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64Re: a hypothesis like the Farrer one

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  • Jim Deardorff
    Feb 18, 1998
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      At 12:48 AM 2/19/98 +0100, U. Schmid wrote:
      >On Wed, 18 Feb 1998, Jim Deardorff wrote in part:

      Ulrich wrote:
      >The crucial fact is not that the centurion was a gentile, but that his
      >belief _as a gentile_ is contrasted with the belief found in Israel (Mt
      >8:10). Moreover, the following verses (Mt 8:11-12) suggest the
      >eschatological exclusion of the "sons of the kingdom" while those coming
      >from the distant parts of the world will enter the kingdom and be united
      >with Israel's fathers at the eschatological banquet. In this context, no
      >doubt, the Israel-versus-gentile issue is very much at stake, hardly in
      >favour of the present (Mattheian) Israel. This is very much in line with Mt
      >21:33-46 (esp. v. 43). In my view, these are very strong statements (cf.
      >also Mt 23:29-36). If they are present (as well as the others, esp. Mt
      >24:14), I can also also accept 28:19-20. How to reconcile them with the
      >gentile polemics in Matthew is quite a different matter. My point is simply
      >that there is the other issue as well in this Gospel. The idea expressed in
      >Mt 28:19-20 with regard to the positive perception of the gentiles is not
      >isolated. Therefore, the case for excluding these verses is not very

      Sorry, I had missed the point there, in Mt 8:5-13.

      The way my own research explains this part of the dichotomy is that the
      writer of Matthew's source material contained much harsh language against
      the Pharisees and scribes, and even against the Jews who unthinkingly
      followed their teachings. It contained much more than is in Matthew. The
      writer of Matthew, having been a Jew or even a Pharisee himself, before
      converting, naturally softened or omitted much of this harsh material. But
      he didn't remove it all because after converting he agreed to a considerable
      extent with his source, because the scribes and Pharisees weren't accepting
      Jesus' teachings. Thus I believe that in Matthew's source, its equivalent
      to Mt 23 was even harsher against the scribes & Pharisees.

      So I believe that Mt 8:11-12 was retained for this reason; or it was
      overlooked when the compiler of Matthew edited out much harsher neighboring
      material directed against the "sons of the kingdom."

      As a sidelight, I find Mt 8:10b quite interesting: "Not even in Israel have
      I found such faith." To me this implies that Jesus had traveled around a
      lot outside of Israel.

      >>>(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.

      >Shedinger and Howard, of course, are among my favorites when it comes to
      >demonstrate improper use of textual data. I won't go into detail here,
      >especially because Petersen already did the job, and he will do it once
      >again in a thoroughgoing review of Howard's second edition (soon to be
      >published on the electronic TC journal). Just one general observation. It
      >is amazing how Shedinger and Howard could compare a 14th century Hebrew
      >text from Spain with predominantly 3-5th centuries Greek texts without,
      >_first of all_, checking western medieval texts. Of course, if you, for
      >whatever reason, narrow down or ignore evidence, short-cuts are the only
      >adequate result.

      But perhaps you're overlooking some possibilities. What if Matthew had been
      written in Hebrew first, and only translated into Greek after Mark and Luke
      came out (and at that later time Mt 28:19 was fed in). The Matthean school
      would then want the Hebrew Matthew to be retired, and any further Matthean
      texts in Hebrew would be translated from the later Greek Matthew. But
      perhaps a transcription of this oldest Hebraic Matthew survived somewhere
      and was rediscovered in Spain in the 14th century. One item in this text I
      find suggestive of an original Hebraic Matthew, besides the short ending, is
      in its Mt 28:16 where it mentions 12 disciples, not 11. The Gospel of Peter
      mentions the same number, as does Paul.

      Jim Deardorff
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