Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?

Expand Messages
  • Maluflen@aol.com
    I decided finally to take on myself the challenge I posed a couple of days ago to Karel Hanhart. The conclusion of my synchronic study of Matt 15:29-39 and its
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 26, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      I decided finally to take on myself the challenge I posed a couple of days ago to Karel Hanhart. The conclusion of my synchronic study of Matt 15:29-39 and its surrounding context is that there is no reason to regard the second feeding story in Matt as intending Gentile recipients of Jesus' beneficence. I think those who come to this text of Matthew with the presupposition of Markan priority have sometimes assumed that the same could be said of Matt's as is often said of Mark's second feeding. But a careful synchronic reading of the text of Matt does not support such a view:

      1. For vv. 29-31, the OT background texts are Is 35:5-6 and Ezek 34 (see esp. v.14). Both of these texts allude to the messianic era and God's marvelous interventions at that special time on behalf of his people (healing them [Isaiah], and feeding them [Ezek]).

      2. Matt 15:32 has to be read in light of 14:14 and esp. 9:35-36, where the reference to Israel is clear (and explicitly contrasted, in Matt, with a concern for Gentiles; see 10:5-6, still linked to 9:35-36).

      3. Nothing in the remainder of Matt 15:32-39 supports a Gentile portrayal of the crowd featured in this passage.

      4. The expression KAI EDOCASAN TON QEON ISRAHL in Matt 15:31c confirms, rather than calls into question, the idea that the setting here is that of Israel's covenant God and that same God's concern for his people in the person of his messiah. Some have thought that the expression "God of Israel" reflects the perspective of a Gentile crowd. But, if nothing else, Lk 1:64, 68 makes it sufficiently clear that this Redewende could perfectly well allude to the contents of standard forms of Jewish prayer and praise ("We give glory to you, God of Israel, etc.").

      5. The features that point to a Gentile setting for the parallel feeding story in Mark (see below) are all absent in Matt.


      The parallel text and context in Mark, read synchronically, contains elements not found in Matt that do seem to point to an effort on the part of the author to suggest a Gentile audience as the recipient of Jesus' second great feeding miracle:

      1. In the story of the "Hellene", Syro-Phoenician woman (referred to as such only in Mark), and specifically in Mk 7:27, Mark has Jesus say something that has no parallel in the Matt: "Suffer the children to be fed FIRST". This seems to introduce a Pauline theological-historical perspective of mission, found explicitly in Rom 1:16 (and see 1 Cor 1:24): "to the Jew FIRST, and then to the Greek…", and may suggest that in (the synchronic structure of) Mark 6-8, the author intends to show Jesus first feeding a Jewish crowd (6:34-44), and later (8:1-10) doing the same for a Gentile crowd, with the story of the Hellenic woman sandwiched between the two.

      2. In Mark 7:28, the woman comments: "Even the dogs …eat from the bread crumbs of the children". The phrase "of the children" is not found in Matt, and may be intended to suggest that the same (Eucharistic) bread fed by Jesus to Jewish Christians will be shared also by Gentiles. Note the alignment to Christian Eucharist, with its liturgy of the word preceding the liturgy of the Eucharist, produced by the phrase in Mk 6:34: KAI ERCATO DIDASKEIN AUTOUS POLLA, found only in Mark.

      3. In Mk 7:31, Mark tells us (diff. Matt) that Jesus is in Gentile territory (Sidon, Decapolis). This constitutes a solid basis (lacking in Matthew) for the claim that the second feeding in Mark should be understood as having a crowd of Gentile beneficiaries.

      4. This section of Mark has the following motif: what Jesus wishes to remain / tries to keep secret nevertheless "gets out". The model seems to be something like what we find in Matt 10:27 (what I say to you in the dark, tell it in the light…), interpreted by Mark as alluding to the time of the preaching of the Gospel, originally reserved for a dark corner of the world, to the larger Gentile world (see Mark 7:24 and 7:36 for this motif). Note that in Mk 7:36 it is others than the twelve (contrast again Matt 10:27) who are doing the "preaching" (this stage of a preaching, beyond the activity of the twelve, is never alluded to in Matt).

      5. To connect Mk 7:32 to Is 35:6 (and thus see this passage as alluding to Jewish eschatological fulfillment in Jesus) on the basis of the single term MOGILALWN is a bit of a stretch, especially when this Markan passage is compared with the far more explicit and extended allusion to this same prophetic passage in Matt 15:29-32.

      6. Mark 8:3 contains the phrase KAI TINES AUTWN APO MAKROTHEN EISIN (not found in Matt), which may intend to suggest Gentiles who have come "from afar" to share in the messianic banquet.

      7. Mk 8:11-21 ends with the disciples not understanding (v. 21). They "having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not..". This is very different from the perspective of the parallel text of Matthew. If the disciples of Jesus can here be seen as representing Israel and the Jews, Mark may be trying to relate this story to the moment of blindness on the part of Israel that precedes the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, à la Acts 28:26-28 (and Acts passim), or again Paul, in Rom 10:16-21.

      Thus far, my analysis of each Gospel has involved a mainly synchronic reading. If one were now to raise the question as to which of the two parallel Gospel passages, thus illuminated, is the more primitive, I would have to vote (surprise, surprise!) in favor of the Matthean version. The reason is that Matthew's account is naively Jewish, while Mark's is pointedly Gentile. Let me explain.

      In Matthew's text the crowds are Jewish simply because that is the default setting in Matthew, the contacts of Jesus with individual Gentiles being remarkable because of their infrequency (Matt 8:5-15; 15:21-28) and the initial resistance on the part of Jesus to the spreading of his benefits beyond Israel. The discussed section in Matthew is Jewish in the same sense that the entire ministry of Jesus in Matt is Jewish - all set against the literary background of Old Testament narratives and prophecy. There is no pointed and explicit Jewishness here, as one would expect from an author who wished to counter the perspective of a Gospel source in which crowds of Gentiles were fed by Jesus.

      On the other hand, Mark's text shows clear signs of explicit, positive, "secondary" editing, influenced by a Pauline theology of mission, and in the present case intended to suggest a Gentile audience for the second feeding in contradistinction to the presentation of a presumed source. All of the pointers to the Gentile character of the crowds in this section of Mark are missing from Matthew, and appear to be added on intentionally by Mark, to tweak its meaning in the desired direction.

      Thus, although originally synchronic in nature, my analysis of these parallel Matthean and Markan accounts would tend to support the view of Matthew's text as original, and Mark's as an adaptation produced by a later author, under the influence of the Pauline school.

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... If you re correct that Matthew s second feeding story is not intending Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all? Stephen Carlson -- Stephen C.
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 26, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        At 09:17 PM 2/26/04 EST, Maluflen@... wrote:
        >I decided finally to take on myself the challenge I posed a couple of days
        >ago to Karel Hanhart. The conclusion of my synchronic study of Matt
        >15:29-39 and its surrounding context is that there is no reason to regard
        >the second feeding story in Matt as intending Gentile recipients of Jesus'
        >beneficence. I think those who come to this text of Matthew with the
        >presupposition of Markan priority have sometimes assumed that the same
        >could be said of Matt's as is often said of Mark's second feeding. But a
        >careful synchronic reading of the text of Matt does not support such a view:
        ...
        > Thus far, my analysis of each Gospel has involved a mainly synchronic
        >reading. If one were now to raise the question as to which of the two
        >parallel Gospel passages, thus illuminated, is the more primitive, I would
        >have to vote (surprise, surprise!) in favor of the Matthean version. The
        >reason is that Matthew's account is naively Jewish, while Mark's is
        >pointedly Gentile. Let me explain.

        If you're correct that Matthew's second feeding story is not intending
        Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all?

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • J. Ted Blakley
        Leonard Maluf wrote: I decided finally to take on myself the challenge I posed a couple of days ago to Karel Hanhart. The conclusion of my synchronic study of
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          
          Leonard Maluf wrote:
          I decided finally to take on myself the challenge I posed a couple of days ago to Karel Hanhart. The conclusion of my synchronic study of Matt 15:29-39 and its surrounding context is that there is no reason to regard the second feeding story in Matt as intending Gentile recipients of Jesus' beneficence. I think those who come to this text of Matthew with the presupposition of Markan priority have sometimes assumed that the same could be said of Matt's as is often said of Mark's second feeding. But a careful synchronic reading of the text of Matt does not support such a view:
          Response:
          Leonard, I agree with your argument that Matthew does not present the feeding of the 4000 as a Gentile feeding, mainly because of the few differences between Mattew and Mark, be they Matthean deletions or Markan additions. Of particular significance is (1) the Markan statement, "First let the children be fed/satisfied" which is missing in Matthew and (2) the itinerary of Jesus' journey from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee "via Sidon and in the middle of the Decapolis" where Matthew simply has "And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee." Mark clearly places the feeding on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee in Gentile territory and Matthew on the western side in Jewish territory. One additional piece of support for this (and there are more) is the fact that in Mark, immediately following the feeding of the 4000, Jesus and the disciples get into the boat and cross the Sea of Galilee and upon landing are immediately met by Pharisees, last mentionedin ch7 immediately before Jesus went to Tyre and thus on his mission in Gentile territory. I highlight these points of your argument because they relate to your other argument regarding whether Matthew or Mark's account is the more primitive.
              You argue that Matthew's account is more primitive stating that "Matthew's account is naively Jewish, while Mark's is pointedly Gentile." You state that within Matthew's account and context of the feeding "There is no pointed and explicit Jewishness here, as one would expect from an author who wished to counter the perspective of a Gospel source in which crowds of Gentiles were fed by Jesus." If one were simply to look at the two elements that Mark has but are absent in Matthew which you point out (First let the children be fed/satisfied" and the Sidon/Decapolis geographical markers), then I think one could make a stronger argument for these being Markan additions than Matthean deletions. That is, it is easier to show how Mark's adding of these statements would have the affect of transforming Matthew's Jewish feeding into a Gentile feeding than it is to show how Matthew's simply deleting of these statements would have the effect of transforming Mark's Gentile feeding into a Jewish one. Mark's "First let the children be fed/satisfied" is much more pointedly Gentile while Matthew's deletion of this phrase could be perhaps more Jewish but not pointedly so. I think according to your argument, one would have expect Matthew, if he were really wanting to transform a Gentile feeding into a Jewish feeding, to have done more than delete a few words of Mark but to make some statements that were pointedly Jewish.
              BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew's account of Jesus' encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in Mark but absent in Matt but failed to mentioned the statement that is in Matthew but not in Mark, namely, Jesus' statement, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt 15:24, cf. Matt 10:6). This appears to me pointedly Jewish, not naively Jewish. Now, by itself this does not determine whether Matthew's or Mark's account is more primitive, but it is an important piece of evidence that should be considered, because it shows that Matthew as well as Mark have pointed statements that fit certain themes and theological dispositions of their gospels. So, you might still be able to argue for Matthean priority but I don't think that you would be able to do so on the basis that Matthew is more "naively Jewish" and Mark is more "pointedly Gentile."
           
          Sincerely,
          J. Ted Blakley
           
          Ph.D. Candidate
          St Mary's College, University of St Andrews
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          ... Ted, I appreciate your careful reading of, and extremely well-written response to my post. I noticed this morning, just before reading your response, that
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            In a message dated 2/27/2004 7:25:03 AM Eastern Standard Time, jtb1@... writes:

            > BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew's account of Jesus' encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in Mark but absent in Matt but failed to mentioned the statement that is in Matthew but not in Mark, namely, Jesus' statement, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt 15:24, cf. Matt 10:6). This appears to me pointedly Jewish, not naively Jewish. Now, by itself this does not determine whether Matthew's or Mark's account is more primitive, but it is an important piece of evidence that should be considered, because it shows that Matthew as well as Mark have pointed statements that fit certain themes and theological dispositions of their gospels. So, you might still be able to argue for Matthean priority but I don't think that you would be able to do so on the basis that Matthew is more "naively Jewish" and Mark is more "pointedly Gentile.">>

            Ted, I appreciate your careful reading of, and extremely well-written response to my post. I noticed this morning, just before reading your response, that I had omitted reference to Matt 15:24, which (I agree with you) is certainly pertinent to the whole discussion. On the other hand, I am pleased to see that you agree with my main point, which was to say that the second feeding in Matthew should not be regarded as having Gentile beneficiaries. I also agree, to some extent, with your point that my argument for the priority of Matthew over Mark in this section is weak, for the reasons you point out. My only comeback to your final statement above would be to say that my comment about Matthew's narrative being "naively Jewish" was primarily intended to refer to the narrative of the second feeding itself. In this sense, I believe my argument retains some probative value, since it is precisely a narrative in which Gentiles are fed that Matthew intends to "correct" on the hypothesis of Markan priority.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA
          • J. Ted Blakley
            ... BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew s account of Jesus encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
               
              >>J. Ted Blakley writes:
              BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew's account of Jesus' encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in Mark but absent in Matt but failed to mentioned the statement that is in Matthew but not in Mark, namely, Jesus' statement, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt 15:24, cf. Matt 10:6). This appears to me pointedly Jewish, not naively Jewish. Now, by itself this does not determine whether Matthew's or Mark's account is more primitive, but it is an important piece of evidence that should be considered, because it shows that Matthew as well as Mark have pointed statements that fit certain themes and theological dispositions of their gospels. So, you might still be able to argue for Matthean priority but I don't think that you would be able to do so on the basis that Matthew is more "naively Jewish" and Mark is more "pointedly Gentile.">>
              >>Leonard Maluf replies:
              Ted, I appreciate your careful reading of, and extremely well-written response to my post. I noticed this morning, just before reading your response, that I had omitted reference to Matt 15:24, which (I agree with you) is certainly pertinent to the whole discussion. On the other hand, I am pleased to see that you agree with my main point, which was to say that the second feeding in Matthew should not be regarded as having Gentile beneficiaries. I also agree, to some extent, with your point that my argument for the priority of Matthew over Mark in this section is weak, for the reasons you point out.
                     
              >>My only comeback to your final statement above would be to say that my
              comment about Matthew's narrative being "naively Jewish" was primarily intended to refer to the narrative of the second feeding itself. In this sense, I believe my argument retains some probative value, since it is precisely a narrative in which Gentiles are fed that Matthew intends to "correct" on the hypothesis of Markan priority.>>
               
              J. Ted Blakley writes
              Leonard, Thank you for your response. So we are agreed on the Matthew = Jewish feeding and Mark = Gentile feeding. But I am not sure that I quite understand what you intend with this last point. Let me see if I have heard you correctly. You are saying that your comments about Matthew's narrative being "naively Jewish" was primarily intended to refer to the narrative of the feeding of the 4000 itself (Matt 15:32-39), and therefore I presume not in reference to elements outside this narrative such as Jesus' statement in Matt 15:24 about only being sent to the lost sheep of Israel, because "it is precisely a narrative in which Gentiles are fed that Matthew intends to 'correct' on the hypothesis of Markan priority.'" My confusion lies in the fact that it is not Mark's narrative of the feeding itself that provides a Gentile setting for the feeding but (1) in part Jesus' statement to the Syrophoenician woman, and (2) more significantly the itinerary in 7:31 that mentions the Decapolis. Therefore, if Matthew were attempting to transform Mark's Gentile feeding into a Jewish one, he would need to make modifications to the context that Mark has created, all of which (at least the ones you and I have been focusing upon) are outside the narrative itself. So, if I have represented your position correctly, it would seem to me that the probative value of your statement about Matthew's narrative itself being "naively Jewish" doesn't really work since Mark's "pointedly Gentile" aspects are also outside the narrative. It seems that if we look just at the narratives themselves (Matt 15:32-38/39, Mark 8:1-9/10), we have neither naively Jewish or Gentile aspects or pointedly Jewish or Gentile aspects. I would argue, e.g., that the features within Mark's narrative that are sometimes used to provide evidence for a Gentile feeding (the number 7, the greek word used for basket), only are of secondary value when attempting to determine whether Mark presents this as a Gentile feeding. I think much more depends upon 7:31 (although technically speaking 7:31 only provides a Gentile location for the feeding, it doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility that we are dealing with Diaspora Jews). All of this is to say, that I don't see how the narrative itself could be considered "naively Jewish" apart from considerations regarding the setting into which Matthew has created for it.
               
                  There is one other issue from your first email that I wanted to address, but it will have to wait for another time as it is time for me to be getting home. It simply has to do with your dismissal of Mark's allusion to Isa 35:5-6 in the healing of the deaf mute, specifically the use of MOGILALON. If it were a word that occurred in other places, I would agree that it probably is a bit of a stretch to see an allusion. But this word only occurs twice in the biblical tradition, Isa 35:6 and Mark 7:32. In addition, this is not the only allusion to Isa 35 in Mark. I can't list the evidence now, but all of the healings in Isa 35 find parallel in Mark, and the healing of Blind Bartimaeus and reference to him following Jesus on the way sure fits well with Isa 35:8ff. So given Mark's use of Isaiah in general and his use of Isaiah 35 in particular, I do think MOGILALON is significant. Well, got to go.
               
              Sincerely,
              Ted

              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              J. Ted Blakley
              Ph.D. Candidate St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews
              35 Auldburn Park
              St. Andrews, Fife KY16 8JD
              01334-479843
               
              jtb1@...
            • Maluflen@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:24:12 AM Eastern Standard Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:24:12 AM Eastern Standard Time, scarlson@... writes:

                << If you're correct that Matthew's second feeding story is
                not intending Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all?>>

                Surely you are not implying by this (or are you?) that the mere fact that there is a second feeding story in Matthew is sufficient to establish that the crowds must be Gentile in this story? Or are you trying rather to suggest that the story's presence in Matthew may be a result of Matthew's having copied it from Mark, who clearly intended two feedings, one to Jews and one to Gentiles? (But Luke's solution to this problem would surely have been open to Matthew as well?) In any case, the question is a good one, even if I cannot honestly adopt either of the above two solutions. In fact, I am not sure exactly how I would respond to the question at the moment, except to say that Matthew seems to be attempting to show a pattern here: Jesus as the shepherd and nourisher of Israel, not on one unique occasion, but in principle. In the same way Jesus is shown healing crowds of people who come to him -- not once, but on several occasions, in Matthew. This response to your question may not be the only one, or even the best, but it is at least concordant, I think, with the interpretation of the double feeding given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matt itself, in 16:9-10: the disciples are rebuked for not "getting" the pattern of Jesus' behavior, and for therefore doubting that he could provide them with food on the boat, or anywhere else, for that matter.

                By the way, I cannot tell for sure from your question, but I would be curious to know if you think the second feeding in Matthew is in fact intended to have Gentiles as beneficiaries, and why?


                Leonard Maluf
                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                Weston, MA
              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... . . . ... Given the numeric details that are emphasized (the first had 12 baskets left over, and the second had 7), which are explicitly invoked in Jesus s
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  Maluflen@... wrote:
                  >In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:24:12 AM Eastern Standard Time, scarlson@... writes:
                  ><< If you're correct that Matthew's second feeding story is
                  >not intending Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all?>>
                  . . .
                  >By the way, I cannot tell for sure from your question, but I
                  >would be curious to know if you think the second feeding in
                  >Matthew is in fact intended to have Gentiles as beneficiaries,
                  >and why?

                  Given the numeric details that are emphasized (the first had
                  12 baskets left over, and the second had 7), which are explicitly
                  invoked in Jesus's questions to the disciples, I feel that some
                  kind of symbolism is going on, and Mark develops that symbolism
                  deftly along the lines of a table fellowship that is inclusive of
                  both Jews (12) and Gentiles (7), cf. esp. the passage with the
                  Syro-Phoenician woman.

                  The question for me is, what would the numeric symbolism
                  be in Matt under Matthean priority? For the reasons you gave,
                  I don't think Matt was employing a Jewish vs. Gentile distinction
                  as it appears to be so employed in Mark. In fact, under Markan
                  priority, Matt must have toned that distinction down, arguably
                  rendering the numbers a mere relic of a symbolic scheme that
                  Matt did not fully transfer from the source material.

                  Under Matthean priority, however, there is a more pressing
                  need to account for the numeric symbolism in Matt. Perhaps,
                  the numbers 12 and 7 could have an ecclesiastical meaning
                  as we see in Acts (12 Apostles, 7 Deacons), or maybe the
                  distinction is cultural/linguisitic (Hebrews versus Hellenists),
                  but it's hard for me to get such symbolism to work out as
                  neatly in the text of Matt as it does in Mark.

                  In other words, if Matthew is the original, why does its numeric
                  symbolism in the two feeding cycles appear to be so derivative
                  of that in Mark?

                  I hope this focuses a rather open-ended question.

                  Stephen Carlson

                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson,
                  mailto:scarlson@...
                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:59:03 PM Pacific Standard Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes: Stephen, I find your response most interesting, but it raises a
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 27, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:59:03 PM Pacific Standard Time, scarlson@... writes:

                    Stephen, I find your response most interesting, but it raises a whole new series of questions. On the other hand, I do not think I have all (or perhaps even any of) the answers here. Let me just try to respond to your first paragraph, though.

                    Given the numeric details that are emphasized (the first had
                    12 baskets left over, and the second had 7), which are explicitly
                    invoked in Jesus's questions to the disciples, I feel that some
                    kind of symbolism is going on, and Mark develops that symbolism
                    deftly along the lines of a table fellowship that is inclusive of
                    both Jews (12) and Gentiles (7), cf. esp. the passage with the
                    Syro-Phoenician woman.


                    This is interesting. I hadn't noticed before how the numbers 12 and 7 are emphasized in Mk 8:19-20 in a way that they are not in the parallel text of Matt. On the other hand, Mark's text here seems in other respects to be secondary to Matt. The fact that Mark allows the disciples to answer Jesus' question seems to me like a secondary development of the tradition, in the direction of (dialogue and) dramatization, found so frequently in Mark. For what good reason would a late Matthew have removed those answers by the disciples to Jesus' questions? Clearly they are implied, so why not have them stated explicitly, especially if your source already has? Then too, it is Matthew and not Mark who elsewhere shows a clear consciousness of the significance of the number 12 as related to Jews, by way of the tribes of Israel and their eponymous ancestors (see Matt 19:28 and cf. 1:2). I see no interest whatsoever elsewhere in Mark for this symbolism. I must admit, however, that if Mark clearly intended the two feedings to be for, respectively, a Jewish and a Gentile crowd (as we both happily agree that he probably did) then it seems reasonable to assume that he saw some symbolism in the numbers 12 and 7 in these accounts. On the hypothesis of Matthean priority, Matthew almost seems here to be telling us what actually happened historically on two different occasions in the messianic ministry of Jesus, and Mark to be developing the symbolism of the numbers at a later stage.

                    Your comments also raise the issue of the other numbers in these passages and their significance, the number of loaves and fish in each account, and the 5000 and 4000, respectively, who partook. Here again Mark seems to sharpen the focus on the numbers, this time by omitting a reference to the woman and children who would spoil the count if all added in. Is there a significance too in the "one bread" found only in Mk 8:14? But again, his text at these points strikes me as being secondary. Luke too writes after Matthew and also omits reference to women and children. And does Mark elsewhere show sensitivity to the significance of the number 5, as Matthew does to be sure, even if only implicitly in the macro-structure of his Gospel?

                    The points you make in the remainder of your post that favor Markan priority are at least muddied somewhat, I think, by the above observations. Whether that represents a service rendered is not entirely clear to me.

                    Leonard Maluf
                    Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                    Weston, MA
                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                    In a message dated 2/27/2004 1:48:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, jtb1@st-andrews.ac.uk writes:
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 28, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      In a message dated 2/27/2004 1:48:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, jtb1@... writes:

                      << There is one other issue from your first email that I wanted to address, but it will have to wait for another time as it is time for me to be getting home. It simply has to do with your dismissal of Mark's allusion to Isa 35:5-6 in the healing of the deaf mute, specifically the use of MOGILALON. If it were a word that occurred in other places, I would agree that it probably is a bit of a stretch to see an allusion. But this word only occurs twice in the biblical tradition, Isa 35:6 and Mark 7:32.>>

                      I am aware of this argument, based on the rarity of the term MOGILALON, and it clearly has some merit. On the other hand, it still remains strange to me that Mark would borrow this term and little else from the Isaian passage he wishes to send his reader to on this hypothesis. Are there other examples of this kind of literary allusion in Mark? Perhaps the allusion to Esther 5:3, 6; 7:2 in Mark 6:23? But even this is surely more substantive than the MOGILALON case?

                      << In addition, this is not the only allusion to Isa 35 in Mark. I can't list the evidence now, but all of the healings in Isa 35 find parallel in Mark, and the healing of Blind Bartimaeus and reference to him following Jesus on the way sure fits well with Isa 35:8ff.>>

                      Other than the use of the common term hODOS, I don't see much dependence of Mark 10:52 on Is 35:8. And Mark's expression EN THi hODWi is adequately explained in synchronic terms, as creating a literary inclusion with the beginning of a major section in Mark that started, with the same expression, in 8:27 (see 8:27b). As for the connection of other healings in Mark to Is 35, these are readily explained on the hypothesis of Matthean priority as derived from Matthew, who alone shows a clear awareness of and interest in the messianic implications for the ministry of Jesus of Is 35:5-6 and other Isaian texts (cf. Matt 8:17; 12:18-20, to name but two).

                      By the way, I will be away from home beginning today and till a week from today. I hope to be able to respond to future posts from various library computers, but access to these, as well as to appropriate research tools for list discussions is not guaranteed.

                      Leonard Maluf
                      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                      Weston, MA


                      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                    • Karel Hanhart
                      ... From: To: ; Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:46 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 2, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: <Maluflen@...>
                        To: <scarlson@...>; <Synoptic-L@...>
                        Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:46 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?


                        > In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:24:12 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                        scarlson@... writes:
                        >
                        > << If you're correct that Matthew's second feeding story is
                        > not intending Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all?>>


                        From Maluflen's response
                        .... This response to your question may not be the only one, or even the
                        best, but it is at least concordant, I think, with the interpretation of the
                        double feeding given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matt itself, in 16:9-10: the
                        disciples are rebuked for not "getting" the pattern of Jesus' behavior, and
                        for therefore doubting that he could provide them with food on the boat, or
                        anywhere else, for that matter.

                        Karel wrote to continue the discussion:
                        In Mark 8, 21, Jesus appears to be exasperated, when asking: "do you still
                        not understand?" This abrupt and, if taken literally, unreasonable rebuke
                        "don't you get it at all?' undoubtedly belongs to the so-called passages of
                        the Messianic secret. The late prof Bas van Iersel of the Catholic
                        University of Nijmegen, brings this home in his excellent synchronical study
                        :"Reading Mark" (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1988, a true guide to the
                        complexities of Mark!).
                        Van Iersel writes concerning this 'unreasonable' rebuke:
                        " (After the feeding of the 5000) one would expect greater signs to cause
                        greater understanding ..., but this is definitely not so. On the contrary.
                        Already, in the first story, Jesus is asking how it is possible that they
                        still have no faith (4:40). It is, moreover, extremely ironical that the
                        disciples, having already witnessed one miraculous feeding, should ask on a
                        similar occasion where one can get bread for so many people (8:4!) Nor is
                        this quite all. The fact that they get in the boat again after the second
                        feeding without taking bread with them, sustains that irony, as does their
                        misinterpreting Jesus' remark about the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod
                        (8:15-17)." Van Israel rightly emphasizes that Mark in 8, 17-18 clearly
                        refers to the musterion of Mark 4,10.11.
                        [In brackets: Regarding the Galilea (seed-bread-harvest-success) /
                        Judea division of Mark (Pesach - crucifixion -Passover Lamb), van Iersel
                        emphasizes the implications of Bread and Wine as focused in the Mass, while
                        I prefer a broader interpretation and apply the "bread" to the teaching of
                        Torah
                        in the first Galilean section and the Passover Lamb in the second Judean
                        section
                        of Mark].

                        This "unreasonable" rebuke, - clearly not an authentic saying, but part of
                        Mark's compositional style -. reflects the "secret"or "musterion" in
                        Mark's composition with a twofold emphasis: (a) Paul's pre-70 notion of the
                        musterion in Rm 11,25, a Pauline application of the riddlesome prophecy of
                        Isaiah 6,9f and (b). Mark's post 70 radicalization of Rom 11,25. God was
                        able to turn even the tragedy of 70 to good: the hardness of heart of a part
                        of Israel served the "incoming of the Gentiles" and the salvation of "all"
                        Israel. Mark wants to convince his readers that the Gentiles were in
                        principle included in Jesus' mission from the start, although in pre-70 days
                        this was a bone of contention among Christian Judeans, as the letter to the
                        Galatians. demonstrates.
                        Post-70 Matthew adopted Mark's dual feeding as well as the mission to the
                        nations, - cf. the great commission in Mt 28- but he also retained the
                        saying of Mt 10,6 cf. 15,24.

                        Addendum:
                        Elsewhere I published in Dutch in "De Waagschaal" a proposal that the
                        original version of the Apostle's Creed was a "booklist" of books "received
                        and read" in the worship service of the ecclesia. In the original Greek
                        version of that list various terms of the Apostle's Creed were in Greek
                        literally keywords by which a particular Gospel or Epistle could be
                        recognized. In the christological section of the Creed the order: John -
                        Luke - Matthew and Mark can be identified. The closer one comes to the heart
                        of the confession the older the Gospel. So (1) "only begotten son" -
                        'monogenes' - John; (2) conceived by the Holy Spirit - sullempsei - pneuma
                        hagion - Luke; (3) "born of the virgin" - 'parthenos en gastri' - Matthew;
                        (4) 'suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried' - Mark's
                        passion story. 'On the third day...'would refer to the creed in 1
                        Corinthians 15 etc.
                        Might this be an external piece of evidence to Farrer's thesis concerning
                        the order of the gospels?
                        Now a keyword in the Creed should be subject to at least three conditions to
                        reflect a canonical book or epistle: (a) there must be a literal agreement
                        of a keyword(s) in the manner in which keywords of Scripture are cited in
                        midrash (b) the words must be typical of the Gospel or Epistle in question
                        (c) the words should not occur in another book of the canon.
                        Unfortunately, we only have the Latin version of the Creed, while the
                        original booklist must have been written in Greek
                        The Greek version of b. Marcellus of Ancyra dates from 340 CE. So one cannot
                        be sure.

                        Interestingly, the first article: 'God, the Father, almighty, maker of
                        heaven and earth' appears to reflect Didache 10,3. I found that the words
                        'Almighty', 'Father' and 'Creator' do not appear together in the canon (
                        f.i. Revel 21,2), but they do in the particular passage of the Didache.

                        cordially

                        Karel Hanhart



                        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                      • Karel Hanhart
                        ... From: J. Ted Blakley To: Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 1:25 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt? Leonard, I
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 1:25 PM
                          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?

                          Leonard, I agree with your argument that Matthew does not present the feeding of the 4000 as a Gentile feeding, mainly because of the few differences between Mattew and Mark, be they Matthean deletions or Markan additions. Of particular significance is (1) the Markan statement, "First let the children be fed/satisfied" which is missing in Matthew and (2) the itinerary of Jesus' journey from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee "via Sidon and in the middle of the Decapolis" where Matthew simply has "And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee." Mark clearly places the feeding on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee in Gentile territory and Matthew on the western side in Jewish territory.
                           
                          My response:
                          Matthew is clearly accomodating his readers. He is portraying Jesus' ministry within Judean borders as much as possible.
                           
                           One additional piece of support for this (and there are more) is the fact that in Mark, immediately following the feeding of the 4000, Jesus and the disciples get into the boat and cross the Sea of Galilee and upon landing are immediately met by Pharisees, last mentionedin ch7 immediately before Jesus went to Tyre and thus on his mission in Gentile territory. I highlight these points of your argument because they relate to your other argument regarding whether Matthew or Mark's account is the more primitive.
                           
                          I would counter the above argument with the above response.
                           
                              You argue that Matthew's account is more primitive stating that "Matthew's account is naively Jewish, while Mark's is pointedly Gentile." You state that within Matthew's account and context of the feeding "There is no pointed and explicit Jewishness here, as one would expect from an author who wished to counter the perspective of a Gospel source in which crowds of Gentiles were fed by Jesus." If one were simply to look at the two elements that Mark has but are absent in Matthew which you point out (First let the children be fed/satisfied" and the Sidon/Decapolis geographical markers), then I think one could make a stronger argument for these being Markan additions than Matthean deletions. That is, it is easier to show how Mark's adding of these statements would have the affect of transforming Matthew's Jewish feeding into a Gentile feeding than it is to show how Matthew's simply deleting of these statements would have the effect of transforming Mark's Gentile feeding into a Jewish one. Mark's "First let the children be fed/satisfied" is much more pointedly Gentile while Matthew's deletion of this phrase could be perhaps more Jewish but not pointedly so.
                           
                          My response:
                          The reverse argument makes more sense, I think. Most readers of Mark and Matthew would be familiar with the saying of Jesus concerning the bread crumbs under the table. In this original story no children were featured, but the entire family were seated around the table with dogs eating the crumbs. Mark pointedly forced a antithesis of "children" the Judeans va the Gentiles (the dogs). Matthew returned to the original version. 
                        • Karel Hanhart
                          ... From: J. Ted Blakley To: Maluflen@aol.com ; Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 7:48 PM Subject: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                             
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 7:48 PM
                            Subject: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?

                             
                            >>J. Ted Blakley writes:
                            BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew's account of Jesus' encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in Mark but absent in Matt but failed to mentioned the statement that is in Matthew but not in Mark, namely, Jesus' statement, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt 15:24, cf. Matt 10:6). This appears to me pointedly Jewish, not naively Jewish. Now, by itself this does not determine whether Matthew's or Mark's account is more primitive, but it is an important piece of evidence that should be considered, because it shows that Matthew as well as Mark have pointed statements that fit certain themes and theological dispositions of their gospels.
                             
                            My response:
                             
                            Again Matthew's audience and structure is different from Mark's complex Passover Haggadah for a limited audience. Mark's Gospel is 'pointedly' Pauline. Je wants to emphasize that Gentiles are included in the promise. He points this out at the outset of his Gospel. Jesus calls Greek named Andrew as the brother in the Spirit of the Hebrew named Simon at the shore of the Lake / Sea of Galilee (of the Gentiles)  A dual structure throughout.
                             
                            cordially,
                            Karel
                          • Karel Hanhart
                            ... From: To: ; Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:46 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: <Maluflen@...>
                              To: <scarlson@...>; <Synoptic-L@...>
                              Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:46 PM
                              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?


                              > In a message dated 2/27/2004 2:24:12 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                              > scarlson@... writes:
                              >
                              > << If you're correct that Matthew's second feeding story is
                              > not intending Gentile recipients, then why is it in there at all?>>
                              >
                              > Surely you are not implying by this (or are you?) that the mere fact that
                              > there is a second feeding story in Matthew is sufficient to establish that
                              > the crowds must be Gentile in this story? Or are you trying rather to
                              > suggest that the story's presence in Matthew may be a result of Matthew's
                              > having copied it from Mark, who clearly intended two feedings, one to Jews
                              > and one to Gentiles? (But Luke's solution to this problem would surely
                              > have been open to Matthew as well?) In any case, the question is a good
                              > one, even if I cannot honestly adopt either of the above two solutions.

                              My response:
                              Are not the numbers 5000 and 4000 and 7 and 12 of the feeding narrative in
                              themselves betraying a biblical (hence Judean) message concerning the
                              recipients of Jesus' multiplying the bread of the Torah?
                              Pauline influence can be traced throughout, beginning with the pair of
                              'brothers' in the Spirit Andrew and John' on the shore of 'the 'sea' of
                              Galilee, or
                              with Jesus, ending his missionary tour throughout Galilee and finding A BOAT
                              READY AT THE LAKE OF GALILEE (Mk 3:9) , an anticipation of the later mission
                              across the Meditterranean Sea or

                              the end of the Gospel "there [in the Galilee of the Gentiles] you will see
                              him.

                              cordially

                              Karel
                              Karel


                              In fact, I am not sure exactly how I would respond to the question at the
                              moment, except to say that Matthew seems to be attempting to show a pattern
                              here: Jesus as the shepherd and nourisher of Israel, not on one unique
                              occasion, but in principle. In the same way Jesus is shown healing crowds of
                              people who come to him -- not once, but on several occasions, in Matthew.
                              This response to your question may not be the only one, or even the best,
                              but it is at least concordant, I think, with the interpretation of the
                              double feeding given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matt itself, in 16:9-10: the
                              disciples are rebuked for not "getting" the pattern of Jesus' behavior, and
                              for therefore doubting that he could provide them with food on the boat, or
                              anywhere else, for that matter.
                              >
                              > By the way, I cannot tell for sure from your question, but I would be
                              > curious to know if you think the second feeding in Matthew is in fact
                              > intended to have Gentiles as beneficiaries, and why?
                              >
                              >
                              > Leonard Maluf
                              > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                              > Weston, MA
                              > K)¦Ø,zz-z§ÿÃjfºO.ê¢ ³)¦Ø"¸´ìz´zS?ÂÂwniË


                              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                            • Dennis Sullivan
                              Karel wrote: Again Matthew s audience and structure is different from Mark s complex Passover Haggadah for a limited audience. Mark s Gospel is pointedly
                              Message 14 of 15 , Nov 23, 2004
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Karel wrote:

                                "Again Matthew's audience and structure is different from Mark's complex
                                Passover Haggadah for a limited audience. Mark's Gospel is 'pointedly'
                                Pauline. Je wants to emphasize that Gentiles are included in the promise. He
                                points this out at the outset of his Gospel. Jesus calls Greek named Andrew
                                as the brother in the Spirit of the Hebrew named Simon at the shore of the
                                Lake / Sea of Galilee (of the Gentiles) A dual structure throughout."
                                ++++++++++++++++++++++

                                Mark, rather than writing a "Haggadah" for Jewish believers, seems to have a
                                'pointedly' gentile agenda. His "cursing of the fig tree" pericope appears
                                to suggest that the Temple and the Jewish faith will be destroyed. (Matthew
                                and Luke have only the "parable of the fig tree".) Add to this Mark's
                                portrayal of Yeshua's twelve Jewish associates as remarkably dense, and
                                Yeshua as "beside himself".

                                Mark's placement of the 4000 feeding in a gentile territory seems to be
                                another attempt to include gentiles in the early ministry of Yeshua. We
                                should keep in mind that this episode appears in a section of Mark's gospel
                                that begins with the disciples setting out across the lake from Gennesaret,
                                the site of the 5000 feeding, for Beth Saida, and rather than arriving at
                                their intended destination, returning to Gennesaret after apparently
                                executing a U-turn on the lake.

                                I should think this geographical error, first pointed out by Steven Notley
                                and Randall Buth on this list a few years ago might cause us to wonder about
                                the authenticity of Mark's "gentile feeding" and the excursion through Tyre
                                and Sidon. Mark, whoever he might have been, seems not to have been familiar
                                with the area around Kinneret.

                                Regards,

                                Dennis Sullivan
                                Dayton, Ohio

                                ---- Original Message -----
                                From: J. Ted Blakley
                                To: Maluflen@... ; Synoptic-L@...
                                Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 7:48 PM
                                Subject: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?



                                >>J. Ted Blakley writes:
                                BUT, we do in fact have such pointedly Jewish rhetoric in Matthew's account
                                of Jesus' encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. You mentioned what was in
                                Mark but absent in Matt but failed to mentioned the statement that is in
                                Matthew but not in Mark, namely, Jesus' statement, "I was sent only to the
                                lost sheep of Israel" (Matt 15:24, cf. Matt 10:6). This appears to me
                                pointedly Jewish, not naively Jewish. Now, by itself this does not determine
                                whether Matthew's or Mark's account is more primitive, but it is an
                                important piece of evidence that should be considered, because it shows that
                                Matthew as well as Mark have pointed statements that fit certain themes and
                                theological dispositions of their gospels.

                                My response:

                                Again Matthew's audience and structure is different from Mark's complex
                                Passover Haggadah for a limited audience. Mark's Gospel is 'pointedly'
                                Pauline. Je wants to emphasize that Gentiles are included in the promise. He
                                points this out at the outset of his Gospel. Jesus calls Greek named Andrew
                                as the brother in the Spirit of the Hebrew named Simon at the shore of the
                                Lake / Sea of Galilee (of the Gentiles) A dual structure throughout.

                                cordially,
                                Karel


                                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                                List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                              • Karel Hanhart
                                ... From: Dennis Sullivan To: Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 3:53 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding
                                Message 15 of 15 , Nov 24, 2004
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Dennis Sullivan" <densull@...>
                                  To: <Synoptic-L@...>
                                  Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 3:53 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?


                                  > Karel wrote:
                                  >
                                  > "Again Matthew's audience and structure is different from Mark's complex
                                  > Passover Haggadah for a limited audience. Mark's Gospel is 'pointedly'
                                  > Pauline. Je wants to emphasize that Gentiles are included in the promise.
                                  > He
                                  > points this out at the outset of his Gospel. Jesus calls Greek named
                                  > Andrew
                                  > as the brother in the Spirit of the Hebrew named Simon at the shore of the
                                  > Lake / Sea of Galilee (of the Gentiles) A dual structure throughout."
                                  > ++++++++++++++++++++++

                                  Dennis responded:

                                  > Mark, rather than writing a "Haggadah" for Jewish believers, seems to have
                                  > a
                                  > 'pointedly' gentile agenda. His "cursing of the fig tree" pericope
                                  > appears
                                  > to suggest that the Temple and the Jewish faith will be destroyed.
                                  (Matthew
                                  > and Luke have only the "parable of the fig tree".) Add to this Mark's
                                  > portrayal of Yeshua's twelve Jewish associates as remarkably dense, and
                                  > Yeshua as "beside himself".

                                  Karel's response:

                                  Your remarks are worthy of reflection. Many pre-Auschwitz commentaries
                                  appear to support your 'pointedly' Gentile agenda. Was it, however, Mark's
                                  agenda? I think not. Like all Judeans Mark was deeply affected by the trauma
                                  of 70. In the wake of any national disaster, citizens always look for the
                                  guilty ones, vehemently debating questions of culpability. Such was the
                                  context in which Mark designed his Passover Haggadah. He clearly pointed his
                                  finger at a number of highpriests (plural) and their adherents (10:33f).
                                  I also would put the same primary question to you as I did to Mike Grondin.
                                  Do you hold 'Mark' to be the John Mark of Acts and the epistles? Was Mark
                                  citing lxx Isa 22,16 or was he not? With a 'yes' or 'no' to these
                                  introductory questions, exegetes experience a parting of the ways. True, for
                                  us post-Nicean Westerners Mark's contrived stories are dense. We are obliged
                                  to try the impossible: to crawl into the skin of a first century diaspora
                                  Judean, who just heard the outcome of the rebellion against Rome.

                                  cordially,

                                  Karel


                                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.