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Re: Matthew 21.7

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  • Jim Deardorff
    ... OK, Mark, I ll bite. Isn t the usual explanation for this the fact that Mt 21:4-5 expresses the Zechariah citation in a form that has the king definitely
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 6 10:56 AM
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      At 12:15 PM 4/6/98 GMT, Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >One for Palm Sunday:
      >
      >It has always concerned me that commentaries on Matthew tend to make
      >the evangelist out to be a pretty fool when it comes to the entry to
      >Jerusalem. As we know, Matthew has two animals, a donkey and a colt,
      >where Mark and Luke have only one. Matthew, it is said, is being
      >over-literal over the hendiadys in Isaiah 62.11.
      >
      >This involves him, it is said, in the idiocy of placing Jesus
      >simultaneously on the two animals, "he sat upon them" (KAI EPEKAQISEN
      >EPANW AUTWN).
      >
      >What other explanation could there be? What if the AUTWN here refers
      >not to the animals but to the hIMATIA?:
      >
      >KAI EPEQHKAN EP AUTWN TA hIMATIA, KAI EPEKAQISEN EPANW hIMATIA.
      >
      >How might we test this possibility? Well, Matt. 21.8 goes on to
      >speak about the crowd throwing hEAUTWN TA hIMATIA on the ground,
      >apparently stressing "their own" garments, as if the focus in the
      >previous clause was not on AUTWN = animals but AUTWN = garments.
      >
      >I wonder if this is a case of paying too much attention to Synoptic
      >parallels when one is doing exegesis? Mark speaks of Jesus
      >mounting AUTON = the donkey (11.7) and we cast our eye across the
      >synopsis to see AUTWN in Matt. and all too readily assume that this
      >is donkeys.
      >
      >This doesn't help us with the oddity of Matthew deciding to be so
      >'literal' over Isaiah 62.11 but it does, at least, prevent one from
      >reading the text as if it is something from Monty Python.
      >
      >With good wishes
      >
      >Mark

      OK, Mark, I'll bite. Isn't the usual explanation for this the fact that Mt
      21:4-5 expresses the Zechariah citation in a form that has the king
      definitely seated upon an ass and a young colt? Then, since the garments
      are placed upon both the ass and the colt in Matthew, and Jesus sat upon
      *them*, it could refer either to (a) sitting upon the garments on both
      animals, or (b) sitting upon both animals, or (c) sitting upon the garments
      on one of the animals. So, two out of three here, plus Zec 9:9, imply
      sitting upon both animals at once.

      Then if one looks for the support of external tradition (AH), one sees that
      the writers of Mark and Luke fixed up this ridiculous situation.

      Jim Deardorff
      Corvallis, Oregon
      E-mail: deardorj@...
      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
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