Friday, July 29, 2011

Beale: The so-called Great Commission is "a renewal of the Genesis 1:26-28 commission to Adam"

"The New Testament pictures Christ and the church as finally having done what Adam, Noah, and Israel had failed to do in extending the temple of God's presence throughout the world. Luke 2:32 and Acts 26:23 picture Christ as fulfilling this commission to be a 'light' to the end of the earth (an allusion to the Servant Israel's commission in Isaiah 49:6). This is why Matthew 28:18 portrays Jesus as the Son of Man saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.' This is an allusion to the prophecy of daniel 7:13-14, where it is said of the the 'Son of Man', 'authority was given to him, and all the nations of the earth...were serving him' (so LXX). On the basis of this authority, Jesus then gives the well-known commission 'therefore, as you go, disciple all the nations, baptizing them....teaching them to keep all things whichsoever I commanded you; and behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age'. Notice that Christ uses the same accompaniment formula as God used with the commissioning of his people in the Old Testament to subdue and rule over the earth. His presence will enable them to fulfill 'the great commission' to rule over and fill the earth with God's presence, which Adam, Noah, and Israel had failed to carry out...

"The reason that Jesus reflects both the Old Testament figures of Adam and Israel is because...Israel and her patriarchs were given the same commission as Adam in Genesis 1:26-28. Consequently, it is not an overstatement to understand Israel as a corporate Adam who had failed in their 'Garden of Eden', in much the same way as their primal father had failed in the first garden... Jesus' claim that 'all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth' (Matthew 28:18) alludes to Daniel 7:13-14, which prophesied that the 'son of man' would be 'given authority, glory, and sovereignty' for ever. Then...he immediately gives the disciples the so-called 'Great Commission': 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them...and lo, I am with you always' (Matt. 28:19-20). This edict not only continues the allusion to the Daniel 7 prophecy (v. 14, 'that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve him'), but is itself a renewal of the Genesis 1:26-28 commission to Adam...

"Even the divine accompaniment formula ('I am with you') occurs in Matthew 28:20 to indicate how the disciples will be empowered to carry out the commission, just as..in the later applications of Adam's commission to the patriarchs and Israel. In fact, the reference to 'all the nations' (panta ta ethne) is an echo of Genesis 22:18 (likewise, Genesis 18:18), which is one of the inchoate sanctuary-building narratives. The reminiscence of the Abrahamic promise returns to the theme found in the first verse of Matthew's Gospel (1:1): 'that the blessing promised to Abraham and through him to all peoples of the earth (Gen. 12:3) are now to be fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah'. Thus, Christ is the Son of Adam, or 'the Son of Man', who has begun to do what the first Adam should have done and to inherit what the first Adam should have, including the glory reflected in God's image." G.K. Beale, "The Temple and the Church's Mission" pp.169, 174, 175


Blogger Joseph G. Krygier said...

Text book # 2 along with KĂ–stenberger and O'Brien.

1:50 PM, July 29, 2011  

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