by acadian 12 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • acadian

    LOL...that's the secret, thanks

  • Narkissos


    The only 'inconsistency' between these texts is the fact that they are not talking about the same thing. The context is not the same for both texts.

    So what were they respectively talking about?

    From Rex' previous post:

    In the above, Jesus is explaining the Sermon on the Mount to His audience. Below, Paul is explaining how one gets ‘saved’!

    So the Sermon on the Mount was about... the Sermon on the Mount. LOL.

    Tell me, Rex, does the Gospel of Matthew, especially chapters 5--7, outline a "way of salvation" or not?

    If it does, what is it?

    If it does not, what was it written for?

    I'd really like you to answer the above questions.

    Now from a critical perspective, how likely is it for a "historical Jesus" to put himself in the position of the judging "Lord" of the last day and to envision many appealing to him as "Lord" on the basis of the miracles they have done in his name? How consistent is it with his preaching not himself, but the kingdom of heavens, to Israel in the rest of Matthew (chapters 3, 4, 10)?

    The emphasis on prophecy in Jesus' name linked with anomia (lawlessness) makes a lot of sense if the target is Paul -- and more broadly the Hellenistic churches. Some of them (e.g. Corinth) were outstandingly charismatic, and Paul consistently pushes "prophecy" over the other charismata ("gifts") -- Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10 (together with dunameis, "powerful works" or "miracles," just as in Matthew 7:22), 28f; 13:2,8f; 14:1ff,22ff,39; 1 Thessalonians 5:20. Acts 11:27; 13:1 points to a remarkable activity of Christian "prophets" (perhaps including "Saul") in Antioch, a central place of contact and conflict between Judeo-Christians and the Pauline mission according to Galatians, and also the oft-favored writing place for the Gospel of Matthew.

    Rex reads into Matthew 7 that "Jesus is speaking of false prophets who have called upon the Lord NOT for salvation but for self gain"; the only allusion to "self gain" which I can gather is from the adjective harpax, "ravenous" (wolves), which may or may not imply this suggestion. On the other hand it is pretty clear that the many who call Jesus "Lord" are surprised to be rejected, because they have believed and acted in the name of Jesus. They were "sure of their salvation" on the basis of their stance and ministry. The best definition of "bad fruits" from Matthew's standpoint is anomia, lawlessness, in the sense of rejection of the Law (5:17ff). Which suits the Pauline preaching (at least as the Judeo-Christians understood it) perfectly imo.

  • Leolaia

    Just to add a little more to what Narkissos wrote about Matthew 7:

    1) The focus in Matthew 7:21-22 is explicitly salvation (i.e. entering into the kingdom of the heavens), but the key is not declaring Jesus as "Lord, Lord" or even charismatic acts but DOING (poión) the will of the Father (cf. 12:50). The Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21:28-32 also dramatizes the difference between those who "do the will of the Father" and those who do not, and Jesus likens the ones who do their Father's will to John the Baptist who practiced the "way of righteousness" (hodó dikaiosunés). Those who "do my Father's will" in 7:21-22 are likewise contrasted against the many (polloi) who believe they are following Jesus but are not, and this relates to v. 13-14 a few verses earlier which describes the many (polloi) who take the "broad and spacious way" (plateia kau eurokhóros hodos) which leads to "destruction", while the few (oligoi) chose the narrow and cramped way (hodos) that leads to life (i.e. salvation). Rather than a focus on salvation through faith, the author is concerned with fidelity to the "way of righteousness", i.e. doing the will of the Father. The "many" who follow Jesus chose the easy path of confessing him as Lord and practicing charismatic acts, but Jesus does not recognize them as his disciples. He recognizes those who follow the difficult and narrow path that involves "doing God's will", which from the standpoint of the author involves fidelity to the Law.

    2) Earlier in the discourse, Jesus denies that he has "come to abolish the Law and the Prophets," as antinomians might claim, but to "complete them," i.e. show how they are supposed to be followed and provide the authoritative interpretation of them (5:17). Thus the Matthean Jesus specifically denies that any part of the Law would disappear until the eschaton comes (v. 18), and claims further that "the man who infringes (lusé) even one of the least of these commandments (entolón) and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven, but the man who keeps them (poiésé) and teaches them (didaxé) will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven" (v. 19). He claims in no uncertain terms that the Law remains binding and in effect. And the statement that directly follows this is as follows: "For I tell you, if your righteousness (dikaiosuné) does not exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (5:20). Here is another statement about salvation, and it claims that salvation REQUIRES a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees who hypocritically teach the Law but do not follow it. This is clear from Matthew 23:2-3: "The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses [i.e. they have halakhic authority]. You must therefore do (poiésate) what they tell you and listen to what they say, but do not be guided by their works (erga), since they do not practice (poiousin) what they preach." Here the halakhic authority of the Pharisees is not questioned and in fact, the Christians are to follow their teaching...they are to DO what the Pharisees instruct, but not be guided by what they themselves DO because they are hypocrites (as v. 4-32 illustrate with examples). This links back to 5:17-20, for the Pharisees do not BOTH "teach" (didaxé) and "keep" (poiésé) the commandments, and thus Christians who do both will exceed the Pharisees in righteousness. There are hints in the indictment of the Pharisees in ch. 23 that the Pharisees fail to follow the Law because they issue halakha that conflict with the actual commandments of the Law (cf. 23:23, ch. 15), or its general principles. It is not the Law itself that is being dispensed with; in fact it is the measure that is used to judge the Pharisees and antinomians alike...

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