- Has anyone ever wondered why fruit is described as "evil" (PONHROUS) in Mt
One of the prominent features of the historical 'logia' sayings source (as
opposed to the hypothetical Q) is its coherence. This is manifest primarily
in two sets of links. Firstly each of the first 36 sayings is linked
respectively to each of sayings 37-72. Secondly most sayings have links to
an adjacent saying.
The three sayings below make use of the word "good":
'Good tree' (Mt 7:15-20 // Lk 6:43-44)
'Good treasure' (Mt 12:34-35 // Lk 6:45)
'Asking/receiving' (Mt 7:7-11 // Lk 11:91-13).
A justification for us putting the first two together is that they were
together in Luke (I am positing that Luke kept them together). A
justification for putting the second and third together is that they
respectively have the parallels 'treasure; heart' and 'depending on the
Father' when compared with:
'Treasure in heaven' (Mt 6:19-21 // Lk 12:33-34)
'Food & clothing' (Mt 6:25-33 // Lk 12:22-31),
which we can reasonably infer were together because they both deal with
possessions (and in Luke they were separated only by the redactional 12:32).
In addition the three adjacent sayings mentioned above are linked by the
word "good". Now notice also that 'Good treasure' and 'Asking/receiving' are
also linked by the word "evil" ("... the evil person out of evil treasure
..." and "If you, then, who are evil ..." resp.). How natural then, for the
editor of the logia to adapt the original saying of Jesus by replacing
"rotten fruit" by "evil fruit", thus completing the trio of links
contrasting "good" with "evil".
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