The Q document: The Greek text, its translation and some comments
Recall that, according to the most accepted theory in the biblical world, Mark would have been the first to publish his gospel, Matthew and Luke would have reused much of Mark's work in their gospel, while incorporating another source, known to both of them and referred to as the "Q Document," as well as other sources of their own, and finally John would have published an independent gospel at a later date, with no knowledge of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, even though he seems to have had access to similar sources.
We present the set of texts attributed by a majority of biblical scholars to the Q document, both the transliterated Greek text and a literal English translation. We have opted for the Greek text of Kurt Aland's 28th edition which has made some choices among the variations. All words or parts of words that are identical between Matthew and Luke have been colored blue. But the presence of identical words in Matthew and Luke does not mean that we are dealing with a Q document, because Matthew and Luke may have simply copied Mark in the same way. So, we have underlined the words or parts of words that are also found in Mark. Finally, the sequence of chapters and verses is that of Luke which seems in general to be the most respectful of its sources. This forced us to place sometimes the text of Matthew out of sequence, which we indicated with square brackets. But let us remember that this Q document is like a loose-leaf binder, and each evangelist draws texts from it according to the needs of his narrative. Finally, our translation of the Greek text is as literal as possible to ensure a better comparison, even if it gives us a very rough text.
Note: A part of the comments attached to each pericope is due to the work of Marie-Émile Boismard, Synopse des quatre évangiles, II. Paris: Cerf, 1972.
Blue color: identical words or parts of words in Matthew and Luke
Red color: words or parts of words from the gospel according to John also present in Matthew or Luke
Underlined: words or parts of words from Mark present in Matthew or Luke
*:pericope, after analysis, does not seem to come from the source Q
: square brackets indicate a verse out of sequence.
Words in italics: scriptural quotation
Table of Content
1. Mt 3:7b-12 || Lk 3:7-9, 16-17 JBap, warnings, promise of one to come.
2. Mt 4:2b-11a || Lk 4:2-13 three temptations (testings) of Jesus by the devil (different order).
3. Mt 5:3,6,4:11-12 || Lk 6:20b-23 beatitudes (different order, wording).
4. Mt 5:44,39b-40, 42 || Lk 6:27-30 love of enemies; turn other cheek; give coat; give to beggars.
5. Mt 7:12 || Lk 6:31 what you wish others to do to you, do to them.
6. Mt 5:46-47, 45, 48 || Lk 6:32-33, 35b-36 love more than those who love you; be merciful as the Father is.
7. Mt 7:1-2 || Lk 6:37a, 38c judge not and be nor judged; measure given is measure received.
8. Mt 15: 14, 10, 24-25a || Lk 6:39-40 can blind lead the blind; disciple not above teacher.
9. Mt 7:3-5 || Lk 6:41-42 speck in brother's eye, log in one's own.
10. Mt 7:16-20 (12:33-35) || Lk 6:43-45 no good tree bears bad fruit; no figs from thorns.
11. Mt 7:21, 24-27 || Lk 6:46-49 calling me Lord and not doing; hearing my words and doing them.
12. Mt 8:5a-10, 13 || Lk 7:1-2, 6b-10 centurion at Capernaum begs help for sick servant, marvelous faith.
13. Mt 11:2-11 || Lk 7:18-28 disciples of JBap; message to him; praise of JBap as more than a prophet.
14. Mt 11:16-19 || Lk 7:31-35 this generation pleased by neither JBap nor Son of Man.
15. Mt 8:19-22 || Lk 9:57-60 Son of Man has nowhere to lay head; to follow him let dead bury dead.
16. Mt 9:37-38; 10:7-16 || Lk 10:2-12 harvest plentiful, laborers few; mission instructions.
17. Mt 11:21-23; 10:40 || Lk 10:13-16 woe to Chorazin, Bethsaida; whoever hears you, hears me.
18. Mt 11:25-27; 13:16-17 || Lk 10:21-24 thanking the Father for revealing to infants; all things given to the Son; blessed eyes that see what you see.
19. Mt 6:9-13 || Lk 11:2-4 the Lord's prayer (variant forms - Matt's longer).
20. Mt 7:7-11 || Lk 11:9-13 ask and it will be given; if you give good gifts, how much more the Father.
21. Mt 12:22-30 || Lk 11:14-15, 17-23 demons cast out by Beelzebul, strong man guards his palace; not with me, against me.
22. Mt 12:43-45 || Lk 11:24-26 unclean spirit gone out of someone returns and brings seven others, making worse.
23. Mt 12:38-42 || Lk 11:29-32 generation seeks sign; sign of Jonah; judgment by people of Nineveh.
24. Mt 5:15; 6:22-23 || Lk 11:33-35 not putting lamp under bushel; eye lamp of body, if unsound, darkness.
25. Mt 23:25-26,23, 6-7a, 27 || Lk 11:39-44 Pharisees cleanse outside of cup; woe for tithing inconsequentials.
26. Mt 23:4,29-31 || Lk 11:46-48 woe to lawyers for binding heavy burdens, building tombs of the prophets.
27. Mt 23:34-36, 13 || Lk 11:49-52 I speak/God's wisdom speaks; Will send prophets who will be persecuted.
28. Mt 10:26-33; 12:32; 10:19-20 || Lk 12:2-12 all covered to be revealed; fear not killers of body; acknowledging me before God.
29. Mt 6:25-33 || Lk 12:22-31 don't be anxious about the body; consider lilies of field; Father knows what you need.
30. Mt 6:19-21 || Lk 12:33-34 no treasures on earth but in heaven.
31. Mt 24:43-44,45-51 || Lk 12:39-40, 42-46 householder and thief; faithful servant preparing for master's coming.
32. Mt 10:34-36 || Lk 12:51-53 not come to bring peace but sword; divisions of family.
33. Mt 16:2-3 || Lk 12:54-56 ability to interpret weather signs should enable to interpret present times.
34. Mt 5:25-26 || Lk 12:58-59 settling before going before the magistrate.
35. Mt 13:31-33 || Lk 13:18-21 kingdom of heaven/God, like growth of mustard seed; like leaven woman puts in meal.
36. Mt 7:13-14, 22-23; 8:11-12 || Lk 13:23-29 narrow gate; householder refusing those who knock; people coming from all directions.
37. Mt 23:37-39 || Lk 13:34-35 Jerusalem, killing the prophets, must bless him who comes in the Lord's name.
38. Mt 22:2-10 || Lk 14:16-24 kingdom of heaven/God, a great banquet, invitees make excuses, others invited.
39. Mt 10:37-38 || Lk 14:26-27 anyone coming must prefer me over family and must bear a cross.
40. Mt 5:13 || Lk 14:34-35 uselessness of salt that has lost its savor.
41. Mt 18:12-14 || Lk 15:4-7 man who leaves 99 sheep to go after lost one.
42. Mt 6:24 || Lk 16:13 cannot serve two masters.
43. Mt 11:12-13; 5:18, 32 || Lk 16:16-18 law and prophets till JBap; not a dot of Law will pass; divorcing wife and marrying another is adultery.
44. Mt 18:7, 15, 21-22 || Lk 17:1, 3b-4 woe to tempters; forgive brother after rebuking; Peter, how often to forgive.
45. Mt 17:20 || Lk 17:6 if you had faith like grain of mustard seed, could move mountains.
46. Mt 24:26-28 || Lk 17:23-24, 37 signs of the coming of the Son of Man.
47. Mt 24:37-39 || Lk 17:26-27, 30 as in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
48. Mt 10:39 || Lk 17:39 whoever finds one's life will lose it; whoever loses will find it.
49. Mt 24:40-41 || Lk 17:34-35 on that night, of two, one taken and the other left.
50. Mt 25:14-30 || Lk 19:12-27 parable of the pounds /talents.
51. Mt 19:28 || Lk 22:38, 30 followers will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
1. John the Baptist, warnings, promise of one to come
|3: 7b gennēmata echidnōn, tis hypedeixen hymin phygein apo tēs mellousēs orgēs? ||3: 7b gennēmata echidnōn, tis hypedeixen hymin phygein apo tēs mellousēs orgēs? ||3: 7b Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?||3: 7b Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?|
|3: 8 poiēsate oun karpon axion tēs metanoias ||3: 8a poiēsate oun karpous axious tēs metanoias ||3: 8 Make therefore fruit worthy of the change of mind.||3: 8a Make therefore fruits worthy of the change of mind.|
|3: 9 kai mē doxēte legein en heautois• patera echomen ton Abraam. legō gar hymin hoti dynatai ho theos ek tōn lithōn toutōn egeirai tekna tō Abraam. ||3: 8b kai mē arxēsthe legein en heautois• patera echomen ton Abraam. legō gar hymin hoti dynatai ho theos ek tōn lithōn toutōn egeirai tekna tō Abraam. ||3: 9 And do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham our father.' For I say to you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.||3: 8b And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham our father.' For I say to you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.|
|3: 10 ēdē de hē axinē pros tēn rhizan tōn dendrōn keitai• pan oun dendron mē poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eis pyr balletai.||3: 9 ēdē de kai hē axinē pros tēn rhizan tōn dendrōn keitai• pan oun dendron mē poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eis pyr balletai.||3: 10 Then, already the ax is laid at the root of the trees? therefore every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into fire.||3: 9 Then, already also the ax is laid at the root of the trees? therefore every tree that does not make good fruit is cut down and thrown into fire.|
|3:11 Egō men hymas baptizō en hydati eis metanoian, ho de opisō mou erchomenos ischyroteros mou estin, hou ouk eimi hikanos ta hypodēmata bastasai• autos hymas baptisei en pneumati hagiō kai pyri•
||3: 16 apekrinato legōn pasin ho Iōannēs• egō men hydati baptizō hymas• erchetai de ho ischyroteros mou, hou ouk eimi hikanos lysai ton himanta tōn hypodēmatōn autou• autos hymas baptisei en pneumati hagiō kai pyri•
||3: 11 Me, indeed, I baptize you in water concerning a change of mind. Then, him behind me coming is stronger than me, whose shoes I am not fit to carry. Himself he will baptize you in Holy Spirit and fire,
||3: 16 The John answered saying to all, "Me, indeed, I baptize you with water. Then, he comes one stronger than me, whose the straps of his shoes I am not fit to untie. Himself he will baptize you in Holy Spirit and fire.|
|3:12 hou to ptyon en tē cheiri autou kai diakathariei tēn halōna autou kai synaxei ton siton autou eis tēn apothēkēn, to de achyron katakausei pyri asbestō.||3: 17 hou to ptyon en tē cheiri autou diakatharai tēn halōna autou kai synagagein ton siton eis tēn apothēkēn autou, to de achyron katakausei pyri asbestō.||3: 12 who (has) the winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the barn, then the chaff he will he will burn up with unquenchable fire.||3: 17 who (has) the winnowing fork is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into the barn of him, then the chaff he will he will burn up with unquenchable fire.|
- The set Mt 3:7b-10 || Lk 3:7b-9 is inserted by Matthew and Luke after having copied Mark's introduction on John the Baptist identified with the character of the prophetic books of Mal 3:1 and Is 40:3
- The author of the Q document adopts the tone of invective found in prophets like Amos and Jeremiah denouncing injustice
- The emphasis is on the imminent judgment that is coming and the tone is radical: the sinner is thrown into the garbage with his unquenchable fire
- It will be noticed that Mt 3:11 || Lk 3:16 is almost a copy of Mark's text. What does this mean? Perhaps we have an example of an ancient tradition which, over time, has taken on various forms: Mark uses one of these forms, John also (which explains some of the similarities in red), and the Q document offers us its version; these various traditions can sometimes present the same words.
- Matthew seems to copy the sequence from the Q document (Mt 3:7b-12) as is, while Luke interrupts this sequence (Lk 3:7b-9) with an account of John the Baptist's moral teaching to particular groups (Lk 3:10-14), and then, when he resumes the sequence with Lk 3:16-17, feels the need to introduce it (Lk 3:15) with one of his compositions.
- In the majority of verses, the text presented by Matthew and Luke is almost identical, differing only in the choice of certain words. But it is difficult to determine which of these words actually come from the Q document. For example, does the verb "begin" in Lk 3:8b come from the Q document, or from the pen of Luke, who likes the verb "begin to" followed by an infinitive verb?
2. Three temptations (testings) of Jesus by the devil (different order)
|4: 1b-2 peirasthēnai hypo tou diabolou. kai nēsteusas hēmeras tesserakonta kai nyktas tesserakonta, hysteron epeinasen. ||4: 2 hēmeras tesserakonta peirazomenos hypo tou diabolou. Kai ouk ephagen ouden en tais hēmerais ekeinais kai syntelestheisōn autōn epeinasen. ||4: 1b-2 to be tested by the devil. And having fasted forty days and forty nights, finally he was hungry.||4: 2 forty days being tested by the devil. And he didn't eat anything in those days and them having been completed he was hungy.|
|4: 3 kai proselthōn ho peirazōn eipen autō• ei huios ei tou theou, eipe hina hoi lithoi houtoi artoi genōntai. ||4: 3 eipen de autō ho diabolos• ei huios ei tou theou, eipe tō lithō toutō hina genētai artos. ||4: 3 And having come near the one testing, he said to him: if son you are of the God, say that the stones theses bread they might become.||4: 3 Then, he said to him the deveil, if son you are of the God, say to the stone this one that it might become bread.|
|4: 4 ho de apokritheis eipen• gegraptai• ouk epʼ artō monō zēsetai ho anthrōpos, allʼ epi panti rhēmati ekporeuomenō dia stomatos theou.||4: 4 kai apekrithē pros auton ho Iēsous• gegraptai hoti ouk epʼ artō monō zēsetai ho anthrōpos. ||4: 4 Then, him having answered he said, it has been written: on bread only the man will not live, but on every word going out through mouth of God.||4: 4 And he answered toward him the Jesus, it has been written that on bread only the man will not live.|
|[4: 8-9 Palin paralambanei auton ho diabolos eis oros hypsēlon lian kai deiknysin autō pasas tas basileias tou kosmou kai tēn doxan autōn kai eipen autō• tauta soi panta dōsō, ean pesōn proskynēsēs moi.]||4: 5-7 Kai anagagōn auton edeixen autō pasas tas basileias tēs oikoumenēs en stigmē chronou kai eipen autō ho diabolos• soi dōsō tēn exousian tautēn hapasan kai tēn doxan autōn, hoti emoi paradedotai kai hō ean thelō didōmi autēn• sy oun ean proskynēsēs enōpion emou, estai sou pasa. ||[4: 8-9 Again the devil takes him with him to an exeedingly high mountain and he shows to him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and said to him, all these I give to you, if having fall down (to my feet) you might bow low to me.]||4: 5-7 And having led up him, he showed to him all the kingdoms of the universe in moment of time and said to him the devil, to you I will give the authority all this and the glory of them, because to me it has been given over and to whomever I want I give it. Therefore, you if you might bow low before me, it will be to you all.|
|[4: 10 tote legei autō ho Iēsous• hypage, satana• gegraptai gar• kyrion ton theon sou proskynēseis kai autō monō latreuseis.]||4: 8 kai apokritheis ho Iēsous eipen autō• gegraptai• kyrion ton theon sou proskynēseis kai autō monō latreuseis.||[4: 10 Thereupon the Jesus says to him, Go away, Satan. For it has been written: to Lord the God of you you will bow low and him only you will worship.]||4: 8 And having answered the Jesus said to him, it has been written: to Lord the God of you you will bow low and to him only you will worship.|
|5: 5 Tote paralambanei auton ho diabolos eis tēn hagian polin kai estēsen auton epi to pterygion tou hierou ||4: 9a Ēgagen de auton eis Ierousalēm kai estēsen epi to pterygion tou hierou ||4: 5 Thereupon the devil takes him with him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,||4: 9a Then he led him to Jerusalem and set on the pinnacle of the temple,|
|4: 6 kai legei autō• ei huios ei tou theou, bale seauton katō• gegraptai gar hoti tois angelois autou enteleitai peri sou kai epi cheirōn arousin se, mēpote proskopsēs pros lithon ton poda sou.||4: 9b-11 kai eipen autō• ei huios ei tou theou, bale seauton enteuthen katō• gegraptai gar hoti tois angelois autou enteleitai peri sou tou diaphylaxai se kai hoti epi cheirōn arousin se, mēpote proskopsēs pros lithon ton poda sou.||4: 6 and he says to him, if son you are of God, throw yourself down, for it has been written that to the angels of him he will give orders about you and on hands they will lift you, lest you might strike against a stone the foot of you.||4: 9b-11 and he said to him, if son you are of the God, throw yourself from here down, for it has been written that to angels of him he will give orders about you to guard you and that on hands they lift you, lest you my strike againt a stone the foot of you.|
|4: 7 ephē autō ho Iēsous• palin gegraptai• ouk ekpeiraseis kyrion ton theon sou.||4: 12 kai apokritheis eipen autō ho Iēsous hoti eirētai• ouk ekpeiraseis kyrion ton theon sou.||4: 7 He was declaring to him the Jesus, again it has been writthen: you will not test Lord the God of you.||4: 12 And having answered he said to him the Jesus that it has been said: you will not test Lord the God of you.|
|4: 11 Tote aphiēsin auton ho diabolos, kai idou angeloi prosēlthon kai diēkonoun autō.||4: 13 Kai syntelesas panta peirasmon ho diabolos apestē apʼ autou achri kairou.||4: 11 Thereupon he left him the devil, and behold angels came neer and they were serving him.||4: 13 And having finished every test the devil departed from him until the opportune time.|
- Mark gives us a single verse on the story of Jesus' ordeal in a desert place, a very general account. Matthew and Luke are familiar with this verse, but they also have before them a detailed account from the Q document. So both take the beginning of Mark's verse on the forty-day trial and add the Q document's text, which takes the form of three trials: 1) hunger, 2) avoidance of death and 3) wealth and power. Only Matthew ends his account by repeating the end of Mark's verse about the angels who serve him. Note that in Luke the order of the temptations is slightly different from that of Matthew with the sequence 1), 3), 2).
- In Mark, the tempter is Satan, whereas in the Q document it is the devil, a Hellenized version of the Hebrew Satan.
- In all three trials, Jesus' response refers to a passage in the OT (in italics): Mt 4:4 || Lk 4:4 (hunger) to Deut 8:3; Mt 4:10 || Lk 4:8 (wealth) to Deut 6:13 and Mt 4:7 || Lk 4:12 (avoidance of death) to Deut 6:16. In addition, the devil also quotes Ps 91 (LXX: 90):11 in Mt 4:6 || Lk 4:10-11. Note that all the quotations from the OT refer to the Greek version, i.e. the Septuagint. Note also that, for some reason, Matthew 4:6 omits the verb "to guard you" from the citation of Ps 90 (91):11 (present in Luke's citation), so that it is not clear in Matthew what God has commanded.
- It is difficult to determine the exact text of the Q document, because each evangelist may have added his personal touch. Let's start with Matthew who left the trace of his style with a verb like "to come near" (v. 3 and 11), or "to take with him" (v. 5 and 8), or "to fall down" (v. 9) or an adverb like "thereupon" (tote, v. 5, 10, 11), and even the reference to fasting (v. 2) understandable in his Jewish milieu. Luke, on the other hand, could have eliminated the mention of "forty days and forty nights" which repeats Ex 34:28 ("Moses remained there with the Lord forty days and forty nights, without eating or drinking anything") and Deut 9:9, because he may have wanted to avoid a double (Luke hates doubles) since he had already referred in v. 2 to the forty days of Jesus in the desert; he would have replaced this reference by one of his expressions: "in those days". The citation from Deut. 8:3 during the trial of hunger is abbreviated in Luke, who does not take up the end of the verse ("but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"), perhaps because he intends to use it rather in reference to Jesus in Lk 4:22: "they were astonished at the words of grace that came out of his mouth." Finally, some of the words are his own: "universe" (v. 5), "before me" (enōpion, v. 7).
- The conclusion of both Matthew and Luke is a composition: in Mt 4:11 Matthew uses a familiar verb "to leave" while adding to it the end of Mk 1:13 about the angels who serve Jesus; Luke, for his part, also uses a familiar verb, "to depart" and with the expression "until the opportune time" he prepares the return of Satan in Lk 22:3. He would have omitted the mention of the angels, because he reserves the intervention of the angel in the garden of Gethsemane to support Jesus (Lk 22:43).
- According to M.E. Boismard (Synopse des quatre évangiles, II, p. 87), Luke would have modified the original order of trials by putting the avoidance of death as the last trial, in order to end the scene with the mention of Jerusalem and to prepare its conclusion in v. 13 which evokes the temptations of Gethsemane.
3. Beatitudes (different order, wording)
|5: 3 Makarioi hoi ptōchoi tō pneumati, hoti autōn estin hē basileia tōn ouranōn.||6: 20b Makarioi hoi ptōchoi, hoti hymetera estin hē basileia tou theou.||5: 3 Blessed the poor in spirit, for to them is the kingdom of the heavens.||6: 20b Blessed the poor, for yours is the kingdom of the God.|
|[5: 6 makarioi hoi peinōntes kai dipsōntes tēn dikaiosynēn, hoti autoi chortasthēsontai.]||6: 21a makarioi hoi peinōntes nyn, hoti chortasthēsesthe.||[5: 6 Blessed the hungering and the thirsting of rightneousness, for, them, they will be filled]||6: 21a Blessed the hungering now, for you will be filled.|
|5: 4 makarioi hoi penthountes, hoti autoi paraklēthēsontai.||6: 21b makarioi hoi klaiontes nyn, hoti gelasete.||5: 4 Blessed the mourning, for, them, they will be conforted.||6: 21b Blessed the weeping now, for you will laugh.|
|5: 5 makarioi hoi praeis, hoti autoi klēronomēsousin tēn gēn.|| ||5: 5 Blessed the meek, for, them, they will inherit the earth.|| |
|5: 7 makarioi hoi eleēmones, hoti autoi eleēthēsontai.|| ||5: 7 Blessed the merciful, for, them, they will receive mercy.|| |
|5: 8 makarioi hoi katharoi tē kardia, hoti autoi ton theon opsontai.|| ||5: 8 Blessed the pure in heart, for, them, the God they will see.|| |
|5: 9 makarioi hoi eirēnopoioi, hoti autoi huioi theou klēthēsontai.|| ||5: 9 Blessed the peacemakers, for, them, sons of God they will be called.|| |
|5: 10 makarioi hoi dediōgmenoi heneken dikaiosynēs, hoti autōn estin hē basileia tōn ouranōn.|| ||5: 10 Blessed the having been persecuted on account of righteousness, for to them is the kingdom of heavens.|| |
|5: 11 makarioi este hotan oneidisōsin hymas kai diōxōsin kai eipōsin pan ponēron kathʼ hymōn [pseudomenoi] heneken emou. ||6: 22 makarioi este hotan misēsōsin hymas hoi anthrōpoi kai hotan aphorisōsin hymas kai oneidisōsin kai ekbalōsin to onoma hymōn hōs ponēron heneka tou huiou tou anthrōpou•||5: 11 Blessed are you when they shall insult you and they shall persecute and they shall say all kinds of evil against you [lying] on account of me.||6: 22 Blessed are you when they shall hate you the men and when they shall exclude you and they shall insult and cast out the name of you as evil on account of the son of man.|
|5: 12 chairete kai agalliasthe, hoti ho misthos hymōn polys en tois ouranois• houtōs gar ediōxan tous prophētas tous pro hymōn.||6: 23 charēte en ekeinē tē hēmera kai skirtēsate, idou gar ho misthos hymōn polys en tō ouranō• kata ta auta gar epoioun tois prophētais hoi pateres autōn.||5: 12 Rejoice and exult, for the reward of you (is) great in the heavens. For thus they persecuted the prophets those before you.||6: 23 Rejoice in that day and leap (for joy), for behold the reward of you (is) great in the heaven. For according to these things they were doing the prophets the fathers of you.|
- Note first that Matthew has 9 beatitudes (8 short, 1 long), while Luke has 4 beatitudes (3 short, 1 long)
- These beatitudes bear the mark of the editing work of the evangelists. However, most biblical scholars believe that these beatitudes are based on the core of the following three beatitudes which would have a good chance of going back to the historical Jesus:
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heavens
(on the subject, see J.P. Meier)
Blessed are the afflicted, for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the hungry, for they shall be filled
These beatitudes of the original core take up the themes of Isa 61: 1-2 ("The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, ") and as well Ps 107: 9 ("for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things"). The expression "Blessed..., for..." is well known from the psalms and sapiential literature where happiness is expected in this life, often linked to a political and earthly restoration of Israel's dominion over the world. Jesus' originality is to shift expectations to the world of God, a life with God, which alone can ensure true happiness.
- To this historical core, the author of the Q document would have added a fourth beatitude related to persecutions: Mt 5:11-12 || Lk 6:22-23; thus, while the initial beatitudes concerned the lowly, those who are crushed by life, the beatitude added by the Q document concerns Christians as such, those who will be hated and cursed because they are Christians (M.E. Boismard, Synopse des quatre évangiles, II, p. 129).
- How then can we explain the four beatitudes specific to Matthew (v. 5, 7, 8, 9)? First of all, let us note that the three beatitudes of vv. 5, 7, 9 are very different from those of vv. 3, 6, 4: they are no longer about states of deprivation (poverty, affliction, hunger), but about active qualities regulating relations with one's neighbor: mercy, purity of heart, pacifism, and consequently, the promised rewards no longer imply a reversal of the situation (possession of the kingdom, consolation, being filled), but evoke a new relationship established between man and God: he will receive mercy (from God), he will see God, and he will be a son of God. It is possible that Matthew received these beatitudes from a tradition about the initial preaching of Jesus, but what is clear is that he sought to reinterpret everything in a universal and almost timeless ethical perspective. In this framework, the poor became poor in spirit, i.e. humble in submission to God, hunger has become a hunger for justice typical of a Jewish perspective, i.e. the perfect fulfillment of the law. By the same token, Matthew would also have added to the Q document v. 10 about the persecuted, a verse that is not original and its ending merely repeats the ending of the first beatitude.
- It may be noted that Luke, with his four beatitudes, is the one who best respects the four beatitudes of the Q document. However, he does make some changes, the most obvious of which is the change to direct style: "yours is the kingdom of God", "you will be satisfied", "you will laugh"; this allows him to harmonize the first three beatitudes with the fourth. He would have modified the pair afflicted/comforted by the pair weeping/laughing better adapted to his Greek milieu. Finally, he would have added the adverb "now" which he particularly likes.
4. Love of enemies; turn other cheek; give coat; give to beggars
|[5: 44 egō de legō hymin• agapate tous echthrous hymōn kai proseuchesthe hyper tōn diōkontōn hymas,] ||6: 27-28 Alla hymin legō tois akouousin• agapate tous echthrous hymōn, kalōs poieite tois misousin hymas, eulogeite tous katarōmenous hymas, proseuchesthe peri tōn epēreazontōn hymas. ||['5: 44 Then, I, I say to you, Love the enemies of you and pray for the sake of those persecuting you.]||6: 27-28 But to you I say, those hearing, Love the enemies of you, do good to those hating you, bless those cursing you, pray concerning those reviling you.|
|5: 39b allʼ hostis se rhapizei eis tēn dexian siagona [sou], strepson autō kai tēn allēn• ||29a tō typtonti se epi tēn siagona pareche kai tēn allēn,||5: 39b But whoever slaps you to the right cheek (of you), turn to him also the other.||6: 29a To the one striking you on the cheek, offer also the other,|
|5: 40 kai tō thelonti soi krithēnai kai ton chitōna sou labein, aphes autō kai to himation• ||6: 29b kai apo tou airontos sou to himation kai ton chitōna mē kōlysēs. ||5: 40 And to the one willing to sue you and the tunic of you to take, yeld to him also the cloak.||6: 29b and from the one taking away the cloak of you, do not withhold also the tunic.|
|5: 42 tō aitounti se dos, kai ton thelonta apo sou danisasthai mē apostraphēs.||6: 30 panti aitounti se didou, kai apo tou airontos ta sa mē apaitei.||5: 42 To the one asking you, give, and to the one wanting from you to borrow, do not turn away.||6: 30 To everyone asking you, give, and from the one taking away the (things) of you, do not ask back.|
- Let us recall the context: in Matthew it is the discourse of Jesus on the mountain where he calls his audience to go beyond the teaching received, in Luke it is the discourse of Jesus on the plain.
- M.E. Boismard (Synopse des quatre évangiles, II, p. 149) believes he can reconstruct the text of the Q document, not only with the help of Matthew and Luke, but also of the Didache and Justin. This text would have been inspired by a document that had a wide circulation in the Jewish world contemporary with Jesus, and then in Christianity: the "Two Ways". Here is what it proposes:
|A||What thanks do you get if you love those who love? Do not even the nations (pagans) do this?|
|B||But you, love those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for your enemies.|
|C||Whoever slaps you on the cheek, turn the other one too;|
|D||And who requires you for (a race of) one mile, do two with him;|
|E||And whoever takes your cloak, do not refuse the tunic as well.|
|F||To everyone (man) who asks you, give;|
|G||And whoever wishes to borrow from you, do not turn away;|
|G'||[if anyone has received from you what is yours, do not claim it].|
|H||If you lend to (those) from whom you expect to receive, what thanks do you get? Even the publicans do the same.|
- Let's go over the different parallels:
- Mt 5:44 || Lk 6:27-28 (see line B): the Q document probably had three exhortations: love..., bless..., pray..., but Matthew would have retained only "love" and "pray", in order to keep the binary rhythm (with two verbs) throughout this section; moreover, no doubt in order to specify who are the "enemies" of the Q document, he directs the prayer towards those who "persecute" Christians, a theme dear to him. As for Luke, he presents us with four exhortations: love..., do good..., bless..., pray... It is as if Luke had split the first exhortation (according to R.E. Boismard, op. cit., p. 148, the exhortation "Love your enemies" of Matthew would have been known to Luke under the Mt-intermediate version, and Luke would at the same time have wanted to keep the mention of "those who hate you" from the Q document, and so to avoid using "love" again, would have replaced it with a synonymous expression of his own: "do good"), and to avoid repeating the word "enemy" at the end, replaced it with "those reviling you".
- Mt 5:39b || Lk 6:29a (see line C): Matthew seems to respect the Q document best. Luke would have replaced "slap", which does not appear at all in his gospel and Acts, with a word from his vocabulary, "strike", just as he would have replaced "turn" (the other cheek) with a verb from his vocabulary that seemed more appropriate: "offer" (the other cheek).
- Mt 5:40 || Lk 6:29b (see line E): Luke would be the one who best respects the wording of the Q document which has a Semitic structure, and which is more logical: one takes the cloak first before taking the tunic (which is an undergarment). Matthew has overloaded the verse with a reference to the OT (Ex 22:25; Deut 24:12,17 and especially Prov 20:16) where the seizure of the garment serves as a pledge for the one who has lent money
- Mt 5:42 || Lk 6:30 (see lines F and G/G'): there are two recommendations here, first to give to those in need, then to accept the request of those who want to borrow. But the wording of Lk 6:30b is obscure, because we no longer see the link with Lk 6:30a concerning a request. But everything becomes clearer instead of reading "to take away" (the same verb as in 29b: a case of distraction?), which denotes a certain violence, we read rather "to receive": the one receiving the (things) from you does not ask again; it would be a case of borrowing as Matthew testifies. It is therefore a repetition of lines F and G, with G' as a variant.
5. What you wish others to do to you, do to them
|7: 12 Panta oun hosa ean thelēte hina poiōsin hymin hoi anthrōpoi, houtōs kai hymeis poieite autois• houtos gar estin ho nomos kai hoi prophētai.||6: 31 Kai kathōs thelete hina poiōsin hymin hoi anthrōpoi poieite autois homoiōs. ||7:12 All things therefore as many as if you might want that should do to you the men, so also yourself do to them. For this is the law and the prophets.||6: 31 And as you want that should do to you the men, do to them likewise.|
- This word of Jesus has often been called the "golden rule". It was known in a negative form in Judaism: "Do not do to anyone what you hate yourself" (Tob 4:15). In the same way, Hillel, a rabbi contemporary of Jesus, says: "What you hate for yourself, you shall not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Law". (Talmud, Shabbat 31a). This rule is also known from Letter of Aristeas (middle of the 2nd century BC), which tells of the birth of the Septuagint, and during a meal a wise man said to the king: "Insofar as you do not wish evils to come upon you... put this into practice with your subjects" (n. 207). This golden rule would have been part of the Two Ways treatise known at the time of Jesus.
- The great originality of this word of Jesus is its formulation, not negative, but positive. Luke seems the one who best respected the original text of the Q document, which must have had this form: whatever you want to happen to you, do it to others (M.E. Boismard, op. cit., p. 155). But since Matthew and Luke insert this sentence in a speech to a crowd, the singular is transformed into a plural. Moreover, Matthew made a point of emphasizing the affinities of the "golden rule" with the treatise of the Two Ways by adding, "For this is the law and the prophets." Luke, on the other hand, would have added two words that he uses a lot, "as" at the beginning and "likewise" at the end.
6. Love more than those who love you; be merciful as the Father is
|5: 46 ean gar agapēsēte tous agapōntas hymas, tina misthon echete? ouchi kai hoi telōnai to auto poiousin? ||6: 32 kai ei agapate tous agapōntas hymas, poia hymin charis estin? kai gar hoi hamartōloi tous agapōntas autous agapōsin. ||5: 46 For that if you might love those loving you, what reward have you? Also the tax collectors the same thing they do.||6: 32 And if you love those loving you, what king to you credit is? For the sinners also love those loving them.|
|5: 47 kai ean aspasēsthe tous adelphous hymōn monon, ti perisson poieite? ouchi kai hoi ethnikoi to auto poiousin? ||6: 33 kai [gar] ean agathopoiēte tous agathopoiountas hymas, poia hymin charis estin? kai hoi hamartōloi to auto poiousin. ||5: 47 and that if you might greet the brothers of you only, what extraordinary (thing) do you do? Don't (pagan) nations do the same thing?||6: 33 [For] that if you might do good to the (one) doing good to you, what kind of credit to you it is? The sinners also do the same thing.|
|[5: 45 hopōs genēsthe huioi tou patros hymōn tou en ouranois, hoti ton hēlion autou anatellei epi ponērous kai agathous kai brechei epi dikaious kai adikous. ]||6: 35b kai esesthe huioi hypsistou, hoti autos chrēstos estin epi tous acharistous kai ponērous.||[5: 45 so that you may become sons of the father of you the one in heavens, for the sun of him he makes rise on evil (people) and good, and he sends rain on righteous and unrighteous.]||6: 35b And you shall be sons of Most High, for himself kind he is on ungrateful and evil (people).|
|5: 48 esesthe oun hymeis teleioi hōs ho patēr hymōn ho ouranios teleios estin.||6: 36 Ginesthe oiktirmones kathōs [kai] ho patēr hymōn oiktirmōn estin. ||5: 48 Therefore you shall be yourselves perfect as the father of you the (one) heavenly perfect is.||6: 36 (you) Become merciful as [also] the father of you merciful is.|
- Let us remember that the context is always that of the discourse on the mountain in Matthew, and the discourse in the plain in Luke
- If we are to believe R.E. Boismard, op. cit., pp. 145-151, the Q document for this passage must have had this formulation:
What credits do you get if you love those who love? Do not even the nations (pagans) do this?
Be kind and merciful like your Father in heavens who makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous
- Assuming this, let us consider the different parallels.
- Mt 5:46 - Lk 6:32: Luke would have replaced "nations" with "sinners", a theme very dear to him, and "do" with a repetition of the beginning "love those who love them", a way of being more explicit. Matthew, on the other hand, prefers to speak of "reward", a favorite theme of his, rather than "credits", and of "tax collectors" rather than "nations".
- Mt 5:47 || Lk 6:33: note that there is no real parallel between the two texts, except in the overall structure, and if Boismard is to be believed, neither reflects the Q document. In fact, Matthew would have created a variant of his v. 47 (one greets one's friends) in order to keep the binary structure he adopted in Jesus' speech. In Luke, v. 33 would be one of his creations that would take up the theme of "doing good" that he introduced earlier in v. 27.
- Mt 5:45,48 || Lk 6:35-36: in view of what the Q document may have been ("Become kind and merciful as your Father in heavens who raises up..."), we note that Matthew has split this exhortation in two, using the second part ("your Father in heavens who raises up..." for his v. 45, and the beginning ("Become kind and merciful" for his v. 48 conclusion), while changing both adjectives for "perfect") for his v. 45, and the first part ("Become kind and merciful") for his conclusion of v. 48, while changing both adjectives for "perfect" an adjective he will use in the episode of the rich young man (Mt 29:21): perfection is to fulfill all the perfections of the Law. Luke, for his part, would have respected the two adjectives ("kind and merciful") of the Q document, while keeping the inversion found in Matthew (i.e. the call to "become" is kept as a conclusion, and is no longer at the beginning of the exhortation; let us recall that, according to Boismard, Luke would have known a first edition of Matthew called Mt-intermediate). And if the reconstruction of the wording of the Q document is correct, Luke would have synthesized it somewhat. In any case, the exhortation of the Q document is bold: become like God.
7. Judge not and be nor judged; measure given is measure received
|7: 1 Mē krinete, hina mē krithēte• ||6: 37 Kai mē krinete, kai ou mē krithēte• kai mē katadikazete, kai ou mē katadikasthēte. apolyete, kai apolythēsesthe• ||7: 1 Do not judge, so that you should not be judged.||6: 37 And do not judge, and no you should not be judged, and do not condemn, and no you should not be condemned? forgive, and you will be forgiven.|
|7: 2 en hō gar krimati krinete krithēsesthe, kai en hō metrō metreite metrēthēsetai hymin. ||6: 38 didote, kai dothēsetai hymin• metron kalon pepiesmenon sesaleumenon hyperekchynnomenon dōsousin eis ton kolpon hymōn• hō gar metrō metreite antimetrēthēsetai hymin.||7: 2 For in whatever judgement hou judge, you will be judged, and in whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.||6: 38 Give, and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they put into the lap of you, for whatever mesure you measure, it will be measured in return to you.|
- Let us remember that the context is always that of the discourse on the mountain in Matthew, and the discourse in the plain in Luke
- Mt 7:1 || Lk 6:37: Let us note first that Matthew's Mt 7:1-2 is much more homogeneous than Luke's because it is centered on the theme of judgment; here we are referring to God's eschatological judgment which will copy our way of judging. Luke first takes up the Q document in 37a, but then (37b) clarifies it in the form of non condemnation and forgiveness.
- Mt 7:2 || Lk 6:38: Mt 7:2b reflects a legal law of which there are many attestations in Egyptian papyri (e.g., "I will give you your 45 artabes of wheat which are mentioned below, of pure grain, without foreign matter or chaff...measured with your measure with which you measured for me" Demotic Papyrus, n. 31323); the meaning is clear: he who gives will not be harmed when he is given back what he has lent. It should be noted that Mt 7:2b and Lk 6:38c are also found in Mark (underlined part). What does this mean? It is possible that this phrase belonged to an independent tradition known to both Mark and the Q document. In Luke, verse 38ab comes from his redaction work to clarify verse 38c, which comes to him from the Q document: this is understood in a context of gift or loan.
8. Can blind lead the blind; disciple not above teacher
|[15: 14 aphete autous• typhloi eisin hodēgoi [typhlōn]• typhlos de typhlon ean hodēgē, amphoteroi eis bothynon pesountai.]||6: 39 Eipen de kai parabolēn autois• mēti dynatai typhlos typhlon hodēgein? ouchi amphoteroi eis bothynon empesountai? ||[15: 14 Leave them. Blind they are, guides (of blinds). Then, that if a blind would guide a blind, both in a bit they will fall.]||6: 39 Then, he said also a parable to them: is he not able a blind a blind to guide? Will they not fall both into a pit?|
|[10: 24 Ouk estin mathētēs hyper ton didaskalon oude doulos hyper ton kyrion autou. ]||6: 40a ouk estin mathētēs hyper ton didaskalon• ||[10: 24 Is not a disciple above the teacher nor a servent above the lord of him]||6: 40a Is not a disciple over a teacher.|
|[10: 25a arketon tō mathētē hina genētai hōs ho didaskalos autou kai ho doulos hōs ho kyrios autou. ]||6: 40b katērtismenos de pas estai hōs ho didaskalos autou.||[10: 25a (It is) sufficient to the disciple that he should become like the teacher of him and the servent as the lord of him]||6: 40b Then, having been fully trained, every (disciple) will be like the disciple of him.|
- Here we have two texts taken from the Q document that Matthew and Luke have inserted in very different contexts. This is an indication that the Q document resembles a large binder with loose sheets of Jesus' words, and each evangelist used them in his own way according to the needs of his catechesis and his theological vision.
- Mt 15, 14 || Lk 6, 39: A first loose leaf from the Q Document is the image of the blind man leading another blind man. In Luke the image follows an exhortation not to judge others and is introduced by an expression that is peculiar to him: "he told them a parable" (see Lk 4:23; 5:36; 8:4; 12:16; 13:6; 14:7; 15:3; 18:9; 19:11; 20:9; 21:29). This parable takes the form of two questions, the answer to which is obvious: yes, both will fall into the pit. Matthew (15:14) inserts this image into a controversy with the Pharisees who are shocked that the disciples do not wash their hands with water before the meal. This image is preceded by one of his favorite verbs in the phrase: "Let them". It is presented as a statement: the Pharisees are blind men leading other blind men, and therefore will fall into a pit, i.e., they are going nowhere. Thus, in Luke the image is applied to the disciples in the context of their relationships with others, in Matthew it is used to pass judgment on the action of the Pharisees.
- Mt 15, 24-25a || Lk 6, 40: A second loose leaf is the image of the disciple-teacher relationship which contains two statements: first, the disciple is not greater than the teacher, but at the end of his training he will be like his teacher. It is difficult to know what the exact wording of the Q Document was, but in Luke the second statement becomes: he too can be a teacher with disciples. Since this image follows the one of the blind leading the blind, the disciple who becomes a teacher will no longer be blind and will be able to lead others. Matthew (10:24-25) inserted this image in a speech addressed to the disciples returning from the mission and to whom Jesus asks not to be surprised to encounter opposition and persecution. He introduces the text of the Q document with an adjective that can only be found in his work: it is sufficient (arketos). So the image of the disciple-teacher relationship becomes this: in the first statement about the disciple not being above the teacher, Jesus finds himself saying: if I have been persecuted, you will be persecuted too; in the second statement about the disciple only needing to be like his teacher, Jesus finds himself saying: you must be satisfied to know the same fate as I did when I was called Beelzebub. As we can see, the same image takes on a different meaning depending on the context in which it is inserted.
9. Speck in brother's eye, log in one's own
|7: 3 ti de blepeis to karphos to en tō ophthalmō tou adelphou sou, tēn de en tō sō ophthalmō dokon ou katanoeis? ||6: 41 Ti de blepeis to karphos to en tō ophthalmō tou adelphou sou, tēn de dokon tēn en tō idiō ophthalmō ou katanoeis? ||7: 3 Then, why do you look at the twig of the (one) of the brother of you, then the beam in the eye of you, you do not observe?||6: 41 Then, why do you look at the twig of the (one) of the brother of you, then the beam the (one) in the own eye, you do not observe?|
|7: 4 ē pōs ereis tō adelphō sou• aphes ekbalō to karphos ek tou ophthalmou sou, kai idou hē dokos en tō ophthalmō sou? ||6: 42a pōs dynasai legein tō adelphō sou• adelphe, aphes ekbalō to karphos to en tō ophthalmō sou, autos tēn en tō ophthalmō sou dokon ou blepōn? ||7: 4 Or, how will you say to the brother of you, let (that) I might cast out the twig out of the eye of you, and behold the beam in the eye of you?||6: 42a How are you able to say to the brother of you, brother, let (that) I might cast out the twig the (one) in the eye of you, yourself, the (one) in the eye of you, a beam, you are not seeing?|
|7: 5 hypokrita, ekbale prōton ek tou ophthalmou sou tēn dokon, kai tote diablepseis ekbalein to karphos ek tou ophthalmou tou adelphou sou.||6: 42b hypokrita, ekbale prōton tēn dokon ek tou ophthalmou sou, kai tote diablepseis to karphos to en tō ophthalmō tou adelphou sou ekbalein.||7: 5 Hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of the eye of you, and then you will see clearly to cast out the twig out of the eye of the brother of you.||6: 42b Hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of the eye of you, and then you will see clearly the twig the (one) in the eye of the brother of you to cast out.|
- The use of the Q document by Luke and Matthew is quite clear. Let us recall that the Q document resembles a large binder with loose sheets of Jesus' words, and each evangelist used them in his own way according to the needs of his catechesis and his theological vision.
- The flying leaf here refers to the image of the twig and the beam. Since Luke inserted this image after the mention of the disciple-teacher relationship and the need for training to become a teacher in turn, the image illuminates the purpose of this training: to learn to discover the beam that prevents us from seeing our neighbor well and guiding him as a teacher. Matthew (7:3-5) inserted this image after Jesus' exhortation not to judge so as not to be judged and reminding us that we will be judged in the same way as we have judged others.
- Note, however, the similarity between the context of Luke and Matthew: just before our pericope, Luke had inserted the flyleaf of Jesus' words exhorting not to judge and reminding us that we will be judged in the same way we have judged others. Matthew has pasted this loose leaf with the twig and beam. Thus, the two evangelists share the general context of acting in relationships with others. Moreover, the image of the twig and beam is part of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, the great discourse on Christian action that begins with the beatitudes, just as the same image is part of Luke's great discourse in the plain addressed to the disciples and beginning with the beatitudes.
- Despite the similarities between the two contexts, the difference is notable: in Luke, the image of the twig and the beam occurs in the middle of a well-constructed whole around an idea that develops progressively and will shed light on how to judge others well with a heart steeped in the gospel; In Matthew, the exhortation not to judge and the image of the twig and beam come like a meteorite after the invitation not to worry about tomorrow, and is followed by the surprising words of Jesus not to throw to the dogs what is sacred, undoubtedly a request to avoid sharing his teaching with people unable or unwilling to receive it.
10. No good tree bears bad fruit; no figs from thorns
|7: 16a apo tōn karpōn autōn epignōsesthe autous.|| ||[6: 44a hekaston gar dendron ek tou idiou karpou ginōsketai•]||7: 16a From the fruits of them you will know exactly them.|| ||6: 44a For each tree out of the own fruit is known.|
|7: 17 houtōs pan dendron agathon karpous kalous poiei, to de sapron dendron karpous ponērous poiei. ||[12: 33a Ē poiēsate to dendron kalon kai ton karpon autou kalon, ē poiēsate to dendron sapron kai ton karpon autou sapron• ]|| ||7: 17 Thus every tree good makes quality fruits, then the rotten tree makes bad fruits.||[12: 33a Either make the quality tree and the fruit of it quality, or make the tree rotten and the fruit of it rotten.]|| |
|7: 18 ou dynatai dendron agathon karpous ponērous poiein oude dendron sapron karpous kalous poiein. || ||6: 43 Ou gar estin dendron kalon poioun karpon sapron, oude palin dendron sapron poioun karpon kalon. ||7: 18 It is not able a good tree to make bad fruits nor a rotten tree to make quality fruits.|| ||6: 43 For it is not a quality tree making a rotten fruit nor again a rotten tree making a quality fruit.|
|7: 19 pan dendron mē poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eis pyr balletai. ||[3: 10 pan oun dendron mē poioun karpon kalon ekkoptetai kai eis pyr balletai.]|| ||7: 19 Every tree not making good fruit is cut down and into the fire is thrown.||[3: 10b So every tree not making good fruit is cut down and in the fire is thrown.]|| |
|7: 20 ara ge apo tōn karpōn autōn epignōsesthe autous.||[12: 33b ek gar tou karpou to dendron ginōsketai.]||6: 44a hekaston gar dendron ek tou idiou karpou ginōsketai• ||7: 20 Therefore from the fruits of them you will know exactly them.||[12: 33b For out of the fruit the tree is known.]||6: 44a For each tree out of the own fruit is known.|
|[7: 16b mēti syllegousin apo akanthōn staphylas ē apo tribolōn syka? ]|| ||6: 44b ou gar ex akanthōn syllegousin syka oude ek batou staphylēn trygōsin. ||[7: 16b Do they not gather from thorns a bunch of grapes, or from thistles figs?]|| ||6: 44b For out of thorns they do not gather figs, nor out of a bramble a bunch of grapes they harvest.|
| ||[12: 34a gennēmata echidnōn, pōs dynasthe agatha lalein ponēroi ontes?]|| || ||[12: 34a Offsprings of vipers, how are you able to speak good (things) being evil.]|| |
| ||12: 35 ho agathos anthrōpos ek tou agathou thēsaurou ekballei agatha, kai ho ponēros anthrōpos ek tou ponērou thēsaurou ekballei ponēra. ||6: 45a ho agathos anthrōpos ek tou agathou thēsaurou tēs kardias propherei to agathon, kai ho ponēros ek tou ponērou propherei to ponēron• || ||[12: 35 The good man, out the good treasure, he casts out good things, and the bad man, out of the bad treasure, casts out bad things.]||6: 45a The good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forward the good and the bad out of the bad brings forward the bad.|
| ||[12: 34b ek gar tou perisseumatos tēs kardias to stoma lalei. ]||6: 45b ek gar perisseumatos kardias lalei to stoma autou.|| ||[12: 34b For from abundance of the heart speaks the mouth.]||6: 45b For from abundance of heart speaks the mouth of him.|
- We would have here two logia of the Q document (cf M.E. Boismard, op.cit., p. 156):
1. By the fruit the tree is known. For from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good (things), and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil (things). (Mt 12: 33b,34b,35 || Lk 6: 44a,45)
2. It is not a good tree making a bad fruit, nor even again a bad tree making a good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. From thorns no one gathers figs, nor from thistles any grapes (Mt 7: 18,20,16b || Lk 6: 43-44)
- The first logion combines two themes. First, there is that of Mt 12:33b.34b: "By the fruit the tree is known, for of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks". This is an echo of Sir 27:6: "The fruit of the tree reveals how it has been cultivated, and so does the discussion of the thoughts of a man's heart." So the word makes known the good or bad quality of the human heart. The second theme is that of Mt 12:35 || Lk 6:45ab: "The good man out of his good treasure extracts good (things), and the evil man out of the evil treasure extracts evil (things)". The same idea is found in the The Testament of Asher: "But if a man's inclination is to evil, all his action is in evil.... Even if he does good, it turns to evil; for when he begins to do good, the purpose of his action drives him to evil since the treasury of his inclination is full of evil spirit" (1:8-9). The "inclination" and the "heart" are synonymous and designate the principle of moral action. In short, man acts well or badly according to whether his heart is good or bad.
- The second logion expands the popular proverb: "You can tell a tree by its fruit". This is a well-known theme in the OT, e.g., the metaphor refers to the righteous man who feeds on God's law (Ps 1:3; Jer 17:7-8), or to Israel who is faithful to God (Ex 17:22-23).
- Let us note that Matthew presents these two logia independently, logion 1 presented in Mt 12, and logion 2 in Mt 7, while Luke has put them together in Lk 7. Moreover, they are inserted in different contexts. Let us take a closer look.
- Matthew (7:16-20) has placed logion 2 in the context of the problem posed by false prophets (see v. 15 above). Indeed, the function of prophet, linked to the proclamation of the word, was an important one in the early Christian communities. Unfortunately, these prophets were of unequal value, hence the need to sort them out. Matthew therefore uses the image of the tree and its fruit to propose a criterion of discernment: so by their fruits you will recognize them, i.e. their actions. To integrate the logion with this context, Matthew is obliged to reverse the order of logion 2 (a. It is not a good tree bearing rotten fruit... b. For every tree is known by its own fruit. On thorns one does not pick) to first use b. (For every tree is known by its own fruit...) at the very beginning (v. 16), which obliges him to duplicate this statement (which appears again in v. 20). It will have been noted that Mt 7: 17,19 have no equivalent in Luke; in fact they are additions by Matthew: v. 17 serves to anticipate the theme of v. 18, and v. 19 allows him to give an eschatological scope to the scene.
- Matthew (12:33-35) uses logion 1 in a discourse of Jesus addressing the Pharisees, who accuse Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebul, to tell them that they cannot say good things, for they are evil, as the diseased tree produces diseased fruit. To this logion, Mt adds v. 33 (a reprise of Mt 7:17) and v. 34a to give an eschatological significance to Jesus' word.
- Luke 6:43-44 inserts logion 2 at the moment Jesus has just used the image of the speck and the plank in the eye, and so the logion makes a transition between, on the one hand, the affirmation that one must first look at one's own shortcomings represented by the plank, and on the other hand, the reason why one must proceed in this way: the fruit that is the judgment proceeds from the tree that is the person, and just as the good or bad tree gives different fruits, the good or bad man produces a different judgment.
- Luke 6:45 inserts here logion 1 on the fact that a good man professes from his treasure the good, an evil man professes from his treasure the evil, for what a person says is a reflection of his heart. In Luke, this statement follows from the image of the tree and its fruit, thus emphasizing the link between the fruit that is the judgment on another person, and the tree that is his being represented by his heart. We understand that the heart must first be transformed by the word of God so that it can bear good fruit, i.e. good judgment on his brother (cf. the image of the speck and the plank in the eye that Jesus spoke of earlier), and then he will be like a master who can guide others, and no longer a blind man, as Jesus stated at the beginning of the pericope in Luke.
11. Calling me Lord and not doing; hearing my words and doing them
|7: 21 Ou pas ho legōn moi• kyrie kyrie, eiseleusetai eis tēn basileian tōn ouranōn, allʼ ho poiōn to thelēma tou patros mou tou en tois ouranois. ||6: 46 Ti de me kaleite• kyrie kyrie, kai ou poieite ha legō? ||7: 21 Not everyone the (one) saying to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kinddom of heavens, but he (one) doing the will of the father of me the (one) in the heavens.||6: 46 Then, why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and you do not do what I say?|
|7: 24a Pas oun hostis akouei mou tous logous toutous kai poiei autous, homoiōthēsetai ||6: 47 Pas ho erchomenos pros me kai akouōn mou tōn logōn kai poiōn autous, hypodeixō hymin tini estin homoios• ||7: 24a Therefore everyone whoever hears of me the words these and does them, will be like||6: 47 Everyone who coming towards me and hearing of me the words and doing them, I will show you to whom he is like.|
|7: 24b-25 andri phronimō, hostis ōkodomēsen autou tēn oikian epi tēn petran• kai katebē hē brochē kai ēlthon hoi potamoi kai epneusan hoi anemoi kai prosepesan tē oikia ekeinē, kai ouk epesen, tethemeliōto gar epi tēn petran. ||6: 48 homoios estin anthrōpō oikodomounti oikian hos eskapsen kai ebathynen kai ethēken themelion epi tēn petran• plēmmyrēs de genomenēs proserēxen ho potamos tē oikia ekeinē, kai ouk ischysen saleusai autēn dia to kalōs oikodomēsthai autēn. ||7: 24b-25 to a man shrewd, whoever built of him the house upon the rock. And came down the rain and came the torrents and blew the winds and fell againt the house this one, and it did not fall, for it has been founded upon the rock. ||6: 48 Like he is to a person building a house who dug and deepened and laid a foundation upon the rock. Then, a flood having happened, burst the torrent (against) the house this (one), and it was not able to shake it, because it has been well built.|
|7: 26 kai pas ho akouōn mou tous logous toutous kai mē poiōn autous homoiōthēsetai andri mōrō, hostis ōkodomēsen autou tēn oikian epi tēn ammon• ||6: 49a ho de akousas kai mē poiēsas homoios estin anthrōpō oikodomēsanti oikian epi tēn gēn chōris themeliou, ||7: 26 And everyone the (one) hearing of me the words these and not doing them, will be like a man foolish, whover built of him the house upon the sand.||6: 49a Then, the (one) having heard and having not done is like a person having built a house upon the ground without a foundation.|
|7: 27 kai katebē hē brochē kai ēlthon hoi potamoi kai epneusan hoi anemoi kai prosekopsan tē oikia ekeinē, kai epesen kai ēn hē ptōsis autēs megalē.||6: 49b hē proserēxen ho potamos, kai euthys synepesen kai egeneto to rhēgma tēs oikias ekeinēs mega.||7:27 and came down the rain and came the torrents and blew the winds and burst againt the house this one, and it fell and was the fall of it great.||6: 49b on which burst the torrent and immediately fell together and happened the ruin of the house this one great.|
- Mt 7:21 || Lk 6:46 and Mt 7:24-27 || Lk 6:47-39 refer to two different logia of the Q document.
- In Mt 7:21 || Lk 6:46, there is a difference in tone between Matthew and Luke, because the latter, with his question, creates a polemical atmosphere. Luke probably better reflects the Q document, which must have been set in a context of confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees. But originally the title given to Jesus was probably "teacher" (rabbi), as attested by Papyrus Egerton 2 (see M.E. Boismard, op. cit., p. 157), not "Lord," a title given after Easter. Let us note that Luke's text, respecting the polemical tone of this logion of the Q document, fits badly into this great discourse in the plain where there are no real opponents. Matthew, for his part, by integrating this logion into the discourse on the mount, hastened to remove its polemical tone while adding a theme that is dear to him: the will of the Father.
- Mt 7:24-27 || Lk 6:47-39. This logion was probably the conclusion to Jesus' inaugural discourse in the Q document: it is an exhortation to put Jesus' teaching into practice. Although the idea is the same in Matthew and Luke, their wording is different, reflecting different geographical settings. Matthew has kept a more archaic formulation while retaining the Palestinian color of the description: for him, the challenge is to choose a rocky soil, which outcrops everywhere in Palestine, rather than the sand, which could not withstand the ephemeral but violent torrents caused by the heavy winter rains. Luke seems to have adapted the parable to its Greek setting, where the rock is below the loose soil, and the challenge is whether or not to reach it, through deep foundations; for him, the rush of water is less the torrent bursting through an ordinarily dry wady typical of Palestine, than the flood of a permanent river. Let us note stylistic elements peculiar to each evangelist: in Luke there is "the one coming to me", an imitation of the sapiential style (Prov 9:4-5; Sir 24:19) which we notice elsewhere in Luke, and the direct style at the end of v. 47: "I will show you". In Matthew, the epithets "shrewd/wise" and "foolish" belong to his vocabulary (see the parable of the ten virgins), as well as the passive verb "to be like" (v. 24, 26; cf. 6:8; 13:24; 18:23; 22:2; 25:1).
12. Centurion at Capernaum begs help for sick servant, marvelous faith
|8: 5 Eiselthontos de autou eis Kapharnaoum prosēlthen autō hekatontarchos parakalōn auton ||7: 1b-3a eisēlthen eis Kapharnaoum. Hekatontarchou de tinos doulos kakōs echōn ēmellen teleutan, hos ēn autō entimos. akousas de peri tou Iēsou apesteilen pros auton presbyterous tōn Ioudaiōn||8: 5 Then, him having entered into Capernaum, came near to him a centurion imploring him||7: 1b-3a He entered into Capernaum. Then, a certain servant of a centurion, having pain, was about to come to an end, who was to him precious. Then, having heard about the Jesus, he sent toward him the elders of the Jews|
|8: 6-7 kai legōn• kyrie, ho pais mou beblētai en tē oikia paralytikos, deinōs basanizomenos. kai legei autō• egō elthōn therapeusō auton. || 7: 3 erōtōn auton hopōs elthōn diasōsē ton doulon autou. ||8: 6-7 and saying, "Lord, the child of me has been lying in the house, paralyzed, terribly tormented". And he says to him, "I, having come, I will treat him".||7: 3 asking him how having come he might save the servant of him.|
| ||7: 4 hoi de paragenomenoi pros ton Iēsoun parekaloun auton spoudaiōs legontes hoti axios estin hō parexē touto• || ||7: 4 Then, having arrived toward the Jesus, they were begging him earnestly saying that worthy he is to whom you will grant this.|
| ||7: 5 agapa gar to ethnos hēmōn kai tēn synagōgēn autos ōkodomēsen hēmin. || ||7: 5 For he loves the nation of us and the synagogue, him, he built to us.|
| ||7: 6a ho de Iēsous eporeueto syn autois. ēdē de autou ou makran apechontos apo tēs oikias || ||7: 6a Then, the Jesus was goiong with them, then already him not far being distant from the house,|
|8: 8 kai apokritheis ho hekatontarchos ephē• kyrie, ouk eimi hikanos hina mou hypo tēn stegēn eiselthēs, alla monon eipe logō, kai iathēsetai ho pais mou. ||7: 6b-7 epempsen philous ho hekatontarchēs legōn autō• kyrie, mē skyllou, ou gar hikanos eimi hina hypo tēn stegēn mou eiselthēs• dio oude emauton ēxiōsa pros se elthein• alla eipe logō, kai iathētō ho pais mou. ||8: 8 And having answered, the centurion was declaring, "Lord, I am not worthy that under the roof of me you should enter, but only say a word, and will be healed the child of me.||7: 6b-7 he sent friends the centurion saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for not worthy I am that under the roof of me you enter. Wherefore neither myself I counted worthy toward you to come. But say a word, and be healed the child of me.|
|8: 9 kai gar egō anthrōpos eimi hypo exousian, echōn hypʼ emauton stratiōtas, kai legō toutō• poreuthēti, kai poreuetai, kai allō• erchou, kai erchetai, kai tō doulō mou• poiēson touto, kai poiei. ||7: 8 kai gar egō anthrōpos eimi hypo exousian tassomenos echōn hypʼ emauton stratiōtas, kai legō toutō• poreuthēti, kai poreuetai, kai allō• erchou, kai erchetai, kai tō doulō mou• poiēson touto, kai poiei. ||8: 9 For also I, a man I am under authority, having under myself soldiers, and I say to this (one), 'Go, and he goes, and to another, 'Come', and he come, and to the servent of me, 'Do this', and he does.||7: 8 For also I, a man I am set under authority, having under myself soldiers, and I say to this (one), 'Go, and he goes, and to another, 'Come', and he come, and to the servent of me, 'Do this', and he does.|
|8: 10 akousas de ho Iēsous ethaumasen kai eipen tois akolouthousin• amēn legō hymin, parʼ oudeni tosautēn pistin en tō Israēl heuron. ||7: 9 akousas de tauta ho Iēsous ethaumasen auton kai strapheis tō akolouthounti autō ochlō eipen• legō hymin, oude en tō Israēl tosautēn pistin heuron. ||8: 10 Then, having heard, the Jesus marveled and said to those following, "Amen, I say to you, by no one such a faith in the Israel I found.||7: 9 Then, having heard, the Jesus marveled at him and having turned to the crowd following him he said, "I say to you, not even such a faith in the Israel I found.|
|8: 11 legō de hymin hoti polloi apo anatolōn kai dysmōn hēxousin kai anaklithēsontai meta Abraam kai Isaak kai Iakōb en tē basileia tōn ouranōn, || ||8: 11 Then, I say to you that many from east and west will arive and will recline with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heavens.|| |
|8: 12 hoi de huioi tēs basileias ekblēthēsontai eis to skotos to exōteron• ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos tōn odontōn. || ||8: 12 Then, the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the darkness, the outer. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth.|| |
|8: 13 kai eipen ho Iēsous tō hekatontarchē• hypage, hōs episteusas genēthētō soi. kai iathē ho pais [autou] en tē hōra ekeinē.||7: 10 Kai hypostrepsantes eis ton oikon hoi pemphthentes heuron ton doulon hygiainonta.||8: 13 And said the Jesus to the centurion, "Go, happen to you as you believed". And was healed the you [of him] in that hour.||7: 10 And having returned into the house, those having been sent found the servant being in good health.|
- Let's start with a few observations.
- Despite many similarities, the pattern of the story in Matthew and Luke is different. In Matthew, the centurion asks Jesus directly to heal his child, and it is Jesus himself who makes the decision to go to the centurion's house to heal the child. Finally, it is directly to Jesus that the centurion says that he is unworthy to have Jesus in his house. In Luke, on the other hand, it is the narrator of the gospel who informs us of the illness, not of the child, but of the centurion's servant. Moreover, it is no longer the centurion, but a delegation of elders who make the request for healing. Then, the admission of unworthiness is expressed through another delegation, that of the centurion's friends, so that the centurion is never really present on the scene.
- Mt 8:11-12 ("...many will come from the east and the west...") has no parallel in Luke's account (Luke will present this logion later in Lk 13:28-29, which we will see in our section 37).
- Matthew's account has a similar structure to that presented in Mt 15:21-28 in the story of the healing of the daughter of the Canaanite woman where a Gentile (like the centurion) has a sick daughter (son for the centurion) and asks Jesus for her healing. Both stories are marked by Jesus' amazement at the faith of the person making the request (Mt 15:28: "O woman, great is your faith"; Mt 8:10: "Jesus admired... in no one have I found such faith in Israel"). Both stories end almost identically: "Let it be done to you as you wish" (Mt 15:28); "Go, let it be done to you as you have believed" (Mt 8:13).
- Finally, let us note that this account is also found in Jn 4:46-54 in the form of the healing of the son of a royal official in Capernaum, while Jesus is in Cana, and will constitute according to the evangelist the second sign of Jesus.
- What to do with these observations?
- First of all, the Q document is primarily a collection of Jesus' words and teachings. The account of the centurion in Capernaum is a healing account, and thus appears as an anomaly in such a collection, which makes it doubtful that it really belongs to the Q collection.
- Since vv. 11-12 ("...many will come from the east and the west...") of Mt are found elsewhere in Lk 13:28-29 and are words of Jesus, it can be argued that they do not belong to the original narrative, but come from the Q document, and that Matthew decided to insert them here in order to make the centurion the figure who anticipates the arrival of the Gentiles in the Church.
- With an ending in v. 13 similar to Mt 15:28, Matthew seems to recognize the kinship of the two narratives, and thus the kinship of their source.
- Solution proposal
- One can think that there existed in the early church a certain number of collections, either of Jesus' words or of miracle accounts, from which the writers of the gospels drew, none of whom were direct witnesses of Jesus' ministry. A biblical scholar like M.E. Boismard has identified four of these collections, which he calls the A, B, C and Q documents.
- According to Boismard, op. cit., pp. 159-161, the basis for the account of the centurion at Capernaum would come from Document C, a document used by the evangelist John. In this document, the narrative could have the following formulation.
A royal official, whose son was sick, having heard (about) Jesus, came to him and asked him to come and heal his son. Jesus said to him, "Go, your son is healed." And when he returned to his house, he found his son well.
In this account, the emphasis is on the omnipotence of Jesus who heals at a distance by the simple power of his word. This account would have been taken up by the collection of Document A, which would have made the royal official a centurion, thus a pagan, and would have added the paragraph testifying to the centurion's faith and the admiration of Jesus, perhaps using traditional data.
A centurion, whose son was sick, having heard about Jesus, came to him and asked him to heal his son. Jesus said to him, "I, having come, will take care of him. And when the centurion had answered, he said, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but say a word and let my child be healed. For I, a man, am also under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does." And when Jesus heard this, he admired and said to those who followed him, "I tell you, I have not found such faith from anyone in Israel. And Jesus said to the centurion, "Go, your son is healed. And when he returned to his house, he found his son well.
- To this document A, each evangelist has added his personal touch. In Matthew, the most notable changes are the addition of vv. 11-12 ("...many will come from the east and the west...") from the Q document, to make the centurion the figure who anticipates the arrival of the Gentiles in the Church, and its ending (v. 13) with the use of typical expressions: "Let it happen to you as..." (see Mt 9:29; 15:28), and "was healed in that hour" (see Mt 9:13b; 15:28).
- The changes Luke makes to the story are important. First of all, the centurion's relationship with Jesus is by delegation. It starts with the delegation of the elders of the Jews (see Acts 25:15 where a delegation of the elders of the Jews want to condemn Paul) which allows him to praise the pagan centurion and justify the healing, and then the delegation of friends who pass on the centurion's words about his unworthiness in order to keep the healing as a remote action. In several places in the narrative we find his vocabulary or style: v. 4 "having arrived", "you will grant this", v. 5 "nation"; v. 6 "he sent", "friends", "already him not far being distant from..." (see Lk 15:20). While the account in Document A spoke of a child (pais in Greek, which can mean either a child or a servant), Luke removes any ambiguity by speaking in v. 2 of "servant" (doulos). At the same time, in order to justify the healing of a servant and to emphasize the urgency to intervene, he adds the words: "which was precious to him" and "was about to come to an end, i.e. die" (v. 2).
13. Disciples of JBap; message to him; praise of JBap as more than a prophet
|11: 2 Ho de tōn mathētōn autou ||7: 18 Kai apēngeilan Iōannē hoi mathētai autou peri pantōn toutōn. kai proskalesamenos dyo tinas tōn mathētōn autou ho Iōannēs ||11: 2 Then, the John having heard in the prison the works of the Christ, having commissioned by the disciples of him||7: 18 And they related to John the disciples of him about all these things. And having called near him two of certains of the disciples of him the John|
|11: 3 eipen autō• sy ei ho erchomenos ē heteron prosdokōmen? ||7: 19 epempsen pros ton kyrion legōn• sy ei ho erchomenos ē allon prosdokōmen? ||11: 3 he said to him, "Are you the coming or another are we expecting?||7: 19 commissioned toward the Lord saying, "Are you the coming or a different (one) do we expect?|
| ||7: 20-21 paragenomenoi de pros auton hoi andres eipan• Iōannēs ho baptistēs apesteilen hēmas pros se legōn• sy ei ho erchomenos ē allon prosdokōmen? en ekeinē tē hōra etherapeusen pollous apo nosōn kai mastigōn kai pneumatōn ponērōn kai typhlois pollois echarisato blepein. || ||7: 20-21 Then, having arrived toward him the men said: "John the Baptist sent us toward you saying, 'Are you the coming or a different do we expect? At this very hour he healed many from diseases and infirmities and spirits unclean and to many blind he granted to perceive.|
|11: 4 kai apokritheis ho Iēsous eipen autois• poreuthentes apangeilate Iōannē ha akouete kai blepete• ||7: 22a kai apokritheis eipen autois• poreuthentes apangeilate Iōannē ha eidete kai ēkousate• ||11: 4 And having answered the Jesus said to them, "Having gone, relate to John what you hear and perceive:||7: 22a And having answered he said to them, "Having gone, relate to John what you saw and heard:|
|11: 5 typhloi anablepousin kai chōloi peripatousin, leproi katharizontai kai kōphoi akouousin, kai nekroi egeirontai kai ptōchoi euangelizontai• ||7: 22b typhloi anablepousin, chōloi peripatousin, leproi katharizontai kai kōphoi akouousin, nekroi egeirontai, ptōchoi euangelizontai•||11: 5 blinds become able to see and lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, and dead are raised, and poor are gospelized||7: 22b blinds become able to see, lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, dead are raised, poor are gospelized|
|11: 6 kai makarios estin hos ean mē skandalisthē en emoi.||7: 23 kai makarios estin hos ean mē skandalisthē en emoi.||11: 6 and blessed is he who that if he would not stumble in me.||7: 23 and blessed is he who that if he would not stumble in me.|
|11: 7 Toutōn de poreuomenōn ērxato ho Iēsous legein tois ochlois peri Iōannou• ti exēlthate eis tēn erēmon theasasthai? kalamon hypo anemou saleuomenon? ||7: 24 Apelthontōn de tōn angelōn Iōannou ērxato legein pros tous ochlous peri Iōannou• ti exēlthate eis tēn erēmon theasasthai? kalamon hypo anemou saleuomenon? ||11: 7 Then, these going, he began the Jesus to say to the crowds about John: "Who you came out into the desert to look upon? A reed under the wind being shaken?||7: 24 Then, having departed the messengers of John, he began to say toward the crowds about John: "Who you came out into the desert to look upon? A reed under the wind being shaken?|
|11: 8 alla ti exēlthate idein? anthrōpon en malakois ēmphiesmenon? idou hoi ta malaka phorountes en tois oikois tōn basileōn eisin. ||7: 25 alla ti exēlthate idein? anthrōpon en malakois himatiois ēmphiesmenon? idou hoi en himatismō endoxō kai tryphē hyparchontes en tois basileiois eisin. ||11: 8 But who you came out to see? A man in delicate (things) having been dressed? Behold, the (ones) the delicate (things) wearing in the houses of royals they are.||7: 25 But who you came out to see? A man in delicate clothings having been dressed? Behold, the (ones) in clothing splendid and in luxury living, in the royal (palaces) they are.|
|11: 9 alla ti exēlthate idein? prophētēn? nai legō hymin, kai perissoteron prophētou. ||7: 26 alla ti exēlthate idein? prophētēn? nai legō hymin, kai perissoteron prophētou. ||11: 9 But who you came out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more excellent than a prophet.||7: 26 But who you came out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more excellent than a prophet.|
|11: 10 houtos estin peri hou gegraptai• idou egō apostellō ton angelon mou pro prosōpou sou, hos kataskeuasei tēn hodon sou emprosthen sou.||7: 27 houtos estin peri hou gegraptai• idou apostellō ton angelon mou pro prosōpou sou, hos kataskeuasei tēn hodon sou emprosthen sou.||11: 10 Him he is about whom it has been written, Behold, I, I send the messenger of me before the face of you, who will prepare the way of you before you.||7: 27 Him he is about whom it has been written, Behold, I send the messenger of me before the face of you, who will prepare the way of you before you.|
|11: 11 Amēn legō hymin• ouk egēgertai en gennētois gynaikōn meizōn Iōannou tou baptistou• ho de mikroteros en tē basileia tōn ouranōn meizōn autou estin. ||7: 28 legō hymin, meizōn en gennētois gynaikōn Iōannou oudeis estin• ho de mikroteros en tē basileia tou theou meizōn autou estin.||11: 11 Amen I say to you, there has not been risen among born of women greater one than John the Baptist. Then, the least in the kingdom of the heavens greather than him he is.||7: 28 I say to you, greater among born of women than John no one is. Then, the least in the kingdom of the God greather than him he is.|
- Here we have two pericopes: Mt 11:2-6 || Lk 7:18-23 (John the Baptist's questions to Jesus) and Mt 11:7-11 || Lk 7:24-28 (Jesus' testimony about John the Baptist); the basis for these two pericopes comes from the Q document.
- Mt 11:2-6 || Lk 7:18-23 (Questions of John the Baptist to Jesus)
- As can be seen, the introduction to the pericope in Matthew and Luke has been reworked. Originally the text probably read as follows:
Now John, having sent by his disciples, said to Jesus
In Mt 11:2 it is Matthew who would have added: "having heard in the prison the works of Christ" (because of unusual words or expressions, such as the participle "having heard" redundant with the participle "having sent", the term desmoterion to designate the prison, and Christ, a term of high Christology). In Lk 7:18 we note the Lucan expressions: "they related", "about", "all these things", "having called near him", "certains of". In Lk 7:19, Luke changes the semantic expression "commissioned by" to "commissioned toward", and designates Jesus with the title "Lord", which he does regularly in his gospel.
- Lk 7:20-21 is a clear addition by Luke with his particular vocabulary or style: "having arrived toward", "man" in the sense of a male person (anēr), "to send" to use a different verb than "to commission", "to heal from", "evil spirit", "to grant". In v. 20 he repeats v. 19, probably to show that John's envoys have carried out their mission. In v. 21 Luke presents us with a Jesus who immediately ("at that hour") begins to heal people from diseases, infirmities, evil spirits and the blind. Why does this happen? So far in his gospel, Luke has mentioned only two miracles, the healing of the leper (5:12-16) and the paralytic (5:17-26), to which he has just added (7:11-17) the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain. Now, in the quotation from Is 26:19 in the verse that follows, there is also mention of the blind, the lame and the deaf. So it is important to mention that Jesus did indeed heal these people, which is what he does in v. 21 when he speaks of diseases, infirmities, evil spirits and the blind. But in doing so, he has to change the tense of the verbs in v. 22: whereas in Mt 11:4 the verbs are in the present tense ("what you hear and perceive"), Luke has to put the verbs in the past tense ("what you have seen and heard") to refer to what has just happened in v. 21.
- What is the meaning of the question ("Are you the one who is coming?") asked by John the Baptist? The expression "the one who is coming" evokes several texts of the OT.
- Ps 118:26: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
- Gen 40:10: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes whose it is, and he (is) the expectation of the peoples."
- Mal 3:1-3: "...and the Angel of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes... he is like the fire of the founder.
The coming one has the function of purifying God's people by fire, of exercising the great eschatological judgment, a function that John the Baptist seems to embody. But Jesus rather teaches the crowds about God's love, hence the doubt in John the Baptist's mind.
- Jesus' answer (Mt 11:4-5 || Lk 7:22-23) to this question is indirect. Rather, he lists his thaumaturgical activity, an echo of the prophet Isaiah:
- Isa 35: 5-6: "Then the eyes of the blind will see and the ears of the deaf will be opened. Then the lame will leap like a deer and the mouth of the mute will cry out for joy. Waters will gush out in the desert, streams in the steppe."
- Isa 29: 18-19: "In that day the deaf will hear the reading of the book, and the eyes of the blind will see out of the darkness. The humble will rejoice more and more in the Lord, and the poor will exult in the Holy One of Israel,
- Isa 61:1-2: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. For the Lord has made me a messiah; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim escape to the captives, to the prisoners the dazzling, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.
With this reference to Isaiah, Jesus affirms that he is indeed the one God had announced, that we should not expect another.
- The conclusion of the pericope (Mt 11:6 || Lk 7:24: "Blessed is the one who will not stumble because of me") may be surprising. In fact, by proclaiming the heavenly kingdom and the conditions for entering it (love of others, non-violence), Jesus risks offending the expectations of many people, those who expect a judgment to sort out the good from the bad, as well as those who hope for the coming of a messiah who will liberate them from Roman oppression and restore kingship to Israel.
- Mt 11:7-11 || Lk 7:24-28 (Jesus' testimony about John the Baptist). Let us note at once that this set is not really a continuation of what precedes it (Mt 11:2-6 || Lk 7:18-23), and it is only the hook word "John the Baptist" that unites them. Moreover, this pericope must be separated into two logia: Mt 11:7-10 || Lk 7:24-27 and Mt 11:11 || Lk 7:28.
- Mt 11: 7-10 || Lk 7: 24-27
- Each evangelist makes some changes to the text of the Q document. In Matthew, it is the expression "these going" (v. 7) that is typical of him (see Matthew 28:11). In Luke, it is first of all the expression "having departed" that he uses very often, but it is above all all the details that he adds: (delicate) "clothings", "living in clothing splendid and in luxury".
- This logion focuses on John the Baptist's place in relation to Jesus and is introduced by three increasingly pressing questions from Jesus, the first two of which call for a negative response (he is not a man who bends to the desires of the great, he is not a courtier found in palaces), and the third for a positive response (he is a prophet), which is amplified by a quotation from Ml 3:1 in Mt 11:10 || Lk 7:27 ("Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; He will prepare your way before you"). Note that the Malachi quote has been slightly modified to apply to Jesus, since the OT text refers to God in the first person singular, and thus speaks of "ahead of me", "the way before me".
- Mt 11:11 || Lk 7:28. This logion must be seen as different from the above, for the subject is no longer really the place of John the Baptist in relation to Jesus, but rather the comparison of two periods in salvation history, the one from Adam to John the Baptist, in which the latter surpasses the prophets and patriarch in greatness, and the one inaugurated by Jesus. Moreover, this logion appears independently in The Gospel of Thomas (46).
14. This generation pleased by neither JBap nor Son of Man
|11: 16a Tini de homoiōsō tēn genean tautēn? ||7: 31 Tini oun homoiōsō tous anthrōpous tēs geneas tautēs kai tini eisin homoioi? ||11: 16a Then, to what will I liken the generation this?||7:31 Therefore, to what will I liken the men of the generation this and to what are they like?|
|11: 16b homoia estin paidiois kathēmenois en tais agorais ha prosphōnounta tois heterois ||7: 32a homoioi eisin paidiois tois en agora kathēmenois kai prosphōnousin allēlois ||11: 16b Like he is to little children sitting in the marketplaces who are calling out to the others||7:32a Like they are to little children who in marketplaces sitting and calling out to themselves mutually|
|11: 17 legousin• ēylēsamen hymin kai ouk ōrchēsasthe, ethrēnēsamen kai ouk ekopsasthe.||7: 32b ha legei• ēylēsamen hymin kai ouk ōrchēsasthe, ethrēnēsamen kai ouk eklausate.||11: 17 they say, 'We played on a flute for you, and you did not dance, we lamented and you did not beat (your chest).||7:32b things one says, 'We played on a flute for you and you did not dance, we lamented and you did not weep.|
|11: 18 ēlthen gar Iōannēs mēte esthiōn mēte pinōn, kai legousin• daimonion echei. ||7: 33 elēlythen gar Iōannēs ho baptistēs mē esthiōn arton mēte pinōn oinon, kai legete• daimonion echei. ||11: 18 For came John neither eating nor drinking and they say, 'He has a demon'.||7:33 For has come John the Baptist not eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon'.|
|11: 19a ēlthen ho huios tou anthrōpou esthiōn kai pinōn, kai legousin• idou anthrōpos phagos kai oinopotēs, telōnōn philos kai hamartōlōn. ||7: 34 elēlythen ho huios tou anthrōpou esthiōn kai pinōn, kai legete• idou anthrōpos phagos kai oinopotēs, philos telōnōn kai hamartōlōn. ||11: 19a Came the son of man eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold a man a glutton and drunkard, of tax collectors a friend and of sinners.||7:34 Has come the son of the man eating and drinking, you say, 'Behold a man a glutton and drunkard, of tax collectors a friend and of sinners.'|
|11: 19b kai edikaiōthē hē sophia apo tōn ergōn autēs.||7: 35 kai edikaiōthē hē sophia apo pantōn tōn teknōn autēs.||11: 19b and was justified the wisdom from the works of her.||7:35 And was justified the wisdom from all the children of her.|
- On the whole Matthew seems to best respect the wording of the Q document. Luke would have made a set of small changes:
- in 7:31b he repeats the question ("and to what are they like") of 31a, as he did earlier in Lk 6:47-48
- in 7,31 he specifies "the men" of this generation
- in 7, 32a he corrects the incorrect expression "to call out others" by "to call out mutually"
- in 7, 32b he replaces the too Semitic gesture of "beating one's chest" with the more universal gesture of "weeping"
- in 7, 33 the past tense of the verb (came John) is replaced by a verb in the perfect tense (has come), because he considers that the period of John the Baptist is over
- in 7, 33 the expression "they say" is replaced by "you say", to specify the subject of the verb
- in 7:33 he specifies "of bread" and "of wine" to avoid the idea that John would never have eaten or drunk.
- in 7:35 he replaces "works" with "children", in order to show that a part of the population was open to his teaching and followed him. For Luke, the rejection comes from the Pharisees and the lawyers, which he did in 7:30, just before the beginning of our pericope.
- The Q document begins with a short parable of two groups of children who reproach each other for refusing the game that the other group proposes, a picture of the generation of Jesus that refused the two envoys of God, John and Jesus, one inviting to penitence, the other to the joy of messianic times. Nevertheless, this did not prevent John the Baptist and Jesus from taking action, i.e. from manifesting their works.
- Note that according to M.E. Boismard, op. cit., p. 167, the phrase "a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Mt 11:19a || Lk 7:34b) was not in the text of the Q document, since it would be anomalous for a phrase in the Q document to refer to a situation that does not belong to the Q document (Mt 9:11 || Mk 2:15 || Lk 5:30: Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners). According to Boismard, the sentence was added by the final editor of the Lucan school, who thus gave a final touch to the synoptic gospels.
15. Son of Man has nowhere to lay head; to follow him let dead bury dead
|8: 19 kai proselthōn heis grammateus eipen autō• didaskale, akolouthēsō soi hopou ean aperchē. ||9: 57 Kai poreuomenōn autōn en tē hodō eipen tis pros auton• akolouthēsō soi hopou ean aperchē. ||8: 19 And having drawn near one scribe said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever that if you might go away."||9: 57 and going them on the road he said a certain toward him, "I will follow you wherever that if you might go away".|
|8: 20 kai legei autō ho Iēsous• hai alōpekes phōleous echousin kai ta peteina tou ouranou kataskēnōseis, ho de huios tou anthrōpou ouk echei pou tēn kephalēn klinē. ||9: 58 kai eipen autō ho Iēsous• hai alōpekes phōleous echousin kai ta peteina tou ouranou kataskēnōseis, ho de huios tou anthrōpou ouk echei pou tēn kephalēn klinē. ||8: 20 And he says to him the Jesus, "The foxes holes have and the birds of the sky nests, then the son of the man does not have where the head he might lay."||9: 58 And said to him the Jesus, "The foxes holes have and the birds of the sky nests, then the son of the man does not have where the head he might lay."|
|8: 21 heteros de tōn mathētōn [autou] eipen autō• kyrie, epitrepson moi prōton apelthein kai thapsai ton patera mou. ||9: 59 Eipen de pros heteron• akolouthei moi. ho de eipen• [kyrie,] epitrepson moi apelthonti prōton thapsai ton patera mou. ||8: 21 Then, another of the disciples [of him] said to him, Lord, allow me first to go away and to bury the father of me.||9: 59 Then said toward another, "Follow me." Then him said, '[Lord], allow me having gone away to first burry the father of me."|
|8: 22 ho de Iēsous legei autō• akolouthei moi kai aphes tous nekrous thapsai tous heautōn nekrous.||9: 60 eipen de autō• aphes tous nekrous thapsai tous heautōn nekrous, sy de apelthōn diangelle tēn basileian tou theou. ||Then, the Jesus says to him, "Follow me and leave the deads to burry their own deads."||9: 60 Then, he said to him, Leave the deads to burry their own deads, then you having gone away, proclaim the kingdom of the God".|
| ||9: 61 Eipen de kai heteros• akolouthēsō soi, kyrie• prōton de epitrepson moi apotaxasthai tois eis ton oikon mou. || ||9: 61 Then, said also another, "'I will follow you, Lord, then first allow me to bid farewell to those into the house of me".|
| ||9: 62 eipen de [pros auton] ho Iēsous• oudeis epibalōn tēn cheira epʼ arotron kai blepōn eis ta opisō eythetos estin tē basileia tou theou.|| ||9: 62 Then said [toward him] the Jesus: "No one having laid the hand upon plow and looking on things behind, fit he is for the kingdom of God.|
- Luke's formulation seems most faithful to the Q document with its three examples of discipleship. Matthew, on the other hand, has deleted the last example. Nevertheless, one can note the trace of Luke's style:
- the construction "he says toward" is typical
- the construction "allow me having gone away" is found elsewhere in him (Acts 27: 3)
- he would have added "then you having gone away, proclaim the kingdom of the God" in order to make the link with the episode that follows
- in v. 61 the expression "Then... also" is typical of his style
- The three examples express the condition of the disciple: he will have no home or family and will have to be ready to leave at once. The last example may contain an allusion to the calling of Elisha by Elijah (1 Kings 19:20).
16. Harvest plentiful, laborers few; mission instructions
|9: 37 tote legei tois mathētais autou• ho men therismos polys, hoi de ergatai oligoi• ||10: 2a elegen de pros autous• ho men therismos polys, hoi de ergatai oligoi•||9: 37 At that time he says to the disciples of him, really harvest plentiful, then workers few.||10: 2a Then, he was saying towards them, really harvest plentiful, then workers few.|
|9: 38 deēthēte oun tou kyriou tou therismou hopōs ekbalē ergatas eis ton therismon autou.||10: 2b deēthēte oun tou kyriou tou therismou hopōs ergatas ekbalē eis ton therismon autou. ||9: 38 Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest workmen he would bring out into the harvest of him.||10: 2b Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest workmen he would bring out into the harvest of him.|
|10: 16 Idou egō apostellō hymas hōs probata en mesō lykōn• ginesthe oun phronimoi hōs hoi opheis kai akeraioi hōs hai peristerai.||10: 3 hypagete• idou apostellō hymas hōs arnas en mesō lykōn. ||10: 16 Behold, me, I send you as sheep in (the) midst of wolves. Become therefore clever as the snakes and innocent as the doves.||10: 3 Go! Behold I send you as lambs in (the) midst of wolves.|
|10: 9-10a Mē ktēsēsthe chryson mēde argyron mēde chalkon eis tas zōnas hymōn, mē pēran eis hodon||10: 4a mē bastazete ballantion, mē pēran, ||10: 9-10a Neither acquire gold, not even silver, not even (money of) bronze in the belts of you, nor bag for (the) journey.||10: 4a Neither carry purse nor bag|
|10: 10b mēde dyo chitōnas mēde hypodēmata mēde rhabdon• ||10: 4b mē hypodēmata, kai mēdena kata tēn hodon aspasēsthe. ||10: 10b not even two tunics: not even shoes: not even a staff.||10: 4b nor shoes and no one along the road you would greet.|
|10: 11-12 eis hēn dʼ an polin ē kōmēn eiselthēte: exetasate tis en autē axios estin• kakei meinate heōs an exelthēte. eiserchomenoi de eis tēn oikian aspasasthe autēn• ||10: 5 eis hēn dʼ an eiselthēte oikian, prōton legete• eirēnē tō oikō toutō. ||10: 11-12 Then, perchance, into whatever city or village you would enter, inquire who in it is worthy. And there remain until perchance you would go out. Then, entering into the house, greet it.||10: 5 Then, perchance, into whatever house you would enter, first say peace to this house.|
|10: 13 kai ean men ē hē oikia axia, elthatō hē eirēnē hymōn epʼ autēn, ean de mē ē axia, hē eirēnē hymōn pros hymas epistraphētō. ||10: 6 kai ean ekei ē huios eirēnēs, epanapaēsetai epʼ auton hē eirēnē hymōn• ei de mē ge, ephʼ hymas anakampsei. ||10: 13 And if really is the house worthy, let come the peace of you upon them, then if it is not worthy, the peace of you to you let it go back.||10: 6 And if there would be a son of peace, would rest upon him the peace of you. Then, if not, on you it will return.|
|[10: 10c axios gar ho ergatēs tēs trophēs autou.]||10: 7 en autē de tē oikia menete esthiontes kai pinontes ta parʼ autōn• axios gar ho ergatēs tou misthou autou. mē metabainete ex oikias eis oikian. ||[10: 10c for worthy (is) the workman of food of him]||10: 7 Then, in this house remain, eating and drinking the things (brought) by them, for worthy (is) the workman of the wages of him. Do not move out of a house into a house.|
| ||10: 8 kai eis hēn an polin eiserchēsthe kai dechōntai hymas, esthiete ta paratithemena hymin || ||10: 8 And in whatever city perchance you might enter and they would receive you, eat the things being offered to you.|
| ||10: 9 kai therapeuete tous en autē astheneis kai legete autois• ēngiken ephʼ hymas hē basileia tou theou. || ||10: 9 And heal the sicks in it and say to them, it has drawn near to you the kingdom of God.|
|10: 14 kai hos an mē dexētai hymas mēde akousē tous logous hymōn, exerchomenoi exō tēs oikias ē tēs poleōs ekeinēs ektinaxate ton koniorton tōn podōn hymōn. ||10: 10-11a eis hēn dʼ an polin eiselthēte kai mē dechōntai hymas, exelthontes eis tas plateias autēs eipate• kai ton koniorton ton kollēthenta hēmin ek tēs poleōs hymōn eis tous podas apomassometha hymin•||10: 14 and perchance whatever (person) might not receive you, not even would listen the words of you, going forth out of the house or that city, shake out the dust of the feet of you.||10: 10-11a Then, in whatever city you might have perchance entered and they might not receive you, having gone forth out into the streets of it, say, And the dust the (one) having clung to us out of the city of you into the feet, we wipe out to you, yet this know,|
| ||10: 11b plēn touto ginōskete hoti ēngiken hē basileia tou theou. || ||10: 11b yet, this know that it has drawn near the kingdom of God.|
|10: 15 amēn legō hymin, anektoteron estai gē Sodomōn kai Gomorrōn en hēmera kriseōs ē tē polei ekeinē.||10: 12 legō hymin hoti Sodomois en tē hēmera ekeinē anektoteron estai ē tē polei ekeinē.||10: 15 Amen I say to you, more tolerable it will be to land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than this city.||10: 12 I say to you that Sodom in these days more tolerable it will be than this city.|
- This text in the Q document originally concerned the sending out of the Twelve, an account that Mark, taken over by Luke, told us based on another document (called Document A by M.E. Boismard). It is Luke who would have changed the "Twelve" in the Q document to "Seventy-two" to avoid a blatant duplication in his gospel, and especially to justify the many non-Jewish missionaries who crisscrossed the Christian communities in his time.
- In Lk 10:2-3 we have two logia, because Matthew inserted them in different places in his gospel.
- Mt 9:37-38 || Lk 10:2 ("the harvest is many... pray to the Lord of the harvest..."). The harvest here does not mean the great eschatological Judgment, as in Mt 13:30,39 or in the OT, but the whole of the people who have believed in the preaching of the Gospel, the same kind of harvest of which Jn 4:35-38 speaks.
- Mt 10:16a || Lk 10:3 ("...Behold, I send you forth as lambs..."). The lamb is the symbol of the defenseless being that can easily be crushed. It was one of the animals offered as a holocaust, and therefore sacrificed. Isa 11:6 uses it to symbolize peace and harmony in paradise: "And the wolf will graze with the lamb" (see also Is 65:25). If Isaiah's symbol is very strong, it is because in reality the wolf is in a merciless hunt against the lamb. We can therefore conclude that the missionary's work takes place in an extremely hostile environment where he will be the object of violent attacks from which it will be difficult to protect himself.
- Mt 10:9-10 || Lk 10:4 ("do not carry a purse..."). It is a question of not taking anything with oneself, because the recipients of the preaching will provide for the needs of the missionary. The recommendation not to wear shoes, which is different from what we find in Mark, perhaps means that shoes are seen as a hindrance, since an Oriental is used to walking barefoot. In any case, what follows emphasizes the urgency of the mission, to the point of asking not to stop on the way to greet people. This last point is absent from Matthew, which suggests an addition by Luke, probably inspired by 2 Kings 4:29, where Elijah advises his servant not to greet anyone on the way because of the urgency of his mission.
- Mt 10:11-13 || Lk 10:5-6 ("...say peace to this house..."). Luke seems to be more faithful to the wording of the Q document with its Semitism: "peace to this house", "son of peace". Matthew has transformed the style into Greek formulas. It should be noted that "for the Semites, every word, whether blessing or curse, had a certain effectiveness; if it did not reach its goal, it came back on the one who had pronounced it" (M.E. Boismard, op.cit., p. 272).
- Lk 10:7-9 ("...stay in this house, eating and drinking..."). These three verses are probably a Lucan composition, for they do not really appear in Matthew.
- Only the logion about the worker deserving his wages is also found in Matthew, but Matthew has inserted it elsewhere, when Jesus asks not to take anything along the road, a way of clarifying why it is not necessary to take anything along; all this suggests that we may be dealing with an independent logion. Matthew would have replaced the word "wages", which is traditional, since it is found in 1 Tim 5:18, with "food" in order to adapt the statement to the context where the missionary is asked to take nothing with him on the road.
- Why would Luke compose these vv. 7-9? First of all, we must distinguish v. 7 from v. 8-9. Indeed, v. 7 concerns the missionary rules at home. And here Luke feels the need to complete for the seventy-two what was said for the Twelve, and which he takes from Mark (or Document A according to Boismard): to stay at home all the time that is necessary, which Luke clarifies by warning against the tendency to be selective (choosing the house that spoils the missionary the most). It is in this context that he would have inserted the independent logion of the Q document on the worker who deserves his wages.
- With v. 8-9 the context is no longer that of the house, but that of the city. Now, if we look at Mt 10:9-15, after speaking of the rules in the context of welcoming a house, the Q document now deals with the case of houses and cities that refuse the gospel proclamation and ends with a curse on these cities that will experience a harsher judgment than Sodom. For Luke, this transition is probably too abrupt. He, who likes a balance between a scene with a man and another with a woman, also wants a balance between the positive and the negative element. This is what we see here: before introducing the rejection of the cities mentioned by the Q document, he first wants to talk about the cities that welcome the gospel message. How does he do this?
- After the rules concerning the house, Luke finds it important to specify the rules concerning the city, which is the new missionary context of the Greek world. To do this, he takes up part of what was said for the Twelve, but with some adaptations, such as the formula "eat the things offered to you", the same expression that Paul uses in 1 Cor 10:27 about meat offered to idols; let us remember that in the ancient world, butchery was often a sacred gesture, since it could be done in a pagan religious setting, and the meat that ended up in the market was often passed through these rituals. So what does it say here in v. 8: don't be afraid to eat, even if it's food probably from a pagan cult. In v. 9 Luke returns to what has been the essence of Jesus' mission: to heal and to announce that God's reign is near, which the seventy-two missionaries are to pursue.
- Mt 10:14 || Lk 10:10-11a ("...do not receive you..."). Matthew and Luke seem to have merged what came from Mark and the Q document. But the Markan tradition is solely house-centered, while the Q document is city-centered. By merging the two traditions, Matthew keeps both mentions: "going forth out of the house or that city," while Luke, in a more orderly fashion, is focused only on the city, having finished the section on the house earlier. The Marcan tradition speaks of the earth on the feet that must be shaken off, the Q tradition speaks more of the dust that must be wiped off the feet. Again, Matthew seems to have merged the "shaking" of the Marcian tradition with the "dust" of the Q document. In any case, the idea is the same: there is a clear statement that there is a break in the relationship with those who have refused, by not keeping anything from the city with them.
- Lk 10:11b ("yet know this that the kingdom..."). We are clearly faced with an addition by Luke introduced by a word of his vocabulary: "yet" (plēn). Why this addition? In the midst of a scene of rejection, Luke wants to affirm that, nevertheless, the mission will succeed and God's action will continue.
- Mt 10:15 | Lk 10:12 ("...I say to you that Sodom..."). This reference to Sodom comes from the Q document. However, it does not seem to be in the place it was in the Q document, as can be guessed from Mt 11:21-24 where it appears as the conclusion of the invective against Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum (also mentioned by Luke in the following verses: 13-15), and should have read: "I tell you that for Sodom it will be more tolerable in the judgment than for you. Luke would have moved this conclusion to the front, before inserting the invective. In doing so, he is obliged to change the direct style ("it will be more tolerable than for you") of v. 12b into indirect style ("it will be more tolerable than for that city"). How then to explain the similar text of Mt 10:15? According to M.E. Boismard, op.cit., p. 168, it is the final editor of Matthew's text, who would have known a first edition of Luke's gospel (called: proto-Luke) who would have copied this verse from Luke, while making certain modifications, such as the word "Amen" which regularly precedes "I say to you" in his gospel, as well as "Gomorrah" which almost always appears in pairs in the OT.
17. Woe to Chorazin, Bethsaida; whoever hears you, hears me
|11: 21 ouai soi, Chorazin, ouai soi, Bēthsaida• hoti ei en Tyrō kai Sidōni egenonto hai dynameis hai genomenai en hymin, palai an en sakkō kai spodō metenoēsan. ||10: 13 Ouai soi, Chorazin, ouai soi, Bēthsaida• hoti ei en Tyrō kai Sidōni egenēthēsan hai dynameis hai genomenai en hymin, palai an en sakkō kai spodō kathēmenoi metenoēsan. ||11: 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if in the Tyre and Sidon had taken place the deeds of power the (one) having taking place in you, long ago perchance in sackcloth and ashes they would have change their mind.||10: 13 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if in the Tyre and Sidon had taken place the deeds of power the (one) having taking place in you, long ago in sackcloth and ashes sitting, they would have change their mind.|
|11: 22 plēn legō hymin, Tyrō kai Sidōni anektoteron estai en hēmera kriseōs ē hymin. ||10: 14 plēn Tyrō kai Sidōni anektoteron estai en tē krisei ē hymin. ||11: 22 However, I say to you, for Tyre and Sidon more tolerable it will be in the day of judgment than for you.||10: 14 However for Tyre and Sidon more tolerable it will be in the judgment than for you.|
|11: 23a kai sy, Kapharnaoum, mē heōs ouranou hypsōthēsē? heōs hadou katabēsē•||10: 15 kai sy, Kapharnaoum, mē heōs ouranou hypsōthēsē? heōs tou hadou katabibasthēsē.||11: 23a And you Capernaum, as far as heaven you will not be lifted up, as far as Hades you will go down.||10: 15 And you Capernaum, as far as heaven you will not be lifted up, as far as Hades you will be brought down.|
|11: 23b hoti ei en Sodomois egenēthēsan hai dynameis hai genomenai en soi, emeinen an mechri tēs sēmeron. || ||11: 23b For if in Sodom had happened the deeds of power those having happened in you, it would have remained perchance until the today.|| |
|11: 40 Ho dechomenos hymas eme dechetai, kai ho eme dechomenos dechetai ton aposteilanta me. ||10: 16 Ho akouōn hymōn emou akouei, kai ho athetōn hymas eme athetei• ho de eme athetōn athetei ton aposteilanta me.||10: 40 The (one) receiving you, me he receives, and the (one) me receiving, he receives the (one) having sent me.||10: 16 The (one) hearing you, me he hears? and the (one) rejecting you, me he rejects? then the (one) me rejecting, he rejects the (one) having sent me.|
- This section presents two different logia from the Q document, because these words were inserted in different places in the gospel of Matthew and Luke.
- Mt 11:21-23 || Lk 10:13-15 ("Woe to you, Chorazin...")
- Matthew has kept intact this logion on Jesus' invective against certain cities. Luke, on the other hand, as we saw in the previous section, preferred to move the ending ("For if in Sodom the acts of power had happened...", Mt 11:23b) to the beginning, i.e. Lk 11:12, which we saw in the previous section. Moreover, the fact of inserting these invectives as they are in a direct style ("Woe to you..."), in a scene in the indirect style of the missionary rules, this created an abrupt form of rupture in style. Matthew has preferred to insert this logion in a completely different context, a scene where Jesus encounters opposition and which he introduces as follows: "Then he began to revile the cities where most of his miracles had taken place, because they had not been converted.
- The whole of Mt 11:21-23 || Lk 10:13-15 is almost identical, except for some details. In Matthew 11:21-23, the verb "had taken place" is expressed in Greek by two different forms of the aorist passive, forms that are impossible to translate into today's language; the form in Luke does not reflect his style, and so we can assume that it comes from the Q document, while the form in Matthew is more common, and so we can assume that the modification comes from him. In addition, we find in Luke's version the verb "sitting" (in sackcloth and ashes), which does not appear in Matthew's version. Again, this verb is not particularly Lucan, so we can assume that it comes from the Q document, and it is Matthew who would have deleted it, probably finding it redundant.
- In Matthew 11:22 ("However...") two expressions appear in Matthew's version, absent from Luke's version. First, there is "I say to you", typical of Matthew, which he regularly adds to his sources, and then "the day of" (judgment), which expresses his tendency to be more precise, which he also regularly does with his sources.
- In Mt 11:23a - Lk 10:15 ("And you, Capernaum..."), we have the verb "to bring down" in Luke, "to go down" in Matthew. This is a problem of textual criticism, and several biblical scholars have opted for "to bring down" in Matthew and Luke, or conversely "to go down". We will refer to our textual criticism analysis of Lk 10:15. Let it suffice to present our conclusion. The author of the Q document was probably inspired for this verse concerning Capernaum by Ezekiel 31:15 (LXX) which tells the parable of a great cedar (Egypt) whose top has been lifted up (hypsoō) to heaven, and God had brought it down (katabibazō) to the realm of the dead, exactly the "lift up/bring down" couple of the Q document on Capernaum. If this is the case, why would Matthew replace "bring down" with "go down"? For Matthew, this invective may have evoked the one in Isaiah (LXX: 14:3-23) whose context is one of invective against the claims of the king of Babylon to whom God says: "Thy glory has come down [katabainō] to Hades"; the presence of the word "Hades" might have contributed to the evocation of this passage from Isaiah. Let us note the different choices made by the translators of our Bibles. On the French side, the Jerusalem Bible, the Ecumenical Translation of the Bible, and the New Translation of the Bible have opted for "to go down"; this choice can perhaps be explained by the reputation of the Vaticanus codex which offers us this reading. On the other hand, Louis Segond, Maredsous and André Chouraqui have opted for "bring down". On the English side, only the New American Bible and the New International Version have opted for "go down", while the New Revised Standard Version, the American Standard Version and the King James Version have opted for "bring down".
- Mt 10:40 || Lk 10:16 ("He who hears you...")
- This logion from the Q document was inserted in two different contexts in Matthew and Luke. Matthew inserted it as a conclusion to his great mission discourse (Mt 10:1-42), while Luke inserts it at the end of the mission rules for the seventy-two.
- Some differences between Matthew's version and Luke's will have been noted. While Matthew's logion has a solely positive tone and speaks only of "welcoming" the missionary, Luke's alternates between positive and negative ("rejecting"), and rather than speaking of welcoming, he speaks of listening. What was the version of the Q document?
- It is likely that the Q document was referring to listening, since the verb "to listen" is not particularly Lucan. Moreover, it is easy to explain why Matthew would have replaced "listen" with "receive". Indeed, Matthew decided to insert this verse from the Q document in his conclusion to the great missionary discourse (Mt 10:40-42) where he insists on the reception and support of the missionary; more precisely, he inserts it just before this word of Jesus: "Whoever receives a prophet in his capacity as a prophet will obtain a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous person in his capacity as a righteous person will obtain a righteous person's reward." It was therefore quite normal, for the sake of unifying its conclusion under the theme of welcoming the missionary, to modify the verb of the Q document in this way.
- Another argument supporting Luke's version of the Q document comes from the binary structure: hearing the word/rejecting it. This structure is also found in John 12:48 ("He who rejects me and does not receive my words"). Moreover, when we look at the different texts attributed to the Q document, we notice that it is usual to present together the two possible attitudes towards Jesus and his message: Mt 7:21, 24-27 || Lk 6:46-49 (building on rock / on sand); Mt 12:30 || Lk 11:23 (He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters); Mt 10:32-33 || Lk 12:8-9 (He who declares himself to be for me. ... he who denies me); Mt 6:24 || Lk 16:13 (No servant can serve two masters, or else he will hate the one and love the other); Mt 10:39 || Lk 17:33: (He who seeks to keep his life will lose it); Mt 25:29 || Lk 19:26: (To everyone who has, it will be given, but to the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away). So the binary structure belongs to the style of the Q document, and that is the style we would have here in Lk 10:16. So why would Matthew not have retained the negative part? It is likely that by inserting this verse at the end of his missionary discourse (Mt 10:40) and associating it with the various ways of welcoming missionaries (as prophet and disciple, and caring for their needs) in his conclusion, Matthew could no longer mention rejection without appearing dissonant and irrelevant.
18. Thanking the Father for revealing to infants; all things given to the Son who alone knows the Father; blessed eyes that see what you see
|11: 25 En ekeinō tō kairō apokritheis ho Iēsous eipen• exomologoumai soi, pater, kyrie tou ouranou kai tēs gēs, hoti ekrypsas tauta apo sophōn kai synetōn kai apekalypsas auta nēpiois• ||10: 21a En autē tē hōra ēgalliasato [en] tō pneumati tō hagiō kai eipen• exomologoumai soi, pater, kyrie tou ouranou kai tēs gēs, hoti apekrypsas tauta apo sophōn kai synetōn kai apekalypsas auta nēpiois• ||11: 25 In that time having answered the Jesus, he said, "I praize you, Father, Lord of the heaven and the earth, that you have hidden these things from wise and intelligent and have revealed them to little ones.||10: 21a In the same hour he rejoiced [in] the spirit the holy and said, "I praize you, Father, Lord of the heaven and the earth, that you have hidden these things from wise and intelligent and have revealed them to little ones.|
|11: 26 nai ho patēr, hoti houtōs eudokia egeneto emprosthen sou. ||10: 22b nai ho patēr, hoti houtōs eudokia egeneto emprosthen sou. ||11: 26 Yes, the Father, for thus good pleasure took place before you.||10: 22b Yes, the Father, for thus good pleasure took place before you.|
|11: 27 Panta moi paredothē hypo tou patros mou, kai oudeis epiginōskei ton huion ei mē ho patēr, oude ton patera tis epiginōskei ei mē ho huios kai hō ean boulētai ho huios apokalypsai.||10: 22 panta moi paredothē hypo tou patros mou, kai oudeis ginōskei tis estin ho huios ei mē ho patēr, kai tis estin ho patēr ei mē ho huios kai hō ean boulētai ho huios apokalypsai.||11: 27 All things to me have been given over by the Father of me, and no one knows exactly the son if not the Father, neither one knows exactly the Father if not the son and to whom if might want the son to reveal."||10: 22 All things to me have been given over by the Father of me, and no one knows who is the son if not the Father, and who is the Father if not the son and to whom if might want the son to reveal."|
| ||10: 23a Kai strapheis pros tous mathētas katʼ idian eipen• || ||10: 23a And having turned toward the disciples in private he said,|
|[13: 16 hymōn de makarioi hoi ophthalmoi hoti blepousin kai ta ōta hymōn hoti akouousin.]||10: 23b makarioi hoi ophthalmoi hoi blepontes ha blepete. ||[13: 16 "Then, blessed the eyes of you, for they observe and the ears of you for they hear.]||10: 23b "Blessed the eyes the ones observing what you are observing.|
|[13: 17 amēn gar legō hymin hoti polloi prophētai kai dikaioi epethymēsan idein ha blepete kai ouk eidan, kai akousai ha akouete kai ouk ēkousan.]||10: 24 legō gar hymin hoti polloi prophētai kai basileis ēthelēsan idein ha hymeis blepete kai ouk eidan, kai akousai ha akouete kai ouk ēkousan.||[13: 17 For amen I say to you that many prophets and righteous desired to see what yourselves you observe and they didn't see, et to hear what you hear and they didn't hear."]||10: 24 For I say to you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what yourselves you observe and they didn't see, et to hear what you hear and they didn't hear."|
- This pericope presents two logia from the Q document, as they were placed in different places in their gospel by Matthew and John.
- Mt 11:25-27 || Lk 10:21-22 ("I praise you, Father...") form the first logion.
- Matthew has inserted it in a polemical context, after the invective against the cities that refused the gospel message. But at the same time, he presents this logion as a new scene in his gospel with the expression: "At that time", so that it is not clear which "little ones" he is referring to. Luke, on the other hand, has inserted this logion after the return of the seventy-two to whom Jesus has just said: "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven". And to make sure that the logion in the Q document is connected with what he has just told, he writes: "At the same time", a way of saying that Jesus' reaction is related to what precedes. Then the little ones point to the seventy-two missionaries.
- Each evangelist has introduced the Q document in his own way. Matthew uses an expression that is very frequent in his work: "Jesus answered and said"; in fact, Jesus does not answer anyone, but this is his way of saying: "Jesus spoke again and said". Luke, for his part, uses the verb "to rejoice", the same word that he puts on the lips of Elizabeth (Lk 1:44) about the child she is carrying and on the lips of Mary in the Magnificat (Lk 1:47). Moreover, he puts Jesus' reaction under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which he does regularly in his gospel.
- A careful analysis of this logion shows that we are nevertheless faced with two different pieces, even if these two pieces were united in the Q document. Indeed, the tone is not the same between Mt 11:25-26 || Lk 10:21 ("I praise you, Father...") and Mt 11:27 || Lk 10:22 ("All things have been delivered to me by my Father..."). Let's take a closer look.
- Mt 11:25-26 || Lk 10:21 ("I praise you, Father...") is probably an echo of Dan 2:20-23:
(LXX) Blessed be the name of God from century to century, for to him belong wisdom and strength. It is he... who gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who can discern. He who reveals depths and secrets, knows what is in the darkness, and the light is in him. You, God of my fathers, I praise you. (soi.. exomologoumai) and I glorify you for having given me wisdom and understanding: behold, you have made known to me that for which we asked you...
If this Old Testament text is really the context of our logion, it allows us to understand the sentence: "You have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to the litte ones". For what does "these things" refer to? In the book of Daniel, it is the coming of the kingdom of God according to the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and this kingdom will never be destroyed. But unlike in the book of Daniel, the wise men and the intelligent ones are no longer the wise men of Chaldea, but the scribes and Pharisees who claimed to know the secrets of God's science.
- Mt 11:27 - Lk 10:22 ("All things were given over to me by my Father...") is no longer centered on the revelation of the kingdom of God, but on the knowledge of the Father through the Son, even if the link is very strong with the first part of the logion, for it is because God is Lord, master of heaven and earth, that he can hand over everything to Jesus.
- This part of the logion has a very Johannine flavor with the expression: "All things were given to me by my Father"; in Jn 3:35 we read: "The Father loves the Son and has given everything into his hand" (see also 13:1). The absolute use of the word "Son" to designate Jesus is found almost exclusively in John. Similarly, the theme of the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son recurs a few times in John (Jn 10:15: "as my Father knows me and I know my Father...", see also Jn 17:25). In short, the whole of this logion of the Q document is in line with Johannine thought.
- The wording of this second part of the logion is almost identical in Matthew and Luke, except for some minor points. First of all, in Luke we have the expression "to know who the son is" whereas in Matthew the more concise expression is "to know the son". It is legitimate to think that the expression "who is the son" goes back to the Q document, because it is a very Johannine expression (6 times in his gospel) and this whole part of the Q document has a Johannine flavour, whereas Matthew often opts for concision. We might note next that in Luke we have the verb gignōskō (to know), but in Matthew epigignōskō (to know exactly). Again, it is likely that it is gignōskō (to know) that we were reading in this part of the Q document that has a Johannine flavor, for John always uses gignōskō, never epigignōskō, whereas epigignōskō appears a number of times in the pen of Matthew. We have a similar case with another text from the Q document, Mt 7:16a || Lk 6:44a: in Luke we have "Every tree is known (gignōskō) from its fruit", whereas Matthew offers us: "It is from their fruit that you will recognize (epigignōskō ) them".
- Mt 13:16-17 || Lk 10:23-24 ("Blessed are the eyes observing what you observe...") form the second logion.
- Let us first note that this logion has been inserted in a different context in Luke and Matthew. In Luke, it follows Jesus' reaction to the seventy-two returning from the mission, and now Jesus seems to be speaking privately to his disciples. In Matthew, the logion has been inserted into Jesus' discourse in parables, as he explains to his disciples why he speaks in parables, quoting Is 6:10: "lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears..."; in contrast, the disciples are those who see and hear, and to adapt this Q document to the context of the Isaiah citation, Matthew changes the general Q document wording "the eyes the ones observing" found in Luke to "your eyes for they observe". Moreover, since Isaiah's text also spoke of ears, he adds in 13:16 to the Q document the mention of ears.
- According to M.E. Boismard, op.cit., p. 273, It is possible that this logion of the Q document is a translation of the Aramaic. Such a hypothesis would explain a number of things:
- it would explain why we find in Mt 13:16a "because" and in Lk 10:23a "those who", for the Aramaic particle di can be translated either by a causal particle or by a relative pronoun
- it would explain why we find "desired" in Mt 13:17 and "wanted" in Lk 10:24, because the Aramaic verb be`a can be translated both ways.
- It would explain why in Luke we find the surprising mention of "kings" in Lk 10:24, when we should expect to see "angels" as in 1 Pet 11-12, which speaks of the prophets who looked for the time when what they prophesied would be fulfilled and of the angels who wished to look into it; yet, in Aramaic "angel" is mlk and "king" is mlk, so the translator would have confused the two
In such a hypothesis, Matthew and Luke would have had two different versions of the Q document.
- Finally, it should be noted that Luke would have introduced this logion with "And having turned toward the disciples he said:" where "to turn" is typical of his vocabulary, whereas Matthew would have replaced the reference to "kings" by "the righteous", finding the mention of kings in the revelation incomprehensible, preferring "the righteous", the ideal for a Jew, and an important character in his gospel.
19. The Lord's prayer (variant forms - Matt's longer)
|6: 9 Houtōs oun proseuchesthe hymeis• Pater hēmōn ho en tois ouranois• hagiasthētō to onoma sou•||11: 2a eipen de autois• hotan proseuchēsthe legete• Pater, hagiasthētō to onoma sou•||6: 9 "Thus therefore pray yourselves, 'Father of us the (one) in the heavens, may be hallowed the name of you.||11: 2a Then, he said to them, "When you might pray, say: 'Father, may be hallowed the name of you.|
|6: 10 elthetō hē basileia sou• genēthētō to thelēma sou, hōs en ouranō kai epi gēs•||11: 2b elthetō hē basileia sou•||6: 10 May come the kingdom of you. May happen the will of you, as in heaven also on earth.||11: 2b May come the kingdom of you.|
|6: 11 ton arton hēmōn ton epiousion dos hēmin sēmeron•||11: 3 ton arton hēmōn ton epiousion didou hēmin to kathʼ hēmeran•||6: 11 The bread of us the sufficient give us today.||11: 3 The bread of us the sufficient give us the by day.|
|6: 12 kai aphes hēmin ta opheilēmata hēmōn, hōs kai hēmeis aphēkamen tois opheiletais hēmōn•||11: 4a kai aphes hēmin tas hamartias hēmōn, kai gar autoi aphiomen panti opheilonti hēmin• ||6: 12 And remit us the debts of us, as also, us, we remit to the debtors of us.||11: 4a And remit us the sins of us, for also we, we remit to all having debts with us.|
|6: 13 kai mē eisenenkēs hēmas eis peirasmon, alla rhysai hēmas apo tou ponērou.||11: 4b kai mē eisenenkēs hēmas eis peirasmon.||6: 13 And you should not bring us into trial, but deliver us from the evil.'"||11: 4b And you should not bring us into trial'"|
- A first observation: while Luke presents us with five requests in Jesus' prayer (1. hallowed name; 2. kingdom come; 3. sufficient bread; 4. remission of sins; 5. avoidance of trial), Matthew presents us with seven (1. hallowed name; 2. kingdom come; 3. do God's will; 4. sufficient bread; 5. remission of sins; 6. avoidance of trial; 7. deliverance from the evil). Did the Q document contain five or seven requests? Most likely the answer is: five requests; Matthew would have made the addition of requests for the following reasons:
- As he did with the Beatitudes, Matthew sometimes amplifies what he receives from the Q document. And his first amplification concerns the request to do God's will (Mt 6:10), an echo of the prayer in Gethsemane, and especially Mt 26:42d ("Father, if this cup cannot pass away without my drinking it, let your will be done!"). The idea of doing the Father's will is typical of Matthew's theology (see Mt 7:21; 18:14; 21:31).
- Matthew's second amplification concerns the deliverance of the Evil One, which basically refers to Satan, the tempter, as he indicates in the account of Jesus' trials/temptations (Mt 4:10). The term Evil One appears in the parable of the tares, because he is the one who sows the tares. Never elsewhere in the gospels does the term "evil" refer to a person.
- Apart from Matthew's amplifications, each evangelist makes slight alterations to the text of the Q document. Recall that there is a consensus among biblical scholars that this prayer of Jesus must originally have had the following form:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
the bread we need give us today,
and forgive us our debts
and do not bring us into trial.
- By analyzing how Matthew and Luke have taken up the Q document we can make the following remarks.
- Luke writes "Father", but Matthew "our Father in heaven". Luke's brief formula is confirmed by Jn 17:1 ("Father, the hour has come, glorify your Son...") and Mk 14:36 ("He said, 'Abba, Father, to you all things are possible'"); in the mouth of Jesus, the Aramaic term abba (daddy) must have been used. Matthew, on the other hand, is the only one to use the expression "our Father in heaven", which is typical for him.
- On the sufficient bread or the bread we need, Luke writes: "the per day", i.e. daily, while Matthew writes: "today". Now, the expression "the per day" (to kathʼ hēmeran) is a Lucan expression (see Lk 9:23; 16:19; 19:47; 22:53; Acts 2:46,47; 3:2; 16:5; 17:11; 19:9). It is therefore Matthew who preserved the original formulation of the Q document. Why such a change in Luke? It is possible that Luke thought that asking for bread only for today was a bit limited, and that it was better to ask for bread "every day".
- There is also a slight discrepancy in Mt 6:12 || Lk 11:4a. Luke speaks of forgiveness of "sins" and Matthew of forgiveness of "debts." In Aramaic, the word "debt" was often understood to mean "sins". Therefore, in the Q document, the word "debts" must have been present and Luke wanted to interpret its meaning for his Greek audience. Moreover, he returns to the word "debts" at the end of 11:4a.
- M.E. Boismard, op.cit., p. 275, raises a problem with Mt 6:12 || Lk 11:4a when the forgiveness of debts is conditional on our doing something to forgive those who owe us. First, this breaks with the simplicity of requests. Second, this would be the only case where a request is accompanied by a recital. There is no denying that this phrase is part of the Q document. But does it go back to Jesus? It is doubtful.
- Let us now consider the different elements of prayer.
20. Ask and it will be given; if you give good gifts, how much more the Father
|7: 7 Aiteite kai dothēsetai hymin, zēteite kai heurēsete, krouete kai anoigēsetai hymin• ||11: 19 Kagō hymin legō, aiteite kai dothēsetai hymin, zēteite kai heurēsete, krouete kai anoigēsetai hymin• ||7: 7 Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.||11: 9 And I to you I say, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.|
|7: 8 pas gar ho aitōn lambanei kai ho zētōn heuriskei kai tō krouonti anoigēsetai. ||11: 10 pas gar ho aitōn lambanei kai ho zētōn heuriskei kai tō krouonti anoig[ēs]etai. ||7: 8 For everyone the (one) asking, he receives, and the (one) seeking he finds, and to the (one) knocking it will be opened.||11: 10 For everyone the (one) asking, he receives, and the (one) seeking he finds, and to the (one) knocking it will be opened.|
|7: 9 ē tis estin ex hymōn anthrōpos, hon aitēsei ho huios autou arton, mē lithon epidōsei autō? ||11: 11 tina de ex hymōn ton patera aitēsei ho huios ichthyn, kai anti ichthyos ophin autō epidōsei? ||7: 9 Or who is of you a man, to whom will ask the son of him a bread, a stone will he deliver him?||11: 11 Then to whose father of you will ask the son fish, and instead of fish a serpent to him will he deliver?|
|7: 10 ē kai ichthyn aitēsei, mē ophin epidōsei autō? ||11: 12 ē kai aitēsei ōon, epidōsei autō skorpion? ||7: 10 Or also a fish he will ask, a serpent will he deliver him?||11: 12 Or also he will ask an egg, will he deliver him a scorpion?|
|7: 11 ei oun hymeis ponēroi ontes oidate domata agatha didonai tois teknois hymōn, posō mallon ho patēr hymōn ho en tois ouranois dōsei agatha tois aitousin auton.||11: 13 ei oun hymeis ponēroi hyparchontes oidate domata agatha didonai tois teknois hymōn, posō mallon ho patēr [ho] ex ouranou dōsei pneuma hagion tois aitousin auton.||7: 11 If therefore you, evil being, you know gifts good to give to the children of you, how much more the father of you the (one) in the heavens will give good (things) to those asking him.||11: 13 If therefore you, evil existing, you know gifts good to give to the children of you, how much more the father the (one) out of heaven will give holy spirit to those asking him.|
- Matthew and Luke have inserted this pericope from the Q document in two different contexts. Matthew placed it in his discourse on the mount, following a series of scattered recommendations, especially those not to judge; it thus becomes a block of general recommendations among many others. Luke places it after Jesus' teaching on the Lord's Prayer and a short parable about the man who wakes up a friend in the middle of the night because he has nothing to offer a visitor, and ends up getting what he wants because of his shamelessness. In Luke, this pericope supports the teaching on prayer.
- Let us consider the overall structure of this pericope. We note three parts.
- Mt 7:7 - Lk 11:9 ("Ask and it will be given...") includes three parallel phrases: 1) ask - be given; 2) seek - find; 3) knock - be opened. The two interpersonal passives ("it will be given", "it will be opened") refer to God's action: it is God who gives, it is God who opens. Everything is centered on the prayer of request.
- Mt 7:8 - Lk 11:10 ("For everyone who asks...") provides the foundation or justification for what was said in the previous verse by taking up each of the parallel phrases. The meaning is clear: it is worth asking, because you always receive.
- Mt 7:9-11 || Lk 11:11-13 ("Who among you...") draw practical conclusions from what has been in the preceding verses in a parabolic form, using the a fortiori argument ("how much more") found repeatedly in the Q document (e.g., Mt 6:26, 30 || Lk 12:24, 28; Mt 10:25 || Lk 6:40).
- Let us now consider how each evangelist has taken up this pericope.
- In Lk 11:9 Luke must insert a transitional phrase ("And I say to you...") to make the connection with the parable just told and to indicate that the same theme continues.
- Mt 7:8 ("who is a man among you...") and Lk 11:11 ("whose father among you...") present two different expressions. It seems that Matthew has kept the original expression of the Q document, for this is how the parables are often introduced (see Mt 12:11; Lk 15:4).
- In Matthew 7:9-10 and Luke 11:11-12, the order of the request for fish is reversed, second in Matthew and first in Luke; the original order cannot be determined in the Q document. Moreover, while Matthew presents the bread/stone group, which seems natural and which is also found elsewhere in the Q document within the account of Jesus' temptation (Mt 4:3 || Lk 4:3), Luke would have replaced this group with the egg/scorpion group; note that an immobile scorpion may have a whitish color that could be mistaken for an egg. In any case, the idea is the same: a parent would never give his child what harms instead of what nourishes.
- In Mt 7:11 || Lk 11:13 ("If then you are evil..."). Luke, rather than having the verb "to be" in the expression "being evil", preferred to write "existing evil" with the Greek verb hyparchō (to be, to exist), a verb that belongs to his vocabulary and that he uses regularly both in his gospel and in his Acts.
- Lk 11:13 would have replaced "good (things)" that the Father gives to those who ask them with "a holy spirit". He probably found the object of the request in Q document too general, and preferred "a holy spirit" which is for him the ideal request. It should be noted that in Luke the expression "holy spirit" is not usually preceded by an article, and therefore one cannot speak of the Holy Spirit as a distinct person. For the word "spirit" designates a spiritual force that can be good or bad. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we mean the spiritual force that comes from God, the Holy One.
- Finally, in Lk 11:13 one is surprised to see under his pen the expression "your Father in heaven," an unusual formula both in the Q document and in Luke. According to Boismard, op. cit., p. 277, Luke would have had access to this pericope of the Q document through an early edition of Matthew's gospel, called Mt-intermediate, which used the expression "Father who is in heaven." The expression "Father in heavens" (plural) would come from the final edition of Matthew.
21. Demons cast out by Beelzebul, strong man guards his palace; not with me, against me
|12: 22 Tote prosēnechthē autō daimonizomenos typhlos kai kōphos, kai etherapeusen auton, hōste ton kōphon lalein kai blepein. ||11: 14a Kai ēn ekballōn daimonion [kai auto ēn] kōphon• egeneto de tou daimoniou exelthontos elalēsen ho kōphos ||12:22 Thereupon was brought to him (one) being possessed by a demon blind and mute, and he healed him, so as to the mute (began) to speak and see,||11:14a And he was casting out a demon [and this one he was] mute. Then, it happened, the devil having come out, spoke the mute,|
|12: 23 kai existanto pantes hoi ochloi kai elegon• mēti houtos estin ho huios Dauid? ||11: 14b kai ethaumasan hoi ochloi. ||12:23 and were amazed all the crowds and they were saying, "Is not this (one) the son of David?||11:14b and marveled the crowds.|
|12: 24 hoi de Pharisaioi akousantes eipon• houtos ouk ekballei ta daimonia ei mē en tō Beelzeboul archonti tōn daimoniōn. ||11: 15 tines de ex autōn eipon• en Beelzeboul tō archonti tōn daimoniōn ekballei ta daimonia• ||12:24 Then the Pharisees having heard said, "This (one) does not cast out the demons if not in the Beelzebul prince of the demons.||11:15 Then some out of them said, "In Beelzebul the prince of demons he casts out the demons.|
| ||11: 16 heteroi de peirazontes sēmeion ex ouranou ezētoun parʼ autou. || ||11:16 Then, others testing, a sign out of heaven they were seeking from him.|
|12: 25a eidōs de tas enthymēseis autōn eipen autois• ||11: 17a autos de eidōs autōn ta dianoēmata eipen autois• ||12:25a Then, having known the thoughts of them, he said to them,||11:17a Then, him having known the reflections of them he said to them,|
|12: 25b pasa basileia meristheisa kathʼ heautēs erēmoutai ||11: 17b pasa basileia ephʼ heautēn diameristheisa erēmoutai ||12:25b "Every kingdom having been divided against itself is brought to desolation.||11:17b 'Every kingdom upon itself having been subdivided is brought to desolation.|
|12: 25c kai pasa polis ē oikia meristheisa kathʼ heautēs ou stathēsetai. ||11: 17c kai oikos epi oikon piptei. ||12:25c And every city or house having been divided against itself will not stand.||11:17c And a house upon a house falls.|
|12: 26 kai ei ho satanas ton satanan ekballei, ephʼ heauton emeristhē• pōs oun stathēsetai hē basileia autou? ||11: 18 ei de kai ho satanas ephʼ heauton diemeristhē, pōs stathēsetai hē basileia autou? hoti legete en Beelzeboul ekballein me ta daimonia. ||12:26 And if the Satan the Satan he casts out, upon himself he has been divided, how therefore will stand the kingdom of him?||11:18 Then if also the Satan upon himself has been subdivided, how will stand the kingdom of him? For you say in Beelzebul me to cast out the demons.|
|12: 27 kai ei egō en Beelzeboul ekballō ta daimonia, hoi huioi hymōn en tini ekballousin? dia touto autoi kritai esontai hymōn. ||11: 19 ei de egō en Beelzeboul ekballō ta daimonia, hoi huioi hymōn en tini ekballousin? dia touto autoi hymōn kritai esontai. ||12:27 And if I in Beelzebul I cast out the demons, the sons of you in whom they cast out? This is why them judges they will be of you.||11:19 Then, if I in Beelzebul I cast out the demons, the sons of you in whom they cast out? This is why them judges they will be.|
|12: 28 ei de en pneumati theou egō ekballō ta daimonia, ara ephthasen ephʼ hymas hē basileia tou theou. ||11: 20 ei de en daktylō theou [egō] ekballō ta daimonia, ara ephthasen ephʼ hymas hē basileia tou theou. ||12:28 Then, if in spirit of God, I, I cast out the demons, so has arrived upon you the kingdom of God.||11:20 Then, if in finger of God, I, I cast out the demons, so has arrived upon you the kingdom of God.|
|12: 29 ē pōs dynatai tis eiselthein eis tēn oikian tou ischyrou kai ta skeuē autou harpasai, ean mē prōton dēsē ton ischyron? kai tote tēn oikian autou diarpasei. ||11: 21 hotan ho ischyros kathōplismenos phylassē tēn heautou aulēn, en eirēnē estin ta hyparchonta autou• ||12:29 Or how is able someone to enter into the house of the strong (man) and the goods of him to seize, if not first he would bind the strong? And thereupon the house of him he will plunder.||11:21 When the strong (man) having been fully armed, he might guard the palace, in peace is the possessions of him.|
| ||11: 22 epan de ischyroteros autou epelthōn nikēsē auton, tēn panoplian autou airei ephʼ hē epepoithei kai ta skyla autou diadidōsin. ||:||11:22 Then, when a stronger (man) than him having come upon he would overcome him, the complete armor of him he takes up upon which he had confidence and the spoils of him he distributes.|
|12: 30 ho mē ōn metʼ emou katʼ emou estin, kai ho mē synagōn metʼ emou skorpizei.||11: 23 Ho mē ōn metʼ emou katʼ emou estin, kai ho mē synagōn metʼ emou skorpizei.||12:30 The (one) not being with me, against me he is, and the (one) not gathering with me, he scatters.||11:23 The (one) not being with me, against me he is, and the (one) not gathering with me, he scatters.|
22. Unclean spirit gone out of someone returns and brings seven others, making worse
|12: 43 Hotan de to akatharton pneuma exelthē apo tou anthrōpou, dierchetai diʼ anydrōn topōn zētoun anapausin kai ouch heuriskei. ||11: 24a Hotan to akatharton pneuma exelthē apo tou anthrōpou, dierchetai diʼ anydrōn topōn zētoun anapausin kai mē heuriskon• ||12: 43 Then, when the unclean spirit would come out from the man, it comes through waterless places seeking rest and it does not find.||11: 24a Then, when the unclean spirit would come out from the man, it comes through waterless places seeking rest and not finding,|
|12: 44 tote legei• eis ton oikon mou epistrepsō hothen exēlthon• kai elthon heuriskei scholazonta sesarōmenon kai kekosmēmenon. ||11: 24b-25 [tote] legei• hypostrepsō eis ton oikon mou hothen exēlthon• kai elthon heuriskei sesarōmenon kai kekosmēmenon. ||12: 44 Thereupon it says, "Into the house of me I will turn back from where I came out. And coming it finds being unoccupied having been swept and having been put in order.||11: 24b-25 [Thereupon] it says, "Into the house of me I will return from where I came out. And coming it finds having been swept and having been put in order.|
|12: 45 tote poreuetai kai paralambanei methʼ heautou hepta hetera pneumata ponērotera heautou kai eiselthonta katoikei ekei• kai ginetai ta eschata tou anthrōpou ekeinou cheirona tōn prōtōn. houtōs estai kai tē genea tautē tē ponēra.||11: 26 tote poreuetai kai paralambanei hetera pneumata ponērotera heautou hepta kai eiselthonta katoikei ekei• kai ginetai ta eschata tou anthrōpou ekeinou cheirona tōn prōtōn.||12: 45 Thereupon it goes and takes with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself and having entered it dwells there. And become the last (states) of the man this one worse than the firsts. Thus will be also the generation this the evil.||11: 26 Thereupon it goes and takes seven other spirits more evil than itself and having entered it dwells there. And become the last (states) of the man this one worse than the firsts.|
- Let us consider the context in which this pericope was inserted by each of the evangelists. Matthew inserted it in the context of a series of controversies with the Pharisees, and more particularly after Jesus' reproach of asking for a sign, reflecting their lack of conversion. From then on, the account of the return of the unclean spirit becomes a description of their condition. And by adding at the end the phrase: "So shall this evil generation also be" (v. 26b), Matthew clearly associates the man inhabited by seven unclean spirits with this generation of Pharisees. Luke, on the other hand, places this pericope in the context of the exorcisms of Jesus attributed to Beelzebul by some, but which Jesus associates with the coming of God's reign and the strong man ensures that Satan has no longer any power. Therefore, the story about the return of the unclean spirit intends to express that this victory over Satan is not guaranteed for ever: if, since the departure of the unclean spirit, the word of God has not taken root and has not borne fruit, there is a great risk that the unclean spirit will return with even greater virulence. This interpretation is confirmed by the following account of the true disciple ("Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it", Lk 11:28).
- The Q document versions of Matthew and Luke are virtually identical, except for some stylistic changes.
- In Matthew 12:43 and Luke 11:24a, Matthew presents us with a verb in the present tense "it does not find" and Luke in present participle tense "not finding"; Matthew therefore ends a sentence and obliges us to begin a new one, while Luke obliges us to follow up immediately with the consequences of the absence of rest.
- In Mt 12:44 || Lk 11:24b, Matthew uses the verb epistrephō, formed from the adverb epi (on) and the verb strephō (to turn), which we have translated as: to turn back. Luke, on the other hand, uses the verb hypostrephō, formed from the adverb hypo (under) and the verb strephō (to turn), which we have translated as: to return. It is understood that these are both synonyms. But Luke is alone in using hypostrephō in the gospels, and so Matthew may be thought to reflect the Q document better here, whereas it is Luke who has replaced this verb with one he prefers. On the other hand, it is probably Matthew who added the phrase scholazonta (being unoccupied) to clarify things, as he often does, at the risk of having a more cumbersome sentence (two participles following each other)
- In Mt 12:45 || Lk 11:26 Matthew's text displays the phrase "with himself" accompanying the verb paralambanō (to take with oneself). This is surprising, because the verb paralambanō includes the idea "with himself," and so the addition of "with himself" is redundant. For example, when Jesus takes Peter, John, and James with himself in the transfiguration account (Mk 8:27-31 || Mt 16:31-21 || Lk 9:18-22) only the verb is used. A possible hypothesis would be that we have here the sign of a milieu for which Greek is not the language of birth, and therefore comes from one of the authors of the Q document, which Matthew would have been content to copy as it is, while Luke, a Greek-speaker, would have deleted it, seeing the pleonasm. Note that there is another occurrence in Matthew of the phrase "with himself" that accompanies the verb "to take with oneself" in Mt 18:16: "If he will not listen to you, take (paralambanō) again with you (meta sou) one or two persons so that every matter may be decided on the word of two or three witnesses." Here Matthew may simply be copying the small code of canon law of the Christian community of Antioch, part of which was made up of Jewish converts.
- This pericope features the unclean spirit, which in fact usually refers to the devil. In the synoptic accounts (the unclean spirit is absent from John's gospel), the demon is associated with illness (on the demon, see the Glossary). But here he seems to have a wider role, a sign of the influence of the Semitic environment where no distinction is made between the demon and the devil as in the Greco-Roman environment, and where everything seems to be grouped together under this opposing force that is Satan. Let us note that it is usual for the devil, if he cannot inhabit a person, to find himself in places of desolation, since his homeland is not heaven like Satan. Finally, the reference to the number seven, which is a symbol of totality in the Semitic world, means that it is with maximum force that the unclean spirit returns to man.
23. Generation seeks sign; sign of Jonah; judgment by people of Nineveh, queen of south
|12: 38 Tote apekrithēsan autō tines tōn grammateōn kai Pharisaiōn legontes• didaskale, thelomen apo sou sēmeion idein. ||[11: 16 heteroi de peirazontes sēmeion ex ouranou ezētoun parʼ autou.]||12: 38 And answered to him some of the scribes and Pharisees saying, "Teacher, we want from you a sign to see".||[11: 16 Then, others testing, a sign out of heaven they were seeking from him.]|
|12: 39 ho de apokritheis eipen autois• genea ponēra kai moichalis sēmeion epizētei, kai sēmeion ou dothēsetai autē ei mē to sēmeion Iōna tou prophētou. ||11: 29 Tōn de ochlōn epathroizomenōn ērxato legein• hē genea hautē genea ponēra estin• sēmeion zētei, kai sēmeion ou dothēsetai autē ei mē to sēmeion Iōna. ||12: 39 Then, him, having answered, he said to them, "A generation evil and adulterous a sign it seeks earnestly for, and a sign it will not be given to it, if not the sign of Jonas the prophet.||11: 29 Then, the crowds assembling (besides him), he began to say, "This generation a generation evil it is. A sign it seeks, and a sign it will not be given to it, if not the sign of Jonas.|
|12: 40 hōsper gar ēn Iōnas en tē koilia tou kētous treis hēmeras kai treis nyktas, houtōs estai ho huios tou anthrōpou en tē kardia tēs gēs treis hēmeras kai treis nyktas. ||11: 30 kathōs gar egeneto Iōnas tois Nineuitais sēmeion, houtōs estai kai ho huios tou anthrōpou tē genea tautē. ||12: 40 For just as was Jonas in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, thus will be the son of the man in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.||11: 30 For as became Jonas to the Ninivites a sign, thus will be also the son of man to the generation this one.|
|[12: 42 basilissa notou egerthēsetai en tē krisei meta tēs geneas tautēs kai katakrinei autēn, hoti ēlthen ek tōn peratōn tēs gēs akousai tēn sophian Solomōnos, kai idou pleion Solomōnos hōde.]||11: 31 basilissa notou egerthēsetai en tē krisei meta tōn andrōn tēs geneas tautēs kai katakrinei autous, hoti ēlthen ek tōn peratōn tēs gēs akousai tēn sophian Solomōnos, kai idou pleion Solomōnos hōde.||[12: 42 A queen of the south will wake up in the judgment with the generation this one and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold more than Solomon here.]||11: 31 A queen of the south will wake up in the judgment with the men of the generation this one and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold more than Solomon here|
|12, 41 andres Nineuitai anastēsontai en tē krisei meta tēs geneas tautēs kai katakrinousin autēn, hoti metenoēsan eis to kērygma Iōna, kai idou pleion Iōna hōde. ||11: 32 andres Nineuitai anastēsontai en tē krisei meta tēs geneas tautēs kai katakrinousin autēn• hoti metenoēsan eis to kērygma Iōna, kai idou pleion Iōna hōde.||12: 41 Men Ninevites will rise in the judgment with the generation this one and they will condemn it, for they change their mind into the preaching of Jonas, and behold more than Jonas here."||11: 32 Men Ninevites will rise in the judgment with the generation this one and they will condemn it, for they change their mind into the preaching of Jonas, and behold more than Jonas here."|
- This pericope on a sign request has been placed in different contexts by Matthew and Luke. In Matthew, Jesus has just said that what comes out of the mouth reflects the heart of a person, and it is according to his words that a person will be condemned. The scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus to perform a sign, i.e. a miracle, because otherwise they cannot believe in him. The direct style of addressing Jesus as "teacher" and asking for a sign from him may be an indication of an ancient tradition. In Luke, the desire for a sign was mentioned earlier (Lk 11:16) when some accused him of casting out demons through Beelzebul, and others, in order to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven, i.e., an earth-shattering cosmic event. Jesus' answer to this request comes 13 verses later. Luke wanted to show that the accusation of casting out by Beelzebul and the request for a sign belong together. It is clear that Lk 11:16 is a composition of Luke who was inspired by Mk 8:11 ("The Pharisees came and argued with Jesus; to test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven").
- The logion of the Q document Mt 12:39 || Lk 11:29 ("an evil generation") is very similar in the two evangelists. Matthew would have added "the prophet" after the name "Jonah" to make it clear who he is talking about, which he does very often. On the other hand, Luke would have deleted the adjective "adulteress", an evocation of the biblical theme of Israel as Yahweh's wife, an evocation that risked being misunderstood by his Greek audience. It may have been noticed that in this logion Matthew presents us with the verb epizēteō (to search carefully, which we have translated as: to seek earnestly), and Luke the verb zēteō (to seak); it is likely that Matthew better reflects the Q document, for epizēteō always appears in a context where he copies the Q document, while Luke frequently uses in his gospel the verb zēteō.
- The parallel Mt 12:40 || Lk 11:30 presents several discrepancies. But both texts compare Jonah to the son of man. Luke probably best reflects the Q document, while Matthew wanted to clarify and specify the link with Jesus' death and resurrection. Moreover, the whole of Lk 11:29-30 appears as a chiasm construction, a sign of its ancient character:
a. a generation evil
b. sign will not be given
a'. for this generation
c. if not Jonas
b'. a sign will be the son of man
c'. Jonas to the Ninivites
- Let us note that in the rabbinic tradition, Jonah was a famous figure among the Jews because of his marvelous stay in the belly of the great fish, and thus evokes a destiny of catastrophe and salvation. Therefore, it is not impossible that Jesus could have associated his fate with that of Jonah. On the historical level, Jesus would have refused any ostentatious sign and would have made a veiled allusion to the "sign" of Jonah. It is only the Christian reflection, after Easter, that would have explained the link between Jonah's stay in the belly of the great fish and the death/resurrection of Jesus with the mention of the three days and three nights.
- The set Mt 12:41-42 || Lk 11:31-32 contains two logia that belong to a different context, and by integrating them after the sign of Jonah, the author of the Q document modifies the symbolic meaning of Jonah. Indeed, it is no longer because of his stay in the belly of the great fish that Jonah is mentioned, but because of his preaching to the pagans of Nineveh and the success of this preaching (see Jn 3:5). Similarly, the pagan queen of the South (Sheba) (see 1 Kings 10:1-10) is mentioned because she moved to listen to Solomon's wisdom. Both logia display the same structure and end with an "a fortiori" argument: "here there is more than...". The sign offered is on the one hand the preaching of Jonah, and on the other hand the wisdom of Solomon. Gentiles have seen this sign and have responded to it. That is why on the day of judgment they will be able to stand up and accuse Jesus' contemporaries, as was the custom in the Jewish courts. Note that the order of the two logia is different in the two evangelists: it is probably Luke who has preserved the order of the Q document, Matthew having reversed it, no doubt to give a better sense of the transition to these new signs which are the wisdom of Solomon and the preaching of Jonah.
24. Not putting lamp under bushel; eye lamp of body, if unsound, darkness
|5, 15 oude kaiousin lychnon kai titheasin auton hypo ton modion allʼ epi tēn lychnian, kai lampei pasin tois en tē oikia. ||11, 33 Oudeis lychnon hapsas eis kryptēn tithēsin [oude hypo ton modion] allʼ epi tēn lychnian, hina hoi eisporeuomenoi to phōs blepōsin.||5: 15 Neither they light a lamp and put it under the bushel, but on the lampstand and it shines for all those who [are] in the house||11: 33 No one, after kindling a lamp, puts it in a hiding-place [nor under the bushel], but on the lampstand in order for those who are entering may see the light.|
|6: 22 Ho lychnos tou sōmatos estin ho ophthalmos. ean oun ē ho ophthalmos sou haplous, holon to sōma sou phōteinon estai• ||11: 34a Ho lychnos tou sōmatos estin ho ophthalmos sou. hotan ho ophthalmos sou haplous ē, kai holon to sōma sou phōteinon estin• ||6: 22 The lamp of the body is the eye, that if therefore might be the eye of you clear, the whole of the body of you bright will be.||11: 34a The lamp of the body is the eye of you. When the eye of you clear might be, also the whole of the body of you bright it is.|
|6: 23 ean de ho ophthalmos sou ponēros ē, holon to sōma sou skoteinon estai. ei oun to phōs to en soi skotos estin, to skotos poson.||11: 34b-35 epan de ponēros ē, kai to sōma sou skoteinon. skopei oun mē to phōs to en soi skotos estin. ||6: 23 Then, that if the eye of you evil might be, the whole the body of you dark will be. If therefore the light the (one) in you darkness is, how great the darkness!||11: 34b-35 Then, in the event that evil it might be, also the body of you dark. Take care therefore that the light the one in you darkness is.|
- This pericope is made up of two logia united by the theme of the "lamp", which Luke has kept together, but which Matthew has placed in two different places in his sermon on the mount. Since the contexts are different, the meanings are different.
- Mt 5:15 || Lk 11:33 is a logion of which we have two versions, the one represented by Mk 4:21, and the one from the Q document that we have here. In Mark, this word of Jesus is placed after the parable of the sower. The lamp is Jesus' teaching. But the parables are difficult to understand, and so this light appears to be hidden behind the bed or the bushel (the bushel being a piece of furniture made of a wooden bowl supported by legs). When Jesus explains the parables, the lamp is no longer hidden, but on the lampstand. Matthew, for his part, places this word of Jesus after the teaching on the beatitudes, when he tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. From then on, the light of the lamp designates the teaching of Jesus which must be incarnated in the actions of the disciples and be visible to all, especially those who are in the house that is the Christian community. As for Luke, this word follows the disucussion on the sign that Jesus is and this sign is not visible to his contemporaries, and it will be followed by a word affirming that the ability to see depends on the human eye, i.e. on the openess of one's heart. From then on, the lamp designates Jesus' teaching and actions which are not hidden, but accessible to all to see as a sign from God.
- Mt 6:22-23 || Lk 11:34a-35 is the second logion of the Q document that Matthew and Luke use differently. It should be noted that in the Semitic world the eye is understood as the organ of discernment, and is therefore linked to one's orientation in life and to one's heart. As for the body, it designates a person's entire being. Matthew placed this word of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount after a warning about wealth: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... but... in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt 6:19-21). From then on, the "simple" eye, which is liberal, generous, knowing how to give, is opposed to the "evil" eye, which is envious, greedy and reluctant to give (see for example Pr 22:9: "He whose eye is kind will be blessed for having given bread to the poor"). In Luke, on the other hand, the eye/body theme follows that of the lamp and belongs to the context of the sign that is Jesus. So Luke offers an explanation of the acceptance or rejection of the sign that is Jesus: the "simple" eye, that is, straight and honest, is able to see this sign, while the evil eye is unable to do so. Hence Luke's conclusion: Take care (skopeō) that the light in you is darkness." It is likely that the verb skopeō is not from the Q document, but from Luke himself: it is found nowhere else in the New Testament, except in Paul's letters, in particular in Gal 6:1: "Take care that you yourselves are not tempted".
25. Pharisees cleanse outside of cup; woe for tithing inconsequentials, seeking first place
|23: 25 Ouai hymin, grammateis kai Pharisaioi hypokritai, hoti katharizete to exōthen tou potēriou kai tēs paropsidos, esōthen de gemousin ex harpagēs kai akrasias. ||11: 39 eipen de ho kyrios pros auton• nyn hymeis hoi Pharisaioi to exōthen tou potēriou kai tou pinakos katharizete, to de esōthen hymōn gemei harpagēs kai ponērias. ||23: 25 Woe, to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you cleanse the outside the cup and the dish, then the inside they are full of plundering and self-indulgence.||11: 39 Then, he said the Lord toward them, "Now you the Pharisees the outside of the cup and the plate you cleanse, then the inside of you is full of plundering and wickedness.|
|23: 26 Pharisaie typhle, katharison prōton to entos tou potēriou, hina genētai kai to ektos autou katharon.||11: 40 aphrones, ouch ho poiēsas to exōthen kai to esōthen epoiēsen? ||23: 26 Pharisee blind! Cleanse first the inside of the cup, in order that it might become also the outside of it clean.||11: 40 Fools, the one having made the inward has he not made also the outward?|
| ||11: 41 plēn ta enonta dote eleēmosynēn, kai idou panta kathara hymin estin.|| ||11: 41 Yet the (things) being in (you) give as alms, and behold all (things) clean to you is.|
|23: 23 Ouai hymin, grammateis kai Pharisaioi hypokritai, hoti apodekatoute to hēdyosmon kai to anēthon kai to kyminon kai aphēkate ta barytera tou nomou, tēn krisin kai to eleos kai tēn pistin• tauta [de] edei poiēsai kakeina mē aphienai. ||11: 42 alla ouai hymin tois Pharisaiois, hoti apodekatoute to hēdyosmon kai to pēganon kai pan lachanon kai parerchesthe tēn krisin kai tēn agapēn tou theou• tauta de edei poiēsai kakeina mē pareinai.||23: 23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you pay tithes of the mint and the dill and the cumin and you have neglected the heavier (matters) of the law, the justice and the compassion and the faithfulness. [Then], these (things) it was necessary to do and those ones not to neglect.||11: 42 But woe to you the Pharisees, for you pay tithes of the mint and the rue and every vegetable and you pass by the justice and the love of God. Then, these (things) it was necessary to to and those one not to relax.|
|23, 6 philousin de tēn prōtoklisian en tois deipnois kai tas prōtokathedrias en tais synagōgais ||11, 43a Ouai hymin tois Pharisaiois, hoti agapate tēn prōtokathedrian en tais synagōgais ||23: 6 Then they like the chief place (at the table) in the banquets and the chief places in the synagogues, ||11: 43a Woe to you the Pharisees, for you love the chief place in the synagogues,|
|23, 7 kai tous aspasmous en tais agorais kai kaleisthai hypo tōn anthrōpōn rhabbi.||11, 43b kai tous aspasmous en tais agorais.||23: 7 and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called by the men 'rabbi'.||11: 43b and the greetings in the marketplaces.|
|23: 27 Ouai hymin, grammateis kai Pharisaioi hypokritai, hoti paromoiazete taphois kekoniamenois, hoitines exōthen men phainontai hōraioi, esōthen de gemousin osteōn nekrōn kai pasēs akatharsias. ||11: 44 Ouai hymin, hoti este hōs ta mnēmeia ta adēla, kai hoi anthrōpoi [hoi] peripatountes epanō ouk oidasin.||23: 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you are like graves having been whitewashed, which outwardly indeed appear pleasant, them from within they are full of bones from dead and of all uncleaness.||11: 44 Woe to you, for you are like the tomb the unmarked, and the men [the ones] walking above do not see.|
- This pericope from the Q document presents us with three curses against the Pharisees centered on their hypocrisy: Mt 23:25-26 || Lk 11:39-41 (they cleanse the outside of the cup, but the inside is full of greed); Mt 23:23 || Lk 11:42 (they tithe, but neglect justice); Mt 23:27 || Lk 11:44 (they are like graves). Luke probably best reflects the order of the Q document. Matthew has shifted the order somewhat, as he wanted to bring together curses with similar expressions: Mt 23:23-24 groups the curses around the theme of "detail/essential", while Mt 23:25-27 shares the theme of "external/internal, visible/invisible".
- Mt 23:25-26 || Lk 11:39-41 (they cleanse the outside of the cup, but the inside is full of plunder). Matthew probably best preserved the original wording of this curse in the Q document. It refers to the many rules of ritual cleansing, and so the Pharisees are scrupulous in observing these little rules, which are visible to others, but neglect the conversion of the heart. Luke probably found this curse a bit vague: if one could understand the meaning of what is external and visible, the reference to cleansing of the interior might seem unclear. So, rather than taking up the general idea of an inner cleansing, he does two things: first, in v. 40 he denounces the emphasis on outward rules by saying that inward rules are equally important, since God is the author of both; second, in v. 41 he specifies the main inward rule, that shown by a generous heart that gives alms to the poor, one of the important themes of his gospel, and this seems to eliminate the need for cleansing rites ("and behold, all is clean for you"). Note that it was probably Luke who replaced the term akrasia (self-indulgence, lack of self-control), a general term, by the more specific one of ponēria (wickedness) that Paul attributes to the old man.
- Mt 23:23 || Lk 11:42 (they tithe, but neglect justice). Matthew probably best reflects this curse with the detail about the plants, while Luke probably wanted to shorten it for his Greek audience, especially with the generic word "vegetable" to cover several plants.
- Mt 23:6-7 || Lk 11:43 (they love the first places and the greetings). This curse does not fit in well with the others: we are no longer talking about hypocrisy, but about vanity. Moreover, it repeats almost literally what we find in Mk 12:38b, 39a. So it is likely that it was not part of the original Q document and was added afterwards. Since this copy of Mark is found almost identically in Matthew and Luke, M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 357) believes that this addition appeared in the first edition of Matthew's gospel, which he calls Mt-intermediate, and it is from this edition that Luke updated his gospel.
- Mt 23:27 || Lk 11:44 (they are like graves). Matthew probably best reflects the original wording of the curse with this reference to the whitewashed tomb to better see them during the night and avoid contact with what is unclean; we are in a Palestinian environment. So we understand the idea: the bleaching improves the beauty of the sepulcher, but does not remove the fact that it is only rottenness inside. Luke, on the other hand, probably judged that this content would appear exotic to his Greek audience, and so directed the curse to unseen tombs under the ground, to which his audience could relate, and thus allows us to understand that even if we do not see a thing, it can be filled with decay, and thus be an image of hypocrisy.
26. Woe to lawyers for binding heavy burdens, building tombs of the prophets
|23: 4 desmeuousin de phortia barea [kai dysbastakta] kai epititheasin epi tous ōmous tōn anthrōpōn, autoi de tō daktylō autōn ou thelousin kinēsai auta. ||11: 46 ho de eipen• kai hymin tois nomikois ouai, hoti phortizete tous anthrōpous phortia dysbastakta, kai autoi heni tōn daktylōn hymōn ou prospsauete tois phortiois. ||23: 4 Then they tie up burdens heavy [and hard to bear] and place (them) upon the shoulders of the men, then them with the finger of them they are not willing to move them.||11: 46 Then, him he said, 'Also to you the lawyers, woe, for you burden the men (with) burdens heavy to bear, and themselves with one of the fingers of you, you do not touch to the burdens.|
|23: 29-30 Ouai hymin, grammateis kai Pharisaioi hypokritai, hoti oikodomeite tous taphous tōn prophētōn kai kosmeite ta mnēmeia tōn dikaiōn, kai legete• ei ēmetha en tais hēmerais tōn paterōn hēmōn, ouk an ēmetha autōn koinōnoi en tō haimati tōn prophētōn. ||11: 47 Ouai hymin, hoti oikodomeite ta mnēmeia tōn prophētōn, hoi de pateres hymōn apekteinan autous. ||23: 29-30 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hyporites, for you build the graves of the prophets and adorn the tombs of the righteous, and you say, 'If we were in the days of the fathers of us, perchance we would not be of them partakers in the blod of the prophets,||11: 47 Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets, then the fathers of you they killed them.|
|23, 31 hōste martyreite heautois hoti huioi este tōn phoneusantōn tous prophētas. ||11: 48 ara martyres este kai syneudokeite tois ergois tōn paterōn hymōn, hoti autoi men apekteinan autous, hymeis de oikodomeite. ||23: 31 so as to bear witness to yourselves that sons you are of those having murdered the prophets.||11:48 So witnesses you are and you consent to the works of the fathers of you, them, on the hand, they killed them (the prophets), yourselves, on the other hand, you build (their tombs).|
- After the three curses addressed to the Pharisees (pericope 25), there follow three curses addressed (two in this pericope 26 and another which we will see in pericope 27) to the scribes (lawyers in Luke). While the first three curses were about scruples in the face of small observations, forgetting the major ones, and also opposing what is visible to what is not seen, the heart of the person, the three new curses attack the way the scribes interpret the Law, overloading it with annexes so that it has become an impossible burden to carry. And to prevent this from being changed, they killed the prophets who came to remind us of the true meaning of the Law. Let us remember that it is Luke who respects the order of the curses in the Q document.
- Mt 23:4 || Lk 11:46 (they tie up burdens). This fourth curse belongs to different contexts in Matthew and Luke. Matthew has moved it to the speech of Jesus to the crowds and his disciples where they reproach the scribes and Pharisees for sitting in the chair of Moses, but they say and do not do. Since the speech is no longer in direct style, Matthew was forced to eliminate the "Woe to you". Note that in the Jewish world, legal rules were seen as a yoke similar to the one an animal carries on its shoulders. So it is likely that Matthew's wording best reflects the Q document, while Luke makes some modifications: he eliminates the mention of shoulders, a reference to the animal side of the yoke, but prefers to accentuate the constrasts, first with the wordplay "they burden with burdens", then by replacing "to move" with "to touch", i.e. not only do they not want to move or implement partially the burdens, but they don't even want to touch them, and finally by replacing "finger" with "one of the fingers", a way of emphasizing their reluctance to even make contact with the observances. But the idea is the same: the scribes multiply the legal observances, but they themselves do absolutely nothing.
- Mt 23:29-31 || Lk 11:47-48 (you build the tombs of the prophets). This curse may seem obscure: how does the building of monuments to the prophets, a phenomenon that became more pronounced in the time of Herod the Great, testify to the complicity of the scribes in the murder of the prophets? We must remember the message of the prophets: they constantly denounced the attitude that emphasizes religious practices while forgetting love and justice (see Hos 6:7; Am 5:22). This message is embarrassing for the scribes for whom religious observances are fundamental. So they are happy that the prophets are gone, and building monuments to them is a hypocritical gesture to cover their true feelings. Matthew seems to better reflect the original wording of the Q document with the details of the Palestinian setting where these monuments were decorated and where the scribes could discuss the fate of their ancestors. Luke seems to have done two things: he has summarized the Q document's account in one sentence, i.e. the lawyers build the tombs of the prophets, their fathers killed them; then, at the end, he offers a conclusion that the guilt of the lawyers, even though they did not live at the time of the prophets, is to consent to their murder, and then he repeats what has been said, but reverses the order as a form of chiasm: their fathers killed the prophets, they build their monuments.
27. I speak/God's wisdom speaks; Will send prophets who will be persecuted; woe to lawyers
|23: 34 Dia touto idou egō apostellō pros hymas prophētas kai sophous kai grammateis• ex autōn apokteneite kai staurōsete kai ex autōn mastigōsete en tais synagōgais hymōn kai diōxete apo poleōs eis polin• ||11: 49 dia touto kai hē sophia tou theou eipen• apostelō eis autous prophētas kai apostolous, kai ex autōn apoktenousin kai diōxousin, ||23: 34 That's why, behold, I, I send toward you prophets and wise (men) and scribes. (Some) of them you will kill and crucify and (some) of them you will flog in the synagogues of you and you will persecute from cities to city,||11: 49 That's why also the wisdom of God said, I will send to them prophets and apostles, and (some) of them they will kill and will persecute,|
|23: 35 hopōs elthē ephʼ hymas pan haima dikaion ekchynnomenon epi tēs gēs apo tou haimatos Habel tou dikaiou heōs tou haimatos Zachariou huiou Barachiou, hon ephoneusate metaxy tou naou kai tou thysiastēriou. ||11: 50-51a hina ekzētēthē to haima pantōn tōn prophētōn to ekkechymenon apo katabolēs kosmou apo tēs geneas tautēs, apo haimatos Habel heōs haimatos Zachariou tou apolomenou metaxy tou thysiastēriou kai tou oikou• ||23: 35 so that might come upon you all blood righteous being poured out upon the earth from the blood of Abel the righteous until the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, who you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.||11: 50-51a so that it might be required the blood of all the prophets, the one having been poured out from the beginning of the world fron the generation this (one), from blood of Abel until blood of Zechariah the (one) having perished between the altar the House.|
|23: 36 amēn legō hymin, hēxei tauta panta epi tēn genean tautēn.||11: 51b nai legō hymin, ekzētēthēsetai apo tēs geneas tautēs.||23: 36 Amen I say to you, it will come all these things upon the generation this (one).||11: 51b Yes I say to you, it will be required from the generation this (one).|
|23: 13 Ouai de hymin, grammateis kai PHarisaioi hypokritai, hoti kleiete tēn basileian tōn ouranōn emprosthen tōn anthrōpōn• hymeis gar ouk eiserchesthe oude tous eiserchomenous aphiete eiselthein.||11: 52 Ouai hymin tois nomikois, hoti ērate tēn kleida tēs gnōseōs• autoi ouk eisēlthate kai tous eiserchomenous ekōlysate.||23: 13 Then, woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you shut up (with a key) the kingdom of heavens before the men. For yourselves, neither you enter nor, those entering, you do not allow to enter.||11: 52 Woe to you the lawyers, for you have taken away the key of the knowledge. Yourselves, you did not enter and those entering, you hindered.|
- This pericope is divided into two parts. The first part (Mt 23:34-36 || Lk 11:49-51) concludes the fifth curse that we analyzed in the previous pericope on the fact that the scribes built the prophets' tomb, but are accomplices in the murder of the prophets. The second part (Mt 23:13 || Lk 11:52) presents the sixth curse against the scribes or lawyers who prevent people from entering the kingdom because of their casuistry.
- Mt 23:34-36 || Lk 11:49-51 (I send you prophets...). This set is an expansion of the fifth curse addressed to the scribes whom Jesus reproaches for being associated with the murders of the prophets. In a way, it adds nothing new, if not more detail to what is already known. According to M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 358), this set does not belong to the Q document, but would come from an early edition of Matthew's gospel (Mt-intermediate) to which Luke had access, which explains the parallel in his gospel. Moreover, the differences between the versions of Matthew and Luke can be explained not only by certain alterations made by Luke, but also by the fact that the final editor of Matthew's gospel made certain changes in view of what he observed about Christian persecutions in his time: "you will crucify", "you will scourge in the synagogues", you will persecute "from city to city"; it is again he who would have introduced the direct style: "I will send to you", whereas the Mt-intermediate that Luke has before him uses the indirect style: "I will send to them". Luke, for his part, would have Christianized the list of those sent with the addition of the apostles, and would have clarified the obscure Semitic formula "so that every just blood that is poured out on the earth may come upon you" by a clearer biblical formula: "so that it will be required of the blood" (see 2 Sam 4:11: "Should I not now require his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!"
- Mt 23:13 || Lk 11:52 (You have taken away the key to knowledge). This is the sixth and last curse of the Q document. Let us recall that it is addressed to the scribes, whom Luke calls lawyers, whereas Matthew does not distinguish them from the Pharisees. Matthew has changed the place of this curse in the Q document by moving it to the head of a series of curses which are his own and concern the casuistry of the scribes: one can swear by the sanctuary, but not by the gold of the sanctuary; one can swear by the altar, but not by the offering on the altar. What is the content of this curse? To have locked up the kingdom of heaven. What does it mean? Matthew gives us some explanation in v. 15 which follows: "you who go through seas and continents to win one proselyte, and when he has become one, you make him worthy of hell, twice as much as you". By making disciples, and thus other casuists, the scribes lock the door to the kingdom, because casuistry is not a way into the kingdom of God. What about Luke? It is not a matter of locking the door to the kingdom, but of "taking away the key of knowledge". What does this mean? For Luke, the Old Testament announces the event of salvation in Jesus, and is therefore a path to him. This is what John the Baptist symbolizes as expressed by his father Zechariah: "for you shall go before under the eyes of the Lord, to prepare his ways, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins" (Lk 1:76-77). But the scribes, biblical scholars, refused to enter into this understanding of the OT, and thereby took away the interpretive key opening to salvation in Jesus. There is even more. Not only have they refused to enter into the correct interpretation of the OT, but they prevent people from following Jesus.
28. All covered to be revealed; fear not killers of body; acknowledging me before God; the holy spirit will help
|10: 26 Mē oun phobēthēte autous• ouden gar estin kekalymmenon ho ouk apokalyphthēsetai kai krypton ho ou gnōsthēsetai. ]||12: 2 Ouden de synkekalymmenon estin ho ouk apokalyphthēsetai kai krypton ho ou gnōsthēsetai. ||10: 26 Therefore you should not fear them. For nothing is has been covered which will not be uncovered and hidden which will not be known.||12: 2 Then, nothing having been covered completly is which will not be uncovered and hidden which will not be known.|
|10: 27 ho legō hymin en tē skotia eipate en tō phōti, kai ho eis to ous akouete kēryxate epi tōn dōmatōn. ]||12: 3 anthʼ hōn hosa en tē skotia eipate en tō phōti akousthēsetai, kai ho pros to ous elalēsate en tois tameiois kērychthēsetai epi tōn dōmatōn.||10: 27 What I say to you in the darkness, say in the light and what into the ear you hear, proclain upon the housetops.||12: 3 Instead, that wathever in the darkness you said, in the light it will be heard, and what toward the ear you have spoken in the inner rooms it will be proclaim upon the housetops.|
|10: 28 kai mē phobeisthe apo tōn apoktennontōn to sōma, tēn de psychēn mē dynamenōn apokteinai• phobeisthe de mallon ton dynamenon kai psychēn kai sōma apolesai en geennē.]||12: 4-5 Legō de hymin tois philois mou, mē phobēthēte apo tōn apokteinontōn to sōma kai meta tauta mē echontōn perissoteron ti poiēsai. hypodeixō de hymin tina phobēthēte• phobēthēte ton meta to apokteinai echonta exousian embalein eis tēn geennan. nai legō hymin, touton phobēthēte. ||10: 28 And do not fear from those killing the body, then the soul not being able to kill. Then fear rather the one being able both the soul and the body to destroy in hell.||12: 4-5 Then, I say to you the friends of me, do not fear from those killing the body and after these things not having more what to do. Then I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the (one) after killing having power to cast into the hell. Yes, I say to you, this one fear.|
|10: 29 ouchi dyo strouthia assariou pōleitai? kai hen ex autōn ou peseitai epi tēn gēn aneu tou patros hymōn.]||12: 6 ouchi pente strouthia pōlountai assariōn dyo? kai hen ex autōn ouk estin epilelēsmenon enōpion tou theou. ||10: 29 Is it not two sparrows an assarion sold? And no one out of them will fall upon the ground without the father of you.||12: 6 Are not five sparrows sold two assarion? And no one out of them is has been forgotten in front of the God.|
|10: 30-31 hymōn de kai hai triches tēs kephalēs pasai ērithmēmenai eisin. mē oun phobeisthe• pollōn strouthiōn diapherete hymeis.]||12: 7 alla kai hai triches tēs kephalēs hymōn pasai ērithmēntai. mē phobeisthe• pollōn strouthiōn diapherete.||10: 30-31 Then of you also the hairs of the head all having been numbered are. Therefore do not fear. From many sparrows you are different yourselves.||12: 7 But also the hairs of the head of you all have been numbered. Do not fear. From many sparrows you are different.|
|10: 32 Pas oun hostis homologēsei en emoi emprosthen tōn anthrōpōn, homologēsō kagō en autō emprosthen tou patros mou tou en [tois] ouranois•] ||12: 8 Legō de hymin, pas hos an homologēsē en emoi emprosthen tōn anthrōpōn, kai ho huios tou anthrōpou homologēsei en autō emprosthen tōn angelōn tou theou• ||10: 32 Therefore, everyone who confess in me before the men, I will confess, I also, in him before the father of me the one in [the] heavens.||12: 8 Then, I say to you, everyone who perchance might confess in me before the men, also the son of the man will confest in him before the angels of the God.|
|10: 33 hostis dʼ an arnēsētai me emprosthen tōn anthrōpōn, arnēsomai kagō auton emprosthen tou patros mou tou en [tois] ouranois.]||12: 9 ho de arnēsamenos me enōpion tōn anthrōpōn aparnēthēsetai enōpion tōn angelōn tou theou.||10: 33 Then, whoever perchance who might deny me before the men, I will deny, I also, him before the father of me the one in [the] heavens.||12: 9 Then, the (one) having denied me in front of the men, he will be denied in front of the angels of the God.|
|[12, 32 kai hos ean eipē logon kata tou huiou tou anthrōpou, aphethēsetai autō• hos dʼ an eipē kata tou pneumatos tou hagiou, ouk aphethēsetai autō oute en toutō tō aiōni oute en tō mellonti.]||12, 10 Kai pas hos erei logon eis ton huion tou anthrōpou, aphethēsetai autō• tō de eis to hagion pneuma blasphēmēsanti ouk aphethēsetai.||[12: 32 And whoever might say a word against the son of the man, it will be forgiven to him. Then, whoever perchance might say against the spirit the holy, it will not be forgiven to him neither in this era nor in the one coming.]||12: 10 And everyone who will say a word versus the son of the man, it will be forgiven to him. Then, the (one) versus the holy spirit having slandered, it will not be forgiven.|
|[10, 19a hotan de paradōsin hymas, mē merimnēsēte pōs ē ti lalēsēte•]||12, 11 Hotan de eispherōsin hymas epi tas synagōgas kai tas archas kai tas exousias, mē merimnēsēte pōs ē ti apologēsēsthe ē ti eipēte• ||[10: 19a Then, when they might deliver you, do not be anxious how or what you should speak.] ||12: 11 Then, when they would bring in you over the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you should reply in defense or what you should say.|
|[10, 19b-20 dothēsetai gar hymin en ekeinē tē hōra ti lalēsēte• ou gar hymeis este hoi lalountes alla to pneuma tou patros hymōn to laloun en hymin.]||12, 12 to gar hagion pneuma didaxei hymas en autē tē hōra ha dei eipein.||[10: 19b-20 For it will be given to you at this hour what you should speak. For not yourselves you are the ones speaking, but the spirit of the father of you the one speaking in you.]||12: 12 For the holy spirit will teach you at the very hour what it is necessary to say.|
- This pericope, from the Q document, appears in different contexts in Matthew and Luke. Matthew has placed the major part of this pericope in his missionary discourse, and thus it becomes a teaching addressed to the disciples to guide them in their missionary work. Luke, on the other hand, has placed it in a context where Jesus warns his disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees who are hypocrites. Therefore, this pericope refers to the Pharisees.
- As one could sense, this pericope is a collection of several logia, in fact four logia: Mt 10:26-27 || Lk 12:2-3 (there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered); Mt 10:28-31 || Lk 12:4-7 (do not fear those killing the body); Mt 10:32-33; 12:32 || Lk 12:8-10 (who confesses me in front of men); Mt 10:19-20 || Lk 12:11-12 (do not be anxious about what to say). Let's take a closer look.
- Mt 10:26-27 || Lk 12:2-3 (there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered). Because of the insertion of this logion in different contexts, the evangelists are forced to change the verbs into different modes and persons. Thus, as Jesus' speech is addressed to the disciples in Matthew, he uses the "you" and the imperative verbs in the form of an exhortation ("say in the light... proclaim on the housetops"). The meaning is clear: the missionaries are called to repeat in the light all that Jesus has told them in secret; the whole mystery of the gospel will one day be known and spread throughout the world. Luke, on the other hand, addresses the disciples and refers to the Pharisees, and therefore uses verbs in the third person and in the future tense ("will be heard... will be proclaimed"). Thus, Jesus is saying that the one who hides his evil deeds from the eyes of others under the veil of blameless conduct is a hypocrite, but the most secret words and deeds will one day be revealed, if only before God on the day of judgment. Finally, it should be noted that, because of the different meanings that the evangelists wanted to give to this logion, it is practically impossible to reconstitute the original formulation of the Q document.
- Mt 10:28-31 || Lk 12:4-7 (do not fear those killing the body). This logion has two parts. The first part (Mt 10:28 || Lk 12:4-5) may have had this formulation in the Q document, if we are to believe M.E. Boimard (op.cit., pp. 279-280), who relies on a comparison with Justin and 2 Clement:
Do not be afraid of those who kill, and after that can do nothing; be afraid of him who, after killing, has power to cast into hell.
The Q document would take up a tradition set in a context of persecution and warn of the danger of apostasy, and thus asserts that the persecutor can only kill the person, but God has the power to cast him into Gehenna after death. By placing this text in the context of the missionary sending, Matthew intends to warn the disciples about the difficulties that await them and the choices they will have to make. Luke, on the other hand, warns his audience against the Pharisees, who not only can cause death (e.g., the Pharisee Paul and the stoning of Stephen), but can lead to hell through their teaching.
Taking the text from the Q document, each evangelist would have made modifications to this original text. Matthean would have added the distinction between body and soul, which is not Semitic but comes from Platonic philosophy, and in doing so he is forced to replace "cast the soul into hell", an overly physical realism, with "destroy the soul in "hell". For his part, Luke introduces a number of words and expressions from his own vocabulary and style: "I say to you my friends", "I will show you whom you should fear", "Yes, I say to you, this one, fear him".
The second part (Mt 10:29-30 || Lk 12:6-7) would be an addition by the author of the Q document, since it cannot belong to the tradition echoed in the first part on persecutions. This second part constitutes an argument a fortiori that tempers the harshness of the first part. To see this better, let us compare Luke's text with the one he presents to us in Lk 12:22-24, also from the Q document:
|Luke 12: 4-7||Luke 12: 23-24|
|4b Fear nothing from those who kill...||23b Do not worry about the life of what you will eat...|
|5 Are five sparrows not sold for two assarion? And not one is forgotten in front of God.||24a Observe the ravens: they neither sow nor reap and God feeds them...|
|7b Fear not, you are worth more than (or you differ from) many sparrows.||24c That you are worth more than (or you differ from) birds!|
Thus, in the face of the dangers that await the disciples, they can be assured of God's protection. The changes made by the evangelists are minor. Thus, Luke has replaced the Semitic expression "will it not fall to the ground without your Father" (see Am 3:5: "Does a bird fall to the ground on a trap without bait?") with the expression "is forgotten in front of God" and where he uses a frequent preposition in his vocabulary: in front of (enōpion) which replaces that of the Q document: before (emprosthen).
- Mt 10:32-33; 12:32 || Lk 12:8-10 (who confesses me before men). There are two logia here that the author of the Q document would have put together, because Jesus' word on the fault against the spirit is not completely one with that on denial, even though it is understood that there may be some connection. And Matthew did not hesitate to place the logion on the fault against the spirit in another context.
- Let's start with Mt 10:32-33 || Lk 12:8-9. The atmosphere is the same as that which we had at the beginning with the exhortation not to fear those who can kill the body, but to fear those who can cast into Gehenna. Stylistically, we recognize an easy-to-remember antithetical formulation: whoever confesses me before men... I will confess him (at the judgment); whoever does not confess me (i.e. deny me)... I will not confess him (i.e. deny him) (at the judgment). This is a logion that may have had an independent life, but the author of the Q document has placed it in its context of persecution, emphasizing that the position one takes toward Jesus has consequences after death. Here, it is not specified which judgment is meant, the one at the triumphal return of Christ, or the one after death. Since Matthew places this pericope in the context of missionary discourse, one might think that Matthew's Jesus aims to support the testimony of his envoys with the guarantee that they will have an advocate in him at the judgment in the next life. At the same time, it is surprising that the denial of some is mentioned, but this was undoubtedly possible, as Peter is the example. In Luke, the context is the speech of Jesus to his disciples concerning the Pharisees. We must imagine that the possible denial would be the consequence of the pressure exerted by the Pharisees. Note that Matthew and Luke have a very similar formulation, but Matthew has introduced his familiar expression: "my Father in heavens", while Luke has probably retained the expression from the Q document: "the angels of God", an echo of the biblical world where angels are part of God's court like that of a king, and thus participate in the judgment, as we see in Job 2:1 ("The day came when the Sons of God went to the hearing of the Lord. The Satan also came among them to the audience of the Lord"). Note that it is probably Luke who replaced the verb arneomai (to deny) with aparneomai (to deny completely) to give greater strength to the judgment of Jesus, just as he replaced emprosthen (before) with enōpion (in front of) as he has done previously.
- Lk 12:32 || Lk 12:10 on the fault against the spirit reflects an ancient tradition that is also found in Mk 3:28-29. But it is important to specify that the notion of spirit, or holy spirit, is not the one that will be developed much later with that of the third person of the Trinity. Moreover, very often the expression "holy spirit" does not have an article, and should therefore be translated by: a holy spirit. What is it about? The word "spirit" means: breath, and "holy" means God. Thus, it is the breath of God that intervenes internally to guide humans. What does it mean to sin against this breath of God? This fault is contrasted with a word against the son of man. Now, a word against the son of man can be anything, as we regularly see in the gospels: reproaching him for eating with sinners or for not respecting the rules of ritual purity, healing on the Sabbath or forgiving sinners. These reproaches arise from external events that offend a person's convictions. But to speak of the breath of God is to speak of an inner event, and thus of the very action of God in the heart of a person. If a person refuses this action, he or she will never be able to accept the kingdom of God or any word coming from the mouth of Jesus. It seems that the author of the Q document saw a connection between the refusal of God's breath and denial, which is a refusal to acknowledge Jesus under the pressure of persecution. Of course, this is not the same thing, because denial of the breath of God is not associated with persecution. But, probably for the author of the Q document, it belongs with denial to the sin of men, even if it is much more serious. Matthew placed this word, as did Mark, in the context of a controversy with the Pharisees about Jesus' exorcisms being the work of Beelzebul. After the deconstruction of the Pharisees' argument, and thus after the demonstration of its illogical side, this fault against the breath of God is inserted: the fault is no longer at the level of the intelligence, but of the heart which refuses the light offered. In Luke, Jesus' speech referred to the Pharisees at the very beginning, and so it is possible that the fault against the breath of God is intended to explain their attitude. Note that the formulation of this fault in Matthew and Luke is quite similar, except that Matthew seems to have merged with the Q document a formulation ("neither in this age nor in the one to come") that comes from Mark 3:29.
- Mt 10:19-20 || Lk 12:11-12 (don't be anxious about what to say). The author of the Q document keeps us in a context of persecution with this logion. As he has done before, he gives the assurance of God's support. Matthew inserted this logion in his missionary address to the disciples, after Jesus had warned them that they would be handed over to the Sanhedrin, scourged in the synagogues and brought before governors and kings. But they can be assured of God's support, not to avoid suffering, but to know what to say as a testimony. In Luke, Jesus also addresses the disciples, but since the context is a reference to the Pharisees, the "persecutors" are identified with the Pharisees, and it is in order to face them that the support of God's strength or breath is assured. Note that while the idea is the same in Matthew and Luke, there are some differences in the wording. Let us point out the most notable ones.
- Luke's text refers to "synagogues, rulers and authorities", whereas this detail is absent from Matthew. We have here an echo of a situation that Paul experienced and that probably many Christians in the early Church experienced. It is likely that this reference comes from the Q document, because this vocabulary is not that of Luke. So it is Matthew who would have eliminated this reference and that is perfectly understandable: Matthew inserted this logion after the verses in which he describes the disciples being handed over to the courts, synagogues, rulers and kings, and so the reference from the Q document became totally redundant.
- While Luke in v. 12 speaks of the holy spirit, a likely reflection of the Q document, Matthew speaks instead of the spirit of your Father. This is typical of Matthew who likes to emphasize the action of our Father in heaven. But it is the same reality described, for the word "holy" refers to God, and so the expression "holy spirit" means: the spirit or breath of God. Luke and Matthew therefore affirm that God (Father) will inspire what is needed when the disciples have to witness.
- We also note the Lucan vocabulary: "that they introduce you", "you would reply in defense", "will teach", "it is necessary".
One will have noted the many underlined words, especially in Matthew, indicating parallels with Mk 13:11. What does this mean? One could have the impression that Matthew would have modified the Q document to adapt it to Mark's text. But according to M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 363), it is rather the other way around: the text of Mt 10:19-20 would be an echo of the Q document and would come from a first edition of Matthew's gospel (called Mt-intermediate) and the ultimate writer of Mark would have known this edition, and therefore would have inserted this text of Mt 10:19-20 into his great eschatological discourse.
29. Don't be anxious about the body; consider lilies of field; Father knows what you need
|6: 25a Dia touto legō hymin• mē merimnate tē psychē hymōn ti phagēte [ē ti piēte], mēde tō sōmati hymōn ti endysēsthe. ||12: 22 Eipen de pros tous mathētas [autou]• dia touto legō hymin• mē merimnate tē psychē ti phagēte, mēde tō sōmati ti endysēsthe. ||6: 25a That's why I say to you, do not be anxious of the life of you what you might eat [or what you might drink], nor for the body of you what you might put on.||12: 22 Then, he said toward the disciples [of him]. That's why I say to you, do not be anxious of the life what you might eat, nor for the body what you might put on.|
|6: 25b ouchi hē psychē pleion estin tēs trophēs kai to sōma tou endymatos; ||12: 23 hē gar psychē pleion estin tēs trophēs kai to sōma tou endymatos. ||6: 25b Is not the life more than food and the body (more) than the clothing?||12: 23 For the life more is than the food and the body (more) than the clothing.|
|6: 26 emblepsate eis ta peteina tou ouranou hoti ou speirousin oude therizousin oude synagousin eis apothēkas, kai ho patēr hymōn ho ouranios trephei auta• ouch hymeis mallon diapherete autōn; ||12: 24 katanoēsate tous korakas hoti ou speirousin oude therizousin, hois ouk estin tameion oude apothēkē, kai ho theos trephei autous• posō mallon hymeis diapherete tōn peteinōn. ||6: 26 Look at the birds of the sky that do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and the father of you the heaveanly feeds them. You, are you not much more valuable than them?||12: 24 Consider the ravens that do not sow nor reap, to them there is not a storehous nor a barn, and the God feeds them. How much more, you, you are valuable than the birds.|
|6: 27 tis de ex hymōn merimnōn dynatai prostheinai epi tēn hēlikian autou pēchyn hena; ||12: 25 tis de ex hymōn merimnōn dynatai epi tēn hēlikian autou prostheinai pēchyn; ||6: 27 Then, who out of you being anxious is able to add over the lifespan of him a cubit, a single (cubit)?||12, 25 Then, who out of you being anxious is able over the lifespan of him to add a cubit?|
|6: 28a kai peri endymatos ti merimnate; ||12: 26 ei oun oude elachiston dynasthe, ti peri tōn loipōn merimnate; ||6: 28a And about clothing, why are you anxious?||12, 26 Therefore, if not even the least thing you are able (to do), why about the rests are you anxious?|
|6: 28b-29 katamathete ta krina tou agrou pōs auxanousin• ou kopiōsin oude nēthousin• legō de hymin hoti oude Solomōn en pasē tē doxē autou periebaleto hōs hen toutōn. ||12: 27 katanoēsate ta krina pōs auxanei• ou kopia oude nēthei• legō de hymin, oude Solomōn en pasē tē doxē autou periebaleto hōs hen toutōn. ||6: 28b-29 Learn thoroughly from the lilies of the field how they grow. They do not toil nor do they spin. Then, I say to you that not even Solomon in all the glory of him was not adorned like one of these.||12, 27 Learn thoroughly from the lilies how it grows. It does not toil nor it spins. Then I say to you, not even Solomon in all the glory of him was not adorned like one of these.|
|6: 30 ei de ton chorton tou agrou sēmeron onta kai ayrion eis klibanon ballomenon ho theos houtōs amphiennysin, ou pollō mallon hymas, oligopistoi; ||12: 28 ei de en agrō ton chorton onta sēmeron kai ayrion eis klibanon ballomenon ho theos houtōs amphiezei, posō mallon hymas, oligopistoi. ||6: 30 Then if the grass of the field, today being and tomorrow into the furnace being thrown, the God thus clothes, (will he) not (do) much more for you, (people) of little faith.||12, 28 Then, if in field the grass, being today and tomorrow into furnace being thrown, the God thus clothes, how much more for you, (people) of little faith.|
|6: 31 mē oun merimnēsēte legontes• ti phagōmen; ē• ti piōmen; ē• ti peribalōmetha; ||12: 29 kai hymeis mē zēteite ti phagēte kai ti piēte kai mē meteōrizesthe• ||6: 31 Therefore, do not be anxious saying, "What might we eat? Or what might we drink? Or what might we wear?"||12, 29 And, you, do not seek what you might eat and what you might drink and do not be in suspense (being anxious).|
|6: 32 panta gar tauta ta ethnē epizētousin• oiden gar ho patēr hymōn ho ouranios hoti chrēzete toutōn hapantōn. ||12: 30 tauta gar panta ta ethnē tou kosmou epizētousin, hymōn de ho patēr oiden hoti chrēzete toutōn. ||6: 32 For all these things the nations seek earnestly. For he knows the Father of you the heavenly that you need these all.||12, 30 For all these these things the nations of the world seek earnestly, then of you the father knows that you need these things.|
|6: 33 zēteite de prōton tēn basileian [tou theou] kai tēn dikaiosynēn autou, kai tauta panta prostethēsetai hymin. ||12: 31 plēn zēteite tēn basileian autou, kai tauta prostethēsetai hymin. ||6: 33 Then, seek first the kingdom [of God] and the righteousness of him, and all these things will be added to you.||12, 31 Yet, seek the kingdom of him, and these things will be added to you.|
- A certain structure can be detected in this pericope of the Q document. Here is a possible one.
- Exortation to not worry about food and clothing
- Food is serving life, not the other way around
- Clothing is serving the body, not the other way around
- Some examples
- Example concerning food
Interpollination: example of the uselessness of worries to lengthen one's life
- Situation: birds do not work like farmers, yet God takes care of feeding them
- A fortiori conclusion: you are worth more than birds in the eyes of God
- Example concerning clothing
- Situation: the lilies do not work to make clothes, yet they are better dressed than the greatest of kings
- A fortiori conclusion: if God takes care of ephemeral plants, how much more will he take care of you
- General conclusion: Review of the initial exhortation and proposal of the real priority
- Do not seek what all pagans seek, for your Father knows your needs
- Seek first the kingdom of God, the rest will be given to you in addition
- Matthew and Luke inserted this pericope in different contexts. Matthew inserted it in his Sermon on the Mount, after the warning that one cannot serve God and money. From then on, this pericope offers the disciples a way to free themselves from the grip of money. Luke has inserted it in a speech that is a response to someone from the crowd who asks Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance with him. Then Jesus begins by exhorting to beware of greed, because life is not guaranteed by one's possessions, and then presents the parable of the rich fool whose land has yielded much, but dies before enjoying the result; it is at this point that Luke inserts our pericope. Thus, he is contrasted with the man whose land has brought in much and who takes pains to enlarge his granaries.
- This pericope of the Q document is echoed by Justin of Nablus, also called Justin Martyr (100-165), who formulates it thus:
Don't worry about
what you will eat
or what you will wear;
are you not worth more,
you, than birds and wild animals?
And God feeds them.
According to M.E. Boismard (op.cit., pp. 281-282), Justin is in the habit of quoting the Q document fairly faithfully, and this leads him to wonder whether all the rest of our pericope does not include several additions to the original version of the Q document, additions that would have been made by the author of the first edition of Matthew's gospel (called the Mt-intermediate) and copied by Luke. Without going that far, we can make two observations.
- The logion Mt 6:25b || Lk 12:33 (For life is more than food and the body than clothing), which we have considered as a justification of the initial exhortation, does not fit well with the whole. On the one hand, it is at odds with the central argument, which is of a rural nature: if God cares for birds and plants, how much more will he care for humans? On the other hand, it is philosophical (life is superior to food, the body superior to clothing), and will hardly convince Jesus' usual audience. We can accept Boismard's argument that it comes from Mt-intermediary (and that Luke copies it), especially since he is the only one in the gospels to use the word: clothing (endyma) (the only other occurrence is here in Luke, when he copies the Mt-intermediate) and the opposition: soul-life/body (the only other occurrence is here in Luke, when he copies the Mt-intermediate). So it is possible that Mt 6:25b || Lk 12:33 is not part of the original Q document and would be an addition of the Mt-intermediate (or any other author).
The logion Mt 6:27 || Lk 12:25 (who among you, caring, is able to add a cubit to his life span). In our proposal for a possible structure of the pericope, we had to place it as an interpolation, since it did not fit in with the movement of the argument centered on birds and plants. This logion probably had an independent life, and it was attached to this pericope by the hook word "to be anxious", and thus reinforced the uselessness of worries. According to Boismard, this addition would be the work of the Mt-intermediary that Luke copies.
- Mt 6:32-33 || Lk 12:30-31 (For all these things the nations seek...). This conclusion insists on two points: 1) for physical life, there is no need to ask, God already provides; the priority of all efforts must be the reign of God. It will be noticed that Matthew adds "and his justice". In fact it is simply a synonym of the kingdom of God with respect to practical life, i.e. what the reign of God implies for everyday life. As a whole, this pericope simply reflects the life of Jesus and what was his priority. It is a call to follow him on the path that was his.
30. No treasures on earth but in heaven
|6: 19 Mē thēsaurizete hymin thēsaurous epi tēs gēs, hopou sēs kai brōsis aphanizei kai hopou kleptai dioryssousin kai kleptousin• ||12: 33a Pōlēsate ta hyparchonta hymōn kai dote eleēmosynēn• poiēsate heautois ballantia mē palaioumena, ||6: 19 Do not store up to yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rotting erode and where thieves break in and steal.||12: 33a Sell the possessions of you and give alms. Make to yourselves purses not growing old,|
|6: 20 thēsaurizete de hymin thēsaurous en ouranō, hopou oute sēs oute brōsis aphanizei kai hopou kleptai ou dioryssousin oude kleptousin• ||12: 33b thēsauron anekleipton en tois ouranois, hopou kleptēs ouk engizei oude sēs diaphtheirei• ||6: 20 Then, store up to yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rotting erode and where thieves do not break in nor steal.||12: 33b a treasure unfailing in the heavens, where thief does not draw near nor moth destroy.|
|6: 21 hopou gar estin ho thēsauros sou, ekei estai kai hē kardia sou.||12: 34 hopou gar estin ho thēsauros hymōn, ekei kai hē kardia hymōn estai.||6: 21 For where is the treasure of you (sing.), there will be also the heart of you (sing.).||12: 34 For where is the treasure of you (plur.), there also the heart of you (plur.) will be.|
- The ideas expressed in this pericope are not new, for they are already found in the sapiential tradition:
Do alms from your possessions; and when you do alms, let not your eye be envious, nor turn away your face from a poor man, and the face of God will not turn away from you ... do not fear to do alms according to that little possession. For you have stored up for the day of need. (Tob 4:7-9)
Be willing to lose money for a brother or a friend, rather than lose it by letting it rust under a stone. Dispose of your treasure according to the precepts of the Most High: so shall it profit you more than gold. Lock up your alms in your barns; it is these that will deliver you from all misfortune. (Sir 29:10-12)
Since the belief in an afterlife is not yet developed, to store up treasure for God simply means that God will come to our aid when we are in need. Ben Sirach adds the idea of the rust that accumulates on the money one stores up. It was not until the apocalyptic period (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD) and the belief in an afterlife that the idea of a treasure in heaven was developed.
The righteous gladly wait for the end and leave this life without fear because they have a treasure of good works with you... (Apoc. Baruch 14:12)
(This is King Monobazus speaking, after distributing all his possessions in alms) ...my fathers have laid up treasures in this world in me I have laid up treasures for the world to come; not that almsgiving delivers from death, but it gives not to die in the future to come (Talmud of Jerusalem, Peah 4: 18)
- Matthew and Luke have placed this pericope in different contexts. Matthew placed it in his Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus had shown the attitude to have towards the three great practices of Judaism: almsgiving, prayer and fasting; each time, Jesus insists that these practices must be done in secret, and the Father, who sees in secret, will see to it that they are followed up. Therefore, speaking of a treasure in heaven is a logical follow-up: all actions are aimed at pleasing God who sees everything and forgets nothing. Luke, for his part, inserts this pericope after the one inviting people to avoid worries and to trust in God's providence, and thus logically opens up the idea that accumulating possessions is totally useless, and that it is therefore better to give them in alms, and that the only riches are in heaven.
- The pericope has two parts: Mt 6:19-20 || Lk 12:33 (take treasure to heaven) and Mt 6:21 || Lk 12:34 (where your treasure is).
- What is interesting about Mt 6:19-20 | Lk 12:33 is the difference between the text of the two evangelists. In particular, Matthew presents us with a text with a perfectly binary parallelism:
|Mt 6: 19||Mt 6: 20|
|Do not store up yourselves||Store up yourselves|
|treasures upon the earth, ||treasures in heaven, |
|where moth and rotting erode||where neither moth nor rotting erode|
|and where thieves break in and steal.||and where thieves do not break in nor steal.|
This parallelism is not necessarily an indication of antiquity, for Matthew is capable of creating such parallels as can be seen in the sermon on the mount: "You have learned... I tell you." Moreover, it would be hard to understand why Luke would have eliminated this parallelism if it had been present in the Q document. Note that in Luke's text we find the expression "in the heavens", a Semitic expression to which he almost always prefers "in heaven", and therefore would be an indication of antiquity (in Matthew we almost always have the plural "the heavens" typical of Judaism, but the singular "heaven" here would be explained by the fact that "heaven" is always in the singular when it is opposed to the earth). So, it is more likely that Luke has better preserved the wording of the Q document.
Nevertheless, we note Luke's editorial work: the verb "to break in" (which is appropriate for Palestinian houses) has been replaced by "to draw near"; he uses expressions from his own vocabulary such as "purses growing old", "unfailing " (an echo of Wis 7:14 on wisdom).
- Mt 6:21 || Lk 12:34 introduces a new idea: the treasure is no longer what God will give in return, but what we value in this life by attaching ourselves to it, and comes from the heart, the principle of the direction we give to our life and which makes us act. The clue that this is an independent logion is given by the fact that it was in the 2nd person singular: "your treasure", as seen in Matthew, while the whole pericope is in the 2nd person plural (Luke was careful to harmonize it with the rest). This logion was probably added by the author of the Q document because of the hooked word: treasure. By adding it as a conclusion to the pericope, the author of the Q document gave it a new meaning: after having given priority to the treasure of heaven, the heart will inevitably turn to heaven and make it its direction and the principle of its action.
31. Householder and thief; faithful servant preparing for master's coming
|24: 43 Ekeino de ginōskete hoti ei ēdei ho oikodespotēs poia phylakē ho kleptēs erchetai, egrēgorēsen an kai ouk an eiasen diorychthēnai tēn oikian autou. ||12: 39 touto de ginōskete hoti ei ēdei ho oikodespotēs poia hōra ho kleptēs erchetai, ouk an aphēken diorychthēnai ton oikon autou. ||24: 43 "Then, that one know that if he had known the master of the house in what watch (of the night) the thief comes, he would have watched perchance and perchance he would not have allowed to be broken in the house of him.||12: 39 "Then, this know that if he had known the master of the house in what hour the thief comes, perchance he would not have left to be broken in the house of him.|
|24: 44 dia touto kai hymeis ginesthe hetoimoi, hoti hē ou dokeite hōra ho huios tou anthrōpou erchetai.||12: 40 kai hymeis ginesthe hetoimoi, hoti hē hōra ou dokeite ho huios tou anthrōpou erchetai.||24: 44 That's why also yourselves become ready, for at the hour you do not think the son of the man comes.||12: 40 And yourselves become ready, for at the hour you do not think the son of the man comes.".|
| ||12: 41-42a Eipen de ho Petros• kyrie, pros hēmas tēn parabolēn tautēn legeis ē kai pros pantas; kai eipen ho kyrios•||: ||12: 41-42a Then, he said the Peter, "Lord, toward us the parable this you say or also toward all?" And he said the Lord,|
|24: 45 Tis ara estin ho pistos doulos kai phronimos hon katestēsen ho kyrios epi tēs oiketeias autou tou dounai autois tēn trophēn en kairō; ||12: 42b tis ara estin ho pistos oikonomos ho phronimos, hon katastēsei ho kyrios epi tēs therapeias autou tou didonai en kairō [to] sitometrion; ||24: 45 So who is the faithful servent and wise that has set the lord upon the houseold of him to give to them the food at the right time?||12: 42b "So who is the faithful steward the wise, that will set the lord upon the body of servants of him to give at the right time [the] measure of food?|
|24: 46 makarios ho doulos ekeinos hon elthōn ho kyrios autou heurēsei houtōs poiounta• ||12: 43 makarios ho doulos ekeinos, hon elthōn ho kyrios autou heurēsei poiounta houtōs. ||24: 46 Blessed the servant that one whom, coming the lord of him, he finds thus doing. ||12: 43 Blessed the servant that one whom, coming the lord of him, he finds doing thus.|
|24: 47 amēn legō hymin hoti epi pasin tois hyparchousin autou katastēsei auton. ||12: 44 alēthōs legō hymin hoti epi pasin tois hyparchousin autou katastēsei auton. ||24: 47 Amen I say to you that upon all the things being at his disposal of him he will set him.||12: 44 Really I say to you that upon all the things being at his disposal of him he will set him.|
|24: 48-49 ean de eipē ho kakos doulos ekeinos en tē kardia autou• chronizei mou ho kyrios, kai arxētai typtein tous syndoulous autou, esthiē de kai pinē meta tōn methyontōn, ||12: 45 ean de eipē ho doulos ekeinos en tē kardia autou• chronizei ho kyrios mou erchesthai, kai arxētai typtein tous paidas kai tas paidiskas, esthiein te kai pinein kai methyskesthai, ||24: 48-49 Then if he would say the evil servent this one in the heart of him, 'He delays of me the lord,' and he would begin to beat the fellow servants of him, then he would eat and drink with those being drunkards,||12: 45 Then if he would say the servant that one in the heart of him, 'He delays the lord of me to come', and he would begin to beat the manservants and the maids, to eat and as well to drink and to get drunk,|
|24: 50-51 hēxei ho kyrios tou doulou ekeinou en hēmera hē ou prosdoka kai en hōra hē ou ginōskei, kai dichotomēsei auton kai to meros autou meta tōn hypokritōn thēsei• ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos tōn odontōn.||12: 46 hēxei ho kyrios tou doulou ekeinou en hēmera hē ou prosdoka kai en hōra hē ou ginōskei, kai dichotomēsei auton kai to meros autou meta tōn apistōn thēsei.||24: 50-51 he will come the lord of the servant that one in a day that he does not expect and in a hour that he does not know, and he will cut off him and the share of him with the hypocrites he will place. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth."||12: 46 he will come the lord of the servant that one in a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and he will cut off him and the share of him with the unbelievers he will place".|
- This pericope presents us with two parables that Luke has taken care to separate. First, there is the parable of Mt 24:43-44 || Lk 12:39-40 centered on the event of a house being robbed, and the parable of Mt 24:45-51 || Lk 12:42-46 centered on a steward who is given the responsibility of governing a household during the absence of the master.
- This pericope from the Q document was inserted in different contexts in Matthew and Luke. Matthew placed it in his eschatological discourse, when Jesus is in Jerusalem, a few days before his death. Jesus has just affirmed that no one knows the day and hour of the coming of the son of man, and gives the example of the example of the flood in Noah's time which happened without warning, before exhorting to watch. Thus, the context is that of a catastrophe where one must avoid being caught off guard. This atmosphere continues with the image of the thief in our pericope. Luke has placed this pericope in a sequence of teachings of Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, which he will reach only ten chapters later, where the legacy he wants to leave to his disciples about the Christian life is concentrated. He has just exhorted them (Lk 12:35) to stay in their work clothes and keep their lamps lit to welcome the master back from the wedding no matter what time of night it is. Therefore, the first parable, even though it speaks of a thief, is placed in the positive context of the master's return from the wedding.
- In the Q document, it is possible that the first parable in Mt 24:43-44 || Lk 12:39-40 immediately followed the text about the treasure in heaven that the thief cannot break in or steal, and so the transition was made by the hook words "thief", "break in" and "steal". What does the figure of the thief in the parable represent? One can imagine that the house represents one's own person, and therefore the action of "breaking in" or "stealing" refers to physical death. In this case, what does the "become ready" mean? Since the author of the Q document is talking about the return of the son of man, it is therefore about facing the figure of the judge, and therefore presenting a life oriented towards the path he has proposed and having a good treasure in heaven. Matthew reinforced this meaning by inserting this parable in his discourse on the end of time, describing the judgment by the scene where two people, doing the same activity, one is chosen and the other rejected and concluding: "Watch therefore, for you do not know what day your Lord will come". To show the connection of the parable with what precedes it, he adds "he would have watched". Luke seems content to reproduce the text of the Q document as it stands. But a few verses earlier he spoke of the rich man who was unwise and to whom God said: "Fool, this very night your life will be required of you, and who will have what you have prepared?" (Lk 12:20). All this colors the parable: we are more in a context of personal death and individual judgment, and the way to be ready is to share and give what we have, while it is still possible.
- The parable of Mt 24:45-51 || Lk 12:42-46 has a completely different meaning, because the starting point is a responsibility that has been entrusted by the lord. The use by the author of the Q document of the title "lord" is not innocent, for even if the term can designate any person, like our modern term "sir" (don't forget, "sir" is the short form of "master", which is also a way to translate kyrios along with "lord"), it evokes the risen Christ. Thus, for the author of the Q document, this period, when the Lord is absent, is an active period for Christians, not a period of relaxation: each one has his task to carry out. In Matthew, in the eschatological context in which he has inserted the parable, the emphasis is on the judgment concerning action: the one who has known how to do the master's will will be promoted, the one who has led a dissolute life will be cut off from the community, good only to join the hypocrites or false Christians. Luke, for his part, has taken the liberty of composing an introduction to the parable in a dialogue between Peter and Jesus in which the leader of the apostles asks if Jesus is addressing his particular group, the leaders of the Church. The parable that follows must therefore be understood in this sense. Thus, in Luke the servant becomes a "steward", a function that Paul gives to himself (1 Cor 4:1-2), which the letter of Title attributes to the "bishops" (Titus 1:7); according to 1 Pet 4:2, this is how the different functions in the Christian community were considered, as an exercise in stewardship. Thus, the responsibility entrusted by the Lord is no longer exercised with regard to "companions", i.e. equals, as in Matthew, but with regard to "man servants" and "maids", i.e. people of a lower rank. In Luke, it is a parable addressed to the leaders of Christian communities, warning them against failing to exercise their responsibility adequately, to nourish the faith of Christians, in which case they will be no better than non-Christians, and therefore should join them.
32. Not come to bring peace but sword; divisions of family
|10: 34 Mē nomisēte hoti ēlthon balein eirēnēn epi tēn gēn• ouk ēlthon balein eirēnēn alla machairan. ||12: 51 dokeite hoti eirēnēn paregenomēn dounai en tē gē; ouchi, legō hymin, allʼ ē diamerismon. ||10: 34 You should not consider that I came to throw peace upon the earth. I did not come to throw peace but a sword.||12: 51 Do you think that peace I presented myself to give to the earth? No, I say to you, but rather division.|
|10: 35a ēlthon gar||12: 52 esontai gar apo tou nyn pente en heni oikō diamemerismenoi, treis epi dysin kai dyo epi trisin, ||10: 35a For I came||12: 52 For they will be from now on five in a single house having been divided, three upon two and two upon three.|
| 10: 35b-36 dichasai anthrōpon kata tou patros autou kai thygatera kata tēs mētros autēs kai nymphēn kata tēs pentheras autēs, kai echthroi tou anthrōpou hoi oikiakoi autou.||12: 53 diameristhēsontai patēr epi huiō kai huios epi patri, mētēr epi tēn thygatera kai thygatēr epi tēn mētera, penthera epi tēn nymphēn autēs kai nymphē epi tēn pentheran.||10: 35b-36 to separate a man against the father of him and a daughter against the mother of her and a daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law of her, and enemies of the man (will be) the family members of him.||12: 53 They will be divided a father upon a son and a son upon a father, a mother upon the daughter and a daughter upon the mother, mother-in-law upon the daughter-in-law of her and a dauther-in-law upon the mother-in-law.|
- This pericope from Q document has two parts: first a logion (Mt 10:34 || Lk 12:51) where Jesus is said to have stated that his actions and words would be divisive, forcing people to take a stand against him, followed by an example of division in a family (Mt 10:35-36 || Lk 12:52-53), an example that is taken from the prophet Micah 7:6.
- This pericope was inserted in two different contexts by Matthew and Luke. Matthew inserted it at the end of his missionary discourse in ch. 10, after having warned his envoys that they would face persecution and that they would have to testify before men. From then on, this pericope means that they should not be surprised, because it is the very nature of Jesus' action and message to create such a situation. In Luke this pericope follows the parable about the steward who is responsible for feeding the members of the household. And to ensure a good transition, Luke adds a logion where Jesus expresses the meaning of his mission, that of lighting a fire on earth, i.e. the sending of the Holy Spirit which will be linked to his baptism, i.e. his death. From then on, our pericope makes explicit the meaning of this fire of the Spirit, a transforming force that will be a source of division, some refusing it. All this only accentuates the demands of the responsibility entrusted to the steward of the house.
- Mt 10:34 || Lk 12:51: The wording of the logion of the Q document by Matthew and Luke is quite similar. Luke seems to respect the original wording of the Q document a little better, while Matthew uses a structure of his own. Compare Mt 10:34 and Mt 5:17 (we have underlined the identical words).
|Mt 10: 34||Mt 5: 17||Mt 10: 34||M 5: 17|
|Mē nomisēte hoti ēlthon balein eirēnēn epi tēn gēn||Mē nomisēte hoti ēlthon katalysai ton nomon ē tous prophētas•||You should not consider that I came to throw peace upon the earth.||You should not consider that I came to abolish the law or the prophets.|
|ouk ēlthon balein eirēnēn alla machairan.||ouk ēlthon katalysai alla plērōsai.||I did not come to throw peace but a sword.||I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. |
On the other hand, in terms of vocabulary, Matthew seems to have better respected the Semitic vocabulary of the Q document with the verb "to throw" (peace) and the word "sword". Luke, on the other hand, has made certain changes: "I presented myself" instead of "I came", "to give" instead of "to throw", "division" instead of "sword".
- Mt 10:35-36 || Lk 12:52-53 gives us an example of division in a house. This example comes from Mi 7:6. Let us recall that the prophet denounces the perversion among the people, noting that the faithful have disappeared from the land and that conflicts are widespread. Note the similarity of the vocabulary with the text of the Q document.
|Greek text of the Septuagint||Translation|
|dioti huios atimazei patera, ||Because a son dishonors a father,|
|thygatēr epanastēsetai epi tēn mētera autēs, ||a daughter rises upon the mother of her,|
|nymphē epi tēn pentheran autēs, ||the daughter-in-law upon the mother-in-law of her,|
|echthroi andros pantes hoi andres hoi en tō oikō autou.||all men enemies (are) the men those in the house of him|
Let's make some observations.
- Let us first recognize that the context of Micah and that of the Q document is not the same; for the latter does not speak of a generalized perversity, but of the conflict caused by the fact that some within the same family will take a stand for Jesus, and others against him;
- Luke would have best respected the vocabulary of Micah, and therefore probably of the Q document, with the preposition epi (on) to express the antagonism between two people (to be on another person expresses the idea of a fight), whereas Matthew opted for kata (which describes an up and down movement, much the same idea as "upon", but usually translated as "against").
- In Lk 12:52, a text that is not from the Q document, Luke amplified the example by first giving it an introduction that he would have composed (an expression like "from now on" [apo tou nyn] is typical of his style) and where he plays the mathematician. Thus, the house of conflict would be composed of five people that he will identify in the next verse: the son, the father, the mother who also plays the role of stepmother, and the daughter. Then he gives the details of the conflict as three people form a united group against the other group of two people. It is surprising that Luke repeats the two-on-three conflict after the three-on-two conflict, as if there could be a difference. It is possible that Luke's intention is to show the magnitude of the conflict: it is not simply a matter of one group attacking the other group that is merely passively receiving the attack; for both groups are active in the conflict.
- Mt 10:35 - Lk 12:53 present the characters of the conflict: son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. It will have been noticed that following Micah's text, it is the younger person who is in conflict with the older one, and thus expresses the revolt against a certain form of authority. With Luke's grouping of three against two, it is the young group against the old group. Can this be seen as an echo of the religious conflicts where it is the younger ones who have opened up to Christian teaching? It is impossible to confirm this. As he did in the previous verse, Luke repeats the opposing characters, it is not only father against son, but it is also son against father. Why does he do this? As we have noted, both characters in the conflict are active in this confrontation for Luke. And in his presentation of the conflict, Luke always starts with the older one, perhaps to identify the tougher party first.
- In the presentation of the characters in the conflict, Matthew is perhaps the one who best respects the text of the Q document, which must have resembled the text of Mi 7:6, and especially contains the final mention of enemies within his family, a mention that Luke eliminated no doubt because it blurred the beautiful arithmetical order that he saw in the conflict.
33. Ability to interpret weather signs should enable to interpret present times
|16: 2 ho de apokritheis eipen autois• opsias genomenēs legete• eudia, pyrrazei gar ho ouranos• ||12: 54 Elegen de kai tois ochlois• hotan idēte [tēn] nephelēn anatellousan epi dysmōn, eutheōs legete hoti ombros erchetai, kai ginetai houtōs• ||16: 3 Then, him, having answered, he said to them, "Evening having come, you say, 'Fair weather, for it is fiery red the sky.'||12: 54 Then he was saying also to the crowds, "When you might see [the] cloud rising up upon west, immediately you say that rain comes, and it happens thus. |
|16: 3a kai prōi• sēmeron cheimōn, pyrrazei gar stygnazōn ho ouranos. ||12: 55 kai hotan noton pneonta, legete hoti kausōn estai, kai ginetai. ||16: 3a And early in the morning, 'Today a storm, for it is fiery red being gloomy the sky.'||12: 55 And when a south wind (might be) blowing, you say that heat will be, and it happens.|
|16: 3b to men prosōpon tou ouranou ginōskete diakrinein, ta de sēmeia tōn kairōn ou dynasthe; ||12: 56 hypokritai, to prosōpon tēs gēs kai tou ouranou oidate dokimazein, ton kairon de touton pōs ouk oidate dokimazein;||16: 3b On the one hand the face of the sky you know to discern, but on the other hand the signs of the times you are not able".||12: 56 Hypocrites, the face of the earth and the sky you know to interpret, then the time this one how do you not know to interpret?|
- The first thing that attracts attention in this set is the few common words. It is clear that both Matthew and Luke list the meteorological observations that a Palestinian peasant can make to anticipate the weather: in Matthew, the weather forecast is based on the color of the sky either in the evening or in the morning, while in Luke it is based on the presence of clouds in the west or the direction of the wind. The only real commonality in the texts of Matthew and Luke is Jesus' reproach contrasting the people's ability to discern the weather and their inability to recognize the significance of Jesus' action and preaching. In short, while Matthew and Luke present the same idea, their formulation has little in common. How can this be explained?
- A first clue comes from textual criticism: the text of Mt 16:2b-3 is absent from important manuscripts such as the Vaticanus (4th c.) and Sinaiticus (4th c.) codices and from several Syriac (3rd/4th c.) and Coptic (3rd c.) translations, and absent from Origen's texts. M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 240) believes that this is the addition of a scribe, and in fact Matthew's account continues fluidly omitting this passage.
- The least we can say is that we are not dealing with a Q document, and therefore it is normal to find little in common between the text of Matthew and that of Luke.
- It is obvious that this is a late addition to the text of the Gospel of Matthew. This does not mean that the text is a pure invention. For even if we admit the work of a scribe, it is customary for scribes to try to harmonize the gospels. The text of Matthew is not a copy of Luke. The source of the addition could come from an ancient tradition similar to what is found in Luke, but which has an independent history.
- Even recognizing that the Matthew text is a late addition, either by the final editor of the gospel or by some scribe, it must be recognized that their insertion in different contexts in Matthew and Luke colors their meaning. Thus, in Matthew, Jesus has just fed the crowd for the second time, and the Pharisees and Sadducees, still unbelievers, set a trap for Jesus and ask him for a sign from heaven. We are in an atmosphere of controversy and Jesus' answer is ironic: you know how to read the signs of nature to predict the weather, but you are unable to read the clear signs of my mission. Instead, Luke uses this pericope to introduce a new sequence of events ("he said to the crowds again") focusing on the importance of judging each situation well and the urgency of reacting well to different events: if one is summoned to court, it is better to come to an agreement with one's adversary as quickly as possible (Lk 12:57-59); certain catastrophes (Pilate's massacre of the Galileans and the collapse of the tower of Siloam) should be interpreted as an urgent call to conversion (Lk 13:1-5); the parable of the fig tree is a reminder that we are in a period of last chance before judgment (Lk 13:6-9). Thus, our pericope becomes an exhortation to the crowd to make good use of their capacity for discernment in the face of what Jesus is doing and teaching, and in the face of events in their lives.
34. Settling before going before the magistrate
|5: 25 isthi eunoōn tō antidikō sou tachy, heōs hotou ei metʼ autou en tē hodō, mēpote se paradō ho antidikos tō kritē kai ho kritēs tō hypēretē kai eis phylakēn blēthēsē• ||12: 58 hōs gar hypageis meta tou antidikou sou epʼ archonta, en tē hodō dos ergasian apēllachthai apʼ autou, mēpote katasyrē se pros ton kritēn, kai ho kritēs se paradōsei tō praktori, kai ho praktōr se balei eis phylakēn. ||5: 25 Be agreeing with the adversary of you quickly, while which (time) you are with him in the way, lest you he might hand over the adversary to the judge, and the judge to the officer and into prison you will be cast.||12: 58 For as you go with the adversary of you upon a magistrate, in the way give effort to be set free from him lest he might drag away you toward the judge, and the judge you he will hand over to the enforcer, and the enforcer you he will cast into prison.|
|5: 26 amēn legō soi, ou mē exelthēs ekeithen, heōs an apodōs ton eschaton kodrantēn.||12: 5 legō soi, ou mē exelthēs ekeithen, heōs kai to eschaton lepton apodōs.||5: 26 Amen I say to you, no you might not come out from there, until perchance you should give back the last quadrans.||12: 59 I say to you, no you might not come out from there, until even the last lepton you should give back.|
- This pericope from the Q document reflects popular practical wisdom in Judaism, as witnessed in Proverbs 17:14:
It is to open a dam to start a lawsuit; before it starts, withdraw.
If it is part of an ancient tradition and an echo of Jesus' thought, what is its significance? One might think that Jesus did not want to give a simple word of practical wisdom, especially since there is a form of urgency ("quickly"). In Jewish thought, the other members of the community are "brothers", and this includes opponents. But Jesus preached the arrival of God's reign, and therefore of his intervention, which also includes his judgment. One cannot go to that judgment without being fully reconciled to one's brothers. It is therefore probable that this exhortation transmitted by the Q document must be read in an eschatological context: in the face of the final judgment, it is urgent to be on good terms with one's brothers, otherwise they will testify against us.
- Matthew and Luke put this pericope in quite different contexts. Matthew placed it in his Sermon on the Mount, after a call to go beyond the commandment not to kill by refusing to be angry with a brother, to call him a "fool" or "madman". Then comes the rule: "When you go to present your offering at the altar, if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go first to be reconciled with your brother; then come and present your offering" (Mt 5:23-24). Thus, our pericope becomes an example of reconciliation with one's brother, in order to be able to present one's offering to God. This reconciliation thus has a moral and religious dimension. In Luke, the pericope follows Jesus' call to judge each situation well and to react well to the different events of life, like the farmer who knows how to discern the weather. To make sure that his reader uses this criterion of interpretation, he introduces our pericope as follows: "Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?" This pericope is followed by the presentation of two catastrophes, the massacre of the Galileans by Pilate and the collapse of the tower of Siloam, which must be interpreted as a call to conversion. Thus, the conflict with an adversary in our pericope must be interpreted as a call to change one's attitude while there is still time. The urgency is imposed by the prospect of the final judgment.
- Matthew seems to respect the wording of the Q document best, except for the "Amen" typical of his gospel. Luke has updated the wording according to his vocabulary and Greek background: "magistrate" and "enforcer", technical terms of Greco-Roman administration, "to give effort", i.e. to make an effort, "to be set free from", i.e. "to settle the case", and the use of "lepton" as a currency, more correct in Greek than the Latin "quadrans".
35. Kingdom of heaven/God, like growth of mustard seed; like leaven woman puts in meal
|13: 31a Allēn parabolēn parethēken autois legōn• ||13: 18 Elegen oun• tini homoia estin hē basileia tou theou kai tini homoiōsō autēn; ||13: 31a Another parable he put before to them saying,||13: 18 Therefore he was saying, "To what comparable is the kingdom of God and to what will I compare it?|
|13: 31b-32 homoia estin hē basileia tōn ouranōn kokkō sinapeōs, hon labōn anthrōpos espeiren en tō agrō autou• ho mikroteron men estin pantōn tōn spermatōn, hotan de auxēthē meizon tōn lachanōn estin kai ginetai dendron, hōste elthein ta peteina tou ouranou kai kataskēnoun en tois kladois autou.||13: 19 homoia estin kokkō sinapeōs, hon labōn anthrōpos ebalen eis kēpon heautou, kai ēyxēsen kai egeneto eis dendron, kai ta peteina tou ouranou kateskēnōsen en tois kladois autou.||13: 31b-32 "Comparable is the kingdom of heavens to a grain of mustard that having taken a man he sowed in the field of him. On the one hand, the smallest it is of all the seeds, on the other hand when it is grown greater of the garden plants it is and it becomes a tree, so as to come the birds of the sky and to dwell in the branches of it."||13: 19 Comparable it is to a grain of mustard that having taken a man he cast into a garden of him, and it grew and became into a tree, and the birds of the sky dwelt in the branches of it."|
|13: 33a Allēn parabolēn elalēsen autois• ||13: 20 Kai palin eipen• tini homoiōsō tēn basileian tou theou; ||13: 33a Another parable he spoke to them,||13: 20 And again he said, "To what will I compare the kingdom of God.|
|13: 33b homoia estin hē basileia tōn ouranōn zymē, hēn labousa gynē enekrypsen eis aleurou sata tria heōs hou ezymōthē holon. ||13: 21 homoia estin zymē, hēn labousa gynē [en]ekrypsen eis aleurou sata tria heōs hou ezymōthē holon.||13: 33b Comparable is the kingdom of heavens to leaven, that having taken a woman she hid into flour three measures until it was leavened entirely.||13: 21 Comparable it is to leaven, that having taken a woman she hid into flour tree measures until it was leavened entirely.|
- This pericope from the Q document contains two parables to convey what the kingdom of God is about, one with a man as the subject, the other with a woman. Both parables have the same structure which looks like this:
|Lk 13 : 19||Lk 13 : 21|
|It is comparable to||It is comparable to|
|to a mustard seed||to leaven|
|that a man||that a woman|
|having taken, cast||having taken, hid|
|in his garden,||in three measures of flour|
|and it grew and||until the whole was leavened|
|became a tree|| |
The point of the parable is the contrast between the beginning, which appears small and humble, and the end, which is immense and extraordinary. Thus, the kingdom of God, despite its humble and almost invisible beginning, will have a dazzling end. It is therefore a call to trust that the kingdom of God, despite appearances, is making its way and will succeed.
- One will have noticed the many underlined words in the parable of the mustard seed. This indicates parallels with what we find in the gospel of Mark. What does this mean? The parable of the mustard seed is known under two traditions, that reflected in Mark (which M.E. Boismard, op. cit., pp. 192-193 attributes to document A), and that reflected in the Q document. Each has its own story. Here is what Boismard proposes.
- Luke is the one who best respects the wording of the Q document. However, the parable of the mustard seed stopped before the mention of the birds, which appears as an addition, based on the parallel of the two parables presented above where the addition of the birds would break the overall balance.
- Document A, which is one of Mark's sources, also contained a version of the parable of the mustard seed, and it ended with an evocation of Ezek 17:22-24 where the restoration of God's people, under the leadership of their king, is compared to a newly planted cedar tree, and the text ends thus: "It will bear branches, produce fruit, become a magnificent cedar. All kinds of birds will dwell in it, they will dwell in the shade of its branches". This is the theme of what is small becoming great under God's action, and the image of the birds is that of the peoples of the earth who come to find protection in its shade. This text in Document A was probably originally intended to have the following form:
It is like a mustard seed which, when sown on the earth, grows and makes large branches so that the birds of the air can take shelter under its shade.
- The author of the first edition of Matthew's gospel (called Mt-intermediate), who knew both the Q document and the A document, decided to modify the Q document to include the mention of the birds of the air spoken of in the A document. But instead of copying the version of document A inspired by Ezek 17:22-24, he preferred Dan 4:7-9 (LXX: Dan 4:10-12): it is the account of a tree that becomes immense, an image of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, and which ends thus: "and the birds of the sky dwelt in the branches of it". It should be noted that we are not talking here about dwelling under the shade of the branches, but simply about dwelling in its branches. It is this version of the Q document with the addition of the Mt-intermediate that Luke presents.
- Document A was also included in an early edition of Mark's gospel (called Mc-intermediate). But since the audience was no longer the peasant world of Galilee, the author felt the need to explain the parable for an urban setting that might not know what a mustard seed is. So he makes two additions: "it is the smallest of all seeds", and "it is the largest of all garden plants"; this ensures that the contrast between the starting point and the end point is understood.
- Finally, the final editor of the Gospel of Matthew, responsible for the text that we have before us, took up the text of the Mt-intermediate, but, knowing also the text of the Mc-intermediate, he created a synthesis, while modifying the terms that were too Semitic: thus "to cast" (into a garden) became "to sow", or again "became into a tree" became simply "becomes a tree", or again the conjunction "and" (birds of the sky) became "so as to come" (the birds of the sky)
One can be hesitant in front of the number of hypotheses in Boismard's proposal, but it has the merit of explaining a certain number of things: the similarities with Mark's gospel, especially in Matthew, and at the same time the difference in the behavior of the birds of the air, also all the differences between Luke's version and that of Matthew, and finally, in Mark's text certain redundancies (there are twice "on the earth" and twice "and when it is sown") which are usually the sign of ulterior additions.
- This pericope from Matthew and Luke has been placed in two different contexts. Matthew inserted it in his discourse in parables where most of the parables of Jesus are grouped. It comes after the word about the tares, where an enemy comes to disturb the farmer's work, and thus introduces a note of optimism: nothing will prevent the kingdom from unfolding in all its splendor. Luke, on the other hand, has inserted it in the sequence where Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, after the healing of a woman bent over in a synagogue on the Sabbath (Lk 13:10-17), which gives rise to a controversy: Jesus' opponents are ashamed after Jesus' reply to their protests, while the crowd rejoices at the wonders they see. In this context, the two parables of the mustard seed and the leaven in the dough reveal the mystery at work: what was observed in the synagogue is a sign that the dynamism of the kingdom is at work and will soon reach its full stature.
36. Narrow gate through which few will enter; householder refusing those who knock; people coming from all directions to enter kingdom of heaven/God
|7: 13-14 Eiselthate dia tēs stenēs pylēs• hoti plateia hē pylē kai eurychōros hē hodos hē apagousa eis tēn apōleian kai polloi eisin hoi eiserchomenoi diʼ autēs• hoti stenē hē pylē kai tethlimmenē hē hodos hē apagousa eis tēn zōēn kai oligoi eisin hoi heuriskontes autēn.||13: 24 agōnizesthe eiselthein dia tēs stenēs thyras, hoti polloi, legō hymin, zētēsousin eiselthein kai ouk ischysousin. ||7: 13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide (is) the gate and broad the way the leading into the destruction and many are those entering through it. For narrow the gate and having been compressed the way the one leading into the life and few are those finding it.||13: 24 Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and they will not be able.|
|[25: 10b-12 ...kai hai hetoimoi eisēlthon metʼ autou eis tous gamous kai ekleisthē hē thyra. hysteron de erchontai kai hai loipai parthenoi legousai• kyrie kyrie, anoixon hēmin. ho de apokritheis eipen• amēn legō hymin, ouk oida hymas.] ||13: 25 aphʼ hou an egerthē ho oikodespotēs kai apokleisē tēn thyran kai arxēsthe exō hestanai kai krouein tēn thyran legontes• kyrie, anoixon hēmin, kai apokritheis erei hymin• ouk oida hymas pothen este. ||[25: 10b-12 ...and those ready entered with him into the wedding feast and was shut up the door. Then, finally come also the other virgin saying: "Lord, lord, open to us. Then, him, having answered, said, "Amen, I say to you, I do not recognize you."]||13: 25 From when perchance might wake up the master of the house and shut up completely the door and you might start outside to stand and to knock (at) the door saying, 'Lord, open to us', and having answered he will say to you, 'I do not recognize you from where you are'.|
|7: 22 polloi erousin moi en ekeinē tē hēmera• kyrie kyrie, ou tō sō onomati eprophēteusamen, kai tō sō onomati daimonia exebalomen, kai tō sō onomati dynameis pollas epoiēsamen; ||13: 26 tote arxesthe legein• ephagomen enōpion sou kai epiomen kai en tais plateiais hēmōn edidaxas• ||7: 22 Many will say to me in these days, 'Lord, Lord, (is) it not in your name we did prophesy, and in your name demons we cast out, and in your name acts of power many we performed?'||13: 26 Thereupon you will start to say, 'We ate in presence of you and we drank and in the main streets of us you taught.'|
|7: 23 kai tote homologēsō autois hoti oudepote egnōn hymas• apochōreite apʼ emou hoi ergazomenoi tēn anomian.||13: 27 kai erei legōn hymin• ouk oida [hymas] pothen este• apostēte apʼ emou pantes ergatai adikias. ||7: 23 And thereupon I will declare to them that never I knew you. Depart from me the working the lawlessness.||13: 27 And I will say saying to you, 'I do not recognize [you] from where you are. Get away from me all workers of lawlessness.'|
|[8: 12 hoi de huioi tēs basileias ekblēthēsontai eis to skotos to exōteron• ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos tōn odontōn.] ||13: 28a ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos tōn odontōn, ||[8: 12 Then the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the darkness the outer. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth.]||13: 28a There will be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth.|
|[8: 11 legō de hymin hoti polloi apo anatolōn kai dysmōn hēxousin kai anaklithēsontai meta Abraam kai Isaak kai Iakōb en tē basileia tōn ouranōn,] ||13: 28b-29 hotan opsēsthe Abraam kai Isaak kai Iakōb kai pantas tous prophētas en tē basileia tou theou, hymas de ekballomenous exō. kai hēxousin apo anatolōn kai dysmōn kai apo borra kai notou kai anaklithēsontai en tē basileia tou theou. ||[8: 11 Then, I say to you that from east and west will come and they will recline with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heavens.]||13: 28b-29 When the you might see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, then you being cast out outside. And will come from east and west and from north and south and they will recline in the kingdom of God.|
- This pericope from the Q document actually contains four logia that are found together in Luke, but which are found in Matthew in four different places: Mt 7:13-14 || Lk 13:24 (the narrow gate); Mt 25:10b-12 || Lk 13:25 (Lord, open to us); Mt 7:22-23 || Lk 13:26-27 (we have eaten with you); Mt 8:11-12 || Lk 13:28-29 (they will come from the east and west). Let us look at each logion individually.
- Mt 7, 13-14 || Lk 13, 24 (the narrow door). As Luke's version shows, the theme of the narrow door is introduced by a question: "Lord, will only a few be saved? This was a matter of debate in rabbinic circles. For a Jew, only those belonging to the Jewish people could be saved, and barely a few Gentiles could be saved. So the question about salvation means this: how many of the Jews will be saved. Moreover, the other logia of the pericope assume that we are in a Jewish environment: we ate and drank with you. Jesus' answer suggests that entering the kingdom is difficult, but without directly answering the question of numbers. The difficulty comes from the narrowness of the door, probably an allusion to the criteria for entry. Note that the term "door" (thyra) designates the house, a reference to the eschatological banquet, image of the kingdom.
In Mt 7:13-14, the question about how many people will be saved is absent. Matthew placed this logion in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus had summarized the Hebrew Bible, called the Law and the Prophets, an echo of the Treaty of the Two Ways: "So whatever you want men to do for you, do it yourselves for them: this is the Law and the Prophets". From then on, the narrow path is specified by this golden rule of Jewish ethics, a rule that is meant to be universal. But whereas the Q document refers to the entrance to the house of the eschatological banquet, Matthew (the Mt-intermediate, according to Boismard) modifies this theme by speaking of the "gate" (pylē) of a city, to which a difficult road leads; the emphasis is therefore on everyday action. Furthermore, he seems to be influenced by the Treaty of the Two Ways that was known in Jesus' time, and so in this line adds the following phrases: "for wide is the gate and spacious is the way that leads to perdition... narrow is the gate and narrow is the way leading to life." We are in a sapiential tradition that is addressed to all humanity.
- Mt 25:10b-12 || Lk 13:25 (Lord, open to us). Even if this logion still speaks of "entrance", the theme has changed: it is no longer a question of the criteria for entering the eschatological banquet, but of a closed entrance. In Luke, the figure of the master of the house is Jesus. And the theme is that of the limited time given to the Jewish people to discern the one sent by God, a theme known in Judaism. Once the time is up, it will be too late (see Prov 1:9; Hos 5:6), the entrance will be closed. This is probably an allusion to the ministry of Jesus, a time when it was possible to receive his message, a time that ended with his death. Luke in the previous verses has put a lot of emphasis on this period of discernment, starting with the image of the farmer who discerns the weather, which continued with the image of the one who discerns that now is the time to settle the conflict with the adversary before facing the judge, that now is the time to be converted before disasters like the one suffered by those whom Pilate massacred or on whom the tower of Siloam fell, and finally the image of the barren fig tree which is given a last chance before being cut down. In our logion, we will have noted the expression "I do not know where you are from", a Semitic expression to express the knowledge that one has of someone. Thus, the time before the final deadline is a time when the relationship with Jesus, and therefore the Christian identity, is built. And for the author of the Q document, this time is limited, hence the urgency to act. This logion, placed after the theme of the narrow entrance, then takes on the color of a criterion for entering the kingdom: that of the relationship with Jesus.
In Matthew, the elements of this logion were placed in the parable of the ten virgins (Mt 25:1-13) which belongs to the eschatological discourse of Jesus. This parable would be a composition of the final writer of Matthew's gospel. It contrasts "wise" women with "foolish" women, a typical theme of the sapiential tradition. In this tradition, the wise person is the one who listens to Wisdom, i.e. the Law, and puts it into practice. In the parable of the ten virgins, the reproach against the five foolish virgins is not that they did not stay awake, because the wise virgins were also asleep when the bridegroom arrived, but that they did not have a supply of oil: in the sapiential tradition this means that they did not do God's will, as if they had nothing in the bank. The conclusion confirms this point, for the phrase "I do not know who you are" also appears in the Sermon on the Mount (see Mt 7:23) and is linked to this other phrase: "It is not enough to say to me: 'Lord, Lord' to enter the kingdom of heaven; you must do the will of my Father in heaven." Thus, the foolish virgins are rejected for not having done the will of God, and thus on the basis of their actions, a typically Matthean theme.
- Mt 7, 22-23 || Lk 13, 26-27 (we ate with you). This is a familiar theme in Judaism, where some people thought that being of the race of Abraham was enough to ensure their salvation. According to Rabbi Meir, "He who lives in the land of Israel, speaks the holy language, and reads the Shema prayer morning and night can be considered a son of the world to come (= the kingdom)." This is a theme that recurs frequently in the Q document and the attitude is strongly denounced: this attitude is denounced by John the Baptist (Lk 3:7-8), by Jesus in his invective against the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum (Lk 10:13-15). This denunciation also appears here in our logion. In Luke, the target audience seems to be primarily the fellow citizens of Jesus who met him, shared his meals, heard his teaching. But the author of the Q document also seems to be aiming at Christians who were baptized, participated in the Eucharist and received a catechesis. The conclusion is clear: it is not enough to be a member of a people or a community to be a disciple of Jesus, one must walk in his footsteps. The sentence: "I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you workers of injustice" states that Jesus cannot recognize someone as a disciple if he does not act like him.
In Matthew, this logion was placed in the Sermon on the Mount, and serves as an introduction to the parable where one man builds his house on rock, and the other on sand, an image of the person who does or does not put into practice the words of Jesus. While the conclusion is similar to what we find in Luke (Jesus will not recognize as his own those who have not put his teaching into practice), the image of familiarity with Jesus is different. Matthew has moved away from the image of Jesus' Jewish compatriots found in the Q document, which Luke repeats, to the explicit image of the apostles who accompanied Jesus, issuing prophecies, healing, performing exorcisms, and an image that represents important functions in the early church. Thus, Matthew is much clearer and more incisive in his denunciation.
- Mt 8:11-12 || Lk 13:28-29 (they will come from east and west). In Luke, and probably in the Q document which Luke seems to respect quite well, this logion appears as a conclusion of all that has just been said:
- the entrance to the kingdom is a narrow one, which means that many will not be able to enter;
- Among those who will not be able to access it, there are first the Jews who did not recognize in time during the ministry of Jesus that he was the one sent by God, and now all those who have access to his teaching and do not give any follow-up in time, before their death;
- Among those who will not be able to access it, there are the Jewish compatriots of Jesus who had the chance to meet him and hear his teaching, but did not do anything with his teaching; but Christians can feel targeted, they who attend the Eucharist and receive a catechesis, if this is not concretely translated into their lives.
Thus, many will realize their fault too late and will mourn their expulsion from the kingdom. Is this a complete failure? No, because non-Jews will be invited to this great banquet of the kingdom. So this pericope ends on an optimistic note. And for Luke's Greek audience, it is a vindication of their membership in this new people of God.
Matthew placed this logion as a conclusion to the story of the healing of the centurion's servant in Capernaum (Mt 8:5-13). Recall that the centurion is a Gentile whose faith amazes Jesus. So the centurion's faith is contrasted with the unbelief of the Jews ("in no one in Israel have I found such faith"). Matthew then presents the centurion as the image of all those who "will come from the east and the west to take their place at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven", in contrast to the Jews, "the heirs of the kingdom", who will be thrown into the darkness outside.
37. Jerusalem, killing the prophets, must bless him who comes in the Lord's name
|23: 37 Ierousalēm Ierousalēm, hē apokteinousa tous prophētas kai lithobolousa tous apestalmenous pros autēn, posakis ēthelēsa episynagagein ta tekna sou, hon tropon ornis episynagei ta nossia autēs hypo tas pterygas, kai ouk ēthelēsate. ||13: 34 Ierousalēm Ierousalēm, hē apokteinousa tous prophētas kai lithobolousa tous apestalmenous pros autēn, posakis ēthelēsa episynaxai ta tekna sou hon tropon ornis tēn heautēs nossian hypo tas pterygas, kai ouk ēthelēsate. ||23: 37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those having been sent toward her, how many times I wanted to gather together the children of you, in which way a hen gathers together the chicks of her under the wings, and you did not want.||13:34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those having been sent toward her, how many times I wanted to gather together the children of you, in which way a hen the own brood under the wings, and you did not want.|
|23: 38-39 idou aphietai hymin ho oikos hymōn erēmos. legō gar hymin, ou mē me idēte apʼ arti heōs an eipēte•eulogēmenos ho erchomenos en onomati kyriou.||13: 35 idou aphietai hymin ho oikos hymōn. legō [de] hymin, ou mē idēte me heōs [hēxei hote] eipēte•eulogēmenos ho erchomenos en onomati kyriou.||23: 38-39 Behold it is left to you the house of you desolate. For I say to you, no you might not see me from now until perchance you might say, 'Blessed the one coming in name of Lord'".||13: 35 Behold it is left to you the house of you. [Then], I say to you, no you might not see me until [will arrive that] you might say, 'Blessed the one coming in name of Lord'".|
- The first observation is that the formulation of this logion in Matthew and Luke is almost identical, except for a few minor details. But a second observation, linked to the first, poses a problem: while one would expect to find the text of the Q document without difficulty, the text we have before us bears the mark of the vocabulary of Luke. For example:
- Let's start with the name "Jerusalem". In the New Testament, and in the Gospels-Acts in particular, there are two ways of designating Jerusalem in Greek: first there is Hierosolyma, the Hellenized form of the holy city (Mt = 10; Mk = 10; Lk = 4; Jn = 12; Acts = 21; 1Jn = 0; 2Jn = 0; 3Jn = 0;) and there is Ierousalem, the Semitic form (Mt = 2; Mk = 0; Lk = 27; Jn = 0; Acts = 37; 1Jn = 0; 2Jn = 0; 3Jn = 0). What do we observe? Luke is the only evangelist to use the Semitic form of Jerusalem, the two occurrences of Matthew coming from our logion;
- The verb "to stone" is quite Lucan (Mt = 2; Mk = 0; Lk = 1; Jn = 0; Acts = 3; 1Jn = 0; 2Jn = 0; 3Jn = 0) and the two occurrences of Mt is explained by its presence here and in Mt 21:25 by the influence of our logion;
- In the expression "those having been sent", the verb "to send" is in the perfect passive participle. Now, in the Synoptics, Luke is the only one to use this verb in the perfect tense: Mt = 1; Mk = 0; Lk = 3; Jn = 7; Acts = 5; 1Jn = 2; 2Jn = 0; 3Jn = 0; and even, in Lk 19:32, he adds it to the text of Mark which he copies. The only occurrence of Matthew is found here in our logion;
- The use of the expression "children" in a metaphorical sense to designate the inhabitants of Jerusalem has its exact equivalent in 19:44 ("They will crush you to the ground, you and your children among you");
- The expression "in which way" appears only in Luke (Mt = 1; Mk = 0; Lk = 1; Jn = 0; Acts = 4; 1Jn = 0; 2Jn = 0; 3Jn = 0) and 2 Tim 3:8 in the whole New Testament, the occurrence of Mt being that of our logion;
- Finally, the themes of this logion are quite Lucanian:
- "The theme of the uselessness of the temple is taken up again in Acts 7:48-40 ("the Most High does not dwell in houses built by human hands...")
- The persecution and killing of the prophets: this theme is taken up again by Acts 7:51-52 ("you are just like your fathers. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?")
- Stoning: see the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:58-59.
- How are we to interpret the presence of such a Lucanian vocabulary even in Matthew? According to M.E. Boismard (op. cit., pp. 289-290), our logion would not come from the Q document, but from an early version of Luke's gospel (called proto-Lk) that the editor of Matthew's gospel would have known and copied.
- Matthew placed this logion as the conclusion to a series of curses addressed to the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:13-36), and just before the announcement of the destruction of the temple (Mt 24:1-2). It thus confirms a form of failure of Jesus' ministry that follows the previous prophets, and since these prophets were killed, it implicitly announces that he too will be put to death. The rejection of Jesus' mission results in God abandoning his dwelling place, the temple in Jerusalem, and justifies the punishment that will be the ruin of the temple. But what does the sentence mean: "For I say to you, no you might not see me from now until perchance you might say, 'Blessed the one coming in name of Lord'"? Indeed, in Matthew, the crowds have already proclaimed this quote from Ps 118:26 ("Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord") at Jesus' earlier triumphal entry into Jerusalem. To which new coming is Matthew now referring? Let's not forget that Jesus is addressing Jerusalem and the Jews. Moreover, the phrase "from now until perchance you might say" introduces a conditional situation (see Mt 5:26: "I say to you, no you shall not go out from there until the time might come for you to restore the last quadrant"). So, this phrase could express a call to conversion addressed to Jerusalem and the Jews: you will not see me again unless one day you recognize me as the messiah, the one sent by God.
Finally, let us note the modifications that Matthew would have made to the text of the proto-Luke, if he were to admit this hypothesis: he would have repeated for clarity the verb "to gather together" at the moment of the comparison with the hen and her chicks (Luke assumes that it is not necessary to repeat, the reader understands that this is what the hen does with her chicks); he prefers the word "chicks" to "brood," perhaps because the mention of several chicks better evokes the idea of gathering together; he adds the adjective "desolate" to associate the phrase more clearly with a quotation from Jeremiah 22:5 ("this house will be desolate"); he adds the conjunction "for", of which he is extremely fond, in order to associate the desolate place with the absence of Jesus; finally, he adds the expression "from now until perchance" in order to convey the present situation of the Jews: now they no longer see Jesus, unless one day they convert and recognize him as God's messiah.
- Luke has placed this logion in this long journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, after some Pharisees have warned Jesus to flee because King Herod wants to kill him, and Jesus has replied that he must continue his journey to Jerusalem, "for it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside Jerusalem"; the logion is followed by the announcement of the ruin of the temple (Mt 14:1-2). The name "Jerusalem" thus serves as a catchword to introduce our logion, but at the same time the context is that of Jesus' imminent death and the destruction of the temple. Also, the logion in Luke, by referring to the prophets who were killed, associates Jesus more clearly with the list of prophets killed through Jesus' earlier statement: "for it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside Jerusalem." The role of this prophet was a pastoral one: to recreate the covenant people (the word "brood" conveys the idea of a community). The fact that God no longer dwells in the temple signifies the breaking of the ancient covenant between God and his people. But what does the final reference to Ps 110:26 mean: "No you might not see me until will arrive that you might say, 'Blessed the one coming in name of Lord'"? Since Jesus has not yet arrived in Jerusalem, one might think that Jesus is anticipating his triumphal entry into Jerusalem more than five chapters later. The problem is that Jesus is not in Jerusalem (as in Matthew), and so the fact that he addresses Jerusalem is somewhat incongruous. This interpretation presupposes that Jesus went to Jerusalem several times (as in John), and that this sentence would have been pronounced the second to last time he was there, and would therefore refer to his last visit. As this logion comes from the proto-Luke, therefore from a first edition of Luke's gospel, we do not know in which geographical context this logion would have been put. In short, we do not have the necessary information to conclude.
38. Kingdom of heaven/God, a great banquet, invitees make excuses, others invited
|22: 2 hōmoiōthē hē basileia tōn ouranōn anthrōpō basilei, hostis epoiēsen gamous tō huiō autou. ||14: 16 Ho de eipen autō• anthrōpos tis epoiei deipnon mega, kai ekalesen pollous ||22: 2 "Has been compared the kingdom of heavens to a man king, who did a wedding feast to the son of him.||14: 16 Then, him, he said to him, "A certain man was doing a supper big, and he invited many.|
|22: 3 kai apesteilen tous doulous autou kalesai tous keklēmenous eis tous gamous, kai ouk ēthelon elthein. ||14: 17-18a kai apesteilen ton doulon autou tē hōra tou deipnou eipein tois keklēmenois• erchesthe, hoti ēdē hetoima estin. kai ērxanto apo mias pantes paraiteisthai. ||22: 3 And he sent the slaves of him to invite those having been invited into the wedding feast, and they did not want to come.||14: 17-18a And he sent the slave of him at the hour of the supper to say to those having been invited, 'Come, for already ready it is.' And they began from one (voice) all to excuse themselves.|
|22: 4-5 palin apesteilen allous doulous legōn• eipate tois keklēmenois• idou to ariston mou hētoimaka, hoi tauroi mou kai ta sitista tethymena kai panta hetoima• deute eis tous gamous. hoi de amelēsantes apēlthon, hos men eis ton idion agron, hos de epi tēn emporian autou• ||14: 18b ho prōtos eipen autō• agron ēgorasa kai echō anankēn exelthōn idein auton• erōtō se, eche me parētēmenon. ||22: 4-5 Again he sent other slaves saying, 'Say to those having been invited, Behold the dinner of me I had prepared, the bull of me and the fattened (animal) had been slaughtered and all (things) (are) ready. Come to the wedding feast. Then, those having paid no attention went away, on the one hand, one into the own field, on the other hand one upon the business of him.||14: 18b The first said to him, 'A field I bought and I have a need having come out to see it. I beg you, have me (as) having been excused.'|
| ||14: 19 kai heteros eipen• zeugē boōn ēgorasa pente kai poreuomai dokimasai auta• erōtō se, eche me parētēmenon. ||: ||14: 19 An another said, 'Pair of oxen I bought five and I am going to test them. I beg you, have me (as) having been excused.'|
|22: 6 hoi de loipoi kratēsantes tous doulous autou hybrisan kai apekteinan. ||14: 20 kai heteros eipen• gynaika egēma kai dia touto ou dynamai elthein. ||22: 6 Then the remainings having laid hold of the slaves of him mistreated and killed.||14: 20 And another said, 'A woman I have married and because of that I am not able to come.'|
|22: 7 ho de basileus ōrgisthē kai pempsas ta strateumata autou apōlesen tous phoneis ekeinous kai tēn polin autōn eneprēsen. ||14: 21 kai paragenomenos ho doulos apēngeilen tō kyriō autou tauta. tote orgistheis ho oikodespotēs eipen tō doulō autou• exelthe tacheōs eis tas plateias kai rhymas tēs poleōs kai tous ptōchous kai anapeirous kai typhlous kai chōlous eisagage hōde. ||22: 7 Then the king was angry and having sent the armies of him he destroyed the murderers these and the city of them he burned.||14: 21 And having arrived the slave reported to the lord of him these (things). Thereupon, having become angry the master of the house said to slave of him, 'Go out quickly into the wide streets and alleys of the cities and the poors and the crippled and the blinds and the lame bring in here.'|
|22: 8 tote legei tois doulois autou• ho men gamos hetoimos estin, hoi de keklēmenoi ouk ēsan axioi•||14: 22 kai eipen ho doulos• kyrie, gegonen ho epetaxas, kai eti topos estin. ||22: 8 Thereupon he says to the slaves of him, 'On the one hand, the wedding feast ready is, on the other hand the having been invited were not worthy.||14: 22 And said the slave, 'Lord, 'It happened what you have ordered, and still place is'.|
|22: 9-10 poreuesthe oun epi tas diexodous tōn hodōn kai hosous ean heurēte kalesate eis tous gamous. kai exelthontes hoi douloi ekeinoi eis tas hodous synēgagon pantas hous heuron, ponērous te kai agathous• kai eplēsthē ho gamos anakeimenōn. ||14: 23 kai eipen ho kyrios pros ton doulon• exelthe eis tas hodous kai phragmous kai anankason eiselthein, hina gemisthē mou ho oikos• ||22: 9-10 Therefore, go upon the thoroughfares of the roads and, as many as you might find, invite into the wedding feast. And having gone out the slaves these into the roads they gather all those they found, both bad and good. And became full the wedding (hall) of reclining (people).'"||14: 23 And said the lord toward the slave, ' Go out into the roads and paths and compel to enter, in order that might be filled of me the house.'|
| ||14: 24 legō gar hymin hoti oudeis tōn andrōn ekeinōn tōn keklēmenōn geusetai mou tou deipnou.|| ||14: 24 For I say to you that no one of the men these of those having been invited will taste of me the supper."|
- When we look at the few common words (in blue) in Matthew's and Luke's versions of the parable of the guests at a feast, we might be tempted to think that they are two different parables. Yet there is a common thread that points to the same parable:
- in the two versions of Matthew and Luke it is someone who organizes a meal and sends one or more slaves to tell the guests to come;
- but the guests all shy away for various reasons;
- the organizer of the feast then sends his slave or slaves to look for all those they find on the roads, to take the place of those who have been invited.
- Let us divide the story into three parts and consider their degree of literary similarity.
- The invitation. This is the part that offers the most similarities. The two versions have a similar vocabulary even if it is not identical. Someone is having a banquet (the words: wedding feast/supper, could come from the same Aramaic root). In both versions, invitations are sent out. In both versions, the guests are told that the meal is ready, followed by the imperative: "come".
- The refusal of the guests. It is in this part that the literary similarities are the least. The rejection of the guests is expressed in Matthew in a very concise way, whereas in Luke there are three types of rejection. The common word is "field".
- The invitation of the strangers. In this part, the most notable difference is that in Luke there are two sendings after the refusal of the first guests, against only one in Mt. On the other hand, there are a number of similarities: the organizer asks the slave(s) to go and get all those they can find to take part in the feast; and they are asked to find them on the roads; and in the end, the hall is full.
The differences between the versions are an indication of the editorial work of the evangelists.
- It is likely that we are dealing with a single account from the Q document, which Luke, and especially Matthew, would have modified. Here are the common elements of Matthew and Luke that would allow us to trace this Q document.
- A man wants to make a big meal and invites many people;
- At mealtime, he sends his slave to tell them that everything is ready, but they all excuse themselves on the pretext of urgent business;
- In anger, the man again dispatches his slave to invite those he finds by the wayside, and the feast hall is finally filled, but with people who had not been invited.
At the level of the Q document, what could be the point of this parable? The contrast between those who have been invited but do not come, and those who have not been invited but fill the banquet hall refers us to the situation of the people of Israel who, invited to participate in the kingdom, will see themselves supplanted by the pagans who have not been invited, because of their massive refusal. This is a portrait of the ecclesial situation that the author of the Q document observes. What was the reason for the Jewish refusal? Commercial and financial interests.
- It is this basic account that Matthew and Luke would have modified. Let us consider these modifications through literary analysis.
- Matthew's literary activity could be summarized as follows:
- V. 2: The use of the verb "it is comparable" is usual for him to introduce a parable, and the expressions "kingdom of heavens" and "man-king" are typical for him. The themes of "king", "wedding feast" and "son" are often found in Matthew and have a messianic significance. And above all the mention of the king prepares vv. 6-7 for the intervention of the king and his army, an intervention, as we shall see, is a composition of Matthew.
- V. 3-5: Let us remember that in Matthew, contrary to Luke's version, there are two sendings to those who had been invited. Moreover, it is several slaves, not just one, who are sent. Here we find the same style that Matthew uses in his version of the parable of the wicked tenants (Mt 21:33-46): he has changed the singular of the Q document into a plural, and the same vocabulary for the two sendings (v. 34: "he sent his slaves"; v. 36: "he sent other slaves"). The intention is clear: he wants to refer to the many prophets sent by God to his people. We also note many words in his vocabulary: "Come" (to the wedding) (Mt = 6; Mk = 3; Lk = 0; Jn = 2; Acts = 0), "having paid no attention, they went away" (see Mt 21:29, a parable proper to Matthew: "having changed his mind, he went away"), "went way" (to heir own field) (Mt = 12; Mk = 8; Lk = 4; Jn = 6; Acts = 0). Finally, in v. 5, Matthew seems simply to summarize in one sentence the financial and commercial motives of Lk 14:18b-19.
- V. 6-7: It is about the guests who kill the slaves who were sent, and whom the king then destroys and burns their cities. Most biblical scholars recognize this as a Matthaean addition to the original parable. Moreover, when these two verses are deleted, the sequence of the story continues logically. V. 6 refers to the prophets sent by God and put to death by Israel, while v. 7 refers to the ruin of Jerusalem in 70 by the Romans.
- V. 8-10: Here we find many features of the Matthaean style, such as "those having been invited were not worthy" (see Mt 10:11,13), "invite into the wedding feast" which simply repeats v 3, "gather" (Mt = 24; Mk = 5; Lk = 6; Jn = 7; Acts = 11), the couple "bad and good" (see Mt 5:45).
- Luke's redactional activity is much less than that seen in Matthew, and so his version of the parable is the closest to the text of the Q document. Nevertheless, a number of alterations to the original parable can be identified.
- With the expression "at the hour of the supper" for the sending of the slave, which is distinguished from the invitation made a long time in advance, Luke underlines the eschatological character of this meal, which is accentuated by the expression "go out quickly", as if it were urgent and that the event was imminent.
- In Luke there are three types of excuses: the purchase of a field, the purchase of five pairs of oxen, and a marriage. The formulation of the first two excuses follows an exact parallelism, while the third one is unusual in its formulation. Now, the question of marriage is a very Lucan theme: in the account of the resurrection of the dead, he adds this sentence: "But those who have been judged worthy to share in the world to come and in the resurrection of the dead take neither wife nor husband" (Lk 20:33); in the conditions for following Jesus, he is the only one to mention that one must be ready to prefer Jesus to "one's wife" (Lk 14:26); for him, marrying would be a drawback to God's call. Thus, in our parable, the third excuse would be an addition by Luke, while the first two would go back to the original parable.
- In Luke there are two sendings to those who were not originally invited, as opposed to only one in Matthew. What was the situation in the original parable? Let us first note the Lucan clues: in v. 21 the verbs "having arrived" (Mt = 3; Mk = 1; Lk = 8; Jn = 2; Ac = 20), and "he reported" (Mt = 8; Mk = 5; Lk = 11; Jn = 1; Ac = 16), the name "lord" (Mt = 80; Mk = 18; Lk = 104; Jn = 52; Ac = 107) and the expression "go out into the wide streets", which he also used in Lk 10, 10. Moreover, in this first sending of v. 21 we find Luke's concern for the needy in an enumeration also found in Lk 14:13 ("when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind"). We must therefore admit, with the majority of biblical scholars, that Luke doubled the sending of the slave. To do this, after the the host of the feast became angry, which is part of the original parable, as we see in Matthew, he inserted his recurring theme of the invitation to the meal of the needy, and then connected it to the sequence of the original parable with his typical expression "and the lord said to the slave". He then takes up the parable with his call to go by the wayside, which is also found in Matthew.
- V. 24, addressed to the audience of v. 13 which served as an introduction to the parable, an introduction from the pen of Luke, would also be a composition by Luke to conclude the parable
- Matthew and Luke put this parable in different contexts.
- In Matthew, the parable was inserted after two parables addressed to the chief priests and elders, that of the two sons which ends with "Truly, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes go before you into the kingdom of God" (Mt 21:32) and that of the wicked tenants which ends with "the kingdom of God will be taken from you, and it will be given to a people who will produce its fruits" (Mt 21:43). Thus, Matthew continues his polemic against "his people", recalling once again the numerous dispatches of the prophets, some of whom will be put to death, and the punishment of this stiff-necked people by the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. The guests who refuse the invitation are the Jews, while those who are called last are the Gentiles.
- Luke has set this parable in the context of a meal Jesus had at a Pharisee's house on the Sabbath, where he appeals to the one who invited him to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind first. Then, to introduce our parable, he puts into the mouth of a guest these words addressed to Jesus: "Blessed is he who shares the meal in the kingdom of God!" Thus, on the one hand, the parable takes on an eschatological dimension, that of the meal in the kingdom, and on the other hand, it is colored by the needy who will be the first to participate in this banquet. The allusion to those who were invited and declined the invitation, i.e. "the chosen people", is present in the conclusion, but in Luke they have been replaced in priority by the needy, even if "others" will join them so that the hall is full. If there is a polemical dimension in Luke, it is with regard to wealth.
39. Anyone coming must prefer me over family and must bear a cross
|10: 37 Ho philōn patera ē mētera hyper eme ouk estin mou axios, kai ho philōn huion ē thygatera hyper eme ouk estin mou axios• ||14: 26 ei tis erchetai pros me kai ou misei ton patera heautou kai tēn mētera kai tēn gynaika kai ta tekna kai tous adelphous kai tas adelphas eti te kai tēn psychēn heautou, ou dynatai einai mou mathētēs. ||10: 37 The (one) liking a father or a mother above me is not worthy of me, and the (one) liking a son or a daughter above me is not worthy of me.||14: 26 If someone comes toward me and does not hate the father of himself and the mother and the wife and the children and the brothers and the sisters and again even the life of himself, he is not able to be the disciple of me.|
|10: 38 kai hos ou lambanei ton stauron autou kai akolouthei opisō mou, ouk estin mou axios. ||14: 27 hostis ou bastazei ton stauron heautou kai erchetai opisō mou, ou dynatai einai mou mathētēs.||10: 38 And who does not take up the cross of him and follow after me, he is not worthy of me.||14: 27 Whoever does not carry the cross of himself and come after me, is not able to be of me the disciple.|
- Despite different formulations, the Matthew and Luke versions of this pericope convey the same idea: when there is a conflict between attachment to Jesus and to one's family, one must prefer Jesus. This can mean leaving one's family and be like a cross to be carried.
- Matthew's version would be the most faithful to the formulation of the Q document with its ternary structure:
- the (one) liking a father or a mother above me is not worthy of me
- the (one) liking a son or a daughter above me is not worthy of me
- who does not take the cross of him and follow after me is not worthy of me
- Luke has made some changes. First of all, in v. 26 he has merged the first two stiches of Matthew into one, and he has completed the list of family members on the model of Mk. 10:29, which lists all that the disciple is called to renounce (children, brothers, sisters in addition to father and mother), a list that he completes with the typical mention of the wife, an allusion to marriage, which in his opinion may be an obstacle to following Jesus. Moreover, instead of the formula "is not worthy of me", he preferred the formula "is not able to be my disciple". His second stich (v. 27) corresponds to Mt 10:38. In Luke there is a third stich further on, in v. 33: "Therefore, whoever among you does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. According to M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 293), this verse followed v. 27 (the 2nd stich) to form the 3rd stich in the first edition of Luke's gospel, and it was the final editor of the gospel who inserted the parable of Lk 14:28-32 between these two stiches (one must do some good math before deciding anything).
Other changes can be observed in Luke. The verb "to like" has been replaced by "to hate" with the same meaning as Jn 12:25: "whoever hates his life in this world will keep it in eternal life", i.e. does not make it a priority, and therefore relativizes it in relation to other priorities. Similarly, Luke has added: "(who does not hate) and again even hos own life", an expression that closely resembles Lk 12:25 just seen, a verse that precedes v. 26 on Jesus' following. Finally, Luke replaces the expression "to take up" (his cross) with the expression "to carry" (his cross), an expression also used by Jn 19:17. It is therefore possible that Luke borrows in this logion a theme from a source also known to the gospel of John, a source that Boismard calls: Document C.
- Matthew and Luke have placed this logion in different contexts.
- Matthew inserted this logion at the end of Jesus' missionary discourse, after warning his envoys that it is not peace he has come to bring, but the sword, and more specifically he has come to "separate man from his father, daughter from her mother, daughter-in-law from her mother-in-law" (Mt 10:35). Thus, some members of the family will side with Jesus, others will be against. So, an envoy who, out of family attachment, would renounce his mission, is not worthy of him.
- Luke has inserted this logion into Jesus' long march to Jerusalem where he focuses his teaching on the Christian life. He takes the trouble to introduce this logion as follows: "A crowd of people was walking with Jesus. He turned around and said to them all" (Lk 14:25). The fact that Jesus turns around intends to emphasize the importance of the teaching that follows. Moreover, Jesus addresses "all", not only the immediate envoys or disciples, but all those who have put their trust in him. Finally, he addresses the people who walk behind him, and so all this introduces the theme of the requirements for following Jesus. These requirements can be summed up in three: preferring Jesus to family and marital ties if there is a conflict (v. 26), bearing the cross of these requirements (v. 27), being ready to give up all one's possessions (v. 33).
40. Uselessness of salt that has lost its savor
|5: 13 Hymeis este to halas tēs gēs• ean de to halas mōranthē, en tini halisthēsetai; eis ouden ischyei eti ei mē blēthen exō katapateisthai hypo tōn anthrōpōn.||14: 34-35 Kalon oun to halas• ean de kai to halas mōranthē, en tini artythēsetai; oute eis gēn oute eis koprian eytheton estin, exō ballousin auto. ho echōn ōta akouein akouetō.||5: 13 You, you are the salt of the earth. Then, if the salt has become a fool, with what will it be salted? Into nothing it is strong, except it should be thrown out, to be trampled by men.||14: 34-35 Therefore, good (is) the salt. Then, if the salt has become a fool, with what will it be seasoned? Neither into earth nor for manure it is appropriate, out they throw it. Let anyone with ears to hear listen.|
- A first look at this pericope shows that Jesus' words about salt have come down to us in two traditions, that of Mark (reflected by the underlined words), and that of the Q document (the words colored in blue). Only Luke seems to integrate the two traditions since we find words that are not part of the Q document (underlined words, but colored in black), since in Matthew all the words that are found in Mark (underlined) are also found in the Q document (colored in blue).
- This Q document could be reconstructed as follows:
If the salt becomes foolish, what will it be salted with? Neither for the earth, nor for the manure it is suitable: outside it is thrown away.
- Our understanding of this logion is based on the meaning of the word "salt" in the Q document. In our modern world, salt is seen as something that gives flavor to food, or something that is used to preserve food. But it seems that in our pericope the meaning is different, for if salt loses its properties, "neither for the earth nor for the manure is it fit", which has nothing to do with flavors or preservation of food. Now, there is an agricultural practice attested in Egypt and Palestine from the first century where salt was added to manure in order to make it more suitable for fertilizing the earth. But if the image of salt comes from an agricultural environment, for what purpose is it used? What symbolic value is given to it in our pericope? The clue is given to us by the expression "if the salt becomes foolish" (usually translated as "it has lost its taste", but this is a departure from the literal meaning). Now, in the OT as in the NT, we speak of becoming foolish or stupid in a context of wisdom:
- Isa 19: 11-12b: (LXX) And the princes of Tanis shall become fools; [as for] the king’s wise counsellors, their counsel shall be turned into folly: how will ye say to the king, we are sons of wise men, sons of ancient kings? Where are now thy wise men?
- Jer 10: 14: LXX) Every man is a fool in knowledge; the goldsmith has been confounded in his idols; for he has made lying things, lifeless bodies.
- Sir 23: 14 : (LXX) Remember thy father and thy mother, when thou sittest among great men. Be not forgetful before them, and so thou by thy custom become a fool, and wish that thou hadst not been born, and curse they day of thy nativity.
- 1 Cor 1: 20 : (LXX) Where is the wise man? Where is he, the cultured man? Where is he, the reasoner of this century? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
- Rom 1: 22 : (LXX) In their claim to wisdom, they became fools.
Thus, salt refers to the wisdom of the disciples that they received from their master, Jesus. In the Q document, the logion becomes a warning to believers that if they forget the teaching they received from Jesus, they lose their identity (they become fools) and their entry into the kingdom is in question (they are thrown out).
- This logion was inserted in two different contexts by Matthew and Luke
- Matthew placed this logion in his Sermon on the Mount, immediately after the Beatitudes. The meaning of salt is clear: it is the wisdom of the beatitudes. And by using the phrase "you are the salt of the earth" followed by the phrase "you are the light of the world," Matthew is addressing his disciples to remind them of their mission: to bring the wisdom of the beatitudes to the world, which will enable the world to bear all its fruit. Note that Matthew deleted the word "manure" either because he was uncomfortable with the word or because he felt it detracted from his point.
- Luke has placed this logion after the presentation of the three requirements to be a disciple: to prefer Jesus to family and marital ties if there is a conflict (v. 26), to carry up the cross of these requirements (v. 27), to be ready to renounce all his possessions (v. 33). Salt, then, refers to the wisdom of the disciple who gives priority to Jesus, carries his cross and renounces all his possessions. If the disciple loses these properties, he no longer bears the fruits of discipleship, he loses his identity and is no longer part of Jesus' following.
41. Man who leaves 99 sheep to go after lost one
|18: 12 Ti hymin dokei; ean genētai tini anthrōpō hekaton probata kai planēthē hen ex autōn, ouchi aphēsei ta enenēkonta ennea epi ta orē kai poreutheis zētei to planōmenon; ||15: 4 tis anthrōpos ex hymōn echōn hekaton probata kai apolesas ex autōn hen ou kataleipei ta enenēkonta ennea en tē erēmō kai poreuetai epi to apolōlos heōs heurē auto; ||18: 12 What to you it seems? If it should happen to a certain man hundred sheep and might go astray one out of them, will he not leave the ninety-nine upon the mountains and having gone he seeks the (one) being astray?||15: 4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep and having lost out of them one, will he not leave behind the ninety-nine in the wilderness and goes upon the having been lost until he might find it?|
|18: 13a kai ean genētai heurein auto, ||15: 4 kai heurōn epitithēsin epi tous ōmous autou chairōn ||[18: 13a] And if he should find it,||15: 5 And having found he lays upon the shoulder of him rejoicing,|
| ||15: 6 kai elthōn eis ton oikon synkalei tous philous kai tous geitonas legōn autois• syncharēte moi, hoti heuron to probaton mou to apolōlos. || ||15: 6 and having come into the house he calls together the friends and the neighbors saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep of me the having been lost.|
|18: 13b-14 amēn legō hymin hoti chairei epʼ autō mallon ē epi tois enenēkonta ennea tois mē peplanēmenois. houtōs ouk estin thelēma emprosthen tou patros hymōn tou en ouranois hina apolētai hen tōn mikrōn toutōn.||15: 7 legō hymin hoti houtōs chara en tō ouranō estai epi heni hamartōlō metanoounti ē epi enenēkonta ennea dikaiois hoitines ou chreian echousin metanoias.||18: 13b-14 amen, I say to you that he rejoices upon it more than upon the ninety-nine the not having gone astray. Thus it is not a will in front of the father of you the (one) in heavens, that should perish one of the little (ones) these.||15: 7 I say to you that thus joy in the heaven will be upon one sinner changing his mind than upon ninety-nine righteous who does not have a need of a change of mind.|
- The parable of the lost sheep is well known, and in the Q document it must have been paired with the parable of the lost coin, as seen in Luke, because both are identical in structure; Matthew saw fit not to retain the latter. What was the wording of the first one in the Q document? To get an answer, we need to find out what each evangelist seems to have added or changed to the parable.
- In Lk 15:7 we have the phrase: "for one sinner to change his mind than for ninety-nine righteous people who do not need a change of mind". Now, Luke takes up the same idea as in Lk 5:32 ("I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to change their minds"). In the original parable, the only thing that was meant was that the joy of finding the lost sheep was greater than for those who had not been lost. Similarly, we notice that Lk 15:6 (the call to a feast in the village) has no equivalent in Matthew. In fact, we find a very Lucan vocabulary: "to call together" (Mt = 0; Mk = 1; Lk = 4; Jn = 0; Acts = 3), "friends" (Mt = 1; Mk = 0; Lk = 15; Jn = 6; Acts = 3), the couple "friends and neighbors" (see Lk 14:12), "to rejoice with" (see Lk 1:58). Finally, it is possible that the original parable had the verb "to go astray" which Luke changed to "to be lost" to harmonize it with the parable of the lost coin.
- Matthew would also have made certain modifications. Thus the expression "what it seems to you" is typically Matthean (Mt 17:25; 21:28; 22:17,42; 26:66). The original parable would rather have had the formula found in Luke ("What man of you has..."), a formula found in an extract from the Q document in Mt 12:11. Finally, the ending of Mt 18:14 ("So it is not the will of my father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish") would be a composition of Matthew: he introduced "little ones" because of the context we shall see below, and "God's will" is one of Matthew's great themes (see for example his Lord's Prayer).
- Thus, the original parable would have the form of Lk 15:4-5; Mt 18:13b.
- What could be the meaning of the parabola in the Q document? First of all, it is important to find a number of parallels in the OT. The prophet Ezekiel offers us the best parallels.
- Ezek 34:16: (LXX) "I will seek the lost sheep, I will recover the one who has gone astray, ...I will strengthen the one who is failing..."
- Ezek 34:6: (LXX) "My sheep were scattered over all the mountains and on all the high hills."
- Ezek 34:25: (LXX) "they shall dwell in the wilderness..."
- Ez 33:11: (LXX) "I do not desire the death of the ungodly, but that the ungodly turn from his way and live.
All of these passages in Ezekiel refer to Yahweh as the shepherd who must intervene because of the negligence of Israel's shepherds. For his part, Jesus showed himself to be a true shepherd and this parable centered on a true shepherd certainly served to explain his action. The point of the parable is in the shepherd's joy at finding the lost sheep. In this sense, it can only invite the one who has strayed from God's paths to return to the fold. But in what context did the author of the Q document place this parable? Since we have no copy of this Q document, we can only imagine that it had a polemical flavor against the Pharisees, who believed themselves to be "righteous" and therefore not part of the lost or misguided. This would explain the paradox of joy. Indeed, how can a lost/astray person be a greater source of joy than those not lost/astray? It is demeaning for the latter. But the expression of joy would make sense if the parable had an ironic connotation: there is more joy for someone who recognizes his or her waywardness and changes his or her attitude than for all those who wrongly imagine that they do not need to change. This would be a frontal attack on the Pharisees.
- Matthew and Luke have placed this parable in different contexts.
- Matthew placed this parable in his discourse on brotherly life (ch. 18). It is preceded by a warning not to cause any of the "little ones" who believe in Jesus to fall (Mt 18:6-9) and is followed by the rules on fraternal correction (Mt 18:15-18). Thus, the context is that of the Christian life, and the discourse is addressed to the disciples, and therefore to the leaders of the community. The parable wants to encourage community leaders to be true shepherds by bringing their lost brothers back to God, using as much care as the shepherd to find the lost sheep. This is a good introduction to the sequence on fraternal correction that follows. The "little ones" of the community seem to be those whose faith is fragile and who can easily go astray when they come into contact with people outside the community.
- Luke seems to have better respected the polemical context of the Q document. In order to define the context, he composes an introduction (Lk 15:1-3) in which tax collectors and sinners approach Jesus, which arouses the irritation of the Pharisees and scribes for whom consorting with these people makes one unclean. The effect of the parable is, on the one hand, to explain and justify Jesus' behavior of consorting with "unclean" people in order to bring them back to God, and on the other hand, with a touch of irony, to embarrass the Pharisees and scribes by leading them to identify with those who do not need to change, and thus those for whom God does not need to intervene.
42. Cannot serve two masters
|6: 24 Oudeis dynatai dysi kyriois douleuein• ē gar ton hena misēsei kai ton heteron agapēsei, ē henos anthexetai kai tou heterou kataphronēsei. ou dynasthe theō douleuein kai mamōna.||16: 13 Oudeis oiketēs dynatai dysi kyriois douleuein• ē gar ton hena misēsei kai ton heteron agapēsei, ē henos anthexetai kai tou heterou kataphronēsei. ou dynasthe theō douleuein kai mamōna.||6: 24 "No one is able two lords to serve. For either the one you will hate and the other you will love, or one you will be devoted to and the other you will despise. You are not able God to serve and Mammon."||16: 13 "No slave is able two lords to serve. For either the one you will hate and the other you will love, or one you will be devoted to and the other you will despise. You are not able God to serve and Mammon."|
- The Matthew and Luke versions of this logion from the Q document are almost identical. It is Luke who added "slave" to make the link with the previous parable (the clever steward). Note that the name "Mammon" comes from Aramaic and means wealth; it is linked to the root 'mn (hence the word "amen") and refers to what is sure, what can be counted on. The meaning of the logion is clear: there is a logic in the pursuit of wealth that is totally incompatible with the way proposed by Jesus: one seeks to acquire, the other to give; one is self-centered, the other is neighbor-centered; one wants to protect the status quo and develops suspicion, the other is open to change and trusts. Unfortunately, we do not know the circumstances in which such a word or its equivalent might have been uttered by Jesus, or in what context the author of the Q document would have placed it.
- Matthew and Luke have placed this logion in two different contexts.
- Matthew placed it in his Sermon on the Mount where it serves as an introduction to his exhortation to avoid worrying about what to eat or what to wear. The evangelist seems to assume that we seek to be rich in order to eat and dress well. And so, by eliminating these concerns, one will no longer be interested in money. Moreover, the teaching on worries suggests trusting the Father in heaven, like the birds and plants. This means that serving money expresses the absence of faith.
- Luke placed it in a sequence around money. It follows the parable of the shrewd steward who used money skillfully to get out of a bad situation, and a teaching about money as a criterion of one's ability to manage the true good, and will be followed by the mention that the Pharisees loved money. Throughout this sequence the word "deceitful money" comes up like a leitmotif. Thus, unlike Matthew, Luke does not simply speak of the incompatibility between money and God, but rather speaks of good management in the service of the kingdom, avoiding the (deceptive) illusions it creates.
43. Law and prophets till JBap; not a dot of Law will pass; divorcing wife and marrying another is adultery
|[11: 12-13 apo de tōn hēmerōn Iōannou tou baptistou heōs arti hē basileia tōn ouranōn biazetai kai biastai harpazousin autēn. pantes gar hoi prophētai kai ho nomos heōs Iōannou eprophēteusan•]||16: 16 Ho nomos kai hoi prophētai mechri Iōannou• apo tote hē basileia tou theou euangelizetai kai pas eis autēn biazetai. ||[11: 12-13 Then, from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens suffers violence and violents seize it. For all the prophets and the law until John prophesied.]||16: 16 The law and the prophets so far as John. From thereupon the kingdom of the God is proclaimed and everyone into it suffers violence.|
|[5: 18 amēn gar legō hymin• heōs an parelthē ho ouranos kai hē gē, iōta hen ē mia keraia ou mē parelthē apo tou nomou, heōs an panta genētai.] ||16: 17 eukopōteron de estin ton ouranon kai tēn gēn parelthein ē tou nomou mian keraian pesein.||[5: 18 For amen I say to you, until perchance might pass away the heaven and the earth, one iota or one stroke of a letter, no, would not pass away from the law, until perchance all (things) become.]||16: 17 Then, easier it is the heaven and the earth to pass away than of the law one stroke of a letter to fall.|
|[5: 32 egō de legō hymin hoti pas ho apolyōn tēn gynaika autou parektos logou porneias poiei autēn moicheuthēnai, kai hos ean apolelymenēn gamēsē, moichatai.]||16: 18 Pas ho apolyōn tēn gynaika autou kai gamōn heteran moicheuei, kai ho apolelymenēn apo andros gamōn moicheuei.||[5: 32 Then, I, I say to you that everyone the releasing (from a marriage bond) the wife of him except on account of sexual immorality makes her to commit adultery, and who if a having been released (from a marriage bond) would marry, he becomes adulterous. ]||16: 18 Everyone the releasing (from the marriage bond) the wife of him and marrying another commits adultery, and the having been released (from the marriage bond) from a husband marrying, he commits adultery.|
- This pericope contains three logia (Mt 11:12-13 || Lk 16:16: from the law and the prophets to John the Baptist; Mt 5:18 || Lk 16:17: not one line of the law will pass; Mt 5:32 || Lk 16:18: whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery), and deals with three different subjects. Luke has chosen to group them together. In Matthew they are found in three different places. Therefore, each of them must be analyzed independently.
- Mt 11:12-13 || Lk 16:16 : from the law and the prophets to John the Baptist
- It will have been noticed that this logion includes two sentences, but by comparing Matthew and Luke we note that the order is reversed. It seems that it is Matthew who has reversed the order if we take Justin as witness:
"The Law and the prophets (are) up to John the Baptist; from now on, the kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it over. And if you want to believe me, it is he, Elijah, who is to come. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear" (Dial. 51:3)
What was the meaning of this logion in the Q document? Since we do not know its context, it is difficult to answer. For the first Christians, to speak of the law and the prophets is to refer to the OT. Thus, two periods are clearly distinguished: that of the OT, and that inaugurated by Jesus and which begins with his precursor, John the Baptist. With Jesus, the kingdom of God has approached. But what does the violence mentioned in this logion refer to? And if the logion goes back to the historical Jesus, what does it refer to? One possible answer comes from the eschatological context in which Jesus was situated and which marks the first Christian writings. The end time period is a time of turbulence, a time of confrontation when some claim to be the "messiah" (see Mk 13:21-22; Acts 5:34) and claim to be leading the way to the kingdom; some of these groups will be suppressed in violence. But this, let us admit, remains conjectural.
- Matthew has made some changes. In addition to reversing the order so that his verse 13 could introduce his v. 14 where he makes the connection between John the Baptist and Elijah, he uses in v. 12 an expression typical of his style: "from... until" (Mt = 8; Mk = 2; Lk = 2; Jn = 1; Acts = 3). But above all, he inserted this logion in a section devoted to John the Baptist, after Jesus had answered the messengers of John the Baptist in prison about his messiahship and had presented him as the greatest of the prophets, before reproaching that generation for its bad faith in not having welcomed the Baptist. Thus, the fact that John the Baptist is in prison and that some reject him provides some context for the violence that the logion speaks of.
- As usual, Luke likes to soften the edges. The mention of "violent people taking over the kingdom" has been eliminated, so that the present period is characterized by "the kingdom of God is announced". What does it mean, then, that "everyone into it suffers violence", i.e. it is through violence that one enters the kingdom? In his account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke uses a verb of the same root to describe the fact that the disciples "urged strongly" Jesus to stay with them (Lk 24:29); similarly, in Acts 16:15 Lydia, after her baptism, "urges strongly" Paul to stay with her. Thus, in the case of entry into the kingdom, Luke seems to suggest that entry into the kingdom hurts, forcing people into agonizing choices. In particular, this logion was placed in a section on deceptive money.
- Mt 5:18 || Lk 16:17 : not one word of the law shall pass
- The core of this logion is clear: heaven and earth (i.e. the universe) will pass away, but nothing contained in the law (i.e. the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments) will pass away. Why is this? The logion does not say, but one can assume that the Decalogue supports God's view of the human being and his relationship with others. Moreover, in the gospels Jesus is presented as the one who came to perfect the law, i.e. to develop it in the direction it was pointing to, so that it fully reflects the will of God. The author of this logion in the Q document was most likely a Christian of Jewish origin and did not see the fundamental law handed down by Moses at Sinai as an obstacle to his faith in Jesus: on the contrary, this law was given a new dimension. This tradition that Jesus did not come to abolish the law is also found in Mark, as the underlined words show; this is a sign that it was generally quite widespread.
- Matthew placed this logion in his Sermon on the Mount to introduce the sequence in which Jesus enumerates the many points of the Law or of Jewish tradition which he came to bring to fulfillment, and which ends with the exhortation: "You shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." He precedes our logion with the words: "Do not think that I have come to abrogate the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abrogate, but to fulfill." Moreover, he adds at the end of our logion (5:18b): "until perchance as all things become", the same formula when he quotes Scripture: "so that what has been written may be fulfilled". Thus, with the NT, the OT takes on its full meaning, that of preparing the arrival of Jesus. Note that part of Matthew's community was of Jewish origin, and some (under the influence of Paul?), would have been tempted to throw their Jewish heritage overboard. Matthew reminds them that Jesus did not come to throw away the Jewish law, but to make it express its deepest meaning which revolves around the love of brother and God.
- Luke's version probably reflects the logion in the Q document. He only eliminated the word "iota," one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, a word that was unknown in his Greek milieu. Perhaps it was the hook word "law" in the previous verse that led Luke to insert this logion in this sequence where Jesus denounces the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who show themselves to be righteous in the eyes of men but who do not really live out the deep intention of the law, and where he announces that the present period succeeds that of the law and the prophets. All this fits into Luke's plan where the period of Jesus is the harmonious continuation of the OT period.
- Mt 5:32 - Lk 16:18: whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery
- The Matthew and Luke versions say essentially the same thing, but Matthew's version probably best reflects the wording of the Q document, if we omit the exception he introduced:
Any man who repudiates his wife, leads her to be an adulteress
nd who would marry a repudiated woman commits adultery.
Why does repudiating a woman make her an adulteress? Let's remember that in the Palestinian environment, the woman has no social status and her only means of support is through a husband. If she is repudiated, she no longer has a husband to support her, and so she must urgently find another if she is to survive. Thus, she has no choice but to commit adultery.
The Q document here reflects the beginnings of canon law in the early Christian communities of Jewish origin, rules that are based on Jesus' teaching on marriage. Here it is important to distinguish between the teaching of Jesus and the rules established later by the Christian communities. Mark is the one who gives us the details of this teaching. Let us recall the account in Mk 10:1-9 where the Pharisees ask Jesus what he thinks of the ticket of repudiation of a woman required by the Jewish law and which was traced back to Moses. It is important to know that in Jewish circles only the man could repudiate his wife, and the reason could be anything, including the fact that a woman had burned a dish or that the man had found a more beautiful woman (this is how Deut. 24:1 was interpreted, which speaks of a "blemish" or "something to be ashamed of" in the wife; see Philo of Alexandria, On Special Laws, 3.5 #30-31 and Mishna, Nachin). Now, through Gen 1:27 and Gen 2:24, Jesus recalls as a prophet the deep commitment intended by God that marriage implies, where the man leaves his family to become one with his wife. The story ends with the words of Jesus: "What God has joined together, let no one separate."
Jesus' intervention was somewhat revolutionary given the status of women as more or less a commodity in the hands of men. But Jesus only acted as a prophet in presenting God's vision of man and woman. What did this mean in everyday life? This was left to the Christian communities. This is what Mark indicates in Mk 10:10: "And again the disciples asked him about this in the house." Thus Mark distinguishes between the teaching of Jesus and the explanations given in the "house", an image of the Christian communities where the follow-up to this teaching was discussed. Since Mark is probably writing for the Roman community, the canon law that is elaborated there must take into account the Roman situation where, unlike the Palestinian environment, the wife could repudiate her husband; and so the community came up with this rule: "If a man repudiates his wife and marries another, he is an adulterer with respect to the first; and if the woman repudiates her husband and marries another, she is an adulteress" (Mk 10:11-12). Of course, this rule is put into Jesus' mouth to give him some authority.
Matthew and Luke, in taking up the text of the Q document, make some modifications and insert it into different contexts.
- Matthew, who may have written his gospel in Antioch, belongs to a milieu where part of the Christian community was of Jewish origin and with which Paul has conflict because of its conservatism. Now, the evangelist, by taking up the Q document, introduces an exception to the canon law, as he does when he takes up Mark's text on divorce (Mt 19:9): the man cannot repudiate his wife except on the account of porneia. What does the Greek word porneia mean? Generally speaking, it refers to any form of sexual immorality. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT, the word means prostitution. It is the same meaning that we find in the Apocalypse, even if we are on the symbolic level (2, 21; 9, 21; 14, 8; 17, 2.4; 18, 3; 19, 2) or in John (8, 41). Paul, for his part, uses this term to refer to debauchery and fornication, for example, in the context of frequenting prostitutes in Corinth (1 Cor 6:18), or in the context of the danger for the man who does not have his spouse with him (1 Cor 7:2); he also uses it when he enumerates a certain number of misconducts such as fornication (2 Cor 12:21). In Mark's gospel, it is a case of sexual misconduct lumped in with evil intentions, theft and murder. It is this word that is used in the Acts of the Apostles in the list of minimum requirements for Gentiles who become Christians at the Council of Jerusalem: "Let us simply write to them to abstain from the defilements of idolatry, porneia, smothered meat and blood" (Acts 15:20). In the past, many Bibles have translated here porneia as "illegitimate unions", because consanguineous marriages were forbidden in Judaism (see Lev 18:6-18). However, the term porneia never referred strictly and simply to illegitimate unions. Today, almost all Bibles translate the word as "debauchery" or "sexual immorality". What about Matthew? Unfortunately, of the three occurrences of the word, two concern this exception to the rule (Mt 5:32; 19:9), which leaves us with only Mt 15:19: "For out of the heart come evil intentions, murders, adulteries, porneia, thefts, false witness, insults." Here again, our bibles have translated the term as "debauchery" or "misconduct". What is clear is that in this passage Matthew distinguishes porneia from adultery.
What to conclude? It is better to keep the term porneia in its general definition of sexual misconduct. Modern efforts to clarify the term stem from a false problem: one would like to know in what cases Jesus would have permitted divorce. But as we have shown above, we are not dealing with a teaching of Jesus, but with an effort to apply this teaching in daily life by the early Christian community. Matthew's community, while accepting Jesus' teaching on marriage as a commitment for life, saw fit to have a canon law that included a sexual exception. Paul, on the other hand, after referring to Jesus' teaching ("let not the wife separate from her husband", 1 Cor 7:10), states the following in the case of a mixed marriage (believer - unbeliever): "If the unbeliever wants to separate, let him do so! The brother or sister is not bound in this case: it is to live in peace that God has called you" (1 Cor 7:15). So what does Paul say? Even if Jesus says that a married man and woman should not be separated, this view does not apply in the concrete case of a mixed marriage where one unbelieving partner refuses to continue to live with the other who is a believer, and the reason given is: it is to live in peace that God has called you, and not to live in an environment of incessant conflict (social life around the gods was important in antiquity). Thus, both Matthew and Luke distinguish between the teaching of Jesus, the vision of the couple in the eyes of God, and the vagaries of daily life which dictate certain rules where lifelong commitment is no longer possible.
Matthew inserted this logion in his Sermon on the Mount as Jesus names various elements of the Jewish law and tradition and calls for them to be overcome. Now, this logion is inserted after Jesus quotes the commandment "You shall not commit adultery" which he urges to overcome by not even looking at a woman lustfully, for this is also a form of adultery (Mt 5:27-28). Then he introduces our logion as follows: "It was said, 'If anyone divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'" From then on, the rejection of repudiation becomes a way of going beyond the Jewish tradition of issuing a certificate of repudiation.
- Luke, on the other hand, is not at all interested in the issues of marriage and divorce. He is the evangelist who sees marriage as an obstacle to following Jesus (see the excuse for not going to the banquet in Lk 14:20 and the fact that he is the only one to add the wife among the family members the disciple must renounce in Lk 14:26). Then he eliminates the account found in Mk 10:1-9 on the question of divorce and Jesus' presentation of the man's total commitment to the woman. And here, with this logion from the Q document, he makes a slight modification. Let us compare the formulations in Matthew and Luke.
|Matthew 5: 32||Luke 16: 18|
|a. Any man who repudiates his wife, leads her to be an adulteress||a. Any man who repudiates his wife and marries another commits adultery|
|b. and who would marry a repudiated woman commits adultery||b. and he who marries a woman repudiated by her husband commits adultery|
What do we notice? In Mt 5:32a the adultery is on the woman's side, for the Palestinian woman, having no means of support, must immediately find a new partner. Luke, on the other hand, belongs to a Greek milieu where women had a lot of autonomy and some of them were even entrepreneurs: let us think of Lydia, a trader in purple, from the city of Thyatira (Ac 16: 14), or Phoebe (Rom 16: 1) a deaconess of the church of Cenchreae (the first epistle to the Corinthians presents us with very active and committed women). So the situation that Matthew speaks of does not apply to Luke's milieu. So he dismisses the mention that a repudiation makes a woman an adulteress by saying simply and clearly: that a man is an adulterer when he repudiates one woman to marry another.
In Luke, this logion appears after two logia that have the word "law" as a catchword. No doubt Luke thought it a good time in his gospel to insert the "rule" on divorce after the mention that not a single line of the law will fall. This section appears to be a bit of a catch-all, and that seems to suit the evangelist who has little interest in these matters.
44. Woe to tempters; forgive brother after rebuking; Peter, how often to forgive
|18: 7 Ouai tō kosmō apo tōn skandalōn• anankē gar elthein ta skandala, plēn ouai tō anthrōpō diʼ hou to skandalon erchetai. ||17: 1 Eipen de pros tous mathētas autou• anendekton estin tou ta skandala mē elthein, plēn ouai diʼ hou erchetai• ||18: 7 "Woe to the world because of the scandals. For a necessity (it is) to come the scandals, yet woe to the man through whom the scandal comes."||17: 1 Then he said toward the disciples of him, "Impossible is for the scandals not to come, yet woe through whom it comes.|
|18: 15 Ean de hamartēsē [eis se] ho adelphos sou, hypage elenxon auton metaxy sou kai autou monou. ean sou akousē, ekerdēsas ton adelphon sou• ||17: 3 prosechete heautois. Ean hamartē ho adelphos sou epitimēson autō, kai ean metanoēsē aphes autō. ||18: 15 "Then, if might sin [against you] the brother of you, go, reprove him between you and him alone. If you he might listen, you have gained the brother of you."||17: 3 Take heed to yourselves, if might sin the brother of you, rebuke him, and if he should change his mind, forgive him.|
|18, 21-22 Tote proselthōn ho Petros eipen autō• kyrie, posakis hamartēsei eis eme ho adelphos mou kai aphēsō autō; heōs heptakis; legei autō ho Iēsous• ou legō soi heōs heptakis alla heōs hebdomēkontakis hepta.||17: 4 kai ean heptakis tēs hēmeras hamartēsē eis se kai heptakis epistrepsē pros se legōn• metanoō, aphēseis autō.||18: 21-22 Thereupon, having come near the Peter, he said to him, "Lord, how many time will sin against me the brother of me and I will forgive him? Up to seven times? Says to him the Jesus, 'I do not say to you up to seven times but up to seventy times seven."||17: 4 And if seven times (in) the day he might sin against you and seven times he might turn back toward you saying, 'I change my mind,' you shall forgive him."|
- This pericope presents two logia which were probably united in the Q document and which Luke has preserved as such, but which Matthew has separated.
- Mt 18:7 || Lk 17:1: woe to the one who causes scandal.
- The Greek name scandalon refers first of all to a trap or snare into which one falls, and by extension to any obstacle that causes someone to stumble. This trap or obstacle can be physical (Lev 19:14: LXX "You shall not insult the deaf, nor put an obstacle in the path of the blind, and you shall fear the Lord your God: I am the Lord your God"), as well as moral (Ps 119:165 [LXX 118:165] "who love your law have great peace, and there is no snare for them"), or religious (Ps 106:36 [LXX 105:36] "They served their graven images, and it was a snare for them"). In the gospels, the name itself is rare (the verb "to scandalize" is much more frequent), and apart from the Q document, there are two occurrences in Matthew: the first associates it with those who commit iniquity, i.e., who do not follow the law (Mt 13:41), and the other with Peter (Mt 16:23), who tries to make Jesus deviate from a path that involves suffering and death.
- Who is the author of the Q document referring to? Since we have no context, it is difficult to answer. But we can imagine that the scandal refers to all the obstacles to faith in Jesus, and they can be numerous. Indeed, the cross and the path Jesus took is often presented as a stumbling block (see 1 Cor 1:23). But perhaps the source envisages situations like the one Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 8:1-13 where Christians eat meat offered to idols at civic festivals, knowing that idols do not exist, but thereby shaking brothers whose consciences are less enlightened and who subsequently leave the community to return to their former world. In the world of Jewish Christians, some were able to depart completely from their Jewish tradition, rejecting the Mosaic laws in their entirety, which shook the faith of their brothers. In short, the author of the Q document assumes with a certain fatalism that situations which can shake the Christian or set a trap for him inevitably arise. By pronouncing a curse, he intends to affirm that the author of such a situation will bear responsibility for it at the time of judgment.
- Matthew inserted this logion into his discourse on community life. This logion is contrasted with Jesus' answer to the question about the greatest in the kingdom (Mt 18:1), an answer that invites us to become like children, beings who at the time had no social status and were considered insignificant: "Whoever welcomes such a child in my name, welcomes me" (Mt 18:5). Thus, Matthew directs the discussion to those members of the community who were considered unimportant. Then he introduces our logion as follows: "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall, it is better for him that a great millstone be tied around his neck and that he be thrown into the depths of the sea" (Mt 18:5). Therefore, the warning concerns the attitude towards the fragile members of the community, members who, for whatever reason, may be shaken in their faith. This warning is addressed to community leaders.
- Luke inserted this logion after the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The link with the parable seems tenuous. But from the beginning of chapter 16, Luke has introduced a sequence with the theme of wealth and the hook word "law". Now, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus presents the figure of the rich man who did not know how to see the poverty around him, and it ends with the words: "If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, even if someone rises from the dead, they will not be convinced" (Lk 16:31). Let us remember that the name "Moses" is synonymous with "Law". All this colors our logion, because the scandal becomes the absence of the law of God and the riches that ignore the poor.
- Mt 18, 15.21-22 || Lk 17, 3-4: if your brother sins, forgive him
- A major difference between Matthew's and Luke's version of fraternal correction is that Matthew's version does not have a condition for forgiveness, i.e. the brother is not asked to change his mind or repent before he is forgiven. Also, it is likely that the wording of the Q document was like this:
If your brother has sinned against you, forgive him;
and if he sins against you seven times a day, you shall forgive him.
This attitude is consistent with the sapiential tradition as we see in Sir 28:2: "Forgive your neighbor the injustice he has done; then, when you pray, your sins will be forgiven." This is also found in the Lord's Prayer ("Forgive us our debts, for we ourselves forgive our debtors", Mt 6:12 || Lk 11:4). The originality comes from the mention of the number of times: seven. Seven is a symbol of totality, which means that it is a question of forgiving without ceasing and without limit. It is paradoxical that the author of the Q document probably presented this logion after the logion subjecting the one who causes scandal to the curse. Is it not a mitigation of the curse to speak now of unconditional forgiveness?
- Matthew inserted this logion into Jesus' discourse on community life, especially following the parable of the lost sheep, a parable addressed to community leaders on how to deal with people who drift away from the community, caught up in various ideologies. Our logion thus becomes a form of directive for these community leaders on how to deal with conflicts in the community. But in inserting this logion here, Matthew has greatly modified and amplified it. First of all, he has cut the logion in two, so that the approach to the brother who has sinned (Mt 18:15) and the number of times that one must forgive (Mt 18:21-22) receive two different developments. Note the formulation of the first part: "if he might sin [against you] your brother". The square brackets indicate different readings of the text, and it is possible that the content of these brackets comes from a scribe's effort to harmonize with Luke. If this is the case, it is no longer a fault against a brother, but a more serious fault that affects the community. Matthew presents us with a development that seems to be a directive or canon law that was developed in Matthew's community (Mt 18:15-18): first the offender is approached privately, then if that doesn't work, the offender is approached with two or three witnesses, and if that still doesn't work, the whole community is brought in, and as a last resort, he is excommunicated from the community. It is remarkable to note that nowhere else in the Bible can one find a tradition that would be the source of such a directive, except in Qumran:
They will rebuke each one of their neighbors in truth and merciful love for each one. Let no one speak to his brother in anger... for on the same day he will be rebuked, and so he will not be charged with a fault because of him. - And also: let no one bring a case against his neighbor before the Many without rebuking before witnesses (Rule of the Community, V24 - VI2)
And as for what he said: "You shall not take revenge or bear a grudge against the children of your people" (cf. Lev 19:17ff.), every man of the Covenant who brings a cause against his neighbor without having rebuked him before witnesses and brings it in the ardor of his anger, or tells the matter to his elders to dishonor him, that one takes revenge and holds a grudge (Damascus Document, IX 2-5).
Thus, we note the three steps: 1) simply rebuke him according to Lev 19:17; 2) rebuke him before witnesses; 3) denounce him to the community leaders. It is not impossible that the directive of the community of Matthew was influenced by the approach of the sinner at Qumran.
Matthew followed this directive with two logics about prayer (Mt 18:19-20): communal prayer is answered before God, and in communal prayer God is present. One might ask what connection Matthew makes between communal prayer and the directive on the sinner. It is likely that Matthew saw communal prayer as the way to settle complex cases and to obtain the conversion of lost brothers.
It is only after the two logia on prayer that Matthew inserts the second part of the logion from the Q document on the number of times to forgive (Mt 18:21-22). Because of the long interlude since the first part of the logion, he is forced to add an introduction to regain the thread abandoned in v. 15. Thus he composes a narrative (we find his vocabulary such as "thereupon", "having come near", "Lord"): he then brings in Peter who asks Jesus if he should forgive up to seven times. By inserting here the second part of the logion of the Q document, he adds an overbid ("up to seventy times seven") inspired by its opposite, revenge: "Yes, Cain will be avenged seven times, but Lamech seventy-seven times" (Gen 4:24). It will have been noted that Matthew brings in the figure of Peter. Why? The logion is addressed to the leaders of the community of which Peter is the model.
- To the Q document, Luke makes a modification that is dear to him: forgiveness is conditional on a "change of mind" or "repentance", in Greek the verb metanoeō, formed from the preposition meta (after, beyond) and the verb noeō (to perceive by thought, to realize): it is a matter of going beyond what one perceived in order to see things differently. This condition applies whenever the wrongdoer sins. For Luke, the theme of change of mind or repentance or conversion is an important one that he expresses with the verb metanoeō (Mt = 5; Mk = 2; Lk = 9; Jn = 0; Acts = 5) and the noun metanoia (Mt = 2; Mk = 1; Lk = 5; Jn = 0; Acts = 6): let us think of the figure of Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10), or of that of the Good Thief (Lk 23:40-43). By keeping the two logia of scandal and forgiveness together and inserting them after the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke seems to suggest that the rich man's attitude is scandalous, but he can be forgiven if he changes his attitude.
45. If you had faith like grain of mustard seed, could move mountains
|17: 20 ho de legei autois• dia tēn oligopistian hymōn• amēn gar legō hymin, ean echēte pistin hōs kokkon sinapeōs, ereite tō orei toutō• metaba enthen ekei, kai metabēsetai• kai ouden adynatēsei hymin. ||17: 6 eipen de ho kyrios• ei echete pistin hōs kokkon sinapeōs, elegete an tē sykaminō [tautē]• ekrizōthēti kai phyteuthēti en tē thalassē• kai hypēkousen an hymin.||17: 20 Then, he says to them, "Because of the little faith of you. For amen I say to you, if you would have a faith as a seed of mustard, you will say to the montain this one, move from here to there, and it will move. And nothing will be impossible to you."||17: 6 Then he said the Lord, "if you have a faith as a seed of mustard, you would say perchance to the mulberry tree [this one], 'Be uprooted and be planted in the see,' and it would have obeyed perchance to you.|
- This logion from the Q document reflects an ancient tradition that has had several variants, as it is also found in Mk 11:23 (words underlined). It focuses on the power of faith. What was the context of the Q document? It is impossible to know. What was the image used to express the power of faith, since Mark's version speaks of a mountain being taken up and thrown into the sea (Mk 11:23), Matthew of a mountain moving (Mt 17:20), and Luke of a mulberry tree being uprooted and transplanted into the sea? It is possible that Mark reflects the earliest testimony, for we find a similar image in Paul: "When I have the fullness of faith, a faith to move mountains..." (1 Cor 13:2). Luke may have replaced the mountain with the mulberry tree, judging the image of a moving mountain to be exaggerated. Thus, in the Q document the logion could have had this formulation:
If you had faith like a mustard seed
you would say to this mountain: 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,
it would have obeyed you.
One will have noticed here the image of the mustard seed that the Q document used earlier to compare the kingdom of God (Mt 13:31-32 || Lk 13:18-19). There we learned that it was the smallest of the seeds in the vegetable garden. Thus, Jesus' statement could be paraphrased as follows: even if you had as little faith as the smallest seed, you could do extraordinary things.
- Matthew inserted this logion at the end of the story of the healing of the epileptic child (Mt 17:14-28). Recall that the disciples were unable to heal the child, forcing the father to turn to Jesus who healed him. Immediately the disciples ask Jesus about the cause of their failure. Our logion becomes Jesus' answer for Matthew (in Mk 9:29 it is only through prayer that he could have been healed). Moreover, to emphasize the cause of the disciples' failure to heal, he composes a little introduction to our logion: "It is because of your little faith (oligopistos)". The adjective oligopistos (little faith: Mt = 4; Mk = 0; Lk = 1; Jn = 0; Ac = 0) and the noun oligopistia (little faith: Mt = 1; Mk = 0; Lk = 0; Jn = 0; Ac = 0) are typically Matthaean. Note also that the verb "to move" (metabainō) belongs to his vocabulary: Mt = 6; Mk = 0; Lk = 1; Jn = 3; Acts = 1. Finally, Matthew would have added the last phrase: "And nothing will be impossible for you," in order to make the connection with the disciples' question about their inability to heal.
- Luke inserted this logion after the logia about the scandals and the forgiveness granted to the one who repents. Why did he do this? The answer is perhaps given to us by the little introduction he composed to make a transition: "And the apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith'." Here we recognize the Lucan vocabulary: "apostle" (Mt = 1; Mk = 1; Lk = 1; Jn = 0; Acts = 6), "Lord" used even in the stories before the resurrection, "increase" (Mt = 2; Mk = 1; Lk = 7; Jn = 0; Acts = 6). The request to increase faith follows the call to forgive without limit. It is therefore possible that the apostles find the path traced out by Jesus, that of unlimited forgiveness, difficult and therefore ask for his help to enter into this vision of trusting life and others. Faith will also be required to enter into the vision of Jesus presented in the following verses, where they are seen as slaves who have only done what they had to do, and therefore nothing extraordinary, despite having toiled all day (Lk 17:7-10). Let us remember that we are on the way to Jerusalem, in a sequence where Luke concentrates the essential teaching of Jesus on the Christian life.
46. Signs of the coming of the Son of Man
|24: 26 ean oun eipōsin hymin• idou en tē erēmō estin, mē exelthēte• idou en tois tameiois, mē pisteusēte• ||17: 23 kai erousin hymin• idou ekei, [ē•] idou hōde• mē apelthēte mēde diōxēte. ||24: 26 "Therefore if they might say to you, 'Behold in the wilderness he is', you should not come out; 'Behold in the inner rooms', you should not believe.||17: 23 "And they will say to you, 'Behold there', [or] 'Behold here'. You should not come forth nor follow.|
|24: 27 hōsper gar hē astrapē exerchetai apo anatolōn kai phainetai heōs dysmōn, houtōs estai hē parousia tou huiou tou anthrōpou• ||17: 24 hōsper gar hē astrapē astraptousa ek tēs hypo ton ouranon eis tēn hypʼ ouranon lampei, houtōs estai ho huios tou anthrōpou [en tē hēmera autou]. ||24: 27 For just as the lightning comes out from the risings and appears until the sun sets, thus will be the coming of the son of the man.||17: 24 For just as the lightening lightening out of an (end) under sky into an (end) under sky shines, thus will be the son of the man [in the day of him]."|
|24: 38 hopou ean ē to ptōma, ekei synachthēsontai hoi aetoi.||[17: 37 kai apokrithentes legousin autō• pou, kyrie; ho de eipen autois• hopou to sōma, ekei kai hoi aetoi episynachthēsontai.]||24: 28 Where if might be the carcass, there will be gathered the vultures.||17: 37 And having answered they say to him, "Where, Lord? Then, him, he said to them, "Where the body, there also the vultures will be gathered together."|
- This pericope presents two different logia (Mt 24:26-27 || Lk 17:23-24: "if they say to you: here he is"; and Mt 24:28 || Lk 17:37: "wherever the carcass is"), which Matthew has grouped together, but which Luke has kept separate, as they probably were in the Q document
- Mt 24:26-27 || Lk 17:23-24: "If they say to you, 'Here he is.'"
- The context of this logion is a Christian context marked by the frantic expectation of the return of Jesus, called "son of man". In order to understand this, it is necessary to know that Jewish tradition asserted that the Messiah would remain unknown to all until the day of his manifestation to Israel; therefore he had to remain hidden, either in the desert or in places unknown to all. All of this may explain rumors of those who believe they have found him in his "hiding place". But the author of the Q document denounces these rumors by affirming that the coming of the son of man will be totally visible, obvious to all. The image of the lightning is not about its suddenness, but about its brightness and luminosity, visible from one point of the sky to another. In the Apocalypse of Baruch, 53:9, the Messiah is compared to a bright ray that shines so brightly as to illuminate the whole earth, in the same way as God manifests himself according to Ps 50:3 (LXX 49:5): "Our God, shall come manifestly, and shall not be silent; a fire shall be kindled before him, and round about him shall be a very great tempest." Matthew would have best preserved the wording of the Q document, which could have taken this form:
If they say to you: 'Here he is in the desert', do not go out; 'Here he is in the inner chambers', do not believe it.
For as the lightning shines from the east to the west, so shall the son of man be.
- Matthew placed this logion in the apocalyptic discourse of Jesus when he had just warned his disciples of the difficult times ahead, not only because of persecutions, but also because of the presence of false messiahs who will perform wonders to the point of misleading the elect. Thus, our logion extends this warning, but at the same time reassures Christians that the coming of the Messiah will be clear and obvious. Note that Matthew has made some stylistic changes to the logion by using words from his own vocabulary to emphasize the coming of the Son of Man as a great manifestation: rather than shining, the lightning "appears" (Mt = 13; Mk = 2; Lk = 2; Jn = 2; Acts = 0), and he adds "coming" (Mt = 4; Mk = 0; Lk = 0; Jn = 0; Acts = 0) to refer to the Son of Man
- Luke placed this logion in the long journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, after the healing of ten lepers in Samaria, only one of whom recognizes the work of God. He then introduces this sequence with a question from the Pharisees: "When will the kingdom of God come?" (Lk 17:20). Jesus answers by pointing out that the reign of God is not an observable fact, because it is in our midst, and therefore we cannot say: here it is, there it is. Then comes a phrase peculiar to Luke: "The days will come when you will desire to see even one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see him." Here Luke gives a echo to the excitement about the return of Christ. It is at this point that he introduces our logion from the Q document, and not only this logion, but the others that follow from the Q document, which will be analyzed in the following sections. Thus, while Matthew placed our logion in the eschatological discourse, Luke preferred to place it earlier in this long journey to Jerusalem. Why did he do this? We can simply hypothesize that Luke wanted to distinguish more clearly between the end of time and that period which precedes it, the period of the Church, where the reign of God works through everyone, as shown by the leper who came to give glory to God, where we must accept that we will not see the son of man and avoid looking for the physical person, because the day when he comes back, it will be clear and obvious. Luke would have changed the first part of the logion, which mentioned the search for the Messiah in the desert and the hiding places, probably incomprehensible to his audience, and replaced it with a simpler sentence, probably inspired by Mk 13:21: "'Behold there, behold here.' You should not come forth nor follow". Luke has also replaced the Semitic expression "as lightning that shines from the east to the west" with "as lightning that shines from one (point) under the sky to another (point) under the sky", an expression probably more familiar in the Greco-Roman world.
- Mt 24:28 || Lk 17:37: "Wherever the carcass is
- At first glance, this logion of the Q document seems incomprehensible, especially where Matthew has placed it, following the coming of the son of man who will be visible as lightning. What connection can there be between this coming and the arrival of the vultures? Some biblical scholars have guessed that this phrase probably echoes a well-known proverb: "Where the carcass is, there the vultures will gather". Luke seems to have better respected the order of the Q document, which presents us with a description of the great eschatological judgment beginning with the signs of the coming of the son of man (Mt 24:26-27 || Lk 17:23-24), followed by the announcement of a catastrophe as in Noah's time (Mt 24:37-39 || Lk 17:26-27,30), followed by the call to be ready to lose one's life in order to find it (Mt 10:39 || Lk 17:33), and the warning that judgment will sort out people in the same family (Mt 24:40-41 || Lk 17:34-35), and ending with this proverb about the carcass where the vultures gather (Mt 24:28 || Lk 17:37). Thus, this proverb can only be understood in the light of the preceding image: "Two women will crush grain together: one will be taken away and the other left behind" (Lk 17:35). What does "will be taken away" and "will be left" mean? The one is taken away into the kingdom of God, the other is left to perish with the final catastrophe; the latter knows the fate of the ungodly. Thus, the vultures will come to share the flesh of the ungodly. This image also appears in Rev 19:17,21: "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried out loudly to all the birds that were flying high in the air, 'Come, gather yourselves together for the great meal of God'... The beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of burning sulfur. All their soldiers were killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of the horseman, and all the birds fed on their flesh." This is what will happen to the ungodly at the great eschatological judgment.
- It is surprising that Matthew placed this ending to the eschatological judgment sequence of the Q document immediately after the verse about the lightning-like coming of the son of man, making it almost incomprehensible. A possible hypothesis is that this logion allows him to insist even more on the great visibility of the coming of the son of man, after having used the verb "to appear" and the noun "coming". For the presence of the vultures would be another sign of the visibility of the Son of Man, even if it is linked to the negative aspect of the final judgment, i.e. the condemnation. Let us note in closing that Matthew's logion presents the verb synagō, composed of the preposition syn (with) and the verb agō (to lead), and which we have translated as: to gather. In contrast, Luke's version presents the verb episynagō, the same verb, but with the prefix epi (on), to describe gathering together in one place, and which we have translated as: to gather together. This begs the question: what was the original verb in the Q document? It is difficult to answer, but we can note that synagō is a verb much used by Matthew and is part of his vocabulary: Mt = 24; Mk = 5; Lk = 6; Jn = 7; Acts = 11, and so this suggests that Matthew might have replaced episynagō with synagō.
- Luke would have kept the order of the Q document, so that this logion appears at the end of the sequence on the eschatological judgment, after the separation of the members of the same family. On the other hand, he feels the need to add an introduction: "The disciples, speaking, asked him, 'Where then, Lord?'" Here we find the term "Lord" attributed to Jesus before the resurrection typical of the pen of Luke. The question of the disciples is linked to the end of the previous sentence: "the other is left", and therefore becomes: the other is left where? The answer is then: she is left with all the ungodly who will decay with the world in destruction, where all the scavengers will gather.
47. As in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man
|24: 37 Hōsper gar hai hēmerai tou Nōe, houtōs estai hē parousia tou huiou tou anthrōpou. ||17, 26 kai kathōs egeneto en tais hēmerais Nōe, houtōs estai kai en tais hēmerais tou huiou tou anthrōpou• ||24: 37 "For just as in the days of the Noah, thus will be the coming of the son of the man.||17: 26 "And in as much as it came to pass in the days of Noah, thus will be also in the days of the son of the man.|
|24: 38-39a hōs gar ēsan en tais hēmerais [ekeinais] tais pro tou kataklysmou trōgontes kai pinontes, gamountes kai gamizontes, achri hēs hēmeras eisēlthen Nōe eis tēn kibōton, kai ouk egnōsan heōs ēlthen ho kataklysmos kai ēren hapantas, ||17, 27 ēsthion, epinon, egamoun, egamizonto, achri hēs hēmeras eisēlthen Nōe eis tēn kibōton kai ēlthen ho kataklysmos kai apōlesen pantas. ||24: 38-39a For as were in the days [those], the ones before the flood, chewing and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage, until the day entered Noah into the ark, and they didn't know until came the flood and swept (them) away altogether.||17: 27 They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were giving in marriage, until the day entered Noah into the ark and came the flood and destroyed (them) all.|
| ||17, 28 homoiōs kathōs egeneto en tais hēmerais Lōt• ēsthion, epinon, ēgorazon, epōloun, ephyteuon, ōkodomoun• || ||17: 28 Likewise as it came to pass in the days of Lot, they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building.|
| ||17, 29 hē de hēmera exēlthen Lōt apo Sodomōn, ebrexen pyr kai theion apʼ ouranou kai apōlesen pantas. || ||17: 29 Then, in which day came out Lot from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed all.|
|24: 39b houtōs estai [kai] hē parousia tou huiou tou anthrōpou. ||17, 30 kata ta auta estai hē hēmera ho huios tou anthrōpou apokalyptetai. ||24: 39b Thus will be [also] the coming of the son of the man."||27: 30 According to these things will be in which day the son of the man is revealed."|
- This pericope from the Q document intends to give a description of the eschatological judgment based on two famous interventions of Yahweh in the OT, the flood (Gen 7:7,10) and the destruction of Sodom (Gen 19:24). In Jewish tradition, these two events are given as examples of God's punishment of the ungodly. For example:
In an assembly of sinners a fire is kindled,
and in a disobedient nation wrath has blazed up.
He did not forgive the ancient giants (Gen 6:4)
who revolted in their might.
He did not spare the neighbors of Lot,
whom he loathed on account of their arrogance. (Sir 16: 6-8)
You destroyed those who in the past committed injustice, among whom were even giants who trusted in their strength and boldness, whom you destroyed by bringing on them a boundless flood. You consumed with fire and sulfur the people of Sodom who acted arrogantly, who were notorious for their vices; and you made them an example to those who should come afterward. (3 Macc 2: 4-5)
This tradition continued into the NT era, as the following examples show:
and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to destruction and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the debauchery of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial and to keep the unrighteous until the day of judgment, when they will be punished. (2 Pet 2: 5-9)
Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1: 7)
And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the brand of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. (Rev 19: 20)
Thus, the author of the Q document shares the belief of Jewish tradition that there will be a final judgment and that God will punish the ungodly in the same way that he punished sinful mankind at the time of Noah, and in the same way that he punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the hope that injustice will not go unpunished. For the moment, there is no sign of what is to come, just as the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were unexpected, without warning. But the coming of the son of man will immediately initiate this judgment. Of course, all of this assumes the absence of individual judgment at the death of a person, because it is assumed that the judgment will take place only once, at the end of time. Finally, note that the two Scripture quotations (italics), Gen 7:7 ("Noah entered the ark") and Gen 19:24 ("he rained fire and brimstone from heaven") use the Septuagint version, as does the Q document.
- Matthew has placed this logion in Jesus' eschatological discourse, following that on the visible return of the Son of Man. However, he makes some literary changes. Twice he adds the word "coming" (vv. 37 and 39) in connection with the coming of the Son of Man, insisting on the manifestation and visibility of this new presence. Moreover, he would have added "they did not know until" (v.39) to emphasize the unpredictable character of this coming of the son of man, a way of discouraging any search for a sign. Finally, it should be noted that Matthew has completely eliminated the reference to Lot, probably considering it a duplicate of the reference to Noah and not bringing anything new.
- Luke simply follows the order of the Q document. Although he seems to follow the wording of the Q document fairly well, he does introduce some changes. He has replaced with the verb "to eat" (Mt = 24; Mk = 27; Lk = 33; Jn = 15; Acts = 7) the verb "to chew" from the Q document, a very rare verb that otherwise only John uses in his discourse on the bread of life. Moreover, it would have displaced the second mention of the days of the son of man. Indeed, the Q document would have had the following parallelism:
a. And as it happened in the days of Noah, so (shall it be) also in the days of the son of man.
Luke would have moved the second mention of the day of the son of man to the end, to v. 30, to make the connection with v. 31, which begins "That day will be...". In any case, he keeps the idea that the coming of the son of man is associated with the judgment on the ungodly.
(they were eating, they were drinking, etc.)
b. Just as it happened in the days of Lot so (will it be) on the day (when) the son of man is revealed
(they were eating, they were drinking, etc.)
48. Whoever finds one's life will lose it; whoever loses will find it
|10 : 39 ho heurōn tēn psychēn autou apolesei autēn, kai ho apolesas tēn psychēn autou heneken emou heurēsei autēn.||17 : 33 hos ean zētēsē tēn psychēn autou peripoiēsasthai apolesei autēn, hos dʼ an apolesē zōogonēsei autēn. ||10: 39 The one having found the life of him will loose it, and the one having lost the life of him on account of me will find it.||17: 33 Whoever if he might seek the life of him to preserve will loose it, then whoever perchance might loose (it) will give life to it.|
- This logion translates a very ancient tradition which has come down to us in two forms, the one reflected in Mark 8:35 and the one reflected in the Q document, whose formulation Luke 17:33 essentially respects. Here is what these two formulations could look like:
|Whoever wants to save his life will lose it,||Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,|
|but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.||And whoever loses it will give it life.|
These two versions seem to come from the same Aramaic text. Indeed, the Aramaic verb bea can mean either "to want" or "to seek". Then, the verb ḥaia, in intensive Aramaic tense paal, means "to keep alive" (see Jn 12: 25), and the Aramaic causative tense afel means "to make live" or "to give life". Thus, our two versions would be two translations of an Aramaic original.
- The author of the Q document inserted this logion into his description of the end-time judgment. Specifically, he inserted it following the reference to Noah and Lot. It is probably the contrast between the people who perished from the flood and the family of Noah who was saved, as well as the contrast between the destruction of the people of Sodom and the salvation of Lot, that suggested to the author of the Q document to insert this logion here, even if their relationship is not obvious. For him, probably, in this period of turbulence associated with the end of time when the believer will have to testify of his faith and face adversity, the one who would not want to face it to keep his life intact, will not be able to enter the kingdom, and therefore will know destruction with the ungodly and the whole physical universe. On the other hand, whoever is willing to face it at the risk of his life, even if he dies, will receive a new life in the kingdom.
- Matthew inserted this logion at the end of the missionary discourse, after warning his disciples that they will experience conflict within the same family, and that they will have to choose between him and members of their family, just as they will have to accept to carry their cross, i.e. to accept Jesus' way that goes to death. Our logion summarizes their choice: if they do not want this cross, they will not know the kingdom; if they accept it, they will know the life of the kingdom. Note that Matthew merged this logion with Mark's, but replaced the verb "to save" with "to find", probably because he thought it was a better parallel to "to lose".
- Luke probably found it problematic to move from Noah and Lot to this logion, as in the Q document, because the connection is so unclear. So he inserted between the two logia a text copied from Mark which helps to make the transition and to clarify the situation. First, he introduces the text of Mark with "In those days" (Lk 17:31) which takes over from Lk 17:30 ("the day when the Son of Man will be revealed"). Then he copies the text of Mk 13:13-14: "Whoever is on the terrace should not go down to get his things from the house; whoever is in the field should not go back". Finally, to confirm the link with the previous account of Lot, he ends with the sentence: "Remember Lot's wife". By doing all this, Luke provides a context for our logion and reinforces the overall unity. What does this mean? The flood and the destruction of Sodom refer to two catastrophes. Now the text of Mark that Luke copies refers to another catastrophe, the last moments of Jerusalem under siege by the Roman forces and the call to flee as quickly as possible without taking anything with them. And Luke adds the call not to look back, as Lot's wife unfortunately did. By inserting the logion of the Q document here, Luke wants to be reassuring: in the midst of the catastrophe, one should not be afraid and seek to preserve one's life at all costs; for whoever wants to avoid the catastrophe connected with the day of the son of man and preserve his life will lose it, while whoever accepts the loss of his life in this day of great upheaval will give birth to a new life with the son of man. Let us note that we are not in a context of testimony, but that of the revelation of the son of man which generates great upheavals.
49. On that night, of two, one taken and the other left
|24: 40 tote dyo esontai en tō agrō, heis paralambanetai kai heis aphietai• ||17: 34 legō hymin, tautē tē nykti esontai dyo epi klinēs mias, ho heis paralēmphthēsetai kai ho heteros aphethēsetai• ||24: 40 Thereupon two they will be in the field, one is taken and one is left.||17: 34 I say to you, in that the night they will be two upon one bed, the one will be taken and the other will be left.|
|24: 41 dyo alēthousai en tō mylō, mia paralambanetai kai mia aphietai.||17: 36 esontai dyo alēthousai epi to auto, hē mia paralēmphthēsetai, hē de hetera aphethēsetai. ||24: 41 Two (women) are being grinding at the mill, one is taken and one is left.||17: 35 They will be two (women) grinding at the same (place), the one will be taken, then the other will be left.|
- This pericope from the Q document continues the description of eschatological judgment. The Greek verb for judging, krinō, means: to separate, distinguish, discern. Now, the pericope describes this separation in a graphic way, using two Greek verbs. First, there is the verb paralambanō, formed from the preposition para (beside, along) and lambanō (to take), and thus means: to take beside oneself or with oneself. And since the verb is in the passive, as in many cases, the real subject is God. And so it is God who takes people to himself in the kingdom. Then there is the verb aphiēmi (to leave out, to neglect) which describes the fact that some will be neglected and left behind, to undergo destruction with the physical universe. It will have been noted that in the pericope the people appear in groups of two in the same place and occupied with the same activity; the reason is simple: the discernment or separation will not be based on where a person is or what activity he is involved in, but based on the heart and the innermost being, which only God knows.
- This perspective has deep roots in the OT.
How have they (sinners) become desolate! suddenly they have failed: they have perished because of their iniquity...
Thou hast guided me by thy counsel, and thou hast taken me to (proslambanō) thyself with glory (Ps 73: 19,24 LXX: 72)
When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it,
steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood.
Wisdom also, when the nations in wicked agreement had been put to confusion,
recognized the righteous man and preserved him blameless before God
and kept him strong in the face of his compassion for his child.
Wisdom rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing;
he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities.
Evidence of their wickedness still remains:
a continually smoking wasteland,
plants bearing fruit that does not ripen,
and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul.
For because they passed wisdom by,
they not only were hindered from recognizing the good
but also left for humankind a reminder of their folly,
so that their failures could never go unnoticed. (Wis 10: 4-8)
These passages from the OT reflect the assurance of Jewish tradition that God will intervene to save the righteous and eliminate the ungodly. The images of the flood and the destruction of five cities along with Sodom remind us that God destroys the ungodly, but at the same time saves from destruction those who remain faithful to wisdom. God's intervention and judgment are an essential part of the Jewish heritage.
- The author of the Q document, probably a Christian of Jewish origin, reflects this heritage. This judgment will take place at the time of the return of the Son of Man in glory. Then the separation of humans will take place. Such a scene should bring comfort to those who have remained faithful to their faith, but fear to those who have lost the initial impetus.
- Matthew placed this logion in his eschatological discourse, after the logion on the flood where all perish except Noah and his family. It is followed by Jesus' exhortation: "Watch therefore, for you do not know what day your Lord is coming" (Mt 24:42). Thus, the coming of the Lord is unexpected, not only because we do not know the time, but it will take place without any precursory event, suddenly seizing us where we are, in the midst of our daily activities. The scene of the separation of two people thus reinforces the scene of the flood, which occurred while people were eating, drinking, etc., and thus going about their daily lives. Note that Matthew seems to have best respected the wording of the Q document.
- Luke seems to continue copying the sequence of the Q document on the description of the eschatological judgment where our logion follows the one that invites not to be afraid of losing one's life. Thus the assurance that the one who loses his life is begotten to a new life is reinforced by the fact that God will rescue him from the catastrophe and take him to his kingdom. But since the context is that of Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, and thus we are not yet immersed in the apocalyptic atmosphere of Jerusalem, Luke is somehow forced to change the tense of the verbs: instead of the present tense of the Q document, he opts for the future tense, thus designating a future event. Moreover, in his parable on vigilance (Lk 12:35-40), he presented the coming of the son of man as a night event. So here he modifies the logion of the Q document to add: "that night". But in doing so, he has to replace the work in the field, which is impossible at night, with the situation where one is in bed. As for the women at the millstone, it must be thought that this work is not impossible by the light of the lamp.
50. Parable of the pounds /talents
|25: 14a Hōsper gar anthrōpos apodēmōn ||19: 12 eipen oun• anthrōpos tis eugenēs eporeuthē eis chōran makran labein heautō basileian kai hypostrepsai. ||25: 14a For just as a man going on a journey,||19: 12 Therefore he said, "A certain man of noble birth went into a country distant to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.|
|25: 14b-15 ekalesen tous idious doulous kai paredōken autois ta hyparchonta autou, kai hō men edōken pente talanta, hō de dyo, hō de hen, hekastō kata tēn idian dynamin, kai apedēmēsen. ||19: 13 kalesas de deka doulous heautou edōken autois deka mnas kai eipen pros autous• pragmateusasthe en hō erchomai. ||25: 14b-15 he called his own slaves and he gave as a share to them the possessions of him, and to one he gave five talents, then to one two, then to one a single (talent), to each according to his own strength, and he went on a journey.||19: 13 Then, having called ten slaves of himself he gave to them ten minas and said toward them, 'Do business until that I come back.'|
| ||19: 14 hoi de politai autou emisoun auton kai apesteilan presbeian opisō autou legontes• ou thelomen touton basileusai ephʼ hēmas. || ||19: 14 Then, the citizens of him hated him and sent a delegation after him saying, 'We do not want this (man) to reign upon us.'|
|25: 16-18 eutheōs poreutheis ho ta pente talanta labōn ērgasato en autois kai ekerdēsen alla pente• hōsautōs ho ta dyo ekerdēsen alla dyo. ho de to hen labōn apelthōn ōryxen gēn kai ekrypsen to argyrion tou kyriou autou. || ||25: 16-18 Immediately having gone, the (one) five talents having received traded in them and gained five others. Likewise the (one) the two (talents) gained two others. Then the (one) the one (talent) having received, having gone away, dug in (the) ground and hid the piece of silver of the lord of him.|| |
|25: 19 meta de polyn chronon erchetai ho kyrios tōn doulōn ekeinōn kai synairei logon metʼ autōn. ||19: 15 kai egeneto en tō epanelthein auton labonta tēn basileian kai eipen phōnēthēnai autō tous doulous toutous hois dedōkei to argyrion, hina gnoi ti diepragmateusanto. ||25: 19 Then, after much time comes the lord of the slaves these and settles account with them.||19: 15 And it came to pass in the to come back of him having received the kingdom and he said to call to him the slaves those to whom he has given the money, in order that he might know what they have gained by trade.|
|25: 20 kai proselthōn ho ta pente talanta labōn prosēnenken alla pente talanta legōn• kyrie, pente talanta moi paredōkas• ide alla pente talanta ekerdēsa. ||19: 16 paregeneto de ho prōtos legōn• kyrie, hē mna sou deka prosērgasato mnas. ||25: 20 And having come near the (one) the five talents having received, he offered five other talents saying, "Lord, five talents to me you gave as a share. Behold, five other talents I gained."||19: 16 Then, came up the first saying, 'Lord, the mina of you has produce ten minas.'|
|25: 21 ephē autō ho kyrios autou• eu, doule agathe kai piste, epi oliga ēs pistos, epi pollōn se katastēsō• eiselthe eis tēn charan tou kyriou sou. ||19: 17 kai eipen autō• euge, agathe doule, hoti en elachistō pistos egenou, isthi exousian echōn epanō deka poleōn. ||25: 21 He was declaring to him the lord of him, "Well done, slave good and faithful, upon a few things you were faithful, upon many things I will appoint you. Enter into the joy of the lord of you."||19: 17 And said to him, 'Well done, indeed, good slave, for in a very little (thing) faithful you showed yourself, be having authority over ten cities.'|
|25: 22 proselthōn [de] kai ho ta dyo talanta eipen• kyrie, dyo talanta moi paredōkas• ide alla dyo talanta ekerdēsa. ||19: 18 kai ēlthen ho deuteros legōn• hē mna sou, kyrie, epoiēsen pente mnas. ||25: 22 [Then] having come near also the (one) the two talents (having received) he said, "Lord, two talents to me you gave as a share, behold tow other talents I gained."||19: 18 And came the second saying, 'The mina of you, lord, it made five minas.'|
|25: 23 ephē autō ho kyrios autou• eu, doule agathe kai piste, epi oliga ēs pistos, epi pollōn se katastēsō• eiselthe eis tēn charan tou kyriou sou. ||19: 19 eipen de kai toutō• kai sy epanō ginou pente poleōn. ||25: 23 He was declaring the lord of him, "Well done, slave godd and faithful, upon a few this you were faithful, upon many I will apoint you. Enter into the joy of the lord of you."||19: 19 Then he say to this (man), 'You also, be over five cities.'|
|25: 24a proselthōn de kai ho to hen talanton eilēphōs eipen• kyrie, ||19: 20a kai ho heteros ēlthen legōn• kyrie, ||25: 24a Then, having come near also the (one) the single talent having received, he said, "Lord, ||19: 20a And the other came saying, 'Lord, |
|25: 24b-25 egnōn se hoti sklēros ei anthrōpos, therizōn hopou ouk espeiras kai synagōn hothen ou dieskorpisas, kai phobētheis apelthōn ekrypsa to talanton sou en tē gē• ide echeis to son. ||19: 20b-21 idou hē mna sou hēn eichon apokeimenēn en soudariō• ephoboumēn gar se, hoti anthrōpos austēros ei, aireis ho ouk ethēkas kai therizeis ho ouk espeiras. ||25: 24b-25 I knew you that hard you are a man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering from where you did not scatter. And having been afraid, having gone away, I hid the talent of you in the ground. Behold, you have the (what belongs) to you.||19: 20b-21 behold the mina of you the one I was having lying in store in a piece of cloth. For I was afraid of you, because a man harsh you are, you take up what you did not lay down and you reap what you did not sow.'|
|25: 26 apokritheis de ho kyrios autou eipen autō• ponēre doule kai oknēre, ēdeis hoti therizō hopou ouk espeira kai synagō hothen ou dieskorpisa; ||19: 22 legei autō• ek tou stomatos sou krinō se, ponēre doule. ēdeis hoti egō anthrōpos austēros eimi, airōn ho ouk ethēka kai therizōn ho ouk espeira; ||25: 26 Then, having answered the lord of him, he said to him, "Wicked servent and lazy, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather from where I did not scatter.||19: 22 He says to him, "Out of the mouth of you I judge you, wicked slave. You knew that I, a man harsh I am, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow.|
|25: 27 edei se oun balein ta argyria mou tois trapezitais, kai elthōn egō ekomisamēn an to emon syn tokō. ||19: 23 kai dia ti ouk edōkas mou to argyrion epi trapezan; kagō elthōn syn tokō an auto epraxa. ||25: 27 It was necessary therefore for you to cast the pieces of silver of me to the bankers, and having come, I, I would have received back perchance the my own with interest.||19: 23 And why did you not give of me the piece of silver upon the bank? And I, having come, with interest I would have collected it.'|
|25: 28 arate oun apʼ autou to talanton kai dote tō echonti ta deka talanta• ||19: 24 kai tois parestōsin eipen• arate apʼ autou tēn mnan kai dote tō tas deka mnas echonti - ||25: 28 Therefore take up from him the talent and give to the (one) having the ten talents.||19: 24 And to those having stand by he said, 'Take up from him the mina and give to the (one) having ten minas.'|
|25, 29 tō gar echonti panti dothēsetai kai perisseuthēsetai, tou de mē echontos kai ho echei arthēsetai apʼ autou. ||19, 25-26 kai eipan autō• kyrie, echei deka mnas - legō hymin hoti panti tō echonti dothēsetai, apo de tou mē echontos kai ho echei arthēsetai. ||25: 29 For to everyone having, it will be given and he will have in abundance, then to the (one) not having also what he has will taken up from him.||19: 25-26 And they said to him, 'Lord he has ten minas.' - 'I say to you that to everyone having, it will be given, then to the (one) not having also what he has will taken up.|
|25: 30 kai ton achreion doulon ekbalete eis to skotos to exōteron• ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brygmos tōn odontōn.||19: 27 plēn tous echthrous mou toutous tous mē thelēsantas me basileusai epʼ autous agagete hōde kai katasphaxate autous emprosthen mou.||25: 30 And the worthless slave, cast out into the darkness the outer, there will be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth."||19: 27 Furthermore, the enemies of me these the ones having not be willing me to reign upon them, lead here and slay them before me.'"|
- Comparing Matthew's and Luke's version of this parable, one could have the impression of being in front of two different parables, so numerous are the divergences, especially in the first part. However, the analysis reveals the same fundamental core: a master of a house calls his slaves to entrust them with a sum of money before leaving for a foreign country, and on his return, each one comes to give an account of how he has made the money bear fruit, to the great pleasure of the master, except in the case of the last slave who was content to hand over the money received, arousing the anger of the master. After identifying various redactional layers, M.E. Boismard (op. cit., p. 325) believes that the early parable must have looked like the following:
(It is) like a man (who), going abroad, called his slaves and entrusted them with his goods. And to one he gave five mines (?), to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. (Description of the return of the master, difficult to reconstitute)... The one who had received the five mines came and said: "Master, you entrusted me with five mines, here are five more mines that I have earned. His master said to him, "(That is) well, good slave, in a few things you were faithful, over many I will establish you." And there came one who had received two mines, saying, "Master, you entrusted me with two mines; here are two more mines that I have earned." And his master said to him, "(That is) well, good slave, in a few things you were faithful, in many things I will establish you." Then came the one who had received the single mine, saying, "Master, here is your mine, which I had laid in a cloth, for I was afraid of you." His master said to him, "Bad slave, you should have placed my money with the bankers, and when back I would have recovered my property with interest." (Sanction against the bad slave, impossible to reconstruct.)
- What is the meaning of this original parable? What is the point of it? It seems to illustrate the words of Jesus which are presented in two different ways in Lk 16:10-12 and Mt 5:19, but which must have had the following form: "He who is faithful in a very small thing is faithful also in a greater thing; and if you have not been faithful in a small thing, who will give you what is great?" This word was applied by Matthew to the good that is the Law, by Luke to the good that is money. To what, then, could the sum of money in the original parable refer? It is quite clear that the absence of the man who is to return refers to Jesus dying on the cross, and the return of the man refers to Jesus' return in glory. While he is away, it is a matter of bringing to fruition what has been received. What has been received? Of course, it can be all the teaching received, but it can also be, as we see in several parables on vigilance, the responsibilities received in the Christian community according to the charisms of each one. Therefore, the parable could be addressed primarily to the leaders of the community, warning them that they will have to give an account of their management. Those who have been able to carry out their responsibilities well will receive more, and those who have not been able to live up to their responsibilities will be reproached for not having entrusted them to others.
- It is this early parable that the author of the Q document would have integrated into his collection of Jesus' words, while making certain modifications, in particular by giving more importance to the bad slave: he becomes the symbol of a category of people with whom the first Christian communities came into conflict, for example the leaders of the Jewish people, the scribes and the Pharisees. This is confirmed by his image of the master or lord, which is in fact an image of God: "you are harsh and severe, and demand more than you give". This is the perception of God that is reflected in the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees, filled with the fear of God, anxious to give him all that is due to him, to serve him faithfully without ever transgressing his commandments. To express the judgment against this bad slave, the author of the Q document would have inserted a word of Jesus, which seems to have had an independent life and which is found in Mk 4:25: "To the one who has, it will be given; and to the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away." Here we find the familiar theme of the kingdom being taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles, which is expressed in Mt 21:43 as follows: "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruits."
Conversely, the good slaves who have made the money entrusted to them bear fruit would be the disciples of Jesus, who accept his teaching, which goes far beyond the requirements of the Mosaic Law. To make the Law bear fruit is to perfect it, to go beyond the simple rules of doing no harm up to the point of loving even one's enemies. Thus, the parable presents two portraits of God and two fundamental religious attitudes.
- By taking this parable from the Q document, Matthew brings in his usual clarity and accuracy. To make clear the reference to Jesus after his resurrection and the fact that his return is not imminent, he mentions that the Lord's return is "after much time" (v.19). He adds vv. 16-18, which give details of what the three slaves did during the master's absence, in order to make the accountability clearer. He may have changed the amount of money from mines to talents, because since each talent weighed 20 kilos, this money could no longer be put in a cloth but buried in the ground. But above all, Matthew inserted this parable into his eschatological discourse, after the parable of the ten virgins, which ends with: "Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour". To indicate the link with the parable of the ten virgins, he introduces our parable with the conjunction: "For". From then on, our parable becomes an explanation of what it is to stay awake: we stay awake when what we have received bear fruit. And to emphasize the eschatological character of the parable, he adds v. 30: "As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"; the bad slave will share the fate of the ungodly at the final judgment. Thus, whether the money entrusted refers to the teaching of Jesus or the responsibilities entrusted to the community leaders, the fate that awaits each one is very clear: one enters into the joy of the Lord, the other is cast into outer darkness.
- Luke seems to have made the most changes to the parable. First of all, in order to make the meaning of the parable clear to the listener, he composes an introduction in v. 11 where his vocabulary is found: "As the people listened to these words, Jesus added a parable because he was near Jerusalem, and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to be manifested immediately." Luke thus intends to correct the disciples' expectation of the date of Christ's return in glory; and since the man in the parable is leaving for a distant country, this return is not for tomorrow. One of Luke's important alterations concerns the man of high birth who goes to receive the kingship. This has been seen as a historical fact: after the death of Herod the Great, his son Archelaus went to Rome to receive the title of king from Augustus, but at the same time the Jews sent an embassy to oppose this appointment. On a symbolic level, Luke seems to give a Christological significance to this royal figure by seeing Jesus who, after his death and resurrection, goes to God to be enthroned as king, while the Jews refuse to recognize this kingship, for which they will perish upon his return and the final judgment.
Luke seems to have made a number of other changes. For example, the slaves are ten in number, not three: perhaps he thought that a future king should have more than three slaves. Also, these slaves all receive the same amount of money, no doubt reflecting the fact that, at the outset, every Christian receives the same teaching or a similar responsibility. Then he adds in v. 13b a command from the man to the slaves: "Do business until I return." Why? Without this command, Luke's Greek audience would not understand the rebuke of the slave who had consented to keep the money well. Therefore, the slave's fault will be one of disobedience: he did not do business as he was asked to do, as in the parable of the faithful and wise steward who gave everyone his ration of wheat as requested by the master of the house (Lk 12:42-48). Just as Luke composed an introduction to this parable, he also composes a conclusion to it: "With these words, Jesus set out to go up to Jerusalem" (Lk 19:28). So this is the end of his long journey that lasted ten chapters, a journey that is the image of the Christian life which takes time to develop, a journey in which he never stopped teaching, leaving a legacy before he died. So our parable is a conclusion that essentially says this: the return of Christ will take time, a time when the important thing is to implement what he taught, as he asked, and to fulfill the responsibilities he left us.
51. Followers will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel
|19: 28a ho de Iēsous eipen autois• amēn legō hymin hoti hymeis hoi akolouthēsantes moi ||22 : 28 Hymeis de este hoi diamemenēkotes metʼ emou en tois peirasmois mou• ||19: 28a Then, the Jesus said to them, "Amen I say to you that, you, the ones having followed me||22: 28 Then, you, you are the ones having remained with me in the trials of me.|
| ||22: 29 kagō diatithemai hymin kathōs dietheto moi ho patēr mou basileian, || ||22: 29 And I, I confer on you, just as has conferred on me the father of me, a kingdom,|
|19: 28b en tē palingenesia, hotan kathisē ho huios tou anthrōpou epi thronou doxēs autou, kathēsesthe kai hymeis epi dōdeka thronous krinontes tas dōdeka phylas tou Israēl. ||22: 30 hina esthēte kai pinēte epi tēs trapezēs mou en tē basileia mou, kai kathēsesthe epi thronōn tas dōdeka phylas krinontes tou Israēl.||19: 28b in the regeneration, when shall sit down the son of the man upon a throne of glory of him, you will sit also, you, upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of the Israel."||22: 30 in order that you may eat and drink upon the table of me in the kingdom of me, and you will sit upon thrones, the twelve tribes judging of the Israel..|
- This is another logion that seems to have had an independent life and that Matthew and Luke inserted into their gospel to support their theme. Matthew has perhaps best preserved the original wording of the logion where Jesus promises those who followed him that, at the return of the son of man and the creation of a new Israel (regeneration), they will have a role of authority over the twelve tribes of Israel. This vision of the twelve tribes and Jesus' choice of twelve apostles seem to be linked. But it is not known whether in the Q document this logion was placed in a precise context (what goes before, what comes after). But for its author, who was of Jewish origin, such a promise of Jesus must have seemed a bittersweet one in the 60s in view of the conflicts with the Jewish milieu, for the action of judging in the kingdom became less that of exercising leadership over the new world than that of condemning the twelve tribes.
- Matthew placed this logion in the discussion that followed the rich young man's refusal to follow Jesus and led to Peter's question: "Well, we have left everything and followed you. What will become of us?" (Mt 19:27). Jesus' answer is in two parts: our logion is the first part, and appears as a first reward, then follows the second part copied from Mark: "And whoever has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or fields, for my name's sake, will receive much more, and will share in eternal life" (Mt 19:29). And the whole thing ends with "Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first" (Mt 19:30). In other words, to the disciples who feel that they have lost a lot by leaving everything behind, Jesus promises that in the near and distant future they will be first, inheriting what God intends to offer them. For Matthew, this is a promise that can sustain the apostle and the Christian mission.
- In Luke's gospel, the logion was placed at Jesus' Eucharistic meal. In the speech of Jesus at the table after the meal, the themes in Luke are very much marked by the story of David hunted by Absalom (2 Sam 16), and Meribbaal who abandons David in flight (2 Sam 9:13): here, the disciples of Jesus "remained with him in his trials". We can note all the editorial work of Luke: "to remain", "trials", "to confer", "as" and the idea of confering the kingdom to the disciples (see Lk 12:32: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom". In order for his audience to understand the context of this logion from the Q document, in addition to placing it at Jesus' last meal, Luke adds the phrase: "so you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom". Thus, the table of which he speaks is the Eucharistic table. Indeed, the meal in the kingdom is the Christian community gathered around the Eucharist. Moreover, Luke placed this logion after a quarrel at the table about who was the greatest, which ends with Jesus saying: "For which is greater, the one at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves" (Lk 22: 27). The context is clearly Christian and Eucharistic, and the conflicts over precedence were a reflection of tensions in the community. In short, our logion becomes a present-day reality for Luke's community where the new Israel is lived in the Eucharist with a spirit of service.