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Re: [ematthew] Peter in Matthew

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  • antony
    Some grist for this mill, perhaps... Wallace W. Bubar, ŒKilling Two Birds With One Stone: The Utter De(con)struction of Matthew and his Church¹, _Biblical
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 26, 2003
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      Some grist for this mill, perhaps...

      Wallace W. Bubar, ŒKilling Two Birds With One Stone: The Utter
      De(con)struction of Matthew and his Church¹, _Biblical Interpretation_ 3, 2
      (1995), 144-57.

      Bubar seeks to show how 16:13-20 and other Œrock¹/Œstone¹ passages in
      Matthew (3:9; 4:6; 13:5-6, 20-21; 23:37; 24:2; 27:60) are deconstructed in
      the gospel. He alleges that there is inversion and contradiction throughout
      the references, which means that Jesus¹ confident statement on the authority
      of the ekklesia in 16:13-20 paradoxically undermines the entire gospel. The
      church has used 16:13-20 to claim authority... but the text undermines
      itself in (e.g.) 13:5-6, 20-21 ­ the seed in rocky ground, with associations
      of shallowness and weakness rather than stability and endurance, and
      withering (illustrated by Peter¹s own withering in the narrative).

      Antony (Billington)

      on [DAR´E], Mark Goodacre at M.S.Goodacre@... wrote:

      > This is an email I sent to Synoptic-L and Larry Swain suggested that
      > it might also be worth sharing it here. I would be very grateful if
      > anyone has any thoughts about this. In particular, I'm interested to
      > know if this has been discussed specifically by anyone before.
      > Thanks, Mark.
      >
      > A thought occurred to me in some off-line correspondence with Eric
      > Eve, something that is informed by earlier disussions I've had with
      > Stephen Carlson -- but developing those conversations a little. Mary Ann
      > Tolbert famously talks about the rocky ground (PETRWDES) in Mark's Parable
      > of the Sower as predicting and illuminating Peter's behaviour in Mark's
      > Gospel. Now, the material in Mark's Parable of the Sower here occurs
      > almost verbatim also in Matthew:
      >
      > "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the one
      > who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has
      > no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction
      > or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away"
      > (Matt. 13.20-21; very close to Mark 4.16-17).
      >
      > It occurs to me that this description fits very closely with
      > Matthew's depiction of Peter. In the Walking on the Water (Matt.
      > 14.22-33), Peter's immediate enthusiasm is clear -- he ventures forth on
      > the water, is temporarily successful, but then literarally falls away
      > (Matt. 14.30-31). Likewise in Matt. 16, he initially enthusiastically
      > confesses Jesus as Messiah, is commended for it, but subsequently stumbles
      > when talk of persecution arises, he is rebuked by Jesus as a SKANDALON
      > (Matt. 16.21-23). And of course in the Passion, as in Mark, he initially
      > hears the word with joy (Matt. 26.33-35) but subsequently indeed falls
      > away by denying Jesus (Matt. 26.69-75).
      >
      > If anything, the pattern in Matthew of Peter fulfilling the behaviour of
      > the "rocky ground" in the Sower is even stronger than in Mark, not least
      > with redactional additions at key moments to illustrate the "receiving
      > with joy" element, as well as underlining Mark's SKANDALON / SKANDALIZOMAI
      > theme. I suspect that this is a good example of Matthew picking up on one
      > of Mark's literary themes and underlining it, developing it, nuancing it
      > -- as with his treatment of the John the Bapstist / Elijah theme (as I
      > argued at last year's SBL). Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Has
      > anyone commented on this before?
      >
      > Mark
      >
      > -----------------------------
      > Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      > Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      > University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
      > Birmingham B15 2TT UK
      >
      > http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
      > http://NTGateway.com
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > ematthew-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
    • Steve Black
      ... Is he suggesting that this is within the authorial intent of Matthew, or something that can be achieved with a contemporary reading strategy that is not
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 26, 2003
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        >Some grist for this mill, perhaps...
        >
        >Wallace W. Bubar, 'Killing Two Birds With One Stone: The Utter
        >De(con)struction of Matthew and his Church', _Biblical Interpretation_ 3, 2
        >(1995), 144-57.
        >
        >Bubar seeks to show how 16:13-20 and other 'rock'/'stone' passages in
        >Matthew (3:9; 4:6; 13:5-6, 20-21; 23:37; 24:2; 27:60) are deconstructed in
        >the gospel. He alleges that there is inversion and contradiction throughout
        >the references, which means that Jesus' confident statement on the authority
        >of the ekklesia in 16:13-20 paradoxically undermines the entire gospel. The
        >church has used 16:13-20 to claim authority... but the text undermines
        >itself in (e.g.) 13:5-6, 20-21 - the seed in rocky ground, with associations
        >of shallowness and weakness rather than stability and endurance, and
        >withering (illustrated by Peter's own withering in the narrative).
        >
        >Antony (Billington)

        Is he suggesting that this is within the "authorial intent" of
        Matthew, or something that can be achieved with a contemporary
        reading strategy that is not so based upon "authorial intent".

        I find Matthew very easy to "deconstruct" as I don't find his "logic"
        particularly consistent - I suspect that at times he is more the
        redactor than author (although only at times) who lets major
        discrepancies stand in his text - perhaps simply due to
        inattentiveness - while at other times he is VERY attentive. So I
        don't construe him as "consistent". This makes "deconstruction" easy
        - but it also violates authorial intent - which is only as important
        as - well as important as you make it...
        --
        Steve Black
        Vancouver School of Theology
        Vancouver, BC
        ---

        The lion and the calf shall lie down together
        but the calf won't get much sleep.
        -Woody Allen
      • antony
        ... As I recall, the driving force is deconstruction as a reading strategy... Antony
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 26, 2003
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          >
          > Is he suggesting that this is within the "authorial intent" of
          > Matthew, or something that can be achieved with a contemporary
          > reading strategy that is not so based upon "authorial intent".
          >

          As I recall, the driving force is deconstruction as a reading strategy...

          Antony
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: Mark Goodacre To: Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:56 PM Subject: [ematthew] Peter in
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 27, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>
            To: <ematthew@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 6:56 PM
            Subject: [ematthew] Peter in Matthew


            > This is an email I sent to Synoptic-L and Larry Swain suggested that
            > it might also be worth sharing it here. I would be very grateful if
            > anyone has any thoughts about this. In particular, I'm interested to
            > know if this has been discussed specifically by anyone before.
            > Thanks, Mark.
            >
            > A thought occurred to me in some off-line correspondence with Eric
            > Eve, something that is informed by earlier disussions I've had with
            > Stephen Carlson -- but developing those conversations a little. Mary Ann
            > Tolbert famously talks about the rocky ground (PETRWDES) in Mark's Parable
            > of the Sower as predicting and illuminating Peter's behaviour in Mark's
            > Gospel. Now, the material in Mark's Parable of the Sower here occurs
            > almost verbatim also in Matthew:
            >
            > "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the one
            > who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has
            > no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction
            > or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away"
            > (Matt. 13.20-21; very close to Mark 4.16-17).
            >
            > It occurs to me that this description fits very closely with
            > Matthew's depiction of Peter. In the Walking on the Water (Matt.
            > 14.22-33), Peter's immediate enthusiasm is clear -- he ventures forth on
            > the water, is temporarily successful, but then literarally falls away
            > (Matt. 14.30-31). Likewise in Matt. 16, he initially enthusiastically
            > confesses Jesus as Messiah, is commended for it, but subsequently stumbles
            > when talk of persecution arises, he is rebuked by Jesus as a SKANDALON
            > (Matt. 16.21-23). And of course in the Passion, as in Mark, he initially
            > hears the word with joy (Matt. 26.33-35) but subsequently indeed falls
            > away by denying Jesus (Matt. 26.69-75).
            >
            > If anything, the pattern in Matthew of Peter fulfilling the behaviour of
            > the "rocky ground" in the Sower is even stronger than in Mark, not least
            > with redactional additions at key moments to illustrate the "receiving
            > with joy" element, as well as underlining Mark's SKANDALON / SKANDALIZOMAI
            > theme. I suspect that this is a good example of Matthew picking up on one
            > of Mark's literary themes and underlining it, developing it, nuancing it
            > -- as with his treatment of the John the Bapstist / Elijah theme (as I
            > argued at last year's SBL). Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Has
            > anyone commented on this before?


            Only an observation or two. As you might remember, I have speculated that
            the Gospel of Thomas may preserve elements, and had its origins in, a list
            of "Jesus saids.." that may have been among the notes of Mark. Many of
            those "Jesus saids" found in GoT are found in Mark and, IMO, preserve a
            more "primitive" form with an Aramaic substratum. This connects, IMO, the
            parable to the genuine verba Iesu but with a redaction veneer in canonical
            Mark (which I view as not the original), Matthew and Luke. I think the
            Thomas version:

            Logion ^N_.KOOVE AV.^E EJN_.T.PETRA "Some others, they fell ONTO THE ROCK"

            and the LUKAN version (8:6) KAI ETERON EPESEN EPI THN PETRAN "And some fell
            ONTO A ROCK"

            Are more original and Luke's use of THN PETRAN is not a redaction of the
            Markan PETRWDES but actually a more original form than Canonical Mark. I
            think the canonical Mark redactor left his "signature" (EUQEWS) in BOTH of
            his redacted versions (4:5; 4:16) and Matthew picked it up (13:5).

            The Aramaic competent Luke may have had a source that was the Aramaic
            precursor of Greek and Coptic Thomas. The PETRA use of Thomas and Luke
            suggests, to me, an Aramaic original that used k)f) "kefa" rather than
            $ow(A) "Shoa" which refers more to a rocky soil or ground as seen in Syr(c)
            and Syr(s). Considering my own retroversion, I am inclined to be intrigued
            by this thesis of correlation with KEFA (Peter). In Codex Bezae for Mk
            4:16, the Greek agrees with "rocky/stony ground" while the Latin agrees with
            what I believe is the original "on a rock."

            Just my thoughts.

            Jack
          • Mark Goodacre
            Many thanks for the reference to Bubar, Antony. Yes, this is very useful. Bubar has indeed spotted the link between the characterization of Peter in Matthew
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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              Many thanks for the reference to Bubar, Antony. Yes, this is very
              useful. Bubar has indeed spotted the link between the
              characterization of Peter in Matthew and the Parable of the Sower.
              As I stood in the queue in the library looking at it, I could see in
              an instant that he'd beaten me to it. But it's a remarkably
              overstated yet underargued piece. Bubar does not develop, for
              example, the link between the SKANDALIZOMAI when trouble and
              persecution arises of the interpretation to the parable (13.20-21)
              and the recurrence of the SKANDALIZOMAI vocabulary in the persecution
              context in 26.31-34. Also amazing is that Bubar appears to be
              unaware of Mary Ann Tolbert's detailed working out of this hypothesis
              for Mark. He refers once in a footnote to Rhoads and Mitchie having
              anticipated his theory (p. 148, n. 13) but there is no reference to
              Tolbert throughout.

              Mark
              -----------------------------
              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
              Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
              University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
              Birmingham B15 2TT UK

              http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
              http://NTGateway.com
            • Mark Goodacre
              ... It s the latter. The concluding paragraph will give you a good hint of the tone of this piece: In the light of this reading, one now has a great deal of
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                On 26 Feb 2003 at 6:54, Steve Black wrote:

                > Is he suggesting that this is within the "authorial intent" of
                > Matthew, or something that can be achieved with a contemporary
                > reading strategy that is not so based upon "authorial intent".

                It's the latter. The concluding paragraph will give you a good hint
                of the tone of this piece:

                "In the light of this reading, one now has a great deal of difficulty
                even conceiving of a church established on the PETRA and governed by
                a PETROS. Since, in Section I, it was indicated that the existence
                of an animated and robust church was a necessary condition for the
                existence of the Gospel of Matthew, the origin of that book has
                effectively been reduced to absurdity. Consequently, I have killed
                two birds with one stone, so to speak: I have depicted both an
                institutional church in ruin and a Gospel in the process of self-
                deconstruction." (pp. 156-7).

                > I find Matthew very easy to "deconstruct" as I don't find his "logic"
                > particularly consistent - I suspect that at times he is more the
                > redactor than author (although only at times) who lets major
                > discrepancies stand in his text - perhaps simply due to
                > inattentiveness - while at other times he is VERY attentive. So I
                > don't construe him as "consistent". This makes "deconstruction" easy -
                > but it also violates authorial intent - which is only as important as
                > - well as important as you make it...

                I know what you mean -- I have sometimes felt about Matthew like that
                myself. However, I do think the characterization of Peter is pretty
                consistent; the behaviour of the rocky ground in 13.20-21 seems to
                be the pattern of Peter's behaviour throughout the Gospel, and in
                this Matthew is underlining and nuancing the characterization of
                Peter he inherited from Mark. The only question I think we need to
                ask is whether Matthew thought that Peter would in the long run come
                up trumps in spite of his repeated bad record in the Gospel. And
                here the hints are strong that he thinks Peter would, in the end,
                make it through. Jesus prophesies that Peter is the rock on which
                his church will be built and the reader of Matthew expects Jesus'
                prophecies to come true. And then at the end of the Gospel we have a
                hint that his rehabilitation is now being effected -- the eleven
                follow Jesus to Galilee as Jesus had prophesied in 26.32. I think in
                the end we are left with a picture of the disciples, and especially
                Peter, that chimes in well with the way *Mark's* characterization of
                the disciples is sometimes depicted, fallible followers constructed
                for the pastoral needs of the church (e.g. Tannehill, Malbon).
                Perhaps Matthew himself saw the seeds of that depiction in Mark (e.g.
                Mark 16.7) and underlined it and nuanced it, as he often does
                elsewhere.

                Mark
                -----------------------------
                Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
                Birmingham B15 2TT UK

                http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
                http://NTGateway.com
              • Steve Black
                Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. I m going
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
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                  Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his
                  goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may
                  plunder his house.

                  I'm going against 2000 years of interpretation here - but can anyone
                  tell me why the strong "man" here isn't Jesus rather than the devil?
                  In other words - Jesus is saying that his opponents are trying to
                  bind him with their accusations and character slander. If people
                  believed that Jesus was acting by the power of the devil (as he was
                  being accused) - this would turn them away from him and thwart his
                  mission.

                  Am I just reaching here?
                  --
                  Steve Black
                  Vancouver School of Theology
                  Vancouver, BC
                  ---

                  The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                  but the calf won't get much sleep.
                  -Woody Allen
                • Daniel Gurtner
                  Steve, I think that is an insightful question which can be particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope alone. I think, however, context demands the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
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                    Steve,
                    I think that is an insightful question which can be
                    particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope
                    alone. I think, however, context demands the
                    traditional view for a number of reasons: 1. Jesus
                    has just healed a demon-possessed man (12.22-23) which
                    immediately calls forth "binding" imagery with Jesus
                    as the agent and the demonic as the bound; 2. Jesus'
                    reference to Satan driving out Satan (12.26) suggests
                    he understands, again, the demonic to be 'bound.' 3.
                    The association by JEsus' opponents of His action with
                    Satan seems to occasion Jesus' response in vv. 30ff.
                    Furthermore, one is hard pressed to find other
                    occurrences of Jesus being 'bound' in any sense save
                    his physical binding in Mt 27:2. Hagner (WBC) points
                    us to As. Mos 10.1, T. Lev 18.12 and Rev 20.2, the
                    latter of which has obvious implications. T Levi, in
                    my opinion, is another important source particularly
                    for Matthew. Though questions of its date and
                    frequent Christian interpolations suggest caution,
                    Chap 18 makes explicit reference to binding of
                    'Beliar'. Matt and TLevi have much in common,
                    particularly views of the temple and Abrahamic
                    descendence.

                    Other thoughts?


                    Daniel M. Gurtner
                    St. Mary's College
                    University of St. Andrews, Scotland

                    --- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
                    > Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house
                    > and plunder his
                    > goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then
                    > indeed he may
                    > plunder his house.
                    >
                    > I'm going against 2000 years of interpretation here
                    > - but can anyone
                    > tell me why the strong "man" here isn't Jesus rather
                    > than the devil?
                    > In other words - Jesus is saying that his opponents
                    > are trying to
                    > bind him with their accusations and character
                    > slander. If people
                    > believed that Jesus was acting by the power of the
                    > devil (as he was
                    > being accused) - this would turn them away from him
                    > and thwart his
                    > mission.
                    >
                    > Am I just reaching here?
                    > --
                    > Steve Black
                    > Vancouver School of Theology
                    > Vancouver, BC
                    > ---
                    >
                    > The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                    > but the calf won't get much sleep.
                    > -Woody Allen
                    >


                    __________________________________________________
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                  • Steve Black
                    Yoju are probably right and the traditional interpretation is to be preferred - but just to make my case a bit I ll give a few reasons why I came up with it.
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
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                      Yoju are probably right and the traditional interpretation is to be
                      preferred - but just to make my case a bit I'll give a few reasons
                      why I came up with it.

                      The tradition reading pairs v. 29 with 24-28 which makes it clearly
                      about demons. My suggestion pairs v. 29 with 30-34, which would make
                      it a polemic attack on the Pharisees. Certainly the traditional
                      reading works - I am not suggesting that it doesn't - although it
                      does raise some difficult questions about what Jesus means. When are
                      these demons bound? Have they already been bound - and if so when did
                      that occur? In the temptations? Perhaps but that seems a bit of a
                      reach. You could suggest that the demons are bound by Jesus' words -
                      but when then is the strong man "plundered" (if not in his command
                      [words] to come out??) - which is a distinct step according to the
                      logic of the parable.

                      With my reading I am not saying that Jesus is actually bound - but
                      rather that Jesus is revealing the Pharisees strategies of *trying*
                      to bind him. The irony is that Jesus is finally bound and killed -
                      but this turn to his ultimate victory.

                      As far as reference in other works - the book of Rev orbits in a
                      completely different symbolic universe from Mt and so I am not sure
                      it is helpful - other older works might reflect a traditional
                      understanding of Mt - Lk for example seem to understand this pericope
                      as referring the demons - but of course that doesn't mean Mt did. It
                      could be that Mark, the source of this pericope for Mt - might have
                      also understood this differently.

                      Anyways - there you go... I gave it one for the kipper...


                      >
                      >Daniel M. Gurtner wrote
                      >
                      >I think that is an insightful question which can be
                      >particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope
                      >alone. I think, however, context demands the
                      >traditional view for a number of reasons: 1. Jesus
                      >has just healed a demon-possessed man (12.22-23) which
                      >immediately calls forth "binding" imagery with Jesus
                      >as the agent and the demonic as the bound; 2. Jesus'
                      >reference to Satan driving out Satan (12.26) suggests
                      >he understands, again, the demonic to be 'bound.' 3.
                      >The association by JEsus' opponents of His action with
                      >Satan seems to occasion Jesus' response in vv. 30ff.
                      >Furthermore, one is hard pressed to find other
                      >occurrences of Jesus being 'bound' in any sense save
                      >his physical binding in Mt 27:2. Hagner (WBC) points
                      >us to As. Mos 10.1, T. Lev 18.12 and Rev 20.2, the
                      >latter of which has obvious implications. T Levi, in
                      >my opinion, is another important source particularly
                      >for Matthew. Though questions of its date and
                      >frequent Christian interpolations suggest caution,
                      >Chap 18 makes explicit reference to binding of
                      >'Beliar'. Matt and TLevi have much in common,
                      >particularly views of the temple and Abrahamic
                      >descendence.
                      >
                      >Other thoughts?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >St. Mary's College
                      >University of St. Andrews, Scotland
                      >
                      >--- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
                      >> Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house
                      >> and plunder his
                      >> goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then
                      >> indeed he may
                      >> plunder his house.
                      >>
                      >> I'm going against 2000 years of interpretation here
                      >> - but can anyone
                      >> tell me why the strong "man" here isn't Jesus rather
                      >> than the devil?
                      >> In other words - Jesus is saying that his opponents
                      >> are trying to
                      >> bind him with their accusations and character
                      >> slander. If people
                      >> believed that Jesus was acting by the power of the
                      >> devil (as he was
                      >> being accused) - this would turn them away from him
                      >> and thwart his
                      >> mission.
                      >>
                      >> Am I just reaching here?
                      >> --
                      >> Steve Black
                      >> Vancouver School of Theology
                      >> Vancouver, BC
                      >> ---
                      >>
                      >> The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                      >> but the calf won't get much sleep.
                      >> -Woody Allen
                      >>
                      >
                      >
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                      --
                      Steve Black
                      Vancouver School of Theology
                      Vancouver, BC
                      ---

                      The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                      but the calf won't get much sleep.
                      -Woody Allen
                    • Daniel Gurtner
                      I understand what you are saying, but let me make a couple more points: 1. With respect to paring v. 29 with v. 30: Grammatically you are on shaky ground. V.
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
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                        I understand what you are saying, but let me make a
                        couple more points:
                        1. With respect to paring v. 29 with v. 30:
                        Grammatically you are on shaky ground. V. 29 begins
                        with a disjunctive �h� requiring a preceding referent.
                        Mark�s (3:27) begins with an even stronger
                        disjunctive ALL�, but links it not to a statement like
                        Mt 12.28 but rather Mk 3.26, most closely associated
                        with Mt 12.26.

                        2. With respect to the sequence of events, etc. with
                        the 'binding' I'm afraid we can't avoid Rev 20 which
                        obviously is a notoriously complicated and
                        controversial passage and probably beyond the scope of
                        this list or at least my mental faculties at the
                        moment.

                        3. If you want to consider the Markan �source� you�d
                        probably need to examine the material unique to
                        Matthew in this pericope � and there is a bit. This
                        might be telling of how Matthew intended to use it
                        vis-�-vis Mark. That would be an interesting and
                        worthwhile project in my opinion.

                        4. When you said "Rev orbits in a completely different
                        sphere" � I assume you are referring to the
                        apocalyptic language and imagery of Revelation. If
                        that is the case, I strongly challenge that
                        assumption. Matthew and Rev 20 are using nearly
                        identical imagery which begs at least some degree of
                        comparison, though each approaches it from a slightly
                        different way. Though apocalypticism in Matthew is in
                        need of further development, works such as David C.
                        Sim Apocalyptic Eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew.
                        SNTSMS 88. Cambridge: University Press, 1996.
                        Apocalyptic imagery is abundant in the parables,
                        though admittedly more prominent following the
                        Triumphal entry. Clearly both Mt and Rev in reference
                        to this �binding� are employing some sort of
                        metaphorical language that is eschatological in
                        orientation. It would be interesting to try to trace
                        this imagery through its alleged �Jewish� origins in
                        the Second Temple texts mentioned previously and
                        explore how it is employed/modified in the Christian
                        tradition.


                        Daniel M. Gurtner
                        St. Mary's College
                        University of St. Andrews, Scotland





                        --- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
                        > Yoju are probably right and the traditional
                        > interpretation is to be
                        > preferred - but just to make my case a bit I'll give
                        > a few reasons
                        > why I came up with it.
                        >
                        > The tradition reading pairs v. 29 with 24-28 which
                        > makes it clearly
                        > about demons. My suggestion pairs v. 29 with 30-34,
                        > which would make
                        > it a polemic attack on the Pharisees. Certainly the
                        > traditional
                        > reading works - I am not suggesting that it doesn't
                        > - although it
                        > does raise some difficult questions about what Jesus
                        > means. When are
                        > these demons bound? Have they already been bound -
                        > and if so when did
                        > that occur? In the temptations? Perhaps but that
                        > seems a bit of a
                        > reach. You could suggest that the demons are bound
                        > by Jesus' words -
                        > but when then is the strong man "plundered" (if not
                        > in his command
                        > [words] to come out??) - which is a distinct step
                        > according to the
                        > logic of the parable.
                        >
                        > With my reading I am not saying that Jesus is
                        > actually bound - but
                        > rather that Jesus is revealing the Pharisees
                        > strategies of *trying*
                        > to bind him. The irony is that Jesus is finally
                        > bound and killed -
                        > but this turn to his ultimate victory.
                        >
                        > As far as reference in other works - the book of Rev
                        > orbits in a
                        > completely different symbolic universe from Mt and
                        > so I am not sure
                        > it is helpful - other older works might reflect a
                        > traditional
                        > understanding of Mt - Lk for example seem to
                        > understand this pericope
                        > as referring the demons - but of course that doesn't
                        > mean Mt did. It
                        > could be that Mark, the source of this pericope for
                        > Mt - might have
                        > also understood this differently.
                        >
                        > Anyways - there you go... I gave it one for the
                        > kipper...
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > >Daniel M. Gurtner wrote
                        > >
                        > >I think that is an insightful question which can be
                        > >particularly problemetic when viewing the pericope
                        > >alone. I think, however, context demands the
                        > >traditional view for a number of reasons: 1. Jesus
                        > >has just healed a demon-possessed man (12.22-23)
                        > which
                        > >immediately calls forth "binding" imagery with
                        > Jesus
                        > >as the agent and the demonic as the bound; 2.
                        > Jesus'
                        > >reference to Satan driving out Satan (12.26)
                        > suggests
                        > >he understands, again, the demonic to be 'bound.'
                        > 3.
                        > >The association by JEsus' opponents of His action
                        > with
                        > >Satan seems to occasion Jesus' response in vv.
                        > 30ff.
                        > >Furthermore, one is hard pressed to find other
                        > >occurrences of Jesus being 'bound' in any sense
                        > save
                        > >his physical binding in Mt 27:2. Hagner (WBC)
                        > points
                        > >us to As. Mos 10.1, T. Lev 18.12 and Rev 20.2, the
                        > >latter of which has obvious implications. T Levi,
                        > in
                        > >my opinion, is another important source
                        > particularly
                        > >for Matthew. Though questions of its date and
                        > >frequent Christian interpolations suggest caution,
                        > >Chap 18 makes explicit reference to binding of
                        > >'Beliar'. Matt and TLevi have much in common,
                        > >particularly views of the temple and Abrahamic
                        > >descendence.
                        > >
                        > >Other thoughts?
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >St. Mary's College
                        > >University of St. Andrews, Scotland
                        > >
                        > >--- Steve Black <sdblack@...> wrote:
                        > >> Mt 12:29 Or how can one enter a strong man's
                        > house
                        > >> and plunder his
                        > >> goods, unless he first binds the strong man?
                        > Then
                        > >> indeed he may
                        > >> plunder his house.
                        > >>
                        > >> I'm going against 2000 years of interpretation
                        > here
                        > >> - but can anyone
                        > >> tell me why the strong "man" here isn't Jesus
                        > rather
                        > >> than the devil?
                        > >> In other words - Jesus is saying that his
                        > opponents
                        > >> are trying to
                        > >> bind him with their accusations and character
                        > >> slander. If people
                        > >> believed that Jesus was acting by the power of
                        > the
                        > >> devil (as he was
                        > >> being accused) - this would turn them away from
                        > him
                        > >> and thwart his
                        > >> mission.
                        > >>
                        > >> Am I just reaching here?
                        > >> --
                        > >> Steve Black
                        > >> Vancouver School of Theology
                        > >> Vancouver, BC
                        > >> ---
                        > >>
                        > >> The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                        > >> but the calf won't get much sleep.
                        > >> -Woody Allen
                        > >>
                        > >
                        > >
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                        >
                        > --
                        > Steve Black
                        > Vancouver School of Theology
                        > Vancouver, BC
                        > ---
                        >
                        > The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                        > but the calf won't get much sleep.
                        > -Woody Allen
                        >


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                      • Steve Black
                        ... You are right - this is a good argument - the particle (translated or here) does connect this with the previous and not the latter sections. This
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 15, 2003
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                          >I understand what you are saying, but let me make a
                          >couple more points:
                          >1. With respect to paring v. 29 with v. 30:
                          >Grammatically you are on shaky ground. V. 29 begins
                          >with a disjunctive ëhí requiring a preceding referent.
                          > Markís (3:27) begins with an even stronger
                          >disjunctive ALLí, but links it not to a statement like
                          >Mt 12.28 but rather Mk 3.26, most closely associated
                          >with Mt 12.26.

                          You are right - this is a good argument - the particle (translated
                          "or" here) does connect this with the previous and not the latter
                          sections. This particle was added by Mt - as Mk does not have it -
                          making it fairly clear that Mt saw this as referring to demons. My
                          little theory had a short shelf life...

                          >
                          >2. With respect to the sequence of events, etc. with
                          >the 'binding' I'm afraid we can't avoid Rev 20 which
                          >obviously is a notoriously complicated and
                          >controversial passage and probably beyond the scope of
                          >this list or at least my mental faculties at the
                          >moment.

                          I'm afraid I don't quite follow you on this step. If I understand you
                          correctly - you are proposing what I would call a "canonical" reading
                          to explain Mt. But I see no reason to justify the use of Rev to
                          explain an ambiguous passage in Mt. We can import the Rev passage to
                          make sense of Mt - but I see no evidence within Mt that would justify
                          this move. I see no reason to posit literary or even any traditions
                          connections between Mt and Rev. Rev seems to orbit in a more
                          Johannine universe.

                          In any event - I may have entirely misunderstood you on this point!

                          >[snip]
                          >4. When you said "Rev orbits in a completely different
                          >sphere" ñ I assume you are referring to the
                          >apocalyptic language and imagery of Revelation. If
                          >that is the case, I strongly challenge that
                          >assumption. Matthew and Rev 20 are using nearly
                          >identical imagery which begs at least some degree of
                          >comparison, though each approaches it from a slightly
                          >different way. Though apocalypticism in Matthew is in
                          >need of further development, works such as David C.
                          >Sim Apocalyptic Eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew.
                          >SNTSMS 88. Cambridge: University Press, 1996.
                          >Apocalyptic imagery is abundant in the parables,
                          >though admittedly more prominent following the
                          >Triumphal entry. Clearly both Mt and Rev in reference
                          >to this ëbindingí are employing some sort of
                          >metaphorical language that is eschatological in
                          >orientation. It would be interesting to try to trace
                          >this imagery through its alleged ëJewishí origins in
                          >the Second Temple texts mentioned previously and
                          >explore how it is employed/modified in the Christian
                          >tradition.

                          Simply sharing a apocalyptic approach does not mean that metaphors
                          will signify the same things. Mt and Rev use language very
                          differently and so attempting to understand one by the other I think
                          will tend to suggest false comparisons.

                          Sincerely
                          --
                          Steve Black
                          Vancouver School of Theology
                          Vancouver, BC
                          ---

                          The lion and the calf shall lie down together
                          but the calf won't get much sleep.
                          -Woody Allen
                        • Daniel Gurtner
                          ... canonical reading ... Sorry to be so vague. What I meant primarily by this was that the questions you asked previously are nearly identical to those
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 17, 2003
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                            >I'm afraid I don't quite follow you on this step. If
                            >I understand you
                            >correctly - you are proposing what I would call >a
                            "canonical" reading
                            >to explain Mt. But I see no reason to justify the
                            >use of Rev to
                            >explain an ambiguous passage in Mt. We can import
                            >the Rev passage to
                            >make sense of Mt - but I see no evidence within Mt
                            >that would justify
                            >this move. I see no reason to posit literary or even
                            >any traditions
                            >connections between Mt and Rev. Rev seems to orbit
                            >in a more
                            >Johannine universe.
                            Sorry to be so vague. What I meant primarily by this
                            was that the questions you asked previously are nearly
                            identical to those raised for the Rev 20 text. They
                            tend to be more comprehensively discussed there.


                            >Simply sharing a apocalyptic approach does not mean
                            >that metaphors
                            >will signify the same things. Mt and Rev use
                            >language very
                            >differently and so attempting to understand one by
                            >the other I think
                            >will tend to suggest false comparisons.
                            Excellent point, and I�m with you to a degree. We
                            must let Matthew be Matthew and look to him primarily
                            for his own understanding of the pericope. Thus we
                            look at themes, language, OT allusions, etc. I agree
                            that just because they share a similar portion of
                            genre (if we can call apocalyptic that) and canonical
                            status can lead to, as you say, �false comparisons�.
                            (I must add this applies not just to using Revelation
                            in Matthew, but also Mark in Matthew � a method too
                            often used in my opinion).

                            While I do recognize validity in a �canonical� reading
                            I have more in mind what I consider an �intertextual�
                            reading. That is, there are texts in the Assumption of
                            Moses, T. Levi and Rev which are quite similar to the
                            Matthean texts. While one must examine each of these
                            texts and contexts in detail before one can discern
                            what, if any, comparisons can be made, I think that
                            the fact that the issue of the binding of Satan is one
                            so rarely attested in either Jewish or Christian
                            sources from antiquity some degree of consultation is
                            in order. Moreover, if you examine the Matthean text
                            without regard to Rev whatsoever, you run the risk of
                            assuming Matthew wrote in a theological vacuum when it
                            is more likely that he wrote within an evolving
                            Christian tradition. Again, their uses of the concept
                            may differ but to write off the Rev text off hand
                            because it is a different work than Matthew may
                            equally lead to a distortion. That being said, I must
                            confess a great deal of ignorance on apocalypticism in
                            Matthew so my ability to comment on it vis-�-vis
                            Revelation is quite limited.

                            I do want to ask, however, what you mean by �Rev seems
                            to orbit in a more Johannine universe�?


                            Daniel M. Gurtner
                            St. Mary�s College
                            University of St. Andrews, Scotland


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