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Re: [Synoptic-L] Peter in Matt

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  • LARRY SWAIN
    ... A point of clarification here. I think you mean that this supports my, Larry s, point. I have argued since this came up that there is a significant
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 2, 2003
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      --- Mark Goodacre <M.S.Goodacre@...> wrote:
      > A couple of observations on the question of the
      > naming of Simon Peter
      > in relation to the Sower parable. First, in support
      > of Leonard, it's
      > worth pointing out that Mary Ann Tolbert herself
      > anticipates this
      > point:
      >
      > "Although both Matthew and Luke refer to the second
      > type of ground as
      > rocky . . ., these references, in Matt. 13.5 and
      > Luke 8.6,
      > respectively, appear in the text so far removed from
      > the first
      > instance of Simon Peter's name that any possible
      > connection is
      > thoroughly discouraged." (_Sowing the Gospel_, p.
      > 145, n. 28).

      A point of clarification here. I think you mean that
      this supports my, Larry's, point. I have argued since
      this came up that there is a significant difference in
      Matthew in a) naming convention and b) in character
      portrayal in the first 13 chapters of Matthew and in
      the second part. Thus, any connection between the
      first instance of Peter's name and the apostle list
      and the later instance's of Peter in the story is a
      fairly small and insignificant connection.

      Leonard's point has been the oppostite: Matthew's
      mention of Simon Peter in chaps. 4 and 10 is 1) for
      versimilitude and 2) has an exegetical purpose and 3)
      the community knows him as Peter (see #1) and 4) Peter
      "grows" in the gospel, so there is no difference in
      treatment of either the name or the character between
      chap 4 and chap 27. This seems to me to be
      diametrically opposed to what you are citing Tolbert
      as saying. Unless I'm misreading you and your point
      is that Tolbert anticipated Leonard's objection, but
      then I don't see how this would SUPPORT Leonard's
      position.

      I would also disagree with her apparent portrayal of
      Lk 8:6--Luke uses PETRAN, accusative, singular of
      PETRA, rock. Not "rocky." I know of no citation
      where PETRA can be said to be used adjectivally and
      not as a noun. This strengthens the identification
      between Luke's Parable of the Soils and Peter.

      >
      > She also says (p. 146, n. 32) that "Matthew develops
      > his own
      > etiological legend to support Peter's name" and
      > suggests that this
      > "might be taken as some evidence that the author of
      > Matthew, at
      > least, was clearly aware of the significance of the
      > wordplay between
      > Peter's name and the rocky ground in Mark and wished
      > to counter it in
      > a forthright and striking manner."

      Now this both supports and yet deconstructs Leonard's
      argument. It supports it in saying that Matthew
      wishes to distance the negative spin on Peter and so
      introduces the etiological story. But as I've been
      thinking about this the last few days and doing some
      research I think there are some very good reasons to
      take this etiology with the story following, not as
      separate stories, but as a single unit, thus
      strengthening the identification of the "rocky soil"
      in the parable with the Peter of the gospel.

      L. J. Swain
      Dept. of English
      University of Illinois, Chicago
      Medieval Institute
      Western Michigan University


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    • Mark Goodacre
      ... No, I meant Leonard. I was thinking that Tolbert s point (with which I happen to disagree) supported Leonard s contention about the pattern of Matthew s
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2, 2003
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        On 2 Mar 2003 at 10:09, LARRY SWAIN wrote:

        > A point of clarification here. I think you mean that
        > this supports my, Larry's, point. I have argued since
        > this came up that there is a significant difference in
        > Matthew in a) naming convention and b) in character
        > portrayal in the first 13 chapters of Matthew and in
        > the second part. Thus, any connection between the
        > first instance of Peter's name and the apostle list
        > and the later instance's of Peter in the story is a
        > fairly small and insignificant connection.

        No, I meant Leonard. I was thinking that Tolbert's point (with which
        I happen to disagree) supported Leonard's contention about the
        pattern of Matthew's naming of Peter. I find my own sympathies in
        this, as you will probably have gathered, to be closer to yours; I
        think Tolbert underestimates the case for Matthew following Mark's
        characterization of Peter but of course she is with the majority of
        scholars in that.

        > I would also disagree with her apparent portrayal of
        > Lk 8:6--Luke uses PETRAN, accusative, singular of
        > PETRA, rock. Not "rocky." I know of no citation
        > where PETRA can be said to be used adjectivally and
        > not as a noun. This strengthens the identification
        > between Luke's Parable of the Soils and Peter.

        That's an interesting point, thank you. Would you see Luke as
        carrying forward the Markan characterization of Peter in other ways?

        > Now this both supports and yet deconstructs Leonard's
        > argument. It supports it in saying that Matthew
        > wishes to distance the negative spin on Peter and so
        > introduces the etiological story. But as I've been
        > thinking about this the last few days and doing some
        > research I think there are some very good reasons to
        > take this etiology with the story following, not as
        > separate stories, but as a single unit, thus
        > strengthening the identification of the "rocky soil"
        > in the parable with the Peter of the gospel.

        I quite agree on this point. I think the error scholars of Matthew
        tend to make is to be over-indebted to redation-criticism's stress on
        what is distinctive in each Gospel, without paying careful attention
        to the narrative critic's stress on the order in which the narrative
        unfolds. So in many ways the "Get thee behind me Satan" material is
        all the more poignant following on from the previous commendation.
        Consider Fowler, _Let the Reader Understand_, p. 143, "In the radiant
        afterglow of such a scene, Jesus could next call Peter anything and
        it would not matter"; this is a reading far too indebted to
        redaction-criticism and it is typical of Fowler's treatment of
        Matthew as a palimpsest of Mark. To have a narrative in which Peter
        is addressed as Satan following on from the glowing condemnation is
        exactly what Matthew has led us to expect, from Chapter 13 onwards,
        and it's a reading that enhances and underlines what we have in Mark.
        Peter will be the enthusiastic hearer of the word only for him to
        fall away at the crucial moment.

        There is, of course, the question of whether Matthew sees Peter as
        rehabilitated by the end of the Gospel, though. I think yes, in the
        light of the eleven proceeding to Galilee in 28. In this, too,
        Matthew is working with Mark (16.7) but has taken him just a stage
        further and has developed his hint made there in a direction
        congenial to the tradition that Peter did indeed -- in the end --
        come good. Would you agree, Larry, or do you think Matthew retains
        something of Mark's uncertainty on the point?

        Thanks for your helpful engagement on this
        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
        ... Before you two get too carried away here, let me just interpose for your edification that the Lukan EPI THN PETRAN text you should be looking at for its
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 3, 2003
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          In a message dated 3/2/2003 7:17:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, M.S.Goodacre@... writes:

          > No, I meant Leonard. I was thinking that Tolbert's point (with which
          > I happen to disagree) supported Leonard's contention about the
          > pattern of Matthew's naming of Peter. I find my own sympathies in
          > this, as you will probably have gathered, to be closer to yours; I
          > think Tolbert underestimates the case for Matthew following Mark's
          > characterization of Peter but of course she is with the majority of
          > scholars in that.
          >
          > > I would also disagree with her apparent portrayal of
          > > Lk 8:6--Luke uses PETRAN, accusative, singular of
          > > PETRA, rock. Not "rocky." I know of no citation
          > > where PETRA can be said to be used adjectivally and
          > > not as a noun. This strengthens the identification
          > > between Luke's Parable of the Soils and Peter.
          >
          > That's an interesting point, thank you. Would you see Luke as
          > carrying forward the Markan characterization of Peter in other ways?

          Before you two get too carried away here, let me just interpose for your "edification" that the Lukan EPI THN PETRAN text you should be looking at for its connection to Peter is not Lk 8:6, but Lk 6:48, about the wise man who built his house on a foundation, upon a rock. My insistence on the connection here is not simply a matter of trading a Catholic Vorverstaendnis for a Protestant one, but it also has much to recommend it exegetically (unlike the above suggestion). In Luke's Gospel, the sermon on the plain has as its prelude the selection of the twelve by Jesus, at which time we are told that Jesus gave to Simon the name PETRON (6:14). Luke, who knows Matthew's Gospel, is aware that this name was given to Peter with the words of Jesus: "...upon this rock I will build (my church)". The calling and choosing of the apostles, which in Luke occurs after a whole night of prayer to God, takes place on a mountain (like the Matthean sermon itself), and Jesus thereafter descends WITH THEM (the twelve) to a level place where a large crowd of DISCIPLES and a huge crowd OF THE PEOPLE convene, not only from Judaea and Jerusalem, but also from the regions of Tyre and Sidon. These, in the narrator's idiom, represent the future believers, those who will come to HEAR Jesus (largely through the preaching of the Twelve) and to be cured of various diseases (cf. 6:17-18).

          At the conclusion of Jesus' sermon, echoing its prelude, Jesus utters the pointed words (6:46ff): "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to me and HEARS my words and DOES them is like the man building a house, who dug deep, laid a foundation UPON A ROCK (EPI THN PETRAN), and when a flood arose, the river broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built..". So in choosing the twelve as apostles, Jesus envisions them as future channels of his own word (Lk 10:16), and those that build on that word (by hearing it and doing it) are thus also built upon an apostolic, and specifically here a Petrine foundation, that makes them impervious to the floods. Jesus' church thereby comes to be built upon the rock -- Jesus' word, or Peter --, just as prophesied in Matt 16:18. What Luke has done here, like the good Jewish (?) scribe that he is, is to conflate the perspectives of the two -- and only two -- Matthean texts that spoke of building upon a rock (Matt 7:24 and 16:18). Luke has taken great pains to establish this connection, which he accomplishes by substantial displacements of material (both the choosing of the Twelve relative to the great sermon and the naming of Peter) with respect to their Matthean location.

          True, the twelve appear at the beginning of Lk 8 as well, but here they are WITH Jesus as he goes about preaching and evangelizing the kingdom of God. This suggests that they are envisioned by the narrator as on the sower side of the equation, in terms of the parable about to be told by Jesus. The apostles' participation in Jesus' missionary work in Lk 8:1 is confirmed by the more likely reading AUTOIS in 8:3. The women mentioned in these verses minister -- not to Jesus alone, but to Jesus and his fellow disseminators of the word (and cf. 1 Cor 9:5). Needless to say, there is no explicit mention of "Peter" here either (although numerous women are named in these verses), which would have been easy (and almost essential) for Luke to manage had he intended to suggest a link between "Peter" and the rocky soil of 8:6.

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