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Kyrios - Shema & HaMoshiach


jkgayle
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Sure, plenty of readers of Matthew 22 in Hebraic Hellene have troubled over how the Shema is rendered in its presumably goyish Greek (perhaps the work of a gentile writer and/or his gentile Christian editors). But I think Matthew is up to something here. Through the long arc of confronting hierarchies of social constructs, he's played on the word κύριος.

 

Might this gospel be at times a confrontation of the Roman κύριος himself? The Empire claims he is the son of God.

 

And so when Jesus replies to fellow Jews all together concerned with him over what the Hebrew scriptures claim about God, about humans, and about him, why not refer to him, as the LXX translators do, all Jews, with κύριος?

 

And when quoting David referring to the Messiah (whom in Greek will be translated by Christ, or literally the One Bathed in Oil as Odysseus was), why wouldn't Matthew have Jesus use the same phrase κύριος.

 

And why not ask a salient, rhetorical question like this one that upsets all notions of who can call whom Kyrios and what that means?

εἰ οὖν Δαυὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν κύριον, πῶς υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν;

 

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Interesting repetition, too, of how David καλεῖ αὐτὸν κύριον, in verses 43 and 45.

 

It's an appeal to the authority of David, made all the more interesting by David's lack of mention in "the law and the prophets" of verse 40, although maybe that's deliberate, and this is meant to fill out a three-fold division of law, prophets and psalms. (As in Luke 24:44, "Everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.)

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this is meant to fill out a three-fold division of law, prophets and psalms. 

 

That's a great observation, especially with that inclusion of these ketuvim points to David, to David's authority, and to whom that particular text of the full Tanakh (and these scribes would have known as might have Matthew's readers too). Not a few verses earlier, the people, even the young people, the infants and babies perhaps, have celebrated Jesus entering into Jerusalem as "the son, of David." And exactly what does this David in that text, part of the whole, call that son, that particular son of David?

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