In Response To: Leonard
On: Scripture and Jesus's Death
LEONARD: Matthew has no problem elsewhere referring to the death of Jesus
being in accordance with what "has been written", as he does in 26:24, and
again, with a cited scripture, in 26:31.
BRUCE: Both of these copy Mark. They predict, respectively, the flight of
the disciples and the betrayal of Jesus. These are not predictions of the
death of Jesus, any more than are the comparable passages in Mark. They
predict certain details in the last days of Jesus. Both details might have
come true, and Jesus might still have escaped and gone into hiding.
But while we are on the subject, I should correct a previous error.
Matthew's GEGRAPTAI passages are on the whole not his Hebraic Scripture
citation passages. They are largely different (of them, only Mt 2:5-6 uses
GEGRAPTAI), though they are have a certain interest of their own. There is
a cluster of four GEGRAPTAI in Matthew's Temptation scene, all of them taken
over by Luke (who makes further changes). Mark's three GEGRAPTAI passages in
7:6 and 9:12-13 have counterparts in Matthew, but Matthew lacks the
GEGRAPTAI. Why? I suspect, because these two Markan predictions are not
about Jesus, they are foretellings of the Pharisees and records of Elijah,
whereas the purpose of Scripture in Matthew is pretty much to forefigure
In verification of which, Mark's last three GEGRAPTAI sayings (11:17, 14:21,
14:27, which include the two mentioned by Leonard above) *have* GEGRAPTAI
counterparts in Matthew, presumably because all of them refer, or are made
in Mark to refer, to Jesus's own actions and sufferings.
As for the eleven or ten Matthew Hebraic Scripture citations, they too are
all predictions about Jesus. There are five in the Birth and Infancy
narratives alone. None of them has a predictive counterpart in Mark, though
several of them add to a Markan story unit an extra touch of Scripture
prediction, and thus validation. These Hebraic passages thus almost
conspicuously supplement Mark. None of them, be it noted, gives Scriptural
sanction for the predictions of Jesus about himself in Mk 8:31, to which Ron
has called attention. One attractive feature of Ron's suggestion is that the
"where is it written" query retains the highly consistent "Scripture"
meaning for GEGRAPTAI.
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst