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Re: [Synoptic-L] Plutarch & Matthew 8:20 - in 1694

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  • David C. Hindley
    Thanks David, It seems to have been the humanists, thoroughly acquainted with the classics, who first noted parallels such as these, often without comment. I
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 21, 2012
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      Thanks David,

      It seems to have been the humanists, thoroughly acquainted with the classics, who first noted parallels such as these, often without comment. I am not averse to thinking of such a saying being a sort of proverb that can be applied to varied circumstances, but where I can find modern discussion of it the interest seems to be to negate any idea that Jesus would lower himself to use already existing proverbs and suggest that his sayings rather reach a higher ethical plane.

      "...the name of Jesus has become for Protestant theology an empty vessel into which every theologian pours his own thoughts."
      A. Kalthoff, The Christ Problem, 2902, p 17

      Regards,

      David Hindley
      Newton Falls, Ohio, USA

      --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, David Mealand <D.Mealand@...> wrote:
      >
      >When G--gle Books was persuaded to limit a search to the
      period before 1700 it turned up a copy of Matthew Poole,
      Synopsis criticorum ...commentatorum (1694), which he produced
      over some ten years after 1666, using many earlier critical studies. In Vol 4 on p.242 he gets to Matthew 8.20, and notes the similarity
      of Matthew 8.20 to what Plutarch said in his life of Tiberius Gracchus. As this work is, like many commentaries, a compendium of what previous commentators had already published, the awareness of
      this similarity probably goes back quite a bit before 1676.
      >
      > As for a further recent commentary which discusses the issue, Fitzmyer Luke p.835 notes the Plutarch passage, but is cautious about the view that a proverbial saying or generalization is involved.
      >
      > David M.
    • fathchuck@aol.com
      UH I just caught this one and am a bit confused: Jesus and a dancing fish? Where? Rev. Charles Schwartz Church of Saint Dorothea Eatontown, NJ In a message
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 21, 2012
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        UH I just caught this one and am a bit confused: Jesus and a dancing fish?
        Where?

        Rev. Charles Schwartz
        Church of Saint Dorothea
        Eatontown, NJ


        In a message dated 3/18/2012 10:32:52 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        dhindley@... writes:

        This is not the first time I've run across this deafening silence. Jesus'
        tale of the dancing fish and the pipe-flute is strangely reminiscent to
        Herodotus' account of Cyrus taunt of the Lyddian representatives who were
        petitioning a surrender with terms. Yet I really don't see this in modern
        scholarship.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Mealand
        I think I would tend to argue that neither the Plutarch passage, nor the logion in the double tradition, universalize by saying that birds and animals have
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 22, 2012
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          I think I would tend to argue that neither the Plutarch
          passage, nor the logion in the double tradition, universalize
          by saying that birds and animals have homes but members
          of the human race do not. Both do seem to say that even
          birds and animals have homes but _some_ people do not.
          I have no problem with discovering that some items in the
          Synoptics contain sentiments that someone endowed with
          wisdom or with prophetic insight might have said previously.

          The line I take seems to require, for at least this item in the
          double tradition, a sense that the expression barnasha could
          refer in some indirect way to the speaker, or speaker and associates.
          I have no problem with that, but am well aware that we can't
          treat all barnasha passages in precisely the same way. (That
          however is a large problem I am quite content to leave well alone
          while I have a few other things to attend to.)

          David M.


          ---------
          David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


          --
          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
        • olugbenga olagunju
          David, do you know that in Africa especially among the Yoruba people group there are some proverbs and old wise sayings that are parallel to what Plutarch in
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 22, 2012
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            David, do you know that in Africa especially among the Yoruba people group there are some proverbs and old wise sayings that are parallel to what Plutarch in antiquity and what Jesus said in the double tradition. For example the Yoruba proverb says "gbogbo eye lo ni ile beeni gbogbo eranko loni ibuba sugbon awa omo eniyan a ni bi taa forile" meaning all birds has nest yes all animal has places to hide but we human being has no place to rest our head. The problem here is that some of the sayings in our culture are not documented but through oral tradition we got to know and believe them.  In "Ijala ode" odes of the hunter or "odu ifa" oracle there are numerous sayings that has been documented that has parallel in the synoptics but it seems the saying of Jesus carries more weight that all other sayings in every culture
            Olugbenga Olagunju
            Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso,
            Nigeria


            ________________________________
            From: David C. Hindley <dhindley@...>
            To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 3:21 AM
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Plutarch & Matthew 8:20 - in 1694


             
            Thanks David,

            It seems to have been the humanists, thoroughly acquainted with the classics, who first noted parallels such as these, often without comment. I am not averse to thinking of such a saying being a sort of proverb that can be applied to varied circumstances, but where I can find modern discussion of it the interest seems to be to negate any idea that Jesus would lower himself to use already existing proverbs and suggest that his sayings rather reach a higher ethical plane.

            "...the name of Jesus has become for Protestant theology an empty vessel into which every theologian pours his own thoughts."
            A. Kalthoff, The Christ Problem, 2902, p 17

            Regards,

            David Hindley
            Newton Falls, Ohio, USA

            --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, David Mealand <D.Mealand@...> wrote:
            >
            >When G--gle Books was persuaded to limit a search to the
            period before 1700 it turned up a copy of Matthew Poole,
            Synopsis criticorum ...commentatorum (1694), which he produced
            over some ten years after 1666, using many earlier critical studies. In Vol 4 on p.242 he gets to Matthew 8.20, and notes the similarity
            of Matthew 8.20 to what Plutarch said in his life of Tiberius Gracchus. As this work is, like many commentaries, a compendium of what previous commentators had already published, the awareness of
            this similarity probably goes back quite a bit before 1676.
            >
            > As for a further recent commentary which discusses the issue, Fitzmyer Luke p.835 notes the Plutarch passage, but is cautious about the view that a proverbial saying or generalization is involved.
            >
            > David M.




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David C. Hindley
            Sorry, I am telescoping this a bit. Luke 7:28-35: 28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 22, 2012
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              Sorry, I am telescoping this a bit.

              Luke 7:28-35:

              28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." 29 (When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) 31 "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, 'We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.' 34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."

              The 'piper' (v32) referred to represents John the Baptist (v33), while the 'wailer' represents the Son of man (Jesus, v34). This pericope clearly states that the Pharisees and lawyers did not heed the messages of these men, to their disfavor. The disfavor is indicated by "wisdom is justified by all her children." But what justly happened to the children of the Pharisees and lawyers on account of their rejection of the wise message of John the Baptist and Jesus?

              Herodotus, Book 1 (Clio):

              Immediately after the conquest of Lydia by the Persians, the Ionian and Aeolian Greeks sent ambassadors to Cyrus at Sardis, and prayed to become his lieges on the footing which they had occupied under Croesus. Cyrus listened attentively to their proposals, and answered them by a fable. "There was a certain piper," he said, "who was walking one day by the seaside, when he espied some fish; so he began to pipe to them, imagining they would come out to him upon the land. But as he found at last that his hope was vain, he took a net, and enclosing a great draught of fishes, drew them ashore. The fish then began to leap and dance; but the piper said, 'Cease your dancing now, as you did not choose to come and dance when I piped to you.'" Cyrus gave this answer to the Ionians and Aeolians, because, when he urged them by his messengers to revolt from Croesus, they refused; but now, when his work was done, they came to offer their allegiance. It was in anger, therefore, that he made them this reply.

              Couldn't Jesus statement (or Matthew/Luke/Q's statement) be taken to mean "By rejecting God's call to repent, God's anointed, like Cyrus, will destroy them in consequence." What happened one generation after Jesus' time? The destruction of the Temple and the fledgling Jewish state.

              Aesop, who is believed to have flourished around the time of Cyrus, has a similar version of this saying.

              Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb). This edition contains the Greek texts of Babrius, with a facing English translation, and an extensive index covering the Greek and Latin fable tradition.

              ÂÁÂÑÉÏÕ ÌÕÈÉÁÌÂÏÉ ÁÉÓÙÐÅÉÏÉ

              Babrius 9 = Perry 11

              Ἁëéåύò ôéò áὐëïὺò åἶ÷å êáὶ óïöῶò çὔëåé·
              êáὶ äή ðïô' ὄøïí ἐëðéóáò ἀìï÷èήôùò
              ðïëὺ ðñὸò áὐëῶí ἡäõöùíίçí ἥîåéí,
              ôὸ äίêôõïí èåὶò ἐôåñέôéæåí åὐìïύóùò.
              ἐðåὶ äὲ öõóῶí ἔêáìå êáὶ ìάôçí çὔëåé,
              âáëὼí óáãήíçí åἷëêåí ἰ÷èύùí ðëήñç.
              ἐðὶ ãῆò ä' ἰäùí óðáίñïíôáò ἄëëïí ἀëëïίùò,
              ôïéáῦô' ἐêåñôόìçóå ôὸí âόëïí ðëύíùí·
              "ἄíáõëá íῦí ὀñ÷åῖóèå. êñåῖóóïí ἦí ὕìáò
              ðάëáé ÷ïñåύåéí, ἡíίê' åἰò ÷ïñïὺò çὔëïõí."

              Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)290.
              THE FISHERMAN AND HIS PIPE
              Perry 11 (Herodotus I.141)

              There was once a fisherman who saw some fish in the sea and played on his pipe, expecting them to come out onto the land. When his hopes proved false, he took a net and used it instead, and in this way he was able to haul in a huge catch of fish. As the fish were all leaping about, the fisherman remarked, 'I say, enough of your dancing, since you refused to dance when I played my pipe for you before!'

              http://mythfolklore.net/aesopica/oxford/contentindex/index_contentf.htm (mind the wrap!)

              Dave Hindley
              Newton Falls, Ohio, USA

              --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, fathchuck@... wrote:
              >
              > UH I just caught this one and am a bit confused: Jesus and a dancing fish?
              > Where?
              >
              > Rev. Charles Schwartz
              > Church of Saint Dorothea
              > Eatontown, NJ
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 3/18/2012 10:32:52 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
              > dhindley@... writes:
              >
              > This is not the first time I've run across this deafening silence. Jesus' tale of the dancing fish and the pipe-flute is strangely reminiscent to Herodotus' account of Cyrus taunt of the Lyddian representatives who were petitioning a surrender with terms. Yet I really don't see this in modern scholarship.
            • David Mealand
              G--gle Books was eventually persuaded to limit a search to the period before 1700 and it turned up a copy of Matthew Poole, Synopsis criticorum
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 1, 2012
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                G--gle Books was eventually persuaded to limit a search to the
                period before 1700 and it turned up a copy of Matthew Poole,
                Synopsis criticorum ...commentatorum (1694) which he produced over
                some ten years after 1666 using many earlier critical studies. In Vol 4
                on p.242 he gets to Matthew 8.20, and notes the similarity of Matthew 8.20
                to what Plutarch said in his life of Tiberius Gracchus. As this work
                is, like many commentaries, a compendium of what previous commentators had
                already published, the awareness of this similarity probably goes back
                quite a bit before 1676.

                David M.



                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh



                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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