Matthew Chapter 12:8-21

Chapter 12 continues. We left off with Jesus proclaiming himself the Lord of the Sabbath.

9 Καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτῶν:

10 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν. καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες, Εἰ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεῦσαι; ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ.

And then leaving, he came to the synagogue of them. (10) And he saw a man with a withered hand. And they asked him, saying, “Is it allowed to heal on the Sabbath?” in order to accuse him.

Well, this is timely. In the verse previous to this, Jesus proclaimed himself the Lord of the Sabbath. Now he gets to test this out. This story is in Mark, but with a slight difference: the bit about the Lord of the Sabbath is separated more from this story. Here, they follow immediately, but the connection is not quite so pronounced. They are in different chapters; this alone isn’t necessarily meaningful, however, because there are times when the break in a story falls after the first or second verse of the new chapter. But aside from that, the composition, and even much of the vocabulary is repeated. Largely because of this, Matthew’s version doesn’t really add much to the message of Mark. Here, “they” deliberately try to provoke Jesus, while in Mark “they” take a watch-and-see attitude.

And the word for “withered” literally means “dried out”. The Latin is “aridem“.

9 Et cum inde transisset, venit in synagogam eorum;

10 et ecce homo manum habens aridam. Et interrogabant eum dicentes: “ Licet sabbatis curare? ”, ut accusarent eum.

11 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Τίς ἔσται ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος ὃς ἕξει πρόβατον ἕν, καὶ ἐὰν ἐμπέσῃ τοῦτο τοῖς σάββασιν εἰς βόθυνον, οὐχὶ κρατήσει αὐτὸ καὶ ἐγερεῖ;

12 πόσῳ οὖν διαφέρει ἄνθρωπος προβάτου. ὥστε ἔξεστιν τοῖςσάββασιν καλῶς ποιεῖν.

 He (Jesus) said to them, “What man is there of you who having one sheep, and if it falls on a Sabbath (lit= on Sabbaths ) into a ditch/pit, would you not take hold of it and raise it out?”

Now this part is new to Matthew; in fact, it’s unique to Matthew (I believe). So, did this come from a source, the so-called “M” material? Or did Matthew compose this added twist to the story on his own? The orthodox answer would be that it came from the “M” material. And the reason this explanation is so attractive, I think, is that one can be allowed to imagine that, by coming from an earlier source, it could possibly be ascribed to Jesus. No one will say this, but that is the tacit understanding. It derives from an older source, by which we mean, necessarily, that it comes from a time closer to Jesus. So, who’s to say that it didn’t come from Jesus? It’s older, so it could have. And you can’t prove that it didn’t come from Jesus.

I hope we see the problem with the logic there. It takes the possibility that it is from an earlier source, and by a feat of logical prestidigitation, turns that into a known quantity, and then throws the burden of proof onto the one who would deny it’s from Jesus. Now, let me stress that I have never seen this actually stated. No one has put the case for this being authentic into such bald language. But the hidden assumption is there. By stating that it’s from the M material, one allows the entire chain to be set up like dominoes. No, the author never said, that, but if the reader should happen to draw that conclusion, well…

Now, given the way Matthew has to stick stuff into places it really doesn’t fit, Matthew most likely did have earlier sources, and probably more than one. Recall that, already in Galatians, Paul talks about “other gospels”. So other traditions existed. There is probably M material that came to Matthew, having bypassed Mark (probably because it hadn’t been created yet) and didn’t make it to Luke. Or, that didn’t make it into Luke. I make this distinction because I’m relatively sure that Luke did read Matthew. So yes, this could have come from an earlier source, one closer in time to Jesus. But the part about bypassing Mark is significant. My sense is that, after Mark wrote, the legend of Jesus grew, which led to the creation of numerous additional stories about him. The other possibility is that when Mark wrote, the various communities were reasonably autonomous, and more than likely autochthonous, and perhaps didn’t have much interaction. Then, as the communities began to be more pagan in composition, it became easier for the stories from different groups to make the rounds, to cross-pollinate.

I say this because Jews, while plentiful, and while they existed in most towns of any size, were still not part of the mainstream. This had the effect of making communication, the sharing of stories between different locales more difficult. This is especially true because not all Jewish groups would have accepted the teachings of Jesus as a legitimate part of Judaism. Pagans, OTOH, were the mainstream, so the chances of casual and incidental contact between different groups of Jesus followers increased, probably by orders of magnitude. Even if a pagan did not believe in Jesus’ divinity, he could pass along what others were saying about him in different towns through casual contact. Intercity commerce was a benefit of the Empire (along with the roads, the sewers & c as the Peoples’ Front of Judea admitted, however grudgingly). And I don’t mean to downplay the level of participation Jews took in this. It’s just sheer numbers. The fact of the matter is that Jews did not interact with their pagan peers as freely as the pagans interacted with each other. It’s just a matter of numbers: there were way more pagans than Jews, so a growing percentage of pagan initiates, or even pagans who had heard of Jesus, would have resulted in an enormous increase in the amount of communication between communities in disparate locations. So this would have increased the amount of material available to Matthew. Some he put in. Some he doubtless left out. But there is no reason to say that he didn’t add to the material himself. 

One last thing about the pagans. Does the increase of source material available to Matthew make it more, or less likely than Matthew was a pagan? In and of itself, it has no real impact either way, really. But taken in conjunction with other things that we’ve noticed and noted about Matthew, I think it makes Matthew’s pagan origins more likely. By all means, feel free to disagree; but if you do, be sure you have solid reasons to disagree. Not just because “everyone says”, or “everyone has always said”, or, “it’s obvious that he was Jewish, isn’t it?” Actually, I don’t think it is. Much of the “case” for this belief is the bit in Mt 5:17-18 about how Jesus has come to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it, and that not the smallest iota of the Law will pass away. As they used to say in the Classics literature, that’s a very slender reed on which to build such a large edifice.

But seriously, if you think I’m mistaken, let me know. But also explain your reasons why.

11 Ipse autem dixit illis: “ Quis erit ex vobis homo, qui habeat ovem unam et, si ceciderit haec sabbatis in foveam, nonne tenebit et levabit eam?

12 Quanto igitur melior est homo ove! Itaque licet sabbatis bene facere ”.

13 τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα. καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη.

14 ἐξελθόντες δὲ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον κατ’ αὐτοῦ ὅπως αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν.

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand”. And he extended it, and having been restored, it was as sound as the other. (14) The Pharisees coming they took counsel together against him (about) how they will kill him.

So the wonder has been worked, and the man’s hand has been restored. Presumably as a result of this, the Pharisees enter a plot to kill Jesus. I don’t think we looked too closely at this aspect in the story of Mark. Why did they Pharisees plot to kill him? Or, stepping back, let’s ask ourselves if we think that it makes sense for the Pharisees to begin a plot. Or do we have a chicken-and-egg question here: we can’t say it made sense, unless we know why they began to plot. But why would they begin to plot if it didn’t make sense? But that’s not what I mean by stepping back. A discussion like the why/does it make sense? question isn’t truly stepping back to look at it from the outside. I mean we have to step back and ask if it makes sense that they began to plot, that they wanted Jesus dead from an historical perspective. In a word, the answer I think, is “no”.

Why do I say this? OK, the official line of the Jesus followers is that the religious authorities conspired to elicit Roman aid in condemning Jesus to death. Now, I believe that this thesis is pretty much ridiculous, but assuming it was true, we then have to ask ourselves what the Pharisees in a small town have to do with the religious authorities in Jerusalem. The answer is, pretty much nothing. Mark put this in the story here, and Matthew repeated it, but neither of them ever truly stopped to ask if this made sense. Yes, OK, Jesus is supposedly making the established religion look bad. But then Mark & Matthew commit the fallacy of composition: assuming that the whole of the group has all of the (usually bad) characteristics of some members of the group. This is the basis for racism, xenophobia, clannishness, & c. Some (fill in ethnic/religious/racial/or other group) are bad, so all such members of that group are bad. So it is here. The religious authorities in Jerusalem wanted to kill Jesus, so they all did. Never mind that Pharisees were more like a sect than an official group. That’s actually irrelevant. The point is, they all wanted Jesus dead, because he had a new message, he taught with authority, he made them look like hypocrites, and he could work wonders and they couldn’t. So of course they wanted him dead, right?

But here’s the thing. Yes, this is bad logic, and no, I don’t believe it because I don’t think it follows, and I don’t accept the first premise that the religious authorities, in Jerusalem or anywhere else, had anything to do with Jesus’ death. That is all true, but it’s not the main thing I get out of this. What I get is that this passage so clearly confuses the situation that, a) it’s highly unlikely that the author had almost no grasp on how it all worked; and b) that the audience really had no clue about any of this either. Neither the author nor the audience understood, or cared to understand that provincial Pharisees like these would not have had any influence on the eventual plot to kill Jesus fomented by the authorities in Jerusalem. And, for the moment, it doesn’t even matter that the plot never happened; the salient point is that neither the author nor the audience understood that a plot by these Pharisees would have been wholly unrelated to any plot hatched by the authorities in Jerusalem. All Pharisees, the entire religious structure, all of them wanted Jesus dead, and eventually they all joined the plot.

That is the implication of this part of the story.

As for the implications of this implication, let’s start with what it says about Jesus’ actual death. Given this gross misunderstanding of the situation, we have to question the likely veracity of the story itself. Did the religious authorities manipulate the Romans into killing Jesus? IMO, probably not. We’ve seen that the story of the cleansing of the Temple doesn’t hold water, even though EP Sanders says this is the event that got Jesus arrested. So, without that, then why? Why did the authorities care? Well, based on this story, it’s because Jesus made them look bad. Well, maybe he did, but only at the local level, like that of this story. The authorities in Jerusalem probably wouldn’t have been overly concerned about a rube from the sticks. Overall, I would say that this story actually weakens the likelihood that Jesus was killed at the behest of the authorities in Jerusalem. The association implied in this story makes the overall story less likely, because it shows a profound misunderstanding of the entire situation.

Second, we need to remember that this story comes from Mark. That Mark didn’t see the problems this story presents is pretty good indication that he was not really familiar with the situation in Judea/Galilee prior to the War. So this increases the likelihood that Mark wasn’t from Judea/Galilee, and that he probably wrote after the Jewish War, when most of the people who could have corrected the evidence were dead or dispersed. 

Third, well the third point is a little more conjectural. So let’s pose it as a question: does the conflation of all “religious authorities” have any impact on the historicity of the whole idea that these authorities were responsible for Jesus’ death? That is, do they help us decide if the Passion Narrative is likely to have any basis in actual fact? I think there is, but it’s pretty limited, which is not good for my thesis. I would suggest that the lumping of all religious authorities into a homogenous whole indicates that the story had little basis in truth because it, essentially, gets the bad guys wrong. The failure to distinguish between local authorities and those in Jerusalem seems to indicate that those telling the story really didn’t have any clear idea of the group they were ostensibly blaming; as such, this increases the likelihood that the story is made up out of whole cloth. 

Well, maybe. I do think this confusion indicates a lack of understanding of the situation, which in turn makes the story seem more likely to be fictional. To confuse all religious authorities, or even to assume these provincial Pharisees were actually authorities certainly does indicate a lack of understanding. However, a remove of time and space–telling the story 40 years later, at a point well-removed from the scene of the action–is probably enough by itself to create this sort of confusion. So, as much as I want to use this to argue the increased doubt of the historicity of the Passion Narrative as a whole, this doesn’t provide a great deal of support to my case. It provides some, I think, but not a lot. It’s the sort of thing that be just short of meaningless on its own, but that, taken with other circumstances, may help push the needle the direction I’m trying to go.

What the confusion does do is help show that Mark did not write in Judea/Galilee. I have read that Mark makes geographical mistakes which points that he wrote elsewhere, so this just reinforces that, too. But does it give us a better sense of the time when he wrote. Again, I think it marginally supports a date after 70, but I think suggesting that it was written any earlier is close to unsupportable in any case.

The things that end up evoking the most comment can be odd and unexpected.

13 Tunc ait homini: “ Extende manum tuam ”. Et extendit, et restituta est sana sicut altera.

14 Exeuntes autem pharisaei consilium faciebant adversus eum, quomodo eum perderent.

15 Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς γνοὺς ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν. καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ [ὄχλοι] πολλοί, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς πάντας,

16 καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσιν:

17 ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος,

But Jesus knowing this departed from there, and a large crowd followed him, and he healed them all, (16) and he censured them that they not make him manifest (i.e. = reveal him), (17) in order that the thing having been said by the prophet Isaiah be fulfilled, saying

Kind of an odd place to break, but I wanted to comment before we got to the prophecy. First, a couple of the words are sort of a stretch. The word I translate as “censure” doesn’t exactly mean that. In Classical authors, the base meaning is ‘to value’, as in ‘to put a value upon’. By extension, it becomes a legal term, more or less approximating the idea of a fine, the value of restitution put upon a crime. From there it comes to mean ‘to censure’, again in the legal sense. It generally gets translated as “to order”, or “to charge/admonish”, or something similar. My rendering of “censure” sort of straddles between. Sort of. A censure is an official reprimand, but I think the meaning stretches enough to include the way I’ve used it here. Sort of. So once again we see how NT translations take some liberties. This is not a terribly significant “consensus” translation, but I hope it gets across why I’m a little suspicious of “NT Greek”.

Also, while the bulk of the story is in Mark, this is not a place where Mark has Jesus enjoin people not to tell anyone about him. But Matthew adds it here, rather than in other places. The reason Matthew does this, I think, is largely because these injunctions in Mark often are given to exorcised spirits, although they are occasionally directed at people, too.  This, however, is the first time Matthew has had Jesus say this, and somehow I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be the last. 

The implication of Matthew unenthusiastically includng this–or other parts of Mark that maybe he doesn’t support wholeheartedly–is that Matthew apparently felt that he could not leave out very much at all that was in Mark. I’ve seen the numbers, that Matthew used 220 of 230 verses, or something such. I don’t recall the exact numbers, but Matthew used all but a tiny percent–well less than 10%, I’m sure–of Mark. The question is “why”? The most obvious answer, of course, is that Mark was too well known, and as a result, too many omissions would have made the audience uncomfortable. Mark was the baseline and he had to be followed. So that’s all fine and good, but what does that mean? 

It means that a certain outline had been set down. Mark’s basic story had been acceptet as canonical (in conception, even if the word itself is anachronistic), which is why the fundamental outline provided by Mark was maintained, even tbrough John. Now, stories could be added, and Luke and John both add lots of new stories, even as they stick to the biographical outline set down by Mark.

So Matthew couldn’t skip things, but he could add things. Like the Sermon on the Mount. What, if anything, does Matthew’s reverence for Mark’s outline say about Q? Offhand, and at first glance, I’d guess that Matthew following Mark so assiduously makes Q more likely. After all, if Matthew felt the need to follow Mark, doesn’t that mean he was more likely to follow other sources? Actually, it might. The question becomes do we believe in Matthew-the-creator of new stories, or Matthew as researcher who cobbled sources together? Please note that I came into this gospel pretty convinced of the former; now, however, after having read a bunch of seeming non sequiturs, I’m not so sure. Now I almost think Matthew was too fanatical about sticking to his sources. But, that being said, I still don’t particularly believe in Q as it’s been reconstituted. Or, I don’t believe in Q as reconstituted as material that actually dated back to Jesus. I may be willing to accept Q as a collection of material that dated back to James, brother of Jesus.

The other thing s that there is too much material that is in Matthew and not Mark that simply does not fit into the time frame of the 30s. Taking up one’s cross is a great example. So, while Matthew probably had other sources, I don’t think that Q–as is commonly conceived–was one of them.

15 Iesus autem sciens secessit inde. Et secuti sunt eum multi, et curavit eos omnes

16 et comminatus est eis, ne manifestum eum facerent,

17 ut adimpleretur, quod dictum est per Isaiam prophetam dicentem:

18 Ἰδοὺ ὁ παῖς μου ὃν ᾑρέτισα, ὁ ἀγαπητός μου εἰς ὃν εὐδόκησεν ἡ ψυχή μου: θήσω τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐπ’ αὐτόν, καὶ κρίσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπαγγελεῖ.

 ” ‘Behold the my servant whom I chose,  the beloved of me, the one in whom my life/soul is pleased. I will place my breath upon him, and I will announce judgement to the nation. 

I wasn’t going to break until the end, but want to make a couple of points here. “Psyche” here is generally translated as “soul” (except for the NIV, which takes a completely different tack) in this situation, but I’m not sure I agree. Now, of course, if this is God speaking, rendering this as “life” doesn’t make a lot of sense–if you take God to be eternal, and that wasn’t necessarily the stadard belief at the time, especially when Isaiah was written. The omni/omni/omni God as we conceive and define the term is really a Christian invention. Jewish belief was moving in that direction–as was pagan belief–but God of the three omnis really was a deduction, a logiccal constrct, of the Christians working out theology based on the amalgamation of the HS and NT. I really would like to know what the Hebrew word behind this is. What I do know is that “soul” is probablly wildly anachronistic, especially given all the connotations we have loaded onto the word over the milllennia. “Spirit” might work in its place, but even there, we bring an awful lot of baggage to the word.

And the word is “pais”, rather than “huios”. This is the generic word for child—most likely male–that we encountered in the story of the Centurion. Given that, the choice of the word here indicates that this should be rendered as “servant”. Indeed, this is how my crib translations, even the NIV, give as the translation. The use of “huios” would sigficantly change the interpretation. Then it would be “My Son”, with full implications of “My Heir”, rather than “my boy”. This is an instance when the exact Greek word really does matter. This is another reason why I don’t like rendering “psyche” as “soul” in this situation. It’s one thing to be pleased with a servant, but wholly another to be pleased by a child.  Yes, the relationship with servants, especially slaves, in the ancient world could be very close to familial, but the servant’s role was always clear.

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve stopped using the word “Gentiles”. I’ve substituted “pagan/s” instead. Here the word is “ethnesin”. Three of my four crib translations render this as “Gentiles”, playing off the Latin “gentes“. But this isn’t a real word; one alternative is “nations” but that’s anachronistic, too. “Peoples” would be more accurate.  

18 “ Ecce puer meus, quem elegi, / dilectus meus, in quo bene placuit animae meae;

ponam Spiritum meum super eum, / et iudicium gentibus nuntiabit.

19 οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.

20 κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενονοὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.

21 καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.

” ‘He will not strive, or quarrel, nor will one hear in the plains his voice. (20) The reed having been bruised he will not break, and flax smoking he will not extinguish until he throws a judgement towards victory. (21) And by his name the peoples will hope’.”

First, the word I translated as “plains”. My NT dictionary says it means “streets”, and such is how it is translated. However, the word, as constructed by my NT dictionary is not in Liddell & Scott at all. It is a form of the word “platus”, which means, “plain”, or “broad/flat”. As the duck-like bill of a platypus. But in Latin, the same word “platea” does mean a broad street leading into a city. But it’s a very late word, more appropriate for Latin rather than Greek. 

I have to say that I would really like to read this bit in Hebrew. Especially this last bit about “throwing judgement”. Now again, the NT dictionary gives “send forth” and “lead out” as possible definitions of the word that, clearly, means to “cast/throw out”. It’s the verb used to “cast out” demons. And this is reflected in the Latin, which is the root for “to throw”. Of course, the Latin is following the Greek, rather than reflecting back to the original Hebrew.

I noticed this a couple of times in Paul, and it’s here again. This is Isaiah 42:1 ff. The REB that I mainly use translates the passage differenly in the original context than it does here, where it’s quoted. Is this just me, or does that not seem a tad strange? In fact, given the subtle shifts in meaning, it seems almost downrigt dishonest. In the quote, the words seem to reflect Jesus much more clearly than they did in the original location. And there the servant establishes justice, but in the quote he leads out justice.  In neither spot does he “cast out” justice as the Greek says here. 

This is even better. I checked out the Septuagint (LXX) version of Isaiah 42:1 ff. It is significantly different from the Greek text quoted here. Now, obviously, different authors translating the Hebrew will come up with different translations. But would Matthew not have been working from the LXX? Is the edition that I found on-line different from the version that Matthew read? 

Still, the idea of this passage is that the servant will be meek. He will not even break a reed that’s already bent, nor snuff out a smoldering wick (which were, apparently, made of flax).

Finally, there is the bit about the peoples (“ethnes). You know, this is what I mean about the dates when the HS were written; this is Isaiah, which is traditionally dated to like the 7th, or even 8th Century BCE. And yet, here we have a prediction that “the peoples”, usually rendered as “Gentiles”, which means specifically “non-Jews” will hope in the name of the aforementioned servant. My apologies, but this does not sound like something that would have been written in the 8th Century BCE. It feels horribly anachronistic for this period. Even supposing that there was a “kingdom” of Israel (of some sort; it’s not unlikely), the chances that its denizens would have been concerned with the well-being of other tribes, or peoples, is pretty unlikely. And again, this is a case where I’d definitely like to see the Hebrew word behind “ethne”. If the Greek catches the sense of that Hebrew word at all, even this concept may be a little too sophisticated for the 8th Century.

Part of the breakthrough of Herodotus was the concept of learning about the history of other peoples. The Greeks were seafarers; they sailed about the eastern–and western Mediterranean. They colonized the western shore of modern Turkey, and Sicily, and Southern Italy in the period of approximately 700-600 BCE. And even this sort of contact didn’t elicit a concept of curiosity about non-Greeks. They were simply “babblers” (barbaroi). It took another couple of centuries for this curiosity to develop. In fact, the key event was the Persian Wars. And, coincidentally, it was Cyrus of Persia that restored the Jews to Judea. Was the Babylonian Captivity the catalyst for creating the sense of Jewish/Hebrew ethnic identity? And the beginning of their starting to look outward, and see other peoples (ethne) as people to be considered, rather than just feared or conquered? To the best of my knowledge, this sort of consciousness of other peoples as somehow…interesting does not really exist in the literature of Assyria, or Babylonia that would have been contemporary to Isaiah in the 8th Century. Now we can debate the remarkability of the Hebrews on this point, but I’m not so sure it should be pushed too hard. If someone can correct my attitude here, please point me in the right direction. I was reading…probably William Dever, and he was talking about those who would put the whole of the writing of the HS to the period of or after the Babylonian Captivity. I believe the term he used was “minimalists”. This was a few years ago, and I more or less agreed with him. Now, as I see some of the thoughts expressed, and compare them with what was happening elsewhere in the ancient Mediterranean, or the ancient Near East, I’m not so sure the minimalists are necessarily as wrong as I believed a few short years ago. And if I think about the Romans, even after the Punic Wars, I’m not so sure they had really gotten over the hump about some of this stuff. I’m becoming ever-more skeptical that the Hebrews did it in the 8th Century

So what, then? I will have to go back and re-read Isaiah, this time looking for allegory, metaphor, and analogy when he talks about the political situation of his “day”. It might make a lot more sense.

In the meantime, is the point of this quotation the last line? The part about “ethne”? I realize I am skirting the edge of a sort of monomania, where I’m seeing references to pagans everywhere. Such single-mindedness has sunk many theories in many different disciplines. But why does Matthew seem to go out of his way to show the precedents for, and the expectations of, the entrance of other peoples into the House of Israel? The religious house, that is.

 19 Non contendet neque clamabit, / neque audiet aliquis in plateis vocem eius.

20 Arundinem quassatam non confringet / et linum fumigans non exstinguet, / donec eiciat ad victoriam iudicium;

21 et in nomine eius gentes sperabunt ”.

 

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About James, brother of Jesus

I have a BA from the University of Toronto in Greek and Roman History. For this, I had to learn classical Greek and Latin. In seminar-style classes, we discussed both the meaning of the text and the language. U of T has a great Classics Dept. One of the professors I took a Senior Seminar with is now at Harvard. I started reading the New Testament as a way to brush up on my Greek, and the process grew into this. I plan to comment on as much of the NT as possible, starting with some of Paul's letters. After that, I'll start in on the Gospels, starting with Mark.

Posted on May 16, 2015, in Chapter 12, gospel commentary, gospels, Matthew's Gospel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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