Matthew

Beware of Apathy

Thu, 31/12/2020 - 14:55 -- James Oakley

As we look at the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2, the obvious lead human characters in the story are Herod, the Magi, and Jesus himself. These are the lead protagonists and antagonists.

Whilst the Jewish priests are more flat, functionary characters, we mustn't miss the contrast Matthew deliberately paints between them and the Magi.

Michael Green comments:

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Mary and Joseph

Mon, 24/12/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Mary

Children's Bibles are great. They retell key stories from the Bible in a way that children can readily follow. Each one has its own editorial policy, aiming for a particular reading age and style, with consistent illustrations.

But they're a minefield. When you try to summarise to remove extraneous details, it's easy accidentally to remove the most important thing. Like Jesus forgiving the sins of the paralysed man in Matthew 9:1-8.

When you have extra details that need a little explanation, it's easy to do so in a way that removes the most important tensions of the narrative. Like this example ...:

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Listen to the gospel writers: The weeds and their interpretation

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 11:12 -- James Oakley
Wheat

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels were spoken to other characters in the narrative, not to us directly. Our job is not to apply those words to us, but to ask what the gospel writer is wishing to communicate by recording those words in the setting they occur in.

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Listen to the gospel writers: Jesus and his family

Wed, 22/03/2017 - 11:48 -- James Oakley

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels were spoken to other characters in the narrative, not to us directly. Our job is not to apply those words to us, but to ask what the gospel writer is wishing to communicate by recording those words in the setting they occur in.

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