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71Re: a hypothesis like the Farrer one

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  • Antonio Jerez
    Feb 19, 1998
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      Jim Deardorff wrote:

      >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.

      My own opinion goes quite in the opposite direction from
      Jim's. Matthew added a lot of anti-pharisaic and anti-scribe
      matter to his gospel, not from a lost source but from his own
      head. Just as Matthew (who was probably a former pharisaic
      scribe) adds a lot of hellfire symbolism to what he found in
      Mark. Luke deletes a lot of Matthew's most excessive diatribes
      against the pharisees and scribes and a lot of the hellpreaching.

      >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."

      I have problems with arguments of this sort. I don't think
      any gospel writer overlooked inherited material that goes
      contrary to their own bias and theological inclination. If so
      Matthew must have overlooked a lot, and I take him to be
      quite an intelligent man.

      Best wishes

      Antonio Jerez
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