Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul

Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul: Essays in Honor of Frank J. Matera

Christopher W. Skinner
Kelly R. Iverson
  • Book Info
    Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul
    Book Description:

    This volume addresses the perennial issue of unity and diversity in the New Testament canon. Celebrating the academic legacy of Fr. Frank J. Matera, colleagues and friends interact with elements of his many important works. Scholars and students alike will find fresh and stimulating discussions that navigate the turbulent waters between the Gospels and Paul, ranging from questions of Matthew's so-called anti-Pauline polemic to cruciform teaching in the New Testament. The volume includes contributions from leading scholars in the field, offering a rich array of insights on issues such as Christology, social ethics, soteriology, and more. The contributors are Paul J. Achtemeier, Sherri Brown, Raymond F. Collins, A. Andrew Das, John R. Donahue, S.J., Francis T. Gignac, S.J., Michael J. Gorman, Kelly R. Iverson, Luke Timothy Johnson, Jack Dean Kingsbury, William S. Kurz, S.J., John P. Meier, Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., Christopher W. Skinner, and Matt Whitlock.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-683-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vii-vii)
    Chris and Kelly

    It takes a tremendous amount of cooperation, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, secrecy, to bring a project like this to fruition. We would like to express our appreciation to a number of individuals who displayed all three on the way to helping us produce this volume in honor of Frank Matera. First, of course, had it not been for an outstanding group of contributors, there would be no book. Everyone worked with a sensitivity to the looming deadline and with an excitement that is not common to the production of an academic monograph. To each of our contributors, we owe a...

  3. Preface
    (pp. viii-x)
    Chris and Kelly
  4. Cursus Vitae of the Reverend Doctor Frank J. Matera
    (pp. xi-xxx)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxi-xxxiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)
    Francis T. Gignac

    I am very grateful to be invited to write an introduction to the Festschrift on the occasion of Frank Matera’s seventieth birthday and retirement from the Catholic University of America. I am honored and enthusiastic to do so. The Reverend Doctor Frank J. Matera, the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies, has been an outstanding teacher here at CUA since 1988.

    Among his twelve published books that nicely serve the needs of both the academy and the church, several are magnificent syntheses that show both the unity and the diversity of New Testament writings. His New Testament Christology (1999) has insightful...

  7. Part 1: Unity and Diversity in the Gospels

    • An Enemy of the Gospel? Anti-Paulinisms and Intertextuality in the Gospel of Matthew
      (pp. 7-32)
      Kelly R. Iverson

      For more than a decade, David Sim has advanced the argument that Matthew’s Gospel evidences a specific and directed attack on Pauline Christianity.¹ Reminiscent of F. C. Baur and the Tübingen school,² as well as the work of S. G. F. Brandon,³ Sim contends that the majority of scholars have ignored the inherent tension between Matthew and Paul.⁴ What is more, when their writings are compared (usually in relation to the use of Torah), the tendency is to downplay or harmonize the perspectives. The unfortunate consequence, Sim maintains, is that scholars have failed to address an elemental question: What would...

    • Matthew 5: 17–18 and the Matthean Use of Διϰαιοσύνη
      (pp. 33-54)
      Francis J. Moloney

      One of the enigmas of the Gospel of Matthew is the apparent contradiction between Jesus’ program not to abolish but to fulfill the law found at the beginning of the Gospel (5:17–18) and the risen Jesus’ commission of the disciples to preach all that he has commanded to all nations (28:16–20). The closing scene in the Gospel appears to be a deliberate christological rereading of issues dear to the life and practice of the Judaism of the postwar period: all authority is given to Jesus (see Deut 6:4–9; Dan 7:14). He breaks through national and religious boundaries...

    • The Christology of Mark and the Son of Man
      (pp. 55-70)
      Jack Dean Kingsbury

      The purpose of this article is to undertake a literary-critical survey of the Christology of Mark’s Gospel with focus on the term the Son of Man. To set the stage, however, we need to review the corrective approach to Mark’s Christology, based on the method of redaction criticism, and a narrative approach, based on the method of literary criticism. First, however, permit me to say that I write this article in honor of Frank Matera, who has been a prolific writer in the field of New Testament studies, a mentor of countless students, and a good friend to me and...

    • The Lure of Wealth: Does Mark Have a Social Gospel?
      (pp. 71-94)
      John R. Donahue

      In New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul, Frank J. Matera summarizes the scholarly consensus: “On first appearance the Gospel according to Mark, the oldest of the four Gospels, is an unlikely source for moral or ethical instruction.”¹ Yet Matera presents a powerful exposition of how the kingdom proclamation of Jesus and his radical call to discipleship present a fundamental challenge to accept the values of God rather than the values that the world proposes.² He underscores three aspects of Jesus’ life that are presuppositions to an ethics of discipleship: following the will of God, compassion, and faith...

    • Jesus and the Human Condition in Mark’s Gospel: Divine Grace and the Shattering of Human Illusions
      (pp. 95-108)
      Paul J. Achtemeier

      Mark’s framing the story of Jesus under the rubric of his passion, death, and resurrection stands out as one of the signal accomplishments in the history of Christian reflection on the meaning of Jesus Christ. In addition to understanding Jesus as crucified and risen, however, there is also woven into Mark’s narrative a running commentary on the futility of human goodness in the face of the divine righteousness to be found in Jesus. Now through the juxtaposition of traditions, now through telling irony, Mark crafts his deceptively simple narrative in such a way as to show that pretensions to goodness...

    • Paul’s Witness to Biblical Monotheism as Isaiah’s Servant in Acts
      (pp. 109-128)
      William S. Kurz

      It is an honor to submit an essay for this Festschrift for Father Frank Matera, who contributes so much to our professional lives as scholar and colleague. Because of his solicitude for elaborating responsible theological approaches to Scripture based on scholarly historical and literary foundations, I dedicate to him these theological investigations into the significance of monotheism in Paul’s Gentile mission in Acts. How does the mission of the Servant of God in Isaiah influence the portrayal in Acts of Paul’s witness to the one living God and rejection of pagan idolatry and worship?

      The influence of the book of...

    • The Parable of the Wicked Tenants in the Vineyard: Is the Gospel of Thomas Independent of the Synoptics?
      (pp. 129-146)
      John P. Meier

      From the time of his doctoral dissertation onward, Professor Frank Matera has focused a good deal of his work on the Synoptic Gospels. Over more than two decades, I have profited from his expertise in Synoptic studies, experienced not only in his books and articles but also in many personal conversations. Throughout the many years of writing A Marginal Jew, I have regularly sought his counsel, no more so than in my work on the Synoptic parables.

      A major question in parable research today is the relationship between the Synoptic parables and the parallels found in the Coptic Gospel of...

  8. Part 2: Unity and Diversity in Paul

    • From the Acts of the Apostles to Paul: Shaking off the Muffled Majesty of Impersonal Authorship
      (pp. 149-172)
      Matt Whitlock

      When considering the unity of the New Testament, how can one build a bridge between the Acts of the Apostles and the uncontested Pauline letters? Scholars have long sought to bridge these works through theological or historical methods, either comparing the theology of the Pauline speeches in Acts with the theology of the Pauline letters, or comparing the Paul in Acts with the historical Paul in the letters. Theological methods have produced debatable and tenuous connections at best.¹ Historical methods have failed to agree on a common ground. Indeed, the latter has produced two distinct terrains, leading Thomas Phillips to...

    • Cruciformity according to Jesus and Paul
      (pp. 173-202)
      Michael J. Gorman

      The subtitle of Frank Matera’s important book on New Testament ethics serves as a fitting summary of the New Testament: “The Legacies of Jesus and Paul.”¹ A natural question arising from this characterization is whether and how these two figures and their legacies are in sympathy or in conflict. Interest in the connection between Jesus and Paul, and between the Gospels and Paul—two related but not synonymous topics—has been experiencing a revival.² This may be partly driven by concern in some quarters that while Jesus preached and practiced a radical and inclusive reign of God, Paul altered and...

    • Galatians 3:10: A “Newer Perspective” on an Omitted Premise
      (pp. 203-224)
      A. Andrew Das

      In Gal 3:10 Paul seizes a passage from Deuteronomy that pronounces a curse upon those who do not observe the Law. In a surprising twist the apostle concludes that those who adopt the path of the Law will themselves suffer its curse:

      Premise: Cursed is everyone who does not abide by everything that is written in this book of the Law to do them.

      Conclusion: As many who are of the works of the Law are under a curse.¹

      Omitted premises are a regular feature of Paul’s writing.² The implied premise, reconstructed from the stated premise and conclusion, would literally...

    • The Body in Question: The Social Complexities of Resurrection
      (pp. 225-248)
      Luke Timothy Johnson

      In an earlier essay on 1 Corinthians, I argued on the basis of a close examination of chapter 15, as well as of Paul’s language about πνεũμα throughout the composition, that Paul sees the resurrection as more than an event of the past that involved Jesus alone.¹ Instead, he understands resurrection as a reality of the present that involves, indeed defines, the present existence of believers. The crucified Messiah Jesus has been exalted. As Lord he shares God’s rule over all things. He has become not simply a living being (through resuscitation), but life-giving Spirit—that is, a source of...

    • Faith, Christ, and Paul’s Theology of Salvation History
      (pp. 249-272)
      Sherri Brown

      Of all the books in the New Testament, only the letters of Paul are referred to so directly within the Bible itself as a difficult body of teaching that readers must approach with care—with fear and trembling even (2 Pet 3:14–18). In fact, difficulties in interpreting Paul’s thought and teaching arose even before the writing of 2 Peter. Paul himself had to correct the understanding of an early letter to the church in Corinth (1 Cor 5:9–13). Indeed, the history of the interpretation of Paul is a history of conflict. He is one who regularly evokes strong...

    • From Παρουσία to Ἐπιφάνεια: The Transformation of a Pauline Motif
      (pp. 273-300)
      Raymond F. Collins

      At the beginning of his study of the Christology of the Letters to the Thessalonians, Frank Matera wrote apropos 1 Thessalonians, “Paul employs this letter to recall former teaching and exhort the Thessalonians to remain faithful to their call and election as a sanctified community that must stand blameless before the Lord on the day of his parousia (5:23). Paul also takes the occasion of this letter to provide the community with further teaching about the Lord’s parousia.”¹

      The reference to the παρουσíα in 1 Thess 5:23 is, in fact, the final mention of the παρουσíα in this letter, which...

    • Virtue in the New Testament: The Legacies of Paul and John in Comparative Perspective
      (pp. 301-324)
      Christopher W. Skinner

      In the late fourth century St. Ambrose composed a commentary on the Gospel of Luke in which he referred to four cardinal virtues.¹ While attempting to reconcile Luke’s four beatitudes (Luke 6:20–22) with Matthew’s eight (Matt 5:3–10), Ambrose wrote, “Hic quattuor velut virtutes amplexus est cardinales.”² With these words he became the first church father to apply the term cardinal to those virtues that would subsequently become a cornerstone of Christian conduct. The four virtues to which he referred—prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance—were eventually incorporated into the thought of Augustine³ and Aquinas,⁴ have been explored by...

  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 325-348)
  10. Contributors
    (pp. 349-354)
  11. Author Index
    (pp. 355-360)