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Re: [John_Lit] Matt.11:27 and John

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Tony Costa To: Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 2:40 PM Subject: [John_Lit] Matt.11:27 and
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 16, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tony Costa" <tmcos@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 2:40 PM
      Subject: [John_Lit] Matt.11:27 and John


      >
      > What are some of the views regarding the typical
      > Johanine language used in Matt.11:27 (NIV),
      >
      > ""All things have been committed to me by my Father.
      > No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one
      > knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the
      > Son chooses to reveal him. "
      >
      > This Matthean passage has been called a "thunderbolt
      > from the Johanine sky". Did Matthew know of the 4G, or
      > did he and John have access to a common source? Thank
      > you.
      >

      Dear Tony Costa:

      I'm currently inclined to think that Mt 11:27 is partially based on Jn
      1:18b.

      HYPOTHESIS

      In Chapter 11 of his gospel, Matthew composes two Thomas "sandwiches", the
      first consisting of Mt 11:7-11 and the second consisting of Mt. 11:27-30,
      with each following this pattern:
      1. A passage, based on a Thomas passage, in which Jesus begins to speak
      about a person
      2. A passage, invented by Matthew, in which the extraordinary stature of the
      person is stressed
      3. A passage, based on a passage from a non-Thomas source utilized by
      Matthew, in which the extradordinary stature of the person is amplified
      4. A passage, based on a Thomas passage, where Jesus speaks about the
      person.

      In the case of Mt 11:7-11, the person Jesus discusses is John the Baptist.

      In the case of Mt 11:27-30, the person Jesus discusses is himself.

      PASSAGE 1--JESUS BEGINS TO SPEAK ABOUT A PERSON, WITH SOURCE BEING A PASSAGE
      FROM THOMAS

      1. Mt 11:7-8--the person is John the Baptist, "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.'"

      In terms of the hypothesis, this is based on 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?

      2. Mt 11:27a--the person is himself, "All things were given to me by my
      Father."

      In terms of the hypothesis, this is based on Thomas 61c, "I was given some
      of the things of my Father."

      PASSAGE 2--JESUS STRESSES THE EXTRAORDINARY STATURE OF THE PERSON, WITH
      MATTHEW CREATING THE PASSAGE

      1. Mt 11:9, "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell
      you--and one greater than a prophet."

      2. Mt. 11:27b, "And no one knows the Son except the Father."

      PASSAGE 3--JESUS AMPLIFIES ON THE EXTRARODINARY STATURE OF THE PERSON, WITH
      MATTHEW BASING IT ON A NON-THOMAS PASSAGE

      1. Mt 11:10. "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.).'"

      In terms of the hypothesis, this is based on 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.)'"

      2. Mt 11:27c, "Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and those to
      whom if the Son wishes to reveal."

      In terms of the hypothesis, this appears to be based on Jn 1:18b, "The one,
      being in the bosom of the Father, that one explained him."

      PASSAGE 4--JESUS SPEAKS ONCE MORE ON THIS PERSON, WITH MATTHEW USING THOMAS
      AS A SOURCE

      1. Mt. 11:11, "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."

      In terms of the hypothesis, this is based on 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."

      2. Mt. 11:28-30, "Come to me all the ones becoming weary and being
      burdened and I will give rest to you. Take up my yoke upon you and learn
      from me, for I am humble and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your
      souls. For my yoke is easy and the load of it is light."

      In terms of the hypothesis, this is based on Th 90, "Jesus said, 'Come unto
      me, for My yoke is easy and My lordship is mild, and you will find repose
      for yourself.'"

      CONCLUDING REMARKS

      In terms of a hypothesis regarding how Matthew constructed Mt. 11:7-11 and
      Mt. 11:27-30, it appears that part of Mt. 11:27 is based on Jn 1:18b.

      If so, this does not necessitate that Matthew knew of John's gospel. Jn.
      1:18b is the very close of the Prologue, and many scholars have argued that
      the Prologue is based on a hymn-like composition that originally circulated
      independent of John's gospel. In this case, then, Matthew might have had
      a copy of a hymn-like composition upon which John 1:1-18 is based rather
      than a copy of John's gospel.

      Tony, note that
      (1) All of the first hypothesised Thomas "sandwich" (i.e., Mt. 11:7-11) is
      currently deemed to come from Q, for it has a parallel in Lk 7:24-28
      (2) All but the final Thomas parallel in the second Thomas "sandwich" (i.e.,
      Mt. 11:27-30) is currently deemed to come from Q, for it has a parallel in
      Lk. 10:22.

      However, in terms of the proposed hypothesis, the need for Q disappears.
      All the above can be explained under the scenario that Luke had a copy of
      Matthew and used all of Matthew's first Thomas "sandwich" in one part of his
      own gospel and used all but the final Thomas element of Matthew's second
      Thomas "sandwich" in a different part of his own gospel.

      Even further, this explains why so many passages from the postulated Q have
      Thomas parallels. In this case, this is because Matthew used Thomas as a
      major source in writing his gospel.

      In any event, Tony, I hope this helps you in your quest to determine whether
      or not Mt 11:27 has roots in Johannine thought.

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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