b-greek-digest V1 #658
b-greek-digest Monday, 10 April 1995 Volume 01 : Number 658
In this issue:
Authority, Hair, Veils in 1 Cor 11
Re: Matthew 21:7
Palm Sunday reflections
Re: Matthew 21:7
Re: U of Michigan Dissertation Service
Mark and Matthew
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 18:18:16 -0400
Subject: 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
Matthew also has two blind men instead of the one, Bartemaeus. Does he like
the idea of two instead of one? He shows no reluctance to change Mark to
make his miracles more intense. The cursing of the fig tree has immediate
results in Matthew but the results are not observed until the next morning in
Mark. The idea of Stendahl that the quote from Zachariah influenced him at
this point makes sense. The plural pronoun could refer to the garments, but
in the context clearly refers to the two animals as they unloosed them and
brought them (autwn). They spread their garments on them (autwn). Riding
two animals may cause us to chuckle, but for Matthew it did conform to
Scripture (that seems important to him in other places).
From: "Edgar M. Krentz" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 18:38:33 -0600
Subject: Authority, Hair, Veils in 1 Cor 11
I'm new to b-greek and so made an error. I used reply on Eudora and sent
Edward Hobbs my reaction when I thought I had sent it to B-greek. Now I
read the "Welcome" more carefully and am posting what Edward Hobbs referred
to in his 4/9/95 communication.
Edward Hobbs called attention to a very useful article:
>Cynthia Thompson, "Hairstyles, Head-coverings, and St. Paul--
>Portraits from Roman Corinth" in Biblical Archaeologist, June 1988.
>The photographs are unusually helpful.
I add bibliography that supplements Cynthia Thompson:
Bernhard Koetting, "Haar," in the _Reallexikon fuer Antike und Christentum_
XIII.177-203, is a thorough treatment of the significance of hair in
David W. J. Gill, "The Importantce of Roman Portraiture for Head-Coverings
in 1 Corinthians 11:2-6," _Thyndale Bulletin_ 41 (1990) 2-16.
David Hall, "A Problem of Authority," _Expository Times_ 102 (1990-91)
39-42 also has some helpful material.
Mary Beard and John North, edd. _Pagan Priests. Religion and Power in the
Ancient World._ Ithaca: Cornell, 1990.
Richard Gordon has three articles on priests in the Roman Empire in this
volume. He presents the evidence for the relationship between priesthood,
benefaction and status, both in Rome and the provinces. Is it possible that
1 Cor 11:2-16 is a discussion of status in Corinthian Christianity? One
might even speculate that people such as Chloe and Phoebe, Paul's
patroness, assumed cultic leadership roles in Corinth because of their
I am also struck by the fact that Paul's directives apply only to women in
leadership! He does not direct women in attendance, but not in leadership
roles, to be veiled, or better "to have authority on their heads"--which
correlates with Roman practice.
Recall two other facts: (1) First-century Corinth is a Roman city in the
Greek East, founded by Julius Caesar who colonized it with Romans. Almost
all of the the inscriptions before the second century CE are in Latin, not
Greek. It is probably Roman cultic conventions that are followed in
non-Christian Corinth. Romans, male and female, covered the head with toga
or pallium when sacrificing, as many artistic monuments show. The statue of
Caesar Augustus and the head of Nero (?) from the Julian Basilica in the
Corinthian forum are so "veiled." Greeks bare the head in cult, Roman
priests do not.
(2) The majority of the Christians in Corinth were not converts from
Judaism, but from the gentile community. That makes point 1 even more
I have appreciated the discussion on this point! :-)
Edgar M. Krentz
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
(Voice) Home: 312/947-8105; Off.: 312-753-0752
From: Troglodyte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 18:59:40 -35900
Subject: Re: Matthew 21:7
Well, it is true that Matthew, being a Jewish gospel, is very concerned
with the fulfillment of prophecy. That is a given. But I don't think
anyone would assume that Jesus rode both animals, at least not
simultaneously. As far as the *autwn*, I think it only makes sense that
it refers to the *himatia*. (But see Michael Coogan's article *The Great
Gulf Between Scholars and the Pew* from I forget which journal, in which
he argues otherwise). Two points I'd like to raise: does the OT prophecy
"on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" refer to two animals or
one? Second: Why does matthew often use two characters where mark's
pericopes have only one, ie the healing of the demoniac(s) and the
healing of Bartimaeus in Mark which matthew changes to two blind men? Is
the matthew 21 passage another instance of this?
On Sun, 9 Apr 1995, Carl W Conrad wrote:
> Mt 21:7 HGAGON THN ONON KAI TON PWLON KAI EPEQHKAN EP' AUTWN
> TA HIMATIA, KAI EPEKAQISEN EPANW AUTWN.
> 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
> EPIBEBEBHKWS EPI ONON/KAI EPI PWLON HUION HPOZUGIOU." 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. 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
> email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Leroy Huizenga email@example.com
6383 College Ln.
Jamestown, ND 58405 (701)253-4416
From: Edward Hobbs <EHOBBS@wellesley.edu>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 1995 20:07:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Palm Sunday reflections
MATTHEW'S DOUBLING OF ANIMALS
Matthew certainly likes to double singles, in healings. Not only does
he double blind Bar-Timaeus into two blind men, but he doubles the demoniac
Legion into two demoniacs (minus a name!), and inserts another pair of
blind men into chapter 9 (perhaps a doubling of the blind man of Bethsaida
in Mark, which otherwise he doesn't use?).
But the solution to the pair of animals in the Jerusalem entry
narrative is probably simpler, and it surely is the one everyone has
thought of. He reads Mark, his source here (which he steadfastly follows
for some chapters before and after this passage), and observes that Mark is
alluding (as he so often "alludes") to Zechariah. He knows (or finds out)
that Zechariah has the poetic couplet Conrad refers to, and (like so many
rabbinic interpreters after him) does a VERY literal reading, taking the
Greek "kai" (or the Hebrew "v-", which I doubt) as meaning "also", rather
than "even" or "namely", the usual meaning in Hebrew poetry. So he
"repairs" Mark, having Jesus send for two animals, and sit on *them*.
(After many centuries of the "standard" English translations saying
that Jesus rode "thereon," thus hiding the bowlegged circus-act, the NRSV
has had the courage to say, "he rode on them."! The paintings mostly show
Jesus riding one animal and leading the other by a strap, a nice solution.)
I am aware of Stendahl's attribution of this to earlier Christians,
and of his doing the same with other puzzling features of Matthew. His
doctoral dissertation already referred to (_The School of St. Matthew_) was
indeed a ground-breaking work; but he has not been followed in this aspect
of his book except by his own students. He knows more about Matthew than I
do, but he has not developed this view during recent decades. Krister has
been a good friend for forty years, and we have even been Harvard
colleagues, so I am all the more hesitant to reject his 1954 stance on
Matthew. Nevertheless, Matthew or his school was surely much more
"literal" (and thus "rabbinic" in *that* sense) than Krister was willing to
ascribe to him.
(I fully expect Bob Kraft to prove that I am wrong in this. But Bob,
you have more important things to do, don't you?)
- --Edward Hobbs
From: Carl W Conrad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 20:00:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Matthew 21:7
On Sun, 9 Apr 1995 WINBROW@aol.com wrote:
> Matthew also has two blind men instead of the one, Bartemaeus. Does he like
> the idea of two instead of one? He shows no reluctance to change Mark to
> make his miracles more intense. The cursing of the fig tree has immediate
> results in Matthew but the results are not observed until the next morning in
Just responding to the secondary point made here: it would seem to me
(and I admit that I assume Marcan priority) that Matthew recombines the
two halves of a fig-tree narrative that have been deliberately split by
Mark in his typical "sandwiching" technique whereby he creates what I
would call "triptychs"--as in the story of the Healing of the Paralytic
(1:1-12) a healing tradition is split to permit the insertion of a
forgiveness of sins saying so that the two elements can play against each
other; other examples: Mk 14:1-11, where two "plot against Jesus"
elements (1-2, 10-11) that are clearly linked by forms of ZHTEW enclose
the account of the anointing of the Messiah for burial; Mk 3:20-35, where
two units on the endeavor of Jesus' family to take the embarrassing young
man home enclose the so-called Beelzebul controversy with scribes over
the authenticity of Jesus' mission. In Mark 11 the two halves of the fig
tree narrative enclose the "cleansing of the Temple" and pretty clearly
suggest the failure of the King to find in the Temple the ripe fruits he
seeks; implicitly the Temple is condemned, and at the end of the sequence
that continues on through chapter 12, the destruction of the Temple is
announced. So in Mark's handling of the fig-tree incident I think we have
a clear instance of narrative art; I'd say that Matthew (again, assuming
that he draws upon Mark's earlier narrative) recombines the two pieces
that really do belong together and probably were together in oral tradition.
Admittedly this is altogether tangential to the question about the two
animals in Matthew, but since the issue of Mt's redaction of Mk was
raised here, it seemed worth offering an alternative way of understanding
the alteration. Mt has his literary technique and, to be sure, a very
dramatic one, but it is very different from that of Mark.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 21:10:28 -0400
I have a Palm Sunday question for the group here on the list. What does
STIBADAS in Mark 11:8 mean? Is it "leaves", "palms" or "bed stuffings" or
what? And why does Mark use this strange word?
In the parallels, Matt (21:8) uses KLADOS (branches), Luke omits it, and
John 12:13 reads "TA BAIA TWN PHOINIKWN" (palm branches of the palm tree).
There is a similar text in 1 Macc 13:51 and also in 2 Esdras 2:45-46. I
remember that there was also a pagan religious celebration that used leafy
wands, but I can't remember which one, and I don't remember if they used the
word STIBADAS or not.
On the lighter side, there was an misprint in our church bulletin this
Sunday, which said "bring your ALMS to the front of the sanctuary", where it
should have said PALMS. People were asking me if we were taking TWO
offerings in the service.
From: William Raines <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 95 02:11:23 GMT
Subject: Re:Apostolic Authorship
On 8 April Larry Swain <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> 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.
We are not too far apart here, Larry, but I would phrase it differently.
What I think is important is that the document be perceived as being by
an apostle or, at least, very close to an apostolic source. That's what
I was trying to bring out in the Tertullian quote from an earlier posting
of mine. Tertullian doesn't say "Mark and Luke are ancient writings from
apostolic times", nor does he say "These gospels are congruent with
the rule of faith". He says that Mark and Luke, although not precisely
apostles, are 'apostolic men': Mark was Peter's interpreter and Luke
was a companion of Paul. In a similar way, figures like James and
Nicodemus (who in some traditions becomes a clandestine disciple of
the Lord) could also count as apostolic men. How much difference
in practice this makes from saying "they lived in apostolic times",
I'm not sure, but I think it feels quite a bit different.
> 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.
No. People who followed Marcion thought they were being faithful to
the teaching of Paul, whom Marcion assured them was the one and only
true apostle. According to Marcion, Peter and the rest of the Twelve
were backsliders who reverted to a form of Judaism. People followed
Basilides, Valentinus, etc., because they claimed to offer the secret
apostolic instruction which the rest of the church had forgotten.
Consider this: writing near the beginning of the 2nd century,
Polycarp tells the Philippians, "I am sending you Ignatius' letters
which you requested;the ones he wrote to us and some others we had
in our possession. They are enclosed herewith; you will be able to
derive a great deal of benefit from them, for they tell you all about
faith, and perseverance, and all the ways of self-improvement which
involve our Lord." [Ep. Polyc. 13, Staniforth's translation]
Now, that's an appeal to the rule of faith if ever I heard one!
But we won't find Ignatius' letters in the canon. Why not?
It seems to me that at some point in the 2nd century the criteria for
valuing Christian literature underwent a dramatic change and that
this phenomenon might be connected with the emergence of the canon.
I would like to speculate this this may be in large part the legacy
Until the time of Marcion, Christians had felt little discontinuity
with their past. There was a certain confidence in the transmission
of the tradition - and this applies equally to the gnostics (who
relied to some extent on 'secret' oral traditions) as well as to the
orthodox (who claimed that they didn't). Of course, there were
occasional 'false apostles', but these could be detected and
expelled. The faith as a whole was secure.
Marcion challenged the church in a way it hadn't been challenged
before. This challenge came not so much from his Bible as from the
assumptions that went with it. He told the church that the tradition
was anything but secure - that, in fact, the false apostles had
outnumbered the true from the start by a ratio of 12 to 1 and that
things had been getting steadily worse since.
Of course, the rest of the church didn't accept Marcion's conclusions.
But, given his huge popularity, his presuppositions, so to speak,
'poisoned the waters'. The past suddenly looked more remote. From this
point on, attestation begins to matter in a new and important way. It
became increasingly vital for Christians to believe they had direct
documentary access to the men who actually knew the Lord and were
commissioned by him, or at least to their immediate circle of
followers. Nothing less would do, not even Ignatius. The apostle,
rather than the living community, became the primary locus of
revelation and the touchstone of orthodox belief. And that has shaped
Christian history right down to the present day.
The Revd. William Raines || Tel: 061-224 1310
197 Old Hall Lane || Email:
Manchester M14 6HJ || email@example.com
United Kingdom || firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "James D. Ernest" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 21:52:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: U of Michigan Dissertation Service
On Sun, 9 Apr 1995 W.Burton@agora.stm.it wrote:
> 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.
University Microfilms International of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a gopher
server. I don't remember the address off the top of my head, but if
you start and the main gopher server and work your way down (North
America, U.S.A., Michigan) you'll find it under Michigan. If that doesn't
do it for you, drop me a note and I'll try to get the address myself.
James D. Ernest Joint Doctoral Program
Manchester, New Hampshire, USA Andover-Newton/Boston College
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 1995 23:11:42 -0400
Subject: Mark and Matthew
Carl Conrad wrote
"So in Mark's handling of the fig-tree incident I think we have
a clear instance of narrative art."
I agree that Mark does deal creatively with the tradition. I think the
confession of the Centurion at the cross may be another example, and the
report in Luke concerning the same Centurion is closer to the early
tradition. His just sounds like what a Centurion would have said. The two
animals of Matthew 21 just seem to me to be more easily explained as a result
of Matthew's interpretation of the Scripture. Does this quote resemble the
wording of the LXX? As I recall there are some differences. I am at home
now and cannot check immediately.
End of b-greek-digest V1 #658
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