Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Follow up from 9/21: The Four Gospels, Matthew's center, Essenes

 Here are today's two videos by Brian McLaren that seemed to he helpful:

1)The Narrative (seeing Jesus through Jewish background before we see him through later interpreters):

(Note, click here to see a short video (the bottom one on that page) in which  I had  a class act out the "line-up" McLaren talked about...if you liked the McLaren videos, the rest of them can be viewed at this same click)
2)Jesus as Center of Scripture:

Here's today's video devotional, "Teenage Affluenza," and as

you'll remember when I asked for comments on the form/genre of this documentary, we also used that list to define the concept of "parable": terms like subversive, comparison, metaphor, shock value, juxtaposition, dramatic, sarcastic came up in discussion.

Oh, remember Peterson's definition of parable/metaphor:

". ..a loud fart in the salon of spirituality" (
- Eugene Peterson, "Answering God: The Psalms as Tools For Prayer"page76)

We talked about parables, because as we are getting an overview of Matthew, before spending several weeks walking through it, we couldn't help but notice that structurally and thematically  it seems to be the center of the book ...So, there is something so central about Jesus' parables of the Kingdom that Matthew wanted  to point it out in a number of ways.  We looked at a literary way in class (2 of the 5 teaching blocks on either side of it, forming inclusios and parallelisms.  Click be low to see an excellent short summary of this by Michael Green:


Here are six literary charts of Matthew's structure we drew in class, and what answer to the "Who is Jesus?" question they might address.  Be prepared to explain these for the midterm:
OOPS, forgot one above..looking at 4:17 and 16:21 implies that the large center section in between those two markers is all about THE KINGDOM.  There the answer to "Who is Jesus?" would be the King of the Kingdom.

Also, here is another "literary world"   way that the Kingdom parables of chapter 13 are made central:
By chiasm  (We didn't do these in class):

While many smaller chiasms are obvious and indisputable,
several wider chiasms may well be truly present as well.
It is not unlikely that a whole book of the Bible (or check this out: the whole Bible)
is chiastically arranged.
Here are some possible ways to chart out Matthew's gospel.  As you weigh the evidence, remember that chiasms call attention to the center as the most important...central (literally) point/theme.

  • A. Genealogy (past), 1:1-17
  • B. First Mary and Jesus’ birth, 1:18-25

  • C. Gifts of wealth at birth, 2:1-12
    D. Descent into Egypt; murder of children, 2:13-21
    E. Judea avoided, 2:22-23
    F. Baptism of Jesus, 3:1–8:23
    G. Crossing the sea, 8:24–11:1
    H. John’s ministry, 11:2-19
    I. Rejection of Jesus, 11:20-24
    J. Gifts for the new children, 11:25-30
    K. Attack of Pharisees, 12:1-13
    L. Pharisees determine to kill the innocent Servant, 12:14-21
    K’ Condemnation of Pharisees, 12:22-45
    J’ Gifts for the new children, 13:1-52
    I’ Rejection of Jesus, 13:53-58
    H’ John’s death, 14:1-12
    G’ Crossing the sea, 14:13–16:12
    F’ Transfiguration of Jesus, 16:13–18:35
    E’ Judean ministry, 19:1–20:34
    D’ Ascent into Jerusalem; judgment on Jews, 21:1–27:56
    C’ Gift of wealth at death, 27:57-66

  • B’ Last Marys and Jesus’ resurrection, 28:1-15

  • A' Commission (future), 28:16-20 

  • SOURCE: part 2 (several other chiasms in Matthew)
    2)see page 9 here,  or below. a chiasm making chapter 13 the center of book:

    A. Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 1—4)
     B. Sermon on the Mount: Who Can Enter His Kingdom (chaps. 5—7)
        C. Miracles and Instruction (chaps 8—9)
            D. Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for Israel (chap. 10)
               E. Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 11—12)
                               F.  Kingdom Parables: Kingdom Postponed (chap. 13)
               E.' Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 14—17)
            D.' Instruction to  Twelve: Authority and Message for the Church (chap.18)
       C.' Miracles and Instruction (chaps. 19—23)
     B.' Olivet Discourse: When the Kingdom Will Come (chaps. 24—25)
    A.' Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 26—28)"32

    3)Evaluation of possible chiasms of whole book (centering chapter 11 or 13),,scroll to pp. 36-45  here  (David Bauer's excellent book)
    If Matthew 13 is indeed the chiastic center, note that Matt. 13 itself is chiastic:

    : According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.8 p.10, David Wenham was the first modern scholar to recognize that Matthew 13:3-52 is a chiasm. However, it is not a perfect chiasm though.
    13:1-2 Jesus came
    -  13:3-9 Parable of the sower, addressed to the crowds
    --   13:10-12 The disciples ask and Jesus answers
    ---      13:10-17 The purpose of parables (for outsiders)
    ----           13:18-23 Interpretation of the parable of the sower
    -----                    13:24-33 Three more parables addressed to the crowd-digressions

    ---           13:34-35 The purpose of parables (for disciples)
    ----        13:36-43 Interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares
    end of digression
    -                ----13:44-48 Three more parables addressed to the disciples "The kingdom of Heaven is like…" (treasure, pearl, net)
    -      --- 13:49-50 Explanation
    -       - 13:51 Jesus’ asks and the disciples answer
    -    13:52 Parable of new treasure and old
    13:53 Jesus left
    Within this structure, Matthew 13:13-17 is also a chiasm.

    We introduced Gospel Parallels, Gospel Harmonies, and other resources that help us compare the  three synoptic gospels (that word is on the midterm, see hauer/Young definition) or allfour gospels.
    When one..gospel writer includes a story, and the others don't; or when all four tell a story, that itself is telling.
    And how does each writer redact and personalize the story?  What might such changes say about each writer's theme. audience and historical world.

    Having summarized the Zelaots, Pharisees and Sadducees, we today watched a video of the Essenes, "The Time Had Fully Come"  Here is a brief slideshow summary..For now, the points to remember about Essenes: 1)had a community.communal life in Qumran  2)wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls  3)interesting ideas, in some ways similar to Jesus

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