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Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Oct 17, 2002
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      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 2 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
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        >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 3 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
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          [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 4 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
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            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 5 of 21 , Oct 18, 2002
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              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 6 of 21 , Oct 19, 2002
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                >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 7 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
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                  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
                  >
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                • 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 8 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
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                    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 9 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
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                      "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 10 of 21 , Oct 20, 2002
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                        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 11 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                          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 12 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                            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 13 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                              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 14 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                                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 15 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                                  "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 16 of 21 , Oct 21, 2002
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                                    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 17 of 21 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                      "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 18 of 21 , Oct 23, 2002
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                                        >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 19 of 21 , Oct 24, 2002
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                                          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

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