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August 3, 2013

Essay Paper on Matthew

                                                          Exegetical paper on Matthew
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants as narrated in Mathew 21 33-46 is one of the most variedly interpreted parables in the Gospels. In general, this parable can be interpreted on two different layers. It can be analyzed in the context of Synoptic Gospels and also for its pure allegorical richness.
   The story begins with little opening words to define the place and environment in which there is Jesus. It can be assumed that Jesus is in Jerusalem and the people, especially speaks to the chief priests and Pharisees. This is clear from the context of the parable and its position in the gospel. The parable is told in the past tense. The narrative time spans an entire crop cycle (the landlord acquired the vineyard and leased it to harvest time he returns and demands his share).

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  The parable of "Wicked Tenants" that the Lord placed directly after the "two-son" a key principle more profound than the latter. The people of Israel were not only in a state of neutrality maliciously - "say" and "don'ts" - but in direct rebellion against God and His ways of grace. That is what the Lord shows in this new parable, with serious consequences that would follow them. It is remarkable that it was reported in three Gospels, those of Matthew (21:33-46), Mark (12:1-12) and Luke (20:9-18).
   Moreover, the parable of the evil husbandmen is framed by two metaphors that have the same structure (the parable, of the two dissimilar sons as in Mt 21, 28-32 and the parable of The Royal Wedding "Mt 22, 1 -14). Thematically what they have in common is the replacement of Israel by the history of salvation, new believers to bring the fruits, and the reference to God's Judgement on Israel.

    This parable is an important example of what men incredulous, drivers of the people here, could quite understand by the superficial meaning of the image, for it is said: "The chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, knew that He spoke to them "(Matthew 21:45).

    But they did not understand the deeper meaning of what was expressed. Otherwise they would have made the terrible decision. So they do not repent because they do not recognize the person of the Son, which is sending one of the subjects of the parabola. He took faith for this, and they did not.

    In addition, the dish is part of the group of parabolas in which two persons of the Godhead, the person of the Father and the person of the Son are linked together. This kind of presentation is especially significant that glorifies the divinity of the person of Christ. The other two parables in this group are that of the "barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9) and the" true vine "(John 15). These three images have in common is that the Father is looking for fruit. As for their differences from the position of the Lord we shall return briefly later.   The analysis of the structure of the text shows that the whole passage from 21.33 to 46 can be seen as a literary unit.
                                         Separation of editorial and tradition
    The criticism regarding the separation of editorial and tradition is based on the Matthew version of the parable as it is to be found in Mark's Gospel. There are the religious leaders of the people who oppose God and his messengers to claim abuse and kill. God intervenes and removes the religious leaders, Israel is destined to get other religious leaders and win back the rejected son of a unique position. In the version of Matthew, the parable of learning of the wicked husbandmen is contradictory given a fundamental transformation which is especially evident in verse 43. It is a clear hint at an editorial change of Matthew.
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      The important concepts and themes of the parable from 21.33 to 46 Mt are dramtatically arresting and demand more focus and attention. The motive of the vineyard is often equated with the people of Israel, which, based on Isaiah 5, is certainly correct. God in the parable of the tenants takes away the vineyard from Israel’s leaders. In the context of our parable, the vineyard is rather regarded as the kingdom of God and its associated privileges but also obligations. The special protection of God is taken away from Israel as a nation and the Church is to bring back the fruits passed.
     It is not difficult to recognize God as in the parable of the vineyard owners. Lovingly he built this vineyard and returns it to the undeveloped. But when he does not expect you (the fruit), despite repeated sending of servants and his son receives, he takes the tenants of the vineyard away.
   Light of the Old Testament text uses a symbolic language, the elements in the love of poetry to be found. The founder of the vineyard is not an ordinary vineyard, but a model plant.
   The son of the householder is Jesus, the Messiah. He is sent by his father, to remind the tenants of their duty. He is killed. This process is strongly reminiscent of the fate of Jesus. Due to its outstanding relationship with the landlord, he wins over the previously emitted servants (prophets) by securing such a unique position.

    In the vineyard tenants are the leaders of the people, chief priests and Pharisees approached, and thus indirectly the whole people of Israel. They were told to bring fruit to the vineyard owners. They were refused. They even went as far as killing the son of the owner.
Jesus relationship with the Pharisees proved ambivalent: He shared religious beliefs as synergism between God and man others collided, but with their interpretation of the law. He criticized the separation strategy based on ritual commandments of the Pharisees against everything foreign. Without doubt, the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees, especially in the Gospel of Matthew by tradition has been further enhanced schematically. Besides the controversy there, especially in Luke's Gospel there are also indications of a friendly relationship (Luke 13.31 ff, 7.36 ff.)

     Prophets are literally servants of the householder and are in a figurative sense the servants of God. In the Old Testament prophets were often called servants. In addition, it also happened that they were killed.
In verse 42 of Psalm is quoted 118.22 to 23. The stone, which is discarded, could be Jesus. This is an Christological interpretation, Jesus the cornerstone of the new church, after he was killed and resurrected. The builders were therefore the leaders of Israel. Whether Jesus himself used this quote (as perspective) or whether it is an editorial change in the early Church, may not be fully clarified.
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                                                       Traditional and historical inquiry
    Luz raises the question whether the version of the parable, as described in the Gospel of Thomas, is the most basic. He considers this thesis possible, but finds no clear reasons that speak for or against. The question remains open.
 Among the various genera which are found in the Gospel tradition, the parables have a special place because they can be used both for the proclamation of Jesus as well as situation and self-understanding of early Christian communities.
   The parable calls for a two-step process of understanding. First, it causes the audience to comment (in this case the verdict on the tenant) and the second step of the transfer to their own situation showing the reaction of the chief priests and Pharisees. The parable is strongly allegorical too. (Kimball, 1993)
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    The people of Israel had already been compared to a vineyard in the prophets of the Old Testament and the Psalms - a vine which God gave to all the trouble to make it produce fruit. In Psalm 80:8 it says: "You carried a vine from Egypt: thou hast cast out the nations, and you have planted." God speaks in the same way by Jeremiah, and shows the sad result of his efforts for them: "And I planted you, an exquisite vine, a seed all true, how did you changed for me in branches degenerate a strange vine "(Jeremiah 2:21)? The song of the beloved on his vineyard in Isaiah 5 is particularly striking: "My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. And the gravedigger and removed the stones, and planted vines of exquisite, and built a tower in its midst, and it also carved a press, and he expected it to yield grapes, and it produced wild grapes. -And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What was to be done for my vineyard that I have not done it? Why, when I expected it to yield grapes, did it yield wild grapes? "(Isaiah 5:1-4).

    This image that the Lord was using was now well known, and His listeners understood very well what he was talking about. God had delivered from Egypt and their predecessors had brought in a good country, and he had driven out the inhabitants before them. He had taken every precaution to them He gave them all the necessary protection, and was sheltered from the abominations of the nations with a good law. What could he do? He had entrusted his vineyard to their fathers, the men of Judah, which they cultivated. He himself had gone "out of the country for a long time" (Luke 20:9).

     Why the householder was not living it over in his property, why did he do more in his garden to enjoy the delicious fruit? There is only one answer to that: because the people and its leaders had forsaken the Lord. God foresaw this development and said to Moses: "This people will rise up and play the harlot after the strange gods of the land, where he will enter, and leave me, and break my covenant which I made with him "(Deuteronomy 31:16).

     But when the people rose to leave, too, rose in his grace to visit them. "Getting up early and speaking," He sent His prophets: "Since the day that your fathers out of Egypt until this day, I sent you all my servants the prophets, every day I wake up early, and sending them "(Jeremiah 7:13, 25). God sought the fruit of His vineyard, His Prophets and His Messengers who were presenting their claims to rights and his son Israel. After all the good he had done, had he not entitled to their affections, their obedience to their confidence? (Beaton, 2002)

    There is another thing that is clear from what has been said: The emergence of the prophets of Yahweh in Israel was not a good sign in itself, even if it was a great grace to give and send. A prophet is an intermediary, and need someone to intervene between two parties who cannot talk face to face is the sign that has created distance between them. The first two occurrences of the word "prophet" in the Bible already clearly show that a prophet is a mediator. It was that God called Abraham first prophet, and he said to Abimelech, "he will pray for you" (Genesis 20:7). And when Moses considered himself unable to speak to Pharaoh, God gave him Aaron becomes his "prophet" (Exodus 7:1). He need not have such an intermediary if he had been himself ready to carry the message of God. When the Israelites were afraid to hear directly the voice of God, they asked an intermediary and said to Moses: "You speak with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die" (Exodus 20:19).

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The main results of the exegesis of Matthew 21.33-46 which can be summarized briefly are:  
The parable is of two thematically framed same parables that also have a similar structure.
The parable can be regarded as a literary unit.
  The source of the parable is the Gospel of Mark.
  The change in the editorial in Matthew V43 causes a shift in emphasis towards Markus.
  Some of the motifs and plot lines can again be found in the Jewish tradition.

Beaton, Richard (2002) Isaiah's Christ in Matthew's Gospel   Cambridge University Press

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Kimball, Charles (1993) “Jesus’ Exposition of Scripture in Luke: An Inquiry, BBR
Jeremias, Joachim (1971) New Testament Theology Vol 1. The Proclamation of Jesus, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons

Theissen, Gerd (2002) The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria. Westminter John Knox Press


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