So I just finished reading the first essay of Fee’s in his wonderful To What End Exegesis? I’ve owned this book for about six years now and I’ve read most of the essays but hadn’t read this one – “One Thing is Needful”? (Luke 10:42). The article was originally published in 1981, which is probably why I never read it. The textual issues regarding Luke 10:42 have become, in many ways, a “non-issue” in most popular textual works that I’ve read, so I guess I was simply uninterested as I hadn’t considered some of the issues that Fee brings up.
Anyway, I really enjoy most of Fee’s works; I greatly respect and enjoy this phenomonal NT scholar; plus, his form of “Pentecostalism” I could easily consider to represent closely to my understanding of the work of the Spirit. And finally, his Pauline Christology is still glowing on my bookshelf. I’ve read it 1.5 times 🙂
Anyway, this essay takes the task of arguing for the “longer” reading of the text in question. Most translations follow the “shorter” reading:
“but one thing is necessary”- ESV
“but one thing is needed” – KJV
“but only one thing is necessary” – NAU
“but only one thing is needed” – NIV
Fee makes a rather strong case for the “longer” reading (“few things are needed – or only one”). As the NET notes, “The textual problem here is a difficult one to decide. The shorter reading is normally preferred, but it is not altogether clear how the variants would arise from it.” So while Fee argues for the longer reading, all modern translations that I check follow the shorter reading. And yet I find Fee’s points to be pretty interesting and convincing. I’m not going to list them all here, but I was curious of anyone else has had the opportunity to study this textual issue out more…
Textual criticism is a rather fascinating art/science. For some reason I really enjoy reading pretty much anything on the subject. I believe it has a lot to do with the concept of determining not only the authorial intent of Scripture but to also determine the author’s text!
What say you?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.
Luke, I think Metzger consider homoeoarcton as a reason for the differences within the various text families. Have you consulted other critics’ works? When I get home I’ll check Bock’s commentary and let you know.
Luke have you seen this from David Wilkerson
Saturday, March 7, 2009
AN URGENT MESSAGE
I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.
AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE – EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.
For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.
There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written,
“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (v. 3).
God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations.
The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, “God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil way, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 18:11-12).
In Psalm 11:6, David warns, “Upon the wicked he will rain snares (coals of fire)…fire…burning wind…will be the portion of their cup.” Why? David answered, “Because the Lord is righteous” (v. 7). This is a righteous judgment—just as in the judgments of Sodom and in Noah’s generation.
WHAT SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS DO? WHAT ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE?
First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.
As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We “flee like a bird to a mountain.” Or, as David says, “He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men” (v. 4). “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1).
I will say to my soul: No need to run…no need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take—trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.
Note: I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.
God bless and keep you,
Posted by David Wilkerson