Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Could it be?

Consider the implication of the fact that Jesus uses the phrase ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου as a coordinate of the phrase “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς [genēthētō to thelēma sou, hōs en ouranō kai epi gēs], Matt. 6:10bc). If we assume, as I think we should, that the concern of this coordinate phrase is God’s enabling of the disciples’ obedience in the face of a desire to act otherwise, then it seems more likely that the sense of the petition ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου, for Jesus (and certainly for Matthew), was less to implore God to manifest his reign ahead of the time he intended to do so, than to invite God to ensure that the will of his people is in harmony with his own purposes for them. The fuller connotation of the petition might then be paraphrased, “may we be made worthy of your reign by being conformed not to our own will but to yours.”—The Disciples’ Prayer, page 113

<idle musing>
Interesting proposition, isn't it? I ran into the same idea while reading David Clark's dissertation. At the time, I was skeptical—as I was when I started reading this book. But, I think Gibson makes a good argument. In fact, I've come to believe he's correct.
</idle musing>

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