Thursday, 23 July 2020

005: Why 5 mothers? Feminist solution? Can we find the answer in the text?

This episode introduces a mystery: Why does the messianic lineage include references to a few mothers?

In the first section of Matthew chapter 1 (the so-called genealogy) prior to identifying Mary as the mother of Jesus the Messiah (verse 16) it refers to four other mothers, three identified by name: Tamar (verse 3); Rahab and Ruth (verse 5); and verse 6 mentions Uriah's wife (we can identify her as Bathsheba).

Why include only a select few mothers in the Messiah's lineage? Why these mothers in particular?

None of the traditional matriarchs were mentioned (namely the first four matriarchs are not mentioned: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah).

And why are the select messianic mothers not fully included as co-producers of the heirs (grammatically, the mothers are not presented as active participants of the verb "produced")?

There is an answer in the text, hidden in plain sight, staring us in the face.

Why haven't we noticed it before?

This episode introduces how we can find the answer in the text.

Basically it involves becoming more conscious of when we're underestimating the text (making assumptions about what is not in the text) and overestimating the text (making assumptions about what is in the text).

Episodes 006–010 continue the analysis.

(Next episode will begin with what we're assuming is in the text by examining six things we've been assuming are in the text but are not necessarily there...)

You can find Matthewlinity on Patreon if you're interested in supporting the podcast.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

004: Fourteen Interpretations (the gap in the text of Mt 1:17)

Episode 4. Exploring multiple interpretations of the meaning of the number fourteen in Matt 1:17.

Why is it important that the number of generations should be fourteen?
The text points out that the number of generations is fourteen plus fourteen plus fourteen as if there's some significance attached to the number fourteen but then it doesn't tell us what it all means.

What do we do about this gap in the text?
What do we do about having so many interpretations of the gap?
What does any of this have to do with masculinity?
So let's explore ... fourteen interpretations.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

003: The 3-Part Mythic Paradigm of Cosmic Proportions in The Genealogy (Mt1:17)

In episode 3, I try to answer two questions about verse 17 of Matthew chapter 1...
Why is it structured in three parts? and,
Why is it of equal proportions?
Short Answer: The structure of the genealogy is a three-part mythic paradigm of cosmic proportions.
Part 1 examines the pattern of kingship, exile, and Christos.
Part 2 examines the cosmic proportions (apocalyptic dimensions), touching on the issue of divine providence.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

002: Verse 1 of Matthew. Defining the Genesis of Christos in Eight Nouns

In this episode (episode 2), I provide a commentary on verse 1 of Matthew.

Verse 1 consists of eight nouns, in four pairs:


I discuss the main debates, namely is verse 1 the original heading for the whole book?
What's the meaning of the first pair of nouns: Biblos Genesis? Is this intended to echo the name of the first book of the Bible? Or perhaps echo the naming of the first account of human ancestry (in Gen 5:1)?

Also the fourth pair of nouns (Son of Abraham) is particularly interesting because of its ambiguity. The third pair of nouns usually overshadows the significance of the fourth pair of nouns.
Is David being identified as heir of Abraham? Are the labels "son of" meant to be genealogical labels, or messianic labels, or typological labels?
So many questions ... and a few answers.

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The best overview of verse 1 is found in :
Exegetical guide to the Greek New Testament: Matthew, by Charles L. Quarles.

Note two particular SBL Papers presented at the SBL conference, November 2017:

New Light from the Papyri: The Sacred Background of “Biblos” in Matthew 1:1 Program Unit: Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
Michael Theophilos, Australian Catholic University

“Son of Abraham” as Royal Title in the Gospel of Matthew and Early Judaism
Program Unit: Intertextuality in the New Testament Tobias Ålöw, University of Gothenburg

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

001: PreText. Podcast Agenda, Book Title, Authorship Questions

The first episode of Matthewlinity.


Episode 1 has three parts.

Part 1: Agenda of Podcast.
I explain the name and aim of the podcast: Critical Study of Matthew and Masculinity.
Why 'Critical Study'? Why 'Matthew'? Why 'Masculinity'?

Part 2: Title of Book.
I explain the meaning of the traditional name of the book of Matthew and how the book and its title are distinct matters of interpretation. I try to answer: What did it originally mean to call the book 'Evangel According to Matthew'? When were the Gospel book titles added? Why 'Evangel'? Why 'According to Matthew'? I discuss Richard Bauckham's theory of naming the book after 'Matthew'. I talk about reading 'Matthew' according to the book and reading 'Matthew' according to the book's title.

Part 3: Questions of Authorship.
I pose questions for thinking about the book's authorship.
How do we think about the book's authorship? Do we prefer an author from a despised background (tax collector) or esteemed background (highly educated scribe)? How do we construct a profile of the writer? How do we think about the writer's gender? Was this writer a successful spokesperson on behalf of a community of traditions?  How do we read and how do we engage honestly with what we are reading?