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Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles

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  • 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
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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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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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