Mt 10:2 2The names of the twelve apostles are these: ...
TJ 10:2 2These are the names of the twelve disciples: ...
TJ 10:2 2Die Namen aber der zwölf Jünger sind diese: ...
THE PROBLEM. This is the only Matthean reference to the word "apostle," which comes from the Greek word: αποστολο, meaning "person sent out." There is no evidence that the word existed as a designation of the Twelve before the establishment of the early church. The word "apostles" should not appear in any contemporary writing of Jesus' ministry, and its occurrence here indicates that Matthew was written at a time after the need had developed to distinguish between the first 12 disciples (who were later called apostles) and greater numbers of later disciples.
SOLUTION. The very close TJ cognate above uses the word "disciple." Like English, German has separate words for "disciple" and "apostle."
Although this may be a minor point, it is major in the following context. If the word "apostles" had been present in the TJ it would be pointed out by critics as evidence of a hoax. An original Aramaic document written by a disciple who, with Jmmanuel and two others, left Israel a couple years after the crucifixion, ending up in northern India some 10 years later, should not contain this word originated later by Greek-speaking Christians. The word had not yet been used to designate one of the Twelve at the time Paul wrote his epistles. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 10:5-6 5These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
TJ 10:5 5Jmmanuel sent forth these twelve, commanding them and saying, "Do not go into the streets of Israel, and do not go to the scribes and Pharisees, but go into the cities of the Samaritans and to the ignorant in all parts of the world."
TJ 10:5 5Diese zwölf sandte Jmmanuel aus, gebot ihnen und sprach: «Gehet nicht auf Israels Strassen, und ziehet nicht zu den Schriftgelehrten und Pharisäern, sondern gehet hin zu der Samariter Städte und zu den Unwissenden in allen Himmelsrichtungen in aller Welt.»
THE PROBLEM. The advice in Matthew here contradicts that of the final two verses in Matthew, causing many scholars to circumvent the problem by proposing that the living Jesus preached one thing while the risen Jesus preached another. Beare (p. 242) found it nearly inconceivable that Jesus would have needed to urge his apostles not to go to the gentiles. It would be easy for them not to risk venturing out of their own land; they would not have to be told not to go out. He thus concluded that these words arose from those within the early Palestinian church who did not wish to extend the Christian mission outside of Israel. This is consistent with other Matthean verses that refer to gentiles in a demeaning sense and as being unworthy of discipleship.
SOLUTION. This observation by Beare, which the TJ is seen to support, is quite perceptive. The compiler of Matthew simply reversed the original meaning, because he favored converting only the children of Israel, not gentiles.
A somewhat later Matthean verse further supports the TJ rendition. There the disciples are told by Jesus:
Mt 10:18 18"And you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles."
This verse is almost the same in the TJ. It strongly suggests that Jmmanuel had instructed his disciples to preach to the gentiles; otherwise, if they were to restrict their teaching to Israel they would never be in danger of being dragged before the rulers of gentile nations. Thus it appears that the compiler of Matthew altered the sentence of TJ 10:5 to suit his taste of placing Israelites above the gentiles, but overlooked the fact that Mt 10:18 would then be inconsistent. The verses of Mt 12:17-22 and 28:18-20, which contradict Mt 10:5, are discussed later as being late additions to the Gospel of Matthew, added probably at the time Semitic Matthew was translated into Greek.
TJ 10:5 is consistent with its instruction of going to the Samaritans but not going to the Israelites, as according to some writings of Josephus, and judging from Jn 4:9, there was a good deal of animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans even though the latter shared many Jewish customs. Thus, if Jmmanuel felt that his new teachings would not be accepted by Jewish scribes and Pharisees, and therefore not by Israelites in general, he could well have believed they would stand a better chance of acceptance with the Samaritans. That the writer of Matthew is seen to have changed this around suggests that anti-Samaritan and anti-gentile feelings still existed within some persons of Jewish background up to at least the early 2nd century, as indicated also by the aforementioned verse in the Gospel of John.Mt 10:5-6 and 10:18 together form an example of Matthean "fatigue." I.e., the writer of Matthew first altered the TJ verse into a different meaning, then 12 verses later followed the TJ verse without making any significant change, thus producing a gross inconsistency.
The fact that the Matthean verse suffers a serious inconsistency while the TJ verse is consistent with its own text strongly suggests that Matthew is non-historical here while the TJ may therefore be historical. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 10:7 7"And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
TJ 10:7 7"Go out and preach and say, 'The laws of nature are the laws of Creation, and the power of the Creational consciousness within human beings embodies life.'"
TJ 10:7 7«Gehet also hin und prediget und sprechet: ‹Die Gesetze der Natur sind die Gesetze der Schöpfung, und die Kraft des schöpferischen Menschenbewusstseins verkörpert das Leben›» .
THE PROBLEM. This "kingdom of heaven is at hand" saying was given twice before in Matthew, at 3:2 and 4:17, but its meaning was never explained to the disciples. And Jesus hadn't yet preached on what the kingdom of heaven is like. So the disciples could hardly go out and preach on what they did not understand. At Mt 3:2 it might have meant that Jesus was coming soon, but then later it must have meant that, through Jesus, heaven would now be attainable. However, Mt 10:8 suggests a meaning of the disciples being able to perform miraculous healings—of bringing heaven to earth—like Jesus did. Matthew's later parables about the kingdom of heaven being like a mustard seed, like a man sowing seed, like leaven, or like a net, etc., bring in still more possible meanings. The repetition and ambiguity together suggest the verse is a redaction by the compiler of Matthew.
Additionally, since Mt 4:17, which this verse largely repeats, was found to be a redaction, it is only consistent that this one also is a redaction.
SOLUTION. The TJ indicates that unacceptable material, relating to nature and to Creation, needed to be omitted by the compiler at this point, but that it needed substitution if he was to continue following along the TJ's general course of events. So he substituted a favorite saying of his about the "kingdom of heaven," a phrase that does not appear in the TJ. As was noted in discussion of Mt 5:7, the idea of learning from nature or from the world around us was alien to Jewish thought, in which one's learning was to come from the Scriptures.
Since the Matthean verse has been strongly indicated to be non-genuine, and since it is unlikely that a literary hoaxer could have remedied the Matthean problem through such a competent encapsulation of Jmmanuel's teachings, I estimate here that PHoax ≈ 0.2.
Mt 10:9-10 9"Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food."
TJ 10:9-13 9"You shall not amass gold, silver or copper in your belts. 10Also, on your travels you shall not take large bags with you in which to carry food, water and clothing. 11Go on your way with only the bare essentials for eating and sleeping, for keeping yourselves clean, and for a change of clothing. 12Never carry too much with you, because you would only burden yourselves and become welcome victims of waylaying bandits. 13Remember furthermore, all labor is worthy of its reward, and you will not be wanting if you diligently preach and teach the true knowledge."
TJ 10:9-13 9«Ihr sollet nicht Gold noch Silber noch Kupfer in euren Gürteln häufen. 10Auch sollet ihr keine grossen Taschen mit euch tragen zur Wegfahrt, darinnen ihr Speis und Trank und Kleidung mit euch tragen könnet. 11Ziehet nur weg mit dem Allernötigsten, so ihr unterwegs essen und schlafen könnet, und so ihr euch säubern und anders einkleiden könnet. 12Traget nie zuviel mit euch, denn ihr belastet euch nur und wäret willkommene Opfer der Wegelagerer. 13Bedenket weiter; jede Arbeit ist ihres Lohnes wert, und so ihr fleissig prediget und das Wissen lehret, also wird euch nichts mangeln.»
THE PROBLEM. Matthew's advice is very foolhardy—taking nothing. No one would think of following it. Beare, in an earlier study, asks, "Why should men setting out on a journey afoot be forbidden to carry a staff (the common practice of the time)?" And why not sandals, at least, for the feet?
SOLUTION. The TJ advice in its 10:9-10 is much more logical, with moderation urged for efficiency and practicality. Not to amass gold or silver in their moneybelts is quite different from not taking along any money. In the TJ there is no mention of not carrying a staff or not wearing sandals. Matthew's final clause, "for the laborer deserves his food," may appear to be a separate maxim, but the TJ text in 10:13 indicates that it (Mt 10:10b) derived from a verse having a relevant context.
The redactions almost surely were made by the compiler to demonstrate a further similarity of the disciples (Jesus' messengers of the new Christian era) with Moses (God's messenger of old). In particular, in Ex 3:22 Moses is told that his people should ask the Egyptians for silver and gold, implying that they need not earn it themselves or carry money around with them. In Ex 3:5, Moses was told (by the angel, or Yahweh, or God) to take off his shoes, and in Ex 4:2-3 to cast his staff onto the ground. These are the interpretations of Robert Morosco, and though any one of them might seem to be a far-fetched deduction, taken together and in tandem with the redactions of Matthew's chapter 2 designed to compare Jesus favorably with Moses, they are very plausible. Thus, it was the compiler of Matthew, not the scholar Morosco, who strained hard to insert Moses into this part of the gospel.
The TJ verses are very consistent with instructions of a wisdom teacher some 1,975 years ago, while the Matthean verses show every evidence of having been derived from them, with the motivations being apparent for the changes that were made. PHoax ≈ 0.25.
The writer of Mark (Mk 6:9) rectified Matthew's most impractical advice of not taking sandals along, saying, "...but to wear sandals." This would have been totally unnecessary advice to have doled out in real life, and thus appears as a correction to Matthew's redaction.
Mt 10:15 15"Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."
TJ 10:18 18"Truly, I say to you, do not stay in such places, because they are abodes of the ignorant and evil; people there will not recognize the words of truth and knowledge."
TJ 10:18 18«Wahrlich, ich sage euch: In solchen Orten sollet ihr nicht verweilen, denn sie sind Stätten von Unwissenden und Bösen; die Menschen werden die Reden der Wahrheit und des Wissens nicht erkennen.»
THE PROBLEM. This verse immediately follows the advice to the disciples to shun a house that does not wish to receive them or hear them. If some household rejected the disciples, it would make no sense for the whole town to receive divine condemnation because of it. In the Genesis story about Sodom, supposedly all its inhabitants or men were wicked, leading the LORD to destroy it, but the situation envisioned in Mt 10:14-15 makes no mention of a whole town rejecting the disciples.
SOLUTION. In the TJ verse, "such places" refer to homes where the occupants won't listen to the disciples. If taken out of context and order, the verse would not be listed as the cognate to the Matthean verse that it otherwise appears to be. It seems quite likely that the TJ's mention of "evil" brought the Sodom and Gomorrah scriptural event to the mind of the writer of Matthew, which he then incorporated into his text to substitute for unacceptable TJ thoughts. This, plus the fatuous nature of the Matthean verse as opposed to the practical advice of the TJ verse, point in the direction of the TJ's verse as having been spoken by a wisdom teacher: PHoax ≈ 0.25.
Mt 10:18 18"and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles."
TJ 10:30 30"And you will be led before sovereigns and kings because of my teachings, as witnesses to them and to all other ignorant people."
TJ 10:30 30«Und man wird euch vor Fürsten und Könige führen um meiner Lehre willen, ihnen und allen andern Unwissenden zum Zeugnis.»
THE PROBLEM. Why would the disciples be subject to being dragged before non-Judaistic sovereigns and gentiles? In Mt 10:5 they were charged with going nowhere amongst the gentiles. Although one might attempt to avoid this problem by claiming that the resurrected Jesus had changed his mind about gentiles, a teacher of wisdom would not suffer such a flip-flop in basic philosophy.
SOLUTION. Here the writer of Matthew slipped up. It would seem that he inserted "gentiles" in order to portray them in a bad light, and then forgot that his earlier alteration at Mt 10:5 (Go nowhere among the gentiles) would stand in contradiction. In the TJ Jmmanuel never instructs his disciples to avoid gentile lands. This verse is also discussed under Mt 10:5-6. (PHoax ≈ 0.35 for both sets of verses lumped together.)
In the TJ verse, the word "ignorant" stems from the German "Unwissend," and might better be translated as "uninformed" or "unenlightened."
Mt 10:21 21"Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;"
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This is spoken by Jesus to his disciples as he first sends them out, and thus appears to be a short-range prophecy. Beare (p. 245) did not believe it was uttered by Jesus, due to the difficulty in visualizing that such severe family conflict would have risen so soon over his teachings. The implication is that the verse therefore reflects what the compiler could see occurring in his own time, so he inserted it as a "prophecy" he knew to have come true. It appears to be an insertion for the additional reason that in the verses just before and just after it, Jesus is speaking to his disciples, warning them, while this verse breaks the train of thought by being a warning addressed to members of families in general, not specifically to the disciples.
SOLUTION. From the TJ viewpoint this verse appears as a somewhat isolated insert, thus supporting Beare's analysis. PHoax ≈ 0.45. I.e., if a literary hoaxer were involved, he might have copied the Matthean verse.
Mt 10:22 22"and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."
TJ 10:33 33"And you will come to be hated for the sake of my teachings. But those who persevere to the end will be great."
TJ 10:33 33«Und ihr müsset gehasset werden um meiner Lehre willen; wer aber bis ans Ende beharret, der wird gross sein.»
THE PROBLEM. As noted under discussion of Mt 7:21-22, "for my name's sake" is a redaction because it is an anachronistic phrase. For a further problem, see under Mt 24:13, which is a doublet.
SOLUTION. We see that the writer of Matthew wished to minimize Jesus' role as a teacher relative to his role as a savior figure whose name, expressed in worship, could bring about salvation. The TJ's second sentence is a bit of prophecy, with the meaning that those disciples who endure continued persecutions will have become greater in spirit. However, this does not seem to have been any urging towards martyrdom, coming as it does just before the advice to flee to another city if persecuted, in TJ 10:34. [PHoax ≈ 0.4.]
Mt 10:23 23"When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes."
TJ 10:34-35 34"When they persecute you in one city, however, flee to another. 35Do not go to too much trouble with the cities of Israel, for truly, I say to you, you will get nowhere with the people of Israel until the end of the world."
TJ 10:34-35 34«Wenn sie euch aber in einer Stadt verfolgen, so fliehet in eine andere. 35Mit den Städten Israels begebet euch nicht in zu grosse Mühe, denn wahrlich, ich sage euch: Mit dem Volk Israel werdet ihr nicht zu Ende kommen bis an das Weltende.»
THE PROBLEM. The quite different theme of the last part of Mt 10:23 from the first part is quite evident. Beare (p. 245), for one, picked up on this, and did not believe that the Parousia theme, the Second Coming of Jesus, belongs here in the last part of the verse. Beare could find no compelling reason why Jesus himself would have imagined that the Parousia would occur so soon as in the next few weeks or months—an estimated length of time to travel through the towns of Israel then—while preaching; nor could Borg.
SOLUTION. TJ verse 10:35 contains much motivation for alteration by a Jewish Christian. The prophecy that the Israelites would be the last to accept Jmmanuel's teachings, whether or not the compiler had come to accept this, would have grated against his past Jewish loyalties, and he would not desire such a prophecy within his book designed to attract the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" to Christianity. He again appears to have obeyed a guideline of redacting the minimum necessary to remove the heretical or unpleasant material. In this instance, it might be said that too little was redacted, leaving behind illogic, which Beare and many others have noted.
It is interesting that a guideline of "redact the minimum necessary" is close to what Richard Friedman has found to have been operative during ancient editings of the Old Testament books. In that case he found the guideline to be "retain as much of the original texts as possible without intolerable contradictions."
The illogic of Mt 10:23 has caused much anguish for Christians over its interpretation in past decades. It has often been pointed out that if it means the Second Coming would occur very soon, before disciples could finish preaching across the land of Israel, the prophecy may truly have been spoken, but Jesus was wrong. If it is instead a redaction, why would the redactor insert at the later date a statement that should have been demonstrably false to him by then? This remains an enigma. The speculation I favor emphasizes the great importance of the contemporary time to the people of any era, as opposed to either their past or their distant future. For example, we shall see, in discussing Mt 27:8 and 28:15, that the redactor sometimes used a phrase like "such and such persists to this day" in describing what was otherwise supposedly written from the viewpoint of a first-hand observer over a half-century earlier. The editor then seems to have forgotten that what he was adding was supposed to have been written from an earlier viewpoint. Thus, the speculation here is that the redactor, when rewriting so much of the original document, sometimes thought of his own present time as the reference point, and was thinking of the Second Coming as something that would still occur soon within the church's future. He equated the TJ's "end of the world" to the Second Coming. In the TJ, "end of the world" probably meant the period of horrendous calamities to befall earthlings of Jmmanuel's distant future, as prophesied in TJ 25 and some of its parallels in Mt 24, rather than the much, much more distant demise of the Earth and solar system.
We see that the TJ verse is consistent with its sub-theme of not spending much time trying to bring Jmmanuel's teachings to the Israelites, and of not trusting the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees. We also see how it prompted the redactor's changes, with the last half of the Matthean verse looking almost like a very bad translation of TJ 10:35. The redactor's equating of "end of the world" with the Second Coming is straightforward and not unexpected, while for a hoaxer to have gone the other direction seems less likely, especially starting with the "towns of Israel" thought. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
If one examines the Gospel of Mark where it parallels this general area of Matthew, one finds that Mark's writer omitted this illogical statement in Matthew, thereby making an improvement.
Mt 10:24-26 24"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. 26So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."
TJ 10:36-40 36"The disciple is never above the teacher, nor the servant above the master. 37It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. 38If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of his household? 39Therefore, beware of Israel because it is like a festering boil. 40However, do not be afraid of them, because there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed and nothing secret that will not be known."
TJ 10:36-40 36«Der Jünger ist niemals über dem Meister noch der Knecht über seinem Herrn. 37Es ist dem Jünger genug, dass er sei wie sein Meister, und der Knecht wie sein Herr. 38Haben sie den Hausvater Beelzebub geheissen, wieviel mehr werden sie seine Hausgenossen so heissen. 39Darum hütet euch vor Israel, denn es ist wie ein Eitergeschwür. 40Fürchtet euch jedoch nicht vor ihnen, denn es ist nichts verborgen, was nicht offenbar werde, und nichts ist heimlich, was man nicht wissen werde.»
THE PROBLEM. The immediately preceding Matthean verses describe the brutal treatment the disciples might expect to receive if they did not flee from persecution, and verses 24-25 indicate that the disciples could be in store for at least as much defamation as their master. Mt 10:26, however, states that therefore ("so") the disciples should not fear those who would inflict this upon them. This does not follow logically; the master's householdthe disciplesshould then really fear being maligned. "Therefore" needs to come after its explanatory text, not before. Did the writer of Matthew omit something in his source?
SOLUTION. The Matthean verses here parallel the TJ verses very well, except that they omit the TJ verse that's harsh against Israel: TJ 10:39, save for using its word "therefore" (translated in the RSV Bible as "So"). This omitted verse again warns the disciples to beware. Beware of those who would do this, referring to Israelites who could not accept his teachings and who would malign the disciples. TJ 10:40 then continues with "However, do not be afraid of them." So Jmmanuel distinguishes between precautionary avoidance of those who would inflict violence or make unjust accusations, and fear of those who would do this. Actual fear may be unavoidable if or after the disciple is arrested or accosted, but should otherwise be suppressed.
It is not surprising, of course, that the writer of Matthew would omit TJ 10:39, as he was very much a Jew at heart. The verse is consistent with other TJ verses, including the "Woe to" verses, in which Jmmanuel excoriates Pharisees and chief priests for their false teachings, but here goes further in tending to chastise Israelites in general for accepting those teachings.
The above "therefore" problem with Matthew is not recognized as being such by NT scholars, yet it is one by logical standards. A literary hoaxer is not very likely to have thought of it. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 10:28 28"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
TJ 10:42 42"Do not be afraid of evil slander, nor fear those who take life and limb."
TJ 10:42 42«Fürchtet euch nicht vor üblen Nachreden, noch fürchtet euch vor denen, die Leib und Leben töten.»
THE PROBLEM. Beare rightly found Matthew's discussion about killing or destroying a soul to be strange; he found the thought that God could kill a soul in hell to be "anomalous." His criticism boils down to the fact that there are no other teachings in Matthew that would confirm or shed light on these statements. With this reasoning we see only illogic in Jesus making statements to his disciples that could have no meaning for them.
SOLUTION. The TJ cognate is quite different, and does not contain the illogic of one's soul being capable of being "killed." It is possible that the writer of Matthew thought of a soul that is dispatched to Hades as but a "shadowy existence" of its former self (Beare, p. 248) and thus no longer worthy of being called a soul like the souls that would survive to be resurrected. More likely, however, he thought that souls could indeed somehow be killed, because in 1 Enoch (Chap. 108) it speaks of the total doing away, eventually, of those who have done evil through their spirits being "slain." Hence the compiler's confused thinking about the soul and afterlife caused the problem.
The TJ's statement of not fearing those who take life and limb is consistent with Jmmanuel's teachings of reincarnation. However, other statements by him (e.g., TJ 10:20-21, 17:17) indicate very strongly that you should nevertheless take precautions to preserve your life against any who might wrongfully wish to kill or capture you. This suggests that Jmmanuel made a distinction between fearing evil and avoiding evil. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Mt 10:29-31 29"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will... 31Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. The three verses here pertain to the value of humans versus sparrows. Beare (p. 248) commented that this punch-line verse is not very reassuring, when the value of a sparrow has been rated so low. Also, what would cause the writer of Matthew to suddenly inject the thought of a bird falling to the ground?
SOLUTION. The compiler of Matthew is with good reason usually considered to have been a Jewish Christian, and quite possibly a former rabbi. As Michael Goulder notes, he would then likely have known of many rabbinical sayings, one of which refers to God's mercy extending even to a sparrow's nest. The compiler may have drawn his sparrow theme from such a source, in making his main point that Christians should have confidence that God will always be with them, whether or not it be to save them.
There is a good possibility that the portion of Mt 10:29 that reads, "And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will," represents the writer of Matthew's abbreviated revision of the following two TJ verses.
TJ 16:45-46 45"Behold, there was a little bird that circled at great heights and sang, rejoicing about life, when a strong gust of wind came and made it waver. It then suddenly doubted its power to fly, plummeted down and was killed. 46Therefore, never doubt the power of your consciousness and never doubt your knowledge and ability when logic proves to you the law of Creation in truth and correctness."
TJ 16:45-46 45«Siehe, da war ein Vöglein, das in grossen Höhen kreiste und pfeifend sich des Lebens freute, da kam ein Windstosss und brachte es ins Wanken, und also zweifelte es plötzlich an der Kraft seiner Flugkunst und stürzte ab und war tot. 46Zweifle daher nie an der Kraft deines Bewusstseins und zweifle nie an deinem Wissen und Können, wenn dir die Logik das Gesetz der Schöpfung in Wahrheit und Richtigkeit beweist.»
This was part of what Jmmanuel spoke after he, and to a much lesser extent Peter, had walked on water. It seems more plausible that the writer of Matthew utilized and altered the TJ verse to make it palatable, with the sparrow theme bringing it to mind, than that it would occur to a literary hoaxer to build a little story around the Matthean sentence at a point appropriate to explaining the power of the human spirit.
Mt 10:32-33 32"So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. These are stirring instructions to the true Christian disciple on how to get to heaven. Goulder believes that they, along with many other verses in Matthew, are a "rhythmic construction" by its writer and not an original utterance of Jesus.
However, the passage is also highly suspect from a purely logical viewpoint. It contradicts other passages of Matthew—though passages that may also be largely made up of redactions. For example, it contradicts Mt 6:1, "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." And it implies that open, verbal acknowledgement of Jesus Christ will gain the declarer easy access to heaven, while Mt 5:48 implies one must be perfect for that. Such easy access to heaven also contradicts the narrow-gate access of Mt 7:13. It contradicts Mt 12:32, "And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven," since this would be denying Jesus.
SOLUTION. The verses appear to have been designed to give Christians more incentive to profess their faith, and thereby to help spread the faith. They have no doubt provided inspiration for many Christians over the centuries to become martyrs.
In considering the chances that these verses were omitted from the TJ by a hoaxer, we should probably consider the preceding three verses (Mt 10:29-31) along with them, since together they form a more complete context. The indications are fairly strong that these Matthean verses were inventions of the Gospel writer. In balance, then, the odds favor the TJ's genuineness (due to not containing parallels to these verses) over that of Matthew here. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Mt 10:34 34"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."
TJ 10:43-44 43"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on Earth. 44Truly, I have not come to bring peace, but the sword of knowledge about the power of the consciousness, which dwells within the human being."
TJ 10:43-44 43«Ihr sollet nicht wähnen, dass ich gekommen sei, Frieden zu bringen auf die Erde. 44Wahrlich, ich bin nicht gekommen Frieden zu bringen, sondern das Schwert des Wissens um die Kraft des Bewusstseins, der dem Menschen innewohnet.»
THE PROBLEM. Without any qualification of this "sword," this is a contradiction of other teachings within Matthew. In particular, it contradicts Mt 26:52 where a defending swordsman is commanded by Jesus to put his sword back in place. Anticipating the following two verses, one can interpret this sword to be an instrument of dividing families, if desired. However, such a metaphor would be misleading, if delivered by a teacher of wisdom, since the sword is a symbol of settling disputes by violence and bloodshednot a symbol of generating dissension.Also, the same problem concerning "I have come..." discussed under verse Mt 5:17 exists here.
SOLUTION. The qualification that was attached to this "sword" by Jmmanuelthe sword of knowledge regarding the power of the human spirit or consciousnesswas totally unacceptable to the writer of Matthew, who omitted it without bothering to think up a substitute qualifier.
The same solution to the "I have come" problem as discussed under Mt 5:17 applies here. Jmmanuel had learned his purpose for being incarnated, or reincarnated, into his life at that time.
Where would Jmmanuel have picked up the phrase "sword of knowledge"? It is known from the Bhagavad Gita, the famous Hindu writing believed to have originated as early as 200 B.C., and later interpolated into the Mahabharata. In Chapter 4, Verse 42 of the Bhagavad Gita we read: “O Arjuna, with the sword of knowledge cut away all doubt of the self, that is born of ignorance and resides in your heart.” According to K. Klostermaier, "In the opinion of most scholars today, the Bhagavadgita in its major portions antedates [predates] the Christian era." It is likely, therefore, that Jmmanuel picked up the phrase while studying under Hindu gurus during the "lost years" of his youth in India, before commencing his Palestinian ministry, as he would most certainly have then read and studied the Bhagavad Gita. A discussion of the likelihood of this possibility by its originator, Dietmar Rothe, may be found here.
The hoax hypothesis is in serious trouble here, as the chances are slim that any hoaxer, if one had noticed the Matthean problems, could have conceived of how to eliminate them so eloquently and in such good consonance with the rest of the TJ's philosophy. On the other hand, the motivations for the Matthean redactor to have altered TJ 10:44 in the manner displayed are clear. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
Mt 10:35-37 35"For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and a man's foes will be those of his own household. 37He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
TJ 10:45-46 45"For I have come to bring wisdom and knowledge and to provoke mankind: son against his father, daughter against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, servant against master, citizen against government and believer against preacher and priest. 46The people's enemies will be their own housemates."
TJ 10:45-46 45«Denn ich bin gekommen, Weisheit und Wissen zu bringen und den Menschen zu erregen, den Sohn wider seinen Vater und die Tochter wider ihre Mutter, die Schwiegertochter wider ihre Schwiegermutter, den Knecht wider seinen Herrn, den Bürger wider seine Obrigkeit und den Gläubigen wider seinen Prediger und Priester. 46Und des Menschen Feinde werden seine eigenen Hausgenossen sein.»
THE PROBLEMS. Mt 10:35-36 contradicts the implications of Mt 5:9—that the peacemaker, a son of God, is to be blessed. As Son of God, Matthew's Jesus then is implied to be the prime peacemaker of all, and not one to provoke antagonisms, especially antagonisms that require resolution by the sword.
Further, the implication is that the persons being depicted involve or include followers of Jesus. However, true followers of Matthew's Jesus have no enemies or foes, as they are taught to love their enemies (Mt 5:44), make friends with their accusers (Mt 5:25), not become angry with their brothers (Mt 5:22) and not make judgments against anyone (Mt 7:1). Thus, any would-be enemies are to be treated as beloved friends instead. Although any such would-be enemy might consider the follower of Jesus to be an adversary, the follower, whom Jesus is addressing, would not reciprocate. He would instead turn the other cheek. Hence, it is inconsistent that Jesus would warn his followers about their foes when he had already admonished his followers to love them and accept whatever wounds they may inflict.
At Mt 10:37 the line of thought shifts somewhat to who is worthy or unworthy of Jesus. What this worthiness implies is not explained unless it means going to heaven after death (Mt 10:39b). However, there is no way of gauging how much a Christian loves Jesus, in order to be able to compare this against his degree of love for a family member. If a follower of Jesus feels he must leave his family behind in some manner to go out and show his love for Jesus, one cannot know if he loves Jesus more than the follower who stays behind with his family. The latter follower may feel that a family member needs him where he is, or that to go out and profess his love for Jesus would merely be displaying his piety before men, which he should not do (Mt 6:1). Thus Mt 10:37 lacks any practical or consistent meaning.
SOLUTION. With the TJ as Matthew's source, we see that its verses are consistent in that the knowledge about the human spirit, which Jmmanuel brought to certain members of a family who could accept it, may have alienated them from other family members who could not. This would be an inevitable consequence of his teachings, which other TJ teachings do not contradict.
Concerning the thought that Jmmanuel's teachings might provoke violent reactions of servant against master or citizen against government, one may note his advice of TJ 10:21, not in Matthew, to "Flee from the unjust;" or that of TJ 5:26, "...You will achieve justice only when you find it yourself and can make your fellow human understand it." Such verses indicate that Jmmanuel was not advocating anarchy here, which impression might be gained if TJ 10:45 were taken out of the TJ context. He did not advocate violence except in justifiable self-defense. His advice to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's (in TJ 23:8 and Mt 22:21) further supports this interpretation against anarchy. Instead, Jmmanuel's provocations were directed towards people's manner of thought and belief systems.
Concerning the thought that Jmmanuel's teachings would provoke believer against preacher and priest, possible examples of this quickly come to mind. A Pharisee, after listening to Jmmanuel teach, might then have questioned his priest whether their teaching of resurrection might not be in error, with reincarnation occurring instead. Or, he might then have questioned his priest whether or not "El" or "the Elohim" represented the true Creator.
It seems likely that Jmmanuel knew of the verse from Micah, which reads:
Mi 7:6 For the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
but that he did not explicitly cite it because he wished to add to the number of situations of provocation involved. The writer of Matthew then surely recognized that most of these two TJ verses stemmed from Micah, and so eliminated the portion that did not belong. In any event, it is safe to assume he would have eliminated the TJ's mention of provoking a "believer against preacher and priest."
Concerning Mt 10:37 and its problems, there is no TJ cognate to that verse. The TJ's mention of "household," along with the compiler's belief that loyalty to Jesus must top all else, would seem to have suggested this thought to his mind.
The problems here with Matthew, not present with the TJ, suggest PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 10:38 38"And he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Beare (p. 250) pointed out that it is questionable whether the use of the cross as a symbol of a follower of Jesus would have been made before the crucifixion. Further on (p. 359) he spells out why "taking one's cross" is an anachronistic expression, which could not have been spoken in Jesus' own time (see also the discussion in this website under Mt 16:24). Before Christianity became established, it was believed that "a hanged man is accursed by God," as in Dt 21:23. Hence, at the time the words of Mt 10:38 were supposedly spoken, the cross was still an accursed emblem of hanging, not an uplifting religious symbol. As noted forcefully by Borg, "Before Jesus' death, 'cross' was obviously not yet a Christian symbol but referred to a method of execution used by Romans."
SOLUTION. This verse on discipleship appears as part of a substitution to replace unacceptable TJ material dealing with knowledge.
Since the Matthean verse appears to be non-genuine, while the hoax hypothesis is concerned with either Matthew depending upon the TJ or vice versa, this consideration alone gives the TJ the edge, with a probability of hoax of perhaps 0.3. On the other hand, there's a pretty fair chance that in this instance a literary hoaxer would have known of one or more of the objections to the genuineness of this verse and hence omitted it; to this we assign a probability of 0.7. Combining these two probabilities we get: PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 10:39 39"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. For a potential disciple this verse requires heavy interpretation to make any sense. For example, might the first "it" refer to ordinary life and the second "it" refer to an afterlife or the soul? Borg prefers to interpret "losing one's life" here to mean a dying of one's preoccupation with the self as the center of concern, and a "dying to the world as the center of security and identity." But even so, what real sense does it mean to say that if you find either your life or your soul you will lose it?
SOLUTION. The verse appears to be yet another attempt to encourage martyrdom for the true Christian.
Reasoning similar to that following the previous verse applies here also. The Matthean verse appears to be nothing a wisdom teacher would have uttered, so that its absence from the TJ favors the TJ's genuineness here over Matthew even though a literary hoaxer may not have been likely to include this verse. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Mt 10:40-42 40"He who receives you receives me... 42And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple... he shall not lose his reward."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. These verses deal with promises of reward for the disciples, and Beare (p. 252) clearly recognized that they were written for the church of Matthew's time, with "little ones" or children referring to "disciples." The same conclusion had earlier been reached by Manson.
SOLUTION. There are two TJ verses corresponding to this location in Matthew. They deal with Jmmanuel's precognition that a very long time would elapse before knowledge of the human spirit would become widespread, and that those holding positions akin to scribes, priests and government officials would persecute persons with such knowledge. The compiler, having the background of a scribe himself, would likely have found both verses objectionable and in need of deletion or substitution. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
When the individual odds against the hoax hypothesis from this chapter's verse comparisons (TJ 10 versus Mt 10) are accumulated, one finds the probability for hoax here to be only 0.0001.
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1. Beare, Francis Wright, "The mission of the disciples and the mission charge: Matthew 10 and parallels," JBL 87 (1968), pp. 1-13; see p. 10.
2. Morosco, Robert E., "Matthew's formation of a commissioning type-scene out of the story of Jesus' commissioning of the Twelve," JBL 103 (1984), pp. 539-556; see pp. 554-555.
3. Borg, Marcus, Jesus: A New Vision, p. 157. Marcus Borg is another scholar who deduces that the "imminent Parousia" verses likely do not date back to Jesus.
4. Friedman, Richard Elliott, Who Wrote the Bible? (New York: Summit Books, 1987), p. 79.
5. Reasoning of this general nature still occurs. For example, when pointing out what may or may not be possible for extraterrestrial beings to perform with futuristic technology, many scientists still insist that they could accomplish little more than what our present human science permits. Recall that most scientists at the end of the 19th century felt that all the outstanding scientific questions had been answered then. It is always difficult to place one's own present time within a cosmic perspective.
6. Goulder, Michael, Midrash and Lection in Matthew (London: SPCK, 1974), pp. xiii, 5-6, 13-27, 70.
7. Ibid., p. 155.
8. Ibid., pp. 75, 350, 384-385.
9. Herman, A. L., A Brief Introduction to Hinduism (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1991), p. 89.
10. Klostermaier, Klaus K., A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989), p. 95.
11. Borg, Jesus: A New Vision, p. 112.
12. Ibid., p. 113.
13. Manson, Thomas Walter, The Sayings of Jesus (London: SCM Press, 1949). Also, Lamar Cope, in Matthew: A Scribe Trained for the Kingdom of Heaven (Washington D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1976), p. 80, finds that these verses were quite surely composed by the redactor who formed the Gospel of Matthew.