not the disciples.

                                          Ernest, I'd still really like to see your ideas on Matt 28:19ff fleshed
                                          out, and we can do it either as an "article" in prep, or via email
                                          messages. But you have an intriguing idea.

                                          Larry Swain
                                        • Edgar M. Krentz
                                          ... Larry Swain I have followed this long string with interest. I venture an opinion here with some hesitancy, but, as ancient Euripides sometimes concluded a
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Oct 23, 2002
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            >Interesting observations, from both of you. I'm not sure I would read
                                            >too much into Matthew's silence.
                                            >
                                            >a) What do you, Ernest, mean by "outside mission"? If you mean a
                                            >mission among the Gentiles, in Matthew 10 where you observe Matthew not
                                            >mentioning the disciples'departure (or their return later), since this
                                            >"mission" is aimed at Israel. b) since it is interested in Israel,
                                            >would you say that Matthew's community is disinterested in "mission" or
                                            >"making disciples" even within Israel? and if so c) how do we explain
                                            >things like Matt 4 in which Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom to all and
                                            >sundry, or the analogy at the end of chapter 9, and the explict
                                            >statement that Jesus sent them out.
                                            >
                                            >This is one of those places I think we're invited by the author to
                                            >assume that what he described in 10:5 (These 12 Jesus sent out after
                                            >instructing them....) is what happened. In any case, the focus of the
                                            >section is on Jesus and Jesus instruction, par for the course in
                                            >Matthew, and not the disciples.
                                            >
                                            Larry Swain

                                            I have followed this long string with interest. I venture an opinion
                                            here with some hesitancy, but, as ancient Euripides sometimes
                                            concluded a line in his tragedies, ALL' hOMOS.

                                            I have noticed a tendency to concentrate on a very few Matthean
                                            passages, without looking at the entire plan of the book. Chapters
                                            11-12, which come after chapter 10, describe how many in Galilee
                                            rejected Jesus' message. In chapter 12 comes that Isaiah citation
                                            which end "and on his name Gentiles hope."

                                            Jesus enters Jerusalem in Matthew 21. Matthew cites an OT passge at
                                            that point, but omits from the LXX the words DIKAIOS KAI SOZON, "just
                                            and bringing salvation." Jesus enters Jerusalem as its judge. He
                                            curses the fig tree, an enacted parable of judgment in 21:18-22.

                                            After the question on authority there follow three parables from
                                            Jesus. The first is the parable of the two sons. Note its conclusion:
                                            "John the Baptist came to you on the path of righteousness, and you
                                            did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed
                                            him. And when you saw that, you did not later repent and believe
                                            him." Matt 21:28-32)

                                            Then look at the next parable: it ends"On account of this I tell you
                                            that the royal rule of God will be taken away from you and given to a
                                            gentile nation that produces its fruits." (Matt 221:43)

                                            I will omit discussing the significance of the notes in the passion narrative.

                                            Written after the destruction of Jerusalem, Matthew's
                                            Jewish-Christian church is beginning to doubt the correctness of its
                                            belief in Jesus--after all, most Jews don't. And they are excluding
                                            the Jewish Christians from Judaism. (Matt 5:10-12) Matthew is
                                            concerned to show them that they have everything that proper Jews
                                            have: Torah and prophets, correct actions, etc. And the gospel ends
                                            by calling them to convert TA ETHNE, the [gentile] nations. That may
                                            also include un-believing Jews!

                                            Thus Matthew 10 and Matthew 18 belong to two quite different times in
                                            salvation history. Matthew is neither inconsistent or
                                            self-contradictory. Rather he is involved in strengthening a
                                            community unsure of itself by giving it an identity in spite of the
                                            general Jewish exclusion of it.

                                            Peace,

                                            Edgar Krentz
                                            --
                                            + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
                                            Edgar Krentz
                                            Professor Emeritus of New Testament
                                            Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
                                            1100 East 55th Street
                                            Chicago, IL 60615
                                            Telephone: (773) 256-0773 Home Tel: 773-947-8105
                                            Office e-mail: ekrentz@... Home e-mail: ekrentz@...
                                            GERASKO D' AEI POLLA DIDASKOMENOS.
                                            "I grow older, learning many things all the time." [Solon of Athens]
                                            + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + ++
                                          • Munachi E. Ezeogu
                                            Please, Larry and everybody, bear with me for the silence. Hopefully I will be able to answer the charges by the weekend. Time is in short supply. What else
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Oct 24, 2002
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Please, Larry and everybody, bear with me for the silence. Hopefully I will be able to "answer the charges" by the weekend. Time is in short supply. What else can you expect from a Ph.D. student in the thesis writing stage? Thank you Steve for tabling this discussion.

                                              Ernest Munachi Ezeogu (Ph.D. Cand)
                                              Toronto School of Theology

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.