I wonder if anyone has done any work on the Gospel of Peter and the Minor
Agreements? I have been struck by one or two things while reading the text
recently. One of these is 3.9:
KAI hETEROI ESTWTES ENEPTUON AUTOU TAIS OYESI KAI ALLOI TAS SIAGONAS AUTOU
ERAPISAN . . .
I thought of that notorious MA at Mark 14.65 (TIS ESTIN hO PAISAS SE;) and to
explain its relevance, let me summarise what I see the current situation to be.
Neirynck and Tuckett base their conjectural emendation of the text of Matthew
here on the notion that it does not make good sense. Unlike Mark and Luke,
Matthew has no blindfolding but like Luke has the taunt TIS ESTIN hO PAISAS SE;
(for synopsis see http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q/ten.htm#tisestin)
argue that this is adequate grounds for the proposed conjectural emendation of
Matthew. It seems to me that the grounds here for conjectural emendation are
weak: we do not conjecturally emend the text everywhere else where we see an
anomaly of this kind and it is clear that the move is simply prompted by the
need to remove the MA that is so difficult for the thesis of Luke's
independence from Matthew.
But the point about the anomaly in Matthew remains. Why do they say "Who is it
who smote you" when Jesus is not blindfolded? Goulder suggests that this is
Matthean muddle and that he often does this kind of thing, omitting to mention
the blindfold by accident. Farmer, on the other hand, points out that Matthew
says "they spat in his face" (Matt. 26.67) before "they struck him" -- this
brings about temporary blindness and the question "Who is it who smote you?" is
then coherent (_The Synoptic Problem_, p. 149). I have never been quite sure
how far to follow Farmer here, but the quotation above from the Gospel of Peter
may be illuminating, for here we have the claim that they spat "in his eyes",
though without the subsequent "Who is who smote you?". It seems that there is
a parallel available, then, from early on, for the gist of Farmer's proposed
scenario, and that if we take it seriously this diminishes still further the
impressiveness of Neirynck and Tuckett's case for conjectural emendation to
remove this MA.
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
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