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

Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles

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