Lectionary Year A
August 1, 1999
Step II: Disposition
(DH) A. GENRE
Bailey and Vander Broek [Literary Forms of the New Testament, 137-8] suggest
that we are confronted in this pericope with a "miracle story," i.e., some
sort of narrative which is built around a "miracle." This "miracle" can
also be divided in several ways: one might say it is a "provision" story or
a "gift miracle." While I can see elements of all of the above in our
pericope, I want suggest that this is a story that narrates and shows how
Jesus "answers" to violence (see also step III), a "counter-action story."
It is a "compassion story" that is narrated within the framework of the
ancient Jewish custom of table blessing that is prayed by the head of the
household before each meal.
(DH) B. PERSONAL INTERACTION
- v.15 "apoluo" seems to be a rather strange verb here. If one
translates, as I have chosen, as "release," I wonder if Jesus held the
- The disciples seem to be rather demanding here (v.15) ... note the
- Why "did" Jesus "say" (past tense) but the disciples "are saying" (present
- Who is "them" in v.18? The loaves and the fishes, or the crowds?
- Is this a story about food "quantity" (feeding of 5,000 people) or food
"quality" (you! give them to eat)? Or perhaps both?
- v.19 Note the row of participles (3) ... There is a lot of preparation
before Jesus finally blesses the bread and gives it to the disciples to give
to the hungry people.
- Why did Jesus not give the bread to the crowd himself?
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