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Re: [Synoptic-L] Five in Matthew

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    Bruce wrote: The five Bacon divisions make ense, and seem to be marked by a distinctive formal signal: a losing/out-transition formula, When Jesus had
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 10 5:52 AM
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      Bruce wrote:


      The five Bacon divisions make
      ense, and seem to be marked by a distinctive formal signal: a
      losing/out-transition formula, "When Jesus had finished all these
      ayings" (or close variant). The latter is the indication of authorial
      ntention by aMt, and not mere analytical ingenuity by Bacon.
      For both reasons, I think the Bacon proposal may stand. If there are
      bjections, I will be glad to hear them.


      Bruce, could you remind the list of exactly what the Bacon proposal was (and perhaps how it has been significantly tweeked in the history of its reception?). Specifically, does he / do his followers argue merely that the five discourses in Matthew (to which the referenced concluding formulas refer) are patterned on the five books of Moses, or does he make this five-fold division also a basis for structuring the entire GMatt, and if so, exactly how? It seems to me that some of the problems in the reception of Bacon's theory arose from these latter issues. Though the others are, as you say, a close variant, the form of Matthew's concluding formula you specifically cite above is actually found only after the final discourse, in Matt 26:1, ("when Jesus had finished ALL these words..." ) and appears here to be retrospective not only of the words of Jesus in Matt 23-25, but perhaps also of the sayings in all of the five discourses: Jesus has finished speaking here in Matthew, and it is time now for him to enter the realm of action: the great act of self-offering, in obedience to his Father, the pouring out of his covenant blood for the remission of sins (26:28). With reference again to 26:1, compare also the retrospective expression in Matt 28:20 ("all things [PANTA] whatsoever I have commanded you..").

      There is one further relevant retrospective expression -- self-referential, to be exact -- that occurs only late in the Gospel of Matthew, even though the pertinent Matthean texts have otherwise close parallels in Mark: "this gospel of the kingdom" (24:14) and "this gospel: TO EUAGGELION TOUTO" (26:13). The fact that Matthew intends these as self-referential to his own Gospel, conceived here as a unity, is clear from the use of the demonstrative adjective TOUTO. The fact that Matthew sees his own work to be an adequate summary / representation of the teaching of Jesus himself is clear from comparing the formula "this Gospel of the Kingdom" (24:14) with the formula in 4:23 (and 9:35) ("the Gospel of the Kingdom," which Jesus preached).

      One further issue to be discussed in this connection is the success, or otherwise, in the scholarship of the last 100 years, in co-relating the five Matthean discourses (and / or parts of the text of Mathew) with the individual books of Torah taken in their canonical order.

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII Seminary
      Weston, MA







      -----Original Message-----
      From: E Bruce Brooks <ebbrooks@...>
      To: GPG <gpg@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: Synoptic <synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sat, Apr 10, 2010 2:39 am
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Five in Matthew


      To: GPG
      c: Synoptic
      n: Five in Matthew
      rom: Bruce
      Two points about the supposed five-part structure of Matthew:
      1. I have had no response to my earlier query about the plausibility
      f the theory that Matthew has built his Gospel in five major units as
      reference to the five books of the Pentateuch. I here offer a
      uggestion, as a different way of eliciting a comment from some
      ppropriately knowledgeable person.
      The suggestion is this: The Five Books of Moses were considered as a
      nit, but not as a unit consisting of a single book; on the contrary,
      he identity of the five constituent texts was recognized in the
      udaism of the 1c and preceding. The implication is that the proposal
      bout the structure of Matthew, whether or not true, rests on a valid
      remise.
      I cite the treatment of OT books in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most of
      hese texts are fragmentary, so it is no wonder that most can be
      dentified with only one OT book. But there are exceptions, the
      mmediately relevant ones being 4Q158 and its cousins, 4Q364-367.
      hese are collectively called Reworked Pentateuch, because they
      nclude excerpts from more than one book of the Pentateuch, but not
      ecessarily given in canonical order. Some (eg Tov) have recently been
      nclined to call them simply Pentateuch, but the evidence of active
      peration on the Pentateuch seems to me strong. The order of snippets
      n 4Q158 is Gen (1), Exo (4, not all in Exo order), Deu (1), and Exo
      5, not all in Exo order); one of the Exo bits is from the Samaritan
      entateuch (Garcia Martinez ad loc). The intent may be to
      roblem-solve, that is, to reduce or eliminate chronological
      ifficulties (the ascents of Moses) in the previous text. The present
      oint is that the range of texts drawn on, more or less freely, is the
      entateuch, nothing else. This would seem to show that the Matthew
      roposal of Bacon may stand: the Pentateuch were a unit, but one
      ithin which different texts were recognized. The model on which Bacon
      elies thus did exist.
      2. Davies and Allison say that the Bacon proposal may not be accepted,
      ecause of the prevalence of triplets in Matthew (due to Allison). But
      here is no conflict, since the triplets (mostly sayings of Jesus) are
      t a lower structural level than the grand overall grouping into
      iscourses. Allison is a useful addition to the Bacon view of Mt, but
      t is not a refutation of that view. The five Bacon divisions make
      ense, and seem to be marked by a distinctive formal signal: a
      losing/out-transition formula, "When Jesus had finished all these
      ayings" (or close variant). The latter is the indication of authorial
      ntention by aMt, and not mere analytical ingenuity by Bacon.
      For both reasons, I think the Bacon proposal may stand. If there are
      bjections, I will be glad to hear them.
      Bruce
      [E Bruce Brooks
      arring States Project
      niversity of Massachusetts at Amherst]

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: The Second Discourse in Matthew From: Bruce RON: There are several minor variants in the possible
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 10 10:32 PM
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        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG
        In Response To: Ron Price
        On: The Second Discourse in Matthew
        From: Bruce

        RON: There are several minor variants in the possible boundaries, e.g.
        does the
        second discourse start at 9:35, 9:36 or 10:1?

        BRUCE: Indeed. Bacon starts it at 9:36, evidently considering 9:36-38
        to be preparatory setting (Studies 284). It is clear from the
        finishing formula (at Mt 11:1, "And it came to pass when Jesus had
        finished giving direction to his twelve disciples . . .") that the
        Discourse itself is addressed to the disciples, not the crowds, so the
        discourse proper must begin at 10:1. I don't think there need be any
        great puzzle here. The need of the crowds ("like sheep without a
        shepherd") is the immediate reason for sending out the disciples.
        Relevant also, as Bacon has typographically emphasized, is the closing
        formula at 9:35, which presumably sums up and rounds off the previous
        healing activity of Jesus. The transition from deeds to words.

        I think Bacon is here reading the Matthean formal signals pretty well,
        and I am content to follow him.

        I could of course have done it better, and if some major publisher
        rings up and says, "We are looking for something just a little bit
        more literarily convincing than this Matthew thing, and if you would
        happen to be available . . ." there is no telling what I might answer
        them. But that hasn't come up (so far, though of course one does not
        expect business calls over the weekend), and it is thus with Matthew
        as he is that we are here concerned.

        For the moment.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Leonard Maluf On: Five in Matthew From: Bruce LEONARD: Bruce, could you remind the list of exactly what the Bacon proposal
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 10 11:36 PM
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Leonard Maluf
          On: Five in Matthew
          From: Bruce

          LEONARD: Bruce, could you remind the list of exactly what the Bacon
          proposal was (and perhaps how it has been significantly tweeked in the
          history of its reception?).

          BRUCE: I avoid the latter; I don't do histories of scholarship. For
          the general Bacon idea, see his Studies in Matthew (1930), and most
          conveniently the annotated translation which is given in schematic
          form on p265-335. He sees Matthew as composed of a Preamble (the birth
          material, Mt 1-2) and ending with an "Epilogue" (the Gethsemane and
          Crucifixion narrative, Mt 26:3 to end). Between those points, he finds
          a structure of five Books, each of which has two parts, the second
          part being a concluding Discourse of Jesus. The five Discourses of
          Jesus, including the narrative end-markers (which of course lie
          rhetorically outside the Discourse proper), are as follows:

          1. Mt 5:1-7:29 (Sermon on the Mount)
          2. Mt 9:36-11:1 (To the Twelve)
          3. Mt 13:1-53 (Teaching in Parables)
          4. Mt 17:22-19:1a (Church Administration)
          5. Mt 23:1-26:1 (The Judgement to Come)

          LEONARD: Specifically, does he / do his followers argue merely that
          the five discourses in Matthew (to which the referenced concluding
          formulas refer) are patterned on the five books of Moses, or does he
          make this five-fold division also a basis for structuring the entire
          GMatt, and if so, exactly how?

          BRUCE: The discourses are not the whole structure; they are only the
          second halves of the larger structure in Five Books. The concluding
          formulas manifestly refer only to teachings, and hence only conclude
          the Discourse sections, not the corresponding Books as wholes.

          LEONARD: It seems to me that some of the problems in the reception of
          Bacon's theory arose from these latter issues. Though the others are,
          as you say, a close variant, the form of Matthew's concluding formula
          you specifically cite above is actually found only after the final
          discourse, in Matt 26:1, ("when Jesus had finished ALL these words..."
          ) and appears here to be retrospective not only of the words of Jesus
          in Matt 23-25, but perhaps also of the sayings in all of the five
          discourses: Jesus has finished speaking here in Matthew, and it is
          time now for him to enter the realm of action: the great act of
          self-offering, in obedience to his Father, the pouring out of his
          covenant blood for the remission of sins (26:28). With reference again
          to 26:1, compare also the retrospective expression in Matt 28:20 ("all
          things [PANTA] whatsoever I have commanded you..").

          BRUCE: The concluding formula is different in each case, but
          typologically recognizable. As for the fifth of them (Mt 26:1)
          uniquely including ALL, I think it may as easily refer to the fact
          that the Fifth Discourse, uniquely in Mt, is composite; that is, it
          includes things said on two different occasions. Thus:

          Mt 23:1. Then Jesus made a discourse to the crowds and to his
          disciples, saying, The scribes and Pharisees occupy Moses' seat . . .
          [with a lot of virulently anti-Pharisee curses]

          Then we have a narrative transition, or perhaps two:

          Mt 24:1. Then Jesus left the Temple and went on his way. And his
          disciples came up to show him the Temple buildings, [2] but he replied
          to them, You see all this? I give you my word, there will not be left
          here one stone on another that will not be thrown down. [3] Now as he
          was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came up to him in
          private . . .

          No previous discourse is bilocational, and a reader might easily take
          the conventional "these sayings" in the concluding formula (Mt 26:1)
          to mean only the immediately preceding Apocalyptic Discourse. The
          "all" added to the usual formula might be meant to include the
          preceding, and narratively discontinuous, "discourse" as well (though
          it is in form less a discourse than a denunciation).

          LEONARD: There is one further relevant retrospective expression --
          self-referential, to be exact -- that occurs only late in the Gospel
          of Matthew, even though the pertinent Matthean texts have otherwise
          close parallels in Mark: "this gospel of the kingdom" (24:14) and
          "this gospel: TO EUAGGELION TOUTO" (26:13). The fact that Matthew
          intends these as self-referential to his own Gospel, conceived here as
          a unity, is clear from the use of the demonstrative adjective TOUTO.
          The fact that Matthew sees his own work to be an adequate summary /
          representation of the teaching of Jesus himself is clear from
          comparing the formula "this Gospel of the Kingdom" (24:14) with the
          formula in 4:23 (and 9:35) ("the Gospel of the Kingdom," which Jesus
          preached).

          BRUCE: Mt 24:14, in the middle of what I have called the Apocalyptic
          Discourse: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout
          the whole world for a witness against all the Gentiles, thereafter the
          end will come."

          Jesus is [represented as] speaking here. "He" manifestly opposes the
          Gentile Mission. Mk 13:10 has the opposite sense ("And the Gospel must
          first be preached to all nations"); it certainly envisions the
          salvation of at least some of those comprising the nations. I have
          earlier identified Mk 13:10 as the only passage which unambiguously
          gives a place in the Apostolic scheme of things to the Mission to the
          Gentiles. Of course Mk 13 is late within Mk; it carries a clear
          reference to the intended Desecration of Caligula, and was thus
          written in the summer of the year 40. Was the Gentile Mission in being
          at that time, so as to be recognized in this late addition? This puts
          us back to the problem of Paul's chronology. Chances are (see Bacon's
          commentary on Galatians) that in this year, Paul was missionarizing in
          Syria and/or Arabia. So far so good, but personally, I think it likely
          that Paul, despite the good press he gives himself and is given by
          others, was the only, or even the first, missionary to the Gentiles. I
          would guess that the original Apostles had also been encountering
          interested Gentiles, well before the year 40, and earlier strata of
          Mark seem to acknowledge, though more or less grudgingly, this
          unexpected situation. All in all, I think that the conjunction can't
          be proved on our present evidence, but is also not made impossible by
          that evidence.

          Was Matthew here distinguishing the Jewish Christian Gospel which he
          defines, from the heterodox Gentile-inclusive Gospel preached by
          others, notably Paul? I make that suggestion.

          LEONARD: One further issue to be discussed in this connection is the
          success, or otherwise, in the scholarship of the last 100 years, in
          co-relating the five Matthean discourses (and / or parts of the text
          of Mathew) with the individual books of Torah taken in their canonical
          order.

          BRUCE: I haven't seen that claimed. Can anyone supply a reference?

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          LEONARD: One further issue to be discussed in this connection is the uccess, or otherwise, in the scholarship of the last 100 years, in o-relating the five
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 11 3:23 PM
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            LEONARD: One further issue to be discussed in this connection is the
            uccess, or otherwise, in the scholarship of the last 100 years, in
            o-relating the five Matthean discourses (and / or parts of the text
            f Matthew) with the individual books of Torah taken in their canonical
            rder.
            BRUCE: I haven't seen that claimed. Can anyone supply a reference?


            LEONARD: I am unprepared to treat this question in full myelf, but I have a booklet (perhaps originally a journal article?) published in Leipzig, in 1853, in which Franz Delitzsch claims a five-part division of the Gospel of Matthew, each part correlating, in their canonical sequence, to each in turn of the five books of Torah. In Delitzsch's scheme, the five Matthean discourses do not seem to play an important structural role, and in fact I am not sure they are even ever identified as a group. From this it follows that Bacon was not the first to suggest a structure for Matthew based on the five books of Torah. And also that the issue of Matthew's literary relationship to Torah is in principle somewhat independent of the issue of the five discourses.

            Of course what intrigues me with the thesis of Delitzsch is that the Gospel of Matthew is explained source-critically (albeit in terms that sometimes appear less than fully convincing, compared to the sophistication of more recent analyses) without any reference whatsoever to the Gospel of Mark. And common Synoptic perspectives (e.g., that of the single journey to Jerusalem in the course of the active ministry of Jesus) are illuminated in terms that derive from Matthew's portrayal of the life of Jesus as modeled on Torah.

            If time permits, I will respond to a few other interesting aspects of Bruce's very complete response to my post.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Leonard Maluf On: Five in Matthew From: Bruce Thanks to Len for the note on Delitzch (not seen); apparently Delitzch does
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 11 9:23 PM
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              To: Synoptic
              Cc: GPG
              In Response To: Leonard Maluf
              On: Five in Matthew
              From: Bruce

              Thanks to Len for the note on Delitzch (not seen); apparently Delitzch
              does not note the Discourses as specially signaled segments of the
              Five Books.

              I have done a little further digging of my own, and can add a few
              details on the origin of the Five structure of Matthew as perceived by
              its readers. To avoid suspense, Bacon mentions a fragment published by
              Harris (Testimonies 2/90f, 109f) and describing Matthew as composed of
              PENTE LOGOIS (Bacon Studies xv and following).

              More proximate origins for the Discourse theory (not necessarily the
              Books theory) are Frederic Godet (Introduction, tr 1899, p182, not
              seen), who in turn quotes the titles assigned to them by [Albert]
              Reville, [probably in Jesus de Nazareth 2v 1897, not seen).

              John Hawkins, Horae Synopticae 133f (this page wrongly cited by Bacon)
              has an extensive section on number arrangements in Matthew, including
              the use of 3, 4, 7, and 10. In addition to the Pentateuch as a model,
              he notes that the Psalms also are divided into 5 subsets, and so for
              that matter is the Pirqe Aboth, unless you add the appended "Pereq of
              Rabbi Meir."

              Hawkins slyly notes, in reference to the Matthean closing formula, the
              concluding editorial note at the end of the second Psalms collection:
              "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."

              Numerically ordered sets or texts are of course very common in
              antiquity, Indian and Hebrew and indeed Chinese.

              So it seems the five-part structure of Matthew, one way or another,
              has abundant precedent in relevant reality, and has been seen for a
              long time; in terms of modern NT scholarship it goes well back in the
              19c in France (with the marking function of the concluding statements
              clearly recognized by Godet at least). In Germany, there is Delitzsch
              (noted by Len).

              Like a lot of apparently sound early scholarly insights, this one has
              been lost or attenuated in more recent times, but that is just a
              function of recent times (the Zeitgeist), and has (as far as I can
              see) nothing much to do with truth.

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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