Re: Mt 21:31

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Mar 07 1999 - 21:18:09 EST

At 4:28 PM +0000 3/6/99, Jim West wrote:
>What think ye....
>does "oi telwnai kai ai pronai proagousin umas eis thn basileian tou qeou"
>imply that the Pharisees will get in- just behind the wretched hordes; or is
>there no such implication intended?

After scratching my head for a while wondering whether this was talking
about "tax-collectors and prawns," then checking the original text and
reading hOI TELWNAI KAI hAI PORNAI, I see that it's street-walkers rather
than sea-floor scavengers in question here.

While you may be right about the tone of the verse, Jim, you probably
should bear in mind what Mt's Jesus says in Mt 5:20: EAN MH PERISSEUHi
EIS THN BASILEIAN TWN OURANWN. If one puts these two sayings together, one
might even be inclined to suspect that (1) the tax-collectors and
street-walkers will be ushered in first, then (2) the scribes and
Pharisees, and lastly (3) the rest of us who listen to Jesus carefully but
whose DIKAIOSUNH is only fair-to-middlin'.

It's always struck me that even Matthew, who gets a bum rap for humorless
formalism of expression, (a) shows a Jesus with a remarkable sense of
humor, and (b) gives expression to what A.N. Whitehead called "a morality
of aspiration" in very powerful terms, inasmuch as he awards the highest
congratulations to those "who hunger and thirst for righteousness," and
inasmuch as he bids us be "perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:19 EDT