Re: faithfulness vs factualness

From: Dawsonzhu@aol.com
Date: Sat Oct 05 2002 - 10:59:35 EDT

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    George Murphy wrote:

    <<
    OK, if I say that Jesus did actually walk on the Sea of Galilee and
    that the part about
    Peter in Mt's account is a theological elaboration of the meaning of
    that event, it's
    "fabrication." If you say that Peter actually stepped out of the
    boat, but the part about him actually
    taking a few steps on the surface was an elaboration of some sort, I
    can use the same
    logic to say that the latter part is "fabrication" as well.
    >>

    I said that I do not _insist_ on Peter actually walking on the water.
    The important point is that Peter took the step. _You_ and Bod
    Schnieder both pointed out the importance of understanding
    "theological editing" and the literary genre. I don't see any reason to
    disagree, so I leave that open there, although I can also accept it as
    historical.

    What Robert Gundry said (from your quote) was

    > "The several echoes of the story about the earlier storm and the
    > preceding part of the present story, the heavily Matthean diction, the
    > theological motifs characteristic of Matthew, and the possible allusions to
    > the
    > OT make it difficult to resist the conclusion that Matthew did not draw the
    > material in vv 28-31 from tradition, but composed it as a haggadic
    >midrash on
    > discipleship: confessing Jesus as Lord, obeying Jesus' command, being guilty
    > of
    > little faith in persecution, crying out for deliverance, and being
    >recued and
    > rebuked by Jesus."

    What reason is there to insist that Peter didn't jump out of the boat
    and Matthew (or whoever the author was) interpreted these events
    according to these OT traditions? If no one did anything at all in the
    boat, they'd just be a bunch of faithless frogs croaking on a paddy
    somewhere in that case. That would have theological message
    too, but it wouldn't be the same one we receive in Matthew.

    <<
    The insistence that there must be an historical kernel in every
    single account seems
    at
    first to be a weaker demand than the requirement that everything is
    historically
    accurate. But if pursued to its logical conclusion it just won't work.
    >>

    You are taking a broad swath here. Are we going back to Jonah again? We've
    already been there. For the record, I don't insist that _every
    single passage_ of
    Bible from Genesis to Revelations _must_ have a historical grain of truth.
    However, I do see greater importance of this for the integrity of the
    New Testament
    (in general), but I'm sure in some comprehensive study of the NT, there are
    some particular places (I can't presently think of) where I might
    agree that the writing
    is non-historical. It depends on what. Presently we are talking about _Peter_
    and that is what my objection is directly referencing.

    If Abraham didn't take that step of faith, there would be no OT. I guess if
    Peter didn't take a step there could still be a NT, but acts of faith are
    important in both Testaments.

    By Grace alone we proceed,
    Wayne



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