Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and Mark?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 26, 2017 1:58 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:Very few scholars think that Matthew's gospel was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, despite what some "fathers" claimed. Only that would prevent the logia of Matthew as referring to the gospel.
I too doubt it was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic. If anything, our canonical Matthew would be one of the purported translations that Papias mentions. (I am not saying that it is a translation; I am saying that Papias may have thought it was a translation.
Sure there is some wording variations in the ancient manuscripts of gMatthew, but can they be explained by translations from Hebrew/Aramaic to Greek? I can only think of a few on the Q part, but generally, on Markan & Matthean material, I do not think so.
Again, I am not talking about what really happened. I am talking about what Papias thought had happened.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 26, 2017 2:11 pm

To be clear, once more, by logia Papias means words. But those words, according to his description of Mark's writing, can include both what the Lord said and what he did. (Peter delivered logia, albeit not in order; Mark wrote them down accurately; and what Mark ended up with was a record of what the Lord said and did, albeit not in order.)

It is not that logia = deeds; it is that logia = (authoritative, oracular) words about what the Lord said and did.

The following, in my judgment, is basically what Peter was doing (in Papias' estimation) while he was preaching (and Matthew while he was writing):

1 Peter 4.11a: 11a If anyone speaks, let it be as one speaking the logia of God.

Ben.

PS:

Eusebius, History of the Church 3.39.17a: 17a And [Papias] himself used testimonies from the first epistle of John and similarly from that of Peter....

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by John2 » Fri May 26, 2017 2:23 pm

Bernard wrote:
But Papias took the fact that the logia of Matthew were written in Hebrew/Aramaic in order to explain the different translations. But do we have these different translations? I do not think so.
I see the Jewish Christian gospel(s) -the Gospel of the Hebrews/Nazarenes/Ebionites- as being (at least one of) these different translations (along with canonical Matthew). What else would these translations be? Why imagine different, now lost versions when we have these? I see them all as being translations of the original Hebrew version that Papias (and others) mention, each with its particular variants and "mutilations" and alterations, reflecting the transmission histories and views of their particular translators and communities (such as, in the case of the canonical version, being combined with Mark, having interpolations that promote the trinity, and the virgin birth).

In my view, the Jewish Christian variants cited by the Church fathers would be the Jewish Christian version(s) of stuff like that (e.g., variant sayings, adoptionism, no virgin birth, and perhaps being uncombined with Mark, since it was said to have been 300 lines shorter than the canonical Matthew). Otherwise the Church fathers thought it/they was/were more or less Matthew.

I could use a refresher course on the Jewish Christian gospel(s), but it looks like I am in this camp:
Matthew dependent on Gospel of Nazarenes

James R. Edwards (2009) argues that the canonical Matthew is based on a Hebrew original, and that the citations of the Gospel of the Nazarenes are part of that original.

Edwards' view is predated by that of Edward Nicholson (1879), Bodley's Librarian. His conclusions were as follows:

1."We find that there existed among the Nazarenes and Ebionites a Gospel commonly called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, written in Aramaic, but with Hebrew characters. Its authorship was attributed by some to the Apostles in general, but by very many or most — including clearly the Nazarenes and Ebionites themselves — to Matthew."

2."The Fathers of the Church, while the Gospel according to the Hebrews was yet extant in its entirety, referred to it always with respect, often with reverence: some of them unhesitatingly accepted it as being what tradition affirmed it to be — the work of Matthew — and even those who have not put on record their expression of this opinion have not questioned it. Is such an attitude consistent with the supposition that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was a work of heretical tendencies? This applies with tenfold force to Jerome. After copying it, would he, if he had seen heresy in it, have translated it for public dissemination into both Greek and Latin, and have continued to favor the tradition of its Matthaean authorship? And Jerome, be it observed, not only quotes all three of these passages without disapprobation; he actually quotes two of them (Fr. 6 and Fr. 8) with approval."

Nicholson's position that The Gospel of the Hebrews was the true Gospel of Matthew is still the subject of heated debate. However most scholars now agree that the Gospel of Matthew found in the Bible was not written by Matthew, but composed posthumous to him.

The Talmudic evidence for early Christian gospels, combined with Papias' reference to the Hebrew "logia" (Eusebius, Church History III . 39 . 16) and Jerome's discovery of the Gospel of the Hebrews in Aramaic (Jerome, Against Pelagius 3.2) have led scholars such as C. C. Torrey (1951) to consider an original Aramaic or Hebrew gospel, meaning the Gospel of the Hebrews which the Nazarenes used.

The Gospel of the Nazarenes (Nazoraeans) emphasized the Jewishness of Jesus. According to multiple early sources, including Jerome (Against Pelagius 3) and Epiphanius (Panarion 29-30) the Gospel of the Nazarenes was synonymous with the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Ebionites.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Nazarenes
Edit: I'm adding a link to Edward's The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition so I can check it out later.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Vs9YX ... on&f=false
Last edited by John2 on Fri May 26, 2017 5:26 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri May 26, 2017 2:55 pm

Again, I am not talking about what really happened. I am talking about what Papias thought had happened.
I was saying that Papias knew of different versions of the logia of Matthew in Greek. And because we do not know of that, according to the ancient manuscripts of gMatthew we have, the logia of Matthew cannot be gMatthew. That was my main point.
And Papias thought these variations were due to the different translations from Hebrew/Aramaic to Greek, which is not obvious in the ancient texts of gMatthew.
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.39.17a: 17a And [Papias] himself used testimonies from the first epistle of John and similarly from that of Peter....
These two epistles are not about the deeds of Jesus.

By "logia", Papias meant the words he allegedly got from Aristion & presbyter/elder John & and the ones who claimed they heard about Jesus' disciples in the past, plus what he read from some epistles, plus some alleged Jesus' sayings & parables never heard before.
According to that, the logia of Matthew are no more than the words that Matthew allegedly heard from Jesus.

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Fri May 26, 2017 3:18 pm

But those words, according to his description of Mark's writing, can include both what the Lord said and what he did
Hmmm.
And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of (ἑρμηνευτὴς) Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of the Lord (τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα). For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings (ἀλλ' οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων). Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took special care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements.
and:
Matthew put together the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could (Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ' αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος)
I assume you take the οὖν (= therefore) to mean that the statement about Matthew followed the one previously about Mark. As I see it Jesus is understood to have said some things. These are the λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ. The gospel contains the λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ but the gospel is not the λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ. Because Peter was there with Jesus "he related the sayings or deeds of the Lord" (τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα) but Mark is understood to have preserved these things incorrectly or at least in the incorrect order (whatever that means). Matthew's compiling the logia is independent of Mark's indirect knowledge of the words and deeds of the Lord (which he got from Peter).

I am not sure the οὖν means that what is said about Matthew follows that said about Mark earlier in Eusebius. It would certainly explain where Irenaeus is drawing his information. But I am not sure that the two statements weren't independently made in Papias's work.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Fri May 26, 2017 3:20 pm

It is possible that Mark was the only narrative gospel that Papias knew. The fact that he says that it was in the wrong order was owing to the fact that he denied certain stories or sayings because they were unmentioned by Matthew (sayings) or they weren't related in any of the oral traditions he had come across (deeds or sayings). As with Paul's statement about the Passion being 'publicly displayed' for the faithful, perhaps the deeds of the Lord were acted out in the liturgy or the deeds of the Lord were recounted orally in the liturgical year but not written down or preserved in written form for the churches that didn't use Mark or which solely relied upon oral tradition.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 26, 2017 3:22 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Again, I am not talking about what really happened. I am talking about what Papias thought had happened.
I was saying that Papias knew of different versions of the logia of Matthew in Greek. And because we do not know of that, according to the ancient manuscripts of gMatthew we have, the logia of Matthew cannot be gMatthew. That was my main point.
And we do know about ancient manuscripts of Q...? Or what...? I do not know what your point is here.
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.39.17a: 17a And [Papias] himself used testimonies from the first epistle of John and similarly from that of Peter....
These two epistles are not about the deeds of Jesus.
I never said they were. Once again, not sure where you are going with this.
By "logia", Papias meant the words he allegedly got from Aristion & presbyter/elder John & and the ones who claimed they heard about Jesus' disciples in the past, plus what he read from some epistles, plus some alleged Jesus' sayings & parables never heard before.
According to that, the logia of Matthew are no more than the words that Matthew allegedly heard from Jesus.
According to that, then, the logia that Peter preached are no more than the words that Peter had allegedly heard from Jesus, correct? If this is the case, and (according to Papias) Mark wrote down what Peter said accurately, then where did Mark get the deeds of the Lord?
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri May 26, 2017 3:27 pm

Secret Alias wrote:It is possible that Mark was the only narrative gospel that Papias knew. The fact that he says that it was in the wrong order was owing to the fact that he denied certain stories or sayings because they were unmentioned by Matthew (sayings) or they weren't related in any of the oral traditions he had come across (deeds or sayings).
For reasons I have been trying to express, I disagree fully with the pink reasoning above, but agree to some extent with the yellow reasoning above. I think, however, that it was more than just that they were unrelated; I think they actually conflicted in spots.
As with Paul's statement about the Passion being 'publicly displayed' for the faithful, perhaps the deeds of the Lord were acted out in the liturgy or the deeds of the Lord were recounted orally in the liturgical year but not written down or preserved in written form for the churches that didn't use Mark or which solely relied upon oral tradition.
That is worth thinking about.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Fri May 26, 2017 4:17 pm

Fair enough. I don't know the right answer either. Just trying to figure it out too.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri May 26, 2017 8:05 pm

And we do know about ancient manuscripts of Q...? Or what...? I do not know what your point is here.
I did not say that. I said we cannot see in the ancient manuscripts of gMatthew many differences which would explain what Papias wrote about Matthew's logia.
I never said they were. Once again, not sure where you are going with this.
From these two epistles, Papias could only extract words, not sayings and deeds of Jesus.
According to that, then, the logia that Peter preached are no more than the words that Peter had allegedly heard from Jesus, correct? If this is the case, and (according to Papias) Mark wrote down what Peter said accurately, then where did Mark get the deeds of the Lord?
Papias established, before he wrote about the Lord's logia, that "Mark" "wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ.".
So that says, allegedly "Mark" got sayings and deeds of Jesus by way of Peter.
Then later, Papias only mentioned the words (or oracles) of the Lord, which seems to be the main concern. Just because "and deeds" is omitted (but that has been established earlier) does not make "logia" meaning also deeds.

"Logia" means words, as heard from Aristion & John the elder & those who claimed they knew the disciples of Jesus (including Matthew) and read from two epistles (and all of that "exposed" in Papias' five books: Expositions of the logia of the Lord). Why would it mean something different in the phrase "logia of the Lord"?

Cordially, Bernard
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