Monday, May 23, 2011

Liveblogging the Gospel of Matthew II

Have I been forgetting my Greek read of the Gospel of Matthew?  No, although I have been busy with other stuff.  Still, I've made my way through to the end of Chapter 8.  I'm struck by how this part--5 through 8, say-- is pretty much all talk, and decontextualized talk at that--strings of wise sayings with no story arc and little or nothing by way of place or company.  This is perhaps the part where the record puts you in mind of so much "wisdom literature"--anything from Heraclitus to the Book of Proverbs, with perhaps particular reference to the Hellenistic Cynics.  It's perhaps the part that gives rise to the "great moral teacher" trope, but as C.S. Lewis has suggested, if Jesus has to make it as a "great moral teacher," he probably doesn't make it at all.

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