hO QEOS in Mt 1:23b

Steven Craig Miller scmiller at www.plantnet.com
Sun Nov 28 09:10:29 EST 1999

To: Gordon K. Goltz, Steve Puluka, et al.,

GKG: << Why would Matthew need to refer to Jesus as God again, when he has 
already done it so early in his gospel and then consistently gives examples 
of his divinity throughout his gospel? >>

Your first assertion seems to beg the question, since it is unclear to me 
whether Matthew ever referred to Jesus as God anywhere in his Gospel (in 
fact, it seems to me that he hasn't). Your second assertion is puzzling, 
since I'm hard pressed to understand how presenting Jesus as a 
miracle-worker "gives examples of his divinity throughout his gospel." But 
if we assume that Matthew was written by a Torah-observant Christian for a 
Torah-observant Christian community (as most Matthean scholars seem to 
suggest), one would think that a straightforward and unambiguous assertion 
of Jesus' divinity would be in order if that is what Matthew wanted his 
audience to understand. And that is precisely what we don't have in 
Matthew's gospel.

SCM: << Some scholars seem to understand MEQ' hHMWN hO QEOS without any 
verb so as to imply that Jesus is:  "God with us." This last interpretation 
I would personally find very unlikely since no where (else) does Matthew 
refer explicitly to Jesus as "God." >>

SP: << This is exactly the view of the early Christian writers. >>

I would concur with you here completely. In fact, it is just what one would 
expect, namely that as Christian Christology evolved, these "early 
Christian writer" (as you call them) with a higher Christology would 
anachronistically read ambiguous statements in the earliest Christian 
writings to confirm their high Christology.

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at www.plantnet.com

"O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this" 
(Shakespare, "Much Ado About Nothing", 4.2.60-61).

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