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rhetoric of Matthew 12:46-50


jkgayle
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Has anyone read this bit in light of Greek rhetorical theory?

46 Ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος τοῖς ὄχλοις ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἱστήκεισαν ἔξω ζητοῦντες αὐτῷ λαλῆσαι. 47 [εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω ἑστήκασιν ζητοῦντές σοι λαλῆσαι.] 48 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ λέγοντι αὐτῷ· τίς ἐστιν ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ τίνες εἰσὶν οἱ ἀδελφοί μου; 49 καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν· ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου. 50 ὅστις γὰρ ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς αὐτός μου ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν.

 

The rhetorical question, the initial silent gesturing, and the explicit punchline of an answer by Jesus himself seem curious enough.

 

The story intro by Matthew as narrator gives it an Aesopic and a Socratic feel. It's clearly didactic to the readers, if extremely difficult conceptually. 

 

In terms of the household codes of the Mediterranean patriarchal families under the empires of the Greeks and then the Romans it's also a bit tough for us in contemporary settings.  

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