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Practicum Paper: Matthew 16:13-20

The second text that was required for my practicum paper was the hardest. This was not hard because I didn't have questions, but I never really felt like I was balancing "teaching the text" and "being critical of the text". I'm very big on the historical-grammatical method of studying the Scriptures and find myself sometimes studying too much of the language and setting.

This text brought to my attention the problems I would likely face attempting to teach through a gospel narrative not named "The Gospel According to John". Hope you enjoy.

2.1. What historical importance can be derived from the fact that Jesus speaks these words at Caesarea Philippi?
2.2. How could the location of this teaching help our understanding of the eventual word play on “Peter” (Πέτρος) and “rock” (πέτρᾳ)? How much application can be properly derived from the perception and lack of certainty over the name play in this passage?
2.3. Assuming the word play is true; does this word play alone successfully shift the focus of this encounter from Peter to the church? How does this broaden the implication of church authority? What application does it carry for Baptist ecclesiology and the congregational model?
2.4. How significant are the prophetic implications of Jesus referring to Himself as the “Son of Man” at the start of this encounter? Can the full Old Testament context be read into the statement and question of Jesus?
2.5. How do Daniel’s visions of the “Son of Man” impact the eschatological nature of Jesus’ first advent and the church’s role in history? Is it correct to perceive Jesus working through the vision of Daniel in a didactic sense in this passage?
2.6. Do the references in Daniel’s vision to “judgment given for the saints”, “saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan 7:22) and “the greatness of the kingdoms…shall be given to the people of the saints” (Dan 7:27) alter the eschatological perspective of the success promised for the church in this Matthew text? How would this application fall apart if the whole church is not in view (e.g. the Catholic position)?
2.7. Why is there so much confusion among the Jewish people about who Jesus is? How could they possibly confuse Him with John the Baptist? What historical assumptions doe we tend to make given our certainty over the identity of Jesus? How might this help us understand the world’s confusion over the character and nature of Jesus?
2.8. What portions of Jesus’ ministry link Him to Elijah and Jeremiah such that the people would have associated Him with those prophets? What miracles and teaching would support the idea that Jesus was an Old Testament prophet? What application would this have on how we read Christ’s parables and indictment against Israel?
2.9. What is the full theological significance of Peter’s answer “Christ”? Can it be assumed that Peter understood the significance?
2.10. Is it appropriate to assume Peter’s answer to incorporate the LXX uses of the word “anointed”? Can the full imagery of priests (Lev 4:5), Patriarchs/Prophets (Ps 54:15) and Kings (1 Sam 2:10, 35) be applied to Jesus Christ?
2.11. Why does Jesus wants this truth kept quiet (Matt 16:20)? What is contained in the truth that Jesus did not want revealed until after His resurrection? Does this find a parallel in Christ’s requirement that the demons not speak the truth of who He is?
2.12. Is it important the before this passage, Matthew had used the word Χριστός almost exclusively in the description of Christ’s birth? Does the persecution of Herod acts as a narrative indication of why Jesus does not yet want that title used of Him by His disciples?
2.13. What comparisons and contrasts can be derived from Matthew account of Jesus using the title of “Christ” and “son of David” to refute and silence His critics (Matt 22:42-46)?
2.14. What is the full significance of Peter’s answer “son of God”? Can a discussion of Divine essence be implied by Peter’s answer?
2.15. How does this fulfill God’s promise to David (2 Sam 7:14-16)? Is this primarily the idea in Peter’s mind when he answers this question?
2.16. Does Paul’s teaching in Romans (Rom 1:3-4) imply that the two portions of Peter’s answer are inseparable?
2.17. How do the uses of the phrase “living God” in OT Scripture (Deut 5:26; 1 Sam 17:26, 36) provide insight to why Peter would use this language?
2.18. How do NT authors use this phrase (2 Cor 6:16; 1 Tim 3:15; Heb 10:31; 12:22; Rev 7:22) to explicate the full theological meaning of Peter’s answer?
2.19. How can Peter’s answer be praised if this answer was plainly given to everyone present at Jesus’ baptism (Matt 3:17)? Or do we misunderstand the texts of baptism and who heard and/or saw the signs and voices?
2.20. Why is “flesh and blood” contrasted with the Father? Isn’t flesh and blood usually contrasted with “spirit” (1 Cor 15:44, 50; Eph 6:12)?
2.21. What ecclesiastical implications should be derived from the realization that Christ is both the builder and the foundation of the church?
2.22. How does Paul’s “foundation” language in Ephesians (Eph 2:20-22) support the claim of Jesus? Who else is incorporated as important in Paul’s model?
2.23. What are the eschatological and ecclesiastical implications can be derived from the fact that the gates of hell cannot stand against the church? Are gates purely defensive in the historical vernacular?
2.24. Does Paul describe this pointed power of Christ’s reign in his letter to Corinthians (1 Cor 15:25-28)? How does this affect our eschatology?
2.25. What is the meaning of “keys” in NT symbolism? How do other uses (Luke 11:52; Rev 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1) help us understand Jesus’ words?
2.26. Are keys in this passage principally ecclesiastical or eschatological? Or some combination of the two? What application does this have for Baptist ecclesiology?
2.27. How does the image of the keys affect the major theme of Matthew’s gospel the “kingdom of heaven”?
2.28. What are the practical resulting of “binding” and “loosing” as practiced by the church? How do the church’s actions alter the state of the kingdom?
2.29. Why does Christ command His disciples to not speak? Is there contextual significance that Jesus only now starts teaching them about His death and prophetic fulfillment?
2.30. Why does the Textus Receptus have Matthew using the word structure αὐτός ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς ὁ Χριστός (literally “he is Jesus Christ”)? Why would Jesus deny them to use His name?

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