Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and Mark?

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Secret Alias
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Wed May 24, 2017 2:59 pm

I am busy doing other things out of the country not paying attention to earlier bits in the thread but has anyone noted that Origen's Commentary on Matthew does this (compare differences between the synoptics vs Matthew and sometimes John). Only text I know that does this.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed May 24, 2017 9:29 pm

Is it possible that Papias regarded Matthew as excessively paraphrastic (due to dodgy translation) but in chronological order ?
In that case Mark would be disordered due to having a different order to Matthew (regarded by Papias as chronologically sound).

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 25, 2017 5:43 am

andrewcriddle wrote:Is it possible that Papias regarded Matthew as excessively paraphrastic (due to dodgy translation) but in chronological order ?
In that case Mark would be disordered due to having a different order to Matthew (regarded by Papias as chronologically sound).
Possibly, but what interests me is the relative paucity of patristic fretting over the differences (any differences) between Matthew and Mark, whereas there is a lot of it going on over John. Once you get waist-deep into some of the commentaries you can find places where the commentator has to reconcile the synoptics with each other; I know I have seen this before and am looking for more examples; but from what I remember these cases always come across as very low-stakes. A good example is book 10 of Origen's Commentary on John. There are little issues dealt with between the synoptics, but the issues between them and John are the real issue at stake. Right off the bat in chapter 1, for instance, Origen gives us this: "Matthew and Luke represent that he was first at Nazara, and then left them and came and dwelt in Capernaum. Matthew and Mark also state a certain reason why He departed there, namely, that He had heard that John was cast into prison." The synoptics are different, but not greatly discrepant at this point, and Origen moves on swiftly. But the overall discussion is about how John fits in, a topic about which he has this to say: "Those who accept the four Gospels, and who do not consider that their apparent discrepancy is to be solved anagogically (by mystical interpretation), will have to clear up the difficulty, raised above, about the forty days of the temptation, a period for which no room can be found in any way in John's narrative." John is the real problem; hence the need for mystical interpretation. This is part of what makes me suspect that the "true order" Papias is comparing both Matthew and Mark to comes from the Asiatic traditions around him which, sooner or later, will flow into (or perhaps have already flowed into) the gospel of John, including those issues that were genuinely fought over in century II, such as the date of the Lord's crucifixion and the length of his ministry. Another part is that "living voice" line which Kunigunde highlighted elsewhere: Papias is practically pointing here with both hands at what he considers to be more accurate than books like Matthew or Mark. My suggestion is merely that the living voice which he prefers had a distinctly Johannine tang to it (including its superioristic attitude about the "real" way things went down, as we find in those examples I posted earlier), and is in fact what fueled some of those debates in century II.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu May 25, 2017 10:16 am

This is why, Bernard, I am asking for examples of discrepancies between Matthew and Mark
Why should I be expected to find different orders on the sayings and deeds of Jesus between gMatthew and gMark? I am not the one who is claiming gMark order was compared to the one in gMatthew.
Furthermore, since "Matthew" followed gMark very closely (more so than gLuke or gJohn following it), I would expect less differences in that order between gMark & gMatthew rather than for between gMark & the other gospels.

About gMark being compared with gJohn about the order of the sayings and deeds of Jesus, that order between the two is so different, the common items so few, that comparison between the order of these two gospels would be rather stupid.

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 25, 2017 11:44 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
This is why, Bernard, I am asking for examples of discrepancies between Matthew and Mark
Why should I be expected to find different orders on the sayings and deeds of Jesus between gMatthew and gMark? I am not the one who is claiming gMark order was compared to the one in gMatthew.
Well, quote the relevant part of my statement, then:
Ben C. Smith wrote:(This is why, Bernard, I am asking for examples of discrepancies between Matthew and Mark, and now after your points between Mark and Luke, which the ancients noticed and cared about. I can find reams of examples between John and the other synoptics, as a group, but not very many intrasynoptic examples. I am drawn to treating the Lucan preface as a voucher for the synoptic order, not against Matthew and Mark but against the Asian traditions as preserved in John, though Luke has indeed modified things slightly to conform to a few Johannine points of order, perhaps as a compromise to some extent.)
I was asking the forum for examples between Matthew and Mark. But, once you submitted your opinion, I asked you for examples between Mark and Luke.
Furthermore, since "Matthew" followed gMark very closely (more so than gLuke or gJohn following it), I would expect less differences in that order between gMark & gMatthew rather than for between gMark & the other gospels.
I agree.
About gMark being compared with gJohn about the order of the sayings and deeds of Jesus, that order between the two is so different, the common items so few, that comparison between the order of these two gospels would be rather stupid.
Well, you can call the church fathers stupid if you wish, but they certainly did compare the synoptics with the Johannine order of things. My question is whether they compared Matthew and Mark, or Mark and Luke, in the same way, and with the same high stakes.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Thu May 25, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 25, 2017 4:49 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:Furthermore, the fact that "Matthew" was attributed a collection of sayings (therefore emphasizing Jesus as a sage) is supported by the gospel of Thomas: logion 13 "... Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."..."
I skipped this one last time; I wanted to find a quote I recalled. This is Richard Bauckham in Jesus and the Eyewitnesses:

The saying in the Gospel of Thomas must presuppose the existence of Matthew’s Gospel and its attribution to Matthew. By citing Matthew’s view of Jesus it is deliberately denigrating the Gospel of Matthew and upholding the superiority of the Gospel of Thomas with its sayings derived from Thomas. This is confirmed by the fact that Matthew’s description of Jesus as “like a wise philosopher” is quite appropriate as a reference to Matthew’s Gospel. In no other Gospel is Jesus’ ethical teaching as prominent as it is in Matthew’s. In the ancient world ethics was the domain of philosophers, and an ethical teacher like the Jesus of Matthew could well be described as “a wise philosopher.” The Gospel of Thomas itself is only minimally concerned with ethics.

You are saying that "wise philosopher" implies a sayings collection; Bauckham is saying that "wise philosopher" is very appropriate for the Matthean gospel that we know. You will probably feel like your association is better, but from the outside, honestly, I do not see much of a difference. I do suspect that the Thomasine saying presupposes a Petrine and a Matthean gospel, but I do not think that it helps us determine whether it is a Q gospel or our extant Matthew that is in mind. Jesus is presented as wise in Matthew, and definitely as a teacher; therefore, it may be Matthew that Thomas is referring to.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 25, 2017 6:41 pm

Does the idea go back to Jesus as hakham http://cal.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=461
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 25, 2017 7:03 pm

It might.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu May 25, 2017 8:19 pm

therefore, it may be Matthew that Thomas is referring to
"Matthew" was not assigned a gospel yet, not before around 180 CE.
And "logia" as "words (of God)" or "oracles" is far from being synonymous of "gospel".

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:I do think that Acts was trying to unify disparate strands and groups. It may also have been trying to mute the more vociferous voices from the Johannine tradition by making Paul predict it in his speech to the Ephesian elders:

Acts 20.29-31: 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men [elders!] will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

Compare this passage in John:

John 10.11-13: 11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.

Is the Jesus of John predicting that Paul is going to come to Ephesus, teach weird stuff, and then leave for ports unknown instead of staying and caring for the church there? And is Acts putting words in Paul's mouth that turn around and paint (some of) the elders of Ephesus (compare Papias' dedication to inquiring as to the words of "the elders") as the wolves instead? And Paul's three years with the Ephesians may be a recall of Jesus' ministry in the gospel of John, which often comes out (and fairly naturally) to 3 years (as in Epiphanius, for example), though maybe I am stretching things with this bit.

Even if I do not have all of that exactly right yet, I definitely think that something is going on in Ephesus between (followers of) Paul and (followers of) John. The two groups do not finally seem to synthesize until either (possibly) Polycarp or (definitely) Irenaeus (still investigating the Polycarp angle there).
A possibly related bit of Asiatic polemics:

Revelation 2.1-4: 1 To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: "The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.'"

Revelation 21.14: 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Maybe Paul, not being one of the twelve, is being called a false apostle here.
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