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Diatessaron and Matt 17:21

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  • Jonathan C. Borland
    Dear List, Von Soden (1913) cites the Diatessaron for the inclusion of Matt 17:21. How confident can this be made on critical grounds? In the Diatessaron the
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 5, 2010
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      Dear List,

      Von Soden (1913) cites the Diatessaron for the inclusion of Matt
      17:21. How confident can this be made on critical grounds? In the
      Diatessaron the disciples' lack of faith and the faith of the mustard
      seed that can move mountains is followed by the statement that only
      through fasting and prayer can certain demons come out, just as in
      Matthew (17:20-21). Yet Ephrem's commentary, at least the Latin
      translation of 1876, passes over this section in silence, a strange
      thing indeed compared with other commentators who especially liked to
      comment on Matt 17:20. Could the passage be a later addition to the
      Diatessaron in conformation with the canonical Gospels, or is the
      passage's presence in the Diatessaron fairly safe? Is there a general
      consensus on problems like this in the Diatessaron? What about the use
      of the Diatessaron as evidence for this particular textual problem
      (addition/omission of Matt 17:21)? (This passage does not appear to be
      addressed in Petersen's Tatian's Diatessaron.)

      Any comments or direction to other sources are appreciated. Thank you.

      Jonathan C. Borland
    • Wieland Willker
      ... It seems difficult to me to prove that it really comes from Mt. It could equally well come from Mk. It s a harmony, after all. Best wishes Wieland
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 5, 2010
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        > What about the use of the Diatessaron as evidence for
        > this particular textual problem (addition/omission of Matt
        > 17:21)?


        It seems difficult to me to prove that it really comes from Mt.
        It could equally well come from Mk. It's a harmony, after all.


        Best wishes
        Wieland
        <><
        --------------------------
        Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
        mailto:wie@...
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
        Textcritical commentary:
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/
      • Jonathan C. Borland
        Thanks, Wieland, I tend to agree with you that the Diatessaron by itself is an unreliable witness in this passage due to the nature of its composition. I am
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 5, 2010
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          Thanks, Wieland,

          I tend to agree with you that the Diatessaron by itself is an
          unreliable witness in this passage due to the nature of its
          composition. I am not familiar with all of the sources for the
          Diatessaron at this place. The English translation provided in ANF
          9:81: "But it is impossible to cast out this kind by anything except
          by fasting and prayer."

          I mention three peculiar observations:

          (1) the term "impossible" seems to correlate more to Mark than to
          Matthew;

          (2) "cast out" appears to correlate more to Matthew (via _eicitur_ as
          the united testimony of the OL) than to Mark (where _exire_ appears in
          all the OL except f/10, which singularly has _expelli_);

          (3) the presence of "fasting" here in A.D. 166 is strange if it is not
          the earliest form of this Jesus saying (cf. Mark, but even there the
          possibility that p45 has "fasting" would suggest the possibility that
          it is the earliest attested form; cf. also Origen in this place in
          Comm. Matt. 13.6-7 [ANF 9:478-9). Cf. also William L. Petersen's
          similar pleadings with regard to the "fire" in the Jordan during
          Jesus' baptismal episode in Tatian's Diatessaron: Its Creation,
          Dissemination, Significance, and History in Scholarship [Supplements
          to Vigiliae christianae 25; New York: Brill, 1994], 16-7]).

          A few comments from Diatessaronic scholars would be much appreciated.

          Jonathan C. Borland



          On Feb 5, 2010, at 9:02 PM, Wieland Willker wrote:

          > It seems difficult to me to prove that it really comes from Mt.
          > It could equally well come from Mk. It's a harmony, after all.
          >
          > Best wishes
          > Wieland
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