Five questions on Matt 4:1-11
- In order to to promote some discussion among Listmembers on my article
on Matt. 4:1-11 as well as the Matthean story itself, Richard H.
> Jeffrey B. Gibson, greetings:
> 1) Why should we read your 35 page paper 18 pages of which consist of
> footnotes? What is new and radical about your idea?
> 2) Is the devil's purpose in Matt different than in Mark and Luke?
> 3) Omitted as I did see in your footnotes a discussion about the views
> of the early church fathers.
> 4)If you are right what is the significance of this new view of Matt's
> 5) Is it essential to your viewpoint that Matt be dependent upon Mark?
> 6) was the early church's view of Matt's and/or the synoptic
> temptations a unified view?
I will tray here to answer what you asked. But it is my hope that others
on the list will join in and add their own responses to each or any of
the questions upon which they may have some insight.
1. Why should we read your 35 page paper 18 pages of which consist of
footnotes? What is new and radical about your idea?
One reason that anyone should read my article is that is a selfish one:
I would benifit from list members having done so! I sought (and am still
seeking) feedback on it's thesis. It is my hope to publish the article
at some point, and the benefit of these lists is that they can often be
like a seminar in which one tries out one's ideas to shake them down
before submitting them to print.
What is new is, I think, at least two things. First, a view of what the
Devil is up to that is different from what has traditionally been
proposed; and second, a reading of the story which takes more seriously
than any other view the import of interpreting the story within what
appears to be its intended interpretative context, namely, the story of
Israel's testing in the wilderness as this is recounted in Deut. 6-8.
2. Is the devil's purpose in Matt different than in Mark and Luke?
Well, since I have published on Mark's story, I think the answer in this
case is yes. But in order to see this, you have to accept the thesis I
advanced in my study on Mk. 1:12-13 that, contrary to most commentators
who equate brevity with vacuity, Mark does not *just* relate the fact of
Jesus' testing but not the content of that testing. But whether the
Devil's purpose in Matt. 4:1-11 is different from his pupose as it is
portrayed in Lk. 4:1-13 is a question that can only be answered after a
study of the Lukan text itself. But perhaps after my "new" view of Matt.
4:1-11 is taken into account, the the parallels in Lk. 4:1-13 to Matt.
4:1-11 will be considered in a new way too.
3. Omitted as I did see in your footnotes a discussion about the views
of the early church fathers.
You will see if you pursue the notes that I have included some
discussion of the views of the fathers, many of whom curiously thought
that it was the Devil who was in doubt over the reality of Jesus'
4.If you are right what is the significance of this new view of Matt's
We'll frankly, this is what I was hoping listmembers would be able to
help me see. But one thing is that it helps to break down the barriers
between scholars who see the testing story as primarily aetiological in
function (showing a vision of what the church was to be like) and
scholars who see it as primarily Christological (identifying who Jesus
is for Matthew). If Jesus is being portrayed here in terms of God's son
Israel, and the story emphazizes what true Sons must be like to be
ragrded by God as faithful, then both of the views seem to come
5. Is it essential to your viewpoint that Matt be dependent upon Mark?
I don't think so, even though I have phrased certain points within the
article in such a way that my argument seems buttressed by this view.
Does anyone disagree?
6. was the early church's view of Matt's and/or the synoptic temptations
a unified view?
This is a thesis I am pursuing. But it can only be determined by
examining each of the individual traditions of Jesus under testing and
them comparing them one with another and with whatever the Vorlage of
each tradition might be.
More importantly, what do you think?
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626