Ancient Biblical Parameters for Human Beings
and their Use in the New Testament

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Table of Contents:
 1)   Likely origin of the parameters
 2)   Defining the parameters
 3)   Passages reflecting the parameters
           Old Testament passages
           Intertestamental passages
           Passages in Luke-Acts and the Johannine writings
           Some comments on the Johannine passages
4)    Background on Passover and Wisdom
5)    The presentation of the humanity of Jesus and the Christians
          Paul (1 Corinthians)
6)    Conclusions

1) Likely origin of the parameters

   The main materials below  were presented in the 1970s in three articles by the author,[1] but   since then there has come to my attention the work on Indo-European languages by Georges Dumézil (1898-1986).  He noted, in effect, that he could detect an ancient three-fold structure in society: rulers and sages (the wise), warriors (the powerful) and hunter-gatherers (the providers of sustenance and well-being).  This is the same structure as the ancient caste system in India: Brahmans (the wise rulers), Kshatriyas (warroirs),. and Vaishyas (peasants, later merchants) plus Shudras (serfs).
   Furthermore, in August, 2002, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in the exhibition entitled "The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt" on Egyptian funerary rites, I encountered the information that in the northern capital, Memphis, three gods grouped together were Ptah, the creator god of wisdom, imagination and craft, his consort, Sakhmet, the fierce protectress, and their child, Nefertem, the god of fertility and new life.  Thus this dates the overt use of the wise/powerful/well-born pattern back to at least 1600 B.C.E., and perhaps points to an Egyptian origin for its apparent use in the Joseph-cycle in Genesis.

2) Defining the parameters

   The wise/powerful/well-born model is both ancient and pervasive, being found in the Old Testament, the inter-testamental writings (including material from Qumran), and the New Testament.  It is used to define the true, God-intended humanity as having wisdom, power and well-being, and as having these three elements only through total dependence upon God who gives these gifts.
My initial starting point was 1 Cor. 1.26-31 where Paul begins by reminding the Corinthians that they formerly were not 'wise' (σοφοί), 'powerful' (δυνατοί), or 'wellborn' (εὐγενεῖς).  Paul ends the section by explicitly citing a version of Jer. 9.23 (MT 9.22), 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord'.  Since Jer. 9.23 (MT 9.22) speaks of the wise man, the mighty man and the rich man, it seems obvious that Paul has Jer. 9.23-24 in mind throughout 1 Cor. 1.26-31, but has readily substituted 'wellborn' for 'riches' in  alluding to Jer. 9.23 in 1 Cor. 1.26.
    Hence, in searching for OT and intertestamental passages that might reflect this three-parameter model for humanity, it was with the recognition that the whole pattern might be applied to individuals or to groups within a community (with each group representing one facet) or to a community as a whole.  It was also to be expected that 'well-being' might be related to 'riches' or interchangeable with it in at least some passages.  Since Paul speaks of Christ crucified as both the 'Wisdom of God' and the 'Power of God' (1 Cor. 1.24), one might find passages where the motifs of wisdom and power appear to be interwoven.
    When I had found the passages, I was able, by hindsight, to clarify the meaning of the three parameters as follows [2]:
    WISDOM:  This motif is concerned with the will of God, its nature (e.g. mercy), knowledge of it (wisdom, understanding) or departure from it (ignorance, sinfulness, iniquity).  One also finds figures representing wisdom among men, whether true or false: prophets, judges, etc.
    POWER:  Here we find might or power, symbols for them (either symbols of God's power such as wind, tumult and lightning, or symbols of human power such as chariots, warriors and fortresses), acts of might (e.g. sitting in the seas) or persons of might (e.g. mighty men or men of war).
    WELL-BEING:  Here are encompassed elements that make for well-being, such as bread and water, riches, honour, good paternity or choice of spouse, imperishability, long life, a right relationship with God (one of dependent faith), and God as the life-maker.  We also encounter here the false alternatives to true well-being: a claim to be God, a worshipping of lifeless idols, perishability, the withdrawal of sustenance, and the cutting off by God of the life of the transgressors.
    From the above we may note that under each aspect there are positive and negative elements, with the negative elements involving a departure from dependence upon God for wisdom (i.e. following one's own will rather than God's), for power (e.g. chariots), and for well-being (e.g. claiming to be self-sufficient or depending upon idols), or else they involve man in his finitude as contrasted with God.

 3) Passages reflecting the parameters

   Passages which are less certain are indicated by a question mark.

Old Testament
1.   Gen. 41.39-45 (Pharaoh's recognition and exaltation of Joseph)
v. 39:  'There is none so discreet (נָבוֹן) and wise (וְחָכָם) as you are'  Wisdom
vv. 40-41:  'You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. ... Behold, I have set you over  all the land of Egypt.' Power
vv. 42-43: Pharaoh gives signet ring, gold chain, the second chariot. and  the honour that all should 'Bow the knee!' to Joseph Well-being
vv. 43b-44:  'Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. ... "Without your   consent no man shall lift up hand or foot ...."' Power
v. 45:  'And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera  priest of On.' Well-being
2. Deut. 6.5  'You shall love Yahweh your God
               with all your heart (לֵבָב  Wisdom
               and with all your soul (נֶפֶשׁ) Well-being
               and with all your might (מְאֹד   Power
3.  1 Kings 3.9-13[3]
v. 9: Solomon asks for an understanding  (ַשֹׁמֵצ) heart (ַלֵבַ) Wisdom
v. 10: Yahweh is pleased that he has asked for this
v. 11a: rather than for long  (יָֹמִים) life (רַבִּימ) or riches (עֹשֶׁר) Well-being
v. 11b: or the life of your enemies.'  Power
So God gives all three:
v. 12:  'a wise (תָכָם ) and discerning  (וְנָבוֹן) heart' (לֵב) Wisdom
  v. 13a: 'both riches (עֹשֶׁר) and honour' (כָּבוֹד)   Well-being
v. 13b:    'so that no other king shall compare with you.' Power
4. 2 Chron. 1.10-12
v. 10:  Solomon asks for wisdom (תָכְמָה) and knowledge (וּמַדָּצ Wisdom
v. 11a: God is pleased that he has not asked for riches (עֹשֶׁר), wealth (נְכָסִימ) or honour   (וְכָבוֹד Well-being
v. 11b: 'or the life of those who hate you'  Power
v. 12a: So he gives wisdom (הַחָכְמָה) and knowledge (וְהַמּדָּע)   Wisdom
v. 12b riches (וְעֹשֶׁר), wealth (וּנְכָסִימ) and honour (וְכָבוֹד  Well-being
v. 12c:   like none of the kings before or after   Power
5.  Ps. 1.2-3 (?)
v. 2:  'His delight is in the Torah of Yahweh'  Wisdom
v. 3ab:  'He is like a tree planted ...' Well-being
v. 3c 'In all he does he prospers.' Power
6.  Ps. 139
  vv. 1-6: Yahweh's knowledge of me: 'Such knowledge (דַצַת) is too wonderful for me.' (v. 6a) Wisdom
vv. 7-12:  Yahweh's presence and power: 'thy right hand'  (יְמִינֶךָ), v. 10  Power
vv. 13-18:  Yahweh formed (קָנִית, v. 13) me and my ways   Well-being
7. Isa. 3.1-7 (vv. 3-7 are less clearly structured)
v. 1: 'For behold, the Lord, Yahweh of hosts, is taking away from 
Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread (לֶחֶמ) and the whole stay of water (מָיִם); Well-being
  v. 2:   the mighty man (גִּבֻּר) and the man of war (מִלְחָמֶה Power
the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,  Wisdom
v. 3: the captain of fifty and the man of rank,  Power
the counselor and the skilful magician and the expert in charms. Wisdom
v. 4:  And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them. (No) Wisdom
v. 5: And the people will oppress one another, every man his fellow  and every man his neighbour; (No) Power
the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base fellow  to the honourable. (No) Well-being
  v. 6: When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: "You have a mantle; (No) Well-being
you shall be our leader,   (No) Power
and this heap of ruins  (No) Well-being
shall be under your rule";   (No) Power
 v. 7:   in that day he will speak out, saying:
"I will not be a healer;   (No) Wisdom
in my house there is neither bread nor mantle; (No) Well-being
you shall not make me leader of the people."  (No) Power
8.  Isa. 55.1-11
vv. 1-5: '... come to the waters, ... buy wine and milk ... without price ... bread ... that your soul may live.' Well-being
vv. 6-9:   'Seek Yahweh....  Let the wicked forsake his way ... my thoughts  are not your thoughts ... so are my ways higher than your ways....'   Wisdom
vv. 10-11:  '... my word ... shall accomplish ... and prosper....'  Power
9.   Isa. 58.1-7
vv. 1-5:  The wrong fast ...
vv. 1-2:    'transgression ... delight to know my ways ... forsake the ordinance of their God.' Wisdom
v. 3a:  'Why have we fasted...?  Why have we humbled ourselves...?   Well-being
vv. 3b-4a:   '... you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist.'   Power
vv. 4b-5: Yahweh calls this an unacceptable fast.
vv. 6-7: The fast chosen by Yahweh.
v. 6a: 'to loose the bonds of wickedness'  Wisdom
v. 6b 'to let the oppressed go free' Power
v. 7: 'to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless  poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh,' Well-being
10. Jer. 9.23-24 (MT 22-23)
v. 23:   'Thus says Yahweh, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom (חָכְמָה), Wisdom
let not the mighty man glory in his might (גְּבוּרָה),   Power
let not the rich man glory in his riches (עֹשֶׁר),  Well-being
v. 24:  but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and  knows me, that I am Yahweh who practice kindness (חֶסֶד), justice (מִשְׁפָּט) and righteousness (צְדָקָה) in the earth, for in these things I delight", says Yahweh.' Wisdom
11. Jer. 10.3-10 (regarding idols versus Yahweh)
vv. 3-5:  Idols cannot do evil or good  Power
v. 6:  Yahweh is great, his name is great in might (גְּבוּרָה).
vv. 7-8:  '... among all the wise ones (חֲכָמִימ) of the nations there is none like thee.   They [= idols] are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols  is but wood.' Wisdom
  vv. 9-10:  '... They are but the work of craftsmen....  But Yahweh is the true God, he is the living God and the everlasting King....' Well-being
12.  Jer. 10.11-16 (Yahweh versus idols and men)
v. 11: 'The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish....'  Well-being
v. 12a:  'It is he [= Yahweh] who made the earth by his power (כֹּחַ), Power
v. 12ab: who established the world by his wisdom (חָכְמָה), and by his understanding (תְּבוּנָה) stretched out the heavens.' Wisdom
v. 13: God's power, seen in: voice, tumult, mist, lightning, rain, wind.  Power
v. 14a: 'Every man is stupid and without knowledge (דַּאַת) ...'  Wisdom
vv. 14b-15: Idols are without breath, worthless, and shall perish.  Well-being
v. 16: '... the one who formed all things, ... Yahweh of hosts is his name.' Well-being
13. Jer. 51.15-19 (51.15-19 = 10.12-16 with minor variations)
14.   Ezek. 28.2-10[4]
The claims of the prince of Tyre:
v. 2b:  'You have said, "I am a god" Well-being
v. 2c "I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas"'  Power
vv. 3-5:  'Behold, you are wiser (חָכָמ) than Daniel ... by your wisdom (חָכְמָה and your understanding (תְּבוּנָה Wisdom
you have wealth (חַיִל) and have gathered gold and silver....' [5] Well-being
That which he claims to have is then removed from him:
v. 7: '... they shall draw swords against the beauty of your wisdom....'   Wisdom
v. 8: '... you shall die ... in the heart of the seas.' Power
vv. 9-10:  'Will you still say, "I am a god," in the presence of those who slay  you, though you are but a man, and no god ...? Well-being
15. Hos. 10.13-16
v. 13a: 'You have ploughed iniquity...reaped injustice...reaped the fruit of lies Wisdom
vv. 13b-14a: '... you have trusted in your chariots [LXX} ... warriors ... your  fortresses shall be destroyed,' Power
vv. 14b-15: '... mothers were dashed in pieces with their children ... the king of  Israel shall be utterly cut off.' Well-being
16. Obad. 8-10
v. 8:  'Will I not on that day, says Yahweh, destroy the wise men (חֲכָמִים)  out of Edom and understanding (תְּבוּנָה) out of Mount Esau?' Wisdom
v. 9:  'And your mighty men (גִּבָֹּרִים) shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau shall be cut off by slaughter. Power
v. 10:  'For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off for ever.' Well-being
17.  Mic. 5.10-14
vv.10-11: Power taken away: 'horses', 'chariots', 'cities', and 'strongholds'. Power
v. 12: False wisdom taken away: 'sorceries', 'soothsayers'.   Wisdom
vv. 13-14: False sources of well-being cut off: 'images', 'pillars', 'work of your hands', 'Asherim'. Well-being
18. Mic. 6.8 Yahweh requires of man that you
do justly (מִשְׁפָט),   Power
love mercy (חֶסֶד), and Wisdom
'walk humbly (צנע [hiph.] [6]) with thy God.'  Well-being
19. Zech. 9.2-3
v. 2b: 'Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise (חָכְמָה).'  Wisdom
v. 3a 'Tyre has built herself a rampart (מָצוֹר),'   Power
'and heaped up silver (כֶּסֶף) like dust, and gold (חַרוּץ) like the dirt of the streets.' Well-being
v. 4:   'But lo, the Lord will strip her of her possessions (ירצ [hiph.]} and hurl her wealth (חַיִל) into the sea and she shall be devoured by fire.'
Intertestamental literature
20. 1 Esdras (3 Ezra) 3.17b-4.41 [7] concerning that which is strongest)
3.17b-24:  Wine - leads astray the minds of all who drink it (3.18)  Wisdom
4.1-12: King as mighty - all obey him in war, building up, tearing down   Power
4.13-32:  Women - give birth to all, make men's clothes, preferred to gold and silver Well-being
4.33-4l:  Truth is greatest of all (versus unrighteousness),  Wisdom
it is 'strong  for ever and ever',      Power
it 'endures, and lives and prevails for ever and ever.'  Well-being
21.  Tobit 4.13-19 [8] (?)
v. 13: 'Love ..., so not disdain your brethren ... by refusing to take a  wife ... from among them.  For in pride there is ruin ...; and in shiftlessness there is loss and great want, because shiftlessness  is the mother of famine.'  Well-being
v. 14a: 'Do not hold over the wages of any man ..., and if you serve God ....'    Power
vv. 14b-19:  '... be disciplined....  Do not drink wine to excess....  Seek advice from every wise man, and do not despise any useful counsel .  ... ask him [= God] that your ways may be made straight. ... For none of the nations has understanding, but the Lord himself  gives all good things....'   Wisdom
22.  Wisd. 1.1-15 (?)
vv. 1-3:  '... you rulers (κρίνοντες) of the earth ... do not put him [= God]  to the test .... when his power (δύναμις) is tested, it convicts the  foolish (ἄφρονες).' Power
vv. 4-11:  'Wisdom (σοφία), a holy and disciplined spirit', 'the spirit of the Lord'  versus 'deceitful soul', 'body enslaved to sin', 'foolish thoughts', 'unrighteousness', 'blasphemer', 'counsel of an ungodly man', 'his words', 'his lawless deeds', 'useless murmering', 'slander',  'a lying mouth'. Wisdom
vv. 12-15:  'Death', 'life', 'destruction', 'living', 'for he created all things that they   might exist', 'for righteousness is immortal'. Well-being
23.  Wisd. 7.22b-8.8
 7.22b-23: The 'intelligence' of Wisdom: 'in her is a spirit that is intelligent ...'  Wisdom
 7.24-25: Wisdom as 'mobile', 'pervading', 'breath of power (δύναμις) of God'.  Power
  7.26: Wisdom as 'reflection of eternal light', 'spotless mirror', 'image of his goodness'. Well-being
7.27-28: '... she can do all things, ... she renews all things; ... she passes  into holy souls....' Power
7.29: 'For she is more beautiful than the sun, ... [she] excels [the stars],  she is found to be superior [to the light of day]'. Well-being
7.30-8.1: '... against Wisdom evil does not prevail.  She reaches mightily ...  and she orders all things well.' Power
8.2-3: 'I loved her ... became enamoured of her beauty....  She glorifies  her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her.' Well-being
8.4a: 'For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, Wisdom
8.4b: an associate in his works.   Power
8.5: If riches are a desirable possession in life, what is richer than Wisdom Well-being
8.5c-6: who effects all things?  And if understanding is effective, who more  than she is fashioner of what exists?' Power
8.7-8: She teaches 'self-control and prudence, justice and courage'.   She 'knows', 'infers', understands' and 'has foreknowledge'. Wisdom
24. Sir. 10.24
'The nobleman (LXX: μεγιστάν) Well-being
and the judge (LXX: κριτής) Wisdom
and the ruler (LXX: δυνάστης) Power
will be honoured, but none of them is greater than the man who fears the Lord.'
25. Baruch 3.14 [9] within the summons to Israel of 3.8-4.4)
'Learn where there is wisdom (LXX: φρόνησις) Wisdom
where there is strength (LXX: ἰσχύς) Power
where there is understanding (LXX: σύνεσις  Wisdom
that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes and peace.' Well-being
26.  1QS 1.11-13 (The Community Rule of  Qumran) [10]
'All those who freely devote themselves to His truth shall bring all their
knowledge (תצד), Wisdom
powers (חוכ) Power
and possessions (מוה)   Well-being
into the Community of God that they may
purify their knowledge (תצד) in the truth of God's precepts Wisdom
and order their powers (חוכ) according to the ways of perfection Power
and all their possessions (מוה) according to his righteous  counsel.' Well-being
27. 1QS 11.15b-22 (Benediction) [11]
11.15b-16a: Blessed art Thou, my God, who openest the heart of thy servant  to knowledge! Wisdom
11.16b: Establish all his deeds in righteousness,  Power
11.16c-17a: and as it pleases Thee to do for the elect of mankind, grant that  the son of Thy handmaid may stand before Thee for ever. Well-being
11.17b: For without Thee no way is perfect, Wisdom
11.17c: and without Thy will nothing is done. Wisdom
11.17d-18a: It is Thou who hast taught all knowledge    Wisdom
11.18b: and all things come to pass by Thy will. Wisdom
11.18c-19a: There is none beside Thee to dispute thy counsel, or to  understand all thy holy design, or to contemplate the depth of thy mysteries Wisdom
11.19b-20a (or to attain understanding in all thy marvelous works [12]and the power of thy might. Power
11.20b: Who can endure thy glory, and what is the son of man in the  midst of thy wonderful deeds? Power
11.21-22a: What shall one born of woman be accounted before Thee?  Kneaded from the dust, his abode is the nourishment of worms. He is but a shape, but moulded clay, and inclines towards dust. Well-being
11.22b: What shall hand-moulded clay reply?  What counsel shall it understand? Wisdom
New Testament Passages from Luke-Acts and the Johannine Writings
Luke 1.51-53 (Magnificat):
 'He has shown strength with his arm,   Power
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,  Wisdom
 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,  Power
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,  Well-being
and the rich he has sent empty away.'   
Luke 2.40:  'And the child grew and became strong,  Power
filled with wisdom   Wisdom
and the favour of God was upon him.'  Well-being
Luke 2.52:  'And Jesus increased in wisdom  Wisdom
and in age-of-strength (ἡλικία) [13]  Power
and in favour with God and man.'  Well-being
Luke 10.27: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of (ἐξ) all thy heart, 
and in (ἐν) all thy soul    Well-being
and in (ἐν) all thy strength  Power
and in (ἐν) all thy mind.' [14] Wisdom
Acts 6.3 (Choosing the Seven):
'men of good repute, Well-being
full of Spirit Power
and wisdom'  Wisdom
Acts 6.5, 8, 10 (Stephen)
v. 5b '... they chose Stephen, 
a man full of faith Well-being
and of Holy Spirit....'  Power
v. 8:  'And Stephen, full of grace  Well-being
and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.' Power
v. 10: 'And they were not able to withstand the wisdom   Wisdom
and the Spirit with which he spoke.'   Power
Johannine Writings
John 14.6: 'I am the way, Power
the truth Wisdom
and the life' Well-being
John 16.8-11 (concerning the Paraclete)
v. 8:  'And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect
of sin (faith) Well-being
of righteousness (love)  Wisdom
and of judgement;  (justice) Power
v. 9:  of sin because they believe not on me (faith) Well-being
v. 10: of righteousness, because I go to the Father  and you behold me no more, [15]   (love) Wisdom
  v. 11: of judgement, because the prince of this world has been  judged  (justice) Power
1 John 2.12-14 [16]
v. 12: 'I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his sake. Well-being
v. 13: I am writing to you, fathers,
  because you have known him who is from the beginning.   Wisdom
I am writing to you, young men (νεανίσκοι),
because you have conquered (νενικήκατε) the evil one.  Power
v. 14: I write to you, little children,
because you have known the Father.  Well-being
 I write to you, fathers,
because you have known him who is from the beginning.   Wisdom
I write to you, young men (νεανίσκοι),
because you are strong (ἰσχυροί),  and the Word of God abides in you, and you have conquered (νενικήκατε) the evil one. Power

     Some comments on the Johannine passages.
         We begin our comments by looking at 1 John 2.12-24.  In verses 12 and 14a well-being is expressed in terms of the new status characterized by forgiveness of sins and the Father-child relationship.  That they 'have known the Father' is apparently the basis for their being called τεκνία (v. 12) and παιδία (v. 14a), 'little children'.  Regarding those who are called 'fathers', it was the function of a father to teach his children, as Joseph speaks of God having made him a father to Pharaoh, Gen. 45.8.  Thus 1 John 2.13a, 14b simply say the fathers 'have known him who is from the beginning' without specifying anything more narrowly or explicitly, and thereby encompassing the whole knowledge of God.
          In 2.13b and 14c the power motif is expressed in terms of  'having conquered' and 'being strong', as one might expect.  The noteworthy point is that this combat motif is connected with νεανίσκοι, 'young men', which appears to be a quasi-technical term for a Christian initiate in at least Mark, Matthew and 1 John. [17]   It is possible that this combat imagery in connection with Christian initiation survived for some time, inasmuch as the anointing of a baptismal candidate with oil as being akin to the gladiator's anointing before a fight is spoken of by Ambrose of Milan,  Cyril of Jerusalem and Chrysostom of Constantinople (all fourth century CE) [18]
     When we further note the renouncing of the world (1 John 2.15) and the references to anointing in 2.20 and 2.27, it appears likely that at least 1 John 2.15-29 is a portion of a baptismal homily [19], one which, as we have seen, involves the motifs of wisdom, power and well-being.  This connection of the three parameters with initiation into the community and as the marks of those within the community is strikingly parallel to 1QS 1.11-13 (No. 26 above).
        The passage in 1 John enables us to see more readily that John 16.8-11 indeed relates to our triad (although in point of fact the latter passage was detected long before the 1 John one because of its parallels to the justice/mercy (= love)/faith form of the triad as used in Matthew (as we shall see below).

The linking of wisdom and power.
Among the passages we have examined, some clearly deal with three separate aspects, those we have called 'wisdom', 'power' and 'well-being' (or 'riches').  But there have also been several passages, as we expected, where the wisdom and power aspects have clearly been in parallel to each other, with identical things being spoken of each, as in Isa. 3.1-3; Jer. 10.12 and 51.15.  The following is a random selection some further passages which conjoin wisdom and power without any clearly defined aspects of well-being in the passages as well: Job 12.13: 'with him [= God] are wisdom and might'; Job 12.16: 'with him are strength and wisdom'; Job 26.12: 'by his power he stilled the sea, by his understanding he smote Rahab'; Job 26.2-3: 'him who has no power... him who has no wisdom'; Isa. 10.13: 'By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding'.  We would suggest that this phenomenon is easy to understand in terms of the prophetic conviction that God's word does not return to him empty (Isa. 40.8; 55.11; Jer. 12.25; cf the divine fiat in Gen 1).  Thus we may conclude that there is ample precedent for Paul's speaking of Christ crucified as being both 'the Power of God and the Wisdom of God' (1 Cor. 1.24).

Personified Wisdom as all-embracing.
We may note that Wisdom itself, as in Wisd. 7.22-8.8 (No. 23 above), comes to encompass within itself wisdom, power and well-being.  Without pressing the point, we would suggest that this may be at least part of what may lie behind Matthew's apparent christological model of Jesus as the Torah incarnate (i.e. Wisdom incarnate) who embodies and enfleshes the total demand of Mic. 6.8 (cf. Matt. 23.23) in word, will and deed.  It also suggests that 1 Cor 1.30 should be rendered as 'He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made to be to us Wisdom: righteousness and sanctification and redemption', i.e. with the last three items in apposition to wisdom.  This spreading of wisdom across all three of our parameters may also help to explain why, as we shall see when we look at 1 Corinthians, it is that Paul can associate himself as an apostle above all with bringing love as God's wisdom and yet can present the apostles, including himself, as the ones who embody the true wisdom, power and well-being (1 Cor. 4.10).

Further comments on individual passages.
    It is possible that not all the passages w have given (e.g. Mic. 6.8) were initially thought of in terms of wisdom, power and well-being (or riches), but some of them (including Mic. 6.8) were subsequently used as such by at least one or more NT writers.
        Passages from the eighth century BCE which are taken up in the NT appear to include Isa. 3.3 (reflected in the 'wise master-builder' [20] of 1 Cor. 3.10) and Mic. 6.8 (taken up in Matt. 23.23 as defining the deep things of Torah.  Jer. 9.23-24, a seventh century BCE passage, is taken up in Bar. 3.9-37 [21]  and in 1 Cor. 1.26-31.
        We have suggested that the three notes of Deut. 6.5 (part of the Shema) are related respectively to wisdom, well-being and power, with
לֵבָב, 'heart', being taken in terms of will, ׁשֵפֶנ being taken in the sense of  'living being' so that it corresponds to well-being, דֹאְמ, 'might', naturally being power.  We have seen that Luke 10.37, apparently working from the four-note form of this passage as found in Mark 12.29-30 (with its two equivalents for לֵבָב, namely, καρδία, 'heart', and διανοία, 'mind'), has changed the last three prepositions in order to conform the passage to a well-being/power/wisdom sequence, with 'out of all thy heart' in the opening phrase being used to stand for the whole person.
        We have seen a number of passages where well-being has been expressed in terms of riches, and 1 Esdras 4.13-32, on women as being strongest, has shown us the overt combining of the elements of riches ('gold and silver') and well-being (giving birth to all men).

Septuagintal Greek.
If we look at the LXX to see how our relevant Hebrew words have been rendered in these particular passages, and then examine Hatch and Redpath, Concordance to the Septuagint [22], to see what Hebrew forms the various Greek words have rendered, we may make the following cursory observations.
        The Hebrew vocabulary used for the wisdom motif in the passages we have examined are translated in the LXX in those passages by such words as σοφία (used in the LXX nearly exclusively for
הָמְכָה), σύνεσις  (used over half the time for הָנוּבְתּ, but with a number of occurrences for תַצַדּ and הָמְכָה), γνῶσις (used predominantly for תַצַדּ, and only for תַצַדּ among the Hebrew words we have noted), ἐπιστήμη  (used approximately equally for הָנוּבְתּ and תַצַדּ, with its three occurrences for הָמְכָה confined to Exekiel, and φρόνησις used roughly equally for הָנוּבְתּ and הָמְכָה).
        Of the three (or four) words for power we have identified,
דֹאְמ  is translated by δύναμις, הָרוּבְגּ and ַחֹכּ by  ἰσχύς, and ליִַח, supposedly used for 'wealth' in Ezek. 28.4 f. and Zech. 9.4 is translated in all these occurrences by δύναμις.
        Of the three other words particularly associated with well-being in terms of wealth or honour, 
רֶשֺׂע is rendered by πλοῦτος, םיִסָכְנ by κρήματα, and דוֹבַכּ by δόξα.

Concluding remarks.
     From the foregoing passages we may conclude that the model of wise/powerful/wellborn  (or rich) appears to be pervasive and continuous from at least the eighth century BCE onwards. [23]  As we expected, we have seen the model applied to individuals, groups within society and whole peoples, as, for example, in its application to new members and the whole community at Qumran (1 QS 1.11-13) and in the Johannine community (1 John 2.12-14).  Thus it can be used effectively to relate individuals to a community and vice versa.
        The overall theme is one of dependence upon God alone, and when this dependence is lacking, then either there is indicated a lack of the three elements or there is a declaration by God that he will withdraw them.

4) Background on Passover and Wisdom [24]

        Before we look at the use of the wise/powerful/wellborn model in Paul, Mark and Matthew we need to look at expectations centred on Passover and to highlight certain aspects of the Wisdom model among the Jews in order to enhance our understanding of the NT writings to which we shall then turn.

The Passover nexus.
     By the first century CE a number of motifs were centred on the season of Passover.  Four relevant OT passages occur in Jewish lectionary usage either on the feast itself or in Sabbath readings at this season in the triennial lectionary used by synagogues under Palestinian influence. [25]  The first three passages are Gen. 1.1-2.3, Exod. 11.1-12.28, and Micah 6.8, which speaks of man as called to justice, mercy and faith. [26]
     Gen. 1 speaks of man's creation as the image of God and as called to be his vice-regent (1.26-28).  Exod. 11.1-12.28 recounts the redemption of Israel, whom God elected to be his Son (Exod. 4.22-23, J).  Israel's calling as Son of God was to be the true humanity by showing forth God's will, character and work through total dependence and obedience.  As Robin Scroggs has shown (The Last Adam [Oxford, 1966]), in the first century CE Adam was coming to be viewed as the first patriarch of Israel.  The close connection between the ultimate destiny of Israel and Adam is shown in the second century BCE by Dan. 7.13 ff., where the glorified 'one like unto a son of man' refers to the righteous remnant of Israel at the End-time. [27]  This interpretation is reinforced by the Damascus Document (CD 3.12-21), which says that the righteous remnant shall have the 'glory of Adam' in the End-time.
        The fourth relevant passage, used in the period between Passover (15 Nisan) and Pentecost (6 Sivan), is Jer. 9.23-24, which warns men not to glory in their wisdom, power or riches. [28]
     Not only was the Exodus the central model for redemption, [29] but it would appear that the  Messiah was expected to come at Passover, a tradition recorded in the Palestinian and Jerusalem targums and also to be found among the Samaritans in the Memar Marqa. [30]
The 'Binding of Isaac', the 'beloved son' (Gen. 22.2 LXX), as the type of the costly depth of God's love (cf. John 3.16) and the expiatory sacrifice par excellence for sin (cf. John 1.29), was held to have taken place on 14 Nisan when the lambs were offered (Jubilees 18 [31]; cf. John 1.29; 13.1; 19.36; also 19.14, 31, 42).  Both the Isaac-typology motifs of costly love and expiatory sacrifice are seen in 1 John 4.9, 16; 1 Cor. 15.3 ff.; Rom. 5.8, 10; 8.`3, 32. [32]
        Thus the way was paved for, among other things, the presentation of Jesus as the totally dependent and righteous remnant of one of Israel in its calling as Son of God, the perfect symbol of God's sovereignty and ownership (which is the meaning of the Image of God [33]), and hence  the true man as the Last Adam (1 Cor. 1545; Rom. 5.12 ff).  In him is to be seen the God-given wisdom, power and well-being that mark the true man.  (Return path to  Jewish Feasts, Fasts and Lections: Passover.)

The Wisdom Model
     Wisdom, as part of the OT model for the true man, stands for at least two complementary values, namely, the content of God's will and obedience to that will.  The concern of wisdom with justice as the content of God's will is seen in Solomon's request  in 1 Kings 3.9 for 'an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil',  In the corresponding passage in 2 Chron. 1.10 he prays, 'Give me wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this thy people that is so great?'
        The connection between wisdom and obedience to God is seen in the parallelism of Job 28.28: 'And he said to man, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom: and to depart from evil is understanding"'. 
הארי, 'fear' or 'reverence', means above all, as Gerhard von Rad has pointed out, 'man's knowledge about his dependence upon God, especially his obligation to obedience in respect of the divine will'. [34]  Hence we can see the groundwork for the confession in 1 Cor. 1.23-24 that 'Christ crucified' is God's Wisdom.
        But personified (and perhaps semi-hypostatized ) Wisdom was viewed in the later stages of the OT as created by Yahweh 'at the beginning of his work' (Prov. 8.22), and as being God's agent of creation (explicitly in Prov. 8.27, 30; Wisd. 7.22; 8.5-6; implicitly in Pss. 104.24; 136.5; Prov. 3.19).
        The creation, fashioned by Wisdom, reflects God's glory and wisdom, and it sings a paean of praise to God which man neither hears nor perceives (cf. Isa. 6..3 and Ps. 19; this is picked up in 1 Cor. 1.21 [35]).  That man by himself can know little or nothing of God's wisdom by searching the creation is made plain by a number of passages (e.g. Isa. 40.28; Job 5.9; 11.7 f.; 25.2 f., 14; 36.26; Sir. 43.31 f.).
        This is unlike the Greek or Stoic concepts of wisdom, where wisdom comes through man's rational powers, whether rationally intuited as ion Plato, empirically built up as in Aristotle, or rationally perceived from the cosmic order as in Stoicism [36].  It is also unlike the Gnostic concept that wisdom is about man's true origins.
        On OT-Jewish lines, wisdom or knowledge was viewed as basically concerned with that which was moral and interpersonal, one's relationship with God and one's fellow human beings.  Whereas in the Greek view it was man's product or finding, ion the OT-Jewish view it was neither man's creation nor finding, but rather God's gift, which included the demand for the obedience of righteousness.
        In Jewish intertestamental literature we find Wisdom spoken of as having come and dwelt in Israel as Torah (Sir. 24.8-10; Bar. 4.1) in a form that man could 'hear'.  This equating of Wisdom with Torah is further shown when the Jewish phrase, 'the yoke of Torah', is spoken of by Sirach as 'the yoke of Wisdom' (Sir. 51.26).  Thus Wisdom had come to mean not only dependence upon God expressed through obedience to his will, but also the sum total of God's will and ways.  In line with this Wisdom is mentioned as being God's 'glory' and 'image' (Wisd. 7.25-26).

5) The Presentation of the Humanity of Jesus and the Christians [37]

        Now we are ready to see how Paul, Mark and Matthew present Jesus as God's true man in terms of wisdom, power and well-being, and the Christians as called to enter into the same pattern.

        In Paul [38] we find the following model.
        (a) Man is intended to be, as the obedient and dependent Son of God, the visible Image of God's ownership, sovereignty, peace and good order, exercising the vice-regency under God over the creation.
        Although man is the image of God (1 Cor. 11.1), [39] he fails to fulfil his function by disobeying and not depending upon God, with the result that chaos increases (Rom 1.27: he, turning from God, falls into ἀσχημοσύνη, 'dis-order-liness'), and the creation has been subjected to futility (Rom. 8.19-22).
        (b) Jesus, as the dependent and obedient Son of God (Rom. 1.3, etc.) is the properly functioning Image of God ((2 Cor. 4.4; Rom. 8.29), the 'firstfruits' (1 Cor. 15.20) and 'Eschatological Adam' who has become the life-making Spirit (1 Cor. 15.45) of our new humanity (see καινὴ κτίσις, 'new creature/creation', 2 Cor 5.17; Gal. 6.15).
        (c) Christians are to be conformed to the Image of Christ (Rom. 8.29; 1 Cor. 1549; 2 Cor. 3.18; cf. 1 Cor. 3.21-25).  We are to be conformed bodily, growing in the spiritual body as we put to death the mortal body (Rom. 6.12; 8.13; 1 Cor. 9.27; 2 Cor. 4.10; etc.) in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12.27; etc.).  We are to do this by suffering together with Christ in order that we may also be glorified together with him (1 Cor. 12.26 in connection with 'Body of Christ'; 2 Cor. 7.3; Rom. 8.17-19 in connection with 'sonship', with 'Body' in 8.23-24, and with 'Image' in 8.29).  The model for this suffering as applied to Jesus and the Christians is the Binding of Isaac [40].  The model for the glorification is that of the End-time Adam [41].
        We, as yet-to-be-perfected Sons (and daughters) of God, even now are 'walking in newness of life' (Rom. 6.4c) by the Spirit of adoptive Sonship (υἱοθεσία) whereby we are enabled to cry, in dependence and growing obedience, 'Abba, Father' (Gal. 4.6; Rom. 8.15; these are surely echoing the Jesus-tradition as found in Mark 14.36).
        Our perfection as Christians will be when we are glorified together, with the glory being revealed in/to/for (εἰς) us (Rom. 8.18; cf. 1 Cor. 15.43 ff.).  We shall be revealed to the Creation as the (perfected) Sons of God (Rom. 8.19), that is, when our body is redeemed (Rom. 8.23) [42] at the End-time resurrection of the body (which is still future in Paul: Rom. 6.5b; 1 Cor. 6.14; 15.49-58 [43], so that we shall stand forth as perfectly conformed to the Image of Christ, the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15.49; Rom. 8.29).  Then the Creation., delivered from the bondage of corruption, will enter into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8.21), that is, into God's peace, his good order.
        A slightly alternative form of expressing this End-time consummation  is that Christ must reign until all things have been subjected to him by God, and the last enemy, namely, death, having been abolished, the Son shall also be subjected to the Father that God may be supreme in every way (1 Cor. 1524-28, 50-58).  The correlation of these two models lies in the Pauline equation in which Christ = The Body = The Church (cf. 1 Cor. 11.24-29).
        This Pauline 'salvation model' is couched in terms of the fulfilment of God's purpose for man and the creation in and through history, with the consummation only at the end.
        Paul (like at least Mark, Matthew, John and Hebrews) views Gen. 1-2 as basically concerned with God's abiding goal and purpose for man and the creation which have been his intention from the beginning [44].
        To this end Paul presents Jesus and the Christians in terms of God's wisdom and power (in Isaac typology) and well-being (in Adam typology), as is to be seen most clearly in 1 Corinthians as summarized below.


1 Cor. 1.26




(Jer. 9.23)

(wisdom sought by Greeks, 1.22)

(signs sought by Jews, 1.22)


Christ crucified, 1.24

Christ crucified, 1.24

15.3-5: Christ dead as Isaac  bound, 'low, despised, things that are not', 1.28 (cf. Rom. 4.17)
 15.20 ff.: Christ raised as the Last Adam, the life-making Spirit (1.30)

 not wise

not powerful

not wellborn

God's primary gifts of Ministry, 12.28, 29 First,
who proclaim, by word and life-style, Christ crucified, God's Wisdom, i.e., his
who, by building up the Body of Christ , the Temple of the  Spirit, show forth the authentic power of God, which is our only
Third, [45]
who, by teaching the faith believed that is according  to the Scriptures, keep us anchored to a stabilized understanding of God's work in Christ, which is the source of our  new well-being now and in the  future, which we have through
Abiding gifts of Spirit for Christians, 13.13 Love [46] 
(Chap. 14)
14.15: God is among you
(Chap. 15)
Isaac bound/Adam raised
The Christian's God-given: Present
(which is the greatest as love)
 (which is yet to be perfected)
(begun when he was incorporated into God's past action in Christ through faith at baptism) 

        For Paul not only is Jesus the normative man, but he is also placed alongside 'one God, the Father' (1 Cor. 8.6a) as the 'one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and we through him' (1 Cor. 8.6b), in a re-writing of the First Commandment [47].  We would suggest that Paul intends this to refer to Jesus as the agent of the renewed creation, the καινὴ κτίσις of Gal. 6.15 and 2 Cor. 5.17, not as the agent of the primal creation, but the shift to the latter would be the next step when Christ was proclaimed as pre-existent ontologically.  For Paul Jesus is the cosmic ruler who must reign until all things have been subjected to him by God (1 Cor. 15.24-38), but he reigns only by virtue of what God has done and is doing in and through him, so that Jesus' dependence is carefully maintained.
        We shall conclude our treatment of Paul by noting a passage in which he sets the example of the apostles over against that of the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 4.10:

 'We are fools, for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ, Wisdom
We are weak, but you are strong, Power
You are held in honour, but we in disrepute.' Well-being

As Paul says in 4.7, all they have received is a gift, and the whole of 4.8-13 is cast in the same three motifs, as are many other passages and sections in the letter.

     In Mark we find the three-part paradigm in Mark 6.2-3: 'What is the wisdom (σοφία) given to him>  What mighty works (δυνάμεις) are wrought by his hands?  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary...?'  Here are the themes of wise, powerful and wellborn, introduced by the question: 'From where have these things come to this one?' (6.2: πόθεν τούτῳ ταῦται;).  The believer's answer is that God is the source of all three [48], and Mark structures his gospel accordingly.
        Jesus as the one whose well-being is from God is seen at his baptism (Mark 1.11): 'Thou art my son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased'.  Jesus as the wise one whose words supersede the Torah as written is seen at the transfiguration (Mark 9.7: 'This is my son, the beloved, hear him!').  Mark 9.8 emphasizes Jesus being suddenly alone with the disciples; Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, are gone.  This matches Mark 13.31: 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away'.  It is further reinforced by Mark's synagogue lectionary setting of the transfiguration narrative, which includes Gen. 41 [49] in which the need for one who is discreet and wise (Gen. 41.33) is met by Pharaoh's confession that there is no one to match Joseph in discretion and wisdom (Gen. 41.39).
        The third motif, power, takes us to the heart of a major aim of Mark, which is to combat
a misunderstanding (or misappropriation) of Jesus and the life in Christ couched in terms of seeing Jesus as a figure of wonder-working power [50].  John speaks of  'the stronger one' (ὁ ἰσχυότερος) who is coming after him (Mark 1.7).  Jesus speaks of the need to bind 'the strong one' (ὁ ἰσχυρός) before that one's house can be plundered (3.27).  In the story of the epileptic child (which is written against the setting of Gen. 3 [51]), the father says that the disciples were not 'strong enough' (ἴσχυσαν) to cast out the unclean spirit (Mark 9.18).  The father appeals to Jesus to help 'if you are able' (εἴ τι δύνῃ), and Jesus replies that 'all things are possible to the one who believes' (9.22: πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι).  The disciples then ask, 'Why were we not able (οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν) to cast this one out' (9.28), and Jesus replies, 'This kind in no way is able (δύναται) to come out except in prayer (9.29).  Jesus has said that its not 'those who are strong ' (οἱ ἰσχύοντες) who need a physician (2.17).  Not only has he told the disciples after he first speaks of the necessity of the passion that 'whosoever would save his life shall lose it' (8.35), but when, after the incident of the rich man, the disciples ask, 'Who then can be saved?' (10.26), Jesus' reply is, 'With men it is impossible (αδύνατον) but not with God; for all things are possible (πάντα δυνατά) with God' (10.27).  When Peter calls attention to the withering of the fig tree (which brackets the proleptic plundering of the Temple for the sake of the Gentiles), Jesus tells the disciples, 'Have faith in God!' (11.22) and says, 'Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will' (11.24) [52].  Thus Jesus in Mark is the strong one precisely when he casts himself wholly on God in prayer in Gethsemane: 'Abba, father, all things are possible (πάντα δυνατά) to thee, ...but not what I will but what thou wilt' (14.36).  This is immediately followed by Jesus' words to Simon: 'Were you not strong enough (ἴσχυσας) to watch one hour?' (14.37).  And at the cross, when the veil is rent in two (15.38) [53], it is the representative of Roman might, a centurion, who might be expected to hail Caesar as 'God's Son', who instead, seeing how Jesus gave up his spirit, confesses to the whole world, 'Truly, this man was God's Son' (15.39) [54].  This he says of the one who 'is not able (οὐ δύναται) to save himself' (15.31).
        Thus, as the man who lives in total dependence on God, Jesus is presented as truly wellborn at his baptism (1.11), wise at transfiguration (9.7-8), and powerful in the passion (Gethsemane, 14.36, and the cross, 15.38-39, and all of these are presented as the work and gifts of the Father (6.2-3).
        The disciples.  Let us now briefly indicate how the disciples' humanity is related to that of Jesus.  As noted some years ago by Eduard Schweizer [55], the three major statements by Jesus of the necessity of the passion (8.31; 9.31; 10.32-34; a fourth is 14.41, spoken as the disciples fearfully follow Jesus to Jerusalem and the passion) are misunderstood by the disciples each time (8.32 f.; 9.32-34; 10.35-37), and therefore each time Jesus calls the disciples to follow him in his suffering (8.34 ff.; 9.35 ff.; 10.38 ff.), and this call to follow is expressed in terms of well-being, wisdom and power, respectively, as we shall show.
        In 8.34b-38 Jesus says to the individual:

  '... let him deny himself....  For whoever would save his life (ψυχή) will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?  For whoever is ashamed of me ..., of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father....'

We see the wellborn motif in the notes of 'deny himself', 'lose his life ... save it', 'forfeit his life', 'ashamed' and 'glory'.  The note of riches is struck by the words 'profit', 'gain the whole world' and 'what can a man give'.  Thus this section calls the disciples into the true well-being of dependence upon God in following Jesus.
       In 9.35-37 the disciples, who have been discussing who was the greatest of them (9.34), are told by Jesus, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all' (9.35).  Then, taking a child and putting him in their midst (i.e. in the midst of the Church) , and taking him in his arms [56], he says, 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me'.  Here, without using the word 'love', is the call to love of the brethren, which is wisdom, and this passage is allusively reminiscent of the abiding relationship of love with the Father which we saw in John  16.10 (and its related footnote) in section 3 above.
        In 10.32 Jesus has spoken of being delivered to the Gentiles, and when the sons of Zebedee ask to be on his left hand and right hand [57] in his glory (10.37), he asks them, 'Are you able (δύνασθε) to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?' (10.38.  They reply, 'We are able' (δυνάμεθα).  Subsequently Jesus says to all of them,

 'You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over (κατακυριεύουσιν) them and their great ones exercise authority  over (κατεξουσιάζουσιν) them.  But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be greatest  among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For the son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.' (10.42-45)

        Here we have the motif of power. The elements of  'servant' (δοῦλος ) and 'among you' are also found in 9.35-37, and we would suggest that the overlap is due probably to wisdom and power being related themes, as we saw in section 3.
         Finally, let us look at Mark 10.23-31 which combines all three motifs in terms of discipleship.  the rich man, a would-be disciple who kneels to Jesus as he goes in the way (10.17), i.e. the way to the cross, keeps the commandments but falters at the necessity of giving his all to the poor (10.21-22); here is the wisdom motif.  The power aspect follows in the discussion about who is able to be saved (10.26-27), and the motif of riches and well-being completes the section in terms of the disciples having forsaken all and being promised  hundred-fold (10.28-30) of  of houses and lands (riches), and brothers, sisters, mothers and children (well-being). [58]
     Before we leave Mark, there are two major concerns in Mark that need to be highlighted.  Both of them are connected to what we have seen of the wise, powerful, wellborn pattern.  Simply stated, the Markan messianic secret is that there is only one  way to know who Jesus is, and that  is to go with him in the way of the cross.  The second concern is the corollary of this: one must follow and confess him in a one-to-one relationship, in one's relations with some (i.e. the church) and in one's relations to everybody (including the Gentiles).  This one-some-all pattern, expressed either in terms of affirmation (A) or denial (D), can be seen as stalking through the whole gospel and  was discerned by the present writer long before perceiving the wise-powerful-wellborn pattern [59].   A few obvious examples will suffice here.

One to One One to Some One to All
God (A)  Baptism, 1.11 Transfiguration, 9.7 Cross (through centurion), 15.39
Discipleship demand 8.34 9.37 10.44
Unclean spirit(s) (A) One, 1.24 Some, 3.11  Legion in Decapolis, 5.8-11
Peter (D)  Maid to Peter, 14.68 Maid to bystanders, 14.69 Bystanders to Peter with mention of Galilee, 14.70-71 [60]
Judas (D) Kiss, 14.55 Supper, 14.20-2 Betray to leaders, 14.10-11

Matthew ties Jesus, the true Adam, the one in whom we are becoming human, more explicitly than Mark to scripture and scriptural types by re-writing Gen. 5.1 ('The Book of the generations of Adam') as 'The Book of the generations of Jesus, Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham' (1.1).  As the Christ he embodies justice, God's power; as Son of David he shows mercy, God's wisdom; as Son of Abraham he is by faith God's wellborn man.  When we pray the Lord's Prayer we enter into this humanity (as can be seen below).
        We shall show some background for the following connections:

a. Christ, Justice, Power, Deed (the passion to resurrection sequence);
b. Son of David, Mercy, Wisdom, Will (and also connected to the Temple);
c. Son of Abraham, Faith, Well-being, Word.

        a.  'Christ crucified' (= 'Power of God' in 1 Cor. 1.23 f. [61]) - cf. Matt. 12.18-21, citing Isa. 42.1-4, and including: 'Behold, my servant..., I will put my Spirit upon him [i.e. anoint him as the Christ] and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles; ... he will not wrangle or cry aloud ... he will not break a bruised reed ...until he brings justice to completion (εἰς νῖκος, literally, 'to victory', an idiom meaning 'to completion', 'totally').

        b.  'Son of David'.  'Have mercy' is addressed to Jesus five times, four of them linked with 'Son of David': 9.27; 15.22; 20.30, 31; the fifth is 17.15.  In 12.3-7 David's taking the shewbread from the Temple at Nob is linked with the citing of Hos. 6.6: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice', which is also cited in 9.13 (the only two times it occurs in the NT).
        Matt. 2.6 (concerning the Davidic King of Israel in the story of the Magi) cites Micah 5.2, but instead of 'who shall rule my people Israel' as in the MT and the LXX, it is 'who shall shepherd my people Israel', using ποιμάνειν, picking up the motif of the ideal Davidic shepherd king.
        Matthew 5.23 f., concerning bringing one's gift to the altar (of the Temple - i.e., a sacrifice) requires that one first be reconciled to one's brother, in this case asking the brother for forgiveness.  Thus Matthew explicates the depth of the meaning of Hos. 6.6.
        'Son of David' as connected with persevering will can be seen in the 'Song of David', especially 2 Sam. 22.22 f.:

For I have kept the ways of Yahweh,
     and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his judgments were before me:
     and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

        That 'Son of David' is to be associated with the three middle beatitudes, 'hunger and thirst for righteousness', 'merciful', 'pure in heart' (Matt. 5.6-8), may also be seen in the 'Song of David', 2 Sam. 22.25-27a:            

Therefore has Yahweh recompensed me according to my righteousness,
      according to my cleanness in his sight.
With the merciful [62] thou dost show thyself merciful,
     with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless;
with the pure thou dost show thyself pure....

        c.  'Son of Abraham'.  Abraham in Jewish tradition was viewed as the following [63]:

        With the foregoing background in mind, we are ready to indicate in tabular form some of the major elements in Matthew which are concerned with Jesus as the normative man of wisdom, power and well-being in his teaching and in his actions, and his disciples after him.

Gen. 5.1: 

The Book of the generations of Adam.

Matt. 1.1: 

The Book of the generations of Jesus,


Son of David,

Son of Abraham.


Depths of Torah
(Mic. 6.8 read at or near Passover)





(based on Deut. 6-8)

Deed (worship and serve God)
4.5-7 (Temple)
Word [64]
5.3-11 Beatitudes 5.9-11
peacemakers -  sons of God, [65]
poor in spirit - theirs is Kingdom of Heaven
pure in heart. 
mourn (repentance for sin [66])
meek - inherit the earth
(present world).
5.13-7.11 Main body, Sermon on the Mount  5.13-26
 Lust of heart;
Temple and mercy;
Seek Father's Kingdom;
Judge not others;
Ask Father for good gifts.
6.9-13 Lord's Prayer  Will be done
Bring not to the Test [67], but deliver us 
Kingdom come
Forgive as we  forgive
Hallowed be Name
Give daily bread [68]

        In connection with Jesus and the power motif, we may note that Matthew removes the δύναμις that goes forth in Mark 5.30 to heal the haeorrhaging woman (cp. Matt. 9.21-22) and also the δύναμις from the form of Deut. 6.5 (the Shema) cited in Mark 12.30 (cp. Matt. 22.37).  That is, in Matthew no grounds are left for Jesus or anyone else having strength in and of themselves.
        Let us now look further at how Matthew presents Jesus as the true man, in effect, the Torah incarnate, for this will show us how the whole gospel is structured in the same way that we have seen in the table above.  It will also show us how Matthew relates the disciples' humanity to that of Jesus so as to maintain Jesus as both exemplar and yet the unique one. [69]
        The paradigm of word, testing of the will, and deed is to be found in Jesus' three answers (Matt. 4.4, 7, 10) from Deuteronomy (Deut. 8.3; 6..16; 6.13) to the temptations of the devil.  Man shall live by the Word of God, not by bread alone (this is well-being through faith); he shall not put God to the test (but rather God shall test his will, a question of wisdom), and he shall worship and serve God alone (here is the element of power).  Word, testing, deed, seen above all as faith, mercy, justice, respectively, denote the three major divisions of the remainder of the gospel after the prologue of Matt. 1.1-4.16.
        The onset of these divisions is indicated by the phrase ἀπὸ τότε, 'from then'.  Matthew uses ἀπὸ 113 times and τότε 90 times, but only three times does he use the phrase ἀπὸ τότε.  The first occurrence of the phrase is in 4.17: 'From then Jesus began to preach....'  Here is the Word of God.  The second use of it is in 16.21: 'From then Jesus began to show that he must suffer'.  Here is the willing of the Word.  The third and last time is in 26.16: 'From then Judas sought opportunity to betray him'.  Here is the beginning of the deed.
        Where each divisions closes is indicated by Jesus descending (καταβαίνειν) from a specified height.  If the first temptation took place at ground level (4.3 f.), then Jesus descends (singular aorist participle) from the higher height of the mountain at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (8.1).  If the second temptation is raised to the pinnacle of the temple (4.5-7), then, after casting the die at the transfiguration, Jesus and the disciples are said to be descending (plural present indicative participle) from an even greater height, a high mountain (17.1).  But, as can be seen from the table below, this will/wisdom aspect overlaps, as we might expect, the deed/power motif (cf. 26.36-46, especially v. 42).  If the third temptation occurs on a very high mountain (4.8-10), then Jesus' (and the Father's?) surrogate, the  ἄγγελος κυρίου, the angel of the Lord, is said to descend (singular aorist participle) at the end of the whole passion - entombment - resurrection sequence from the only place that is higher: from heaven itself (28.2).  Thus the Word (of faith, that gives wellebing) and Deed (of justice, done only by God's power) are from Jesus alone, that is, he is the one Teacher (23.80 who has given the Word of God in its depth of grace and demand (Matt. 5-7) and the one Guide (23.10) who has gone in the Way of Torah, the way of total justice (26.16-28.6).  The disciples are joined to him in his Sonship as they go with him in the way, willing the the word into deed by willing mercy, God's wisdom.
        Thus Matthew may be outlined briefly as follows:
                1.1-4.16        THE PROLOGUE
                                            Jesus = God's Man = Son of God = Israel
                4.17-28.15    THE DRAMA
                                            Jesus as God's Man, the Son of God, is God's Wisdom/Torah
                                                WORD                        4.17-8.1
                                                Testing of will           16.21-17.9 (initial casting of die)
                                                                                            - 27.50 (final act of will)
                                                DEED                          26..16-28.2
            28.16-20           THE SENDING
                                                Jesus as the Christ, the Son of Man, God with us, sends
                                                the disciples into mission.
        The correlation of the details of the temptation and the main portion of the gospel may be presented as follows.

The Temptation Narrative (Matt. 4.1-11) and its Themes 
Temptations Height at which they occur Jesus' answer  Theme
1. 4.3-4 Ground level  ('these  stones')  Man not to live by bread alone but by Word of God WORD
2. 4.5-7 Pinnacle of  Temple  Not to tempt God  Tempting - Testing
3. 4.8-10 Very high mountain Worship and serve God alone DEED
End 4.11  Unspecified Angels came and ministered to Jesus
The Drama (Matt. 4.17-28.2)  and its Themes
'From then...' 
 Jesus  'descends':
Height from which he descends: Event  completed at descent: Theme:
1'. 4.17
Jesus began to preach
8.1  'the mountain'
 (5.1; 8.1)

Sermon on the Mount

2'a. 16.21
Jesus began to show that he  must suffer 
17.9 'high mountain'


Willing of WORD leading to DEED
3'a. 26.16
Judas sought to betray him
(2'b. (26.36-46,
no 'descent')
(Mount of Olives)
 (Triple agony: 'Thy  will be done' [v. 42; cf. vv. 39, 41; 6.10] (Tempting before DEED of Cross)
2'c. 27.42 'the cross' Jewish leaders:  'come down now' Tempting to leave DEED incomplete
3'b.  28.2  'from heaven' Angel of Lord came  aiding Jesus' followers DEED now  complete 

        Thus we can see that Matthew's concern to present Jesus as God's true man, the remnant of one of Israel, the Son of God, in terms of wisdom (mercy), power (justice) and well-being (faith) has been the controlling aim in the structuring of his whole gospel (as it has been before him in Mark).  He has carefully related the disciples to the same pattern, a relating that includes maintaining the Markan materials which we examined in this regard, even if with modifications.
        As Lord of the disciples he is Emmanuel, God with us (1.23), the Shekinah (18.20; cp. Pirqe Aboth iii.2), and he has been given all authority in the creation (28.18).  Thus again we encounter the tension between presenting Jesus as God's true man because truly dependent, and Jesus as the all-sufficient Lord of the Church and the Creation.

 6) Conclusion

       We have seen a pervasive and perhaps even increasingly intensified use of the three-parameter model for humanity involving wisdom, power and well-being extending from at least the eighth century BCE in the Old Testament down through the era of the New Testament.
        In the NT writings we have examined we have seen how thoroughly this model has been used to undergird the witness to the humanity of Jesus and the disciples.
        With regard to the NT, we have noted the stress on the wisdom element being ἀγάπη, 'love' (Paul and John), or ἔλεος, 'mercy' (Matthew), and the power element being a dying to self, a building up of others (Mark, Matthew, 1 Corinthians), with the well-being element being used to undercut any claims of the 'self-made man', be they education, race, riches, culture or the like (e.g. Matt. 3.9; 1 Cor. 1.26; 4.8-13).
        Finally, it needs to be said that this present study is probably no more than an 'interim report', for there is likely to be much more data  to be discerned in the materials of the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, the writings of the Qumran sect, rabbinic sources, etc. (not to mention the New Testament writings themselves).  But we hope that enough has been presented to convince all those working with the well-springs of the Judaeo-Christian heritage that here is a model for man that needs to be recognized, reckoned with, and sought for in whatever primary materials they may be working with.

[1]    J. M. Gibbs, 'Jesus as the Wisdom of God: The Normative Man of History Moving to the Cosmic Christ', Indian Journal of Theology, Vol. 24 (1975), 108-125; 'Wisdom, Power and Well-Being: The defining Parameters of a Pervasive Biblical Model for Humanity, IJT, Vol. 26 (1977), 192-205; 'Wisdom, Power and Well-being: A Set of Biblical Parameters for Man and their Use in the New Testament to undergird Jesus' and the Christian's Humanity', Studia Biblical 1978, Vol. III (JSNT Supplement Series, 3, Sheffield, 1980), 119-155. (Back to text)
[2]    Dr Henry McKeating, at the time Lecturer in the Theology Department, Nottingham University, pointed out, in a letter to me, the need for definitions, and he helped to sharpen the criteria by which passages were selected, although any weaknesses that remain are mine. (Back)
[3]    That the king is viewed as a figure of power comes out very clearly in such a passage as 1 Esd. 4.1-12.  See item 20 below. (Back)
[4]    The next section, Ezek. 28.11-19, also against the prince of Tyre, makes explicit use of the Adamic model in the garden of Eden, while the present section appears to use it implicitly. (Back)
[5]    Dr Gerhard Wehmeier, my former colleague at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India, has noted regarding Ezek. 28.4, with its progressions from
הָמְכָה and הָנוּבְתּ ('wisdom' and 'understanding') to ליִַח (usually rendered 'wealth' in this context) to ףֶסֶכָו בָהָז ('gold and silver'), that the usual meaning of ליִַח, namely 'power', would be interesting as it would then yield the sequence wisdom - power - riches.  However, 28.5, where ליִַח occurs twice more, with its mention of wisdom in trading, makes 'wealth' the more likely meaning.  But in Ezek. 28.4 LXX ליִַח is translated by δύναμις. (Back)
[6]    Dr McKeating is his letter pointed out the uncertain meaning of this verb.  The LXX renders this part of the verse as 'to be ready to go with the Lord thy God'.  As far as I have detected, Mic. 6.8 is the only OT passage with precisely this combination.  Apart from Matt. 23.23 (see below), it also appears to be picked up in 1QS 8.1, where, along with truth and righteousness, these motifs are used to define the character of the twelve men and three prophets who constitute the community's council. (Back)
[7]    1 Esdras 3.1-12 is the prologue to the story; 4.33-41 is the epilogue. 1 Esd. 3.1-5.3, plus 1.21-22 and 5.4-6 are the only new materials in the book, the restbbeing drawn from 2 Chronicles, Ezra anfd a small portion of Nehemiah.  See O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction (Oxford, 1965), p. 584. (Back)
[8]    The wisdom sayings of Tobit are 4.13-19 (the present section) and 12.6-10.  See Eissfeldt, op.cit., p. 584. (Back)
[9]    This is within Bar. 3.9-37, a wisdom homily based on Jer. 9.23 according to H. St. John Thackeray, the Septuagint and Jewish Worship (London, 1921), pp.95-100.  There are other elements within 3.9-37 which could be classed as 'rightmindedness', power and well-being, but they do not clearly progress through the three parameters in sequence. (Back)
[10]   The translations of the 1QS passages are those of G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Harmondsworth, revised 1968).  Such documents as these and the Pseudepigrapha may be fertile ground for further investigation along the lines of this study. (Back)
[11]   This benediction concludes the Community Rule.  On it see A. R. C. Leaney, The Rule of Qumran and its Meaning (London, 1966), p. 236. (Back)
[12]   This passage is given by Leaney, op.cit., p. 234, who is translating the pointed text as given by A. M. Habermann, Megilloth Midbar Yehuda [The Scrolls from the Judean Desert], 2nd. ed. (Tel-Aviv, 1959).  Vermes does not give the passage. (Back)
[13]    ἡλικία in the sense of age of strength or vigour is found in 2 Macc. 5.24; 7.27and 1 Enoch 106.1.  Philo, de Abhrahamo 195 speaks of Abraham's begetting Isaac 'not in years of vigour but in old age', μη καθ' ήλικίαν ὰλλ' ὲν γήρα. (Back)
[14]    Compare Mark 1.29-30, which uses ἐξ, 'out of', in all four parts.  It seems not unreasonable that Luke understood Deut. 6.5 in the fashion that we have suggested (see passage No. 2 above) and has modified the four-member form accordingly by shifting the preposition in the last three members and letting the 'heart' stand for the whole person. (Back)
[15]    The sign of God's love for Jesus is the latter's return to the Father, John 14.20 ff.; 16.17 ff.  See also passages concerning the abiding relationship of love, John 3.35; 5.20; 10.17; 14.21, 23, 31; 15.9; 16.27.  See also the love-commandment in 13.34 and 15.12. (Back)
[16]   This passage was detected Mr. Max S. Liddle, a postgraduate student at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India. (Back)
[17]    See note 19 below.  (Back)
[18]     The datra are presented in H. M. Riley, Christian Initiation (Washington, D.C., 1974), to which my attention was drawn by Mr. Liddle. (Back)
[19]    This is a further observation by Mr. Liddle.  The connection of νεανίσκοι with Christian initiation in 1 John strengthens the arguments of Scroggs and Groff that the νεανίσκος of  Mark 14.51 and 16.5 is a baptismal candidate (R. Scroggs and K. I. Groff, 'Baptism in Mark: Dying and Rising with Christ', JBL 92 [1973], pp. 531-548.  Thew further association of νεανίσκος with trength reinforces the likelihood that the νεανίσκος fleeing naked in Mark 14.51is forsaking his human strength in fulfilment of Amos 2.16: '... he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, says Yahweh'. (Further confirmation for Scroggs' and Groff's arguments  is that Mark 16.1-8, in which the young man is seated, clothed, on the right hand in the tomb, proclaiming the resurrection, is written against the Jewish lectionary setting of Exod. 14-15, the great baptismal type of the crossing of the Red Sea and Moses' song of triumph.  This was initially shown by C. T. Ruddick, Jr, 'Behold I Send My Messenger', JBL 88 [1969], pp. 381-417, who also showed that the other great baptismal type, namely, the flood narrative, lies behind Jesus' baptism.  I have built upon and fleshed out Ruddick's work; see Mark and the Triennial Lectionary.
     Furthermore, in Matt. 19.20, 22, the rich, law-observing , would-be disciple is called a νεανίσκος and the subsequent discussion concerns who is powerful enough to be saved, with this being possible only with God (Matt. 19.25-26).  In fact, we find here in terms of becoming a disciple the three elements of wisdom ('keep the commandments', 19.19-22), power (19.23-26), and riches ('We have forsaken all ...; what shall we have therefore?', with the hundred-fold inheritance, 19.27-29).  Matt. 19.16-30 is simply a re-working of Mark 10.17-31, so that the three-parameter pattern in connection with a would-be disciple is already there in Mark.  However, Matthew has shifted the νεανίσκος motif to here from Mark's baptismal context.  Matthew deletes some Markan baptismal materials, such as those in Jesus' response to the sons of Zebedee  (Mark 10.38-39; cp. Matt. 20.22-23), plus the νεανίσκος episodes, Mark 14.51; 16.5).  If one also recognizes that baptism in the Triune name in Matt. 28.19 is a leter insertion (as indicated, among other things, by Eusebius' pre-Nicaea testimony), then it can be seen why νεανίσκος, apparently used in Mark, Matthew, 1 John and perhaps Luke 7.14 as a quasi-technical term fo a new convert, would occur in Matthew in a context that concerns becoming a disciple, but without any baptismal connections. (Back)
[20]   In the LXX σοφὸς ἀρχιτέκτων, 'wise masterbuilder', occurs only in Isa. 3.3, where it corresponds to the 'skilful magician' of the MT (ἀρχιτέκτων also is used also in Sir. 38.27 and 2 Macc. 2.29).  In 1 Cor. 3.10-17 Paul is also likening himself to Bezalel, the builder of the tabernacle.  the verb ἀρχιτεκτόνειν, 'to masterbuild', is applied to Bezalel in Exod. 31.4 and 35.2; the only other occurrence of the verb applies it to Oholiab, Bezalel's assistant, in Exod. 38.23 (37.21 LXX).  The 'gold, silver, precious stones, wood' of 1 Cor 3.12 is based on Exod. 35.32 (see 31.4-5).  God's 'spirit of wisdom', πνεῦμα σοφίας, has been imparted to Bezalel, Exod. 35.21; 31.3.   Exod. 35 was read in synagogue about the second Sabbath in Nisan in the second year of the Tishri cycle of the triennial lectionary and hence falls within the time scheme of I Corinthians, Passover (5.6-8) to Pentecost (16.8). (Back)
[21]    See note 9 above. (Back)
[22]    Oxford, 1897; photochemical reprint, Graz, Austria, 1954. (Back)
[23]    The three-fold pattern has its close parallel in at least part of present-day Hinduism, as can be seen from the following.  The Hindu (a Madras newspaper), on 27th November, 1976, reported a discourse by Sri T. S. Balakrishna in Sai Kala Mantap, Madras, entitled 'Three Distinct Ailments of Mankind', the opening portion of which is given below (italics added):

Three distinctive ailments usually afflict mankind in general.  Possession of wealth makes one feel superior.  By opening his purse, he thinks he can get anything done and forces others to be at his beck and call.  Likewise a person occupying a unique position, more so an official status and confident that his acts have the backing of innumerable followers, may not hesitate to indulge in any rash act.  The third is intellectual arrogance when a person by virtue of his study of texts, starts decrying all others, claiming he is more intelligent than all others.  These men are oblivious to the fact that they are after all mortals.

[24]    An earlier form of this section was part of the a paper delivered at the biennial conference of the (Indian) Society of Biblical Studies, Secunderabad, India, in January, 1875, and subsequently published a 'Jesus as the Wisdom of God; The Normative Man of History Moving to the Cosmic Christ', Indian Journal of Theology 24 [19975], pp. 108-125.  (Back)
[25]    In this Sabbath lectionary the Pentateuch as read once in three years.  It could be begun either on the first Sabbath in Nisan (the Nisan cycle) or the first Sabbath in Tishri falling after the Feast of Tabernacles (the Tishri cycle).  For data which suggest that the final redaction of the Pentateuch was for lectionary purposes, see Aileen Guilding, The Fourth Gospel and Jewish Worship (Oxford, 1960), pp. 24-44, who argues that the origins of the triennial cycle go back to about 400 BCE.  Bibliographies of materials dealing with Jewish lectionary usage are given by J. C. Kirby, Ephesians, Baptism and Pentecost (London, 1968), pp. 192-196,  and Jacob J. Petuchowski, ed., Contributions to the Scientific Study of Jewish L (New York, 1970), pp. xx-xxi.  (Back)
[26]    Mic. 6.3 ff. was the passage  from the Prophets read with the ancient Torah reading for Passover, Lev. 23.4-8 (b. Pes. 76b).  Subsequently both of these were transferred to the 'ecclesiastical' New Year, 1 Nisan.  Gen. 1.1-2.3 and Exod. 11.1-12.28 were read in the triennial lectionary on the first Sabbath in Nisan in the first and second years respectively of the triennial cycle begun in Nisan. (Back)
[27]   John J. Collins, 'The Son of Man and the Saints of the Most High in the Book of Daniel', JBL 93  [1974], pp. 50-66, argues that Dan. 7 concerns primarily the angelic hosts but includes the faithful Jews as well.  However, Maurice Casey, 'The Corporate Interpretation of "One like a Son of Man" (Dan. VII 13) at the Time of Jesus', Nov.Test. 18 [1976], pp. 167-180, has demonstrated that the corporate interpretation applied to Israel was current 'from the time of the composition of the book of Daniel onwards' (p. 179).  (Back)
[28]    Of the four Torah readings with which Jer. 9.23-24 was read, three (Lev. 4.1-6.11, 2nd year, Tishri cycle; Num. 14.11-45, 2nd year, Nisan cycle; Deut 4.25-6.4, 3rd year, Tishri cycle) fell in Iyyar, the second month, and the fourth (Deut. 8.1-9.29, 3rd year, Tishri cycle) fell at the beginning of Sivan.  All four fall within the time span covered by 1 Corinthians, namely Passover (1 Cor. 5.7 f.) to Pentecost (1 Cor. 16.8).  (Back)
[29]    David Daube, The Exodus Pattern in the Bible (London, 1963).  (Back)
[30]    John Bowman, The Gospel of Mark (Leiden, 1965), p. 52.  These sources speak of there being four especially significant Passovers: at the first God created the world (Gen. 1), at the second God made the covenant with Abraham 'between the pieces' (Gen. 15), the third was the Exodus out of Egypt (Exod. 11.1-12.28), and on the fourth Messiah will come.  (Back)
[31]    Geza Vermes, Scripture and Tradition in Judaism (Leiden, 1951), p. 215.  In later Jewish tradition the birth, binding and death of Isaac were all dated on 15 Nisan, Passover itself; see H. J. Schoeps, Paul (London, 1961), p. 147, n. 2.  (Back)
[32]    In addition to the works in the previous note by Vermes (pp.193-226) and Schoeps (pp. 126 ff., especially pp. 141-149), see especially N. A. Dahl, 'The Atonement - An Adequate Reward for the Akedah? (Rom. 8.32)', in E. E. Ellis and M. Wilcox, edd., Neotestamentica et Semitica (Edinburgh, 1969), pp. 15-19, and above all the thorough and judicious article by R. J. Daly, 'The Soteriological Significance of the Sacrifice of Isaac', CBQ 39 [1977], pp. 45-75.  NT references to the Akedah he takes to be certain are Heb. 11.17-20; Jas. 2.21-23; Rom. 8.32; as probable he takes John 3.16; Mark 1.11 and parallels and 9.7 and parallels; 1 Cor. 154; Rom. 4.16-25; and as possible he takes on various grounds Luke 11.19b (a passage we would delete from the text as an interpolation); John 1.29; 19.14; Matt. 12.18; Mark 12.6; 1 Cor. 11.24; Gal. 1.4; 2.20; Eph. 5.2, 25; 1 Tim. 2.6; Tit. 2.14; 1 Pt. 1.19-20.  (Back)
[33]    In the Priestly narrative (Gen. 1.26-27) man in his physical stature (perhaps is upright stature) is the image of God.  What the image means is that Man belongs to God (Gen. 9.6), owing God perfect obedience and submission, an man functions as the peripatetic and ubiquitous symbol of God's sovereign ownership of everything on which the image shines (cf. Rom. 8.18-30).  Hillel the Elder (died ca. 10 BCE) told his disciples he was going to bathe as a pious deed.  When asked why it was pious, he replied that, like those appointed to wash and polish the images of kings set up in theatres and circuses, he was going to wash and polish God's image (Lev. R.., Behar, xxiv.3, quoted in C. G. Montefiore and H. Lowe, A Rabbinic Anthology (1938; reprinted Greenwich, Conn., n.d.), pp. 455 f.; cf. Mark 12.16-17 and pars.).  On
מֶלֶצ, 'image', in the Priestly narrative see the following.  P. Humbert, Études sur le récit de paradis et de la chute dans la Geneses (Neuchatel, 1940), pp. 153 ff.  P. Humbert, 'Trois notes sur Geneses 1', in Interpretationes ed. by N. A. Dahl and A. S. Kapelrud (Oslo, 1955), pp. 85-96.  P. van Imschoot, Theologie de l'Ancien Testament, Tome II (Tournai, Belgium, 1956), pp. 8-10.  (Back)
   G. von Rad, Wisdom in Israel (London, 1973), p. 243. (Back)
   As demonstrated by G. von Rad, 'Some Aspects of the Old Testament World-View', in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays (Edinburgh, 1966), pp. 144-166, especially pp. 165 f.  (Back)
   Paul picks up the Stoic concept in Rom. 1.20-21 as part of his argument for subsuming all Gentiles under sin.  (Back)
   Much of the material for this section is drawn from the author's article referred to in n. 24 above.  (Back)
    We assume Paul to be the author only of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians and Philemon.  See Pauline Authorship (Back)
As shown above in n. 33, the image is man in his physical form; it means that man belongs to God and is under his authority (which is the point in 1 Cor. 11.1), and its function is to show forth Gods's sovereign ownership over everything on which it shines.  (Back)
   The present writer believes it likely that Paul's frequent references to the Christians as ἀγαπητοί, 'beloved', is intended at least in part to call them to their task of suffering as 'little Isaacs' in Jesus, the 'Big Isaac', as Gen. 22, the binding of Isaac, speaks of Isaac as ἀγαπητός  (Gen. 22.2, LXX). (Back)
   The Isaac-bound (I)/Adam (A) typologies occur together several times: 1 Cor. 15.3-19 (I), 20-49 (A); Rom. 5.8-11 (I), 12 ff. (A); 8.3, 32 (I), 18-30 (A).  (Back)
   Note the plural 'our' and the singular 'body'.  Probably 'body' is singular to retain the link to the 'body of Christ' and the 'image of his Son' (Rom. 8.29).  (Back)
   Although for Paul Christians have died with Christ in baptism (Rom. 6.2-4, 6-8), their resurrection is future (Rom. 6.5) and at present they are 'living as though from the dead', ὡσεὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ζῶντας (Rom. 6.13).  (Back)
   For Paul the locus of God's redemptive work in Christ is in man himself and not over the cosmic powers as such, as shown by Clinton D. Morrison, The Powers That Be (SBT 29; London, 1960), especially pp. 114-129.  This becomes more clear when Colossians and Ephesians are taken as deutero-Pauline.  What has been changed is not the situation we face but rather our capacity for facing it.  (Back)
   Paul's relating of apostles to love and 1 Cor. 13, of prophets to hope and 1 Cor. 14, and of teachers to faith and 1 Cor. 15, was first fully seen by Roger Gayler, one of my students at Lichfield Theological College, Lichfield, England.  He was correcting Stephen S. Smalley, 'Spiritual Gifts and 1 Corinthians 12-16', JBL 87 [1968], pp. 427-433.  Smalley demonstrated the connection of apostles, prophets and teachers to chapters 13, 14 1nd 15 respectively, but, failing to note that the list of 1 Cor. 13.13 is in chiastic order against chapters 13-15, he proceeded to connect apostles to love, prophets to faith and teachers to hope.  Mr Gayler further pointed out that the theme of Christian faith is prominent in 15.2, 11, 14 and 17 (where πίστις or πιστεύειν occur), but not in chapter 14. (Back)
   That for Paul Christ = Wisdom = Torah as the embodiment of God's love is to be seen in such passages as 1 Cor. 9.21 ('as being not lawless before God but en-lawed of Christ', ἔννομος Χριστοῦ) and 2 Cor. 3.1 ff. with its Pentecost/Sinai parallels ('you are an epistle of Christ, ... written ... with the Spirit of the living God ... on tables which are hearts of flesh').  On love (of the neighbour) as the fulfilling of the whole law (which is Christ's) see Gal. 5.14, 23; 6.2; Rom. 13.8-10.  For indications that Galatians is correlated to the Feast of Pentecost, with its themes of the giving of Torah on Sinai (which is now replaced by the 'law of Christ', Gal. 6.2), the making of proselytes and the Abrahamic covenant of promise, see the present author's review of John Bligh, Galatians: A Discussion of St Paul's Epistle, in The Month, 2nd n. s., Vol. 1 (1970), pp. 374-376, and also Galatians and its Pentecost setting.  In view of such passages as given above, we are unconvinced that 'wisdom christology' is not to be found in Paul, as has been argued by A. van Roon, 'The Relation Between Christ and the Wisdom of God', Nov.Test. 16 [1974], pp. 207-239. (Back)
   1 Cor. 6.1-8.6a appears to follow the Decalogue from X to I, and 8.6b-10.32 then reverses the order from I to X.  A summary of the structure is given in the present author's 'The Bible in the Church: A Radical View', Bangalore Theological Forum 6/1[1974], p. 18, n. 15 (see n. 38 above).  See
1 Corinthians and the Decalogue. (Back)
   This matches Jesus' rejection of the adjective ἀγαθός, 'good', in Mark 10.18, for God alone is good. (Back)
  Ruddick, art. cit., p. 410 (see n. 25 above). (Back)
   The NT evidence is that those who promoted this view were at least dominantly Jewish Christians.  Recognizing that 'signs' refer to acts of power, we may note that 'Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom' (1 Cor. 1.22), and it is Pharisees (Mark 8.11), Pharisees and scribes (Matt. 12.28), Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 16.1) or Herod (Luke 23.8) who seek a sign from Jesus.  When Paul 'boasts' of what he has endured physically, it is explicitly as a Hebrew of the seed of Abraham over against his opponents, who are of the same stock (2 Cor. 11.22-29), whereas his 'boasting' about his revelation (2 Cor. 12.1-7) fits the 'Greeks seek wisdom' of 1 Cor. 1.22.  Confirmation of this last point lies in the fact that 2 Cor. 12.1-7 is balanced chiastically against the 'Jewish' power-type of 11.22-29.  (Back)
    Ruddick, art. cit., pp. 394-395.  Note that this is the only explicitly permanent cure in the gospel (Mark 9.25).  (Back)
    Mark 11.25 on forgiveness is an interpolation from Matthew, as demonstrated by H. F. D. Sparks, 'The Doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood in the Gospels', in Studies in the Gospels edited by D. E. Nineham (Oxford, 1953), pp. 244-245, and accepted by H. W. Montefiore, 'God as Father in the Synoptic Gospels', NTS 3 [1956-57], p. 33.  (Back)
   Σκίζειν, 'to rend', an σκίσμα, 'a rent', occur only in 1.10; 2.21 and 15.38.  In 1.10 the heavens are rent, a theme of access to God; in 2.21 a piece of new cloth on an old garment causes a rent, a theme of loss; thus in 15.38 we have both the access of the Gentiles to God and the loss of the Shekinah from the Jerusalem temple.  A third theme in 15.58 is God's counter-charge of blasphemy against the Jewish authorities by the total rending of the veil in two pieces, matching the high priest's tearing of his clothes as a sign of hearing blasphemy (14.63-64).  (Back)
  On the centurion's confession see C. H. Dodd's words cited by R. H. Lightfoot, The Gospel Message of St Mark (Oxford, 1952), p. 58 note. (Back)
   E. Schweizer, 'Mark's Contribution to the Quest for the Historical Jesus', NTS 10 (1963-64), p. 428. (Back)
  Jesus takes the child in his arms as the Good Shepherd of Isa. 40.11, alluded to by the larger context of the modified quotation of Isa. 40.3 in Mark 1.3; cf. the other shepherd motifs of Mark 6.34 and 14.37, plus 16.7.  For the major Markan themes alluded to in the combined quotation of Mal. 3.1 and Isa. 40.3 in Mark 1.2-3, see James M. Gibbs,  'Mark 1,1-15, Matthew 1,1-4,16, Luke 1,1-4,30, John 1,1-51: The Gospel Prologues and their Function', Studia Evangelica VI ed. by E. A. Livingston
(Berlin, 1973), pp. 176-177.  (Back)
   The only occurrences of 'right hand' and 'left hand' in Mark are here (10.37, 40) and 15.27, the two bandits crucified on his right hand and left.  Thus Mark designates the cross as the glory, and this cross-reference also reinforces our claim that Mark 10.37 ff. is, like Jesus' crucifixion, about power.  (Back)
    Although a disciple may have left his father (10.29), he does not receive a father one bundrefold, for he has only one Father, God.  (Back)
See article referred to in n. 56 above, pp. 168-175, which covers Mark 1.16-8.26.  (Back)
    'Truly', ἀληθῶς, and 'this man', τὸν ἄνθρωπον τοῦτον, in the story of Peter's third denial occur elsewhere only in the centurion's affirmation: 'Truly [ἀληθῶς] this man [οὗτος ὁ ἄνθτηωπος] was God's Son' (15.39).  (Back)
  Since in 1 Cor. 1.23 f. 'Christ crucified is both God's Power and his Wisdom, we need to show why the link  of Christ and Justice is with Power and the link of Son of David and Mercy is with Wisdom rather than the reverse.  The answer lies in discerning the threefold man-forming ministry enivisaged by Paul, the author of Ephesians, and Matthew
        In 1 Corinthians we have seen the following connections:
            Apostles proclaim the Wisdom of God, which is Love.
build up the Church by the Power of God, which is our Hope.
maintain the members of Christ in Well-being, which comes by Faith.
     By 'apostle' Paul means himself and others as (itinerant) church-founders, as shown by A. T. Hanson, The Pioneer Ministry (London, 1961).  'Prophet' refers to the local preachers or pastors, as is obvious from the contents of 1 Cor. 14.
        Whereas in 1 Cor. 3.11 Jesus Christ is the only possible 'foundation', in Ephesians, a deutero-Pauline letter, he has become the 'chief cornerstone' Eph. 2.20), and the 'foundation' has now become the 'apostles and prophets' (Eph 2.20) as the founding generation who gave the mystery of the gospel to which the church is now to holf fast (Eph. 3.5).  Thus in Ephesians the present ministers of the church are 'evangelists' (i.e. church-founders), 'pastors' (i.e. equivalent to Paul's prophets), and 'teachers' (Eph. 4.11). with the terms 'apostles and prophets' being reserved for the prior founding generation.
        When we turn to Matthew, 'justice' parallels Paul's 'hope', i.e. a concern for how things will turn out, which is dependent upon the 'power' of God; Matthew's 'mercy' corresponds to Paul's 'love', the 'wisdom' of , i.e. his abiding will, and 'faith' is the same term in both Matthew and Paul, and is concerned with the basis for 'well-being' that God alone can give.
        In Luke 11.49 we find the probably more original form of a Q-saying:... the Wisdom of God said, "I will send to them prophets and apostles...."'  Matthew presents Jesus himself as the Wisdom (or Torah) of God, so that the saying is placed on Jesus' lips in Matt. 23.34 as follows: 'I am sending to you prophets and wise ones and scribes....'  When we note that Paul, the apostle, speaks of himself as a 'wise one' (σοφός) teaching 'wisdom' (1 Cor. 3.10; cf. 26 f.), we can see that Matthew's 'wise ones' (σοφοί) stand in the position of Paul's apostles in Matthew's redacting of the Q-saying.  In Matt. 13.52 the 'scribe of the kingdom' brings out of his treasure (i.e. the scriptures) 'things old and things new', so that Matthew's Christian 'scribes' correspond to Paul's and Ephesians' 'teachers'.  The order of 'prophets and wise ones and scribes' (23.34) corresponds to the order 'justice and mercy and faith' as the deep things of Torah (Matt. 23.23), this latter triad being apparently based on Mic. 6.8.
        Thus we may summarize the three forms of the three-fold ministry as follows:
            Matthew:        Prophets - Justice        Wise ones - Mercy        Scribes - Faith
             Paul:                Prophets - Hope           Apostles - Love             Teachers - Faith
             Ephesians:      Pastors - Hope              Evangelists - Love        Teachers - Faith
             All three:                Power                            Wisdom                       Well-being
    It is on the basis of the apparent Matthaean connection of prophets with justice and of wise men with mercy, taken along with the Pauline parallels, that the connection of 'Christ' is made with 'power' and 'Son of David' is connected with 'wisdom'.  Jesus is crucified in Matthew both as the Davidic 'King of the Jews' (Matt. 27.11, 29,47, 42) and as the one 'who is being called Christ' (Matt. 27.17, 22; cf. 26.68).  Thus as the crucified one he embodies both God's wisdom and his power, as in 1 Cor. 1.23 f., but he is openly proclaimed to be the Christ in glory after the passion - entombment - resurrection - exaltation event (Matt. 8.29; 16.20; 17.9) as the fourteenth generation of Matt. 1.16 f.  On the other hand, as 'Son of David' he has been confessed openly all through the ministry be all kinds of people: by Gentiles, namely, the Magi (2.1-12) and the Canaanite woman (15.21-26), by the blind (9.27-31; 20.29-34), by a crowd of Jews (21.8 f.) and by children in the temple (21.5), i.e. by all men of good will.  Only Pharisees (12.23 f.) and the chief priests and scribes (21.15 f.; cf. 27.20) refuse to do so and try to prevent others from doing so.  This material is a further indication of the distinction that Matthew makes between the titles 'Christ' and 'Son of David', and it strengthens our case for associating 'Christ' with 'justice' and 'power' on the one hand and 'Son of David' with 'mercy' and 'wisdom' on the other hand.  (Back)
דיִסָח, taken as 'merciful in AV (KJV) and RV, but as 'loyal' in RSV and NRSV.  The LXX has ὅσιος, 'pious, devout, pleasing to God'.  (Back)
  See the entries under Abraham in the index of G. F. Moore, Judaism, Vol. 2 (Cambridge, Mass., 1946), p. 399.  (Back)
   'These stones', λίθοι τούτοι , occurs only in 3.9 ('God can rear up children to Abraham from these stones') and 4.3 ('Change these stones to bread!' cf. stone and bread in connection with father in 7.9).  (Back)
   Matt. 27.54: Jesus is called 'Son of God' on the cross as he makes peace.  (Back)
    Matt. 3.6-9; 5/4; 9.15; 11.18: these passages connect John, weeping, fasting, mourning for sin and repentance. (Back)
    The End-time Test which no one can stand in his own strength.  (Back)
   Cp. 'daily bread' of the Lord's Prayer to the 'bread' of the first temptation and also the 'stone' and 'bread' of 7.9 (concerning a father's gift and the Father's gifts).  (Back)
   See the present writer's article on Gospel prologues (note 56 above0, pp. 179-181, from which most of what follows is drawn, also the article, 'The Son of God as the Torah Incarnate in Matthew', Studia Evangelica IV ed. by F. L. Cross (Berlin, 1968), pp. 38-46.  For further evidence that in Q Jesus and John are the last messengers of Wisdom, while in Matthew Jesus himself is Wisdom, see M. Jack Suggs, Wisdom, Christology and Law in Matthew's Gospel (Cambridge, Mass., 1970). (Back)