Matthew's Fifth Antithesis and Domestic Violence

  • Michael J. Brennan, O.Praem. Catholic Theological Union

Abstract

Our country is strained by the violent rhetoric of political divisiveness and the shooting deaths of men and women on our city streets.  And these are just a sampling of the incidents that attract major headlines; much of the violence that occurs does not ever enter into the public consciousness.  One of the types of violence that lurks below the surface is violence that occurs within the home.  It is to this world of yesteryear and today, a world soaked in violence that Jesus addresses his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  In this article, I offer a socio-rhetorical analysis of Jesus’ fifth antithesis (5:38-42), which seeks to break cycles of violence and can be read as an exhortation to church leaders of today to understand and speak out against domestic violence. 

Author Biography

Michael J. Brennan, O.Praem., Catholic Theological Union
Deacon Michael J. Brennan is a member of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology, with an emphasis in Scripture, at Catholic Theological Union. Michael holds a B.A. from St. Norbert College and a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to entering the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (Norbertines), Michael taught and coached in Catholic schools. Upon graduation from CTU this May, Michael is looking forward to his ordination and his ministry at St. Norbert College.

References

Alpert, Elaine J., Al Miles, and Vicki Coffey. Responding to Domestic Violence: An Interfaith Guide to Prevention and Intervention. Chicago: Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, 2005.

Breiding Matthew J., Kathleen C. Basile, Sharon G. Smith, Michelle C. Black, and Reshma Mahendra. Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, Version 2.0. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015.

Burggraeve, Roger, and Marc Vervenne. Swords into Plowshares: Theological Reflections on Peace. Louvain: Peeters Press, 1991.

Cooper-White, Pamela. The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s Response. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.

Davies, Margaret. Matthew. Readings: A New Biblical Commentary. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993.

Davies, W.D., and Dale C. Allison. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, v. 1. Edinburgh: T. & T. Limited, 1988.

Davis, James F. Lex Talionis in Early Judaism and the Exhortation of Jesus in Matthew 5.38-42. JSNTSup 281. London: T&T Clark International, 2005.

Forest, Jim. Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014.

Harrington, Daniel J. The Gospel of Matthew. SP 1. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991.

Horsley, Richard A. "Ethics and Exegesis: 'Love Your Enemies' and the Doctrine of Non-Violence." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 54, no. 1 (1986): 3-31.

Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 2009.

Klassen, William. Love of Enemies. The Way to Peace. Overtures to Biblical Theology 15; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.

Lambrecht, Jan. “The Sayings of Jesus about Nonviolence,” in Swords into Plowshares: Theological Reflections on Peace. Louvain: Peeters Press, 1991.

Long, Michael G. Christian Peace and Nonviolence: A Documentary History. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011.

Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, Translated by James E. Crouch. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.

Malina, Bruce, and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.

Martin, George. Bringing the Gospel of Matthew to Life: Insight and Inspiration. Ijamsville, MD: The Word Among Us Press, 2008.

Miles, Al. “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” Clergy Journal 80, no. 1 (October 2003): 16-17.

Neufeld, Thomas R. Yoder. Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

Reid, Barbara E. Parables for Preachers. Year A. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001.

_____. “The Cross and Cycles of Violence.” Int 58/4 (October 2004): 376-385.

_____. The Gospel According to Matthew. NCBC. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2005.

_____. Taking Up the Cross: New Testament Interpretations through Latina and Feminist Eyes. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.

Thachuparamban, Johny. Jesus and the Law in the Matthean Community: A Source- and Redaction-Critical Study of Mt 5:38-48. Delhi: Allianz Enterprises, 2011.

Theissen, Gerd. Social Reality and the Early Christians: Theology, Ethics, and the World of the New Testament. Translated by Margaret Kohl. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.

Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks. “Battered Women and the Bible: From Subjection to Liberation.” Christianity and Crisis 41, no. 18 (November 18, 1981): 308-13.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. “When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women.” Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002.

“Violence and Abuse.” http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/data-briefs/1999/may/violence-and-abuse.

Winger, Michael. “Hard Sayings.” The Expository Times 115, no. 8 (May 2004): 266-273.

Wink, Walter. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.
Published
2017-05-02
How to Cite
BRENNAN, O.PRAEM., Michael J.. Matthew's Fifth Antithesis and Domestic Violence. Theophilus: The Student Journal of Catholic Theological Union, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 1-10, may 2017. ISSN 2374-4251. Available at: <http://theophilusjournal.org/index.php/ctustud/article/view/1305>. Date accessed: 24 oct. 2017.

Keywords

Gospel of Matthew; Domestic Violence