John The Baptist And The Kingdom Of God -- By: Knox Chamblin

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 15:1 (Oct 1964)
Article: John The Baptist And The Kingdom Of God
Author: Knox Chamblin


John The Baptist And The Kingdom Of God

Knox Chamblin

‘I tell you this : never has there appeared on earth a mother’s son greater than John the Baptist, and yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.’

‘Ever since the coming of John the Baptist the kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and violent men are seizing it’ (Mt. 11:11f.).1

‘Until John, it was the Law and the prophets: since then, there is the good news of the kingdom of God, and everyone forces his way in’ (Lk. 16:16) .

A. The Ministry Of John According To Matthew 11:12 And Luke 16:16

Ἀπὸ . . . τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τ. β. (ἀπὸ τότε, Lk.) is often understood to mean ‘from the conclusion of the ministry of John.’2 However, there is good reason to believe that Matthew intends to include the ministry of the Baptist in the time when the Kingdom βιάζεται; and that according to Luke, John shares in preaching the good news of the Kingdom.

Grammatically, ἀπό may be inclusive.3 Three other Matthean passages where the construction ἀπὸ . . . ἑως occurs, are instructive: 20:8: ‘the last’ are among those receiving wages. 23:35: Abel’s, death is the first instance of ‘innocent blood spilt’. 1:17: When Abraham is numbered first, David comes fourteenth (verses 2-6); likewise from Jeconiah to Jesus (verses 12-16).4 Accordingly ἀπὸ . . . ἑως ἄρτι (11:12) might be paraphrased: ‘during both John’s ministry and mine’. W. G. Kümmel understands ἑως ἄρτι ‘to express that the βιάζεσθαι and ἁρπάζειν is merely a provisional happening

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