Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Terence Donaldson on Matthew

Here is a few quotes from an essay on Matthean Christology by Terence L. Donaldson, ‘The Vindicated Son: A Narrative Approach to Matthean Christology,’ in Contours of Christology in the New Testament, ed. Richard N. Longenecker (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), 100-21.

‘The narrative of any one of the Gospels is not merely a convenient receptacle for that Gospel’s christology, something that might be discarded once the christological contents have been extracted from it. Rather, christology is narratively constituted.’ (p. 105).

‘Matthew, therefore, presents Jesus as one who in his experience recapitulates the story of Israel. Like Israel of old, Jesus has been called by God out of Egypt to a life of humble obedience; like Israel, this calling was put to the test in the wilderness. The hope of the story is that, unlike Israel, Jesus will remain faithful where Israel was disobedient.’ (p. 116).

‘At the end of the story the tension is fully resolved. Jesus’ apparent defeat turns out to be his victory. Precisely because he followed the path of humble obedience to the end, refusing to use the power at his disposal to extricate himself from the consequences of his obedience (e.g., 26:53-54), Jesus is vindicated in resurrection and endowed with “all authority in heaven and on earth” (28:18). Sovereignty is won through suffering. It is precisely his faithfulness as the humble, obedient Son that makes possible in the divine scheme of things, his exaltation as the royal, sovereign Son. And as Son, who shares a name with the Father and the Holy Spirit, he is the teacher and baptismal means of identity for a new people drawn not only from Israel but from all nations (28:19-20). (p. 120).

5 comments:

Kelly Liebengood said...

Sounds like N.T. Wright's understanding. Does Donaldson deal at all with Christ's death as atoning for sin, and if so, in what way is it atoning?

Michael F. Bird said...

Kelly, Donaldson looks more at Christology and does not delve into atonement theories.

Michael F. Bird said...

Kelly, Donaldson looks more at Christology and does not delve into atonement theories.

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Michael,

‘The narrative of any one of the Gospels is not merely a convenient receptacle for that Gospel’s christology, something that might be discarded once the christological contents have been extracted from it. Rather, christology is narratively constituted.’ (p. 105)

This is a provocative statement of the idea. I like it. I suspect if I read enough of Donaldson to find out what he means by it I would have some problems with that but taken as an isolated fragment of text it seems to have significant merit.

My problem with the narrative theology club, which is now getting to be old news, is that they seem to set up some sort of false antithesis between their approach and traditional systematic theology. In other words, why do I get that pained look from the narrative theology guys when I mention C. Van Til or even Jonathan Edwards. I am all in favor of narrative but just because I gave my Edwards, Calvin and Van Til away 15 years ago doesn't mean that I think they are worthless. Au Contraire!

By the way, if anyone has had the disappointing experience of navigating to my blog and finding nothing there, I have now posted some photos of Seattle with a minimum of commentary on them so take another look.

http://three-tree-point.blogspot.com/

greetings, Clay

J. B. Hood said...

Haven't had a chance to read it yet. I really like Donaldson's approach to Matt and Paul.

In regards to the quote from page 116, does he work with the Is 42 quote in Matt 12? That citation is massive--lines up really well with the quote you just gave from TLD, and I expect to show how the genealogy anticipates both of these.