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mqatthean provenance

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  • Larry J. Swain
    Steve, Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. The following is a summary of the reasons for an Antiochan provenance, each of which needs further
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 19, 2003
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      Steve,
      Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. The following is a
      summary of the reasons for an Antiochan provenance, each of which
      needs further explication. But for what it is worth, here's my
      summary.

      1 .Patristic testimony re: Jerusalem, while deemed incorrect has a
      negative value of demonstrating that noone thought Matthew came from
      anywhere else except the East.
      2. It is doubtful that it would have been accepted so early and so
      widely unless one of the larger, more important churches sponsored
      it. Since Rome, Ephesus, Alexandria, and Jerusalem all have very
      important reasons against them, that leaves Antioch.
      3. Peter's status in Matthew accords with his standing in Antioch,
      said to be the first bishop there. Not a strong argument on its own,
      but it fits the pattern.
      4. Antioch had both a large Jewish population as well as being the
      site of the earliest Gentile missions, Matthew more than the other
      gospels reflects this duality.
      5. Only in Antioch did the official stater equal 2 didrachmae, Matt
      17.24-7.
      6. The two texts which seem to refer to Matthean tradition (in the
      one case to the text of Matthew in the other case possibly to the
      text, but more likely to M material) are the letters of Ignatius,
      bishop of Antioch and the Didache whose provenance is also Syria or
      northern Palestine thus placing Matthew fairly firmly in those areas
      at the end of the first century.
      7. We know that in the third century there was a school in Antioch
      which claimed to go back to ancient times which had several OT
      textual traditions available, if the tradition is true, then this
      accords with both the Matthean citations of the OT as well as
      the "Matthean School" tradition; particularly since members of this
      Antioch school are said to have known Hebrew and Greek, which again
      points out a strong parallel with the author of Matthew.
      8. There are some strong similarities between the Lucianic text of
      the Hebrew Bible and Matthew's citations of OT texts in some
      instances. Lucian lived and worked in Antioch and is believed to have
      worked with an Ur-Lucianic text, i. e. one of the above mentioned OT
      traditions to which author Matthew had access.
      9. One of the concerns within the Matthean text is a conservative
      approach to the Torah which again accords well with Antioch as well
      as Palestine
      10. The text also seems to be concerned to react against some of the
      material coming out of Yavneh, which again places it in an area which
      Yavneh had some influence, thus northern Palestine and Syria, and
      Antioch.
      11. The community described in Matthew has usually been understood as
      a wealthy one, which rules out Palestine after the war of 70.

      These are culled from multiple sources, and I originally sent them to
      Peter Kirby in an online discussion on some list or other; Kirby was
      kind enough to include them in his discussion of Matthew at his Early
      CHristian Writings site, from which I have restolen them. For what
      its worth then....


      Larry Swain
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