Mt 12:6-8 6"I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath."
TJ 13:12 12"Human beings are creatures with wills of their own, thus they alone are masters over the sabbath, as was previously written in those ancient scriptures and laws that were not adulterated by false prophets, distorters of the scriptures and Pharisees."
TJ 13:12 12«Der Mensch ist ein Wesen mit eigenem Willen, also er auch alleiniger Herr über den Sabbat ist, so es schon geschrieben steht in den alten Schriften und Gesetzen, die, welche nicht von falschen Propheten und Schriftenverdrehern und Pharisäern verfälscht wurden.»
THE PROBLEM. In connection with Mt 9:13, we noted that the clause "I desire mercy and not sacrifice" stems from Hos 6:6. Thus Beare (p. 271) concluded that it was likely also inserted here by the framer of Matthew in true rabbinical fashion to support the rest of the passage, which he then suspected of being a redaction. Beare (p. 272) further noted that this Hosea citation is really not relevant in its present context. So it looks like a redaction for that reason also.
SOLUTION. There is no TJ cognate here to the first part of Matthew's verses, 12:6-7. However, the "masters over the Sabbath" phrase in TJ 13:12 appears to be the source of the similar phrase within Mt 12:8.
Although Beare in addition objected to verse 12:5, the reader may check that that verse (which does have a cognate in the TJ) follows well from the preceding verse and need not be assumed to be a redaction.
It appears that the compiler could use the "masters over the sabbath" clause from the TJ because it was non-heretical to state or imply that Jesus was lord of the sabbath. However, it is not perfectly clear if "sabbath" in Matthew referred to the Jewish day of worship (Saturday) or to Sunday. Probably only after Matthew's gospel with its Easter story had come out and received some use within the early church did Sunday attain this status for Christians. When that happened (probably in the vicinity of the year 130), the breaking away of Christianity from Judaism must have been essentially complete. In the TJ, "sabbath" of course referred to the Saturday sabbath.
Jmmanuel presumably learned what the original scriptures had said, if not from his own past-life memories, from his ET tutors; they in turn must have kept track of this over the centuries, during which time they had been involved with the true prophets of old.
Due to the TJ not containing the Matthean redaction, while being plausible in affirming that the Scriptures did not get written without adulterations creeping in, it is the TJ that again looks genuine here. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 12:9 9And he went on from there, and entered their synagogue.
TJ 13:13 13And he walked on from there and came into their synagogue, where he continued to teach the people.
TJ 13:13 13Und er ging von dannen weiter und kam in ihre Synagoge, da das Volk er weiterlehrte.
THE PROBLEM. The Matthean verse and associated passage fails to give any reason why Jesus went into this synagogue in the first place. In other instances in which he entered a synagogue or the temple, the reason for it is mentioned (Mt 4:23, 9:35, 13:54, 21:12), and it was usually to teach. Was he looking for someone ailing to heal on a sabbath? From the subsequent verse we learn that he did meet a man there with an ailment he could heal, but it seems unlikely that Jesus would have anticipated this and so have gone to the synagogue for that specific reason.
SOLUTION. The last clause of the TJ cognate indicates the reason had again been to teach. Presumably it was just by chance that he encountered the man with the withered hand there. The last clause may have been omitted by the compiler of Matthew because he preferred to portray Jesus more as a healer and figure of worship than as a teacher. Although Matthew follows the TJ at many points in referring to Jmmanuel (or Jesus) as a teacher, its writer often avoided portraying him as one, apparently because of the heresies the TJ indicated he taught.
This problem with Matthew is a minor one and previously unknown, so that it is unlikely that a hoaxer would have noticed it. Rather, it required the hindsight of the TJ to bring it out. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
Mt 12:11-13 11He said to them, "What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath." 13Then he said to the man,"Stretch out your hand..."
TJ 13:19-21 19"You brood of snakes and adders, you distorters of the scriptures who, because of your greed for money and power, spread erroneous teachings; had you but one sheep that fell into a pit on the sabbath day, who among you would not take hold of it and pull it out? 20How much more is a person worth than a sheep or your deceitful and erroneous teachings!" 21Then he spoke to the man, "Stretch out your hand!"
TJ 13:19-21 19«Ihr Schlangen und Otterngezücht, ihr Schriftenverdreher, die ihr für eure Lohngier und Machtgier irre Lehren verbreitet; welcher ist unter euch, wenn er ein einziges Schaf hat und es fällt ihm am Sabbat in eine Grube, der es nicht ergreife und ihm heraushelfe? 20Wieviel mehr ist nun ein Mensch als ein Schaf und als eure verlogenen und irren Lehren!» 21Da sprach er zu dem Menschen: «Strecke deine Hand aus!»
THE PROBLEMS. Here the writer of Matthew allows Jesus to declare it lawful to go out and locate a missing sheep that had fallen into a pit, and pull it out, on a sabbath. However this, and perhaps healing also, would not have been deemed lawful according to the Torah, which explains why the Pharisees soon afterwards consulted together on how to destroy Jesus (Mt 12:14). According to Exodus (16:29) a man should not even "go out of his place" on the sabbath, which would be necessary to do in order to locate and retrieve a lost sheep. And if pulling a sheep out of a pit constitutes work, that of course was forbidden on the sabbath. According to Numbers (15:32-36) the penalty for a man merely being out gathering sticks of firewood on the sabbath was death by stoning. Yet in Mt 5:18 Jesus says that not an iota would pass from the law until the end of the Earth; this referred to the Jewish law of the Torah. Hence the contradiction between 5:18 and 12:11-12 is apparent.
Regarding the last sentence of Mt 12:12, C. M. Tuckett has noted that it does not follow from Matthew's preceding argument. Just because it was argued to be alright to rescue a sheep on the sabbath, and therefore also to save a man's life, it does not follow that it was lawful to perform any act whatever on the sabbath that might be considered good.This in fact caused Tuckett to comment, "Thus between verses 12a and 12b there appears to be a marked break, and the conclusion in verse 12b cannot belong to the same stratum of tradition as that which contains the deductive argument in verses 11-12a. This seam suggests a break in the sources used by Matthew."
SOLUTION. From the TJ we see that the writer of Matthew added the statement of it being lawful to do good on the sabbath, which is not present in the TJ. Tuckett was quite perceptive here, even if he did accept the hypothesis that Matthew's source was Mark. Verse 12b belonged to the stratum fed in by the writer of Matthew rather than to the original substratum represented by the TJ, and did cause a break or seam. It may be noted that if the TJ-hoax hypothesis is entertained, how improbable it is that a literary hoaxer would have found Mt 12:12b undesirable to include, not perceiving the technical difficulties brought out here.
Although Mt 12:11 was copied from the TJ without editorial change, the verse is not contradictory in the TJ, since Jmmanuel made no statement to the effect that the laws of the Torah were to be obeyed down to the last iota. Instead, in this section of the TJ Jmmanuel was stating clearly that it was a false and deceitful law that didn't allow work to be done on the sabbath just as on any other day. What the TJ doesn't say, however, is whether Jmmanuel thought the false teachings were the fault of Moses or of the particular god (Yahweh) who was influencing the Jewish people during Moses's time.
Thus Mt 12:11-12a, along with 5:17-18, can be seen to constitute an example of Matthean "editorial fatigue." At Mt 5:17-18, the writer of Matthew had altered the TJ's "the law of Creation and the laws of nature" into "the law." By the time he reached the present verse, however, he seems to have forgotten that he made this alteration. He followed the TJ's text here without making an alteration that would bring his text at this point into agreement with his earlier alteration.
In the Matthean verses "sabbath" is written in the plural, in the Greek. This has been attributed to the Aramaic word "sabetta" being widely misunderstood to be a plural when it was actually singular. If so, this is another indication that Matthew had originally been written in Aramaic or Hebrew, as attested by the early church fathers.
In the TJ verses we notice Jmmanuel's great anger against those whom he accused of spreading false teachings. We also notice that the writer of Matthew omitted Jmmanuel's consequent vituperation against the Pharisees. This is understandable in this circumstance if he did not wish the reprimand to be directed against their teachings, most of which he himself still upheld.
The possibility is quite slim that a literary hoaxer could make it work out that the content of Mt 12:11 would be consistent with his own document without the need to alter the verse's general content. The TJ's vituperation against the Pharisees here lends it added authenticity, though this could be counterbalanced by a claim from a proponent of the hoax hypothesis that the supposed hoaxer did not care for Pharisees and may even have been anti-Semitic. However, it is further unlikely that a literary hoaxer could have anticipated and avoided the criticism by Tuckett. PHoax ≈ 0.2.
Concerning the healing of the man's withered hand, it is interesting to notice the progression of embellishment proceeding from Matthew to Mark to Luke. In the TJ and Matthew, the man stretches out his withered hand at the command of Jmmanuel/Jesus, and it was healed. In Mark (Mk 3:3) Jesus first orders the man to rise in their midst (or "Come here") before healing his hand. In Luke (6:6,8) this command was to rise and stand in their midst, before healing him. We see that Jesus progressively becomes a more commanding figure. Further, in Luke it was the right handthe more valuable handthat was healed.
Mt 12:14 14But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him.
TJ 13:23 23Then the Pharisees went out and held counsel about him, on how they could destroy him, since he made known their lies and erroneous teachings in front of the people.
TJ 13:23 23Da gingen die Pharisäer hinaus und hielten einen Rat über ihn, wie sie ihn umbrächten, da er also ihre Lügen und irren Lehren vor dem Volke kundtat.
THE PROBLEM. It's not at all likely that Jesus' act of healing a man with a withered hand on the sabbath would be sufficiently provocative to cause Pharisees to plot how to have Jesus killed. It was not forbidden to enter a synagogue on the sabbath, nor to speak on the sabbath. All Jesus had done, in performing his wonderful deed, was speak a simple instruction to the man in the synagogue. That in itself would not have violated the commandment of doing no work on the sabbath. And since the Pharisees had asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on the sabbath, not told him it wasn't, a verbal response that it was OK to do good on the sabbath should not have been sufficient cause for them to jump to the conclusion that he should be killed.
SOLUTION. We see from the TJ verse that what had most angered the Pharisees was Jmmanuel's speaking in front of the people about the Pharisees' teachings being false. Beyond that, however, the writer of Matthew had omitted some five preceding TJ verses in which Jmmanuel excoriated the Pharisees for their lack of understanding and their teachings on keeping the sabbath day holy. This very strong denunciation of them in front of the people in the synagogue, not reproduced in Matthew, is what enraged the Pharisees on this occasion.
The chances are really slim here that a literary hoaxer could have foreseen this little known objection, and have inserted text that avoids it in so realistic a manner. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
Mt 12:15-17 15Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all, 16and ordered them not to make him known. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
TJ 13:24-26 24When Jmmanuel learned of this, he withdrew from there, and many people followed him, including many sick people; and he healed them all. 25He warned them, however, not to spread the news about him, because he was afraid he would be captured and put to death by torture. 26But his dedication to the truth prevailed, and so he continued to reveal his teachings and wisdom to the people.
TJ 13:24-26 24Und da Jmmanuel das erfuhr, wich er von dannen; und ihm folgte nach viel Volk und viele Kranke, und er heilte sie alle. 25Er aber bedrohte sie, dass sie die Kunde von ihm nicht ausbreiten sollten, denn er fürchtete, dass er gefangengenommen und den Martertod sterben sollte. 26Der Wille zur Wahrheit oblag ihm aber also, so er seine Lehre und die Weisheit dem Volke weiter offenbarte.
THE PROBLEMS. The only explanation Matthew offers here as to why Jesus ordered the people he healed not to make him known was to say it was in fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah. However, in that prophecy its only portion that comes close to touching upon this aspect is what is given in Mt 12:19, which reads:
19He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets.
This part of the prophecy pertains to the voice of "the servant." There in Isaiah (Is 42:1-4) it is the servant's voice, presumed in Matthew to represent the voice of Jesus, that would not be heard, whereas here Jesus' warning is for the people not to let their voices be heard, speaking of what he had done. Thus Matthew's explanation is entirely wanting.
Another problem is that the people who followed Jesus out of the synagogue, and/or who otherwise joined in with these followers, could not credibly all have been sick, and all in need of healing. Yet this is what Mt 12:15b states.
SOLUTION. The real reason for Jmmanuel's warning is as given in the TJ verse. But it could not be included by the writer of Matthew, since it expressed temporary fear on the part of Jmmanuel, and because it implied he did not intend to suffer the death of a martyr, unlike Matthew's later story of Jesus dying such a death upon crucifixion.
The omission of the TJ's "including many sick people" by the writer of Matthew might have been an oversight, or it might have reflected a desire on his part to have Jesus' miraculous healings encompass a maximum number of people—all who were there, not just all the sick among them.
The TJ avoids these problems in a straightforward manner that indicates Jmmanuel was quite human in his emotions. At the same time, the reason is apparent why the writer of Matthew resorted to a scriptural explanation for the "messianic secret," however flawed, rather than reproducing the TJ's explanation. PHoax ≈ 0.25.
Mt 12:18-21 18"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen.... 21and in his name will the Gentiles hope."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This is the Isaiah prophecy, Is 42:1-4, interpreted as Jesus being the chosen servant. According to Krister Stendahl, it can only be understood as a paraphrased version of old scriptures that specifically identify the servant with Jacob, while Matthew clearly identifies the servant with Jesus.
The last part of the prophecy as given in Isaiah (from the Masoretic text) reads, "and the coastlands wait for his law." Mt 12:21 differs considerably here, where it follows the Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Hebrew scriptures.
SOLUTION. Stendahl appears to be correct here, as both before and after this area of text, occurring within the latter half of Isaiah known as Deutero-Isaiah, God speaks of Jacob, referring to him as the servant in question, as does the LXX text explicitly.
This is another place where the writer of Matthew would seem to have inserted a section of text favorable to gentiles, in contrast to his several very demeaning statements against gentiles elsewhere. (A further such place is at Mt 28:18-19, discussed under that heading.) But why, then, did not the writers of Mark and of Luke incorporate it into their texts? These questions are explained by Mt 12:17-21 being an addition made by the later translator of Semitic Matthew into Greek who, however, also took liberties with his citations. Otherwise, it is almost inconceivable that the original writer of Matthew would treat gentiles as the scum of the earth in Mt 5-7, turn around and treat gentiles as most worthy of discipleship here, then resume his anti-gentile agenda in Mt 15:22-26. Yet, at the time Mark and Luke came out, written in Greek and appealing to gentiles, it must have been realized that unless Matthew were revised to make it less unappealing to gentiles, its priority, authority and popularity would rapidly give way to the Gospels of Mark and Luke. It's quite understandable that the translator made use of the Greek text of the Old Testament citation when making his addition, as he would likely have been familiar with the LXX.
It is consistent with this solution that no copy of the original Semitic text of Matthew has survived. After the improved Greek version came out, the supporters of Matthean priority would have been eager to push it forward to gentiles as well as Jews and to phase out the previous Semitic version as soon as possible. And those who supported the Gospels of Mark and Luke, with their pro-gentile perspectives, would also be happy to see to it that the original version of Semitic Matthew was eliminated. The fact that Greek Matthew contained some additions and differences from the original Hebraic text of Matthew must have been further incentive to phase out the earlier version, since the word of God was not supposed to have to undergo changes.
Since only Matthew contains this verse, a literary hoaxer might be strongly inclined to omit it. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 12:22-26 22Then a blind and dumb demoniac was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. 23And all the people were amazed, and said, "Can this be the Son of David?" 24But when the Pharisees heard it they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons." 25Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; 26and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?"
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEMS. This is the very brief story of Jesus restoring speech and sight to the blind mute, followed by discussion of Beelzebul and Satan. In discussing the healing story, Beare (p. 276) noted that it forms a doublet with the somewhat more detailed verses of Mt 9:32-34 and concluded that this part of the doublet was a construction by the writer of Matthew. The lack of any detail to the story is consistent with Beare's suspicion, as is also the placement of the phrase "Son of David" on the lips of the people at a time before the post-crucifixion appearances and before Jesus was generally regarded as a Messiah figure. At this time, Jesus was but a descendant of David, based upon the Jewish custom of tracing lineage.
Another problem that suggests the verses are inventions is that 12:22 starts out with "Then a blind and deaf demoniac was brought to him." Jesus is not said to have gone anywhere, and no time has elapsed, since he healed those who had followed him (Mt 12:15). So if the healings had been completed, how could there immediately have been still another healing?
From verse 24 we gain the impression that the Pharisees were not actually present with Jesus at this time, since the verse starts out, "But when the Pharisees heard it," indicating some later time. This is confirmed by their referral to Jesus as "this man;" i.e., they were not speaking to him directly. It is further confirmed by the phrase "knowing their thoughts" of verse 12:25, which indicates Jesus did not hear them speak it directly in his presence. Yet, in verse 25 he responds directly to the Pharisees who are not present! Or else, he responds to the people as if the Pharisees were there to hear him. This same criticism persists through Mt 12:26-37.
SOLUTION. The TJ's lack of cognates supports Beare here, and also the criticism against the conflicting indications of whether or not the Pharisees had been present. Such a mix-up can occur when an editor hastily invents a discussion, while it wouldn't likely occur in the telling of a real life story. The writer of Matthew failed to insert a sentence just prior to verse 25 that would indicate he soon had another encounter with the Pharisees, and failed to properly qualify the beginning of v. 25 to wit: "Knowing their previous thoughts."
Previous TJ verses (9:35-36), which indicate that the earlier healing episode in Matthew (9:32-34) is the one based upon reality, also supports Beare's conclusion. Thus the indications are very strong that the Matthean verses are non-genuine, while a literary hoaxer might have included part of them, since they do purport to contain a healing. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Mt 12:27-28 27"And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Beare (pp. 278-279) noted that the passage actually destroys the immediately preceding argument. That is, if it is by the Spirit of God that Jesus casts out demons, and if that means the kingdom of God has arrived, how then could Satan's kingdom still be standing? Yet it was implied to be still standing since Satan was not casting out Satan, and Satan's kingdom was not divided against itself. This would not be a saying spoken by a teacher possessing wisdom.
SOLUTION. In any defense of the verses' logic, one would need to argue that the arrival of God's kingdom through the coming of Jesus had no effect upon Satan. Though this might be defended feasibly in a philosophical sense, it is not easily defended using arguments from Christianity. One would need to argue that early Christians believed that demons, or evil spirits, did not bear any relationship to Satan. But Satan was regarded as the chief of the evil spirits. The lack of a TJ cognate here supports Beare's objection. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Mt 12:29 29"Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Here Beare (pp. 279-280) could only call this a "strange figure" of speech, due to its uncertain meaning and its seeming encouragement of plunder. To derive a Christian meaning from it and its context, as attempted by Beare, one thinks of Jesus himself purging Satan's "house" of demons; yet the verse itself instead refers to someone other than Jesus seizing the goods within a strong man's house. Beare also pointed out that the verse is not in keeping with the contemporary practice of exorcising demons without first breaking the power of Satan, or of "the strong man."
SOLUTION. Again the TJ's lack of cognate supports Beare's uneasiness with the verse. The compiler of Matthew may have composed the verse to infer that Jesus had already cast out Satan (the strong man), thus allowing him to cast out Satan's workers or demons (plunder the strong man's goods). To about the same extent that the verse appears non-genuine or unappealing, a literary hoaxer may not have wished to include it. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 12:30 30"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Beare (p. 280) noted that this verse is a "vagrant saying," as it does not clearly refer to, or connect with, its neighboring verses. Also, its underlying assumption is illogical in that a Christian would not always know if what he thinks or does is supportive of Jesus or not, and in that it lacks any neutral ground between "for" and "against."
SOLUTION. Again the TJ supports Beare's deduction. One should wonder, on the other hand, if the TJ were considered to have been written by some literary hoaxer who wished to put across New Age themes, would he have known enough not to incorporate this oft-quoted Matthean verse? PHoax ≈ 0.3.
Mt 12:31-32 31"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This verse does not follow from either the previous vagrant verse or the one before it. Its initial use of "therefore" is thus most inappropriate. The verse is incongruous in its own right, however. If every sin of man imaginable (except blasphemy against the Spirit) is to be automatically forgiven, including murder and genocide, then there is no need for the Gospel-minded Christian to be at all attentive to not committing sins. One may well wonder why either of these two verses was ever written. The one sensible explanation I have come upon is that Mt 12:32 was meant to convey that those who rejected Jesus' message while he was still alive—and this might even include Saul—could be forgiven, but those who reject the current message of the church, through which the Holy Spirit supposedly speaks, is not to be forgiven. With this interpretation, the writer of Matthew of course betrayed the fact that he was putting anachronistic words into Jesus' mouth.
Also, these verses can contradict Mt 6:15, in that if one does not forgive others, you yourself will not be forgiven. Here, however, every sin in two out of three categories will receive forgiveness by the heavenly Father, without further qualification.
SOLUTION. These verses therefore represent more of the writer of Matthew's fabrication. Hence they do not appear in the TJ. If a New Age literary hoaxer had composed the TJ, however, it is rather probable he would have retained part of this passage due to its mention of the Spirit. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Mt 12:33-37 33"Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad... 36I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This passage is concerned mostly about the saying of good, evil and idle words, and strangely being called to judgment by God specifically for uttering the idle words. Yet just five verses earlier the compiler wrote that blasphemy even against Jesus would be forgiven. Thus, practically every blasphemy is to be forgiven, but careless words may not be! However, if one were to blaspheme against Jesus in a moment of carelessness, would that be forgiven? Beare (p. 280) again gave reasons why it looks like it was the compiler of Matthew, not an original eyewitness to Jesus' ministry, who placed these foolish sayings into their present context. Its first verse, Mt 12:33, is itself non-understandable.
SOLUTION. This and the preceding six passages presented here occur in place of TJ text describing the theft of Judas Iscariot's writings, Jmmanuel's taking Judas Iscariot aside to lecture him on right and wrong, and his prophecy that Judas would undeservedly be accused of betraying him. These were unacceptable topics that the compiler had to delete, and they could well have prompted him to substitute material on good and evil in its place. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Mt 12:38-40 38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." 39But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This explanation of the sign of Jonah is partly repeated in Mt 16:4, suggesting that one of the two is a redaction. Many scholars have voiced their opinions that this verse is the redaction. For example, Lamar Cope notes that the best Greek rendition of its first clause in verse 40 comes straight from the Old Testament rendition of Jonah 1:17, i.e. from the Greek Septuagint, whose text was known to early Christian scribes. Thus, verses 38-39 must be redactions also.
SOLUTION. Again the absence of a TJ cognate supports the scholar's analysis. With the present Augustinian hypothesis (Mt-Mk-Lk Gospel priorities), the Septuagint was made use of at the time that Semitic Matthew was translated into Greek, after Mark and Luke had come out in Greek. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Mt 12:41-42 41"The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Here, Beare (pp. 281-282) noted that words about the appearance of the men of Nineveh at the Judgment bear no connection to Jonah's experience in the whale, mentioned in the preceding verse; nor does the appearance of the Queen of the South. Beare thus strongly implied that these are redactive additions stemming from Old Testament material, and are not original sayings of Jesus. The "Queen of the South" here refers to the Queen of Sheba, from 1 Kings 10:1.
In addition, we seem to be identifying one repeated clause as the signature of the redactor: "something greater than ___ is here" (see also Mt 12:6 above)—the redactor's way of suggesting the speaker has relevant wisdom, which he is keeping to himself, and that therefore his redacted words will look genuine.
These verses are among those that imply that the Last Judgment would have occurred by the end of "this generation" of people living in Jesus' time. Marcus Borg has noted that this implication of an "early end" tends to occur within highly suspect verses, so that wherever they occur their genuineness may be doubted. On the other hand, the seemingly more genuine eschatological verses, occurring in Matthew's 24th chapter, do not say that the end of the world would be imminent.
SOLUTION. The TJ's lack of cognate verses again supports the scholars' position, but a literary hoaxer would quite likely not wish to include these obviously irrelevant verses. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 12:43-45 43"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none... 45...and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This is the passage about the return of the demon. Beare (pp. 283-284) noted the difficulty in seeing what its point is or was meant to be, and how it relates meaningfully to adjacent material of Mt 12. He went on to spell out difficulties with proposed interpretations.
SOLUTION. Beare again detected the imprint of the redactor here. The TJ, having no cognate, can shed no light on what the compiler's point may have been. However, there are some who feel that Matthew's frequent lack of any definite meaning adds an aura of religious mysticism, as in this instance, to be appreciated in preference to the TJ's usual logic. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
Mt 12:46-47 46While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 47Some one told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEMS. Here, Beare (p. 284) noticed that verse 46 contains a "certain incoherence." The problem is, if Jesus were still addressing a crowd of people, it must have been outside in the open air. However, if his mother and brothers stood outside, this would imply that Jesus stood inside—inside a house or structure where the people outside could not have heard him. Moreover, Matthew does not mention that Jesus had earlier entered a housean oversight that the writer of Mark corrected (Mk 3:19b,31), perhaps unwittingly.
Verse 47 redundantly repeats the content of verse 46, and is thus not likely part of any narration of a real-life event. Beare assumed it to be a probable "gloss" assimilated later into Matthew from Mark or Luke. The verse is quite well attested, however, being in many important Matthean manuscripts, but is missing from some others and is relegated to a footnote in the RSV Bible.
SOLUTION. The incoherence or illogic of verse 46 is of course a hallmark of redactive insertions, which, not usually being based upon truth, are difficult to invent realistically without occasional slip-ups. The writer of Mark seems to have edited its problem away (Mk 3:31-32) while retaining the episode as a whole, probably because Mt 12:50 could apply favorably to gentiles. And he appears to have utilized Mt 12:47.
We find that the reason Mt 12:47 is quite well attested to be that it was indeed invented and penned by the writer of Matthew, with its redundancy being a result of insufficient creativity and care on his part. Such Matthean redundancy of an invented passage can be noted elsewhere (e.g., see under Mt 28:9-10). This then explains why the verse occurs in both Mk 3:32 and Lk 8:20, given that Matthew was the first Gospel.
The hypothesis that Mt 12:47 is a scribal gloss is actually quite improbable. A scribe was especially unlikely to assimilate a verse from a different gospel into the gospel he was transcribing if such verse would make the reading cumbersome and if it was of no theological importance.
Mt 12:48-50 48But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEMS. This also appears to be part of an invented pericope, because a teacher of wisdom who would preach "honor your father and your mother" (Mt 15:4) would not treat his mother so cavalierly when she needed to speak to him. It is also unlikely that his mother and brothers would be there at this house, which was close to the Sea of Galilee, since their home in Nazareth was some 15 miles away. That his own household would not likely even have been present is suggested by Mt 13:57 "...A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." The last verse appears to be an awkwardly worded finale to the redaction: its and's should have been or's since the words do connote gender, and since "sister" appears here but not in verses 48 & 49.
SOLUTION. Again the TJ's lack of any cognate verse indicates the problems raised are solved by these verses, along with the rest of Mt 12:17-50, being an editorial insert by the writer of Matthew.
In considering Mt 12:46-50 as a unit, we see much evidence that it is a non-genuine Matthean invention. Yet, a literary hoaxer could well have been quite happy to have included it, because of its message of good will towards others. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
When the individual odds against the hoax hypothesis from this chapter's verse comparisons (TJ 13 versus Mt 12) are accumulated, one finds the probability for hoax here to be only 0.00029.
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1. Tuckett, C. M., The Revival of the Griesbach Hypothesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 97.
2. Davies, W. D. and Allison, Dale C., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, vol. 2 (Edinburg: T&T Clark, 1991), p. 320.
3. Stendahl, Krister, The School of St. Matthew (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), p. 115.
4. Robinson, James M., "Jesus as Sophos and Sophia: Wisdom tradition and the Gospels," in Aspects of Wisdom in Judaism and Early Christianity, Robert L. Wilken, ed. (Notre Dame Press, 1975), p. 6.
5. Cope, Lamar, "Matthew 12:40 and the Synoptic source question," JBL 92 (1973), p. 115.
6. Borg, Marcus, Jesus: A New Vision, pp. 157, 168, footnote 28.
7. Within Borg's analysis, Mt. 24:34 (another "this generation" verse) is one of the highly suspect verses, and the TJ would agree.
8. Davies & Allison, A Critical Commentary, vol. 2, p. 363, n. 117.