Author Topic: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)  (Read 1364 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2016, 05:05:11 PM »
Dr. Fred Danker was an excellent New Testament theologian who could open up
a text to help you understand God's Word.  Here are some of his insights on
Luke 10: 38-42.

1. As a woman, Mary, is as much entitled as a man to receive instruction from an
eminent teacher of theology.

2. Martha is offered liberation from dependency on household routines as a prime
instrument for evaluating female identity.

3. This text puts under scrutiny  any and all prejudice and practice that stereotypes
women into second class roles  in religious circles or society in general.

4. Martha measures her own performance as does the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14
against lack of performance of others.

5. Mary chose the one thing needful in her treatment of God's Word.

6. Martha made the mistake of thinking that she was the host and Jesus was the
guest.  It was actually the other way around.

Jesus and The New Age, A Commentary on St. Luke's Gospel
by Frederick W. Danker.   (Fortress 1988)

Soooo, how about

"Come, Lord Jesus, be our host/
and give us what we need the most/
In name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

I referenced the "common table prayer" in my sermon today - Come Lord Jesus/Be our Guest/and let Thy gifts/to us be blest." 

We prayed (did not sing) "One Thing's Needed, Lord, this Treasure" after the sermon.

Dave Benke

Weedon

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2016, 05:11:52 PM »
Not sing it? But it's so massively cool with that time signature change. I LOVE playing and singing that one!

Steven W Bohler

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2016, 05:13:36 PM »
jebutler,

Do you think it significant that it is Martha who serves as host, not Lazarus?  Martha seems pretty liberated already, by taking that place rather than her brother.  Compare Martha's service with that in today OT reading, where Abraham is the one who does all the things that Martha is doing in the Gospel lesson (Sarah stays in the tent, and does "her" work!).  To make this lesson about liberation from gender roles is silly.  Jesus has come to set us free from sin, not from doing household tasks.  Plus, if one were to take that view of this text, Jesus was pretty unsuccessful since "a woman's place is in the home" was standard fare, even for St. Paul and on up to the present day.

If you were to read only Luke, would you even know that M & M had a brother? He's never mentioned in the entire Gospel. So, no I don't think it's significant that a person who is never mentioned in the Gospel of Luke is not mentioned here.

Is this text only about the liberation of gender roles? No. Is that an undercurrent of the text? I think so. In this case, the freedom for women to learn and to be taught, which was radical in that age for a Jew to teach (and in succeeding ages as well). Remember: women were not to be taught Torah, but that is exactly what Jesus does (cf. the 1985 CTCR report on women in the church, pp. 8-9).

But we DO know that Mary and  Martha had a brother, even if Luke does not tell us.  And the fact that Martha takes the role of host, rather than he, shows that she was not as closeted and repressed and oppressed as some would have us believe.  Likewise, there were a whole host of other women who followed -- and supported (including financially!) -- Jesus and His public ministry.  So they too had influence and clout and wealth and freedom, to some degree. 

To see this passage as speaking to some sort of liberation from stereotyping and gender roles is to miss the true point.  Or, to use Jesus' words, it is to lose the "good portion".

Dave Benke

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2016, 09:22:35 PM »
Not sing it? But it's so massively cool with that time signature change. I LOVE playing and singing that one!

The number of people who ever would have sung it prior to the service would have been two.  So we took a run at it during choir practice to see whether the choir could take it on as leaders.  And the determination was made, pretty quickly, that it would be better to focus the words without the music.  I do like that time signature change personally, however, so I'm with you there!

And, in the name of candor, the number the choir is working on right now is slightly off the Kernlieder track, but is at least sixty or seventy years old  - Wings of a Dove, a la mode de Ferlin Husky:  "He sends down His love/on the wings of a dove."  I have written a baptismal fourth verse for it, in the interests of Lutheran use.  I don't know if that overture on hymn supervision passed, but I'm confident my rendering would make it through. 

Dave benke

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2016, 01:42:08 AM »
jebutler,

Do you think it significant that it is Martha who serves as host, not Lazarus?  Martha seems pretty liberated already, by taking that place rather than her brother.  Compare Martha's service with that in today OT reading, where Abraham is the one who does all the things that Martha is doing in the Gospel lesson (Sarah stays in the tent, and does "her" work!).  To make this lesson about liberation from gender roles is silly.  Jesus has come to set us free from sin, not from doing household tasks.  Plus, if one were to take that view of this text, Jesus was pretty unsuccessful since "a woman's place is in the home" was standard fare, even for St. Paul and on up to the present day.


The only "Lazarus" in Luke is the poor, sick man who dies at the rich man's gate (Luke 16:19-31).
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2016, 01:44:48 AM »
jebutler,

Do you think it significant that it is Martha who serves as host, not Lazarus?  Martha seems pretty liberated already, by taking that place rather than her brother.  Compare Martha's service with that in today OT reading, where Abraham is the one who does all the things that Martha is doing in the Gospel lesson (Sarah stays in the tent, and does "her" work!).  To make this lesson about liberation from gender roles is silly.  Jesus has come to set us free from sin, not from doing household tasks.  Plus, if one were to take that view of this text, Jesus was pretty unsuccessful since "a woman's place is in the home" was standard fare, even for St. Paul and on up to the present day.

If you were to read only Luke, would you even know that M & M had a brother? He's never mentioned in the entire Gospel. So, no I don't think it's significant that a person who is never mentioned in the Gospel of Luke is not mentioned here.

Is this text only about the liberation of gender roles? No. Is that an undercurrent of the text? I think so. In this case, the freedom for women to learn and to be taught, which was radical in that age for a Jew to teach (and in succeeding ages as well). Remember: women were not to be taught Torah, but that is exactly what Jesus does (cf. the 1985 CTCR report on women in the church, pp. 8-9).

But we DO know that Mary and  Martha had a brother, even if Luke does not tell us.  And the fact that Martha takes the role of host, rather than he, shows that she was not as closeted and repressed and oppressed as some would have us believe.  Likewise, there were a whole host of other women who followed -- and supported (including financially!) -- Jesus and His public ministry.  So they too had influence and clout and wealth and freedom, to some degree. 

To see this passage as speaking to some sort of liberation from stereotyping and gender roles is to miss the true point.  Or, to use Jesus' words, it is to lose the "good portion".


How do you know that the Martha and Mary in John who have a brother, Lazarus, are the same ones as in Luke? Do you suppose that the Lazarus in John is the same Lazarus mentioned in Luke?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven W Bohler

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2016, 09:59:37 AM »
Rev. Stoffregen,

1. I believe the traditional understanding is that they are the same.  In the same manner, I accept that the James and John mentioned as disciples in one Gospel are the same as the James and John mentioned as disciples in another.

2. No.  For one thing, the Lazarus of the parable is a poor beggar whereas the family of Mary/Martha seems to be rather well-off.  For another, the Lazarus of the parable is dead (and stays dead) while we know that Jesus raised the brother of Mary/Martha from the dead.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2016, 10:06:32 AM »
believe it or not, I am not posting this to add fuel to the Laz fire...

but several questions I have not parsed:
how common a name was Lazarus?  It always seems to me to be less common than a James and John but then what do I know of Hebrew names in those days.

if it was more uncommon or even somewhat unique a name, why did Jesus use it for a character in his parable?

are there any bridges, parallels or contrasts that one could or even should note between a Lazarus that experiences Jesus call to resurrection and the character in his parable?  If so, is it possible Christ was asking for such comparisons to be made?
Harvey S. Mozolak
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http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2016, 10:51:42 AM »
believe it or not, I am not posting this to add fuel to the Laz fire...

but several questions I have not parsed:
how common a name was Lazarus?  It always seems to me to be less common than a James and John but then what do I know of Hebrew names in those days.

if it was more uncommon or even somewhat unique a name, why did Jesus use it for a character in his parable?

are there any bridges, parallels or contrasts that one could or even should note between a Lazarus that experiences Jesus call to resurrection and the character in his parable?  If so, is it possible Christ was asking for such comparisons to be made?

The name “Lazarus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, "Eliezar," which means “My God is help” ("Eli" = "my God" + "ezer" = "help" – see Exodus 18:4). In the parable of Luke 16 and the narrative in John 11, "Lazarus" is the name of men who can do nothing for themselves. In John, he is dead. Dead people can do nothing for themselves. They can't even refuse what God might do for them.

In Luke, Lazarus can’t even keep the (probably wild) dogs from licking his sores. He is dependent upon the angels for transportation to Abraham’s side. In contrast, the rich man was able to take care of himself – to provide himself with the finest things.

This name may be more symbolic than the actual name of a person.
 
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

pastorg1@aol.com

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2016, 11:44:34 AM »
Lennon,Winston,McCartney's Insights on Martha:

Martha, my dear
Though I spend my days in conversation, please
Remember me
Martha, my love
Don't forget me
Martha, my dear

Hold your head up, you silly girl
Look what you've done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl

Take a good look around you
Take a good look you're bound to see
That you and me were meant to be
With each other
Silly girl

Hold you're hand out, you silly girl
See what you've done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl

Martha, my dear
You have always been my inspiration
Please, be good to me
Martha, my love
Don't forget me
Martha, my dear.


Peter (Peace, Love) Garrison
Pete Garrison, STS

Steven W Bohler

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2016, 11:51:13 AM »
I seem to recall that McCartney wrote that song about a dog (sheepdog comes to mind).

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Re: F. Danker's Insights on Mary and Martha (Luke 10)
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2016, 12:41:02 PM »
Mine is the better myth.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 03:54:21 PM by pastorg1@aol.com »
Pete Garrison, STS