HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
VAN ZYL, Hermie C.. Authority as service: The role of the disciples in the Gospel according to Matthew. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp. 13-21. ISSN 2072-8050.
This article juxtaposes authority and service in the Gospel of Matthew. Firstly the article refers to the transfer of authority from Jesus to the disciples. Several relevant texts are discussed, including Matthew's employment of proserchomai. Secondly the content of this authority is examined. The emphasis falls on the teaching authority of the disciples, especially to forgive sins. Thirdly the nature of authority is treated. It is not about lording it over people but to serve the believers in humility. In a last section all of the above is viewed against the backdrop of the first century Matthean community's struggle to find its place within formative Judaism. The thesis is put forward that Matthew propounds a voluntary marginality, according to which the reader should take upon him- or herself the position of the poor.