Original Research

Interpersoonlike vergifnis in Matteus 18:15–35

Marius J. Nel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 2 | a1935 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i2.1935 | © 2015 Marius J. Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 January 2015 | Published: 17 June 2015

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Marius J. Nel, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Die artikel ondersoek die omskrywing van interpersoonlike vergifnis in Matteus 18:15–35 ten einde die argument van David Konstan, naamlik dat interpersoonlike vergifnis, volgens die moderne verstaan daarvan, nie in die Ou of Nuwe Testament voorkom nie, te evalueer. Interpersoonlike vergifnis is, volgens Konstan, die hantering van ’n daad deur ’n individu wat direk en intensioneel ’n ander persoon benadeel het. Dit veronderstel twee handelende agente: ’n oortreder en ’n benadeelde wat albei die skadelike aspek van ’n daad erken en bereid is om ’n morele transformasie te ondergaan om dit reg te stel. Die artikel argumenteer dat Matteus 18:23–35 na die vergifnis van morele skuld verwys en nie, soos Konstan beweer, na die afskryf van finansiële skuld nie. Dit handel dus wel oor interpersoonlike vergifnis en word Matteuse se etiek van interpersoonlike vergifnis daardeur verbreed. Indien hierdie gedeelte in ag geneem word in die beskrywing van Matteus se etiek, wil dit voorkom asof Matteus meer elemente onderliggend aan die moderne verstaan van interpersoonlike vergifnis hanteer as wat Konstan identifiseer.

Interpersonal forgiveness in Matthew 18:15–35. This article examines the description of interpersonal forgiveness in Matthew 18:15–35 in order to evaluate the argument of David Konstan that interpersonal forgiveness, according to the modern understanding thereof, does not occur in the Old or New Testament. Interpersonal forgiveness is described by Konstan as the addressing of an act by an individual, which directly and intentionally had harmed another person. It assumes two active agents: a transgressor and a victim, whom both acknowledge the harmful aspect of a specific act and who are willing to undergo a moral transformation in order to rectify the transgression. The article argues that Matthew 18:23–35 does not, as Konstan claims, refer to the remission of a financial debt, but rather to the forgiveness of moral guilt. It is thus an example of interpersonal forgiveness that expands Matthew’s ethics of interpersonal forgiveness significantly. If it is taken into consideration it appears as if the description of Matthew’s ethics encompasses more elements underlying the modern understanding of interpersonal forgiveness than have been identified by Konstan.


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