Thursday, October 12, 2006

Luke 16:9 and the 'eternal homes'

Some late night exegetical thoughts so my apologies if it reads a tad incoherent; it made perfect sense when I wrote it!

Luke 16:9 ‘And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes’.

Kai. evgw. u`mi/n le,gw( e`autoi/j poih,sate fi,louj evk tou/ mamwna/ th/j avdiki,aj( i[na o[tan evkli,ph| de,xwntai u`ma/j eivj ta.j aivwni,ouj skhna,jÅ

What a baffling passage! The meaning of aivwni,ouj skhna, is particularly puzzling. However, is it not fair to suggest that this passage speaks in favour of the Wright-Perriman interpretive slant? Doesn’t the understanding of aivwni,ouj here as ‘the age after the destruction of Jerusalem’ make most sense? What else could aivwni,ouj here mean? Perriman would suggest that this means Jesus taught his disciples to make use of ‘unrighteous Mammon’ specifically during the foretold distressing time of national disaster and the destruction of the Temple. In other words, it is in line with the ‘run to the hills’ advice in the so-called ‘apocalyptic discourses’, i.e. practical advice as to how to survive the coming judgement at the hands of Rome. This in turn hints that those who get ‘taken’ from the fields, while another is left etc. (e.g. Matt 24:40-41) are the unlucky ones. The ones who remain will survive for the ‘age to come’ or the zwh. aivw,nio,j, while those who are ‘taken’ are on the unhappy end of the Roman rod of wrath.

Incidentally, and unrelated to the interpretive considerations above, why is it that much conservative Christian business ethics rely more on Paul’s (if it is not an interpolation) more sectarian teaching in 2 Cor 6:14-15?


At 10/12/2006 3:32 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

I don't really see how anyone in the light of Matt 25.37-41 can really think that being taken is a good thing when it is compared to being swept off in the flood, rather than left behind like Noah.

At 10/12/2006 6:30 PM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

(1) Why would 2 Cor 6:14-15 be an interpolation? UBS 4th lists no TC you have inside scoop?

Clearly people take 2 Cor 6 out of context--referring not to business, and only loosely perhaps to things like marriage; but addressing the question of purity in the church just as in 1 Cor 5.

(2) Ramblings:
The NTW/Perriman application is interesting, but I'm not sure it's persuasive here: apart from the issue that Perriman's advice seems to ignore the context of chs. 15 and 16, I'm not sure we can obtain certainty for the idea that "dwelling place for/of the ages" would be viewed as something other than permanent residence. How does this work itself out in Perriman's view? Do we 'win friends' across cultures/boundaries (ch 15?) and among the poor (ch 16) who will take care of us after the Roman butt-kicking? The nearest reference to a 'dwelling place'--in Luke 16:19ff--seems a bit more permanent, doesn't it?

And if 70AD is part of the context (granted it could perhaps have been what HistJesus intended), Luke has certainly not drawn such conclusions here. Luke 17 could of course apply to 70AD, but how 'bout Luke 14? This seems more relevant for final eschatology.

Should we always and anon apply an exclusive 70AD grid to such passages? Isn't that just as unwise as restricting the apoc. discourse, etc. to a still-future event(s), obtainable only in Xian novels?

At 10/13/2006 1:03 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Byron, a good point! You convinved by the sort of perspective I mention in this post?

Right, I need to get my head down so I can write an nice response to JB ...

At 9/19/2007 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm playing with the idea of skevas as "taburnacle" or "tent" as a temporary dwelling. To speak of the "eternal temporary" is an idea that has hooked me. I think "homes" may be an easy English translation that misses some of the richness of the text.

Walter Lee


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