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Outline for my Wabash-ETS 2017 Talk, “Developing as a Theological Teacher”

ETS 2017 Wabash Session

9:00 AM—9:40 AM

Jonathan Pennington

Developing as a Theological Teacher

The Importance of the Title

 

Driving Conviction

 

Five Areas of Professorial Life:

  • Teaching
  • Scholarship
  • Supervising / Advising / Mentoring
  • Administration / Academic Leadership
  • Career Development

 

Teaching

 

+ Personality Types and Teaching: https://whichmbtitype.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/which-mbti-type-makes-the-best-school-teacher-and-principal/)

 

Two Big Rocks to Get into the Jar

 

  • Being knowledgeable and scholarly is necessary but not sufficient for excellent teaching.

 

 

  • Education is intimately interwoven with Christianity and the Gospel itself.

 

 

Cornucopia of Applications of this Vision

  • Approach the design of your courses from the perspective of teachingyour knowledge not from the starting point of merely scope and sequence.
  • Keep in mind that good and powerful teaching is not the transfer of knowledge but training and leading students to see and how to see. This is education — helping others to be knowers. (See Dru Johnson’s sparkling, Scripture’s Knowing)
  • Good teaching involves credibility and trustworthiness and love, so focus on being that kind of person if you want to be an effective teacher, not just a thrower of ideas.
  • Try out different pedagogical techniques and evaluate how they worked. Make adjustments to your syllabi at the end of the semester for the next semester rather than waiting until the week before class next time!
  • Think of assessment as a part of excellent pedagogy. Don’t assume tests and other assignments will actually help learning.
  • Seek the magic middle between lecturing and other pedagogical techniques.
  • Have as a goal to write at least one new lecture / one new topic within a class every semester that is based on your reading and research.
  • Seek out mentors and have discussions with colleagues about what they’re doing.
  • Automate and delegate aspects of grading that can be and make a commitment to doing what you should do for your students.

 

 

Some Resources:

On the theoretical side:

  • Nicholas Wolterstorff, Educating for Shalom
  • Jens Zimmerman, ed., Re-envisioning Christian Humanism

 

Boersma’s Brilliant Imagining of Melito & Origen on Reading Scripture

I’m joyfully reading and thoroughly enjoying Hans Boersma’s Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church. So many insights and so well stated!
In the midst of countless margin-marked paragraphs and bent-corner pages, the highest point so far has been pages 103-104.
Here, after a thoughtful exploration of how both Melito and Origen read the Passover narratives Christianly — with some pointed differences but still both reading it sacramentally — Boersma concludes his Chapter 4 with an extremely helpful imagining of M&O speaking to us today. He imagines what they would say to us modern readers when we ask certain questions about their interpretive habits and approach, particularly when we often charge the Fathers with arbitrariness and/or distorting of the text. Well worth reading carefully as a great summary of much of what is going on in pre-modern exegesis:
“We don’t care too much what you call the kind of scriptural reading that we are engaged in. You may call it typology, allegory, theoria, analogy, spiritual reading — it really doesn’t matter that much. Each of these terms is suitable to express what we’re trying to do. Our reading is indeed ‘other’ than what the words themselves convey in the sense that we look to the word on the ‘surface’ of the text as merely sacraments: words that contain in themselves the greater reality of the Christ event. The words are the outward sacrament; Christ is the inward reality of grace. History and spirit, sacrament and reality, are indeed different things. So typology or allegory does look for something ‘other.’ But if by ‘other’ you mean something completely different, something unrelated, then, no, we’re not ‘speaking other’ than what the words themselves convey. We’re simply exposing the deeper, underlying meaning that is inherent in the text itself.
  It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around the suspicion that we whimsically impose random notions onto the text. Never have we encountered that concern before. If it’s true that we simply uncover a hidden meaning that is present already in the text – if there is a real presence of Christ and his church in the ancient narratives — then this cannot possibly be an arbitrary thing; we can find only what’s already there!
  Furthermore, arbitrariness is something that you get by removing the biblical text from its proper surroundings of the believing community, away from its liturgical setting and its confession of faith. The context within which a christological reading of the text makes sense is that of the church. Therefore, the ‘right’ by which we move from history to spirit, from temporal to eternal realities, has everything to do with the Bible being the church’s Bible. And that implies, we believe, that in an important sense the Bible belongs not to the academy.”
(pp.103-104)
Of course, to appreciate more of what is going on behind this imaginative summary you need to read Boersma yourself to see the details of what is being said.

My PhD Induction Ceremony Remarks (Aug 2017)

In August and January each year we welcome into our PhD program students from all over the world who will study in a variety of concentrations. All of these students spend four days with me before the term starts in two introductory courses, Foundations for Theological Study and the Graduate Research Seminar.

I also use this introductory week with our new students to holdBroadus Chapel an Induction Ceremony. This is a beautiful evening service in our historic Broadus Chapel. After the professors process in we sing a hymn, hear a welcome, and then I give brief remarks. This is followed by a charge read by a senior PhD student and a spoken response from the inductees. Then, while a brief bio is read for each of the new students they come forward, sign our official book containing the charge, and then are pinned by me. After this they cross over and sit with our current PhD students. The service ends with a recessional of the professors and the students (followed by a nice reception). It has become a very meaningful part of our PhD community and culture here at Southern.

For my remarks there are some things I repeat each time but I also usually say a few new things as well. Some have expressed interest in what I say and so here are my remarks from August 8, 2017.

PhD InductiInduction Ceremony Bulletinon Ceremony

The Calling to the Doctorate of Philosophy

The Christian philosopher Dru Johnson has written several insightful books about epistemology, the study of how we know things. He says this about what it means to know from a biblical perspective:

“Knowing well entails listening to trusted authorities and doing what they prescribe in order to see what they are showing you.” (Scripture’s Knowing, p.16)

There is much insight to be unpacked in this singular and salutary sentence:

It is possible to know lots of things but know them wrongly as opposed to knowing them well

  • Knowing entails listening to another – reminiscent of the Apostle James’ reminder that we should be quick to listen, not quick to be teachers; we may also recall the popular adage many a parent has spoken to a verbose child – “God gave us two ears and one mouth; use them proportionally.”
  • Knowing is a process of listening to trusted authorities – there are people who are above us in knowledge, experience, wisdom, position, and authority and only the fool spurns this. Rather, listening to trusted authorities is the way of wisdom and flourishing.
  • Knowing entails doing – one can read manuals and watch How To YouTube videos all day long but to truly know and understand something, whether it be boomerang throwing, carburetor repair, having children, or writing a book, requires the experience of doing it before one can be said to truly know.
  • Knowing is really about seeing, about seeing the world in a certain way.

“Knowing well entails listening to trusted authorities and doing what they prescribe in order to see what they are showing you.”

This sentence is not only a piece of insightful verbiage about the philosophical category of epistemology but also a very appropriate vision for us as we gather on this evening to consider the calling to a Doctorate in Philosophy, particularly a PhD in a confessional Christian environment.

This definition of knowing is appropriate for us because it accords so squarely, beautifully, and truly with what we are called to do here as Christian scholars. Our pursuit of knowledge, deep knowledge, complex theological and biblical and philosophical knowledge, all within the rich and all-encompassing truth of Christianity is a Knowing that is about submission in order that we may see and understand.

Pursuing a Christian Doctorate in Philosophy is an act of glad and grateful submission to the Greatest Philosopher, Jesus Christ.

The Bible reveals Jesus as the Teacher, the Sage, the Philosopher-King who invites us to takyokee his yoke upon ourselves, to trust him to guide us, shape us, form our thinking and habits and desires in accord with the coming kingdom of heaven, to slip our necks, our whole bodies, souls, hearts, and minds under the oxen yoke of his control. And as we do this – and only as we do this – will we come to see God, ourselves, and others rightly and truly.

“Knowing well entails listening to trusted authorities and doing what they prescribe in order to see what they are showing you.”

Now what does this have to do with you and tonight’s induction ceremony?

Tonight we are standing at this milestone inviting you, new PhD students, into this final stage of your formal education, this terminal degree, the highest recognized degree one can earn in any field, the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Have you considered why it is called a doctorate of philosophy when most of us are not studying “philosophy” in the modern sense of that? And after all, doesn’t the Bible warn us against being captive to philosophy?

The reason this very old and venerable degree (one we’ve been offering at Southern for 125 years) is called a doctorate in philosophy is because “philosophy” is the older term that means originally, “love of wisdom” and then more generally, a devotion to the life of learning.

A truebyzantine-jesus philosopher, unlike a mere scientist or technician or medical doctor, or other forms of skilled and valuable labor, a philosopher is one who labors to understand things at the meta-level, how the world works, what humanity is and how it functions, and how it all fits together. Philosophers – especially those who earn the lofty title of Doctor of Philosophy – are those who are called to use their intellectual gifts and labors to lead society.

Last year the New York Times ran an insightful little piece about philosophy and its role in the university. It noted that this older understanding of philosophy (and theology) was sadly lost when philosophers sold out this high calling for something much less – trying to be like every other field of study in the university, very narrow and specific. The result was the loss of its influence and relevance.

But we are gladly using the term Doctor of Philosophy in its older sense of one who loves and seeks the wisdom to understand how the world fits together and works.

And friends, when this is combined with and studied within the context of Holy Scripture and a confessional Trinitarian orthodox understanding of the world we have the highest intellectual calling that God has given to humanity.

So today you are entering and we are welcoming you into a vision, a calling, a privilege, a joy, a mutual labor, a community of co-learners, a fellowship of philosophers, a throng of theologians, a cohort of Christian thinkers – not because we are inherently better people than non-PhD folks, or more loved by God, or necessarily paid more – but because we are people who have received a special calling from God. So release the kraken of your heart, soul, mind and strength and embrace this beautiful gift of the yoke of Jesus PhD calling!

And with a calling comes a responsibility.

And so as we begin a new school year and welcome you into our PhD community here at Southern, Induction Class of Fall 2017, we want to stir you up with this vision of our shared calling AND we want to challenge you to take this beautiful mantle upon yourselves with joy and sobriety.

“The Life of the Professor” — My Talking Points for our New Faculty Workshop

I was asked earlier this week by the provost here at Southern to come in and speak to our new professors. We have a large and growing faculty and in this recent batch there were a few recent PhD graduates who are facing the intimidating beginning to their lives as professors. I am sympathetic and remember those days well. Impostor Syndrome 2.0!

I put together a brief talk that focuses on three areas of the life of the professor — Teaching, Scholarship, and Mentoring.

Here are my far from perfect and far from comprehensive talking points for those who might be interested.

Continue reading

Aquinas on the Meaning of Christ Fulfilling the Law (Matt 5:17)

aquinasstone   I’ve been studying and teaching the Gospel of Matthew for 15 years now,  yet until the last couple of months I have never read Aquinas’ massive, thoughtful, and edifying commentary on the First Gospel. I have still not read most of it but I’ve dipped in at various places and now especially have been blown away by his comments on the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). I regret that I did not sit and chew on Aquinas’ insights before completing my own commentary on the Sermon; a loss to myself and my readers. Second edition, deo volente!

As one example of the good that comes from reading Aquinas, here is his succinct and systematic treatment of one of the most perplexing and complicated texts in Scripture — what does Jesus mean when he says that he did come to abolish Torah but to fulfill it. Typical of Aquinas (and the entire pre-modern tradition), Scripture is explained by other Scripture, fitting it all together in a thoughtful unity, all the while leaniaquinas1ng on Augustine and refuting various unorthodox readings such as Faustus.

Aquinas says the Lord fulfilled the Law in five ways:

  • By fulfilling the things prefigured in the Law (Lk 22:37)
  • By fulfilling its legal prescriptions to the letter (Gal 4:4)
  • By doing works through grace, through the Holy Spirit which the Law was unable to do in us (Rom 8:3-4)
  • By providing satisfaction for the sins by which we were transgressors of the Law; when the transgressions were taken away he fulfilled the Law (Rom 3:25)
  • By applying certain perfections to the Law, which were either about the understanding of the Law or for a greater perfection of righteousness/justice (Heb 7:19; confirmed by Matt 5:48)

This is the kind of Scriptural reasoning which is so different than how we have come to read, interpret, and comment upon Holy Scripture in the modern period, even those of us who hold to its inspiration and authority. History, backgrounds, literary context, grammar, etc. — all good and useful tools — have often become the norm and the standard rather than this kind of inner-canonical theological reading and reasoning. We now stand in a glorious place in history where we can utilize a myriad of tools along with a massive tradition to help us read, including the great heritage of this high form of theological interpretation. But it may take some re-training of our hermeneutical sensibilities. ARISTOTLEAQUINAS

Video Interview Clips on The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing

A couple of weeks ago some folks at my school came by my office for a chat about my new book, The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary.

I never know exactly what’s going to come out of my mouth in these scenarios, but having now seen what they recorded I’m glad to say I agree with everything I said!

In fact, I think these clips do give a good sense of what I’m trying to do in the book, though obviously with 350 pages more of detail.

Here are the links. Each short clip is in response to a particular question:

Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Structure of Mark 1:1-8:26

mark and lionI am convinced that the wisest and most beneficial readings of the Gospels will pay attention to the skillful way the Evangelists have crafted their Gospel Biographies as pieces of literature. This crafting is especially apparent and important in the two overlapping but distinct aspects of literary structure (how blocks of material are placed together to communicate various themes and points) and narrative plot (what is the thread of the story and how does it unfold as a plot).

One of the projects I’m currently working on involves writing a summary of each of the Gospels, commenting on it very briefly in units. I have 5,000 words only to introduce and comment upon the Gospel of Mark. This strict word-count limitation actually provides a freedom to force me to not get stuck in the weeds but to keep the big picture and flow of the story as the most important thing.

As a result, I have been thinking a lot about the structure of the first half of Mark and I am offering here my preliminary thoughts on what is going on in Mark’s literary structure.

I have consulted several very good resources on Mark, including Mark Strauss’s Gospels survey book (Four Portraits, One Jesus), James Edwards’ excellent Pillar Commentary (The Gospel According to Mark), and Hans Bayer’s insightful A Theology of Mark, which, uncommonly, is a book on the Gospels mosaic mark and lionthat shows sensitivity to both literary and structure and plot (and recognizes their differences).

Each of these scholars (and most others) see Mark as split into two parts (1:1-8:26; 8:27-16:8), with the Caesarea Philippi Confession as the turning point of the book (8:27-30). I concur. But scholars differ on how much of the first part is the Introduction, what theme holds together the two parts, and what subunits they contain.

Here is my suggestion:

Introduction – The Messiah is Coming with His Kingdom (1:1-15)

Part One – The Powerful Son of God at Work in Galilee (1:16-8:26)

Part Two – The Powerful Son of God Must Suffer in Jerusalem (8:27-16:8)

Nothing overly new or spectacular here. But let me offer a few more detailed observations, particularly about 1:1-8:26 (as far as I’ve gotten in my project so far!).

  • The Introduction – 1:1-15

This section is framed by and includes three references to “the gospel” (1:1, 14, 15), making it hang together as a unit. This serves as a frame of reference for readers (and probably resulted in all four accounts eventually being called “the Gospel according to…”). Throughout this Introduction Mark explains “the gospel” in a variety of ways, thus filling out the readers’ understanding. He describes “the gospel” in 1:1 as the good news “about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,” in 1:14 as simply “the good news about God,” and in 1:15 as the time being “fulfilled” and the “kingdom of God having drawn near.” The banner that hangs over the rest of Mark’s account flows directly from this announcement of the gospel – “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (1:15).

  • There are two Main Themes that drive the structure and plot of Mark’s Gospel story – Jesus’ Identity and the Call to Discipleship.
    • Each of the subunits in 1:16-8:26 contain and are built upon this dual theme.
    • In fact, the subunits of 1:16-8:26 can be identified by recognizing how each of them begins with a summary paragraph about the disciples:
      • 1:16-2:12 (1:16-20 about the calling of the first fisherman disciples)
      • 2:13-3:12 (2:13-17 about the calling of Levi and other tax collectors)
      • 3:13-6:6 (3:13-19 about the appointing of The Twelve)
      • 6:7-8:26 (6:7-13 about the sending out of The Twelve)
    • Within each of these units Jesus’ identity is increasingly revealed, even as the disciples stumble to understand.
  • There are some important geographical movement markers that hint at more than geography, but theological points. Specifically, Mark seems to be communicating that Jesus’ work is done apart from the synagogue/Sabbath and home, but rather is outside. This conforms with a larger, well-recognized plot and structure theme in Mark, that Jesus’ ministry is “outside” in the sense that it focuses on Galilee, not Jerusalem. As Jesus journeys toward Jerusalem, conflict escalates.

Here is the data on the inside/outside distinction in 1:1-8:26:

  • Disciple-calling and revelation stories tend to happen outside – almost always on or near water, in the wilderness, and once on a mountain.
    • 1:9-11 – Jesus’ baptism and declaration of him as the Son
    • 1:16-20 – the calling of the first disciples at the Sea of Galilee
    • 2:13-14 – calling of Levi “beside the lake”
    • 3:7-12 – gathering of crowds of disciples and confession of Jesus as the Son of God (by impure spirits) after withdrawing to the lake
    • 3:13-19 – appointing of The Twelve on a mountain
    • 4:1-34 – revelatory teaching in parables alongside a lake
    • 4:35-41 – revelation of Jesus’ authority over nature on the lake
    • 5:1-17 – healing of the demoniac and confession of Jesus as the Son in the wilderness of Gerasenes
    • 5:21-43 – healing of Jairus’ daughter and hemorrhaging woman “by the lake” (and then in Jairus’ house)
    • 6:30-44 and 8:1-13 – miraculous feedings in the wilderness
    • 6:45-52 – revelation of Jesus walking on water
  • Conflict stories tend to happen inside the synagogues and/or on the Sabbath, and in houses:
    • 1:21-28 – conflict with the unclean spirits in the synagogue
    • 2:1-12 – conflict with the teachers of the law over the forgiveness of sins and the healing of the paralyzed man in the synagogue
    • 2:15-17 – conflict with teacher of the law and Pharisees about eating in a tax collector’s house
    • 2:23-28 – conflict with the Pharisees about eating grain on the Sabbath
    • 3:1-6 – conflict with the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath in a synagogue
    • 3:20-35 – conflict with Jerusalemites and his own family in a house
    • 6:1-6 – rejection by his hometown people and synagogue
  • There are some exceptions (1:29-34, healing of Peter’s mother in law in his house; 6:37-43, healing of Jairus’ daughter in her house), but this is a notable distinction, it seems to me.

So there are a few preliminary thoughts. I’m sure there is always more to be seen and I welcome any feedback or additional comments!

 

mark lion

Helpful Description of Patristic Reading via Francis Watson

In Francis WatWatson Gospel Writingson’s Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective, he provides a wide-ranging, deeply thoughtful and very detailed argument for the origins of the Gospels and the relationship of canonical and apocryphal Gospels in the reception history of the Jesus Traditions. There are many insights and much to be appreciated about Watson’s work, though at times I was confused on how certain chapters contributed to the whole and what exactly he was saying. I also have some disagreements, particularly about the inherent difference between canonical and non-canonical texts.

But this is not a review of Watson. Rather, I wanted to reproduce here what I think is a very helpful way to describe Patristic appropriations of Scripture, something that most modern readers, even trained biblical scholars, have little exposure to and understanding of.

Watson’s comments here come in the context of his discussing how the Fathers regularly connected the four images of the Evangelists/Gospel Writers with the four beasts of Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4. His point, which I think is well stated, is that Patristic readings certainly understand and do value wha4 Symbols modernisht I would call the “excavational” work on the sensus literalis of a text (something similar to but not identical with modernist grammatical-historical readings) but they also recognize the constructive and figural usefulness of Holy Scripture in making connections with the divine economy and canon.

That’s my way of saying it; enough from me. Here is how Watson describes it:

“It is certainly true that neither the seer John nor the prophet Ezekiel could have associated the four living creatures they beheld in their visions with four gospels. Yet the patristic authors all assume a hermeneutical distinction between literal-historical and allegorical modes of interpretation. In the allegorical mode, points are no longer read out of the scriptural text (‘exegesis’), but nor does one merely read into it (‘eisegesis’). Allegorical interpretation may often be understood pragmatically, as a way of using the biblical text to address a theological problem — here, the problem of the coexistence of four gospels in their similarity and difference. The patristic hermeneutic rightly recognizes that the function of a scriptural text is not just to generate a literal sense that reproduces its latent meaning but also [emphasis mine] to provide tools that further the community’s work of self-construction. Patristic theologians use the visionary texts [Rev 4 and Ezekiel 1] to think through the fourfoldness of the canonical gospel, and they do so because these texts provide them with striking images or parables of fourfold difference within a common orientation towards Christ.”     (Francis Watson, Gospel Writing, pp. 554-555)

I would prefer the term “figural” to allegorical now because of the baggage that comes with the latter. I would also want to emphasize what Watson is saying — this is not an either/or within Patristic interpretation, but a both/and, valuing close textual-intent reading AND figural inter-connectedness.
What I like about Patristic reading is that it keeps together two things that Christians have always valued: (1) the voice of the text and (2) the texts’ connection with the whole canon toward the end of theological construct, application, and spiritual formation; something that unfortunately is often put asunder in modern hermeneutical strategies.

Running Bibliography on the Structure of Matthew

For many years I matthew & angel (cantarini)have been fascinated with the structure of the Gospel of Matthew. I continue to study and ponder the question of how the First Gospel is put together in literary terms, and I continue to grow in my understanding. Rarely a semester goes by that I don’t end up making some slight adjustment to how I understand the structure of Matthew — and sometimes I have made big adjustments!

I am not alone in having a passionate interest in this pet hobby of figuring out Matthew as a piece of literature. Dale Allison, the leading Matthean scholar in the Anglophone world, certainly shares this interest as well.

The reason is because those of us who have given ourselves to the study of the Gospel of Matthew realize that (1) this is a masterpiece and worthy of this kind of study; and (2) the subtle and powerful ideas being communicated in Matthew are frequently embedded into larger structural clues, not something that can be discerned by looking at individual stories/pericopes nor by doing only a surface reading of the text. I often describe it as “divine crop circles” — you have to get to a higher altitude over the text to discern intricate patterns that are woven into the whole structure.

In a couple of recent projects I’ve been working on I have addressed again what I (currently) think is going on in the structure of Matthew, both as a whole and in the Five Major Discourses as well. Chapter 5 in my The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing commentary is dedicated to the structure of Matthew and the Sermon in particular. My 2015 Matthew Section SBL paper, which is being revised and going into a book in dialogue with Francis Watson’s work, also touches on the structure of Matthew.early_codex

I just re-read Wim Weren’s thoughtful and intriguing argument for his understanding of Matthew, “The Macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel: A New Proposal,” in his, Studies in Matthew’s Gospel: Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting (Leiden: Brill, 2014): 13-41. While I don’t see things exactly the same way, I learned a lot from what he said. Moreover, I am very appreciative of the many references he made to other people’s attempts to understand the structure of Matthew.

This stimulated me to write this post. What I am providing here is a running bibliography of articles and books on the structure of Matthew’s Gospel. This is of course, incomplete, but I will be happy to update it as I find things or as you do. Please send them along so that we can have a live repository of resources on this fascinating topic. Also, if you find any errors in what I’ve put together, please let me know.

A few important caveats: This bibliography does not list the innumerable commentaries on Matthew, most of which have their own discussion of Matthew’s structure, some more than others. This bibliography also does not contain articles or books that focus on particular parts of the structure of Matthew (such as the Sermon on the Mount), but rather, highlights works that for the most part try to address the structure of Matthew overall.

Enough preliminary comments. Here it is:

[Latest Revision: March 4, 2017]

  • Allison, Dale C., Jr., “Structure, Biographical Impulse, and the Imitatio Christi,” in Allison, Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005): 135-156.
  • Anderson, Janice Capel, Matthew’s Narrative Web: Over, and Over, and Over Again (JSNTSup 91; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994).
  • Bacon, Benjamin W., “The Five Books of Matthew Against the Jews,” The Expositor VIII, 85 (1918)” 56-66. Also in Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt, 1930).
  • Barr, David L., “The Drama of Matthew’s Gospel: A Reconsideration of Its Structure and Purpose,” TD 24 (1976): 349-359.
  • Bauer, David R., The Structure of Matthew’s Gospel: A Study in Literary Design (JSNTSup 31; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1988).
  • Boring, M. Eugene, “The Convergence of Source Analysis, Social History and Literary Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” Society of Biblical Literature: Seminar Papers 33 (1994): 587-611.
  • Carter, Warren, “Kernels and Narrative Blocks: The Structure of Matthew’s Gospel,” CBQ 54 (1992): 463-481.
  • Combrink, H. J. Bernard, “The Macrostructure of the Gospel of Matthew,” Neot 16 (1982): 6-10.
  • Combrink, H. J. Bernard, “The Structure of the Gospel of Matthew as Narrative,” TynB 34 (1983): 233-253.
  • Filson, Floyd V., “Broken Patterns in the Gospel of Matthew,” JBL 75 (1956): 227-231.
  • Gaechter, Paul, Die literarische Kunst im Matthäus-Evangelium (Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwer, 1965)
  • Gooding, David W., “Structure littéraire de Matthieu, XIII, 53 à XVIII, 35,” RB 85 (1978): 227-252.
  • Green, H. Benedict, “The Structure of St. Matthew’s Gospel,” StEv 4 (1968): 47-59.
  • Keegan, Terence J., “Introductory Formulae for Matthean Discourses,” CBQ 44 (1982): 415-430.
  • Kingsbury, Jack D., “The Structure of Matthew’s Gospel and His Concept of Salvation-History,” CBQ 35 (1973): 451-474.
  • Kingsbury, Jack D., Matthew: Structure, Christology, Kingdom (Philadelphia: Fortress Press / London: SPCK, 1975).
  • Kingsbury, Jack D., Matthew as Story, 2d ed. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988).
  • Krentz, Edgar, “The Extent of Matthew’s Prologue: Toward the Structure of the First Gospel,” JBL 83 (1964): 409-414.
  • Lohr, Charles H., “Oral Techniques in the Gospel of Matthew,” CBQ 23 (1961): 403-435.
  • Matera, Frank J., “The Plot of Matthew’s Gospel,” CBQ 49 (1987): 233-253.
  • Neirynck, Frans, “La redaction matthéenne et la structure du premier évangile,” ETL 43 (1967): 41-73.
  • Neirynck, Frans, “APO TOTE HRXATO and the Structure of Matthew,” ETL 64 (1988): 21-59.
  • Mullooparambil, Sebastian, Macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel (Bangalore: Dharmaram Publicaions, 2011).
  • Pennington, Jonathan T., Chapter 5, in The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017)
  • Powell, Mark Allan, “The Plot and Subplots of Matthew’s Gospel,” NTS 38 (1992): 187-203.
  • Powell, Mark Allan, “Literary Approaches and the Gospel of Matthew,” in Powell, ed., Methods for Matthew (Cambridge: CUP, 2009): 44-82.
  • Ramaroson, Léonard, “La structure du premier Évangile,” ScEs 26 (1974): 69-112.
  • Riesner, Rainer, “Der Aufbau der Reden im Matthäus-Evangelium,” ThBei 9 (1978): 172-182.
  • Rolland, Phillipe, “From Genesis to the End of the World: The Plan of Matthew’s Gospel,” BTB 2 (1972): 155-176.
  • Schmauch, Werner, “Die Komposition des Matthäus-Evangeliums in ihrer Bedeutung für seine Interpretation,” in Schmauch, … zu achten aufs Wort: Ausgewählte Arbeiten (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967): 64-87.
  • Slater, Tommy B., “Notes on Matthew’s Structure,” JBL 99 (1980): 667-670.
  • Smith, Christopher R., “Literary Evidence of a Fivefold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” NTS 43 (1997): 540-551.
  • Via, Dan O., “Structure, Christology and Ethics in Matthew,” in Richard A. Spencer, Orientation by Disorientation: Studies in Literary Criticism and Biblical Literary Criticism (Pittsburgh: Pickwick, 1980): 199-217.
  • Weren, Wim J. C., “The Macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel: A New Proposal,” in Weren, Studies in Matthew’s Gospel: Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting (Leiden: Brill, 2014): 13-41

Graphic Representation of the Flow of Matthew

gospel-matthew-topographical-jtp-cbMy super-talented former student and close friend, Chris Borah, has made this graphical representation of my analysis of Matthew’s structure and flow. It highlights how the five major discourses have their own varying functions and roles within the overall, highly-structure narrative that is the First Gospel. I discuss this in chapter 5 of my forthcoming The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary, but not with this graphical awesomeness!

I am struck not only by the beauty and insight of what he has created but also am reminded of the reality of how different modes of communication cannot be collapsed into each other: a graphic representation communicates things that can not be said any other way. Wonder-ful! (The classic Metaphors We Live By is a good place to start thinking about language in this way. Even more philosophical, Taylor’s The Language Animal).

Enough on that. Here it is:

gospel-matthew-topographical-jtp-cb

Download the PDF

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