Re: hO QEOS in Mt 1:23b

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 09:10:29 EST

<x-flowed>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)

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

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