Sat, 16 Nov 1996 22:39:46 -0500

dear friends,
i hesitate to enter a discussion of anisthmi and egeirw, an old chestnut
that has been studied by more learned minds than ours in days of yore. The
outstanding peculiarity, however, is that Matthew's gospel seems to have been
purged of any use of anisthmi to refer to Jesus' resurrection; cf. Mt. 16.21
(and par.), 17.9 (and par), 17.23 (and par), and 20.19 (and par).
George Howard's book, "A Hebrew Gospel of Matthew", reads "ahmad" (ayin,
mem, daleth) in all of these Matthean passages, a word which usually stands
for Gk. anisthmi. Moveover, in several other places, "ahmad" ooccurs where
it would not be expected, e.g., 26.69 where Peter "stands" (not "sits") by
the fire warming himself (John 18.25 has "estws"), and 28.2 where an angel
"stood" by the rock (not "sits on it").
Why would the strong verb anisthmi, "stand up", be replaced by the
passive of egieiw, "was raised up"?
I have a possible answer which borders on fantasy. The successor of
Jesus among the Samaritan gnostics was a man who styled himself "the Standing
One", hO hESTWS". This title, it seems, was one that had been passed on from
John the Baptist, to Dositheus, to Simon, according to the Pseudo-Clementine
literature (Hennecke, 1965, v. ii, 548).
Possibly, a revision of the Gospel of Matthew was produced to undermine
any talk that Jesus had "raised himself" from the dead. In the process,
Peter had to sit in the couryard, and the angel "sat on the rock".

richard arthur Merrimack New Hampshire