b-greek-digest V1 #657

b-greek-digest              Sunday, 9 April 1995        Volume 01 : Number 657

In this issue:

        Re: Revelation and the Canon ...
        Re: Apostolic authorship & the canon
        Re: Muratori
        Re: Apostolic Authorship
        U of Michigan Dissertation Service
        Veils, 1 Cor 11, & balconies
        Re: Oedipus in limericks (fwd)
        Herod the Great - Jewish? Samaritan?
        Correction of Dissertation Request
        Matthew 21:7
        Re: Matthew 21:7


From: Larry Swain <lswain@wln.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 22:27:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Revelation and the Canon ...

On Fri, 7 Apr 1995 Timster132@aol.com wrote:

>    Actually, I am very familiar with the textual evidence (that is, the mss)
> for gospel titles and the dates for these, especially the lengthy
> ascriptions, which aren't very early.  As for literary evidence, it has been
> shown that traditions the church fathers recount are not always reliable.
>  (Eusebius was far from inerrant).

     A)  OK, fair enough, if you are referring to the Anti-Marcionite 
prologues and the Montanist Prologues, yes they are late.  I am merely 
speaking of the ascription of the various gospel writings by the formula 
"EUAGGELION KATA..." which taking into account textual, literary 
attestations, the current practices of the writers at the time, the fact 
that all the earliest texts mention readings in the gathering of the 
Christians (which is not to say that these readings were exclusively from 
the four, so please don't accuse me of it)which necessitates 
differentiation among the various texts, the fact that the earliest 
heterodox titles follow the same pattern,  in conjunction with community 
libraries and chests which would also necessitate differentiation among 
the various works, and the surprising unanimity of all texts and all 
mentions in both Great Church and heterodox traditions.  All of this 
together leads one to conclude that the titles are first century in 
origin-as many scholars on the subject of canon have concluded, myself 
included in my own dissertation on the subject.  If the end of the first 
century is late to you, well then we hav a problem of definitions.

B) As for the accuracy of the patristic authors, your logic seems to run, 
a)they have been proven to be wrong in some instances therefore b) they 
are wrong in this one.  And this then addresses the very issue that Ken 
raised.   If you cannot provide evidence which disproves what the 
patristics say regarding such and such a thing, then perhaps rather than 
invent conclusions, we should entertain the idea that qualifiedly they 
may be reporting fact.  This is an instance by instance methodology 
exercised with caution, study, learning, and discussion with one's 
fellows in the field.  

>      Although you disagree, I feel in this case the weight of concurrent
> literary practice and that of late mss evidence/patristic traditions are
> about the same.  But after all is said and done it is still conjecture, not so
> mething which has been proved.

I would be interested in a little specificity here.  What "concurrent 
literary practice"?  

>      That John the Revelator and John the Gospel writer weren't the same
> person is generally agreed today by critical scholars.

No kidding.  But we weren't discussing our conclusions, we were 
discussing what the ancient patristic writers made of them.

> that.  It was as Montanism grew into the next couple centuries that their
> opponents felt they had to question the apostolic authorship.  Why would they
> have to question it if it wasn't already assumed?  So, my conjecture that
> John the Revalator was identified with John the Apostle by the church (as was
> done with other books) isn't so anti-historical.

But that is not what your conjecture was to which I originally objected.  
You stated that the apostlicity of the John who wrote the APocalypse was 
invented to lend the document canonical authority.  My reply is simply 
that there are traditions which h ascribe the  Apocalypse to John the 
Apostle from the early part of the second century, and there are also 
traditions which ascribe it to John the Elder, and as time goes on the 
tradition regarding John the Apostle wins out.  There was no invention in 
this case, unless the invention was a very early one within the first 
generation after the document's origin.  That is amazingly early and 
quick to get it "invented".

>       You seem to think that Eusebius recalling that there was an earlier
> tradition is "real support".  No further comment is needed I believe. 

Well, you know, I would rather take Eusebius' reportage than your opinion 
Tim-I think the former, while not bedrock, is a whole lot more reliable.  
Although I wonder where you get this idea that I take Eusebius' word for 
everything:  It was Rev Raines who mentioned him, whom you might take a 
few cues from:  he has raised several good points and provided proof for 
his statements.

> apostolicity, I said that it was secondary perhaps, but I never said it
> wasn't a factor.  I believe it certainly played a part.

On this we are in agreement, although I would point out that it is a
change on your part:  you did state that apostlicity was invented in
instances such as Hebrews, Revelation to get these accepted into the

Larry Swain


From: Larry Swain <lswain@wln.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 22:52:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Apostolic authorship & the canon

On Sat, 8 Apr 1995, William Raines wrote:
> Larry, the main evidence is the fact, which you have already yourself 
> mentioned more than once, that virtually every early Christian 
> heresy (except - as you point out - the Montanists) appealed to
> documents which purported to be apostolic. Why did these sects take
> so much trouble to attribute their spurious Acts, Apocalypses and
> Epistles to Peter, Paul, and the rest? Unless apostolic authorship 
> was an important test (a necessary condition) for a writing to 
> be considered authoritative, it doesn't make sense.

Bill, oooo using my own arguements against me!!  Ouch!!!  ;)   I would 
maintain however a slight definitional difference.  That is, is the fact 
that it was written by an apostle as important as the claim to an 
apostolic source for the "regula fidei" of the group authoring the text?  
Admittedly, the evidence we have is very sparse.  But take a look at the 
Gospel of Thomas: the words of Jesus (the regula) as passed on by 
Thomas.  Is it more important do you think that this is purported to be 
by Thomas or is more likely that the importance rests in that it is words 
of Jesus' teaching?  I obviously think the latter.  It is the apostlicity 
which in fact lends veracity to the Regula Fidei contained in the documents.
Second, we have the problem of that in addition to such writings as the 
"Gospel of Peter" etc we also have gospels by James, Nicodemus, "to the 
Hebrews", of the Egyptians etc etc.  In short, what is important is that 
the document be perceived as dating from the times of the apostles, not 
necessarily that an actual apostle wrote it.  And this would be canonical 
practice in the ancient world as well.  Horace could not be considered 
canonical poet until well after his death before his name appears in 
those honored roles, just as the Tannaim rabbis carry more weight than 
the AMoraim, and the men of the Great Assembly have more authority than 
the rabbis, and the prophets more authority than the Great Assembly.  In 
short, the older the writer, the more it was valued.  Third, we also have 
the added spice that even though the search for better authority seems to 
be interminable, nevertheless folk followed Marcion because he was 
Marcion, not because he was an apostle, same for Basilides, Montanus, etc.

> >The discussions of apostolic authorship occur in the latter parts of 
> >the third and into the fourth century, when the canon was as almost 
> >complete.
> Not true. In his orthodox period Tertullian, for instance, is extremely 

You are quite right, and thanks for the correction.  I didn't communicate 
that well.  What I should have said is the discussions of apostolic 
authorship as being of import to canonicity occur chiefly in the latter 
parts of the third and into the fourth century.  I am surprised that you 
didn't also mention Irenaeus Adversus Haerses book V.

Larry Swain
Parmly Billings Library


From: Larry Swain <lswain@wln.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 23:06:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Muratori

On Sat 8 April William Raines wrote:
> I just checked the text. The pertinent passage reads:
> Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Hermas 
> conscripsit, sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio
> episcopo fratre ejus; et ideo legi eum quidem oportet, se
> publicare vero in ecclesia populo, neque inter prophetas,
> completo numero, NEQUE INTER APOSTOLOS, in finem temporum potest.

Thanks for checking.   In addition to what you emphasized here I would 
also emphasize the following phrase in finem temporum potest.  It t 
cannot be read among the apostles because it isn't from their time, not 
because it wasn't written by an apostle.  See my previous note in which I 
make remarks regarding the importance of age to the canonical processes 
of the late antique world.   Second, I think what you point to here witht 
the use of apostolos indicates a collection of writings just as the 
prophets were a collection complete in number.  SO it cannot be with the 
prophets which are closed, and it cannot be with the "apostles" since it 
dates after their time.  Again it seems to me that apostlicity is 
secondary to other factors.
> On the dating of Muratori: Yes, that's a disputed question. I'd go for 
> an early date myself, end of 2nd century, and I suppose, Larry, you would
> have to do the same or the point you are stressing about The Shepherd 
> being written "recently" would collapse. The Shepherd is mentioned by 
> Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria, I believe, so it must 
> be a mid-2nd century document.

I would too, but I thought we ought to at least mention in our discussion 
that much of what we are saying is dependant on what we think the date 
and provenance of the work are.  

Larry Swain
Parmly Billings Library


From: Bill Mounce <bill.mounce@on-ramp.ior.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 23:05:52 -0700
Subject: ParseWorks 

I just uploaded ParseWorks, my parsing program, to my internet site:

on-ramp.ior.com in the directory usr/billm/greek

It comes with all the parsing exercises in my Greek text. You can add your
own, add your own hints for when the students gets it wrong, etc. I would
be curious what you think of it.

It is for the Mac only right now. There is one cosmetic bug. When you start
it says it can't find the default font, and then everything works fine.
(System 7 changed some internal things at version 7.1 that I haven't taken
into account yet.)

I finished the programming for the hangman game for Greek. It works great.
Now all I need is to find a good artist to draw the pictures. If you know
of any, please let me know. I think I will change the metaphor to Peter
walking on the water. With each letter they miss, Peter gets closer to
sinking. Probably better than Hangman.


From: Larry Swain <lswain@wln.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 23:16:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Apostolic Authorship

On 8 April Tim  wrote:
> On 4/8/95, Leroy Huizenga (huizenga@acc.jc.edu) said:
> >I've went and deleted the post, but someone suggested 
> >that apostolic  authorship, rather than the *regula fide 
> >(did I botch the spelling?)* was the primary criterion 
> >for canonicity since the gnostics were always appealing 
> >to apostolic authorship of their letters/scriptures/etc. 
>     I believe it was Larry Swain <lswain@wln.com>.

You know Tim, I am really at a loss.  I've noticed from your last couple 
of posts that we seem to have switched positions.  I never argued that 
apostlicity was more important than the regula fidei, I have in fact been 
arguing precisely the reverse.  Either you are misreading, or I am a 
porrer communicator than my published articles and book reviews etc would 
suggest.  On the other hand I find that you instead of arguing that 
apostlicity was an invention of the church have changed to saying that it 
wasn't.  What gives?


From: W.Burton@agora.stm.it
Date: Sun,  9 Apr 95 9:23:19 GMT
Subject: U of Michigan Dissertation Service

Can anyone give me the e-mail address of the University of Michigan

Dissertation Service?  I
need to get three copies of unpublished dissertations for my research on
the murder of the
prophets in Luke and for a friend's research.

The librarians here in Rome look at me like I have three heads when I ask
them for information
about the service.

Bill Burton
Gregorian University, Rome


From: Edward Hobbs <EHOBBS@wellesley.edu>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 1995 10:50:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Veils, 1 Cor 11, & balconies

Thanks to several of you who added bibliography to my recommendation of
Thompson's article on Head-Coverings.  In fact, I have quite a number of
further articles on the subject, though probably no one wants to read
that much on the topic.  (Finding them means going back issue by issue
in New Testament Abstracts to identify them, then going to the Sherrill
Library in Cambridge, when Dan Harrington and his colleagues deposit
these (200?) journals from which they abstreact the articles.  Best
library in the world for NT journals over the last couple of decades,
even better than Andover-Harvard.)

I especially thank Edgar Krentz for his helpful comments as well, since
he is a scholar whose work I have admired for many years.  I didn't realize
he was on this List, but am grateful for it.

Balconies:  Kent Sutorius asked about them.  The point Brooten proved was
not that such structures didn't exist, but that they were not balconies
for women.  In fact, they mainly were storage areas for grain and such!

Edward Hobbs


From: Carl W Conrad <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 10:19:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Oedipus in limericks (fwd)

I am forwarding to the list a longish set of limericks that Edgar Krentz 
sent to me, who had the good/bad taste (depending on your viewpoint) to 
forward one set to the list yesterday. As he notes, with reference to my 
earlier note, so I note, with reference to his (this could go on and on, 
but 'twere best it didn't), you should delete now if you think you can't 
stomach this sort of thing.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com

- ---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 10:23:25 -0600
From: Edgar M. Krentz <emkrentz@mcs.com>
To: Carl W Conrad <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Subject: Re: Oedipus in limericks (fwd)

Since you accepted the limericks from Sara Aleshire via Carl Conrad, some
readers might be interested in the collection of Anglatin Limericks by
Farrand Baker. I first read them in the newsletter of the Illinois 
Classical Association. There was no copyright indication or prohibition
from distribution. But follow the directive I quote from Carl Conrad:

>Delete at once if you find the very idea of this distasteful, but 
>personally, I think B-Greek could occasionally profit from an injection 
>of levity. 

Anglatin Limericks
Farrand Baker

Young Jules and his inamorata
Disagreed about the sonata,
        She shouted "Encore!"
        He cried, "What a bore!"
And now he's persona non grata.
A man by the name of Iago
Met a girl on a trip to Chicago.
        He bought her a coke,
        And she said to the bloke,
"Tibi gratias ago."
Einstein explained to young Rory,
"To me it's still the old story.
        If you wish to succeed,
        Let nothing impede.
Nihil sine labore! "
Cried Caesar, "The rumors are hearsay.
To the senate I'll go before midday.
        The Ides I don't fear
        Just a day of the year!
Et nunc Requiescat in Pace! "
Mark cried in a voice loud and shrill
That the preacher from Amityville
        Uttered no word
        That wasn't absurd,
Vox et praeterea nihil.
Said the boss with a student apprentice
Whom he thought to be non compos 
        "To have such a dolt
        Gives me quite a jolt
To stand in loco parentis. "
Cried Caesar, "The Gauls are all sneaky
And their roofs are unusually leaky
        But still I shall say,
        Be that as it may,
Veni et vidi et vici. "
Casanova exclaimed to the lady
As they sat 'neath a tree cool and shady,
        "You never will miss
        Just one little kiss.
Aliter nequiqam hic sedi! "
Said Cleo to Julius, "Now stop it!
That floor, I said, I'll neer mop it.
        Such work would demean
        The office of queen.
Aquila muscas not capit! "
A boxer whose name was Jeff Gowdy
Exclaimed, "I'm really no rowdy
        In school I was best.
        I passed every test.
And gained a summa cum laude. "
"Surrender!" he cried, "Never think it!
As my name is Percival Pinkitt,
        As I draw in each breath,
        I will fight to the death.
Virtus omnia vincit! "
A venturesome maiden named Irma
Sailed the seas to faraway Burma.
        At the end of the ride
        She gleefully cried,
"Once more I have found terra firma! "
A gambler named Solomon Grundy
Was beaten at cards by Tim Lundy.
        He lost all his dough
        And cried in his woe,
"Sic transit gloria mundi! "
This thought I wish to express it.
In fact, I cannot repress it.
        Say what you can
        I'm my own man,
Nemo me impune lacessit!
Mosquitoes are really some item
When on me I try hard to smite 'em!
        But they give me no peace,
        And they seem to increase
And multiply ad infinitum. 
The general from distant Seville
Cried out in a voice loud and shrill
        "The people all know
        That I run the show
Sum semper aut Caesar aut nihil! "
Lancelot cried, "'Tis for glory
That my battles are gruesome and gory
        Whatever takes place
        I dauntlessly face
Semper sine timore."
Cried loudly the Reverend Thomas
"This thought will certainly calm us:
        In hunger and woe
        May we always know
In deo semper speramus."
The speaker has spoken aplenty,
- ---From eight to eleven twenty.
        If only he knew
        This fact tried and true,
Verbum sat sapienti!
There's naught left on our agendum.
So, our troubles, now we can end 'em.
        Let us run to the bar
        which isn't so far
Nam nunc, nam nunc est bibendum.
That man who rants in the forum
Exceeds the bounds of decorum;
        His words make no sense.
        He's really quite dense.
Stultissimus est stultorum.
A duke by the name of Marino
Shouted loud to his friend Valentino,
        "This title I bear
        I'm willing to swear
Was granted iure divino."
A girl from the land of the Pharaoh
Met a lad by the name of Tim Mayro.
        She instantly said,
        "Oh, I wish we were wed.
Dum anima est, ego spero."
"If you think you will lose, never think it,"
Exclaimed the Reverend Pinckett
        "If you're sure you're the best,
        You will pass the big test.
Vincit qui semper se vincit."
The actress Cordelia Minosa
Don Carlos' sweet amorosa,
        When asked, "Had they wed?"
        Replied with bowed head
"I'll tell if you keep it sub rosa,"
My sins, I want to redress 'em
To a priest I long to confess 'em
        If this you deny,
        O please let me die.
O utinam ne natus essem!
For success, each man must admit
That work is a prerequisite,
        Something you give
        In order to live
Nam nihil ex nihilo fit.
He roared in a mighty crescendo,
"Numquam vincemus dolendo.
        No time to stand still.
        That isn't our will.
Et nunc spectemur agendo!
Two girls who talked to Mancini
And later with Count Bertolini
        Exclaimed in one voice,
        "Such men are our choice!
O semper vivant Latini!"
"There's something that I ought to tell 'em
This thought," cried George, "should compel 'em."
        If we wish to survive
        This thought keep alive,
Si pacem vis, para bellum!"
"Our rights, we want to restore 'em."
The orator cried in the Forum
        "I strive for a change
        That will help us arrange
Novus ordo saeclorum!"
In a burst of profound oratory,
Extreme and at times flammatory
        The speaker cried out,
        "May nobody shout,
'Nolo pro patria mori,'"
Cried Jules to the golden-haired Flo,
"No matter wherever I go,
        I'll never forget
        My sweet violet.
It's semper fidelis, you know.
The hunger pangs, let us now end 'em,
And the boys for food, let us send 'em.
        Our stomachs are empty,
        And we can eat plenty.
O Jupiter! Nunc est edendum!
A man whom the people called Rocky
Was famed for his prowess in hockey.
        But he ran out of luck
        When struck by a puck
Et nunc requiescat in pace.
The maxims of Shoghi Effendi
Made sense to a maiden named Wendy.
        "They show me the way,"
        She often would say,
"And govern my Modus vivendi."
A man by the name of Macaulay
Saw a viper, fearsome and crawly.
        He said as it sped
        Very close to his head.
"Ave! et av' atque vale!"
Don Juan, when asked in Calais,
How he wished to spend every day,
        Replied in a trice,
        'I give this advice,
Vivamus ac amemus,  I say."
A man whose name was Brentano
Played well on the tuneful piano
        Who, when asked whence such skill
        Replied loud and shrill,
"Mens sana in corpore sano!"
Through struggles gruesome and gory
I fight for fame and for glory.
        On my shield as I go
        This motto I show:
Malo aut vincer' aut mori.
Verses like these may incite
The disgust of the prim erudite.
        Yet, though they offend,
        Please read to the end.
Ignoscite mihi I write.
Said the preacher of his man Sid Stoneum
"His sins, I cannot condone 'em."
        So they laid Sid away
        But a friend chanced to say,
"De mortuis nil nisi bonum."
Don Juan exclaimed, "O Michelle,
My rose, my sweet asphodel.
        Can't you hear my heart pound
        When I kneel to the ground,
And Semper fidelis  I yell?"
Jack Smith who hailed from Aurora
Cried loud to his mate, Lazy Cora,
        "Face up to your work
        Each task never shirk.
Nam periculum est in mora!"
"Only a man with no brains
Could think that war brings no pains."
        Cried Priam to Hector
        As they strode through each sector.
"Horresco, eheu, referens."
Cried Dido, "each man must obey
The orders I give every day.
        Let every man know
        That I run the show
Dux femina facti I say.
"A city I build by the sea,"
Cried Dido, "and I oversee
        Every brick that is set.
        So never forget
Dux femina facti, that's one!"
The orator cried, "In our quest
To find in life what is best,
        We try to select
        What we think is correct.
Hoc opus, hic labor est!"
L  Cervisia Levis
My companions, the wild and the bibulus,
And likewise the very fastidious,
        All exclaim with a wink
        When downing this drink
Omnia cupita ete minus!"
LI  A TV Latinization
Cried Jules with expression morose
To the waitress who stood very close,
        "You brought but a sample.
        This helping's not ample.
Mehercle, ubi ext bos?" 
The shysters who warmly will greet us,
If permitted, will brazenly cheat us.
        So, be on your guard,
        His words disregard.
Praemunitus est praemunitus.
Cried Nick to his buddy, Slim Thomas,
"I fear that the foe plans to bomb us.
        So we'll say to the Lord
        With all sweet accord,
Morituri te salutamus!"
"Your defense," cried the judge, "I wot
Is pure undefiled tommyrot.
        You add to your woes
        If you really suppose
Ignorantia legis excusat."
        (The legal phrase is:Ignorantia legis non excusat.)
The girl in the scanty bikini
Had the form of an overstuffed weenie.
        With a bulge here and there
        She caused all to stare,
Persimilis amphorae vini.
Cried Ching to his handsome friend Dewey,
"I hope you will like the chop suey.
        I filled it with rice
        And many things nice
Quarum, dici, pars magna fui.
The life that we lead every day
Is a road from which we oft stray.
        So bear this in mind
        If to sin you're inclined
Memento mori, I say.
The sinner exclaimed on release,
"I thought I could outwit police.
        But six years in a cell
        Now force me to yell,
'Edepol, ne cede malis !'"
LIX  Proscriptio
Said the boy to his sister Bernice,
"To travel in comfort and peace
        Always take to the sky
        And eternally fly
Amicis uniti caelis."
Deacon Phipps with expression morose
Approached and stood very close
        Then looked toward the sky
        And exclaimed with a cry,
"O Domine, dirige nos."
Cried  Spartacus, "No one can doubt
That I can kill with one clout.
        That's why in great fear
        They all disappear
When 'Cave adsum ' I shout."

Edgar M. Krentz
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
(Voice) Home: 312/947-8105; Off.: 312-753-0752


From: Edward Hobbs <EHOBBS@wellesley.edu>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 1995 11:34:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Herod the Great - Jewish? Samaritan?

"pammack" asks whether Herod was in fact Samaritan.
(May I respectfully ask EVERYONE to sign their posts?  These coded
handles are not self-interpreting to many of us.)
	Herod was not a Samaritan.  He was Idumaean (i.e., "Edomite").
Perhaps he could technically be thought a Jew, since Idumaea was forcibly
converted by John Hyrcanus (the Hasmonean king during the last third
of the second century BCE).  His mother was a Nabatean.
	He was named "King of the Jews" in 40 BCE by the Senate of Rome;
but there was already a Jewish (a Hasmonean) on the throne in Jerusalem,
whom Herod had to overthrow (and execute).  Most Jews regarded him as
a foreigner.

Edward Hobbs


From: W.Burton@agora.stm.it
Date: Sun,  9 Apr 95 17:50:25 GMT
Subject: Correction of Dissertation Request

Thanks to Kelly McGrew who pointed out that I am looking for the e-mail

address of UMI Dissertation service NOT the University of Michigan!
Does anyone have an e-mail address for UMI Dissertation Services
(University Microfilm, Inc.) in Ann Arbor, Michigan?
I need some unpublished dissertations for my work on the murder of the
prophets and for a friend of mine's research as well.
Thanks again to Kelly and to anyone who can help.
Bill Burton
Gregorian University


From: Carl W Conrad <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 14:44:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Matthew 21:7


Hearing this text for Palm Sunday this morning it occurred
to me that I have puzzled over them before but have never
read a really satisfying explanation for Matthew's claiming
that Jesus rode into Jerusalem seated upon both animals. I
suppose that it is possible for the final AUTWN to refer
only to the HIMATIA rather than to the animals, but the text
certainly looks as if Matthew wanted to say that Jesus
fulfilled the prophecy of Zech 9.9 " ... PRAUS KAI
anyone really believe that Matthew believed or meant his
readers to understand that Jesus rode into Jerusalem
simultaneously astride two animals? The fact that his
disciples (in Mt's account) have, in accordance with Jesus'
instructions, deliberately fetched both the animals called
for in the prophecy make it difficult to assume that Matthew
understands the OT text as parallel references to a single
animal. Any thoughts on this matter from the cumulative
wisdom of the List?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com


From: "Philip L. Graber" <pgraber@emory.edu>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 17:35:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Matthew 21:7

On Sun, 9 Apr 1995, Carl W Conrad wrote:

> Does
> anyone really believe that Matthew believed or meant his
> readers to understand that Jesus rode into Jerusalem
> simultaneously astride two animals? The fact that his
> disciples (in Mt's account) have, in accordance with Jesus'
> instructions, deliberately fetched both the animals called
> for in the prophecy make it difficult to assume that Matthew
> understands the OT text as parallel references to a single
> animal.

I have been puzzled by this as well, and not satisfied with the answers I 
have seen. I am inclined to agree with Krister Stendahl (School of St. 
Matthew, p. 119): Matthew "gives evidence of his acquaintance with the 
hermeneutic methods of the rabbis.... Thus it is unlikely that Matthew is 
the originator of the tradition of two asses, vv. 2 and 7, or that this 
was created on the basis of this quotation from Zechariah." I wish 
Stendahl had said more about this. Beyond this all he does is to refer 
the reader (in a footnote) to an article by O. Michel in Kittel (volume 
V, p. 286 in the German, if anyone has it handy). Anyone who, like 
Stendahl, has looked at least somewhat carefully at how Matthew uses 
scripture I think will have trouble concluding that Matthew has simply 
made a careless mistake here or is ignorant of how things should be done. 
There must be more to it than that, but whatever it is escapes me.

Philip Graber				Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate Student in New Testament	211 Bishops Hall, Emory University
pgraber@emory.edu			Atlanta, GA  30322  USA


From: William Raines <wraines@emmental.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 95 22:23:49 GMT
Subject: Re:Canon


You are certainly right to emphasise Marcion as a key figure in the 
process by which the NT canon was formed. There was no Christian
canon before Marcion, nor any discernable move to create one. Marcion's 
church produced the first Christian Bible. At the very least, Marcion 
acted as a catalyst, forcing those who did not follow him to consider 
the question: if Marcion is wrong, if Marcion's "Gospel & Apostle" 
isn't scripture, then what do we mean by scripture? By acting first, 
Marcion, if you like, set the ground rules for the debate which followed.

But we shouldn't forget that Christians did use scriptures before 
Marcion. The scriptures they used were the scriptures Jesus used, the
Jewish Bible, the Old Testament. The value placed on the OT in the new 
Hellenistic setting of the church does not seem to have declined. 
Clement of Rome, writing from one gentile community to another, quotes
or alludes to the OT more than 100 times. Polycarp expects his 
Philippian readers to be well versed in its contents.

This is not as surprising as might at first sight appear. It was 
Jewish praxis, not the Jewish Bible, which was offensive to gentile
sensibilities. The church, by abandoning Jewish law while retaining 
the claim to be the true Israel, had the best of both worlds. In an 
age which strongly valued the antiquity of a religion, they claimed 
to be the true inheritors of the world's most ancient revelation.

Now maybe the OT really is a difficult book to interpret in a
thoroughgoing Christian sense, but the difficulty could be disguised
in various ways. Allegorical or typological interpretation was perhaps
the most common (and not exclusively confined to Christians, as the
writings of Philo testify). Or, taking one's cue from passages such as 
Jer 31:31-34, one could stress the 'provisional' character of Jewish
scripture. This might lead to distinguishing several grades of
inspiration within scripture - but then the Jews did this themselves.
For the Jew the most sacrosanct part of the OT was the Torah; for 
Christians the emphasis shifted to the prophetic passages which seemed
to point messianically towards Christ. Sophisticated methods might be
needed to bring out its meaning, but no one before Marcion had 
ventured to suggest that the OT was unusable or foreign to 

That may explain why the move to supplement scripture by including
more specifically Christian documents was late in coming. Of course,
supplementation did occur - the "words of the Lord" had binding
authority from the start (cf. 1 Cor 7) - but this authority derived 
from the fact that the Lord had spoken them and not by virtue of
their appearance in a particular text. A word of the Lord once written
down might become graphE, but this need not imply that the text from
which it came had as a whole the character of graphE. In any case, the
use of the technical term gegraptai followed by a gospel citation is
surprisingly rare: Barnabas 4.14 is the only relatively clear example 
that I know of from this period.

On the other points you raise:

I don't think I agree with your suggestion that "Christian community 
was content with unitarian monotheism and a mix of mild trinitarian 
monotheism until this time." Christianity arises out of Judaism and 
Jewish monotheism is complex, not always 'strictly unitarian' (if I
understand this term correctly). Within early Christian circles one
can detect a number of different positions. Justin Martyr, for example,
is surely a 'binatarian': the Father is God transcendent, the Son is
God immanent, and there is little place left for the Spirit. (In 
Justin, it's Jesus, not the Spirit, who speaks to Moses and inspires 
the Jewish prophets.)

The question of piety is interesting. Popular piety, I think, can
certainly play a part in the development of doctrine. The early 
Christians prayed to Jesus and found that practice natural and good. 
Then the professional philosophers and theologians come along and point 
out that one should pray only to God, so people draw the obvious
conclusion. Pressure towards a more explicit Trinitarianism builds up
from below, from the pews, so to speak.

But I doubt that popular piety is ever a controlling factor. If it
were, I suspect the Roman Catholic church would have declared Our
Lady to be co-redemptrix centuries ago.

Hmm ... this discussion is straying a bit far from the remit of the
b-greek list.



- -- 
The Revd. William Raines  ||   Tel: 061-224 1310
197 Old Hall Lane         ||   Email:
Manchester M14 6HJ        ||      wraines@emmental.demon.co.uk
United Kingdom            ||      wraines@cix.compulink.co.uk


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