089 Commentary

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This page forms part of the resources for 089 Hating Ones Family in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 089 Literature | 089 Parallels | 089 Commentary | 089 Poetry | 089 Images


Commentary

John Dominic Crossan

Crossan [Historical Jesus] (299-302) discusses Jesus opposition to the patriarchal family. He observes:

The strife is not between believers and non-believers but quite simply, and as it says, between the generations and in both directions. Jesus will tear the hierarchical or patriarchal family in two along the axis of domination and subordination. Second, and even more significant, is that the division imagined cuts across sex and gender. (p. 300)



Jesus Seminar

The views of the Seminar on this item can be represented as follows:

  • Thom 55:1-2a
  • Thom 55:1-2a
  • Thom 101:1-3
  • Thom 101:1-3
  • Luke 14:25-26
  • Luke 14:25-26
  • Matt 10:37
  • Matt 10:37

(On some occasions a text was reconsidered at more than one session of the Seminar, sometimes resulting in a different color grading.)

The commentary in [The Five Gospels] observes:

This saying, which must have been offensive to Jesus' audience when he first enunciated it, has suffered the fate of other harsh sayings in the tradition. Matthew softens it by making the love of family subordinate to the love of Jesus. But Luke and Thomas retain the rigorous form: hatred of family is a condition of discipleship. The severity of this saying can only be understood in the context of the primacy of filial relationships. Individuals had no real existence apart from their ties to blood relatives, especially parents. If one did not belong to a family, one had no real social existence. Jesus is therefore confronting the social structures that governed society at their core. For Jesus, family ties faded into insignificance in relation to God's imperial rule, which he regarded as the fundamental claim on human loyalty. (p. 353)