Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [GTh] A Thomasine Influence on Matthew 11:2-19?

Expand Messages
  • fmmccoy
    INTRODUCTION In the past, I have made a number of posts in which evidence is provided that both Matthew and Luke used Thomas as a source. In this post,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      INTRODUCTION
      In the past, I have made a number of posts in which evidence is provided
      that both Matthew and Luke used Thomas as a source. In this post, evidence
      will be provided that Matthew used Thomas as a source while writing Matthew
      11:2-19. In Matthew's gospel this is the second and final block of material
      on John the Baptist--the first being in Matthew 3:1-17.

      VERSES 2-6
      Matthew 11:2-19 thusly begins in verses 2-6:
      Now John, having heard in the prison the works of the Christ,
      having sent by way of his disciples, said to him, 'Are you the Coming One or
      should we expect another?' And, answering, Jesus said to to them, 'Going,
      report to John what you hear and see. [The] blind receive sight and [the]
      crippled walk, lepers are cleansed and [the] deaf hear and [the] dead are
      raised and [the] poor receive the Good News--and blessed is whoever does not
      take offense at me.'

      These verses do not have a parallel in either Mark or Thomas.

      VERSES 7-8
      It thusly continues in verses 7-8:
      And as these ones were leaving, Jesus began to say to the crowds concerning
      John, 'What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the
      wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes?
      Behold! the ones wearing soft clothes are in the houses of Kings.'

      This has a parallel in Thomas 78a, "Why have you come out into the desert?
      To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in fine garments
      like your kings and your great men?"

      As a result, it could be that these two verses have two parts. First, we
      have a transitional sentence created by Matthew, i.e., "And as these ones
      were leaving, Jesus began to say to the crowds concerning John." Second, we
      have a saying that Matthew wrote as a modified version of Thomas 78a.


      VERSES 9-10
      Here is how it continues in verses 9-10:
      But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you--and one
      greater than a prophet. This is about whom it has been written, Behold I
      send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way in front of
      you (Idou egw apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou hos kataskeuasei
      ten hodon sou emprosthen sou.).

      This has a parallel in Mark 1:2, "Just as it has been written in Isaiah the
      prophet, 'Behold! I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare
      your way (Idou apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpon sou hos kataskeuasei
      ten hodon sou.)'"

      As a result, it could be that verses 9-10 have two basic parts. First are
      three transitional sentences created by Matthew, i.e., "But what did you go
      out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you--and one greater than a prophet."
      Then comes a modified version of Mark 1:2.

      VERSE 11
      Next is verse 11:
      Truly, I say to you, there has not arisen among [those] born of women
      greater that John the Baptist, but the least in the Kingdom of the Heavens
      is greater than him.

      It has a parallel in Thomas 46, "Among those born of women, from Adam until
      John the Baptist, there is no one so superior to John the Baptist that his
      eyes should not be lowered (before him). Yet I have said, whichever one of
      you comes to be a child will be acquainted with the Kingdom and will become
      superior to John."

      As a result, it could be that verse 11 is a modified version of Thomas 46.

      VERSES 12-19
      Finally, we come to verses 12-19:

      And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the Heavens
      is violently entered and violent men seize it. For all the prophets and the
      Law prophecied until John. And, if you are will to accept, he is
      Elijah--the one about to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. But
      to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the
      marketplaces who, calling to the others, say, 'We played the flute for you
      and you did not dance. We sang a dirge and you did not mourn.' For John
      came neither eating nor drinking and they say, 'He has a demon!' The Son of
      the Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold! a man, gluttonous
      and wine-drinking--a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' And Wisdom is
      justified by her works.

      This does not have a parallel in either Mark or Thomas.

      A MIRROR SYMETTRICAL ORDER

      Where:
      A = there is no parallel in either Mark or Thomas
      B = there is a parallel in Thomas
      C = there is a parallel in Mark
      then this is how Matthew 11:2-19 looks:

      A (2-6)
      B (7-8)
      C (9-10)
      B (11)
      A (12-19)

      This suggests that Matthew, in constructing 11:2-19, used three sources.
      The centerpiece (9-10) is based on Mark 1:2. On each side of it is unit
      based on Thomas (7-8 and 11). Finally, on each extreme is a unit based on a
      third source (2-6 and 12-19).

      THE TEXT OF THE POSTULATED THIRD SOURCE
      If, as suggested, verses 2-6 and 12-19 are based on a third source, its text
      had three main units. The first, 2-6, identifies Jesus as being the Christ.
      It reads:
      Now John, having heard in the prison the works of the Christ,
      having sent by way of his disciples, said to him, 'Are you the Coming One or
      should we expect another?' And, answering, Jesus said to to them, 'Going,
      report to John what you hear and see. [The] blind receive sight and [the]
      crippled walk, lepers are cleansed and [the] deaf hear and [the] dead are
      raised and [the] poor receive the Good News--and blessed is whoever does not
      take offense at me.'

      The second unit, verses 12-15, identifies John as being Elijah come again.
      It reads:
      And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the Heavens
      is violently entered and violent men seize it. For all the prophets and the
      Law prophecied until John. And, if you are will to accept, he is
      Elijah--the one about to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

      The third unit, verses 16-19 identifies both Jesus and John, despite their
      radically different life-styles as as acting in accord with Wisdom. It
      reads:
      But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in
      the marketplaces who, calling to the others, say, 'We played the flute for
      you and you did not dance. We sang a dirge and you did not mourn.' For
      John came neither eating nor drinking and they say, 'He has a demon!' The
      Son of the Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold! a man,
      gluttonous and wine-drinking--a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' And
      Wisdom is justified by her works.

      As a result, the postulated third source depicts Jesus and John as two
      end-time Messianic figures who act in accord with Wisdom.

      IMPLICATIONS
      According to the Q hypothesis, Matthew 11:2-19 is based on Q. This is
      because it has parallels in Luke 7:18-35 and Luke 16:16.

      However, there is a mirror symettrical arrangement to it that suggests that
      it is based upon three sources: (1) Mark, (2) Thomas, and (3) a third
      source.

      If so, then either there wasn't a Q or else it is much smaller than in
      currently envisoned by scholars. Further, if so, then Matthew used Thomas
      as one of his sources. Finally, since Luke 7:18-35 parallels Matthew
      11:2-19, then, if so, Luke used Matthew as one of his sources.

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.