TJ Comments

Comments are welcomed on the comparisons between the verses or passages shown from the Gospel of Matthew and their TJ parallels. TJ stands for Talmud of Jmmanuel, discovered in 1963 by Eduard Meier and Isa Rashid.

Friday, March 21, 2008

DISCUSSION OF TJ 17-18:1 & MATTHEW 15

There are quite a few problems with Matthew in this segment, both to passages that are parallels to TJ verses and those that are not.

11 Comments:

  • At 11:27 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    In here a Matthean insertion caused Peter’s question for an explanation of the parable (of the plants) to be answered by an explanation of defilement by what comes out of the heart & mouth, which was no parable, however. I see it as another instance of editorial “fatigue” on the part of the writer of Matthew relative to the TJ.

     
  • At 8:12 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    (this section is continued from the one which appears in discussion of TJ 3 or 4)

    MK 7:8-9- … and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

    The statement made by Jesus in Mark 7:8 is nowhere to be found in Matthew, so Mark could not have obtained this statement simply by looking at the book of Matthew. Again, one is free to say that Mark “made this up” as a part of a quote of Jesus when altering Matthew, or one could conclude that Mark had a source for this section which was not the book of Matthew.

    The statement made by Jesus beginning in Mark 7:9 and continuing through Mark 7:13 somewhat parallels Matthew 15:3-6. If one observes these sections closely, one will notice that although they are very similar, the role of the copyist is not found. Therefore, one could conclude that one writer altered a question of Jesus into a statement, changed “God” into “Moses,” inserted “Corban” and gave a narrative explanation of the word instead of directly having Jesus call it a gift of God, and then also completed the entire quote of Jesus using very different wording or vice versa to all of these details, all of which were done “just to be different,” or one could say that the each of the authors did not have access to other’s parallel section, resulting in such large variations between the two to be seen.

    One should also notice that Mark’s section comes after the reference made to Isaiah in the quote of Jesus while Matthew’s section comes before the reference. Here, one might have a reason to say that Mark changed the original order of what Jesus said while including an additional statement not found in Matthew and Matthew contains the original spoken order but less of the entire dialogue. This would still not necessarily mean that Mark had access to Matthew’s parallel section or used it. Nevertheless, the possibility is still open that Matthew’s order is reversed from the original as spoken by Jesus, Mark contains the original spoken order, and that there was even additional dialogue not recorded by either Matthew or Mark which was spoken in between or that Mark simply desired to distinguish the phrase which followed the clause. In both cases, the “He said to them” clause would again be important to show the reader that the one statement did not immediately precede and/or flow into the next or otherwise to set it apart from the rest of the section. Again, since Mark has a statement which does not even appear in Matthew, there could have been additional spoken dialogue and time in between which neither Matthew nor Mark recorded. In any of these cases, the clause would not be “needlessly” or “improperly” used.

    Mark 7:19-20 - … and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.”

    Since this section closely follows the previous section, again we observe that the role of the copyist is not found between the two parallel accounts. Between Mark and Matthew, each and every sentence is worded very differently once more, and Matthew does include a good bit of extra details that are not found in Mark. Once again, one would have to determine for him or herself if an author was using, rewording, and altering the other gospel writer’s document and that if it was Mark, why Mark would have omitted many of the particular details, especially the clearer explanation of Jesus found in Matthew and the many different types of sin, or if the authors were using sources which were not each other, or if Matthew improved upon Mark.

    If one observes the phrase which follows the clause in Mark, one will notice that it is the most important statement of the entire section and is the main point that Jesus was trying to get across to his listeners at the time. As such, it is likely more than a coincidence that the clause which separates this statement from the rest and makes it distinct appears before this teaching. While there could have, perhaps, also been omitted dialogue in between, the use of this clause in Mark appears to parallel its use as seen in the previous examples, where Mark uses it to stress a point and allow it to stand out from the rest of the dialogue. If this is the case, the clause, again, would not be “needless.”

    Mark 8:38-9:1 - … when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

    One will notice that the statement made by Jesus in Mark 8:38 is significantly different from the statement found in Matthew 16:27:

    MK 3:38 – “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (See also Luke 9:26)

    MT 16:27 – “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

    The statement in MT 16:27 could have been an additional statement made by Jesus after the statement made by Him in MK 3:38, which Mark could not have found by looking at Matthew. Again, there could have been even more additional dialogue here not recorded by any writer. As such, Mark’s clause could again show a break within a continuous flow of dialogue. Nevertheless, we again see that Mark’s clause comes before a major statement that was made by Jesus which would have caused a large reaction to his listeners at the time and which would see its fulfillment in Mark’s following chapter. Thus, this clause, like so often before, is also likely separating a statement in order distinguish it from the rest of the dialogue, showing the author’s intent to draw the reader’s attention particularly to this statement.

    Mark 11:23-25

    “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

    This is given simply to show that the entire passage above appears in Mark as a continuous quote of Jesus. It was said in the main criticism that a needless interruptive clause was placed by Mark in Mark chapter 11 and verse 24. Even if one wants to say that Jesus Himself should not have said “therefore I say to you” between verses 23 and 24 for some reason, if Mark was simply trying to quote Jesus, he can’t be charged with inserting his own clause as the narrator.

    Since I have determined that there are only 7 such clauses in Mark which one could charge as being “interruptive,” here is a summary of all of the statements which follow such clauses:

    1. MK 2:27 – “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
    2. MK 4:9 – “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
    3. MK 4:13 – ““Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”
    4. MK 4:24 – “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.”
    5. MK 7:9 – “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
    6. MK 7:20 – “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.”
    7. MK 9:1 – “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

    And here is a summary of how each statement pertains to its respective passage.

    1. This is the main point of the particular section, which Jesus wanted his listeners to understand.
    2. This is a statement of passion, which showed Jesus’ sincere desire for all to listen to everything that He was teaching.
    3. This is a very important teaching, showing that if one cannot grasp the basic things, how will he or she grasp those things which are harder to understand?
    4. This is a statement of extreme caution, alerting people of the responsibilities that come with having more knowledge.
    5. This is the largest reason why many reject everything that God has to say, so that they can hold on to the teachings and understandings of mere mortals.
    6. This is the main point of the particular section, which Jesus wanted his listeners to understand.
    7. This was the statement spoken by Jesus at that time which would have caused His listeners to wonder and ponder the most.

    Let each person determine for him or herself if all of the above cases truly appear as “editorial oddities,” “interruptive clauses,” evidences of “alterations to the book of Matthew,” and/or clauses which were written by Mark for “no good literary reasons,” or if such clauses intended to set the following statements apart from the rest of the narrative in order to distinguish them and draw the reader’s attention to them for a specific purpose (and as a less important possibility, also to reveal a break in dialogue in some cases).

     
  • At 9:17 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Above, Ben (in italics) wrote:
    (this section is continued from the one which appears in discussion of TJ 3 or 4)

    MK 7:8-9- … and many other such things you do.”
    [Oops, you just made a typical scribal error.] He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

    The statement made by Jesus in Mark 7:8 is nowhere to be found in Matthew, so Mark could not have obtained this statement simply by looking at the book of Matthew. Again, one is free to say that Mark “made this up” as a part of a quote of Jesus when altering Matthew, or one could conclude that Mark had a source for this section which was not the book of Matthew.


    Or one could argue that the writer of Mark wrote it and the neighboring verses, and all of his gospel, using either what Peter told him, and/or oral tradition, with the writers of Matthew and Luke thence utilizing Mark.

    Here Jameson’s observation still holds, with textual content on either side of the interruption (“He said to them”) being different from that of Matthew. However, after AMark had by this point gotten into the habit of adding the interruption, I would consider it better explained by “change for the sake of change” rather than as an indicator of a pronounced alteration.

    I find it especially interesting that Matthew has the death punishment for violation of the “honor your father…” commandment come from God, as would be the proper Judaistic interpretation of Ex 21:17, while Mark attributes it to Moses. I suspect that AMark did not approve of such a stiff penalty in that case, and not especially favoring Judaistic practices, placed the blame onto Moses. Thus Mark has an accidental agreement with the TJ on this point (TJ 17:4-5).

    Mark 7:19-20 - … and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.”

    Since this section closely follows the previous section, again we observe that the role of the copyist is not found between the two parallel accounts. Between Mark and Matthew, each and every sentence is worded very differently once more, and Matthew does include a good bit of extra details that are not found in Mark. Once again, one would have to determine for him or herself if an author was using, rewording, and altering the other gospel writer’s document and that if it was Mark, why Mark would have omitted many of the particular details, especially the clearer explanation of Jesus found in Matthew and the many different types of sin, or if the authors were using sources which were not each other, or if Matthew improved upon Mark.


    Actually, I see the detail you mention the other way around. Matthew (Mt 15:19) lists evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness and slander (7 items).

    Mark lists evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride and foolishness (13 items). AMark has added coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, pride and foolishness, while omitting fornication. (Perhaps not entirely change for the sake of change?) The tendency for an editor who plagiarizes to expand upon his source text is well known, and Mark is well known to exhibit this tendency relative to Matthean parallels, while AMark abbreviated out large chunks of Matthean text he did not care to plagiarize.

    Mark 8:38-9:1 - … when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

    One will notice that the statement made by Jesus in Mark 8:38 is significantly different from the statement found in Matthew 16:27.


    And the interruptive clause here is especially redundant (“And he said to them, ‘Truly I say to you…’”).

    MK 3:38 – [8:38] “’For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.’ And he said to them…” (See also Luke 9:26)

    MT 16:27 – “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

    The statement in MT 16:27 could have been an additional statement made by Jesus after the statement made by Him in MK 3:38
    (8:38), which Mark could not have found by looking at Matthew.

    However, its theme agrees well with other apparent inserts of Mark relative to Matthew that emphasize promoting the gospel – the one written gospel, the words of Jesus -- Mk 1:15, 8:35, 10:29, 13:10, 14:9. The Christian is not to be ashamed of his Christianity. The Gospel writers had their own different agendas or emphases.

    Mark 11:23-25
    “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

    This is given simply to show that the entire passage above appears in Mark as a continuous quote of Jesus.


    Thanks for pointing this out. Jameson should not have included this one in his list.

     
  • At 10:14 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    It was said,

    MK 7:8-9- … and many other such things you do.”[Oops, you just made a typical scribal error.]

    Response:

    I said at the very beginning of my response which appears in the other section that all quotations would come from the New King James Version of the Bible. I am pretty confident that I have this as the New King James Version reads, especially since I just copied and pasted it from an on-line Bible to save myself some time.

    It was also said,
    Actually, I see the detail you mention the other way around. Matthew (Mt 15:19) lists evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness and slander (7 items).

    Response:
    Thank you for pointing out my mistake to the reader. I was, indeed, looking at the wrong window when I said that Mark omitted the sins, thinking I was looking at Mark’s account when I was really looking at Matthew’s. As such, Mark has extra details which he could not have received by looking at Matthew alone.

    Another comment I desire to make in regards to the quotes of Jesus. As I have already said before, many of the passages where the writers attempted to write a direct quote of Jesus appear very different from each other. Sometimes the differences are subtle, other times they are rather large. I would just like to say that regardless of one’s view on how the synoptic gospels were created, I think that nearly all who have contemplated the matter would agree that whoever the authors were who created the original gospels and regardless of their means of doing so, they were definitely devoted followers of Jesus and regarded Him to be the Son of God. As such, one could rightly charge them with having a strong and unwavering conviction on this matter. The important thing to consider is how this kind of strong conviction on such a matter would affect a person in his approach to recording statements of his teacher, examples of which can even be seen today.

    Using the Meier case as the prime example, members of FIGU repeatedly show their conviction that if somebody desires to quote Billy Meier or produce a translation of the Contact Notes into a different language, such should receive approval by FIGU before being disseminated or else it could cause more harm than good to their mission. Therefore, their position tells them that Billy Meier’s original statements and explanations should appear in any writings as close as possible to the original statements and nothing else should be accepted or trusted. It is very reasonable, then, to conclude that a very similar conviction would have existed within the original authors of the gospels concerning their teacher. One must keep this in mind when examining parallel quotes of Jesus across the different gospels and ask him or herself the question:

    If a later writer, who was a devoted follower of a teacher, had before him a written work that he deemed to be authoritative (which is why he would have chosen to use it in the first place) and if he was, indeed, of a strong conviction that his teacher was the Lord of the universe and, therefore, out of respect and devotion, would not have desired to alter any statements made by his Lord, much like how group members of FIGU do not desire to alter statements of Meier, why would so many alterations that appear as direct quotes of his teacher, whom he would be willing to die for, appear? Another good question to ask is let's say that a devoted writer was indeed looking at a quote in an authoritative work but had a reason to conclude that the quote was not actually originally stated in such a manner by his teacher but a was spoken a little differently. Where would he have received such a reason for concluding otherwise?

    Now at the same time, if a devoted follower of a teacher truly desired to quote the teacher as best as he could at a later time from memory and another devoted follower truly desired to quote the teacher as best as he could from memory, what would be the odds that the two devoted followers would remember the exact same quote word-for-word? (This has actually been tested by professors in their classes, where somebody enters a room and makes a statement to the whole class and the students are told to write down what the visitor said word-for-word after just hearing the statement but not being prepared beforehand that they would have to recall it from memory. Obviously, little variations always arise.) Then, what if two such different and devoted followers were primarily used as sources for the creation of documents at a later time? Would not the documents also show such little variances which are hard for many to explain as to why such minor variations appear in many cases? How would all of this relate to the tradition that was passed along for centuries that Matthew was the author of his own gospel, Mark heavily received input from Peter, and Luke heavily received input from Paul, a tradition that happens to be passed on to us along with the tradition that there was a Hebraic Matthew?

     
  • At 8:04 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Ben wrote:

    It was said,
    MK 7:8-9- … and many other such things you do.”
    [Oops, you just made a typical scribal error.]

    Ben’s Response:

    I said at the very beginning of my response which appears in the other section that all quotations would come from the New King James Version of the Bible. I am pretty confident that I have this as the New King James Version reads, especially since I just copied and pasted it from an on-line Bible to save myself some time.

    No, the error was that the text you wrote was not the one you intended to be there, since you wrote down part of verse 7:13, not 7:8. The scribe’s eye sometimes jumped ahead in his writing to where there was a similar word or phrase, and he would continue his transcribing from there -- scribal error (it has a technical name).

    Another comment I desire to make in regards to the quotes of Jesus. As I have already said before, many of the passages where the writers attempted to write a direct quote of Jesus appear very different from each other. Sometimes the differences are subtle, other times they are rather large.

    (When the difference is subtle, however, it’s not very different.)

    I would just like to say that regardless of one’s view on how the synoptic gospels were created, I think that nearly all who have contemplated the matter would agree that whoever the authors were who created the original gospels and regardless of their means of doing so, they were definitely devoted followers of Jesus and regarded Him to be the Son of God. As such, one could rightly charge them with having a strong and unwavering conviction on this matter. The important thing to consider is how this kind of strong conviction on such a matter would affect a person in his approach to recording statements of his teacher,

    However, the scholar needs to explore the truth or untruth of the particular conviction in question, as well as other underlying assumptions. In this instance, one needs to ask, was J really the son of God? If not, who all was responsible for initiating and furthering this belief? And, did the disciple Matthew ever record the statements of his teacher? Did John Mark ever record them? Etc. I have little sympathy towards the scholarship of those who insist upon avoiding such basic questions.

    Using the Meier case as the prime example, members of FIGU repeatedly show their conviction that if somebody desires to quote Billy Meier or produce a translation of the Contact Notes into a different language, such should receive approval by FIGU before being disseminated or else it could cause more harm than good to their mission. Therefore, their position tells them that Billy Meier’s original statements and explanations should appear in any writings as close as possible to the original statements and nothing else should be accepted or trusted. It is very reasonable, then, to conclude that a very similar conviction would have existed within the original authors of the gospels concerning their teacher.

    That conclusion would seem to apply to the case of Judas Iscariot’s writing receiving the approval of Jmmanuel before it was transported back to the Mideast for dissemination.

    However, different questions or conclusions apply to the scenario wherein the original author’s writing is circulated many decades too late for the original disciples to be alive, and after the original teachings had been strongly falsified and distorted into early Christianity.

    Would an early Christian recipient of the original author’s writing change his views away from those of his own, his friends and parents, and try to disseminate transcriptions of the original without alteration? Would he do this if terrible heresies had to be accepted?

    Or would he, if he had a scribal background and was a respected member of a church, rewrite the original into a gospel acceptable to his beliefs and those of his associates?

    These considerations are avoided by Ben, even though they lie at the heart of this blog’s web site.

     
  • At 5:59 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    By the way, Jim, actually pick up and READ Mark chapter 7 and verse 8. I was quoting Mark 7:8, not Mark 7:13.

     
  • At 6:23 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    "Would an early Christian recipient of the original author’s writing change his views away from those of his own, his friends and parents, and try to disseminate transcriptions of the original without alteration? Would he do this if terrible heresies had to be accepted?"

    Response:
    Would an early recipient of a writing change it into a religion that would cause him to be hated and rejected by his original Jewish family, to be hated and despised by the rest of the world, and to be sought out and persecuted to the point of a terrible and painful death, just so that he could defend the religion that he himself knew to be fake since he helped to create it?

    "Or would he, if he had a scribal background and was a respected member of a church, rewrite the original into a gospel acceptable to his beliefs and those of his associates?"

    Response:
    Where in the world would the invented belief of an individual resurrection before the time of the largely held general resurrection appear as one's belief in the first place? And before one attempts to answer this question, he or she should read "The Resurrection of the Son of God" by N.T. Wright, an exhaustive work that thoroughly details the very origins of Christianity and the historical setting and belief structure that existed at the time that this new conviction arose. It is easy to make general assumptions based on one's ignorance. It is wiser to form conclusions after being well-informed.

    Points considered.

     
  • At 2:19 PM , Blogger Ben said...

    Jim said:

    "No, the error was that the text you wrote was not the one you intended to be there, since you wrote down part of verse 7:13, not 7:8. The scribe’s eye sometimes jumped ahead in his writing to where there was a similar word or phrase, and he would continue his transcribing from there -- scribal error (it has a technical name)."

    It is actually good that Jim brought this into the discussion since it relates to possible wrong conclusions that some make when they conclude that Mark copied off of Matthew or vice versa, simply because one verse appears similar to another.

    In this case, Jim read Mark 7:13 and realized that the end of it reads very similar to Mark 7:8. Then, he concluded that the source for my quote was Mark 7:13 and that I made a "scribal error" in referencing Mark 7:8. In truth, which one can verify by reading Mark 7:8, the actual source where I got my information was Mark 7:8 and the similar verse of Mark 7:13, indeed, was not truly my source.

    Here is a case where one can verify with the available information that my true source for my information was not a different source which happens to appear similar to it as charged. Therefore, one must ask: how many times might Matthew or Mark truly be charged incorrectly with using each other, just because their verses appear similar to each other? This is further multiplied by the fact that we have so much unavailable information of the time period when both authors were writing.

     
  • At 3:01 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Ben wrote:
    By the way, Jim, actually pick up and READ Mark chapter 7 and verse 8. I was quoting Mark 7:8, not Mark 7:13.

    Evidently the “Majority” text (King James) places the clause “and many other such things you do” at Mk 7:8 as well as at Mk 7:13, which is where the preferred Greek text has it, and the RSV bible, etc.; they don’t have it at 7:8.

    Thus, when it gets down to the nitty gritty of biblical exegesis, which bible one uses can matter.

    My web site uses the RSV English, or equivalent, and the Nestle-Aland Greek text. So please present your case in those terms, from now on, since that’s what most NT scholars use. Or else limit your comments to instances where the King James version does not materially differ from the RSV or equivalent.

     
  • At 5:52 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    It is common in a discussion for one to cite his source if it is different from the main one being used in the discussion. Since I have determined that the RSV does not translate the Greek as well as other translations in many cases, I will only use it when it happens to translate a particular verse well and won't need to make reference that I am using it. If I deviate from using it, I will always be careful to cite the translation I feel to do more justice to the Greek. This is important since conclusions based on errors of translations should not apply to the original writings themselves.

     
  • At 10:53 PM , Blogger neo said...

    DEAR,Who is the father of jesus the Christ, is he arc angel Gabriel?according to the Talmudic findings,things are very confusing... too much to read

     

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