Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Literary Structure of Matthew 10

A)  Instructions to the twelve apostles  (10:5-15)
   B)  Persecution and family division  (10:16-23)
      C)  Enemies of the Master’s household  (10:24-25)
         D)  Consolation of the twelve apostles  (10:26-33)
      C’)  Enemies of the Master’s household  (10:34-36)
   B’)  Persecution and family division  (10:37-39)
A’)  Reception of the twelve apostles  (10:40-42)

Some things worth noting are:
  • This whole chapter is directly addressed to "the twelve" apostles, not to 21st century Americans. 
  • There are various repeated words, phrases, and themes throughout the discourse which make the structure much more obvious upon a second glance: 
    • "Sent" is mentioned twice (vv. 5 & 40) and “receive” is mentioned twice (vv. 14 & 40-42), both of which are found in sections A & A' 
    • Parents and children are mentioned twice (vv. 21 & 37; sections B & B') 
    • “household” is mentioned twice (vv. 25 & 36; sections C & C')
  • In the central section of this chasm (section "D") there are three negative statements about "fear" and one positive statement. 
    • D1) “Do not fear them...”  (v.26)
    • D2) “Do not fear those who… but fear Him who can…”  (v. 28)
    • D3) “Do not fear, therefore…”  (v.31)

Another way of viewing the literary structure of chapter ten is as follows:
A)  Instructions to the twelve apostles  (10:5-15)
   B)  Persecution and family division  (10:16-23)
      C)  Enemies of the Master’s household  (10:24-25)
         D1)  "Do not fear them..." (10:26-27)
            D2)  "Do not fear those who... but Fear Him who can..." (10:28-30)
         D3)  "Do not fear, therefore..." (10:31-33)
      C’)  Enemies of the Master’s household  (10:34-36)
   B’)  Persecution and family division  (10:37-39)
A’)  Reception of the twelve apostles  (10:40-42)

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