roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
Ship of Fools

Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Kerygmania   » Treasonous

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Treasonous
# 16378

 - Posted      Profile for Gramps49   Email Gramps49   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 

Notice where the story takes place: the seat of the Roman government.

Notice the title given: You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God

Ceasar claimed he is the Son of God



[ 21. August 2017, 17:36: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

Posts: 2193 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Nigel M
# 11256

 - Posted      Profile for Nigel M   Email Nigel M   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
“Treason” is a good word to use here!

It fits nicely with the covenant worldview that I think overarches the ancient near eastern mindsets. If someone enters into (or is born into) a hierarchical relationship with another (senior – junior), then responsibilities attach. If that someone later ducks out of the responsibilities, then the covenant demanded a response. The someone has betrayed the relationship. Betrayal evokes visceral responses; the betrayer is a traitor and traitors deserve to die. Not just die, either; there would be a vengeful response by the one betrayed, with all sorts of things done with red hot pokers and so forth before the eventual expiration of life.

I’ve been aware of this angle for some years now in relation to the Old Testament, but realised I hadn’t taken the angle through consistently into the New until I read essays and books by N.T. Wright. He has spent some time in recent years debating the theme of God versus Caesar in his works on Christian origins, but he acknowledges that he in turn has been influenced by others. For anyone interested, there is a useful collection of essays by Wright, spanning several decades, that show his development in thought.* He also devotes chapter 12 to this theme in his two-volume work on Paul.**

It would make sense that if Jesus and Paul were both immersed in the Jewish scriptures and aware of the cultural context of the ancient near east, then any political elements from there would work through into their teachings.

One additional thing about the episode near Caesarea Philippi is that it was more than just Caesar the political ruler who is the focus of what Jesus' conversation. To be consistent with the worldview of the time (and going back in time) spiritual forces would also be bound up with human powers. I suspect it would have been unthinkable to separate them out. An attack on a human ruler (e.g., the Caesar family) would have been an attack on the gods associated with those rulers and their nation. Those gods that had been allocated to assist in the rulership of nations, referred to for example in Deut. 32:8-9, were equally traitors if they rebelled against the Most High.

Having said that, I haven't really absorbed all the ramifications of meaning in Matthew 16:13-20 yet. Michael Heiser has published a book that includes an analysis of the passage against the background of other texts.*** I haven’t read it yet, but have seen and listened to a few online videos and podcasts where the author goes through his ideas. So far I have my doubts about how far to push the issue.

It’s an important theme. though, because the interpretation of Matthew’s passage plays such an important part in determining how a Christian should respond today to the political world round about.

* Wright, N. T. (2013). Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978–2013. Published in UK - London: SPCK and in USA - Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press

** Wright, N. T. (2013). Paul and the Faithfulness of God. Published in UK - London: SPCK and in USA - Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press

*** Heiser, Michael S. (2017). Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ. Crane, MO: Defender Publishing LLC

Posts: 2826 | From: London, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

 - Posted      Profile for churchgeek   Author's homepage   Email churchgeek   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Could it be that part of the reason "Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah" might have been their own safety for the time being, then?

I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nigel M
# 11256

 - Posted      Profile for Nigel M   Email Nigel M   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It’s a thought, isn’t it? Jesus seems to have taken a balancing line, wanting to train up the disciples and send them out on mission as soon as possible, while at the same time curbing any exuberance arising from successes they had seen. Perhaps he wanted to avoid the development of any martyr syndrome – no need for the wrong type of Zealot on the mission field!
Posts: 2826 | From: London, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged

Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
  ship of fools