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Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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
        • 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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
                        --
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                        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]
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                      • 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 11 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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