Again The Feast (Mt 22:1-14)
- To: Synoptic / GPG (again Mt 22:1-14)
Speaking of bidirectionality, and revisiting the specific issue of
directionality as it arises in terms of the two Feast pericopes, does the
decision to identify Mt 22:6-7 (with Montefiore and others) as a post-70
interpolation change the ballgame for the directionality question itself?
Does removing this ludicrous inconcinnity also remove the problem previously
felt with Mt as the original form of this story? And thus restoring the
feasibility of the FH paradigm as explanatory for this passage?
My judgement would be, No. There is still the problem of where the banquet
element in the MT banquet story came from. If Mt was adapting the Lukan
banquet by adding his King motive, we can see how he would like the Isaian
banquet previously referred to, not to mention the warring kings also
previously cited. They would comfort and sustain him in his adaptation. But
the proposition that these OT elements plus a bit of Mk have *generated* the
Matthew story as we have it, still seems to me too great a stretch. I can't
quite see the Synoptists sitting with a vacant stare, pen in hand but
pausing in their work, and mentally ransacking the Scriptures for a little
inspiration. Especially when the alternative is that a simpler nonRoyal
banquet story was already to hand in Luke A.
So it seems that by accepting the interpolation as an interpolation we have
removed a chronological problem from Matthew (which, as written, after all
contained no awareness of the destruction of 70; always a good thing to
know), and we have removed a gross incoherence from the Mt 22:1-14 story,
and thus somewhat redeemed the image of Mt as a competent adapter, which is
a relief to all right thinking persons, without in this case bringing him
forward as a plausible first author of the Feast allegory.
E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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