Dr. Wes Olmstead will be presenting a paper on Friday November 12th, at 12:30, here at Briercrest. The topic: “A Gospel for a New Nation: Once More, the ἔθνος of Matthew 21.43.”
If you can’t make it, but will be at this year’s SBL, he will be presenting the paper in the section, Theme: Matthew’s Gospel and Early Christianity: Studies in Memory of Professor Graham Stanton: November 20th, 9-11:30am.
The abstract of the paper:
In defending the title for the monograph that presented many of the fruits of his lifetime’s research in Matthew’s Gospel, Graham Stanton wrote: “While Matthew does not use the phrase ‘a new people’, he did see Christians in his own day as a distinct entity over against Judaism. This is confirmed by the important redactional verse 21.43 and, as we shall see in several chapters below, numerous other passages. My title, ‘A Gospel for a New People’, does not correspond precisely to the evangelist’s terminology, but it does sum up his intentions” (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992, 18). This conclusion has faced such serious challenges in subsequent years that it is possible to speak of a new consensus, which argues that Stanton’s reading is fundamentally anachronistic. Instead of the ethnos of 21.43 being defined over against Judaism, it is argued, for Matthew this ethnos instead refers to “a group of leaders . . . that can lead Israel well” (so, e.g., Anthony J. Saldarini, Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1994], 61.). This essay revisits this discussion and argues that, while Stanton’s conclusion should be nuanced, it more faithfully represents the position outlined in Matthew’s narrative than does the current consensus.