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[Synoptic-L] Traditionalism in Matthew (was: CRISTOS and .....)

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  • Ron Price
    ... Leonard, There is no denying that in some sense Matthew is more Jewish in outlook than Mark. But this does not prove that Matthew pre-dated Mark. Au_Matt
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2000
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      Leonard Maluf wrote:

      >I would note that the entire Son of God concept as
      >applied to Jesus in Mark has a distinctly later ring to it than the same
      >concept as it appears in Matt ....... In Matthew ....... there is still a
      >vital connection of the idea of divine sonship with OT notions of the
      >relationship of Israel itself, of its chosen monarch, and even of a just man
      >with a God who selects, protects, demands.

      Leonard,
      There is no denying that in some sense Matthew is more Jewish in
      outlook than Mark.
      But this does not prove that Matthew pre-dated Mark.

      Au_Matt was in many ways a traditionalist. He was obsessed with the
      fulfilment of prophecy. He was the first follower of Jesus to record his
      supposed genealogy. He recorded sayings of Jesus which show a narrow
      interest in Jews to the exclusion of Gentiles.
      But we know from Paul's letters that countless Gentiles had already
      been admitted to (Pauline) churches largely as a consequence of the
      vigorous missionary activity of the pro-Gentile Paul. All this happened
      a before *any* of the gospels had been written. Therefore it is too
      simplistic to assume that the more Jewish Matthew must have preceded the
      more Gentile Mark.
      On the contrary, the creative thinking in primitive Christianity came
      primarily from its pro-Gentile side, which was much more likely to have
      invented the new "gospel" genre, and of course the codex (but that's
      another story).

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 00-04-01 11:37:03 EST, jkilmon@historian.net writes:
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1, 2000
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        In a message dated 00-04-01 11:37:03 EST, jkilmon@... writes:

        << I think it was the very strength of this "pro-gentile" movement in
        Asia Minor, coupled with the institution of the Birkhat haMinim, that
        actually stimulated the Matthean scribe to rewrite Mark for a Jewish
        audience. He saw Jewish participation/interest waning and gentile
        participation increasing....probably in Antioch.>>

        In my view, an extremely unlikely scenario -- especially if we think of
        Matthew using our present Gospel of Mark. As I have said many times before,
        Matthew is naively Jewish, not polemically Jewish, as your scenario supposes.
        I simply do not see evidence in the text of a direct dialogue or direct
        reaction of Matt to Mark that would have been much more evident, I think (as
        is the opposite scenario), if the above source hypothesis were true. Even
        Matt 10:5b was more likely omitted by subsequent writers, than added by
        Matthew. And the addition of Matt10:23b to the text of Mark is all but
        inconceivable in the 80's.

        Leonard Maluf
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 00-04-01 07:01:49 EST, ron.price@virgin.net writes:
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 1, 2000
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          In a message dated 00-04-01 07:01:49 EST, ron.price@... writes:

          <<
          Leonard,
          There is no denying that in some sense Matthew is more Jewish in
          outlook than Mark.
          But this does not prove that Matthew pre-dated Mark.>>

          I never said that it did. It is fully consistent, though, with an earlier
          date for Matthew.

          << Au_Matt was in many ways a traditionalist. He was obsessed with the
          fulfilment of prophecy. He was the first follower of Jesus to record his
          supposed genealogy. He recorded sayings of Jesus which show a narrow
          interest in Jews to the exclusion of Gentiles.>>

          In contrast to Paul, who seems to limit the range of the Petrine mission to
          the Jews (Gal 2:9), Matthew has Peter and company commanded by Jesus to teach
          and baptize "all nations" (28:19). Matthew also has Jesus explicitly, and
          fullsomely praise the faith of the only two Gentiles he meets in his ministry
          (and in contrast to Luke's Gospel, Jesus DOES meet two Gentiles in Matthew,
          one man and one woman). In one case, the Gentile's faith is explicitly said
          to be greater than any found in Israel (8:10). And the "faith" of the Jewish
          disciples itself is invariably accompanied by the qualifier "little". It is
          this type of evidence that makes it difficult to view the Jewish elements in
          Matthew as a part of a special project to Judaize a Gentile gospel (Mark). It
          just doesn't work, especially since the Jewishness of Matthew, where Matthew
          is more Jewish than Mark, does not at all have the appearance of something
          added extrinsically to the text, but is part and parcel of the inner fabric
          of the stories themselves, as well as the discourses, in which this type of
          evidence is found. It makes much more logical sense to view the absence of
          Jewish elements in Mark as adaptation to a Gentile audience.

          << But we know from Paul's letters that countless Gentiles had already
          been admitted to (Pauline) churches largely as a consequence of the
          vigorous missionary activity of the pro-Gentile Paul. All this happened
          a before *any* of the gospels had been written.>>

          Don't be so dogmatic here. We don't KNOW when the gospels were written. (I
          wish we did!).

          << Therefore it is too
          simplistic to assume that the more Jewish Matthew must have preceded the
          more Gentile Mark.>>

          What is simplistic is your reading of what I am saying. I have been trying to
          show that I do not simply argue from a more Jewish Matthew to an earlier
          Matt. That would indeed be simplistic.

          << On the contrary, the creative thinking in primitive Christianity came
          primarily from its pro-Gentile side, which was much more likely to have
          invented the new "gospel" genre, and of course the codex (but that's
          another story). >>

          This is (of course) entirely a priori and arbitrary as a hypothesis. There is
          no reason whatsoever why I, or anyone, should feel compelled to accept this
          view.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... I think it was the very strength of this pro-gentile movement in Asia Minor, coupled with the institution of the Birkhat haMinim, that actually
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 1, 2000
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            Ron Price wrote:
            >
            > Leonard Maluf wrote:
            >
            > >I would note that the entire Son of God concept as
            > >applied to Jesus in Mark has a distinctly later ring to it than the same
            > >concept as it appears in Matt ....... In Matthew ....... there is still a
            > >vital connection of the idea of divine sonship with OT notions of the
            > >relationship of Israel itself, of its chosen monarch, and even of a just man
            > >with a God who selects, protects, demands.
            >
            > Leonard,
            > There is no denying that in some sense Matthew is more Jewish in
            > outlook than Mark.
            > But this does not prove that Matthew pre-dated Mark.
            >
            > Au_Matt was in many ways a traditionalist. He was obsessed with the
            > fulfilment of prophecy. He was the first follower of Jesus to record his
            > supposed genealogy. He recorded sayings of Jesus which show a narrow
            > interest in Jews to the exclusion of Gentiles.
            > But we know from Paul's letters that countless Gentiles had already
            > been admitted to (Pauline) churches largely as a consequence of the
            > vigorous missionary activity of the pro-Gentile Paul. All this happened
            > a before *any* of the gospels had been written. Therefore it is too
            > simplistic to assume that the more Jewish Matthew must have preceded the
            > more Gentile Mark.
            > On the contrary, the creative thinking in primitive Christianity came
            > primarily from its pro-Gentile side, which was much more likely to have
            > invented the new "gospel" genre, and of course the codex (but that's
            > another story).

            I think it was the very strength of this "pro-gentile" movement in
            Asia Minor, coupled with the institution of the Birkhat haMinim, that
            actually stimulated the Matthean scribe to rewrite Mark for a Jewish
            audience. He saw Jewish participation/interest waning and gentile
            participation increasing....probably in Antioch.

            Jack
            --
            ______________________________________________

            taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

            Jack Kilmon
            jkilmon@...

            http://www.historian.net

            sharing a meal for free.
            http://www.thehungersite.com/
          • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
            ... This is an interesting idea, but I struggle with the chronology (quite aside from the considerable discussion about the applicability of the Birkhat
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 2, 2000
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              At 10:41 AM 4/1/00 -0800, Jack Kilmon wrote:

              >I think it was the very strength of this "pro-gentile" movement in
              >Asia Minor, coupled with the institution of the Birkhat haMinim, that
              >actually stimulated the Matthean scribe to rewrite Mark for a Jewish
              >audience. He saw Jewish participation/interest waning and gentile
              >participation increasing....probably in Antioch.
              >
              >Jack

              This is an interesting idea, but I struggle with the chronology (quite
              aside from the considerable discussion about the applicability of the
              Birkhat haMinim itself). According to the Talmud (Berakoth 28b) it was
              during the period when Rabban Gamaliel was the head of the academy at
              Jamnia that Samuel the Small composed the Birkhat haMinim, probably by
              revising an earlier prayer. The argument is that Samuel the Small included
              the Nazarenes and other heretics (not further identified) among those who
              are mentioned. It seems likely that prior to that time, the prayer
              (probably not called the Birkhat haMinim) condemned only "apostates" (Jews
              who had abandoned their faith, most likely preferring elements in
              Hellenistic culture that they found attractive) and the "arrogant
              government" (which could be either the Seleucid or Roman authority - or
              both, sequentially, if one understands that the prayer had been used over a
              long period of time)."

              Gamaliel presided over the assembly at Jamnia from about 80 to about 115.
              For Jack Kilmon's view to work, the rewording of the prayer would have had
              be one of the earliest items on the agenda of the academy at Jamnia and the
              results would have had to be published promptly, widely and aggressively
              for it to have the influence that he suggests in such a short time and as
              far away as Antioch. Unless one wants to move the date for Matthew into the
              last decade of the first century, which has its own problems, it seems to
              me chronologically difficult to connect it with the institution of the
              Birkhat haMinim (if there ever was such a thing with the formality
              suggested in some of the discussion).

              I think that reference to the Birkhat haMinim is problematic for describing
              the context of any of the gospels, except for Lou Martyn's view that John
              9:22 reflects it, or something very like it. Even there, however, serious
              points of criticism have been offered and must be considered.

              Best,

              trwl

              Dr. Thomas R. W. Longstaff
              Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
              Director, African-American Studies Program
              Colby College
              4643 Mayflower Hill
              Waterville, ME 04901-8846
              Email: t_longst@...
              Office phone: 207 872-3150
              FAX: 207 872-3802
            • Maluflen@aol.com
              In a message dated 4/2/2000 3:50:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, t_longst@colby.edu writes:
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 2, 2000
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                In a message dated 4/2/2000 3:50:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                t_longst@... writes:

                <<
                I think that reference to the Birkhat haMinim is problematic for describing
                the context of any of the gospels, except for Lou Martyn's view that John
                9:22 reflects it, or something very like it. Even there, however, serious
                points of criticism have been offered and must be considered.>>

                In an off-list discussion with Jack Kilmon earlier today I wrote the
                following:

                ...My whole point is that there is nothing in Matt that suggests that
                "expulsion" from synagogues is a "current" experience for anyone in the
                Matthean community, as it clearly is in the case of John (16:2). On the basis
                of synagogue evidence, then, it is simply unjustified to date both gospels
                within the same decade or two. We know from Paul's experiences (2 Cor 11:24)
                that a Jewish-Christian missionary could well have been (and indeed was, if
                we believe Paul here) flogged in synagogues in the 40's or 50's C.E. And this
                is the only kind of synagogue evidence we find in Matt.

                Leonard Maluf
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