3:10-4:10 Plenary Lecture 4:10-5:10 Your Papers: Discussion Groups ◦ Group 1 G25, Leader 1: Monica Weber (23:23- 39) (Jesus’ Authority) ◦ Leader 2 : Brenda D. Durham (23:1-12) (Discipleship) ◦ Group 2 G26, Leader 1: Siyu Wang (25:1-13 ) (Discipleship) ◦ Leader 2: Bryant Holt (25:14-46) (Christology) ◦ Group 3 G28 Leader 1: Kristin Kelly (25: 31-46) (Hospitality, Charity/Love); ◦ Leader 2: Chad Gurley(26:31-35, 69-75) (Grace) Plenary Session
all the information/features regarding your Contextual Bible Interpretation (CBI) that should be in PART A and PART B of the CBI form … some of you might still need to: a) Reformulate your TEACHING (B1) so that it would ACTUALLY CONVEY what the chosen texts of Matthew bring to the believers to help them overcome a problem they are confronted with: the “teaching” must FULLY EMBODY THE ROLE OF SCRIPTURE you identified; b) Clarify your choice of an understanding of the THEME: show how you choice is based upon your interpretation of your texts of Matthew and why it is the focus of your paper This involves explaining why not the other views of your theme… see CDC
You identified the different root-problems that concern them (and have evidence for your claim) Your COMPANION scholar should be concerned with the SAME root-problem (and role of Scripture) Your DIVERGING scholar should be concerned with A DIFFERENT root-problem (and role of Scripture) ◦ (A third, bonus scholar would be another DIVERGING scholar who would bring another DIFFERENT perspective.) You should have become aware that your chosen context can be VIEWED IN DIFFERENT WAYS ◦ Since agents in your context need knowledge, will, ability, ideology, and faith/vision to act in the right way, any one missing or wrong stops the right action (or promotes wrong action)
we began to discuss the identification of the different views of your chosen THEME Making sure that the view of the THEME you chose is grounded into/explained in terms of your texts from Matthew To compare YOUR VIEW of this theme with your COMPANION scholar’s view and your DIVERGING scholar’s (or scholars’) views of this same theme. ◦ You will need to do so in a very detailed way for your paper. Since your theme is related to the text of Matthew you study, all scholars will necessarily have a view of this theme, even if, for them, it is not the main theme. ◦ The several views/articles in the CDC on this “theme” and related topics will be helpful
You have now learned that there are several contradictory interpretations of Matthew Which are legitimate … supported by good scholars… equally legitimate Which are plausible … they make sense… equally plausible So it does not matter which interpretation one chooses? Wrong… You started with one… we went to many… now we need to come back to one An ethical decision: which one is BETTER?
What differences does it make to choose one interpretation rather than the other? Two criteria: A) Loving neighbor: What needs does each interpretation address or fail to address in the specific life-context you have chosen? What problematic effects does each of the interpretations have--or could potentially have--in other life-contexts? Who benefits from each of the interpretations? Who is hurt by each? So which one is better for loving one’s neighbor?
What differences does it make to choose one interpretation rather than the other? Two criteria: B) Loving God: How does each of the interpretations relate to basic convictions and values (about God and God’s will, etc.) that you hold? What is the role of convictions in your choice of an interpretation rather than others? So which one is better for loving God?
Brenda’s context: I was counseling a former church-goer who is gay and left the church because he felt shunned by certain leaders of the church and because he perceived that the leaders (minister and deacons) were hypocrites who preached on Sunday about a church who welcomed all persons yet in reality were not truly inclusive of everyone. This was evidenced when the former member brought his partner to a church social gathering and one of the deacons pulled him aside and informed him that this was a “family” function and that their presence there as a couple was not appropriate.
How to transform this situation so that the church will be inclusive and open to gay- members? The goal is the transformation of this situation Several possible root-problems: lack of/wrong knowledge, will, ability, ideology, faith-vision Which one is the most likely problems? ◦ If you address the wrong one: no transformation!!! The chosen texts of Matthew have several plausible teachings? Which teaching will be most helpful in addressing this problem?
Review Challenge of Discipleship: identify the “Readings” which correspond to your two interpretations ◦ Which root-problem? Use the END-NOTES, pp. 235-253, that identify the scholars corresponding to each “Reading.” “Readings” are related to different ethical and moral perspectives, you have good clues on how to assess the relative values of these interpretations.
1. Discipleship as Doing God’s Will Revealed by Jesus 2. Discipleship as Imitating Christ (imitatio Christi)
Doing God’s Will requires ◦ both a KNOWLEDGE of God’s will ◦ and a WILL to do God’s will Becoming a disciple who will do God’s will involves: Either learning = gaining knowledge of God’s will IF YOU LACK KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT GOD’S WILL IS Or being enticed to do God’s will = gaining the will to do God’s will IF YOU LACK WILL TO DO GOD’S WILL IS
Contextual Choice: Root problem concerns a lack of knowledge of God’s will arising from the context. Hermeneutical/Theological Choice: A) Discipleship = doing God’s Will; = fulfilling our obligation toward others and God; based on deontological ethics. B) The main role of Scripture is Rule of the Community (Canon), or Lamp to our Feet. Analytical Choice: A) The Sermon on the Mount as a window onto Matthew, Matthew’s community, and its ethical values; B) The main methodology is historical-critical studies (especially “Redaction Criticism” also Keener and Garland ).
Contextual Choice: Root problem concerns a lack of will to do God’s will. Hermeneutical/Theological Choice: A) Discipleship = doing God’s Will; = a voluntary, intentional view of doing God’s will; based on consequentialist ethics. B) The main role of Scripture is Good News that transforms Christians’ value systems. Analytical Choice: A) The Sermon on the Mount & the entire Gospel as a story of the ways certain people (fishers, tax collectors, people from the crowds, etc.) were transformed into disciples; B) The main methodology is narrative-critical study
Grounded in a responsible self, as a moral agent seeking to control situations so as to correct injustice? Brenda’s example: hypocrisy as wrong will is the root problem This then shapes our view Of community as the context in which we should seek to promote accountability and social solidarity (in community) through one’s interpretations of texts and contexts with primary concern for respect of individual freedom (“justice”) and for proper responsible exercise of this individual freedom (“righteousness”).
Grounded in a responsible self, as a moral agent seeking to control situations so as to correct injustice? This then shapes our view Of Religious experience which is then understood as “conversion,” as “voluntary” surrendering to God’s will. Linked with a variety of views of Scripture: Lamp to my feet but also with Rule of the Community, Good News, Always the danger of “totalizing” by mastering (or claiming to master) either a contextual situation and/or the knowledge of what is the will of God (e.g., as expressed in the Bible), and therefore to be the “master” who brings what poor people or ignorant or child-like people need.
Contextual Choice: Root problem concerns a lack of vision and hope = not sharing in the vision of the Christian community. Hermeneutical/Theological Choice: A) Discipleship = Imitating Christ; = Sharing Christ’s faith-vision of God’s kin[g]dom and of God’s love as “our Father in heaven”; based on perfectionist ethics emphasizing apprenticeship; gaining virtues. B) The main role of Scripture is FAMILY ALBUM. Analytical Choice: A) The symbolic world that frames the Sermon on the Mount and the entire Gospel; its figurative dimension; B) The main methodology is symbolic, poetic criticism (a form of literary criticism) = analysis of the figurative dimension of the text.
Grounded in community, as the people of God characterized both by an internal sense of the right relationship (justice) among members of the community and by a collective vocation as people of the covenant (responsibility to bring justice in the broader community? This then shapes our view of our religious experience (in and through collective rituals) and of our responsibility as individuals (in community life; driven by honor and shame; or in liberation ethics)
Grounded in community, as the people of God characterized both by an internal sense of the right relationship (justice) among members of the community and by a collective vocation as people of the covenant (responsibility to bring justice in the broader community? Often linked with Family Album and Empowering Word views of Scripture. This community-grounded view of the moral life might (but not necessarily) become “totalizing”— the claim that our view of the moral life, of the community is the only true one; e.g. exclusivist; leading to “totalitarian regime” (e.g., Nazism) or “totalitarian churches” (outside of “our” church there is no salvation; burning heretics, etc.)
Contextual Choice: Problem concerns a lack of discernment among people around us of who are the good and true leaders/prophets, those blessed by God, those through whom God works. Root problem: lack of vision (of the vision that Jesus had). Hermeneutical/Theological Choice: A) Discipleship = Imitating Christ; = Christ’s discernment; based on perfectionist ethics emphasizing discernment. B) The main role of Scripture is CORRECTIVE GLASSES. Analytical Choice: A) The thematic dimension of the SM and the entire Gospel, and the vision it communicates; B) The main methodology is structural criticism (a form of literary criticism) = analysis of the thematic dimension of the text (its semantic oppositions [=contrasts] including those between beginning [beatitudes] and end [judgment scenes]).
Contextual Choice: Problem concerns powerlessness, recognized as dealing with wrong power structures; Root problem: Wrong ideology Hermeneutical/Theological Choice: A) Discipleship = Struggling for the Kingdom and God’s Justice; based on liberation ethics emphasizing empowerment. B) The main role of Scripture is Empowering word (often linked to Corrective Glasses). Analytical Choice: A) The subversive dimension of the text (=how the text challenges accepted power structures); B) The main methodology is ideological criticism (what ideology does the text challenge), post- colonial criticism, feminist criticism.
Grounded in religious experience a face-to-face encounter with the divine as Other, as mystery? This then shapes our view of community relations (and radical, counter-cultural view of justice issues as a matter of loving others by respecting their mysterious otherness – blessed are the poor) of our responsibility as individual selves (driven by love, as being in love with others)? Often linked with the Holy Bible teaching, or corrective glasses, leading to religious experience of seeing and thus encountering the holy in daily life. Since it is grounded in mystery this view of the moral life cannot be totalizing.