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Re: [Synoptic-L] Peter in Matthew

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  • E. Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic-L In Response To: Mark Goodacre, John Lupia On: Peter in Matthew From: Bruce I would be inclined to agree that the link between stony (as,
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 22, 2003
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      To: Synoptic-L
      In Response To: Mark Goodacre, John Lupia
      On: Peter in Matthew
      From: Bruce

      I would be inclined to agree that the link between "stony" (as, unreceptive
      soil) and "rock" (as, a suitable foundation) may be a chimera, as John calls
      it. But if we detach the parable from the behavior of Peter in Mark, and
      then as refracted through Matthew, might there not be a topos of interest?
      It seems to me that the steadfastness of Peter in Acts (usually linked with
      Luke, and thus presumptively post-Matthean), or in any other
      post-Crucifixion context, isn't directly relevant, either in support or in
      refutation.

      My suggestion would be to focus on the structural position of the Peter
      denials or failures in GMark, and then see how they (and GMatt's additions)
      graph in GMatthew. MarkG's comment was "If anything, the pattern in Matthew
      of Peter fulfilling the behaviour of the "rocky ground" in the Sower is even
      stronger than in Mark, not least with redactional additions at key moments.
      . " Whether or not the parable is the source of the topos, if AMatthew is
      developing something that was, or even that he only thinks was, previously
      in GMark, that would seem to have considerable Synoptic relevance.

      The homiletic value of a fallible but candid Peter is very obvious. Has the
      Matthean Peter been shaped by additional decades of preaching to a quite
      possibly fallible public? One tends, over time, to do more of what works.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst


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    • John Lupia
      ... You stand corrected. There is another OBVIOUS reading to what I said. That this view is circulating as Mark himself indicated in his own post citing
      Message 2 of 18 , Feb 22, 2003
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        Jeffrey B. Gibson:

        > Please correct me if I am misreading the above, but
        > are you accusing
        > Mark of plagiarism?

        You stand corrected. There is another OBVIOUS reading
        to what I said. That this view is circulating as Mark
        himself indicated in his own post citing off-list
        discussions with both Eric and Stephen. But
        apparently you missed that.

        >
        > > In later literature when such form is used it is
        > > usually in context with the character where the
        > pun is
        > > obvious, not in a disassociated context where any
        > > relationship drawn is clearly strained.
        >
        > Can you give specific examples of this "later
        > literature", please?

        Why would it even matter? Sort of sounds like an odd
        request for feeding the anachronistic
        head-on-backwards illogical and poorly founded method;
        and fallacious logical form; and materially incorrect
        content if you ask me. But such is the typical way in
        bad scholarship these days. But if you insist
        following such folly try taking a gander at an obscure
        English author you might like to read someday: William
        Shakespeare, The Tempest, for example. Try taking a
        look at Shakespearean literary criticisms which
        demonstrate what I already mentioned. I cannot recall
        the critics offhand since when Dr. Duff, who taught me
        these insights back in 1975 are only a vague memory to
        me now. I am sure an erudite scholar would not mind
        pursuing a subject they have interest in. Besides the
        library is a fine place to read.

        John


        =====
        John N. Lupia, III
        31 Norwich Drive
        Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
        Phone: (732) 341-8689
        Email: jlupia2@...
        Editor, Roman Catholic News
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      • John Lupia
        ... Its hard drawing a diagram in an email. I have no skill at it. My point was confirming Mark G s own point by providing an exmple, one which he might enjoy
        Message 3 of 18 , Feb 22, 2003
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          Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

          > Then what was your point?


          Its hard drawing a diagram in an email. I have no
          skill at it. My point was confirming Mark G's own
          point by providing an exmple, one which he might enjoy
          learning of. It's what we call in academia
          information sharing.



          > What is typical in bad scholarship in *any* day is
          > to make a claim about
          > what was "done" in literature and then, when asked
          > to provide evidence
          > for the claim, to refuse to do so and/or to provide
          > an excuse that
          > allegedly exempts one from doing so.


          My point was foundationally laid showing the folly to
          the whole procedure and method used by Tolbert. The
          fact that you are unaware of Elizabethan literature's
          use of such forms and require my instruction only
          indicates that you have insufficient reading in
          literary criticism. So my suggestion was to trek off
          to the library. But this does not appeal to you and
          you would prefer for me to do the leg work.

          Regardless, the more important and properly focused
          question is the one I posed regarding first century
          use, which *is* foundational to the whole argument
          developed by Tolbert. Yet for some ghastly reason you
          cannot phathom this and insist on going in a direction
          that offers nothing to the question which Mark asked:
          Am I barking up the wrong tree? Consequently, I am
          inclined to see you going off the topic and not
          addressing what Mark G. asked for in order to raise
          some sidebar argument for purposes that do not bear
          fruit to this list nor to this discussion.

          John

          =====
          John N. Lupia, III
          31 Norwich Drive
          Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
          Phone: (732) 341-8689
          Email: jlupia2@...
          Editor, Roman Catholic News
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

          __________________________________________________
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        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... Right. Now I see. ... Thanks for letting me know this. And apologies for forgetting that when it comes to knowing, let alone decreeing, what s what within
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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            John Lupia wrote:

            > Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
            >
            > > Then what was your point?
            >
            > Its hard drawing a diagram in an email. I have no
            > skill at it. My point was confirming Mark G's own
            > point by providing an exmple, one which he might enjoy
            > learning of.

            Right. Now I see.

            > It's what we call in academia
            > information sharing.

            Thanks for letting me know this. And apologies for forgetting that when
            it comes to knowing, let alone decreeing, what's what within "academia"
            and what is and what is not proper academic discourse, you are the
            ultimate authority.

            >
            >
            > > What is typical in bad scholarship in *any* day is
            > > to make a claim about
            > > what was "done" in literature and then, when asked
            > > to provide evidence
            > > for the claim, to refuse to do so and/or to provide
            > > an excuse that
            > > allegedly exempts one from doing so.
            >
            > My point was foundationally laid showing the folly to
            > the whole procedure and method used by Tolbert. The
            > fact that you are unaware of Elizabethan literature's
            > use of such forms and require my instruction only
            > indicates that you have insufficient reading in
            > literary criticism. So my suggestion was to trek off
            > to the library. But this does not appeal to you and
            > you would prefer for me to do the leg work.
            >

            No, I was just appealing to what I understood to be something accepted
            within academia as that which is incumbent upon a claim maker. I was
            also assuming that it was generally known by the insiders within
            academia such as yourself that it is fallacious to assume or conclude
            that because I ask **you**, the claim maker, for what you see to be
            evidence for your claim, it follows that I then have no knowledge of
            the literature from which your evidence is purportedly to be found. I
            believe academics call this bifurcation and condemn it; but then again,
            what do I know?

            > Regardless, the more important and properly focused
            > question is the one I posed regarding first century
            > use, which *is* foundational to the whole argument
            > developed by Tolbert. Yet for some ghastly reason you
            > cannot phathom this and insist on going in a direction
            > that offers nothing to the question which Mark asked:
            > Am I barking up the wrong tree? Consequently, I am
            > inclined to see you going off the topic and not
            > addressing what Mark G. asked for in order to raise
            > some sidebar argument for purposes that do not bear
            > fruit to this list nor to this discussion.

            Two points in response. First, if indeed what you yourself initially
            brought to bear as an argument against what Mark was mooting is, as you
            **now** claim, a sidebar argument, why diid you bring it up in the first
            place?

            Second, is it really, as you **now** claim, a "sidebar argument"?. If,
            as a rereading of your initial message to Mark shows, one of the crucial
            points in your attempt to show that Tolbert was wrong was your claim
            that Tolbert's view of what Mark was doing was not only unattested but
            was something that ran counter to what actual authors actually did
            (albeit in later literature), how can this be viewed as a "sidebar
            argument"? Isn't the establishment of such authorial practice essential
            to your case? If so, how can asking you to do so -- or your complying
            with my request to give specific examples where this authorial practice
            can be seen -- be something that is off topic?

            Or is it that you are **now** saying that the particular authorial
            practice you were referring to -- practices which you claimed were not
            imagined but which could actually be found in (later) literature, which
            illustrated how authors actually worked, and which demonstrated that
            Tolbert was wrong in her claims about Mark's authorial practices -- are
            **not** relevant to the issue at hand?

            JG

            --

            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

            1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
            Chicago, IL 60626

            jgibson000@...



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          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 2/22/2003 8:23:20 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... If you mean by this that it would contribute to the case for Markan priority, then your
            Message 5 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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              In a message dated 2/22/2003 8:23:20 PM Pacific Standard Time, brooks@... writes:


              My suggestion would be to focus on the structural position of the Peter
              denials or failures in GMark, and then see how they (and GMatt's additions)
              graph in GMatthew. MarkG's comment was "If anything, the pattern in Matthew
              of Peter fulfilling the behaviour of the "rocky ground" in the Sower is even
              stronger than in Mark, not least with redactional additions at key moments.
              . " Whether or not the parable is the source of the topos, if AMatthew is
              developing something that was, or even that he only thinks was, previously
              in GMark, that would seem to have considerable Synoptic relevance.



              If you mean by this that it would contribute to the case for Markan priority, then your argument is entirely circular, as is also your reference to passages in Matthew that are not in Mark as Matthean "additions". Assuming Mark Goodacre's analysis is correct (and I have serious doubts about the validity of Tolbert's argument here), then I would assess the evidence in Matt and Mark as just another example of Mark, through the copying of some useful material in previously published Gospels, is revealing here once again traces of a clearly Matthean project. Although this analysis too is circular, my primary point here would be that this case will confirm people's pet Synoptic theories, not really break out of any long-standing impasse.

              Having said this, and again assuming for the sake of argument the plausibility of Tolbert's observations, I think my circular analysis has somewhat more to commend it than yours -- to the extent that I do not need to imagine not only that there is a pun on Peter made in Mark's parable of the sower which no interpreter noticed till the late 20th century, but also that this pun was so obvious to first century writers that Matthew "got it" and went on to develop the motif from there. My circular analysis requires less of a mental strain than this.

              Leonard Maluf
              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
              Weston, MA 02493
              781-899-5500
              Home: 617-926-2387
            • LARRY SWAIN
              I ve followed this discussion with some interest and would like to make a couple of points. I m responding to the John s original post on the subject rather
              Message 6 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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                I've followed this discussion with some interest and
                would like to make a couple of points. I'm responding
                to the John's original post on the subject rather to
                the subsequent ones between he and Jeffrey for the
                sake of clarity.

                --- John Lupia <jlupia2@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Yes.
                >
                > The first thing that struck my attention is the
                > observation that Paul Nuechterlein�s website is
                > nearly
                > word for word found in your post.
                >
                > Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel, 1989: 148-175.
                > http://my.execpc.com/~paulnue/year_b/easterb.htm

                First, I think that Jeffrey's observation that the
                statement here indicates that the author is saying
                that Mark is at least influenced by this web site, if
                not out and out plagiarized is really the only
                understanding. It is a difference only of degree, not
                of kind. Jeffrey's question for clarification (Are
                you accusing Mark of plagiarism?) should have been
                answered with a "Yes, explanation" or a "No,
                explanation" rather than an obtuse, defensive, and
                fruitless condescension.

                Second, I will note that nothing Mark said is anything
                other than a quick summary of Tolbert's argument,
                which the author of this website is also giving,
                citing the essential point in Tolbert's own words.
                Further however, in the URL given NOTHING is made of
                Matthew or of Peter's role in Matthew, which is of
                course the main point of Mark's query. In fact, the
                author of the website makes exactly the opposite
                point. Thus, the claim that Mark's post is almost
                word for word in this web page is false.

                > In later literature when such form is used it is
                > usually in context with the character where the pun
                > is
                > obvious, not in a disassociated context where any
                > relationship drawn is clearly strained.

                Shakespearean practice in a drama and first century
                practice are not the same. Its up to you to
                demonstrate that the practice you describe was current
                in the first century, just as Talbert makes a
                reasonable argument for her reading of the parable.


                >
                > The Parable of the Sower refers to a type of person
                >to whom the Gospel is> preached and eventually falls
                away never to return,
                > something that is not the case with Peter who leads
                > the Church in Acts preaching to large crowds,
                > converting thousands, undergoes enormous persecution
                > and remains constant and steadfast to the faith.

                Peter in Acts has nothing to do with Peter in Matthew
                or Mark, although if we take Acts' presentation of
                Peter historically it may be read as confirmation of
                the parable--the seed finally hit the good soil in
                Peter and produced fruit. And Peter in the beginning
                does fit the profile, as Mark pointed out in his post.

                Lupia continues:
                > Not
                > even in Mark�s account is Peter depicted as having
                > abandoned the faith never to return, so the
                > consistency is lacking.

                Not at all. The parable does not say that the results
                of the "seed" are a permanent state of being. It is
                this assumption that seems to be clouding your
                reading.


                For what its worth, Mark, I was going to object that
                the placement of the parable in both Mark and Matthew
                would argue against this reading, until I realized
                that Simon/Peter plays no real significant role in
                either gospel until AFTER the parable of the sower,
                then Peter comes to the foreground as an independent
                character. Further, after the parable he is almost
                invariably called only Peter, in Matthew with only 2
                exceptions. Those exceptions are when he expresses
                himself in Matth. 16, and in the story of the coin in
                the fish, where he is simply Simon. In every other
                instance I see, he is Peter, and that can not be
                accidental in light of the parable.

                I don't know of anyone who has commented on the
                Matthean aspect before.

                Larry Swain
                UIC

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              • Maluflen@aol.com
                In a message dated 2/23/2003 11:56:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Of course it can. You misrepresent the evidence above. Matthew uses the name Peter from the
                Message 7 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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                  In a message dated 2/23/2003 11:56:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, theswain@... writes:


                  For what its worth, Mark, I was going to object that
                  the placement of the parable in both Mark and Matthew
                  would argue against this reading, until I realized
                  that Simon/Peter plays no real significant role in
                  either gospel until AFTER the parable of the sower,
                  then Peter comes to the foreground as an independent
                  character.  Further, after the parable he is almost
                  invariably called only Peter, in Matthew with only 2
                  exceptions.  Those exceptions are when he expresses
                  himself in Matth. 16, and in the story of the coin in
                  the fish, where he is simply Simon.  In every other
                  instance I see, he is Peter, and that can not be
                  accidental in light of the parable.


                  Of course it can. You misrepresent the evidence above. Matthew uses the name Peter from the very first time the apostle is mentioned in Matt (i.e., 4:18). After this first instance -- where it is very logical to expect exactly what we find, i.e."Simon, who is called Peter", as the way of referring to this individual for the first time -- and BEFORE the parable in chapter 13, Simon is already referred to simply as Peter in 8:14, as he is in the remainder of the Gospel, with the exception of the passages you noted above. Thus the view that a major change occurs in how Matthew refers to Peter following the parable of the sower in Matt cannot be sustained, even with the wildest wishful thinking. If anything, the name Simon occurs more frequently after than before the parable chapter.



                  I don't know of anyone who has commented on the
                  Matthean aspect before.


                  It doesn't have much to recommend it, actually. The parable of the sower in Matthew (and this is undoubtedly true of the other Synoptics as well) refers to the time of the proclamation of the Gospel, the time of the church. In this context, Peter and the other apostles are squarely on the sower side of the equation, rather than that of the seed, or the various types of ground into which it falls. The entire imagery of the pericope supports this perspective. The disciples come to Jesus (13:10) and ask why he speaks to the crowds in parables. Jesus tells them, "because to you is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, to them it is not given". It is the crowds who, when hearing, do not "hear" or understand (13:13-15 and see v. 19, Jesus' explanation of the parable). In contrast, the apostles' eyes are blessed because they see, and their ears because they hear (13:16-17).  End of story. Any attempt to see Peter or any of "the disciples" (always the twelve, in Matt) on the rocky ground side of the sowing, just doesn't work exegetically -- especially in Matt. The sower is not explained here in terms of the Son of Man (diff. 13:37). hO SPEIRWN is a generic participle in terms of its applied reference to the world of mission. The placement of this parable following Matt 9:35 -- 11:1 also suggests that the Twelve are thought of in Matt as (future) participants in the sowing of the seed, because they have been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom (13:11) and have been commissioned to proclaim it (10:7). Most of the foibles of Peter described later in Matt do not in fact cohere well with the context of the parable. They are not presented as inadequate responses to the proclaimed Gospel of the kingdom.

                  Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                  Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                  Weston, MA 02493
                  Tel.: 617-926-2387

                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  In a message dated 2/23/2003 11:56:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Of course it can. You misrepresent the evidence above. Matthew uses the name Peter from the
                  Message 8 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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                    In a message dated 2/23/2003 11:56:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, theswain@... writes:


                    For what its worth, Mark, I was going to object that
                    the placement of the parable in both Mark and Matthew
                    would argue against this reading, until I realized
                    that Simon/Peter plays no real significant role in
                    either gospel until AFTER the parable of the sower,
                    then Peter comes to the foreground as an independent
                    character.  Further, after the parable he is almost
                    invariably called only Peter, in Matthew with only 2
                    exceptions.  Those exceptions are when he expresses
                    himself in Matth. 16, and in the story of the coin in
                    the fish, where he is simply Simon.  In every other
                    instance I see, he is Peter, and that can not be
                    accidental in light of the parable.


                    Of course it can. You misrepresent the evidence above. Matthew uses the name Peter from the very first time the apostle is mentioned in Matt (i.e., 4:18). After this first instance -- where it is very logical to expect exactly what we find, i.e."Simon, who is called Peter", as the way of referring to this individual for the first time -- and BEFORE the parable in chapter 13, Simon is already referred to simply as Peter in 8:14, as he is in the remainder of the Gospel, with the exception of the passages you noted above. Thus the view that a major change occurs in how Matthew refers to Peter following the parable of the sower in Matt cannot be sustained, even with the wildest wishful thinking. If anything, the name Simon occurs more frequently after than before the parable chapter.



                    I don't know of anyone who has commented on the
                    Matthean aspect before.


                    It doesn't have much to recommend it, actually. The parable of the sower in Matthew (and this is undoubtedly true of the other Synoptics as well) refers to the time of the proclamation of the Gospel, the time of the church. In this context, Peter and the other apostles are squarely on the sower side of the equation, rather than that of the seed, or the various types of ground into which it falls. The entire imagery of the pericope supports this perspective. The disciples come to Jesus (13:10) and ask why he speaks to the crowds in parables. Jesus tells them, "because to you is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, to them it is not given". It is the crowds who, when hearing, do not "hear" or understand (13:13-15 and see v. 19, Jesus' explanation of the parable). In contrast, the apostles' eyes are blessed because they see, and their ears because they hear (13:16-17).  End of story. Any attempt to see Peter or any of "the disciples" (always the twelve, in Matt) on the rocky ground side of the sowing, just doesn't work exegetically -- especially in Matt. The sower is not explained here in terms of the Son of Man (diff. 13:37). hO SPEIRWN is a generic participle in terms of its applied reference to the world of mission. The placement of this parable following Matt 9:35 -- 11:1 also suggests that the Twelve are thought of in Matt as (future) participants in the sowing of the seed, because they have been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom (13:11) and have been commissioned to proclaim it (10:7). Most of the foibles of Peter described later in Matt do not in fact cohere well with the context of the parable. They are not presented as inadequate responses to the proclaimed Gospel of the kingdom.

                    Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                    Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                    Weston, MA 02493
                    Tel.: 617-926-2387

                  • Mark Goodacre
                    Thanks, Leonard for your helpful post. Let me focus on just one element in the interpretation of the parable for now: and when affliction or persecution
                    Message 9 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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                      Thanks, Leonard for your helpful post. Let me focus on just one
                      element in the interpretation of the parable for now: "and when
                      affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he
                      falls away (SKANDALIZETAI)" (13.21). Is there anything in Matthew
                      that suggests that Peter falls away when affliction or persecution
                      arises? Indeed there is:

                      Matt. 26.31: "Then Jesus said to them, 'You will all fall away
                      (SKANDALISQHSESQE) because of Me this night . . ."; 26.33f: "But
                      Peter said to Him, 'Even though all may fall away (SKANDALISQHSONTAI)
                      because of You, I will never fall away (SKANDALISQHSOMAI).'
                      Jesus said to him, 'Truly I say to you that this very night, before a
                      cock crows, you will deny Me three times.'"

                      I realise you're not a believe in Markan Priority, but what I'd see
                      Matthew doing here is "underlining" a theme that is already present
                      in Mark, who uses the same SKANDALIZW vocabulary in both places (Mark
                      4 & Mark 14.27, 29). (Note: I don't see this as an argument for
                      Markan Priority; it's just data that makes sense on the assumption of
                      Markan Priority, cf. my John the Baptist // Elijah paper).

                      But does Matthew do this anywhere else? Are there any signs that he
                      wants further to stress a link between Peter and falling away in the
                      context of persecution? Indeed there is: at Caesarea Philippi Jesus
                      speaks of his suffering (Matt. 16.21) and Peter rebukes him, at which
                      Jesus says "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block
                      (SKANDALON) to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's
                      interests, but human interests." (Matt. 16.23). And here the
                      SKANDALON vocabulary is, for Markan Priorists, a redactional addition
                      by Matthew (to Mark 8.33). So once again Peter is associated with
                      language about falling away in the context of persecution.

                      I'd say there are some interesting lines that can be drawn here.

                      Mark


                      -----------------------------
                      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
                      Birmingham B15 2TT UK

                      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
                      http://NTGateway.com


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                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                      In a message dated 2/23/2003 5:24:11 PM Pacific Standard Time, M. ... I think this analysis over-interprets the recurrence of a single term. Valid exegetical
                      Message 10 of 18 , Feb 23, 2003
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                        In a message dated 2/23/2003 5:24:11 PM Pacific Standard Time, M.S.Goodacre@... writes:


                        Thanks, Leonard for your helpful post.  Let me focus on just one
                        element in the interpretation of the parable for now:  "and when
                        affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he
                        falls away (SKANDALIZETAI)" (13.21).  Is there anything in Matthew
                        that suggests that Peter falls away when affliction or persecution
                        arises?  Indeed there is: 

                        Matt. 26.31: "Then Jesus said to them, 'You will all fall away
                        (SKANDALISQHSESQE) because of Me this night . . ."; 26.33f: "But
                        Peter said to Him, 'Even though all may fall away (SKANDALISQHSONTAI)
                        because of You, I will never fall away (SKANDALISQHSOMAI).' 
                        Jesus said to him, 'Truly I say to you that this very night, before a
                        cock crows, you will deny Me three times.'"

                        I realise you're not a believe in Markan Priority, but what I'd see
                        Matthew doing here is "underlining" a theme that is already present
                        in Mark, who uses the same SKANDALIZW vocabulary in both places (Mark
                        4 & Mark 14.27, 29).  (Note: I don't see this as an argument for
                        Markan Priority; it's just data that makes sense on the assumption of
                        Markan Priority, cf. my John the Baptist // Elijah paper).

                        But does Matthew do this anywhere else?  Are there any signs that he
                        wants further to stress a link between Peter and falling away in the
                        context of persecution?  Indeed there is:  at Caesarea Philippi Jesus
                        speaks of his suffering (Matt. 16.21) and Peter rebukes him, at which
                        Jesus says "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block
                        (SKANDALON) to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's
                        interests, but human interests." (Matt. 16.23).  And here the
                        SKANDALON vocabulary is, for Markan Priorists, a redactional addition
                        by Matthew (to Mark 8.33).  So once again Peter is associated with
                        language about falling away in the context of persecution. 

                        I'd say there are some interesting lines that can be drawn here.


                        I think this analysis over-interprets the recurrence of a single term. Valid exegetical connections have to be made on the basis of similarity of contexts, and cannot contradict original contexts. In neither of the above cases is there a proclamation of the word involved in Matt (but contrast Mk 8:32: KAI PARRHSIAi TON LOGON ELALEI and KAI TOU EUAGGELIOU, Mk 8:35, both Markan "additions" on the GH), so you end up with the use of a recurring word SKANDALIZW and cognate, and little more that is explicit in the text. Even the situation of "affliction" and "persecution" is only approximate in the two later Matthean passages and is not highlighted by further vocabularly links with the parable. A cluster of parallel terms, as opposed to a single term, in the three cited texts would have helped this line of thought a good deal. In the Matt 16 passage Peter is said to be a stumbling block TO JESUS, which is not the same thing as saying that he himself stumbles, or falls away. In fact he is ordered to go away. I still think the whole enterprise is misguided exegetically in view of my observations on the logistics and interpretation of the sower parable itself, especially in Matt. The use of EPI TA PETRWDH in Matt 13:20 has more to do with the hard realities of Palestinian agriculture than it does with yet another Matthean pun on Peter's name or character.

                        Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                        Weston, MA 02493
                        Tel.: 617-926-2387
                      • LARRY SWAIN
                        ... But it is an important term. But before turning to that, your stress below on the necessary condition of preaching being present in the specific
                        Message 11 of 18 , Feb 24, 2003
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                          --- Maluflen@... wrote:
                          > In a message dated 2/23/2003 5:24:11 PM Pacific
                          > Standard Time, M.
                          > S.Goodacre@... writes:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I think this analysis over-interprets the recurrence
                          > of a single term.

                          But it is an important term. But before turning to
                          that, your stress below on the necessary condition of
                          "preaching" being present in the specific pericope.
                          I'm not convinced that that is what is necessary,
                          since Jesus' explication of the parable in 13 focuses
                          on the "hearing" of the word. Does one need to have
                          heard a sermon RIGHT THEN to be characterized in
                          Jesus' parable? I don't think so. Further isn't the
                          centrality of the gospel message the death and
                          resurrection of Jesus? If so, Peter is witnessing it
                          and is described twice has a "stumbling-block" and
                          "falling away." Both are of course instances of
                          SKANDAL*.




                          Valid
                          > exegetical connections have to be made on the basis
                          > of similarity of
                          > contexts, and cannot contradict original contexts.
                          > In neither of the above
                          > cases is there a proclamation of the word involved
                          > in Matt (but contrast Mk
                          > 8:32: KAI PARRHSIAi TON LOGON ELALEI and KAI TOU
                          > EUAGGELIOU, Mk 8:35, both
                          > Markan "additions" on the GH), so you end up with
                          > the use of a recurring word
                          > SKANDALIZW and cognate, and little more that is
                          > explicit in the text. Even
                          > the situation of "affliction" and "persecution" is
                          > only approximate in the
                          > two later Matthean passages and is not highlighted
                          > by further vocabularly
                          > links with the parable. A cluster of parallel terms,
                          > as opposed to a single
                          > term, in the three cited texts would have helped
                          > this line of thought a good
                          > deal. In the Matt 16 passage Peter is said to be a
                          > stumbling block TO JESUS,
                          > which is not the same thing as saying that he
                          > himself stumbles, or falls
                          > away. In fact he is ordered to go away. I still
                          > think the whole enterprise is
                          > misguided exegetically in view of my observations on
                          > the logistics and
                          > interpretation of the sower parable itself,
                          > especially in Matt. The use of
                          > EPI TA PETRWDH in Matt 13:20 has more to do with the
                          > hard realities of
                          > Palestinian agriculture than it does with yet
                          > another Matthean pun on Peter's
                          > name or character.
                          >
                          > Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                          > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                          > Weston, MA 02493
                          > Tel.: 617-926-2387
                          >


                          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                        • LARRY SWAIN
                          ... But it is an important term. But before turning to that, your stress below on the necessary condition of preaching being present in the specific
                          Message 12 of 18 , Feb 24, 2003
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                            --- Maluflen@... wrote:
                            > In a message dated 2/23/2003 5:24:11 PM Pacific
                            > Standard Time, M.
                            > S.Goodacre@... writes:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I think this analysis over-interprets the recurrence
                            > of a single term.

                            But it is an important term. But before turning to
                            that, your stress below on the necessary condition of
                            "preaching" being present in the specific pericope.
                            I'm not convinced that that is what is necessary,
                            since Jesus' explication of the parable in 13 focuses
                            on the "hearing" of the word. Does one need to have
                            heard a sermon RIGHT THEN to be characterized in
                            Jesus' parable? I don't think so. Further isn't the
                            centrality of the gospel message the death and
                            resurrection of Jesus? If so, Peter is witnessing it
                            and is described twice has a "stumbling-block" and
                            "falling away." Both are of course instances of
                            SKANDAL*. The repetition of this word, not all that
                            common of a one, is important I think. So it isn't
                            either a singular instance, nor is it a common enough
                            word to dismiss, (it occurs several times in the
                            gospel, always in connection to one's acceptance of
                            Jesus.) as an accidental repetition.




                            Valid
                            > exegetical connections have to be made on the basis
                            > of similarity of
                            > contexts,

                            A context of reception/rejection of Jesus seems to me
                            similar enough.


                            > and cannot contradict original contexts.

                            Agreed. But nothing in Mark's suggestion so far
                            contradicts the original context, it may contradict
                            the traditional evangelical interpretation given to
                            the parable, but that isn't the same thing as
                            contradicting the original context.


                            > In neither of the above
                            > cases is there a proclamation of the word involved
                            > in Matt (but contrast Mk
                            > 8:32: KAI PARRHSIAi TON LOGON ELALEI and KAI TOU
                            > EUAGGELIOU, Mk 8:35, both
                            > Markan "additions" on the GH), so you end up with
                            > the use of a recurring word
                            > SKANDALIZW and cognate, and little more that is
                            > explicit in the text.

                            But there is reception involved, how Jesus is being
                            received and understood, and THAT is what the parable
                            is about.


                            >Even
                            > the situation of "affliction" and "persecution" is
                            > only approximate in the
                            > two later Matthean passages and is not highlighted
                            > by further vocabularly
                            > links with the parable. A cluster of parallel terms,
                            > as opposed to a single
                            > term, in the three cited texts would have helped
                            > this line of thought a good
                            > deal. In the Matt 16 passage Peter is said to be a
                            > stumbling block TO JESUS,
                            > which is not the same thing as saying that he
                            > himself stumbles, or falls
                            > away. In fact he is ordered to go away. I still
                            > think the whole enterprise is
                            > misguided exegetically in view of my observations on
                            > the logistics and
                            > interpretation of the sower parable itself,
                            > especially in Matt. The use of
                            > EPI TA PETRWDH in Matt 13:20 has more to do with the
                            > hard realities of
                            > Palestinian agriculture than it does with yet
                            > another Matthean pun on Peter's
                            > name or character.

                            So the parable as an allegory can have only one
                            application? That doesn't mesh with first century
                            story telling where parables and stories have multiple
                            applications.

                            Larry Swain
                            UIC
                            > Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                            > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                            > Weston, MA 02493
                            > Tel.: 617-926-2387
                            >


                            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            ... I beg to differ. Your statistical analysis is superficial and fails to take important contextual, qualitative conderations into account. Matthew s normal
                            Message 13 of 18 , Feb 25, 2003
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                              In a message dated 2/24/2003 6:14:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, theswain@... writes:

                              > Thus the view > that a major change occurs in how
                              > >Matthew refers to> Peter following the
                              > > parable of the sower in Matt cannot be sustained,
                              > > even with the wildest > wishful thinking. If
                              > >anything, the name Simon occurs
                              > > more frequently after
                              > > than before the parable chapter.
                              >
                              > Given the above statistics combined with the lack of
                              > Peter as a character before chapter 13 I hardly think
                              > that one could sustain the suggestion that it is the
                              > "wildest wishful thinking". There is a change in how
                              > Matthew refers to Peter and in how he treats Peter in
                              > the story. How and what significance that has is
                              > under discussion, but there is no question that there
                              > is a change.

                              I beg to differ. Your statistical analysis is superficial and fails to take important contextual, qualitative conderations into account. Matthew's normal way of referring to Peter is "Peter". This is the name by which Peter is known in the Matthean community by both author and audience alike. Where the name Simon is used for Peter in Matt there is always a contextual reason for it (of course one has to be able to go beyond purely quantitative analysis here), and there is no difference in this respect before and after Matt 13. When Peter is first introduced, in chapter 4, it is perfectly evident why his original name Simon would be used, followed by a comment ("the one called Peter") identifying the individual by the name known to the Matthean community. This is simply a matter of historical veracity and accuracy. In the list of the Apostles, Matthew is very likely using a pre-existing list that referred to Peter by his original name. Matthew simply follows his source, but then again notifies his readers of the identity of this individual, who must in any case be distinguished from the other Simon in the same list (10:4). Matt 16:16 is the unique place in Matt where the author refers to Peter by the double name Simon Peter. This is explicable in terms of the solemnity of the context, but also in terms of the fact that in the following verses Jesus will, precisely, be giving to SIMON the name PETER. Elsewhere in Matt where the name Simon is used, it is always in direct discourse, where Matthew has Jesus simply use the name Simon in compliance with historical verisimilitude. I insist therefore that "wishful thinking" is the best explanation for seeing a change in policy in the way Matthew refers to Peter before and after the parable chapter.

                              >
                              > The problem I have with your reading is that it is
                              > monosemous whereas I tend to read the gospels as
                              > polysemous.

                              And I am attempting to introduce some sobriety into the exercise of polysemous reading so that it will remain solid and acceptable exegesis of the text of Matthew.

                              > One thing I would question seriously
                              > however is your characterization that this parable
                              > refers to the time of the proclamation of the gospel
                              > as seperate from the time of Jesus, i. e. "the time of
                              > the church". Jesus does not even begin the parable
                              > with the "kingdom of heaven is like" and in his
                              > explanation of the parable he does not cast it into
                              > the future. Rather, the sower is not the "apostles"
                              > but rather Jesus and what is being characterized is
                              > not the evangelicalism of Acts, but rather Jesus' own
                              > preaching and who will receive him and who will not,
                              > simiarly for the remainder of the parables in this
                              > chapter.

                              You go too far here when you say "the sower is not the 'apostles'", and also when you exclude a reference to the preaching of the Gospel in the time of the church. I will concede to you that the sowing of the seed by Jesus in the time of his ministry should probably not be excluded from the purview of Matthew in this passage either. And possibly not either from that of Luke and Mark. Can we meet half way on this one? If not, I will be able to provide considerable further proof of this claim.

                              > (Oddly enough in both the Sermon on the
                              > Mount and here in chapter 13 the author tells us that
                              > Jesus is speaking to the disciples and ends with a
                              > statement about the crowds.) By extension, the
                              > disciples are included in that proclamation, but the
                              > disciples are also the recipients of the proclamation
                              > throughout the gospel. Each of the discourses is
                              > given to the disciples, they are the primary
                              > recipients of the "proclamation" in Matthew's gospel.

                              But you do not seem to credit my observations on the logistics of Matt 13:10-17, where the disciples are seen together with Jesus and as privy to the mysteries of the kingdom, and over against the crowds to whom the word is spoken only in parables, and who do not understand. The explanation of the sower parable is in fact given only to the disciples. That Matthew would intend Jesus to contradict in 13:20-21 what he has said explicitly and directly to the twelve in 13:16 is a bit of a stretch.


                              > 2) Rocky soil-the word is given, sprouts quickly, and
                              > soon as persecution is spoken of, he turns away.
                              > Peter again receives the word, sees the miracles, and
                              > recognizes the "identity" of Jesus, and as soon as
                              > Jesus tells them the first time that he must die in
                              > Jerusalem, Peter "is caused to stumble" which is what
                              > the Greek word means, and Jesus calls him a
                              > stumbling-block in 16:23.

                              I don't accept your exegesis in this entire section, mainly because it is not based on verbal reminiscences that connect the Peter stories to the parable of the sower, with the exception of the term SKANDALON. And you persist in misinterpreting the way that term is used here. In 16:23 Jesus tells Peter that he is a stumbling-block TO HIM, which is not the same thing as saying that Peter "is caused to stumble". So where you have a single verbal-cognate connection with the parable chapter, even that one doesn't quite fit. Sorry.


                              > As a sort of post scriptum, Leonard, I find it
                              > interesting that in 8:14 Matthew refers to Peter's
                              > house, but in the parallels in Mark and Luke it is
                              > Simon, not even Simon Peter. Don't know what to make
                              > of it, but it is interesting.

                              In light of my learned disquisition above, this should no longer be a problem. "Peter" is Matthew's normal way of referring to the first called of the apostles. On the GH it is Luke who first introduces the name Simon into this pericope. The reason for this is obvious for one who has studied Luke's usage. With the exception of 5:8, Luke always refers to Peter as Simon before he tells us in 6:14 that Jesus gave Simon the name Peter. Thereafter Luke always refers to him as Peter (except when someone in the narrative, rather than he himself as narrator, is speaking. Thus, once again, verisimilitude is the explanation in these cases). This policy continues into Acts. Luke's solemn reference to Simon Peter in 5:8 simply shows the influence of the Matt 16 passage on this Lukan pericope, a topic I have written on extensively elsewhere.

                              Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                              Tel.: 617-926-2387
                            • Maluflen@aol.com
                              In a message dated 2/25/2003 4:52:38 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Need I point out that the reason for the optical illusion that underlies this misguided
                              Message 14 of 18 , Feb 25, 2003
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                                In a message dated 2/25/2003 4:52:38 PM Pacific Standard Time, M.S.Goodacre@... writes:


                                My reason for mentioning Stephen was that in the past
                                we've had some interesting discussion on both this list and on Xtalk
                                in which Stephen has pointed out that some of the usual scholarly
                                views on Matthew's portrait of Peter are misguided -- Matthew is not
                                as positive about Peter as he's sometimes construed.


                                Need I point out that the reason for the optical illusion that underlies this misguided perception has lots, if not everything to do with the presupposition of Markan priority.

                                Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
                                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                Tel.: 617-926-2387
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