Mt 26:1-2 1When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2"You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified."
TJ 26:46-47; 27:1 46Once Saulus had departed, Jmmanuel called together his disciples and said to them, "You know that Passover comes after two days, when I shall be turned over to the courts to be crucified, as it is destined, so that I will continue to learn. 47My betrayer will be Juda Iharioth, the son of Simeon the Pharisee,"...27:1After Jmmanuel had finished speaking, the disciples became agitated and said, "Why don't we capture Juda Iharioth and stone him, so he can't betray you?"
TJ 26:46-47; 27:1 46Da aber Saulus von dannen gewichen war, rief Jmmanuel seine Jünger zusammen und redete zu ihnen und sprach: «Ihr wisset, dass nach zwei Tagen das Passahfest sein wird und ich überantwortet werden soll den Gerichten, so ich gekreuzigt werde, wie es bestimmet ist, so ich daraus lerne. 47Mein Verräter aber wird sein Juda Iharioth, des Pharisäers Simeon Sohn; .... 27:1Da aber Jmmanuel diese Reden beendet hatte, erregten sich die Jünger und sprachen: «Warum fangen wir nicht Juda Iharioth und steinigen ihn, so er dich nicht verraten kann?»
THE PROBLEMS. In discussing the previous Matthew-TJ comparisons, we noted that the entire Matthean chapter, 25, was made up of redactions. It is one large insert. Hence Mt 26:1 above contains the additional redaction: "When Jesus had finished all these sayings." That is, Jesus could not have spoken the Mt-25 sayings because scholars have logically determined that the writer of Matthew composed them.
Moreover, the wording here of the first clause of 26:1 is essentially the same as that used after four of the most lengthy, previous discourses (at Mt 7:28, 11:1, 13:53, and 19:1). Numerous scholars have remarked on the artificiality of this literary structure, verse 26:1 included. It is often supposed that the endings of the five preceding discourses were then so labeled by the writer so as to show an analogy between these five discourses and the five books of the Torah. The artificial nature is furthered in the present instance with the interruption of speech caused by 26:1. Jesus had already been speaking to his disciples, and only to his disciples, on the Mount of Olives (Mt 24:3). At that point the writer of Matthew, after he had finished writing his lengthy insertion of chapter 25, felt obliged to break in as narrator even though Jesus was supposedly continuing to speak to his disciples without interruption.
A fictitious aspect of 26:2 is that its ominous and sinister message evoked no reaction from the disciples even though the time of fulfillment of the dire prophecy was by then almost upon them.
SOLUTION. TJ 26:46 above contains the parallel found in Mt 26:2. It follows after 16 verses describing an encounter Jmmanuel had with Saul. Such an encounter may seem surprising, in that neither the Gospels nor Paul's epistles mention it. In retrospect, however, it makes very good sense, since Saul could scarcely have become the arch-persecutor of Jmmanuel/Jesus that he did become without ever having heard him teach and without ever becoming incensed with his teachings and words of wisdom. This encounter was sufficiently embarrassing and shameful for Paul that one would not expect him to have mentioned it in any of his epistles, nor expect a later Gospel writer with access to the TJ to have mentioned it either.
The TJ's statement: "After Jmmanuel had finished speaking, the disciples became agitated and said..." is a normal manner of narrating a real event. The TJ narrator broke in at this point to say who was speaking next (the disciples), and the fact that they became very agitated is evident. However, in Mt 26:1 the very same initial words are used that were used in Mt 7:28, 11:1, 13:53 and 19:1, namely: "And when Jesus had finished...," as noted above. This is shown below, along with the TJ cognates:
TJ 7:32 It happened that after Jmmanuel had finished his talk, the people were shocked...
Mt 7:28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished...
TJ 11:1 It happened that after Jmmanuel had finished giving such commandments to his twelve disciples, he continued on from there...
Mt 11:1 And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there...
TJ 15:66 It happened that after Jmmanuel had finished these parables, he went away from there.
Mt 13:53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there...
TJ 20:1 It happened that after Jmmanuel had concluded these talks, he departed from Galilee...
Mt 19:1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee...
TJ 27:1 After Jmmanuel had finished speaking, the disciples became agitated and said, ...
Mt 26:1 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, ...
These initial portions of the Matthean verses, including 26:1, become identical in appearance to each other in their Greek text, which all have the same first six Greek words and in the same order. Similarly, in the first four of these five instances the German TJ text uses the same six introductory words, followed by two more: "Und es begab sich, da Jmmanuel... vollendet hatte" ("And it happened, that after Jmmanuel had finished..."; in the English an "and" at the beginning of a sentence is often omitted), which cannot be considered surprising, since "es begab sich" is used quite frequently (10 other times in its 36 chapters). This suggests that the underlying Aramaic text had also used its own same several words in these four instances. In this case, it is only the fifth instance, Mt 26:1, in which the writer of Matthew, or its translator into Greek, altered his text somewhat to make it conform to the pattern utilized in the other four instances. That he did so seems apparent, since he added the word "all." Although this suggests he did so for the reason that scholars have surmised, their surmise seems less certain than before, since he may not have had to go back and alter his wording of the first four instances to make them all conform. It would appear that the similarity of the TJ's initial wording in the four instances shown above prompted the writer of Matthew to construct an identical fifth one in Mt 26:1a, so as to suggest to the reader that here we have five great discourses that would match the five books of the Pentateuch in eminence. This thought would not likely have occurred to him had the TJ not already exhibited the four instances of identical initial wording shown above. To produce a fifth concluding clause, then, the writer of Matthew had to break in as narrator when there had been no other reason to break in. In none of these instances does the TJ refer to "sayings."
The TJ text prophesying Jmmanuel's coming arrest, which the writer of Matthew could only summarize by his verse 26:2, starts with TJ 26:46b above, and prophesies the role of Juda Iharioth in considerable detail. Hence the disciples displayed agitation and offered to do away with Juda. Ironically, if they had been encouraged to do so, Jmmanuel's prophecy would have failed.
Considering Matthew's apparent problems, the risk it would be for a literary hoaxer to construct 17 additional verses which appear to have been spoken by a wisdom teacher plus 16 more verses concerning a realistic encounter with Saul, and the uniqueness of the Juda-as-betrayer solution, the TJ has a strong edge here with respect to the hoax hypothesis. Upon including here the compelling evidence from Mt 26:35b (see below) we assign PHoax ≈ 0.1.
Mt 26:3-4 3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiphas, 4and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. The initial word, "Then," of this pericope (Mt 26:3-5) is quite inappropriate to the context. The chief priests and elders did not consciously wait until Jesus was finished with his sayings and then hold their meeting, because Jesus had been speaking privately to his disciples, on the Mount of Olives. The chief priests and elders could not have known he had been speaking his prophecies and parables to them there, nor could they have known when he was finished speaking to them about those things or when he then finished speaking to them about the approaching Passover and being delivered up to be crucified. Hence, the reported action of Mt 26:3-4 was quite independent of what Jesus had been telling his disciples, and did not necessarily sequentially follow it in time. In other places in Matthew where "then" is used at the beginning of a pericope (as in Mt 16:24, 19:13), it properly initiates an action that could not have taken place before a preceding action was completed. (An exception is the first word, "Then," in Mt 25; however, that whole chapter was found to be one large editorial insert. The other exception indicating redaction, Mt 26:14, is discussed below.) The strong implication is that the above pericope was invented, for even if this meeting of chief priests and elders had taken place, the writer of Matthew could not have known when it occurred relative to Jesus' series of long talks to his disciples.
SOLUTION. The writer of Matthew indeed used a favorite word of his, "then" (translated into "tote" in the Greek), to introduce his pericope in a seemingly smooth manner. The finding below, that the final verse of the pericope, Mt 26:5, is a redaction, supports this solution, as, of course, does the TJ's lack of a cognate.
The fact that neither Pharisees nor scribes are involved in this meeting further supports this solution. The writer of Matthew did not wish to implicate them if he did not have to, because, as we have seen previously, he appears to have once been a Pharisee himself and still favored most of their teachings.
It is not at all clear that a literary hoaxer would have known enough to omit this passage. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Mt 26:5 5But they [chief priests and elders] said, "Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. This refers to their plotting to arrest Jesus. It turns out, according to the apparent timing of the crucifixion events given in Matthew, that Jesus' arrest occurred soon after the Passover feast while the ceremony was still in progress. This contradicts the above verse. Beare (p. 503) mentioned this problem.
SOLUTION. This kind of error is suggestive of a falsified account due to editorial alteration of the facts, and is less likely to occur when a real life situation is honestly reported. However, had a literary hoaxer been aware of this problem, he would likely have corrected the verse in some manner, such as by saying, "Let's arrest him during the feast, while the people are all inside"—but the TJ says no such thing. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
In speculating on why the writer of Matthew made this mistake, it may have been motivated by the desire to bolster the image of Jesus' popularity among the people and ensure he was no less popular than had been John the Baptist, whose popularity had instilled fear into Herod Antipas (Mt 14:5). As he continued his editing of the TJ to form his gospel, however, the writer of Matthew decided to delay the timing of the meal by one day so that this would be a Passover meal; the TJ mentions in passing that it was not a Passover meal (in TJ 31:32, which is omitted from Matthew). So the writer of Matthew inserted the phrases "eat the passover" and "keep the passover" into his text so that potential Jewish converts would find that Jesus had been an observant Jew, and perhaps so that early Christians would give to the Last Supper an importance equal to that of the Seder within Judaism. On this, G. A. Wells states, "The early Christians were Jews who did not drop the Passover (any more than they did the OT [Old Testament]), but understood it in their own way and in time (as they moved further away from Jewish ideas) refashioned it."
Thus the writer of Matthew made a few small alterations of the TJ text in order to explicitly mention the Passover meal. In so doing, however, he apparently forgot that the present verse, Mt 26:5, was discordant. This seems like one viable explanation. The other problem this redaction would cause is to shorten Jesus' period of entombment by one day—from three to two, thus causing the prophecy on this to be flawed.
TJ 27:17-25 17Und Jmmanuel beendete seine Rede und machte sich auf nach Bethanien zum Hause Simons, des Aussätzigen. 18Siehe, da trat zu ihm eine Frau, die hatte ein Glas mit köstlichem Wasser und goss es auf sein Haupt, als er zu Tische sass. 19So das aber seine Jünger sahen, wurden sie zornig und unwillig und sprachen: «Wozu soll sie gut sein, diese Vergeudung? 20Dieses Wasser hätte können teuer verkauft werden, so der Erlös den Armen diene.» 21Da dies aber Jmmanuel hörte, fuhr er seine Jünger unwillig an und sprach: «Was bekümmert ihr die Frau? 22An mir hat sie getan ein gutes Werk, denn sie vertraut meiner Lehre und zeuget so ihren Dank, so ihr nichts ist zu teuer. 23Diese Frau ist weise geworden und lebet nach den Gesetzen der Schöpfung, daher danket sie es mir mit dem köstlichen Wasser. 24Ihr Dank aber wird von Dauer sein, und ihre Tat soll fortan genennet sein in aller Welt. 25Wahrlich, ich sage euch: Wo meine Lehre gepredigt wird in aller Welt, ob sie verfälschet sei oder wahr, da wird man auch sagen zu ihrem Gedächtnis, was sie getan hat.»
THE PROBLEMS. (a) First there is a minor problem of how Jesus and disciples found themselves in Bethany. They had last been placed on the Mount of Olives.
(b) This woman, whose name the writer of the gospel's source apparently did not remember, would not have been aware of Jesus' coming crucifixion; only his disciples had been told of that. Thus, as Beare (p. 506) mentioned, she would not have poured the ointment on him for the reason later placed upon Jesus' lips—as a preparation for burial. Hence this is another anachronism.
(c) It must be questioned if the word "gospel" would have been used by the original writer, since its Gothic derivation ("god spell" or "good spell") is a translation of the Greek "eu-aggelion," or "good news," which was first expressed in Paul's Greek writings of his epistles, referring to an oral gospel. During his own ministry, Jesus did not refer to his own teachings as good news, and in the present Matthean context it could scarcely be called "good news" that Jesus was being prepared for burial. Hence "gospel," as used here, was inauthentic—another anachronism.
(d) The pericope of the Bethany event is very awkwardly sandwiched between the plotting of the chief priests and elders in the temple in Jerusalem to arrest Jesus, and the skullduggery of Judas Iscariot with the chief priests. This then is strongly suggestive of being a consequence of editorial action.
SOLUTION. (a) The parallel TJ text does picture Jesus and disciples going to Bethany; (b) the woman poured the ointment for a logical reason, to which Beare's criticism does not apply; (c) in the TJ this objection against use of the word "gospel" does not exist, as the word "teachings" occurs there; and (d) no such sandwiching occurs in the TJ text. There, the pericope is preceded by Jmmanuel's long talk before they left for Bethany, and is followed by Jmmanuel continuing to talk to his disciples (for another seven verses). The problems resulted from the editorial alterations to the TJ text made by the writer of Matthew. A partial exception is to be made regarding (c), however. The Semitic Gospel of Matthew presumably had the Semitic equivalent of "good news" in place of "gospel," and it was the later translator who utilized the Greek word for "gospel."
The odds are not good indeed that a literary hoaxer could have foreseen at least three of these Matthean problems. Instead, in each instance the odds strongly favor the TJ being genuine (with a probability of hoax certainly no greater than 0.30 to 0.35) and the writer of Matthew having edited it. Accumulating three probabilities each of this value gives PHoax ≈ 0.1 for this passage. As noted in the Introduction, this evaluation allows that Jmmanuel could have been, or was, a true prophet in the sense of long-range prophecies, not just short range. Those who cannot accept this, e.g., Beare, (p. 506), regard it as a saying of unknown origin.
THE PROBLEMS. The writer of Matthew either placed this story slightly too early in his text, or else failed to introduce it properly, because he starts out with "Then...." At that time, however, Jesus and the disciples were in Bethany, not Jerusalem where the chief priests were. Bethany is a mostly uphill walk of some 20 miles from Jerusalem. Either way, the error is suggestive of an editorial hand being involved.
It has been pointed out by C. Guignebert  and others that it doesn't really make sense that Judas would have betrayed Jesus for a paltry 30 pieces of silver since, as treasurer for the Twelve, he could have pilfered more than this on various occasions. (For the information that he was treasurer, one must make use of Jn 12:6 and 13:29.)
It is most improbable that the chief priests would simply hand over 30 pieces of silver to one of the twelve disciples of Jesus without first hearing from the disciple as to why he was disgruntled with his lord. They would obviously first wish to judge whether he was seemingly sincere in his willingness to betray his teacher. It is also improbable that a disciple would ask for an audience of chief priests to ask them for money without any prior announcement by them that a "blood-money" award was being offered, and equally improbable that an associate of Jesus would even be granted an audience alone with the chief priests.
And how would the writer of Matthew learn the words that Judas spoke to the chief priests, and that it was from that moment on he sought to betray Jesus? The writer was no prophet and mind reader like Jesus was, and Judas would not have shared his betrayal plans with any of the other disciples. He committed suicide, supposedly, too soon afterwards to have divulged this information to any other who might have contacted the writer of Matthew. And it isn't realistic to suppose that the writer of Matthew, or the disciple Matthew, went to the chief priests afterwards and quizzed them about the matter, since the disciples scattered after Jesus' arrest.
Furthermore, what Judas asks the chief priests lies within a quotation, as if it were (a translation of) his direct words. However, it is unlikely that he would have said "if I deliver him to you." More likely he would have named Jesus here or first let the chief priests know whom he was talking about. Hence, this does not read like it derived from real speech.
SOLUTION. The first three quoted sentences from the TJ account are the cognates to the first two Matthean verses; the following ones are included for clarity. We see from the TJ account that Jmmanuel used his powers of foreknowledge or "remote-viewing" to become informed about the plot in progress against him. Although such an ability or power of the spirit may seem incredible, is it any more so than his ability to restore a blind man's sight, cure a leper, to know from a distance that the daughter (of Jairus) was not dead after all but was asleep (Mt 9:24), or to read the thoughts of others (Mt 9:4 and TJ 9:4)? Hence in the TJ account Jmmanuel's prescience on this did take place while he and the disciples were still in Bethany, which explains why the writer of Matthew mistakenly placed his altered version at about the same time.
With the betrayer being a young Pharisee (Juda)—a familiar acquaintance of Jmmanuel—the moral dilemma posed by Judas Iscariot being the betrayer vanishes. As noted in previous discussions, comparison of the TJ with the Gospel of John indicates that John's writer did have some knowledge of the TJ, and the fact that Judas was treasurer for the Twelve (TJ 14:3) was one of the items from the TJ that he made use of.
TJ 27:28-29 indicates that the chief priests had made known, at least among certain circles, that they were offering money for help in having Jesus be arrested. They would be much more quickly convinced that a Pharisee, or son of a prominent Pharisee, would indeed be sincere in offering to help them capture Jmmanuel than if a disciple had made the offer. And as seen in both the Matthean and TJ verses, the chief priests were quickly convinced that the would-be betrayer would perform his task. This problem qualifies as one of "Matthean fatigue," since the writer first alters the Pharisee Juda into the disciple Judas, but then returns to an abbreviated form of the TJ account, forgetting that he should also have altered the latter account so as to have the chief priests quiz Judas thoroughly as to his sincerity and reasons for wishing to betray Jesus.
Verse 27:30 of the TJ, involving "a plot against one among you," seems likely to have been the words suggesting to the writer of Matthew in Mt 26:21 to state that "one of you" would be the betrayer, thus keeping the matter uncertain so that the other disciples would not prevent Judas from going out to do his supposed deed.
The additional TJ verses also explain how it was that the near coincidence in names allowed the chief priests' rumor to stick, of the betrayer being Judas Iscariot rather than the Pharisee's son, Juda Iharioth. It may be noted that it was quite possible for a false rumor to be promulgated in those days; during the reign of the Seleucid Antiochus IV, in the 2nd century B.C., a false rumor spread throughout Jerusalem that he had been killed, which led to much public celebration [4.1].
The TJ solves so many Matthean problems here in such realistic and novel ways that the hoax hypothesis can scarcely even be entertained. PHoax ≈ 0.05.
TJ 27:34 34Es geschah aber am ersten Tage der ungesäuerten Brote, dass Jmmanuel sprach zu seinen Jüngern: «Gehet hin in die Stadt zu einem mir guten Freund namens Aaron und sprecht zu ihm: ‹Jmmanuel lässt dir sagen: Ich will bei dir ein letztes Mahl halten mit meinen Jüngern, denn siehe, das Passahfest ist nahe.›»THE PROBLEMS. Just who is this "such a one?" Does the phrase actually mean that the person's name was forgotten by the original writer of Matthew or of its source? More important, if the disciples did not say who had sent them, except for calling Jesus "the Teacher," this would not likely be a sufficient clue for the person to know whom they were talking about. Further, it is quite unlikely that the disciples would be told to disclose the private information related to "My time is near," because this person, even more so than the disciples, would not know what they were talking about.
SOLUTION. In the TJ text the disciples were told whom to ask for in passing along Jmmanuel's request; further, they were to state who had made the request. Although one may question how Jmmanuel could be so sure that Aaron could allow them to use his house on such short notice, the fact that he was a good friend of Jmmanuel makes the request less surprising, or less of an imposition, than in the Matthean account.
But if the name "Aaron" had indeed been remembered for use within the TJ source text, why would the writer of Matthew not have utilized it in his gospel? Considering that writer's fondness for Moses, the reason could well be that, in contrast, he held Moses's brother, Aaron, in contempt for his great sin of having made the golden, molten calf along with an altar so that the people of Israel could worship it and sacrifice to it while Moses was delayed in coming down from Mount Sinai (Ex 32:1-8). Moreover, at Ex 32:33 the LORD tells Moses that he will blot out of his book the name of whoever sinned against him, and the sin in mind was Aaron's great sin. So if God would do that, the writer of Matthew could do no less—omit Aaron's name. This hypothesis is consistent with his similar treatment of genealogical names of the "fallen angels" (see under Mt 1:2-3,5-6), of omitting Nazareth at one point (see under Mt 13:54, Mt 14:1) and "the other Mary" in Mt 28:1, to be discussed under that verse heading. The Gospel of Matthew makes no mention anywhere of Moses's brother Aaron, or of the Levites, whereas Luke, for example, does.
The above objections are too unknown to expect a literary hoaxer to have invented them. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
THE PROBLEM. Here we have moved on ahead to the Lord's Supper. Beare (p. 508) noticed how remarkable it would have been if each disciple wondered whether he would be capable of betraying his lord. That is, not just one disciple, but all of them are supposed to have thought this lowly of themselves.
SOLUTION. The disciples did not think thus of themselves. In his invention of text for the Last Supper for the purpose of replacing unacceptable TJ text, the writer of Matthew ended up with this most improbable scenario.
THE PROBLEM. Here Jesus goes too far towards identifying who this betrayer would be. Just two verses previously he had already let the disciples know that it would be one of them. Now he is letting them know more precisely: it could only be a disciple who was sitting within arm's reach of Jesus, and who reached into the dish the same time Jesus did. This would have eliminated most of the twelve disciples from contention. Those who had not dipped in the dish at the same time Jesus did, or had not even partaken of that dish yet, would know that each other was innocent. They should have evinced strong objections and emotions at that time against the potential betrayer, if the story were genuine. However, they do not. Essentially the same objection applies two verses later also. It cannot be claimed that the disciples were too timid or too reverential in front of Jesus to voice their consternation or ask for an explanation, as Peter did just that at Mt 15:15, 16:22, 19:27. And the sons of Zebedee did not mind their mother asking that they enjoy favored positions in the coming kingdom (Mt 20:22).
Of course, if there were any realism to this story, the eleven disciples who already knew that they were not in any way going to betray their Lord would have spoken out, demanding that Jesus tell them immediately who the betrayer would be (not who he was).
SOLUTION. The story suffers from the objection because it was only an invented story.
THE PROBLEM. Even if the disciples knew they were to equate this Son of man with Jesus, they would still not begin to understand what possible connection this had to the coming ordeal that Jesus had prophesied. For the son of man in Daniel was given dominion, glory and kingdom, with no mention of having to undergo a crucifixion. Further, Jesus could not have expected his disciples to know what Scriptural reference he had in mind, which some scholars, however, might assume was Psalm 41:
9Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
However, this was David speaking this psalm, and this line was not part of a prophecy involving anyone else.
SOLUTION. Evidently, the writer of Matthew continued to have Daniel's vision of the "son of man" in mind, in equating it to Jesus, and perhaps the psalm also. Although the Matthean verse would have made no sense to the disciples, it could make sense decades later to the ex-Pharisee Christian convert who wrote Matthew, and who could overlook the inconsistencies involved in his eagerness to impress the messianic appellation upon Jesus.
THE PROBLEMS. Some who see this verse as Jesus' affirmation that Judas was the betrayer have criticized it for not having provoked any consternation or action among the other eleven disciples. Would they have continued to eat calmly on? This criticism is usually circumvented by assuming this conversation between Judas and Jesus was whispered (Beare, p. 508). If so, however, how did a non-Judas author ever learn about these whispered words to later write about it? Either way, then, this verse presents a logical problem, reflecting an exchange that did not take place.
And the exchange is inconclusive, since the question "Is it I?" is quite different from the statement "It is I," which Judas would need to have spoken if he had actually admitted his intent as Jesus indicated. However, it is quite fanciful as well, since in reality Judas would in all likelihood have avoided asking the question. Actually, he would have needed to exit from the supper quite early in order to have enough time to carry out his supposed role in the betrayal, and round up a large party of chief priests and enforcers armed with clubs. Yet there is no mention that he left the meal before it was over. In fact, Mt 26:35 indicates that all the disciples were at the Mount of Olives following their meal together.
Another indication of unreality of the conversation, assuming it took place almost as written, is that the disciples would have asked, "will it be me (or I)?" not "Is it I?" It was the writer of Matthew who had Judas in his mind as the betrayer ever since verse Mt 10:4b, and for years or decades beforehand. But Judas could not become a betrayer until after having committed an act of betrayal. This then is an anachronism indicated by the use of the wrong verb tense. (Both Aramaic and Greek of course possessed the future tense as an integral part of the language.)
SOLUTION. The illogic arose from the writer having invented this and neighboring verses. The overemphasis on Judas as betrayer need not have been fed in here unless the compiler for some reason wished to make it redundantly clear that the betrayer was not someone else, but was Judas. The suspicion thus presents itself that the betrayer was not Judas Iscariot. This the TJ makes clear; Judas was the writer among the Twelve. The betrayer, who later committed suicide, was a young Pharisee by the name of Juda, as has been noted previously.
Now, concerning the hypothesis that the TJ is a literary hoax: a hoaxer who omitted the previous three Matthean verses would need to omit this one also. However, each Matthean verse or sentence that receives valid criticisms indicating it is a redaction (and for which there is no TJ cognate), deserves a PHoax rating at least a little less than 0.5—the sentence being the minimum textual unit for which a probability judgment may be assessed. However, to be conservative here and consistent with the procedure elsewhere, as in Mt 25, we assign PHoax ≈ 0.45 for this entire block of four Matthean verses.
The writer of Mark evidently found this verse of Matthew to be unnecessary or unrealistic, too. So he omitted it when writing his gospel. Hence many present-day New Testament scholars are content to conclude it is not genuine in Matthew simply because we don't find it in Mark.
TJ 27:40 40Da sie aber assen, nahm Jmmanuel das Brot und brach’s und gab’s den Jüngern und sprach: «Nehmet und esset; der Leib bedarf der Nahrung in Not und Trauer also.»
THE PROBLEM. Without going into the old dispute over transubstantiation, or how a piece of bread can be equated to a body, we may note Marcus Borg's conclusion: "As a sacrament of bread and wine presupposing the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is manifestly a post-Easter development," hence an anachronism. This means a development occurring within the Christian church after it began to emerge and diverge from Judaism. Borg also notes, "It is difficult to make any historical judgment about the details of the 'last supper,' including the words actually spoken by Jesus, simply because the remembrance and celebration of it were so central in the worship of the early church."
Also, as discussed under Mt 14:19, the abbreviated form "and blessed" developed only after the Christian communion ritual had developed.
SOLUTION. We see that the TJ contains the basis upon which simple redactions by the compiler could have altered it into the early church's developing communion practice. Such practice was perhaps built upon still earlier practices of the Essenes, of Mithraists, or even of early Judaism. As an example of the latter, an inscription concerning the ancient Semitic goddess Anat (the daughter of El and Asherah) reads,
Anat devoured his [Baal's] flesh without a knife, she drank his blood without a cup.
This caused one researcher of this inscription, A. W. Eaton, to comment that it "raises new questions about the origins of the religious ideal of the faithful eating the body and drinking the blood of their god."
Although in 1 Cor 11:23-26 Paul apparently wrote down the detailed wording of the Communion ceremony, this is almost certainly a later addition to his epistle. In this passage it says Paul received the words from the Lord, yet at the time of his encounter with the bright light and the voice on the Road to Damascus—his only encounter with the risen "Jesus"—he would have been in a state of fear or amazement, wondering who/what it was, and in no mood to receive strange words of ritual. None of the accounts of this encounter in Acts say that any such words were spoken to Saul/Paul. Three verses before this point, at 1 Cor 11:20, where Paul was discussing dissension occurring among brethren of the church in Corinth when eating together, he made mention of eating a supper or dinner in a "lordly" manner, or a manner befitting their Lord (this is incorrectly translated as eating the Lord's supper in most Bibles). This very likely prompted a later interpolator to add the Communion passage to this epistle at this point, after the Gospels had come out. This solution explains why the words of the Eucharist within the Gospels differ so much from one another, and why some manuscripts of Luke give the Short Text version and others give the Long Text. Only some time after the Gospels appeared did a consensus arise on how to word the Eucharist.
According to W. R. Halliday, the early church fathers did notice the close similarity in many of their sacraments with those of Mithraism. These included the Communion ceremony with its bread and wine, the sealing of initiates, and the promise of resurrection. However, they chose to call this a parody initiated by the devil rather than to wonder if their practices did not trace back to Mithraism and other pagan rites.
Mithraism was a Persian religion involving the worship of Mithras, their god of light, and was brought into the Roman world during the first century B.C. A passage from the Mithraic communion reads:
He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.
The Essenes are reported to have engaged in rites very much like the Lord's Supper sacrament early in the first century, causing A. P. Davies to state, "there is no certainty that the accounts of the Lord's Supper in the New Testament have not been edited to accord with the practice (and doctrine) of a later time. He also noted the possibility that the ritual could have derived from Mithraism or have been picked up from Mithraism by the Essenes.
Thus the seeds of the Communion sacrament had already been planted, through early Judaism, Mithraism or the Essenes, so that the only other prompting needed by the early church in adapting the rite to Christianity was the knowledge that Jesus and his disciples had eaten a final meal together, including bread and wine, before the crucifixion. The lack of a Communion sacrament within the TJ is therefore consistent with its authenticity.
The TJ verse may seem rather mundane in comparison with the Matthean verse. But this merely reflects the fact that the first few Matthean words start out like those of the TJ, which then departs from what is expected by the Christian from years of recital of the Communion creed. The radical nature of the latter (this bread is Jesus' body) is thus taken for granted by the Christian, who comes to think nothing of it, whereas the TJ's words may then seem bland or strange by comparison. However, they form a piece of wisdom teaching that a literary hoaxer would be very unlikely to invent because of their very simplicity. The non-genuineness of the Matthean verse then contrasts with the realism of the TJ verse to allow us to assign PHoax ≈ 0.25.
TJ 27:41-43 41Und er nahm den Kelch, gab ihnen den und sprach: «Trinket alle daraus; die Kehle dürstet auch dann, so ein Tag voller Regen ist und kalt. 42Wahrlich, ich sage euch: Nicht hungert und dürstet ein Weiser wegen irgendwelcher Dinge, die geschehen müssen. 43Ein Narr aber hungert und dürstet durch Unvernunft und Hader wider Dinge, die geschehen müssen.»
THE PROBLEM. In this passage from the Last Supper, Beare (p. 509) concluded that the writer of Matthew had inserted the "forgiveness of sins" phrase in order to put across the concept that sins are forgiven through Christ's shedding of blood on the cross. Although Beare's reasoning was prompted by comparison with the parallel passage in Mark, it appears valid in essence, since the original concept of "blood of the covenant" stems from Moses having promised the LORD to obey his ordinances in return for the LORD promising to terrorize the enemies of the Jewish people (Ex 23:27). This covenant was sealed through the dispersal of blood from sacrificed oxen, as described in Exodus:
Ex 24:8 And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."
Davies and Allison seem to admit to the institutional nature of the Last-Supper wording within Mt 26:26-29 when they agree it is "an aetiological cult narrative." That is, it is an anachronistic discourse imposed by the writer of Matthew rather than being a faithful rendition of actual words spoken by Jesus.
SOLUTION. Although the original blood of the covenant had nothing to do with forgiveness of sins, a later passage in Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34) does connect the forgiveness of sins with a new covenant. This, then, along with his reverence for scripture involving Moses, may well have provided the writer of Matthew with the motivation and justification for including the phrase in this verse.
The TJ's phrase, "the cup," suggests that there was only one cup available—a large one that was passed around. This contrasts with Matthew's "a cup," which could imply a smaller cup available for each disciple. Movies and paintings that portray the scene the TJ's way thus may indeed be more historical.
TJ 27:41 is essentially the same as Mt 26:27 except for its last clause, not in Matthew. The TJ's following two verses, also not in Matthew, give a simple wisdom saying, or piece of philosophy, which forms an integral part of TJ 27:41b. The absence of Mt 26:28 from the TJ, along with the latter's unique wisdom saying, speak in favor of the TJ over Matthew here. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
Considering Mt 26:20-28 as a whole, it may be noticed that this last supper episode in no way resembles a Passover dinner ceremony. There is no mention of the Paschal lamb, or of recitation of the Haggadah stories, or of having four cups of wine per person. In making alterations in the TJ designed to turn the supper into a Eucharist, the writer of Matthew exhibited "fatigue" in not following up on his earlier alterations indicating it was a Passover meal (Mt 26:17b-19). He forgot to add in the Passover rituals.
Mark's version of the Last Supper does not contain the forgiveness phrase, it may be noted, suggesting that its writer felt gentiles would not understand a connection between shedding of blood and forgiveness of sins. Instead, Mark's main forgiveness verse occurs at the Jordan River baptism passage (Mk 1:4), perhaps because it was understood that baptism (washing or cleansing) was a time of repentance, and forgiveness of sins is more sensibly associated with repentance than with bleeding. Thus the Markan location of this forgiveness phrase appears to constitute another Markan improvement over Matthew.
TJ 27:38 38«Wahrlich, ich sage euch: Ich werde von nun an nicht mehr vom Gewächs des Weinstockes trinken und nicht vom Brotkorn essen bis an den Tag, da ich’s nach meiner Prüfung neu trinken und essen werde mit euch.»
THE PROBLEM. This verse has been identified by B. S. Crawford as belonging with several others scattered throughout the Gospel that talk of Jesus' return being soon. This is with the interpretation that his return would be at his Second Coming. The latter must have been soon, then, if his disciples would still be alive to drink wine with him. Hence the verse must be a redaction along with these others, since the Second Coming had not taken place even by the time of the writing of Matthew.
Its ambiguity is also cause for suspicion of its genuineness, since the disciples were never informed what the Father's kingdom is. Here, "my Father's kingdom" seems to be the same as Earth, if grapes grow there on vines supported by soil, if wine is made out of them, and if people there enjoy the taste of wine and need to drink liquids.
SOLUTION. This TJ verse needed editing by the writer of Matthew only in its last portion, but that was sufficient to have caused the problem. However, one may wonder why the writer omitted mention of "the grain of the bread" and only spoke of "the fruit of the vine." One possible reason is that speaking of drinking wine and eating bread both would sound too much like Jesus and disciples would be having a normal earthly meal, and the compiler was intent upon omitting anything that could imply that Jesus survived the crucifixion. At the same time, drinking wine would presumably be one of the pleasures of heaven, which he therefore included with alteration, whereas his picture of heaven may have been that one doesn't eat food there. Also, by placing this altered TJ verse just after the Last Supper's ritual wording, it would fit in well with the "blood of the covenant" of his previous verse, if it referred only to wine and not also to bread.
In the TJ there is no mention of Jmmanuel eating or drinking again until his much later appearance to his disciples, which finds a parallel with Jn 21:1-13. Although this would verify the prophecy, it would be much too long a fast. One possible solution to this TJ problem is that Jmmanuel did eat and drink some with his disciples on their first meeting, on the evening of the day he departed from the tomb (TJ 31:32-40), but that detail went unreported. Another is that he had to abstain from grains and wine, with its blood-thinning effect, while subsisting on more easily digestible items until his internal healing was complete. PHoax ≈ 0.5.
THE PROBLEM. This verse gives a glimpse of the Christian customs—singing a hymn—that had evolved by the time of Matthew's compilation, as noted by Beare (p. 510). Thus it is another anachronism.
SOLUTION. The TJ does not have this verse, but instead contains verses (27:44-47) in which Jmmanuel deplores the disciples' continuing failure to comprehend how his coming ordeal would be culminated by his rising from near-death and leaving the tomb. It is thus understandable that the compiler of Matthew omitted them and substituted a verse all his own. PHoax ≈ 0.45.
Jmmanuel and the disciples did not go to the Mount of Olives then, only to Gethsemane.
TJ 27:44-48 44«Und wahrlich, ich sage euch: So ihr jetzt meine Worte nicht verstehet und deswegen an mir Ärgernis nehmt, so werdet ihr in dieser Nacht an mir Ärgernis nehmen, weil euch euer Verstand noch immer nicht in Erkenntnis erleuchtet ist. 45Wenn ich aber aus dem Halbtode und also aus dem Grabe scheinbar auferstehe, will ich vor euch hingehen nach Galiläa, so ihr erkennen möget die Wahrheit meiner Worte. 46Wissen habe ich euch gelehret und die Wahrheit, doch aber seid ihr in Zweifel und vertraut mir nicht. 47Ihr Kleinmütigen und ihr Kleinvertrauenden; wie werdet ihr erschrecken und verwirret sein, so ich euch nach dem Halbtode wieder begegne.» 48Petrus aber antwortete und sprach zu ihm: «Wenn sie auch alle Ärgernis nähmen an dir, so würde ich dies doch nie tun.»
THE PROBLEMS. Beare's common-sense criticism here (p. 510) was that Jesus would not be able to lead his disciples, or go ahead of them, to Galilee if they had already scattered and left the Jerusalem area. It seems that the compiler recalled a citation from Zechariah:
Zec 13:7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me," says the LORD of hosts. "Strike the shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered;...."
and found it to be sufficiently apropos that he could not refrain from inserting a close version of it here.
Another problem, however, is that in the preferred Greek reading, instead of "You will all fall away because of me" it translates as "You all will be offended at me." Thus, the "scattered sheep" simile is even less applicable, since being offended need not lead to desertion. But why would the disciples be offended?
SOLUTION. Only TJ 27:45 & 48 have partial Matthean parallels. The TJ passage does not contain the Zechariah verse, nor any cognate to Mt 26:31, and so the inconsistency does not arise there. In TJ 27:45 Jmmanuel explains to his disciples that he will go before them to Galilee so that they can see for themselves (for the second time, it turns out) that he spoke the truth when prophesying he would not die at the crucifixion. Since this great heresy is what "truth" refers to here, the last clause of this TJ verse may have been omitted entirely by the compiler, not just altered, in order to remove this meaning utterly and totally.
In TJ 27:44 we see that Jmmanuel had been telling the disciples that they would be angry or annoyed with him that night because they would not understand what he had told them, about his coming ordeal. This is what Peter responded to, in saying he would never be angry at him. It appears that the translators of the New Testament from the Greek chose a meaning ("fall away" rather than "offended") that went beyond the actual meaning of the Greek word in order that the Zechariah citation would seem more applicable. And here the German word "Halbtod," which could be translated as "half death" has been translated as "near death" as in the TJ's 3rd edition, while the 4th edition uses the term "apparent death."
Could a literary hoaxer have invented the text of this TJ passage, make it fit the personality of Jmmanuel, and avoid the two Matthean problems, one of which is very serious and the other quite obscure? The evident answer is "No chance," to which we shall conservatively assign PHoax ≈ 0.05.
TJ 27:50-51 50Und Petrus widersprach: «Nie wird es so sein; und wenn ich mit dir sterben müsste, so will ich dich nie verleugnen.» 51Und so sprachen sie alle seine Jünger, und also vertrauten sie nicht Jmmanuels Worten.
THE PROBLEM. Judas would have had to leave the other disciples before this time, even before the last supper was over, in order to inform the chief priests that an opportunity had arisen to arrest Jesus, and in time to round up the many others ("a great crowd" according to Mt 26:47) who would capture him. And there would be very little time for this, since the non-genuineness of Mt 26:30 indicates that they did not first go to the Mount of Olives. The Gospel of John tries to get around this problem by having Judas leave in the midst of the meal (Jn 13:30). Yet here in Matthew it is indicated that all the disciples were present at this time, and that they then went to Gethsemane where, a while later, Judas is seen to approach with the chief priests and crowd. This problem has been pointed out by H. Maccoby. Is the reader supposed to think that, starting from the time the disciples were all at the Mount of Olives, Judas is not to be thought of as a disciple and thus not counted among the twelve? This assumption would be quite unrealistic, as Judas could not be considered "the betrayer" until after he had committed the deed.
SOLUTION. The writer of Matthew felt he could leave the meaning of these two TJ verses mostly intact, as they did not contain unacceptable or offensive material like so many others had. He would not, for example, eliminate Peter's denial, because then he would not be able to display Jesus' related prophecy and its fulfillment. But he overlooked the fact that Judas should not then still have been there, and copied the TJ's "all of his disciples" essentially intact. (Within the TJ's account, of course, Judas Iscariot was indeed there.) Later, at Mt 28:16, he indicated by "the eleven disciples" there that he could have stated it the same way at this earlier point if he had thought of it.
This objection is not particularly well known by NT scholars. The TJ's straightforward narration of Juda Iharioth as the betrayer then explains Matthew's "all the disciples" at this point, as in the TJ text. This can also be called "Matthean fatigue," since the writer of Matthew had crafted Judas Iscariot to replace Juda Iharioth as betrayer, but then grew careless or "fatigued" toward the end of his alterations and inadvertently allowed this piece of TJ text, "all the disciples" ("alle seine Jünger" in the German), to survive unedited. This then contributes to the low estimate of probability of the hoax hypothesis listed under Mt 26:14-16.
One sees that the writer of Mark pretty well avoided this error, either intentionally or by accident, by referring to the disciples as "they," "them" or "they all," but not as "all the disciples" (Mk 14:26,31-32). The writer of Luke avoided it similarly, though he did once refer to "the disciples" after Judas would have had to absent himself (Lk 22:39).
TJ 28:1-19 1So sie dann verliessen das Haus Aarons und dessen Weib in Jerusalem, ging Jmmanuel mit seinen Jüngern zum Hofe Gethsemane; der gehörte einem Manne namens Joshua, der Jmmanuel wohl gesinnet war. 2Im weiten Garten des Hofes sprach er zu seinen Jüngern: «Setzet euch hierhin, bis dass ich dorthin gehe und mich meinen Gedanken hingebe.» ...4Und er sprach zu ihnen: «Sehet, wohl bin ich weise und besitze grosses Wissen, doch aber ängstige ich mich vor dem mir Bekannten und doch unbekannten Kommenden, denn so ist es dem Menschen eigen, auch wenn er wissend und weise ist. 5Mein Sinn ist betrübt bis an den Tod; daher bleibet bei mir und wachet mit mir, dass ich mich nicht so allein fühle.» ...11Und er kam zurück zu seinen Jüngern und fand sie schlafend, und also sprach er zu Petrus: «Könnet ihr denn nicht eine Stunde mit mir wachen, so ich in meiner schweren Stunde nicht alleine sei?»... 13Zum andern Mal ging er wieder hin, fiel auf sein Angesicht und sprach: «Ist’s nicht möglich, dass dieser Kelch an mir vorübergehe, so trinke ich ihn denn, so ich erleuchtet werde in diesem Geheimnis und meine Mission in fernem Lande und in alle Zukunft erfülle.» 14Und er kam und fand die Jünger abermals schlafend, und nur Judas Ischarioth wachte mit ihm. ...17Und er zitterte am ganzen Leibe, und feines Schweissblut ergoss sich über ihn, da er so sehr fürchtete und ängstigte. 18Rot im Angesicht kam er zurück zu seinen Jüngern und sprach zu ihnen: «Wollt ihr nun schlafen und ruhen, oder wollt ihr mit mir wachen, denn sehet, die Stunde ist da, dass ich in die Hände der Schergen überantwortet werde. 19Steht auf also und lasset uns gehen, denn sehet, die Schergen kommen.»
THE PROBLEMS. Beare (p. 512) mentioned the seeming senselessness of Jesus asking three of his disciples to come with him a little way, only to tell them to stay where they were while he went apart by himself to pray. And he was suspicious that the words "My soul is very sorrowful" had not come from Jesus but were placed on his lips by the compiler in analogy to Psalms 42:5,6 or 11, where the theme "Why are you cast down, O my soul?" is repeated.
The syntax or logic in Mt 26:42 is entangled. It says in essence that if the ordeal (cup) cannot be avoided except by confronting it (drinking of it), then let his Father's will be done. Jesus does confront it by allowing himself to be arrested, but obviously the ordeal of crucifixion is not thereby avoided.
Beare (p. 512) also noted the witness problem: that none of the disciples could have overheard Jesus' prayer, since even the three who were closest to him had fallen asleep. Hence, there was no witness other than Jesus himself. So how did the writer of Matthew ever learn about it?
Also, the standard Greek text, as well as earlier Bibles until the present century, instead presented Jesus' final question to his disciples as the statement, "Sleep on now, and take your rest... Arise, let us be going." Beare (p. 515) realized how puzzling these words are. The disciples are already asleep—why then tell them to sleep? Then, immediately afterwards, why tell them to rise? One interpretation might be that Jesus was using irony or sarcasm in speaking this oxymoron to his disciples. However, the solemnity of the occasion renders this very improbable, and an abrupt transition from solemnity to irony and back to solemnity lacks realism.
SOLUTION. In the TJ, Jmmanuel tells the three why he needed a few others there with him to share his trepidation and grief. And we see that he did not paraphrase any psalm here, in saying "My mind is deathly grieved." Only after speaking with them, for five verses, did he walk some distance away, prostrate himself (more literally, "fall on his face"), and voice the first of his three laments.
And in the TJ a key difference is seen, after Jmmanuel's second lament, when Judas Iscariot mentions that he had stayed awake. He had actually joined the three earlier, before Jmmanuel's first lament. Thus, the witness problem does not exist here; either Jmmanuel later dictated the text to Judas to write down, or else, if Judas did not later remember what Jmmanuel's words had been, as seems likely, he could ask him for his recollection.
The logical problem of Mt 26:42 may have arisen from too hasty an editing of the TJ sentence that implies he would survive the crucifixion. The writer of Matthew should have penned something like, "My Father, if it isn't possible for this cup to pass me by, I will drink it in accordance with your will." On the other hand, the problem might have arisen from a faulty translation during conversion of Semitic Matthew into Greek.
Regarding the "Sleep on now and arise" text, the Greek version comes close to what is in the TJ, except that in the latter it is posed as a question with an alternative: "sleep and rest now ...or watch with me?" It is likely that the TJ's version was altered by the compiler from a question to a statement in order to make Jesus into more of an authority figure—giving commands rather than asking questions. This motivation for redaction is well known, and was kept in mind by Beare in questioning a subsequent verse, Mt 26:50, to be discussed below. Then, in modern times when it was felt that small alterations could be made to improve the understanding, the Greek Matthew's "sleep on" instruction was converted into its present question in today's Bibles, as in the above RSV bible verse.
One may wonder why the writer of Matthew did not mention the name of the owner of the place in Gethsemane; such a detail tends to provide overall credibility to a fraudulent work. In this instance, however, the name had been "Joshua" (or "Yehoshua" in Hebrew), which is the same name as "Jesus." Thus it would have led to some confusion, or detracted from "Jesus the Christ," if he had included this information.
Regarding TJ 28:17, one can easily surmise that the writer of Matthew would not have retained a verse that spoke so graphically of the fear and terror within Immanuel/Jesus. However, the writer of Luke did include it in abbreviated form (Lk 22:44). This rare condition of blood mixed with sweat, which can arise during great stress due to breakage of tiny capillaries in the sweat glands, is known within medical dictionaries as hematidrosis.
There are at least three items within this passage, discussed above, which each point towards the TJ being genuine and Matthew being fraudulent. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
Mt 26:47 47While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
TJ 28:20 20While he was still speaking, behold, there came Juda Iharioth, the son of the Pharisee, and with him a large group of chief priests and elders of the people, armed with swords and poles.
TJ 28:20 20Und als er noch redete, siehe, da kam Juda Iharioth, des Pharisäers Sohn, und mit ihm eine grosse Schar von Hohenpriestern und den Ältesten des Volkes, bewaffnet mit Schwertern und mit Stangen.
THE PROBLEM. Judas Iscariot has already been amply identified as the disciple who betrayed Jesus—in Mt 10:4, 26:14-16, & 25, and there was never any doubt that he was one of the twelve. Why then this mention here of the obvious—that he was "one of the twelve"? The very next verse further identifies him as the betrayer, so it should not have been necessary to re-identify him here, unless there was some question that the person involved might have been someone other than Judas the disciple.
A minor problem, mentioned by Davies and Allison, is Matthew's use of "great crowd," as a great crowd could hardly have been assembled quickly from the chief priests and elders.
SOLUTION. The writer of Matthew evidently inserted "one of the twelve" in order that the text in front of him—the TJ—be completely negated. In so doing, he needlessly overemphasized Judas the disciple as the betrayer. And he inflated the size of the arresting group here as he so often did with other groups of people, but relative to the TJ, not relative to Mark.
At this point we may point out that this arrest took place during the evening of the Passover feast, in apparent contradiction to Mt 26:4-5. This then constitutes Matthean "fatigue," in that the writer had inserted Mt 26:3-5 saying that the plotters would avoid arresting Jesus "during the feast," but here, thanks also to Mt 26:17-19, we see that he continued with the TJ's sequence of events. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
TJ 28:23-26 23Und alsbald trat er zu Jmmanuel und sprach: «Gegrüsset seist du, Meister, der du mich das alte Leben reuig sein lässt, so ich nunmehr deine Lehre befolgen will.» 24Und alsdann berührte er Jmmanuel und tat den Verräterkuss. 25Jmmanuel aber sprach zu ihm: «Mein Freund, warum bist du gekommen mir in Lüge zu reden, denn in deinem Sinne und in deinem Tun brennet der Verrat.» 26Da traten sie hinzu, die Schergen, und legten die Hände an Jmmanuel und griffen ihn.
THE PROBLEMS. Since Judas had just been with Jesus at the last supper, it is altogether inappropriate that just an hour or two later he would have used a kiss to point out Jesus to the arresting party that night. A greeting kiss in those days, as now in Mideast countries, was generally used only after persons had been separated for a day or more. Moreover, C. S. Mann informs us that according to existent custom, no disciple would come up and even greet his teacher, if acting normally, as that would imply equality of the disciple with his master. Such kissing action on the part of the disciple Judas would thus have created suspicion in the mind of Jesus, not allay it, if he could not have foretold what was to come. Further, Mt 26:47 tries to let the reader know that Judas was supposed to have been away from Jesus and the other disciples following the last supper, since he then comes to Gethsemane with the arresting crowd. However, in Mt 26:35-36, Judas is instead placed at Gethsemane with the other disciples!
And again, the preferred Greek text renders Mt 26:50 differently as, "Friend, do that for which you have come." Beare (p. 516) deduced that a "why" had still earlier been present in the text, but had been removed by the writer of Matthew (or by a later redactor) who failed to reconstitute the sentence properly. The motivation for this, he and others feel, was so that Jesus would be portrayed as being firmly in command of all the events, including the betrayal.
SOLUTION. As noted earlier, in the TJ Juda is a Pharisee with whom Jmmanuel and the Twelve had been acquainted for some time, and on fairly friendly terms. A kiss of greeting would not have been out of place for him, since he probably had not talked with Jmmanuel or the disciples for many days or weeks (he is not mentioned as being in contact with Jmmanuel and the disciples since the TJ's chapter 14, just prior to when Jmmanuel spoke the many parables). However, Jmmanuel was able to sense his thoughts of betrayal.
This problem qualifies as another example of Matthean "fatigue." The writer of Matthew, having earlier altered Juda into Judas, at this point followed the TJ text, failing to invent a more appropriate method for Judas to have signaled which man was Jesus.
Beare would appear to have been correct that the "why" and its sense of question in Mt 26:50 had been removed from the Greek source texts, and for the reason he gave, but he could not, of course, have anticipated the large amount of further redaction indicated by the TJ. (The RSV Bible interpreted the Greek as allowing the "why" to be present, so for it this particular objection does not apply.)
The realism within the TJ text contrasts with the Matthean text, whose problems indicate lack of authenticity. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
TJ 28:27-29 27Und siehe, einer aus der Schar der Schergen besann sich, war schnell andern Sinnes und war mit Jmmanuel, so ihn gereute. 28Seine Hand reckte er aus, zog sein Schwert und schlug nach eines Hohenpriesters Knecht und hieb ihm ein Ohr ab. 29Da sprach Jmmanuel zu ihm: «Stecke dein Schwert an seinen Ort, denn wer das Schwert nimmt und ist nicht in Not, der soll durch das Schwert umkommen.»
THE PROBLEMS. There is a strange bit of obscurity in the first verse, in "one of those who were with Jesus." Only the disciples were in the group that was with him (as opposed to those against him who had approached the group), so why did the writer not say "one of the disciples?" And in so doing, why would he not name which disciple it was?
Secondly, it is clear that the second Matthean verse is not strictly true. Many who use weapons malevolently do not themselves perish through use of such, and even within Christianity the need to make use of weapons in time of war or civil defense is usually acknowledged.
Moreover, as stated by Davies and Allison, "That a disciple of Jesus wears a sword is unexpected and unexplained." Within the rather detailed set of instructions to the disciples of Mt 10:5-13 there is no mention of carrying a sword. Instead, in Mt 10 the disciples are sent out defenseless, as "sheep in the midst of wolves."
SOLUTION. The TJ verse makes clear that it was not one of the disciples who drew a sword, but one within the arresting party who had a change in heart. This makes additional sense in that we have not previously been given any reason to believe that any of the disciples carried a sword, whereas some of those in the arresting crowd were armed with swords (Mt 26:47 or TJ 28:20). Moreover, it helps explain why the arresting party did not also decide to arrest any of the disciples on the spot—they did not pose any threat or offer any resistance that would have provoked their arrest. As to why the writer of Matthew made this alteration, it might have been because he held no love for the chief priests and elders, as may be inferred from Mt 16:21, 21:23 and 26:3 (the latter being a Matthean insertion having no parallel in the TJ). So he perhaps did not wish to credit a chief priest or elder or cohort with a favorable change of heart, while not wishing to attribute the action definitely to a disciple, who according to Mt 5:39, would not have resisted the evil arresting party ("Do not resist one who is evil"). His way out then was to be vague and attribute it to "one of those who were with Jesus."
In the TJ cognate to Mt 26:52 a proper defensive need for using a weapon is acknowledged. There the future retribution for needless use of weapons refers, if not to the present life, to the individual's karma of future lifetimes. This interpretation, which allows Jmmanuel's statement to be logical and consistent, is not permitted within Matthew's context.
In TJ 28:27 it is made clear that the swordsman was one in the arresting party who then changed his mind after hearing Jmmanuel speak, and sided with him; he was not Peter, as the Gospel of John would have it. Nevertheless, Jmmanuel still admonished him, causing him to run off. There appear to have been two reasons for this admonishment: the first is explained by the TJ verse; the second is Jmmanuel's prophetic insight that the time had arrived for his trial and crucifixion and that he should not encourage any extreme measure to avoid it.
The fact that the TJ text does not experience these Matthean problems, and does not exhibit problems of its own, speaks strongly in its favor. PHoax ≈ 0.2.
The writer of Luke apparently improved upon Matthew's sword problem in Lk 22:35-38, by making certain that the disciples were instructed to each buy a sword; but since they would not have time to do that before the arrest would come about an hour or so later, he had the disciples suddenly notice two swords that were lying around and take possession of them.
TJ 28:30 30«Oder meinst du, dass ich nicht hätte können fliehen, ehe eure Schar gekommen ist?»
THE PROBLEM. Beare (pp. 517-518) clearly felt that Jesus' reference in Mt 26:53 to the accessibility of "supernatural armies" is not a realistic statement, but a Matthean expansion, i.e., a redaction by the compiler of Matthew.
SOLUTION. The alteration was a substitution made to enhance the claim of Messiahship and divinity for Jesus, while avoiding the image of weakness that fleeing raises. In the TJ it is clear that Jmmanuel sometimes considered fleeing to be the most prudent course of action, in which case it is nothing to be ashamed of.
The direction of redaction is seen quite clearly here to point to the writer of Matthew as the culprit. A 20th-century hoaxer is no more likely to insert the possibility of Jmmanuel fleeing than was the writer of Matthew to retain this possibility. PHoax ≈ 0.25.
TJ 28:31 31«Wie könnte ich aber meinen Weg gehen, wenn ich dem so getan hätte?»
THE PROBLEM. It is not at all clear what scripture(s) Jesus had in mind. If it was to the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, it makes no mention of a crucifixion of a messiah figure or of a subsequent resurrection.
SOLUTION. The close TJ cognate uses the word "destiny," not scriptures. Jmmanuel knew from his own prophetic ability, and was probably informed by his ET contactors during the forty days of instruction, that he would survive crucifixion, which would afterwards enable him to take his teachings to peoples in other lands. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
TJ 28:32-44 32Und der eine wandte sich weg und weinte und floh von dannen und ward niemehr gesehen. 33Dann aber sprach Jmmanuel zu den Schergen: «Ihr seid ausgegangen wie zu einem Mörder, mit Schwertern und mit Stangen, mich zu fangen. 34Ein leichtes wäre es euch doch gewesen mich in der Stadt zu fangen; habe ich doch täglich im Tempel gesessen und habe gelehret, und ihr habt mich nicht gegriffen. 35Ihr Heuchler, wohl habt ihr euch gefürchtet vor dem Volke, daher ihr wie Diebe nun zu mir kommt, so ihr mich in der Dunkelheit und hinter den Augen des Volkes in den Kerker werfen wollt. ...» ...44Da dies also geschah, wichen die Jünger furchtvoll und entmutigt von Jmmanuel und flüchteten.
THE PROBLEMS. Why are we not told the disposition of the man who used his sword? Did the arresting party grab him and subdue him? This was an important omission. It was only upon conclusion of Mt 26:54 that Jesus was done speaking to this man.
"At that hour," or "In that hour" as the Greek text has it, implies an elapse of time that seems not to have occurred, as no other event or discourse is reported. The phrase is an insertion by the narrator that need not have been made at all, as Jesus just continues to speak on to the arresting party and associated crowds. So why did he make the insertion?
The fact that Matthew's "great crowd" of Mt 26:47 suddenly becomes "crowds," plural, seems like an unwarranted escalation in the number of onlookers, considering that this was at night supposedly soon after the Passover meal.
Mt 26:56a is, moreover, a virtual repeat of what Jesus said two verses earlier. It is thus more likely a redactor's substitution of his own pet theme (the scriptures must be fulfilled) in place of undesirable text that he read in his source document.
In Mt 26:56, "all the disciples forsook him and fled" does not make good sense in that the supposed betrayer, Judas Iscariot, then would have had no need to flee, as he had found favor with the chief priests and elders for having helped them capture Jesus. He would have been safer staying with them than fleeing along with the eleven other disciples who would be utterly upset and angry with him for his deed. Moreover, Matthew's Judas had already forsaken Jesus upon carrying out his deed of betrayal six verses earlier.
SOLUTION. The TJ cognate commences at verse 33. Its verse 32 indicates that an event did occur, which the writer of Matthew omitted. Thus there was good reason for the TJ's narrator to interrupt the discourse, and then resume using a word like "then," namely "thereupon," which is appropriate, rather than a phrase like "in that hour." The TJ text continues on with nine more verses of discourse and narration, during which time another event took place: the actual betrayer's father, Simeon the Pharisee, struck Jmmanuel after hearing his words. Thus even more action occurred, which the writer of Matthew had to omit. It was only at this time, upon seeing this piece of violence inflicted upon Jmmanuel, that the disciples fled. But why did the writer of Matthew omit the information about the swordsman having broken down and fled? My conjecture is that since he had made this man into a loyal follower of Jesus, he did not then wish to portray him as being cowardly, or wish to portray Jesus as being so ungrateful for his support that he would severely reprimand him. So he omitted TJ 28:32.
In the TJ there was no escalation in the size of the group of henchmen. And in its consistent narrative, it was appropriate that Judas Iscariot fled along with the other disciples, since he was not the betrayer in league with the chief priests. The writer of Matthew slipped up by following the TJ too closely at this point (a continuation of the Matthean "fatigue" mentioned under Mt 26:35) and including Judas along with the other eleven who fled. Instead, the writer should have said, "Then the disciples forsook him and all fled except Judas." Matthew's Judas would have had no cause to flee. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
TJ 28:45 45Die aber Jmmanuel gegriffen hatten, führten ihn zu dem Hohenpriester Kaiphas, wo die Schriftgelehrten und Pharisäer und die Ältesten des Volkes sich versammelt hatten, so sie über ihn richten wollten.
THE PROBLEM. Beare (p. 519) noted the implausibility of the Pharisees being left out of this Matthean verse, since surely some of the members of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish council, must have been Pharisees.
SOLUTION. The TJ indeed does mention the presence of Pharisees. Whether or not the compiler of Matthew had himself once been a Pharisee, his exclusion of the Pharisees here may have been a redaction designed to remove the most serious guilt from them of playing a direct role in Jesus' condemnation before the Sanhedrin. That is, as a convert from Judaism to its new, Messianic form (Christianity), the compiler of the TJ into Matthew is seen here to have found many faults with the Pharisees, but to be unwilling to ascribe this most serious of offenses to them. This position of compromise was likely dictated partly by his once having been a Pharisee himself, and partly by his desire to win over as many Pharisees as possible to Christianity, which would be especially difficult to do if the Pharisees were to be accused of the greatest sin conceivable to Christianity. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. Peter's actions here do not ring true and are psychologically implausible. He was among those who had run away from the arresting party, and so he would not have sat with the guards where, if anyone pointed him out as being one of the disciples, he could promptly be arrested. And it is unlikely that the Roman guards would have allowed an outsider to sit in their midst. Further, if Peter had gone only as far as the courtyard, this suggests he did not enter in. The verse seems intended primarily to serve the purpose of providing a witness to the events who would relay the information to the writer of the gospel.
Just after the judgment of the Sanhedrin had been given, Peter is said to be sitting outside in the courtyard, not inside (Mt 26:69a). This then tends to contradict the present verse, further suggesting that 26:58 is the primary redaction.
SOLUTION. We do not know how much of the proceedings Peter was able to observe, judging from the later TJ verse (TJ 28:68) that mentions he had been outside mingling with the crowd that was peering in through doors and windows. The TJ's writer, Judas Iscariot, had ample opportunity to later learn the details of what had transpired within the Sanhedrin from Jmmanuel himself.
Matthew's lack of realism here does not favor the 20th-century hoax hypothesis. If a hoaxer had been involved, he could well have retained the verse but have attempted to improve it, for example by omitting "with the guards." PHoax ≈ 0.4. The writer of Luke appears to have noticed this problem, and just had Peter sit in the courtyard with persons in the arresting party (Lk 22:54).
TJ 28:46 46The chief priests, however, and the high councilors sought false testimony against Jmmanuel so they might put him to death.
THE PROBLEM. It seemed unimaginable to Beare (p. 520) that the entire Sanhedrin (all the councilors) would have conspired to bribe false witnesses into testifying against Jesus. Surely some of them would not have stooped to that.
SOLUTION. The TJ does not necessarily indicate that all the councilors (whole council) were in on the search for, or bribery of, false witnesses. This is a minor problem that a literary hoaxer would not likely notice or bother with. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
TJ 28:48-50 48Zuletzt traten zwei herzu und sprachen: «Er hat gesagt, dass Gott nicht die Schöpfung sei, sondern ein Mensch wie du und ich. 49Er sagte auch, dass er gezeuget sei von einem Wächterengel Gottes; von einem mit dem Namen Gabriel.» 50Und der Hohepriester Kaiphas stand auf und sprach zu Jmmanuel: «Antwortest du nicht zu dem, was diese beiden wider dich zeugen?»
THE PROBLEM. Of Mt 26:61, concerning a response to the council's seeking of testimony against Jesus, Beare (p. 521) indicated it was a reshaping of an original saying under the influence of the early church. He inferred the destruction of the temple to be a veiled reference to Jesus' death on the cross and the rebuilding of it to be a reference to his resurrection, stated in terms familiar to the early church. Thus Beare makes a strong case that Mt 26:61 is an anachronism.
If, on the other hand, the destruction of the temple referred to Jesus' prophecy that the Temple would be destroyed (Mt 24:2), that prophecy had only been made a few days earlier, and only to his disciples. No one attending the council meeting besides Peter, who looked on from the outside, would have known about it.
Although Mt 26:62b makes it seem as if the high priest did not understand what the two councilors had said, and needed Jesus to rephrase it, the Greek text upon which it is based reads more like: "And standing up, the high priest said to Jesus, 'Have you no reply to make to the evidence these men are giving against you?'"
SOLUTION. The TJ is seen to support Beare's reasoning, though he could not have imagined that heretical verses like TJ 28:48-49 were what caused the compiler to insert his own theology at this point. Here, as elsewhere, we suspect that the Aramaic word used for "God" was El; a different word, "Briya," was used for Creation, and "Bare" for Creator. Monotheistic Judaism regarded El and "Bare" to be equivalent to their one God. This verse contains the real blasphemy that Jmmanuel was accused of, as opposed to the utterances of Jesus that are portrayed in Matthew as being blasphemous, but which could not have been understood at the time, and which would seem ridiculous: Could one man destroy the massive Temple? Could he build another one, and in only three days?
Verse 26:61 actually constitutes a case of "editorial fatigue" on the part of the writer of Matthew. First he replaced two truly blasphemous statements in the TJ with an anachronistic and/or ridiculous substitution that was non-blasphemous. Then he resumed following the TJ's story of Caiphas being outraged at the blasphemy.
It is quite possible that the writer of Matthew, when he read TJ 28:48, realized that if it were to become known and accepted, it would mark the end for early Christianity and Judaism both. This, along with the earlier prophesied destruction of the temple, may be what caused him to think of its destruction as a suitable metaphor with which to begin his substitution for the TJ's heresies here.
The Sanhedrin members who had heard that Jmmanuel was born the son of Gabriel, the angel, heard this from Jmmanuel at TJ 23:52, when he was speaking to Pharisees in Jerusalem.
We see that the TJ's text, which is true to what it states in its chapters 1-4 and 18, does not suffer from the Matthean problem, which is quite severe. Now it might be thought that in TJ 28:48 the word for "Creator" should have been used, not "Creation," since the quotation was spoken by a couple of councilmen, for whom "Creator" must have been a much more familiar word for their God than "Creation." Yet, they were stating what they had heard Jmmanuel say, and he always used the title "Creation." However, in speaking to Caiaphas, would they expect him to know the difference between "Creator" (Yahweh) and "Creation?" There is evidence that the distinction was known to some. In the Dead Sea scroll called the Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20), we read:
I went to all my old campsites until I reached Bethel, the place where I once built an altar, and then I built another one and offered up burnt offerings and a cereal offering to the God Of Most High, and invoked the name of the Lord of the Universe there.Here, "God of Most High" was Yahweh or El, to whom sacrifices were rendered. The "Lord of the Universe" is clearly something different – something clearly superior to "God" that we may equate to Creation. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
TJ 28:51 51Aber Jmmanuel schwieg stille und lächelte sanft, und so also der Hohepriester sprach zu ihm: «Ich beschwöre dich bei dem lebendigen Gott, dass du uns sagest, ob du seiest gezeuget vom Engel Gabriel, der ist ein Engel Gottes, wie die Schriften überliefern!»
THE PROBLEM. Beare (pp. 521-522) could definitely say that the language in Matthew here came from the Christology of the church, and thus from a redactor feeding in another anachronism, and did not stem from any reference to the Messiah concept of the Hebrews. A high priest of Judaism would certainly not have spoken of the "Son of God" as if it were some established concept.
SOLUTION. The TJ verse contains the truth of Jmmanuel's paternity, which required editing out by the compiler of Matthew, since the early church had decided that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20; Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 18). At the same time, the TJ of course does not contain the "Son of God" phrase to which Beare objected. Regarding Gabriel, the scriptures refer to him in Dn 8 and 9. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
TJ 28:52 52Jmmanuel sprach zu ihm: «Du sagst es, aber ich sage dir auch, dass nicht Gott die Schöpfung ist, sondern er ist der Herr über die drei Menschengeschlechter,die durch seinen Willen gezeuget wurden auf Erden.»
THE PROBLEMS. Beare (p. 522) noted that the first four words of Jesus' reply are of doubtful meaning. They could either mean that Jesus confirmed the possible origins for him suggested by the high priest's statement, or that Jesus only accepted the high priest's statement as being an opinion. Such ambiguity would have served no clear purpose.
Also, Beare (p. 522) objected strongly to the "Son of man" phrase, concluding that it was very unlikely that Jesus would have resorted to this terminology here. The high priest would not have known that "Son of man" was supposed to mean Jesus himself.
Finally, the verse contains another failed prophecy. Upon assuming that "Son of man" referred to Jesus, we see that he was not afterwards observed to come on the clouds of heaven, seated at the right hand of Power.
SOLUTION. In the TJ verse, "As you say" refers to the high priest's statement about Jmmanuel being the son of an angel (Gabriel) of El, which Jmmanuel qualifies as being correct if El ("God") is given the correct interpretation. And, of course, the TJ does not suffer from the "Son of man" objection. And though Jmmanuel makes many prophecies in the TJ, he did not make one at this point. The TJ's effortless escape from these three Matthean problems suggests PHoax ≈ 0.25, at most.
Regarding the TJ's reference to three human lineages, these apparently included the Semites and Hebrews, the inhabitants of India, and the Aryans or those then living in Europe. Jmmanuel's mission was to attempt to bring the celestial teachings to all three populations, which required him to survive the crucifixion and then move on.
Perhaps the best supportive evidence for this lies in the fact that the ancient mythologies of these lands espouse or incorporate the belief in reincarnation. The Old Testament frequently mentions the human spirit, and in a few places implies its continued existence after death or preexistence before birth, as in Jer 1:4-5 "Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." and in Prv 8:22-23, "The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth." And a tradition of belief in reincarnation carried over into the Jewish Kabala. In ancient Egypt there was belief in reincarnation, not just resurrection. The scarab beetle was the symbol of reincarnation, and the "ka", which contains the person's intellectual and spiritual power, lives on after death. Among the Greeks there was a belief in reincarnation, evidenced in the writings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The Celts held a belief in reincarnation, especially their Druids, and north into Norway one finds the reincarnation belief interwoven into their ancient sagas and Eddas. Eastward, one finds that the Hindu belief in reincarnation goes back millennia B.C. in India, and in a somewhat altered form within Buddhism. When Buddhism expanded eastwards further, into China and Japan, the belief in reincarnation went along with it. That the gods involved would believe in reincarnation and espouse it is of course consistent with the TJ's teachings.
The TJ thus could be correct in asserting that these lands are where certain Pleiadian/Plejaren leaders initiated some of the human populations long, long ago and watched over their development for centuries.
TJ: 28:63 63Da zerriss der Hohepriester Kaiphas seine Kleider und sprach im Zorn: «Er hat Gott gelästert, den Schöpfer; was bedürfen wir weiter Zeugnis wider ihn? denn sehet, jetzt habt ihr eigens gehört seine Gotteslästerung.»
THE PROBLEM. Beare (p. 522) pointed out that what had been presented in Matthew was really not enough to have induced the high priest to speak and react this excitedly. Even claiming to be the Messiah would not constitute blasphemy, according to Beare, and certainly not a prophecy regarding the coming of a "Son of man." Sanders independently agrees that "It goes too far, however, to say that Jesus, in claiming to speak for God, was guilty of blasphemy."
Similarly, the idea that the blasphemy consisted of Jesus calling himself the Son of God also does not stand up. It has been noted that "in the synoptic gospels, Jesus never actually calls himself the 'Son of God.' Yet the accusation against him [in Mt 26:63-65] appears to be precisely this. If these accusations are false, it is surprising that neither Jesus nor the evangelists repudiate the charge."
SOLUTION. Such scholars' surprise at this fact does not apply to the TJ where the heresies of Jmmanuel's teachings—that El was essentially human in physical makeup and not to be equated to the immeasurable and ineffable "Creation"—are obvious to any Christian or Jew. In the TJ, Jmmanuel responds with 11 further sentences before this point that include mention of other gods (celestial sons and guardian angels) whom we would call ETs, which adds to the blasphemy of TJ 28:48. These add to the genuineness of the TJ, which does not suffer from Matthew's problem. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
TJ 28:66-67 66Da schlugen sie ihn mit Fäusten und spien ihn an in sein Angesicht. 67Und etliche schlugen ihn von hinten und sprachen: «Weissage uns, du grosser Weisheitskönig und du Sohn eines Himmelssohnes, wer ist’s, der dich schlägt?»
THE PROBLEMS. What is missing here, Beare (p. 523) along weith many others have noted, is a phrase like "They also blindfolded him" as in Mark and Luke. It is needed to prepare for the demand that he should demonstrate his powers as a prophet; otherwise, Jesus could have seen who had struck him. Beare also found it incongruous that members of the highest court in the land would resort to striking their prisoner.
SOLUTION. The TJ is seen to avoid both of Beare's criticisms, but not by the expected route. The TJ's second verse appears to have been redacted in part to eliminate this most degrading aspect of the brutal treatment on the part of councilors and Pharisees, of hitting someone from behind. So in omitting that, the reader doesn't know that these particular assailants weren't right in front of Jesus in plain sight. The writer of Mark, then, while copying from Matthew, added the cover for Jesus' face to eliminate the illogic in Matthew that remains to this day for New Testament scholars to ponder over.
The TJ's solution has been anticipated by Goulder, who suggested in 2003 that some of those who were beating Jesus were standing behind him.
The compiler of Matthew had his hands full deleting heresies; we cannot expect him to have provided a fully logical account too, since inattentive redaction begets illogic. If Matthew had come after Mark, on the other hand, we would not expect the writer of Matthew to have omitted Mark's blindfold and purposely generate this illogic. The writer of Luke improved the verse by moving the incident forward in time and not having it be the members of the Sanhedrin who beat Jesus, and by including Mark's blindfold while retaining Matthew's question following the command to prophesy.
With the TJ version, the unbecoming behavior of the councilors is less surprising, due to the 11 blasphemous utterances Jmmanuel spoke to the Sanhedrin just before the high priest rent his robes. The TJ verses solve both of these serious Matthean problems by text evincing too much originality to relegate to a literary hoaxer. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
TJ 28:68-71 68Petrus aber war Jmmanuel und der Schar nachgefolget und versteckte sich unter den Leuten, die da durch die Tore und Fenster sahen, so er also sah, was Jmmanuel widerfuhr. 69Da aber trat eine Magd zu ihm und sprach: «Bist du nicht einer unter ihnen, die da sind die Jünger dieses Jmmanuel aus Galiläa?» 70Da Petrus gefraget war von der Magd, leugnete er aber und sprach: «Wessen Unvernunft beschuldigst du mich, denn ich weiss nicht, was du sagst!» 71So er aber durch die Frage der Magd geängstigt war, wollte er der Stätte entfliehn, denn er fürchtete für sein Leben.
THE PROBLEM. The maid came up to Peter and asked him a question. Most of the other people around would not have heard what she said, since she spoke just to Peter. Yet according to Matthew, Peter replied to "all." This doesn't make sense, because most of these "all" would not have known what he was talking about, being out of earshot. Since his denial must have been based in fear, moreover, he would have wished to attract as little attention as possible in replying to the maid, and thus would not have replied to all.
SOLUTION. This was a minor alteration made by the writer of Matthew, probably so that the fact of all three of Peter's denials would seem well attested and Jesus' prophecy regarding it would be amply verified. In the TJ Peter's last two denials were indeed overheard by others, so that the writer of Matthew did not need to alter them in this respect. The criticism seems too obscure for a literary hoaxer to have noticed, as I have been unable to locate it in any literature. Yet it is a very telling criticism. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
The omission of TJ 28:71 by the writer of Matthew is consistent with his favorable portrayal of Peter elsewhere.
TJ 28:75-76 75Da hob er an und lästerte wider Jmmanuel und verfluchte sich und schwor: «Ich kenne diesen irren Menschen nicht, und so auch nicht seine Lehre der Gotteslästerung!» 76Alsbald aber krähte dreimal der Hahn, und da gedachte er der Worte Jmmanuels; und eilig lief er von dannen und weinte bitterlich.
THE PROBLEM. This cursing by Peter is presumed to have been upon himself for having just denied his Lord twice. If so, however, it does not make much sense that he would at that point continue to deny he knew Jesus. Would he curse his mouth for telling a lie and then immediately tell the same lie again? Not at all likely; he would either not curse himself until after the cock crowed, or would not again deny knowing Jesus after having cursed himself for twice doing just that.
SOLUTION. From the TJ parallel we see that Peter had begun to revile Jmmanuel, thus partially fulfilling the prophecy that the disciples would be angry with him that night (TJ 27:44). It was Jmmanuel who had gotten the disciples into their predicament of being sought-after accomplices. It would have been natural to revile him for this; furthermore, by reviling him Peter would seem more innocent to the bystanders. But immediately the full import of reviling his own lord and teacher got to him, and this is what caused him to curse himself. Yet to save his own skin he continued to deny his lord once again. We see that the writer of Matthew did not wish to portray Peter in any worse light than he was already in, and so he edited out the worst aspects of Peter's behavior, which caused this previously unknown problem. Yet, he included Peter's denials in his text because they proved Jesus' power to prophesy. This objection to Matthew is also too minor to expect that any literary hoaxer would come up with it. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Interestingly, the TJ indicates the cock crowed three times (in a row). The writer of Matthew likely omitted this factor of three in order to maximize the strength of Jesus' prophecy, in Mt 26:34 and TJ 27:49, which only states that Peter would deny his lord three times before the cock crows.
Upon accumulating the individual probabilities of the preceding Mt-TJ passages, we find the chance that the TJ's chapter 28 could be a hoax to be the infinitesimal value: 1.8 x 10-13. In other words, this chapter comparison alone deals a deathblow to the hoax hypothesis.
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