RE: Did Peter walk on water?

From: Adrian Teo (ateo@whitworth.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 03 2002 - 12:11:51 EDT

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    Hello George,

    > I don't claim any more than a competent parish pastor's
    > knowledge of biblical language & would not try to base an argument
    > here on my own expertise. I do know enough to know what the debates
    > are about & make sense of the arguments. I gather that you are in
    > more or less the same situation. For those in this position,
    > counting - & weighing! - scholarly opinions is necessary if anything
    > if we are ever to make any judgments, however tentative.
    > Certainly there are indications of Semitic usage in Mt as
    > well as other NT writings: Mt's use of "the kingdom of the heavens"
    > (_basileia tOn ouranOn_ ) is one example. One has to be careful of
    > "Hebraisms" as evidence for a Hebrew or Aramaic source. It may be
    > due to the fact that the author is a native Aramaic speaker. If a
    > German writes in English "I have the book read" it doesn't mean he's
    > translating from a German document.

    True. But one must also be careful not to be too hasty in dismissing
    the claim either.

    > The traditional belief that the 1st Gospel was
    > written by the
    > apostle Matthew is just that - tradition. I think that tradition is
    > of great value for some purposes - and, in particular, for the
    > theological interpretation of scripture. But when it comes to
    > extra-biblical matters of fact I have much less confidence in it. I
    > was recently told by an Orthodox Christian that Holy Tradition
    > teaches us that the church of Constantinople was founded by the
    > Apostle Andrew. I doubt it.

    The tradition is significant in this case because of the sheer weight
    of the consensus. Nobody in the first four centuries challenged the
    authorship of Matthew. All who have written about it ascribe it to
    the Apostle. Several of these were people who lived within a handful
    of generations from the time of the Apostles, knew and spoke the
    languages and lived in the culture. They have to be taken seriously.
    I realize that Q is very firmly entrenched in modern biblical
    scholarship, and it has especially been promoted by the Jesus Seminar
    to support their arguments.

    I know of an article about to be published in NT Studies that will
    offer a alternative explanation that also takes into account the
    testimonies of the church fathers. I think it is a highly plausible
    one, but at present, I am not at liberty to disclose the arguments
    nor the author. Look out for it in the following months.

    Blessings,

    Adrian.



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