'KING-CHRISTOLOGY': THE RESULT OF A CRITICAL STUDY OF MATT 28:16-20 AS AN EXAMPLE OF CONTEXTUAL EXEGESIS IN AFRICA
AbstractMatt 28:16-20 is a narrative epilogue, and indeed, one which lets us in on one of the most hidden expressions of Christology. The African rituals of royal kingship can help us come to a better understanding of its implications for reflecting on the Lordship of Jesus in our own context. However, the structure, literary form and content of the periscope has, over the years, intrigued exegetes, commentators and interpreters alike. Its universalistic importance cannot be underestimated as scholars agree that the text preserves, in spite of some insignificant textual variants, Matthew’s understanding of the status of the exalted and enthroned Christ who sends his disciples to evangelize the world the oikoumene. The importance of the periscope as a Schlussabschnitt in the Gospel of Matthew is predicated on its Sitz im leben in the Matthean Hellenist Jewish Christian community, who saw it her responsibility to execute the Lord’s commission. From a contextual exegete’s point of view I am being challenged to offer a perspectival reading of the text in order to negotiate the meaning of Jesus’ injunction in the context of the emerging Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in the period of the New Era of Evangelization in modern Africa. Such a reading becomes necessary in view of the urgent need for the African Churches to evolve an adequate image of Jesus, quite suitable for their task of evangelization in the year 2000.
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