Re: [XTalk] Re: Peter in Mk vs Mt
- At 03:11 PM 1/10/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
>--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:Tom,
> > Many thanks!
> > First, a question: What was the date of these exchanges? Perhaps
> > month and year would suffice.
>The exchange occurred just a few days ago in January.
I'm sorry; I'm obviously confused. Your original post on this thread on
January 7 stated
>Since Stephen originally offered his view a few years ago onI made the false assumption that your synopsis was based on the old
>Crosstalk (and it was not taken up), would any be interested in
>Stephen or me putting together a synopsis of the arguments we offered
>on either side (mine were very tentative indeed, since NT scholarship
>isn't my professional field) and then joining in?
CrossTalk correspondence, rather than the more recent correspondence on
Synoptic-L that you had referred to in the preceding paragraph of your
January 7 post. Since I am not subscribed to Synoptic-L, I didn't know if
that more recent exchange covered the ground sufficiently that your
synopsis would be based only on the Synoptic-L posts. Thanks for the
Later you quoted me:
> > Tom,And you replied:
> > Your summary seems to be cut off at this point; would you please
> > remainder?...
>I tried to supply the remainder in a Pt 2 post. Did it come through onYes; all came through but your email address at the end of your "signature".
>others' machines? All but my email address is visible on the archives
>as I have access to them.
>I hope this helps clear the underbrush.Yes, it does. Thanks!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- At 09:00 PM 1/9/01 -0800, Bob Schacht wrote:
>Second, Stephen, assuming that this exchange occurred before the Ted WeedenAs you are now aware, this exchange occurred last week, and it
>posts on GMark (mainly posted during May 2000 to XTalk), have his posts
>changed any of your views in what follows?
turns out that the focus on my views are on Matthew's view of
Peter, with comparison to Mark. It is interesting to me that
a gospel usually thought of as being pro-Petrine because of the
"Blessed are you Peter!" passage, fails to improve Mark's portrait
of Peter at many important points, omits some Peter favorable
material in Mark, and reduces Peter's insider status by changing
Mark's mentioning of Peter by name into a broader "disciples."
There is something going on in Matthew's gospel and I'm not sure
what it is. It is almost as if Matthew is siding with the 12
disciples (= Jerusalem church?) against Peter, but the real target
may be Paul, whom Peter accommodated.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
- --- In email@example.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@m...>
> There is something going on in Matthew's gospel and I'm not sureIf you are right (and you may be), Paul indeed may be the real
> what it is. It is almost as if Matthew is siding with the 12
> disciples (= Jerusalem church?) against Peter, but the real target
> may be Paul, whom Peter accommodated.
There is a string of things that may support this, and I'm just
brain-storming here, not doing anything very systematic. (1) The Great
Commission comes immediately to mind, where the risen Jesus sends the
disciples out to teach everything he has commanded, which surely is
connected with Jesus' interpretation of Torah in Matthew, a Torah
which Paul undermined: Mt earlier has omitted Mk's "Jesus declared all
foods clean." (2) Paul calls the Corinthian church God's "temple,"
whereas Mt includes a story which has Jesus pay his tax to the actual,
physical Jewish temple while it still stood--granted Jesus' prediction
of its fall (and Peter's tax was paid as well: I wonder what the
historical Peter was doing about this tax?). (3) Toward the end of the
Sermon on the Mount in 7:21 Jesus says, "Not every one who says to me,
'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
will of my Father who is in heaven." This seems to be countering the
thought-world of Romans 10:9-13: "If you confess with your lips that
Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the
dead, you will be saved . . . . For 'everyone who calls upon the name
of the Lord will be saved.' " (4) And even Mt 7:22-23 may be aimed at
claims such as those forwarded by Paul in Galatians 3:5 (within the
context of Gal 3:1-5 and the whole thrust of Galatians).
Thus, though you've not convinced me yet about the portrait of Peter
in Matthew, Stephen, you've certainly begun to get me to think through
not only your thesis but its possible implications: a pro-Paul gospel
(Mark) and a pro-Jerusalem/'anti-Peter who accommodated Paul' gospel
I guess it is time to add to this investivation a look at precisely
how James is handled in Mark and Matthew. I recall Goodacre giving a
list of anti-James passages in Mark some years ago on Crosstalk. What
does Mt do with them--and James in general?
Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome quotes a
passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is very
favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by Jesus
in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not the wine)--yet
which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. But
this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
movements that developed as the centuries progressed.
"The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses,
records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'And when
the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest
[apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he went to
James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat
bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until
he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those who are
dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table and
bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread, blessed
it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My
brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them
that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.
I thank you very much for a most stimulating set of suggestions,
Thomas A. Kopecek
Professor of Religion
- The recent exchanges on Xtalk ( between Tom Kopecek, Stephen Carlson, Bob
Schacht and Mark Goodacre) concerning the Matthean portrait of Peter vs. the
Markan portrait of Peter has caught my eye, particularly since my view of
the way in which Mark and Matthew treat Peter has entered the discussion.
Thus, I break my silence of some time in the on-going discussion on Xtalk
addressing the issue of the evangelists' portrayal of Peter to offer my take
on the issue.
Before I do so I want to explain my long absence as a participant in the
stimulating discussions on this very fine list. As many of you know, I am
working on a commentary on Mark, and have from time to time floated some
theses I am working on for response from members of the list. Members have
been very helpful to me in raising issues which I find I must address with
greater supportive evidence and cogent argumentation. In this regard I
still owe Mahlon Smith a response to my position that Mark's provenance
cannot have been Judea, as Mahlon argues, but Caesarea Philippi. I also
still owe Stephen Carlson a response to his challenge of my position that
Mark created de novo the Petrine denial. I have been delayed in mounting
arguments for my positions to be sent to both Mahlon and Stephen. The
delays are caused by several factors: problems with my health, professional
responsibilities, my ailing mother (who at almost 91 by sheer will power
continues to escape the throes of death), and finally the nature of my work
on the commentary.
On the latter I have been working on a number of fronts at one time, trying
to piece together the many facets of Mark in a wholistic way, with what I
think are new and, hopefully, convincing understandings concerning the
gospel. In this regard, I have been working on a long piece (perhaps too
long for this list) detailing carefully an argument for Johannine dependency
upon Mark for his passion narrative and other features of his gospel (as
part of my response to Stephen). I think now that I can show that John
transforms Mark's suffering-servant, Son-of-Man christology into his own
glorious and triumphant Son-of-Man christology. John does so as a
corrective to Mark. I think John got his "hour" motif from Mark (14:41),
transvalued its Markan features and used it as a supportive theme for his
own christological drama and point of view.
Moreover, since the Caesarea Philippi incident has just recently come under
discussion, I think I can show that John borrowed Mk. 8:27-29 and adapted
it for his own purposes to create the dialogue between John the Baptist and
the Pharisees in John's opening scene of his gospel (1:19-22). John takes
the "question" motif of Mk. 8:27-9 ("who do men/you say I am?"), slightly
rephrases it ("who are you?"), uses the same personnel Mark supplies with
the answers to Jesus' questions (namely, "John the Baptist," "Elijah," "one
of the prophets" [Jn= "the prophet"], "the Messiah," to construct his
narrative. He turns John the Baptist (vs. Mark's disciples) into the
respondent, reverses the climactic end of the Markan narrative by turning
Peter's "confession" that Jesus is "the Messiah" into JB's Messianic
disavowing confession ("He confessed, did not deny it (allusion to Petrine
denial?) but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah,'" 1:20), and leads off with
it in the dialogue he created between JB and the Pharisees. He then
continues with the original Markan order of Markan identity suggestions,
Elijah, the prophet, which the Pharisees continue to pose to JB. Following
that John draws upon the introduction to Mark's gospel to complete his
opening scene (1:19-28) following his prologue (1:1-18). John adopts the
the Isaianic quote of Mk. 1:3 and the Markan material on JB (1:5, 7-8) and
interweaves it with his previous identity-questioning motif (1:23-28).
I have been further delayed in completing this project because
Kloppenborg-Verbun's _Excavating Q_, along with the recent dialogue with
Bill Arnal on this list, has caused me to give another look at Q and its
relation to Mark. I am now convinced that Mark knew and drew upon passages
and motifs in 2Q and 3Q to as material for the developing of his
introduction which is created using the Isaianic template of a new exodus to
the promised land (in Mark's case, Galilee: see my Xtalk post of last
spring). Specifically, Mk appropriated Q 7:27 (Lk 7:27) and intercalated
it (common Markan compositional practice) between the citation of the
Isaianic prophet (1:2) and his prophecy (1:3). He then adopted and adapted
Q 3:16 (Lk 3:16) for his profile of JB, as Jesus' precursor (so already
established by Q 7:27), with the idea to describe JB's dress as Elijah
suggested by the allusion to John's dress in Q 7:25 (Lk, 7:25) and Q's
identification of JB with Elijah (so Q 7:27 vis-a-vis Mal. 3:1, 4:5; see K-V
I share all of this to indicate where my thinking is taking me and explain
my absence from the Xtalk dialogue. I hope to be able to refine and fully
develop these directions of my thinking and share with the rest of you for
your critical and helpful assessment. It may be a while before I can do
In the meantime, to return to the question as to whether Matthew has a more
positive or negative presentation of Peter than Mark. As already noted by
others in the current discussion, I hold to the position that Matthew
reworks Mark's negative profile into one that treats Peter more positively.
I have provided the arguments for that in my _Mark_, 1971/79: 23-51. I
still stand by the arguments I made there. Unfortunately, I have not had an
opportunity to access Stephen Carlson full argument, contrary to my view of
Matthew's portait of Peter and have only seen recent snippets provided by
Tom Kopecek. So until I do see Stephen's argument in full,I will limit my
discussion in support of my thesis that Matthew gives a more positive
profile of Peter than Mark to one of the key texts which has served as a
focus for the debate on the list, namely the Caesarea Philippi episode (Mt.
16:13-23/Mk 8:27-33). I use it now as a case in point to support my thesis.
Let me begin with a look at the Caesrea-Philippi narrative as it unfolds in
Mark and Matthew through Mk. 8:29 and Mt. 1620. No one that I know of would
deny that the investiture of Peter by Jesus in Mt. 16:17-19 far exceeds any
approbation given to Peter in this specific text or anywhere else in Mark.
So up to that point in the narrative, Peter fares better at the hands of
Matthew. What about following the investiture?
It has been argued by Stephen Carlson and Mark Goodacre that Peter fares
poorly in Matthew, more so than Mark, after the investiture. Mark argues,
if I understand him corrrectly, that narrative criticism gives us a
different slant on the portrait of Peter (more positive) in the Matthean CP
episode when we take narrative criticism more seriously and free ourselves
from slavish dependency upon redaction criticism. So let me follow Mark
Goodacre's urging and address the texts from a narrative-critical following
Mt. 16:19 and Mk. 8:29. I begin with the Markan text. Narrative
criticism argues, among other things, that an author essentially influences
the hearers/readers by setting up certain topoi, themes or motifs in advance
of a point at which those topoi, motifs or themes will shape the
interpertation at critical points in the narrative. And that is exactly
what Mark has done with the motif of "rebuke" (EPITIMAW) in his narrative
prior to the Petrine confession. The word EPITIMAW is used three times
(1:25; 3:12; 4:39) prior to Mk. 8:30 and in each case it is used exclusively
with respect to rebuking demons or demonic forces (the wind in 4:39) in the
course of exorcism. No other meaning of EPITIMAW is given to the
hearers/readers than one which is directly related to exorcising demons.
It is true that the word can be translated as "charge" or "sternly order," a
more "limpish" use of the word. But that is not the case in the first eight
chapters in Mark. After the Caesarea Philippi the word is used again in
the context of exorcism (9:25), though admittedly it has the more "limpish"
meaning of "sternly ordered" as it is found in 10:13 and 10:48, the only
other occurrences in the last half of the gospel. But if that is the
intent of the meaning in those passages, the hearers/readers from the point
of view of narrative criticism have not been offered that meaning of the
word by the Markan story at the point they are introduced to the Caesarea
My contention is that Mark's use of the word EPITIMAW three times (rather
surprising concentration of the use of the word in two verses, compared to
its use throughout the gospel) in the CP episode has been intentionally
nuanced by him with an exorcism interpretation. What he wants the
hearers/readers to conclude is that the exchange between Peter in 8:32f. is
analogous to a contest between exorcists. Peter tries to exorcise Jesus of
the "demon" that would cause him to accept for himself the path of a
suffering servant who would be killed by his religious adversaries. And
Jesus turns, as a result of Peter's attempted exorcism of him, upon Peter
and rebukes the demon in Peter, whom Jesus identifies as Satan himself. I
would argue that the same "exorcistic" meaning of EPITIMAW is intended by
Mark 8:30 where Jesus silences the disciples and Peter from being tempted to
accept Peter's false (demonically inspired?) confession. Peter is then
rejected by Jesus as Satanic, possessed by Satan, who leads Peter to think
like human beings and not like God (8:33).
Now let us look at how Matthew treats this exchange between Peter and Jesus.
And here I draw upon redaction criticism, too, specifically with the way
Matthew redacts Mark Note that Jesus only partially corrects the Petrine
confession in Matthew, unlike Mark, where I think it is totally rejected by
Jesus. For in Matthew, Peter's confession is not only that Jesus is the
Messiah but also "the Son of the Living God (16:16). Note that following
the investiture of Peter in Matthew, Jesus only rejects the "Messiah"
christology, not the "Son of God" christology when Jesus commands the
disciples not to tell about him. Thus Peter in Matthew is more nearly
correct in his christological insight than he is in Mark- a more positive
spin on Peter's perspicacity.
Note also that Matthew has significantly altered the wording in which he
denotes Jesus silencing the "Messiah" part of Peter's confession. Instead
of following Mark and using Mark's "exorcism-laden" word EPITIMAW, Matthew
(16:20) chooses to use in its place a more neutral, as far as exorcism is
concerned, less heavily freighted word, DIASTELLW ("charge," "command").
[Matthew uses EPITIMAW only once prior to the CP episode, namely, he follows
Mark in using it to cite Jesus rebuking the wind, 8:26. Matthew does not
narrate the Markan story of Jesus exorcising the unclean spirit in the
Capernaum synagogue (Mk. 1:21-28, nor the Markan summary of 1:32-34]
Matthew does follow Mark in using EPITIMAW when he cites Peter's rebuke of
Jesus. But, curiously, he does not follow Mark in using EPITIMAW to
describe Jesus' rebuke (exorcism) of Peter's satanic possession. Thus,
Matthew takes the sting out of the strident exchange between Peter and Jesus
in Mark. By substituting DIASTELLW for EPITIMAW in 16:20 he nuances Mark's
EPITIMAW in his account toward the meaning of "sternly order" or "command"
as is the meaning of DIASTELLW. Moreover, by not using EPITIMAW in his
depiction of Jesus' rebuke of Peter, as is the case in Mark, Matthew changes
Jesus' "exorcistic" attack on Peter to a reprimand of Peter for "tempting"
(SKANDALON) Jesus to turn from his course set forth by God (16:23). Peter
fares better at the hands of Matthew in this case.
One final note, unlike Mark, Matthew depicts Peter as rebuking Jesus because
he cannot conceive of the fact that the things which Jesus predicts will
actually happen to Jesus. And he protests, unlike Mark, with a title of
reverence and deference when he addresses his concern to Jesus. Namely, he
calls him KURIE (16:22). Thus, while Peter in Matthew certainly does not
end up in the CP episode with the same glowing depiction as in the
investiture, he still fares more positively, even in his darker moments at
the end of the Matthean CP episode than he does in Mark.
I apologize for the length of this post. Unforrtunately I am now in haste
to depart for almost a week, as I visit my ailing mother in Florida. I
will be back by next Wednesday and will reply then should there be any
responses to this post, and also pick up on Stephen's arguments.
- From: "Thomas A. Kopecek" <kopecekt@...>
>One place where Mark wields the axe against James is in 3:31-55. (Matthew
> I guess it is time to add to this investivation a look at precisely
> how James is handled in Mark and Matthew. I recall Goodacre giving a
> list of anti-James passages in Mark some years ago on Crosstalk. What
> does Mt do with them--and James in general?
renders this passage almost verbatim in 12:46-50, with one significant
difference.). In Mark, Jesus rejects his natural family and looks at the
people around him who believe in him and calls them his family. In Matthew
Jesus rejects his natural family and looks at the twelve and calls them his
family. My contention is that the purpose of this passage was to undercut
the power wielded by Jesus' relatives in the Jerusalem Church, the most
notable among whom was his brother James. However, while Mark seeks to
substitute the family's authority with the authority of believers, in a
spirit consistent with Paul's interests, Matthew reserves this honor for the
twelve. This is consistent with Tom Kopecek's and Stephen Carlson's
contention (if I understand it correctly) that Mark is more pro-Pauline than
Matthew. While Mark rejects both the family and the twelve as sources of
authority, Matthew is more accommodating towards the twelve, while still
rejecting the family.
The hostility ascribed to Jesus towards his family could be explained if at
the time of the writing of these gospels James were still in a position of
power, i.e., the head of the Jerusalem Church. If, as Ted Weeden contends,
Mark's gospel was written to oppose the Christology (I would say,
"traditional authority") of Peter and the twelve, the evidence on James
further suggests that it was written in opposition to the leadership of the
Jerusalem Church. Last May Mark Cameron suggested that James was the
unidentified disciple in Luke's story of the Walk to Emmaus. The suppression
of James in this gospel would reinforce the idea that "cutting James down to
size" was among the purposes of all three synoptics. Encounters with the
resurrected Jesus served as a source of authority in the post-resurrection
period; thus passing over a tradition that James met with the resurrected
Jesus could be seen as an attempt to undercut that authority. Of course this
implies that James was still alive and in a position of power at the time
that these gospels were written. Paul, too, derived his authority from an
encounter with the resurrected Jesus, as did Peter. But Paul was never one
of the twelve. That is why the difference in the Matthean and Markan
rendering of the episode of the rejection of the family is so telling.
>This is a most interesting parallel to the Luke's Walk to Emmaus and
> Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
> Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome quotes a
> passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is very
> favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by Jesus
> in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not the wine)--yet
> which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. But
> this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
> Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
> movements that developed as the centuries progressed.
> "The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
> translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses,
> records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'And when
> the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest
> [apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he went to
> James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat
> bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until
> he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those who are
> dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table and
> bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread, blessed
> it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My
> brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them
> that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.
reinforces Mark Cameron's thesis, referred to above, that the unidentified
disciple in that episode is James. It would seem that there were accounts in
circulation at the time of the writing of the gospels of James' encounter
with the resurrected Jesus, and that these stories served as the source of
James' authority as head of the Jerusalem church. If one wanted to undercut
this authority, the best way would be to suppress these stories and this is
what the canonical gospels attempt to do.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jan Sammer" <sammer@i...> wrote:
> The hostility ascribed to Jesus towards his family could beexplained if at
> the time of the writing of these gospels James were still in aposition of
> power, i.e., the head of the Jerusalem Church. If, as Ted Weedencontends,
> Mark's gospel was written to oppose the Christology (I would say,James
> "traditional authority") of Peter and the twelve, the evidence on
> further suggests that it was written in opposition to theleadership
> Jerusalem Church. Last May Mark Cameron suggested that James was thesuppression
> unidentified disciple in Luke's story of the Walk to Emmaus. The
> of James in this gospel would reinforce the idea that "cuttingJames
> size" was among the purposes of all three synoptics. Encounterswith
> resurrected Jesus served as a source of authority in thepost-resurrection
> period; thus passing over a tradition that James met with theresurrected
> Jesus could be seen as an attempt to undercut that authority. Ofcourse this
> implies that James was still alive and in a position of power atthe
> that these gospels were written. Paul, too, derived his authorityfrom an
> encounter with the resurrected Jesus, as did Peter. But Paul wasnever one
> of the twelve. That is why the difference in the Matthean and Markantelling.
> rendering of the episode of the rejection of the family is so
> >quotes a
> > Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
> > Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome
> > passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is veryJesus
> > favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by
> > in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not thewine)--yet
> > which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. Butuses,
> > this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
> > Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
> > movements that developed as the centuries progressed.
> > "The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
> > translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently
> > records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'Andwhen
> > the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priestwent
> > [apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he
> > James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would noteat
> > bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lorduntil
> > he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those whoare
> > dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table andblessed
> > bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread,
> > it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him,"My
> > brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from amongthem
> > that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.unidentified
> This is a most interesting parallel to the Luke's Walk to Emmaus and
> reinforces Mark Cameron's thesis, referred to above, that the
> disciple in that episode is James. It would seem that there wereaccounts in
> circulation at the time of the writing of the gospels of James'encounter
> with the resurrected Jesus, and that these stories served as thesource of
> James' authority as head of the Jerusalem church. If one wanted toundercut
> this authority, the best way would be to suppress these storiesand
> what the canonical gospels attempt to do.Thank you, Jan, for this reference to Mark Cameron's lengthy post in
May of 2000. I wasn't reading Crosstalk then. But now I've just found
and read the post in the archives and find it very stimulating.
Thomas A. Kopecek
Professor of Religion
Central College, Pella, IA 50219
- At 05:30 PM 1/9/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
>[snip]In what way? The chief(?) difference is that Mark says the three were
>I. FIRST EXCHANGE:
>... Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James, and John
>at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the
>transfiguration scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the
>inner core of the Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the
>rest of the disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration
>story's negative portrait of the three.
"terrified", whereas in Matthew they "fell to the ground and were overcome
by fear." What am I missing? Stephen also wonders, quoting from the second
>[Stephen]Tom answered in the Third Exchange:
>Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what is "very negative"
>in the Transfiguration and how Matthew "obviously softens" the "negative
>portrait" of Peter. Both Matthew and Mark state that Peter was afraid
>(Mark 9:6, Matt 17:6) -- I don't think that would be viewed negatively
>under the circumstances.
>...[Tom]This is an interesting point. Maybe the only time in the NT where Peter was
>The issue is the order of the sayings, in my opinion, and some of the
>particulars of the sayings. Mk has in 9:6 the words, "For Peter did
>not know what to say." That isn't in Mt...
at a loss for words? :-)
Resuming from the first exchange:
>[Stephen]Peter sleeps in Mk14:37//Mt26:40, both equally negative, so far as I can see.
> > In fact, Mark at 11:21 (withered fig tree),
>...Jesus then goes on to talk about not doubting and having faith in
>prayer, which Peter, like the rest of the 12 mentioned back in 9:27 in a
>comparable passage, never does in Mark, at least as far as I can see
>(while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for instance).
> This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the stilling of theMk4:36f//Mt8:23f. But Peter is not mentioned by name.
> storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"
>[Stephen]But is only named explicitly in Mark (along with James, John & Andrew.)
> >13:3 (private apocalypse),
>Yes, Peter is present,
>[Stephen]//Luke 17:4. Alternatively, Luke redaction of Q because he is generally
> > ... In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction of
> > Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21),
more favorable to Peter?
>...[Tom]I think you mean 19:27 (no parallels), quoting Peter, with 19:28f// giving
>The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with the Temple
>Tax story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in my
the favorable interpretation.
>II. SECOND EXCHANGEThen how do you account for
>Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
>important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
>of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. ...
which, as Tom has pointed out, seem more favorable to Peter?
>...I wonder if we need to distinguish here between Peter's tendency to talk
>III. THIRD EXCHANGE
>It is precisely Mk's attribution of a leadership role to Peter that
>highlights Peter's lack of faith, just his leadership role was
>highlighted when *he* spoke in the Transfiguration account in Mk and we
>were told by Mk that he didn't have a clue about what was going on: that
>is, he is the leader of those to whom Jesus earlier said (and continues to
>say throughout the gospel), "Have you no faith?"--which in Matthew is
>changed, of course, to "men of little faith." At least Peter got out of
>the boat and tried to employ that little faith before he began to sink and
>needed to call upon the name of the Lord, as it were.
(or act) first and think later, and any hypothetical role of "leader,"
which might be anachronistic. Just because someone is impulsive doesn't
necessarily make him a leader. Nevertheless, your general point about
whether or not Peter is being singled out by either Mark or Matthew as
having (or not having) faith is worth pursuing.
>...[Tom, re Mark 16:7]Given the short ending of Mark, is this probative? Aren't you relying
>I wasn't making myself clear. What I meant to say was that I see no
>hint in Mk of Peter ever going *to Galilee* to experience a resurrection
>appearance: that's where Jesus said he was leading the disciples,
>especially Peter, according to Mk 14:28 and 16:7....
essentially on negative evidence?
I am grateful to Tom for assembling the Three Exchanges, to share with XTalk.
Generally, Stephen has made a good case for Matthew putting a negative spin
Peter doesn't emerge unscathed from *any* of the gospels. But we need to
differentiate a number of factors:
1. If the actual historical Peter was a bungler-- impulsive, outspoken,
etc.-- then a negative portrayal is not necessarily "spin"-- it could be
2. If the actual historical Peter was impulsive and outspoken, then the
observation that Matthew and/or Mark portray Peter as the one asking
questions, etc. doesn't necessarily mean that Peter was regarded as a
leader. We should be wary of retrojecting the later propaganda of the
church into the gospel narratives. Leaders are measured by followers, and
Peter's primary "followers" seem to have been the Boanerges brothers-- even
in Acts. But this is a topic that merits more extensive study than I can
give it here.
3. If a gospel source seems to be putting a negative spin on Peter, we need
to look for the connecting thread. Weeden has attempted to do this for
GMark by connecting the negative spin to different Christologies. What is
the connecting thread in GMatthew?
4. I appreciate the attempts to evaluate the apparent spin in any
particular passage in terms of the narrative frame and wider context.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- At 11:15 PM 1/13/01 -0800, Bob Schacht wrote:
>>II. SECOND EXCHANGEFor Mt 17:24ff (the Temple Tax), Peter is asked about Jesus's
>>Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
>>important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
>>of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. ...
>Then how do you account for
>which, as Tom has pointed out, seem more favorable to Peter?
position on the Temple Tax, which he answers without checking
with Jesus. When Peter does so, he turns out to be wrong (kings
don't tax their children), but Jesus saves his face with a
miracle. Not entirely negative of Peter, but not really
positive of Peter either.
At Mt18:27ff, both Matt and Mark give Peter the same prominence
in asking the question, but Matt has additional matter about the
"12 thrones." Rather than highlighting Peter in specific compared
to Mark, Matt instead highlights the disciples generally (i.e.
12 thrones for 12 apostles). Matt's common choice to pump up the
disciples generally (even if Peter is understood to be a member)
does not affect my thesis. There are many examples of that.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
I've been doing a lot of reading lately on historical method and what
constitutes a valid method for studying the historical Jesus. [I notice
this was briefly mentioned in another post] I'm well aware of the works by
Meier, Crossan & Wright on method, but was wondering if there were any other
specifically historical Jesus scholars who had worked on or proposed a
method of study? Or if there are any other books on historical method that
are *must* reads?
Any recommendations on articles, books or links would be much appreciated.
Kind Regards, sean du Toit
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- Sean du Toit wrote:
>method of study? Or if there are any other books on historical methodTwo in particular, that are definitely MUST-reads:
>are *must* reads?
>Any recommendations on articles, books or links would be much >apreciated.
Jonathan Smith, _Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities
and the Religions of Late Antiquity._ U of Chicago, 1990.
Burton L. Mack, "The Historical Jesus Hoopla," in Mack, _The Christian
Myth._ Continuum, 2001.
Department of Religious Studies
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2
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