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Re: [Synoptic-L] A Gentile feeding in Matt?

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  • Karel Hanhart
    ... From: To: ; Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 10:46 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 2, 2004
      ----- 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 2 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
        
         
        ----- 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 3 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
           
          ----- 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 4 of 15 , Nov 22, 2004
            ----- 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 5 of 15 , Nov 23, 2004
              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 6 of 15 , Nov 24, 2004
                ----- 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


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