Original Research - Special Collection: Matthean Perspectives

Little faith: A pragmatic-linguistic perspective on Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’ disciples

Andries G. Van Aarde
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 1 | a1898 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i1.1898 | © 2015 Andries G. Van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2014 | Published: 11 May 2015

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Andries G. Van Aarde, Faculty of Theology, Department of New Testament Studies, Unit for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article argues that fear is central to the state of being of Jesus’ disciples when their religious experience is characterised as ‘little faith’ in the Gospel of Matthew. A pragmatic-linguistic reading strategy is applied to that passage in the Gospel of Matthew where the implications of fear for the experiences of the disciples can be observed most clearly, namely Matthew 13:53–17:27. In this passage their state of being is described as ‘little faith’ and it is conveyed that the integrity of the disciples’ commission would not be accepted by their hearers unless they overcome their fear.

Kleingeloof: ’n Pragmaties-linguistiese perspektief op Jesus se dissiples. Die artikel voer aan dat vrees sentraal in die eksistensiële belewenis van Jesus se dissipels staan wanneer hulle godsdienstige ervaring in die Evangelie van Matteus as kleingeloof gekarakteriseer word. ’n Pragmaties-linguistiese leesstrategie word op die betrokke gedeelte, Matteus 13:53–17:27, toegepas waar die implikasies van vrees in die dissipels se ervaring die duidelikste waargeneem kan word. Hulle eksistensiële belewenis word as kleingelowig beskryf en dit word duidelik gekommunikeer dat die integriteit van hulle opdrag om disssipels van ander mense te maak, nie deur die hoorders aanvaar sal word alvorens hulle hulle vrees oorwin het nie.


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