THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS AS ENACTMENT OF THE GREAT COMMISSION:
A New Proposal for Interpreting Matthew 28:16-20 in Light of Matthew’s Gospel

Author: Brands, Michael
Year:2015
Pages:476
ISBN:1-4955-0333-X
978-1-4955-0333-7
Price:279.95
This stimulating book fills a lacuna in New Testament studies on the interpretation of the missional paradigm of the “Great Commission” by energizing an interdisciplinary dialogue and fresh inquiry into the passage, it’s biblical theology, it’s missiological theory and it’s contemporary cultural perspective which are deeply rooted in Jesus’ mission and His vision for the coming kingdom of God.

Reviews

“Even for the casual or occasional reader of the Gospel of Matthew, the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20) not only brings the narrative to a close; it has a special significance for the gospel as a whole…The need for a fresh approach to the passage, long overdue, is met by the present book…[this] comprehensive study integrates attention to literary clues within the narrative along with care for theological themes and nuances… This book fills a void in gospel studies, and it does so in an accessible yet scholarly manner.”
-Arland J. Hultgren, Professor Emeritus,
Luther Seminary,
St. Paul, MN


“The ‘Great Commission’ text that concludes Matthew’s Gospel has been the focus of much scholarly analysis… Michael Brands explores pertinent themes associated with the passage, summarizes and evaluates recent academic proposals, and sheds new light on the meaning of the passage within the full context of Matthew’s Gospel.
In sum, the monograph succeeds in offering a number of key contributions to New Testament scholarship and to Christian theology: 1) it demonstrates the effectiveness of literary-critical methodology for interpreting a specific text within the context of a larger narrative; 2) it confirms support for an inclusive reading of “all nations” in Matthew 28;19; 3) it articulates Matthew’s missional perspective as a distinctive orientation grounded in an eschatological rendering of missio dei; 4) it further articulates Matthew’s missional perspective as understanding the “Church’s mission” as an extension of the missional paradigm of Jesus described throughout the Matthean Gospel; 5) it delineates Matthew’s missional perspective as assuming and requiring an integrative cohesion of word-and-deed directed toward wholistic renewal of humanity.”
-Dr. Mark Allan Powell,
Professor of New Testament,
Trinity Lutheran Seminary


“This study stands out as a fine contribution when viewed from any one of several perspectives: theological savvy, critical biblical studies, cross-cultural understanding, “Kingdom vision,” ecclesiology, Christology. What makes it especially attractive is the way it all comes together so nicely in a well-written, engaging, multi-disciplinary exploration of topics that are of great interest to both the scholarly community and those engaged in practical ministry.”
-Professor Richard J. Mouw, President Emeritus,
Faith and Public Life,
Fuller Theological Seminary


Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
CHAPTER 1.
THE MATTHEAN COMMISSION WITHIN THE LITERARY CONTEXTUAL MEANING OF MISSION IN MATTHEW
-Toward the Literary Contextual meaning of the Matthean Commission: Key Developments in Recent Matthew Studies

-Missional Continuity and narrative Conclusion
-Literary Themes and Structure: A Fresh Look for Expanded -Understanding
-Toward the Fuller Meaning of the Commission in Matthew’s Literary -Context
Sharpening the Theological Question and investigative Approach Utilizing Literary Interpretation to Ascertain Theological Meaning
-Mission as Cumulative Thematic Meaning
-Mission in Matthew’s Literary Structure
-Matthean Continuation of the Old Testament Mission
-Awareness of Other Interpretive Windows
The Kingdom Commission
CHAPTER 2.
THE MISSION OF MATTHEW 28:16-20
- THE KINGDOM COMMISSION
The Greater Commission: The Quest for the Mission Literary – Theological Dynamics of the Kingdom Mission in Matthew 28:16-20

-The Setting of the Mission: Mountain, Galilee, and Worship -Essential Motifs in the Amalgamate Macrotheme of the Kingdom Mission The Kingdom Mission as Macrotheme Throughout Matthew’s Gospel
-Matthew 4:12-17 – The Dawn of Renewing Light
-Matthew 5:3-16; 6:7-15 – Jesus’ Kingdom Manifesto
-Matthew 9:36-10:1, 5:8a, 16-25 - Jesus’ Followers Extend His Full Kingdom Mission
-Matthew 12:15b-21 – The Mission of Service and Compassionate Justice
-Matthew 24:3-14 – The Mission in the World and Current Eschatology
-Matthew 26:26-29, 59-68; 27:11-14, 51-54 – The Climax and Vindication of Jesus’ Mission
The Kingdom Commission for the Continuation of God’s Eschatological Messianic Kingdom Mission
CHAPTER 3.
THE OBJECTIVE OF MATTHEW 28:16-20 – LIGHT FOR THE NATIONS
The Quest for the Nations
The Nations in the Kingdom Commission

-The Concept of the Nations in the Kingdom Commission: Words as Ideas
-The Nations as Object(s) of the Kingdom Commission; The Syntax of Ideas
Conceptualizing the Nations: The Semantics of Ideas
-The Foundational Concept: People, People-Group, or Nation?
-All the “Gentiles”or Nations?”
-Implications of the Wider Semantic Field
-Old Testament Conceptualizations of Nations
-Synthesis: Semantic Potentials for the Nations Theme in Matthew
The Cumulative Contextual Meaning of the Nations as a Macrotheme Throughout Matthew
-Matthew 4:12-17 - The Light Dawns for the Nations
-Matthew 5;1-16; 5:43-48; 6:5-15; 6:19-34 – The Nations in Jesus’ Kingdom -Manifesto
-Matthew 8:5-13; 15:21-28 – Any from All nations Who Believe in Jesus Messiah
-Matthew 9:35-11:6 – Jesus’ Mission Manifesto for the Nations
-Matthew 12:15b-21 – Renewing Justice and Hope for All Nations
-Matthew 20:17-28; 21:33-46 – Leadership and National Powers
-Matthew 24:3-14; 25:31-46 m- Jesus’ Vision of Kingdom Mission for the Crises of All Nations
-Nations in the Drama of Matthew 26:28 – Jesus Transcends Evil National Powers
The Nations in Wider Literary Scriptural Contexts
The Nations as Objective, Context, and Recipient of the Kingdom Mission
CHAPTER 4.
THE MEANS OF MISSION: WITNESSING IN THE WORLD The Quest for the Means of Mission
Matthew 28:16-20 – The Way of the Commission: Discipleship, with Expanding means

-Discipleship as the Leading Means of Mission
-A Central Summaric Means Expressed through Multiple Specific Means
-Evoking the Whole Matthean Approach: Witnessing to the Nations
Jesus’ Way for Mission throughout Matthew’s Gospel
-Matthew 4:17-22 - The Way of Discipleship: Following Jesus, Baptism, and Multiplication
-Matthew 5:3-16; 11:28-30; 13:51-52 – The Blessed Way: Kingdom Blessings, Rest and Treasures at Work in the World
-Matthew 5:17-20 – The Greater Way: Living and Teaching Jesus’ Way of Life
-Matthew 10:1-8 – The Authorized Way: Wholistic Integrated Mission, Through the Witnessing Community of Disciples
-Matthew 25: 31-36 – The Way of Compassionate Justice: Jesus’ Vision for Social Mission
-Matthew 26:26-29 – The Way of Sacrificial Life: The Discipleship of Service and Forsaking False Means
Mission in Jesus’ Way: A Paradigm for Practice
AND MORE