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Re: [ematthew] Peter in Matthew

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  • antony
    ... As I recall, the driving force is deconstruction as a reading strategy... Antony
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 26, 2003
      >
      > 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 2 of 13 , Feb 27, 2003
        ----- 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 3 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
          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 4 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
            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 5 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
              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 6 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
                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 7 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
                  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 8 of 13 , Mar 14, 2003
                    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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                    >
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                    > >
                    > >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
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                    > ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of
                    > Service.
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > 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 9 of 13 , Mar 15, 2003
                      >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 10 of 13 , Mar 17, 2003
                        >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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