The Properties of Beauty
Welcome back to the Bible is Art where we are currently in a series on a Christian Guide to Beauty and Design. If you haven’t seen the videos up to now I would recommend you watch those before you watch this. But if you’re ready to move on, today, we’re talking about the properties of, or, what makes something beautiful.
The Literary Structure of Matthew's Gospel
Matthew organizes his book into alternating sections of stories and teachings. And we know this not only because we see Jesus doing things and then having long speeches but also because after each of the teaching sections Matthew repeats the same phrase, “when Jesus finished saying these things…” And Matthew does this to indicate the end of each teaching section (7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 19:1, 26:1).
The story is fairly straightforward, but the extended descriptions of the actions of the paralytic or his friends is what caught my attention. In such Short stories whenever there is a lot of words given to seemingly less important things, like the movement of the paralytic, it makes me wonder if our author is drawing our attention to it for another reason. Perhaps white on first reading appears to be minor or secondary is actually major primary.
The First Words of Ahab
Robert Alter taught us but the first words and the first actions of the characters are important for their characterization, revealing depths about who they are and not surface details.