On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What the Text says: Matthew 5:23-36 - Pr. Fourman

Matthew 5:21-37

5:21 Exceeding righteousness, v21-48: i] Murder stems from malevolence and both lead us to 
hell's fire, v21-22.
ακουσατε (ακουω) aor. "you have head" - in the sense of understand.l
τοις αρχαιος dat. adj. "to the people long ago" - the ancients. 
ου φονευσεις (φονευω) fut. "do not murder" - you shall not murder the future tense functions as an imperative; the sense is "murder/assassination" not "kill".
τη/ κρισει (ις) dat. "[will be subject] to a moment of decision" probably the judgment of the local court, possibly divine judgment.
υμιν dat. "[I tell] you". The Old Testament prophets would say "thus says the Lord", Jesus says "I say unto you", serving as a declaration of God’s will.
ο οριζομενος (οριζω) pres. pas. part. "the one being angry”- attributive, limiting everyone/anyone who gives vent to anger.
τη/ κρισει (ις εως) dat. "[will be subject to] a moment of decision".
ρακα "Raca" – I love this, the closest English equivalent to ‘shithead”.
μωρε adj. "fool" – literally, “moron”.
του πυρος "the hell-fire".
v23 Two parables; the first seems to encourage a disciple to deal with an offence caused to a brother before approaching God in prayer, ie. the parable has ethical intent, establishing reconciliation as a precondition for acceptable worship. Yet, if the purpose of Jesus' exposition of exceeding righteousness serves to expose sin and its inevitable consequence (a moment of divine decision) then it is likely the primary focus is theological rather than ethical. 
προσφερη/ς (προσφερω) aor. subj. "you are offering [your gift]" - you is now singular indicating that personal application is in mind.
kata + gen. "against [you]" - expressing opposition. Similarities between this and Mark 11:25, have been noted, although in Matthew a brother has something against the worshipper, whereas in Mark the worshipper has something against the brother. Mark’s context is the cleansing of the temple and symbolic cursing of the fig tree. To this Mark attaches three independent parabolic sayings which serve to reinforce a right approach to God in the face of eschatological judgment. The links between Matt.5 and Mk.11 interesting; the context is eschatological judgment and its avoidance, and this with Matthew's removal of reciprocal mercy, indicates Matthew may well be using the parable with a similar intent.
ελθων (ερχομαι) aor. part. "come" past action with future consequences.  
v25 The second parable, teaches the importance of being always ready and anxious to take the first step towards the healing of a quarrel between neighbors. If the purpose of Jesus' exposition of exceeding righteousness serves to expose sin and its consequence. 
ισθι ευνοων (ευνοεω) pres. part. "settle matters" the present imperative of the verb to-be with the present participle forms a periphrastic present construction; "settle the dispute" ταχυ adv. "quickly" literally “while there is time".
το αντιδικω/ (ος) dat. "with [your] opponent” a Dative of indirect object.
εως οτου "who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him".
μηποτε + subj. "or [he may hand you over]" τω κριτη (ης ου) dat. "to your judge".

v26 αμην λεγω σοι "I tell you the truth" – an idiom; take my word for it…. indicating the parable is anything but a moral tale. 
ηκουσατε (ακουω) aor. "you have heard/you are aware".
ου μοιχευσεις (μοιχευω) "do not commit adultery" - under Mosaic law, consensual sex between two unmarried person's was settled in marriage and so is not technically adultery. Sexual union, of itself, establishes marriage, whether it is formalized or not, and so a sexual union that follows on from a former union that was not formalized in marriage is adulterous because it intrudes on the previous one-flesh union. Of course, all this is academic since when it comes to God's law lust is as good as the deed- i.e. we are all 0 for 10 where the commandments are concerned.  
εγω δε λεγω υμιν "but I tell you" - antithesis
ο βλεπων (βλεπω) pres. part. "[anyone] who looks at" - the one looking at. 
γυναικα (η αικος) "a woman" - As above, "a married woman."
προς το επιθυμησαι (επιθυμεω) aor. inf. "lustfully" - to desire [her]. To looks at her with intent of having have intercourse, and in so doing he pulls a Jimmy Carter (adultery in his heart). 

v29 In two parabolic sayings 
ο δεξιος (ος) "right" - most are right-handed and for them the right eye is the more important.
ο οφθαλμος (ος) "eye σκανδαλιζει (σκανδαλιζω) pres. "causes [you] to sin
εξελε (εξαιρεω) aor. imp. "gouge" – remove it. 
χειρ "hand
v31 Divorce is against the will of God, v31-32- even the disciples get the point, exclaiming "if such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry.".
απολυση/ (απολυω) aor. subj. "divorces" - release, send away. 
αποστασιον (ον) "certificate of divorce" - a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 24:1 where the Mosaic law, recognizing the human condition, regularizes marital separation by the requirement of a "document of dismissal", a process which had become in Jesus' day little more than "publicly sanctioned adultery." 

v32 ο απολυων (απολυω) pres. part. "who divorcesπαρεκτος + gen. "except" - apart from. Only Matthew records this exceptive clause, Mark and Luke's accounts of Jesus teaching on divorce provide no grounds whatsoever for a breaking of a marriage. It is out of character for Jesus, particularly to compromise God's law. Even conservative commentators view the exception as Matthew's own rather than a word from Jesus. Matthew is spelling out to Jewish believers what was implicit in the first century; namely that a person was required to divorce an adulterous wife. Other commentators see evidence of early church tradition, of the authority of the church to bind and loose, to make laws and make exceptions to laws. The exception may simply be a recognition that where the one-flesh union has been destroyed by πορνεια, "sexual unfaithfulness", then the marriage, by this act, is no longer a divinely sanctioned union and thus legally void,. 

μοιχευθηναι (μοιχευω) aor. pas. inf. "to become an adulteress" - to commit adultery. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb ποιεω, "makes". A divorced woman forced to take another husband is forced into an adulterous union. The responsibility for this situation properly rests on the one who divorced her.

v33 ουκ επιορκησεις (επιορκεω) fut. "do not break your oath (swear falsely)” τω/ κυριω/ (ος) dat. "[fulfill] to the Lord" - " perform what you have sworn to the Lord." τους ορκους (ος) "the oaths".

v34 μη ομοσαι (ομνυω) aor. inf. "do not swear" - sometimes taken literally as a command to not take an oath, it is usually accepted that Jesus is denouncing the use of formula oaths for the purpose of deception.

εις "by, to, toward [Jerusalem]. 

v36 τη/ κεφαλη/ (η) "head" is that the person would "give his head if he were not speaking the truth",  ie. he would take his life.
ποιησαι (ποιεω) aor. inf. "[you cannot] make" - person cannot change the natural color of their hair, only God can do that, apparently an observation that did not see the advent of Grecian Formula.

v37 εστω (ειμι) pres. imp. "[it is what it is”" ναι ναι "yes  yes" - the doubling is for emphasis

το ... περισσον adj. "anything beyond" τουτων gen. pro. "this" is from του πονηρου (ος) gen. "the evil one" – i.e. intended for deception. “Methink thou speakest too much!”

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