Re: Did Peter walk on water?

Date: Wed Oct 02 2002 - 23:46:59 EDT

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         But the only aspect of that really germane to the
    > present question is that Mt
    > used Mk as one source, & I think it's very hard to argue
    > against that.

    Adrian: I would have to disagree, at this point anyway. I haven't read any
    Markan source argument that cannot also be explained differently and
    more in line with the traditional claims.

    Paul: I spent considerable time years ago studying the art of NT textual
    criticism; and when I went through the gospels verse by verse, I applied the
    principles of texutal criticism to the synoptic question, i.e, which came
    first? At the end of my verse by verse study there was no question in my mind
    whatsoever that in the great majority of cases it was evident that Mark was
    the original and Matthew was the editor.

    Davies and Allison in their intro to their commentary on Matt (ICC, vol 1,
    1988, 98) wrote, "When we began work on the present commentary both of us
    were intrigued by the flurry of renewed activity on the synoptic problem.
    Although we had taken for granted the truth of the two document hypothesis
    (Matthew and Luke used Mark and Q), we did wonder whether that hypothesis
    might not be less certain and more susceptible to criticism than many had
    conceded." They then examined the various arguments being propounded by
    those who questioned the priority of Mark and concluded, "Even while
    admitting that no one solution of the synoptic problem will ever commend
    itself to all (the data are too ambiguous for that), we are now more than
    ever firmly persuaded of the priority of Mark, and more than ever puzzled by
    the followers of Griesbach." They then give a very scholarly analysis of the
    salient arguments.

    Adrian: << On linguistic grounds, most people (including many theologians and
      course, myself) do not have the required mastery over the ancient
      languages to evaluate the scholarly arguments. However, I have heard
      a presentation recently by a scholar fluent in both Hebrew and Greek,
      who had spent time going over some of the extant manuscripts and
      claimed to have found evidence of "Hebraism" (phrases that make sense
      only in Hebrew) in Matthew's gospel. Again, it is nearly impossible
      for me to evaluate such a claim. However, what I can appreciate is
      that any person living in closer temporal proximity to the events in
      question is more likely to understand those events that those living
      further away in time. Simply counting the number of scholars falling
      on one side or the other is not a convincing argument.

    Davies and Allison also discuss the Hebraisms or Semitisms in Matthew's
    gospel (pp. 80 ff). They note that just as in Mark and Luke, both of which
    also have Semitisms, that they may arise from various sources (not just from
    a translating a Semitic original.)

    On the tradition of the authorship of Matthew's gospel they take the
    patristic evidence very seriously and argue against various arguments that
    dismiss it too quickly. Although they do not conclude the apostle Matthew
    wrote the gospel, they do conclude that the author was a Jew.

    The discussion of all these points in Allison and Davies is worth reading for
    anyone interested, as they are thorough and completely scholarly.

    My own take on the evidence is the same as a number of NT scholars (e.g.
    Plummer, Manson) that the patristic statements go back originally to a
    tradition about Q, or a collection of the sayings of Christ, rather than to
    the entire gospel of Matthew as we have it today.


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