A People's Commentary on the New Testament: Matthew 4
I've been slowly but surely (but mostly slowly) building what I'm calling a people's commentary on the New Testament. So far only one other person, to my knowledge, has joined me in this task. The gist of it? The Scriptures are, by and large, set in a context of oppression and marginalization. Sometimes the audience is the oppressed; sometimes it's the oppressors. Sometimes both audiences are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same. We overlook stuff when we forget that those of us who are comfortable are not necessarily the ones to whom God is speaking words of comfort. In this project I attempt to notice in the Scriptures a running theme of "striving" (in the words of people's historian Howard Zinn) "against corporate robber barons and war makers, to make ideals [professed in public] a reality — and all of us, of whatever age, can find immense satisfaction in becoming part of that." Here's how it works:
- Pick a chapter of the New Testament and interpret it online.
- As you write, think about people you know (or see, or imagine) who are not sitting in the halls of power.
- Think of the author of your particular scripture text not as someone with an advance on royalties in the bank and a Macbook Pro on their lap but as someone with no place to lay their head.
- Use the hashtag #PeoplesCommentary so the rest of us can find it, and so eventually we can sync the whole thing together.