differing interpretations by NT authors

by peacefulpete 4 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • peacefulpete

    Just a little interesting thought about the variations within the garden-o-Geth. scenes in the Gospels. Wells in his book Jesus of the Early Christians poses an interesting possibility that oral or early written tradition was being interpreted differently by Mark , Matt (26:52) and John (18:11)and Luke (22:51). The famous episode where someone in Jesus group strikes a servant of the Hp and takes off his ear is followed by a comment to the effect that the SWORD should be replaced to it's place in Matt and John yet in Luke the ear is replaced. Mark says nothing about it. WHY? possibly the expression in the early tradion was vague. Saying something ambiguous like " Let it be restored to it's place". Mark was unsure how to understand it so ommitted the whole comment, Matt understands it to be about the sword while Luke understandis it to be abou the lost ear. John may have been influenced by Matt.


  • Narkissos

    Hi Pete,

    How are you?

    Interesting suggestion.

    Actually the sentence about the ear in Luke 22:51b is quite different from the one about the sword in Matthew 26:52:

    Put your sword back into its place, apostrepson tèn makhairan sou eis ton topon autès


    And he touched his ear and healed him, kai hapsamenos tou ôtiou iasato auton

    But the Matthew version might well be derived from the ambiguous saying preserved in Luke 22:51a, eate eôs toutou, literally "leave until this" (???), which nobody really understands. The NRSV translates "no more of this", but it is just a guess among many; others interpret: "let them do even this" (i.e. arresting me). I don't think it can possibly refer to the ear, and I doubt the story of the cure which immediately follows (52b) is meant as an explanation of the saying. It seems to be just another Lukan addition. But who knows?

  • peacefulpete

    Tahnks for responding Narkissos. I've been very distracted with selling a house and buying a new one. I think however that Wells is suposing an interpretation of an ambiguous oral phrase rather than Luke (or Matt) attempting to preserve exact wording, so the verbage really doesn't matter. It seems the 4 ways this blank is filled could be explained with such a reconstruction.

  • Terry

    If you arrange the synoptic Gospels in the chronological order they were "written" you see an interesting pattern. The earliest, Mark, is the least miraculous and Jesus is more human. The last Gospel, John, is more superman and action hero. The evolution of Jesus' super powers is apparent.

    Scholars seem to think Mark's Gospel and perhaps two others were the source for those that followed. John clearly seems to have an agenda of making Jesus quite an amazing fellow.

    Kinda like a "fish" story.

    "How big was that fish you caught?"

    January: 12"



  • Leolaia

    Terry: Actually, you can see this process happening within the text of Mark itself, which went through several editions. You can reconstruct a more original version of Mark by comparing Matthew and Luke, which both used Mark before it was revised, and the "minor agreements" preserving the older text (which, perhaps not coincidentally, dovetail the idiosyncracies of Secret Mark) show that the canonical version has made Jesus out to be more of a mystery religion figure (steeped in sacremental and baptismal symbology), whose miracles prefigured his own Passion and Resurrection, than how he was originally characterized. Thus, the healing of the epileptic child in Mark 9:14-31 was altered from an original story about the rebuking of a demon (cf. Matthew 17:14-23 = Luke 9:37-45) into a full-blown resurrection miracle. Secret Mark also had a Lazarus-like resurrection story that appeared to be absent in the earlier version used by Matthew and Luke; it is also missing in our own canonical verson of Mark, but in this case our canonical version is most likely an abridged version of Secret Mark (as textual oddities in Mark 10:46 and 14:52 suggest) as Koester believes.

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