Vergifnis en versoening in die evangelie volgens Matteus

Nel, Marius Johannes (2002-12)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2002

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to analyse the motifs of reconciliation and forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew from a socio-rhetorical perspective. The first two chapters expound the chosen methodology, define its aim and identifies relevant pericopes using a heuristic definition of each motif. The third chapter gives an overview of Matthew's inner texture. The next seven chapters interpret the inner, inter- and argumentative textures of the different pericopes by utilizing the recourses of classical and modem rhetoric, anthropology and sociology. The concluding chapter focuses on Matthew's social and cultural texture in an effort to systemize his interpretation of Jesus' teaching of forgiveness and reconciliation. The realities of internal conflict, Roman oppression and a growing, if not yet permanent, separation from Formative Judaism are all taken into account. It is proposed that reconciliation with the Romans and Jews was not seen as a desirable strategy by Matthew, whereas it was non-negotiable for the relationship between members of his church. The concluding chapter also reads Matthew as a narrative In order to provide an answer to the question if it possesses an unified theology of forgiveness and reconciliation. Consideration is therefore given to the occurrence of key peri copes in regard to the development of the Gospel's narrative. It concludes that the dishonourable nature of being crucified in the Jewish and Greco-Roman world compelled Matthew to redefine Jesus' death as a honourable one, before he could link it with God's atonement of sinners. The relative importance of both motives is also confirmed by their inner textual placing in Matthew instead of by the frequency with which they occur. A reviewed definition of both motifs, and their relevance for the contemporary church, is given at the end of the last chapter. This study proposes that whereas forgiveness was seen as dishonourable in the first century Mediterranean world, Jesus not only mediated God' forgiveness in words (e.g. 6: 12-15) and deeds (9: 1-8), but also realized it through His death for many (20:28 and 26:28). For Matthew Jesus is the ultimate broker of God's forgiveness while deeds of forgiveness by followers of Jesus are seen as the honourable imitation of God action, as the ultimate benefactor, in forgiving His clients their sins. While Matthew gives a partial indication of the process by which forgiveness and reconciliation should be pursued in the everyday life of the church (e.g. in 5:23-24 and 18:15-20), he refrains from giving an exhaustive outline. The following can however can be deduced. Grace received, as a gift, demands reciprocal deeds of grace. Those who have experienced, or who seek, God's grace are thus under an obligation to forgive others (6:12, 14-15). Within the first century milieu of Matthew forgiveness and reconciliation was not an internal private affair, but a communal one. It is clear that according to Matthew not al people are automatically forgiven and thus reconciled with God. God's judgement remains a reality for those who opposed His will (21 :33-45; 25:31-46) and who blaspheme the Holy Spirit by continuously opposing His saving work through Jesus (12:31-32).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie is die beskrywing en sistematisering van die teologie van Matteus met betrekking tot die motiewe van versoening en vergifuis In die eerste twee hoofstukke word die gekose metodologie uiteengesit, die navorsingsdoel omskryf en die relevante perikope geidentifiseer deur middel van In heuristiese definisie van elke motief Die derde hoofstuk gee In oorsig van Matteus se intratekstuur. In die daaropvolgende sewe hoofstukke word die intra-, inter- en argumentatiewe teksture van die geidentifiseerde perikope deur middel van die insigte van die klassieke en moderne retoriek, antropologie en sosiologie bestudeer. In die slothoofstuk word op Matteus se sosio-kulturele tekstuur gefokus ten einde sy leer oor vergifnis en versoening te sistematiseer. Die invloed van interne kontlik, Romeinse onderdrukking en In groeiende, indien nie reeds finale, breuk met die Vroegjodedom op Matteus se teologie word in die hoofstuk verreken. Die studie voer aan dat terwyl Matteus nie versoening en vergifnis as In werkbare strategie teenoor die Jode en die Romeine beskou het nie, dit vir die onderlinge verhoudinge tussen lede van sy kerk ononderhandelbaar was. In die slothoofstuk word Matteus ook as In narratief gelees ten einde In antwoord te verkry op die vraag of die evangelie oor In geintegreerde teologie van vergifuis en versoening beskik. Daar word aangevoer dat die oneerbare karakter van In kruisdood in die eerste-eeuse Mediterreense wereld Matteus verplig het om eers die werklike eerbare karakter van Jesus s'n te bevestig, voordat hy vergifnis en versoening daaraan kon verbind. Die fokus op Matteus se narratiewe ontwikkeling toon dat die plasing van die verskillende motiewe in die narratief, eerder as bloot die frekwensie waarmee dit voorkom, die belangrikheid van beide in die Matteusevangelie bevestig. In Hersiende definisie van beide motiewe, en In kort uiteensetting van hulle belang vir die kerk vandag, word aan die einde van die studie gegee. Hierdie studie voer aan dat terwyl vergifnis dikwels in die eerste-eeuse Mediterreense wereld as oneervol gesien is, Jesus nie aileen God se vergifnis deur woorde (e.g. 6: 12- 15) en dade (9: 1-8) bemiddel het nie, maar dit ook gerealiseer het vir baie deur sy dood (20:28 and 26:28). In Matteus is Jesus die unieke bemiddelaar van God se vergifuis, terwyl dade van vergifuis deur sy dissipels gesien word as die eervolle navolging van God, as finale Weldoener, se vergifuis van sy kliente van hulle sondes. A1hoewel Matteus nie die proses waarvolgens vergifnis en versoening bekom moet word noukeurig uitspel nie gee hy egter wei belangrike rigtingwysers vir hoe dit moet geskied (bv in 5:23-24 and 18: 15-20). Eerstens vereis genade wat ontvang word vir hom In wederkerige daad van genade. Diegene wat God se vergifnis ontvang het, of dit verlang, moet daarom bereid wees om ander te vergewe (6:12, 14-15). Vergifnis en versoening raak vir Matteus nie alleen enkelinge nie, maar die hele geloofsgemeenskap Alle mense word egter nie outomaties deur God vergewe nie. God se oordeel bly In realiteit vir die wat teen sy wil handel (21:33-45; 25:31-46) en wat teen die Heilige Gees laster deur sy verlossingswerk deur Jesus voortdurend teen te staan (12:31-32).

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