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Jesus the Meek King [Paperback]

By Deirdre J. Good (Author)
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Item description for Jesus the Meek King by Deirdre J. Good...

Jesus the Meek King is an exploration of a specific virtue in Paul, Matthew, the Hellenistic world, and English literature from Tyndale to the present. Modern readers are likely to understand the term meek as Jesus' attempt to commend and exemplify submissive or humble behavior. "The meek" may even be seen unfavorably as those likely to submit tamely to oppression or injury.

Publishers Description
What sort of king was Jesus? What is the meaning of Jesus' description of himself in Matthew's Gospel as the meek king? Jesus the Meek King is an exploration of a specific virtue in Paul, Matthew, the Hellenistic world, and English literature from Tyndale to the present. Modern readers are likely to understand the meek as Jesus' attempt to commend and exemplify submissive or humble behavior. The meek may even be seen unfavorably as those likely to submit tamely to oppression or injury. Ancient readers of Greek texts, however, understood the term more broadly as a trait of rulers whereby exercise of disciplined compassion overcomes anger. Meekness is also a dispositional virtue in the literature of the first century describing new Jewish and Christian groups and enhancing community life. Most recent books about Jesus focus on history and biography. This book eschews historical questions for culturally specific understandings of humility and meekness. The result is a full and contextual understanding of Jesus the meek king. Deirdre J. Good is Professor of New Testament at General Theological Seminary, New York.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Trinity Press International
Pages   131
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.46 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1999
Publisher   Trinity Press International
ISBN  1563382849  
ISBN13  9781563382840  

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More About Deirdre J. Good

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Deirdre J. Good is Professor of New Testament at General Theological Seminary, New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Greece > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > Jesus Studies

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A Prayer and Insight into the Gospel of Matthew  Apr 19, 2000
Jesus the Meek King by Deirdre J. Good This book is an exegesis of two bible verses within their cultural contexts, an insight into the Gospel of Matthew and a prayer. Let me explain. The premise of the book is that our appreciation of Scripture is enhanced by understanding the context in which it was written by analysis of contemporaneously influential texts. We are introduced to relevant classical Greek texts of Aristotle, Plato and Isocrates; Hellenistic texts of Plutarch, the Stoics, Theophrastus, the Epistle of Aristeas and Pseudo-Pythagoreans; Jewish texts from the Pentateuch, Josephus, the Psalms, Zechariah, 4 Maccabees, Philo and the Dead Sea Scrolls; and the Christian texts of the Gospel of Thomas, Paul, Eusebius, the Desert Fathers, First Clement, the Didache and the Epistle to Diognetus. Alone the breadth and variety of these references make the book an intellectual and spiritual feast. Preparatory chapters educate the reader on the meaning of praus [meek] and kingship in their Hellenistic context. Praotes (meekness) is a virtue and a warrant for control of others. We are shown this in Philo's description of Moses and Aristotle's description of the virtue praus as being the mean between anger and lack of spirit. Praus behavior is illuminated by examples from 4 Maccabees (the story of the 7 brothers and their mother), Plutarch, Paul and the Epistle to Diognetus. With regard to Hellenistic kingship, we are introduced to sources for the concept of ideal king and learn that praotes is a valued royal quality. In the letter of Aristeas, a praus king is compassionate to the enemy; according to Theophrastus, the true king rules with the scepter and not the sword; according to 2 Maccabees, the high priest Onias is envisioned by Judas Maccabeus as modest and praus. We also learn of ruler cults before and after Alexander. With this background, we are prepared to study Matt 11:28-29: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am praus and lonely in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Deirdre argues that Matthew presents Jesus as a praus king who, in accordance with Hellenistic and Jewish thinking, is God's son. While Sirach 51 at first blush appears to bear a striking resemblance to these verses, Deirdre distinguishes the wisdom tradition in Sirach and argues that internal warrants describe Jesus as king and son and points to an external warrant in 1 Maccabees that connects monarchy and servitude with specific yoke language evocative of Matt 11:28-29. In addition, 3 external warrants support Deirdre's thesis. They are the Greek version of Zechariah 9:9, quoted in Matt 21:4-5; saying 90 of the Gospel of Thomas; and the Sibylline Oracles, which quote and elaborate on Matthew's quotation from Zechariah. Deirdre shows multiple internal warrants for her thesis. The demeanor of other kings in the Gospel contrasts with that of Jesus. The disproportionate rage of Herod is the antithesis of the meek Jesus.. While anger of kings in parables seems justified (the king in the parable about settling accounts with his servants and the king in the parable of the wedding feast), Jesus is never described as angry and Jesus expressly eschews anger. Jesus' compassion reflects the demeanor of a praus king, Jesus' teachings advocate meekness and Jesus is worshiped in the manner of a praus Hellenistic ruler. Last, Deirdre looks at the time when Matthew was written and also at the time the canon was formalized in the fourth century. Prautes promotes community life, a probable concern of those establishing and wishing to sustain new communities in the first and fourth centuries. External sources show the same focus, such as, 1 Clement, Ignatius writing to Polycarp, the sayings of the desert fathers and mothers, the Shepherd of Hermas Mandates, Gregory of Nyssa, the Didacheand even The Rule of the Community from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not only does meekness promote community but meekness is powerful and opposes evil. What appears to be self- effacement is a coded way of describing hidden strength. Deirdre illustrates this power of humility in stories from the desert fathers and mothers and writings of Ignatius of Antioch. Thus, from Deirdre's culturally rich exegesis of Matthew 11:28-29, we have traveled through the writings of the ancient world and the Gospel of Matthew and emerge with a deeper understanding of Jesus, the obedient son of God. We are inspired to worship and to seek to emulate Jesus, the meek king. The book is a prayer.

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