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Re: [Synoptic-L] Peter in Matt

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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 1 of 6 , Mar 3, 2003
      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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