Thursday, February 18, 2016

Notes on Marshall's NT Theology

I'm trying to sum up my notes on the first 200 pages of I. Howard Marshall's New Testament Theology. Here we go:

1. How do we do NT Theology?
  • Heikki Räisänen - We don't. It all falls apart. (17-18)
  • Approach 1 - Lump the books together as a quarry for the stones. (24)
  • Approach 2 - Impose systematic theology on the books. 
  • Approach 3 - Just look at the individual authors. (25)
  • Approach 4 - Trace development of ideas.
  • Marshall's hope - Find inherent principles for organizing the mass of teaching. (28)
  • He finds a missionary character to all the documents that can serve as an organizing principle. (35-36)
  • Jesus is not just a presupposition for NT theology to him (contra Bultmann).
2. Preparatory remarks before launching into Gospels
  • Matthew and Luke used Mark.
  • In general he sides with the idea of Q as a source.
  • "There are goo grounds for assuming that the handing down of tradition in the early church was 'controlled'" (53).
  • "We have in the Synoptic Gospels a faithful representation of how Jesus appeared to his earliest followers" (54).
  • "The traditions behind the Gospels were contemporary with the period of letter writing" (56).
3. The Gospel of Mark
  • "The kingdom of God is the main theological theme in the teaching of Jesus" (78).
  • "For Mark the Gospel is more about the messenger than the message" (81).
  • "Christ," "Son of God," and "Son of Man" dominate as titles for Jesus, the last of which could refer both to Jesus as one who suffers and as one who will come in judgment from the skies.
  • "Only after the cross and resurrection does full understanding become possible" (89).
  • Looks to the immanent consummation of God's rule (93).
  • My additions: 1) focus on Jesus' death and suffering at the center of him being the Messiah, 2) the repeated sense that only those who have ears to hear will hear, 3) the ethic of loving God and neighbor, and 4) this is a Gentile Christian theology (all foods clean).
4. The Gospel of Matthew
  • "Matthew is more Jewish in outlook" (95). "A strongly Jewish-Christian audience" (125).
  • "The law remains in force for his Jewish audience, but in the light of the antithetical teaching that follows it is the law as reinterpreted by Jesus that is now to be kept" (99).
  • "Jesus never speaks of God as Father except to his disciples" (99).
  • "The historical Jesus did focus his mission on the Jews" (101)... "but the mission of Jesus is not ultimately confined to the Jewish people" (103).
  • "The church is in effect the new Israel" (106). [careful]
  • Particularly characteristic of Matthew is that Jesus is the Son of David (112). "Lord" is also more frequent, as is the use of "worship" (proskyneo).
  • Marshall mentions that some think Matthew equates Jesus with Wisdom. I think so myself.
  • Also Jesus is Moses 2.0 - Jesus the teacher in Matthew
  • "The law is both internalized and radicalized" (119).
  • Importance of Jesus as fulfillment of prophecy. Importance of righteousness in Matthew (119).
5. Luke-Acts
  • Salvation language is prevalent, understood in some places as the rescue of Israel. Most of Israel has fallen away but not all (142). Jesus the Savior is fairly unique to Luke. (146) Strong Elijah-Elisha typology
  • "Jesus' concern was for the outcasts of Jewish society" (136).
  • "The task of Jesus is defined in prophetic terms" (147).
  • "The character of the career of Jesus is best summed up as mission" (149). The mission is primarily to Israel.
6. Luke-Acts
  • "The main theme is that God has raised and exalted the crucified Jesus to be the Messiah and Lord through whom forgiveness an the Holy Spirit are offered to all who call on the Lord" (180).
  • "Of all the books in the New Testament it is Acts that most clearly exemplifies the relationship of the theology of the early church to its mission" (157). 
  • "The work of the apostles is a continuation of the work of Jesus whereby the signs of the kingdom of God are manifested and salvation is made effective in people's lives through the preaching of his followers" (160).
  • Gentiles do not have to become Jewish proselytes, yet it is not necessary for Jewish Christians to give up their way of life either. (164)
  • "Paul's beliefs cannot be regarded as a criminal offense under Roman law" (170).
  • Acts has a strong sense of divine necessity, that things happen under God's direction. However, this is not always the case (not completely pre-determined). (171)
  • "The establishment of the church and its mission is the object of prophecy" (172).
  • Three major events: the Christ event, the coming of the Spirit, and the mission of the church. (174)
  • "The fundamental theological question in Acts concerns the relationship of the church to Israel and the Gentiles" (178).
  • "Little is said about the function of the death of Jesus in achieving salvation" (181).

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