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57Re: a hypothesis like the Farrer one

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  • Jim Deardorff
    Feb 18, 1998
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      At 12:50 PM 2/18/98 +0100, you wrote:
      >On Tue, 17 Feb 1998, Jim Deardorff wrote:
      [...]
      >>>>Mt 18:17 "...let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."
      >>>>
      >>>>An additional key point is the strong likelihood that Mt 28:18-20 is a later
      >>>>addition. This is indicated by "...in the name of the Father and of the Son
      >>>>and of the Holy Spirit" -- a Trinitarian-like formula. This was surely
      >>>>added by someone else than the original writer of Matthew, in an attempt to
      >>>>counteract the preceding anti-gentile material.
      >>>>
      >>>>Jim Deardorff

      >>>Jim, do you know what the Greek NT critical apparatus says on this verse.
      >>>Does the apparatue hint whether or not the verse was inserted? I am at work
      >>>now and, therefore, do not have a copy of the Greek NT with me.
      >>>
      >>>Thanks
      >>>
      >>>Timothy T. Dickens

      >>Tim,
      >>
      >>NA-27 doesn't indicate any possibility of this that I can see, merely a
      >>change in spelling of "baptizing" in some witnesses.
      >>
      >>It was instead an article by George Howard that brought out this possibility
      >>to me, in his "A note on the short ending of Matthew," in HTR 81 (1988)
      >>117-120; it stems from analyses of what Eusebius failed to say when
      >>discussing this general area of Matthew. Also,
      >>the primitive Hebrew text Howard analyzed fails to have Mt 28:19 and 20b.
      >>
      >>I notice that F. Beare, in his commentary on Matthew, gives a couple reasons
      >>why Mt 28:19 "is a relatively late formulation."
      >>
      >>Is it indeed in the Didache? I've been one who favors the Didache as having
      >>come out a little later than Matthew, in which case it wouldn't prove
      anything.
      >>
      >>Jim Deardorff


      >(1) Those favouring the later addition of Mt 28:19-20 do they also want to
      >remove Mt 2:1-11; 8:5-13; 12:21; 21:33-46; 24:14; 26:13?

      Ulrich,

      (I think you failed to send your post also to the List, so let me post it
      here. In any event, your question here was soon after seconded, essentially,
      by Antonio Jerez.)

      Re your question (1), not generally, I'd say. But given all the evidence
      that the writer of Matthew was anti-gentile, it is only natural to explore
      reasons why he nevertheless would have included certain material that seems
      pro-gentile.

      Regarding Mt 2:1-11, let's keep in mind the writer's key desire to include
      material from his source (and add some of his own) that portrayed Jesus as
      the prophesied Messiah. The verse from Micah 5:2, in distorted form, makes
      clear the Messianic underpinnings of the visit by the Magi. And these magi,
      along with their worshipful actions, were proof of the babe's Messianic
      status. The writer of Matthew could not have failed to include that in his
      gospel, in spite of his anti-gentile attitude.

      Regarding Mt 8:5-13, it may have been a close decision, I don't know,
      whether the writer should include it or not. Each miracle was very worthy
      of inclusion, especially if it portrayed Jesus as an authority as well as a
      Messianic miracle worker. But it does not seem implausible to me that this
      factor outweighed the fact that the centurion was a gentile, especially
      since the centurion was so subservient to Jesus. (The pericope's omission
      from Mark, within the Augustinian framework, is admittedly more difficult to
      understand, unless the writer of Mark in Rome frowned upon a centurion
      professing to be unworthy, and did not believe in Matthean admonitions to be
      meek; and wished that the healing had been described in some detail.)

      Regarding Mt 12:21, it was again inserted by the writer of Matthew (in
      distorted form from Isa 42:4) to show that Jesus (not just the servant
      Jacob) was the Messiah. Isn't the one true Messiah supposed to reign over
      all nations, not just Israel? So in this context inclusion of gentiles
      supported full messianism, despite the writer's distaste for gentiles.

      Regarding Mt 21:33-46, and Mt 21:43-45 in particular, this was a stern
      warning to Israel and especially to the chief priests and
      Pharisees who were not accepting Jesus' teachings. The writer of Matthew
      was very much engaged in trying to bring the messianic form of Christianity
      to the Jews, and was evidently very upset that it was not catching on well
      with them (as indicated by Mt 27:25). So what worse fate was there to
      threaten than to have the fruits of the kingdom taken away from Israel and
      given to a gentile nation? If his source material had anything close to this
      in it, he would wish to include it for the severity of the admonition.

      Regarding Mt 24:14, you have me there. I do believe it is close to the
      original source material. However, having said this, I do see a distinction
      between preaching a gospel to all nations, thus making them subservient to
      the Messiah, and desiring to make disciples out of their peoples to the
      extent of baptizing them, as in Mt 28:19. Of course, the later editor who
      fed in 28:19 didn't harbor a strong dislike of gentiles.

      Regarding Mt 26:13, I feel the same way as above (and that it is a prophecy
      come true). But as you indicated by (?), it doesn't much relate to offering
      discipleship.

      >(2) The Hebrew text (Shem Tov) edited by Howard is, of course, not
      >"primitive". It is a late 14th century text produced in Spain; cf. the
      >review of W.L. Petersen, JBL 108 (1989), 722-726.

      But the 14th-century text was based upon something earlier. Howard gave
      reasons why it contains material that seems to date back to very early
      times. In an article by Robert Shedinger (NTS 43 (1997) 58-71), he tends to
      support Howard on this.

      >(3) The triadic combination of Father-Son-Holy Spirit, interestingly
      >enough, is found in the Gospel of Thomas, log. 44. Quite a few scholars
      >consider GTh as belonging to the oldest strata of the Gospel tradition(s).
      >Do we have to remove log. 44 from Gth as well in order to keep our nicely
      >arranged layers of Gospel tradition developments? [...]

      No, merely give those scholars' arguments more consideration who see GTh to
      be subsequent to the Gospels! I see log. 44 as deriving from Mt 12:31-32
      without having to be a later development than that. To me, the GTH reads
      like it was written by a semi-Gnostic who had gained the opportunity to read
      through some of the Gospels in their earliest form, when there were but a
      few of them and they were quite inaccessible, but he was not welcome enough
      to be granted sufficient time to sit down with the precious manuscripts and
      transcribe significant portions of them. But he wished to set forth the
      teachings he recalled from reading them so that others of like mind could
      read it.

      Jim Deardorff
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