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Re: [ematthew] Peter in Matthew

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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
                > >>
                > >
                > >
                > >__________________________________________________
                > >Do you Yahoo!?
                > >Yahoo! Web Hosting - establish your business online
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                > 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 7 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 8 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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