Re: [ematthew] the mission to the gentiles
>Interesting observations, from both of you. I'm not sure I would readLarry Swain
>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.
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.
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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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- 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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