"Let your peace come upon it": Healing and peace in Matthew 10:1-15

John Karl Ridgway, Marquette University


The problems addressed by this study are (1) determination of the meaning of $\epsilon\iota\rho\acute\eta\nu\eta$ (peace) in Matt 10:1-15 and (2) establishment of a link between the commissions to heal ($\theta\epsilon\rho\alpha\pi\epsilon\acute\upsilon \epsilon\iota\nu$) in 10:1, 8 and to confer $\epsilon\acute\iota\rho\acute\eta\nu\eta$ in 10:13. There are substantial differences of opinion about the denotation of $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ in v 13. Some understandings offered are incompatible; others are arbitrary, tendentious, or devoid of contextual specificity. Interpretations generally remain amorphous, lacking sufficient critical controls and exegetical bases. Some commentators fail to discuss the meaning of $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ in 10:13 entirely. The procedure to resolve these problems has five parts. The first is to survey the scholarship on Matt 10:1-15 with the purpose of becoming familiar with the issues and schools of thought in the literature (Chapter 1). The second is to examine "peace" in the Greco-Roman, Israelite-Jewish, and early Christian writings that preceded or were contemporary with the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 2). The third is to explore the correlations between healing/health and peace in these writings (Chapter 3). The fourth stage is to undertake in Chapter 4 an exegesis of Matt 10:1-15 to ascertain the meaning(s) of $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ and to establish the relationship between $\theta\epsilon\rho\alpha\pi\epsilon\acute \upsilon\epsilon\iota\nu$ and $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ there. The principal method employed is redaction criticism. Textual, form, source, and sociological analyses are also applied as pertinent. The fifth phase is to apply the results of Chapters 2-3 to the work of Chapter 4 to corroborate its findings about $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ and about the link between $\theta\epsilon\rho\alpha\pi\epsilon\acute\upsilon\nu$ and $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$. My principal conclusions are two. First, in Matt 10:13 $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ denotes (a) salvation from the evil that causes physical-spiritual illness and (b) deliverance from eschatological condemnation. Second, the commission to grant $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ is related conceptually to the commission to heal in 10:1, 8. Both commissions bestow on humans physical and spiritual well-being and wholeness that derive from God's salvific power through the ministry of Jesus snd his disciples. Ancillary conclusions are that the meanings of $\epsilon\acute \iota\rho\acute \eta\nu\eta$ are related to the ideas of worthiness ($\acute \alpha\xi\iota o\varsigma$) and reception of the disciples.

Recommended Citation

Ridgway, John Karl, ""Let your peace come upon it": Healing and peace in Matthew 10:1-15" (1995). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9823994.