Re: Contradiction in Nestle-Aland text?

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Wed Oct 25 1995 - 21:49:57 EDT

>At 9:22 AM 10/25/95, Paul Watkins wrote:
>>In Matthew 10:10 we read:
>>"mh phran eis odon mhde duo chitwvas mhde upodhmata mhde rabdon"
>>does this or does this not say that they are NOT to take A STAFF?
>>and yet in Mark 6:8-9 we read:
>>"kai parhngeilen autois ina mhden airwsin eis odon ei mh rabdon monon, mh
>>mh phran, mh eis thn zwnhn chalkon, alla upodedemenous sandalia, kai mh
>>endushsthe duo chitwnas."
>>and does this not say that they MUST take ONE STAFF?
>>These are indesputably the same events, yet in they directly contradict each
>>Is it possible to solve this problem with the Nestle-Aland reading?
>>If not, does this support the Majority Text reading (rabdous, instead of

To which Carl W. Conrad replied:
>At any rate, this problem ought to be seen as one that is not likely to be
>solved by an endeavor to find manuscript readings that make the two gospel
>texts consistent in content. The difference appears to be present in the
>Greek text, and it must be accounted for by other explanations.

Carl is certainly right on the textual issue. A number of possible
explanations have been suggested. One that sounds interesting to me is that
two different staffs are referenced: Mark permits a walking staff, but
Matthew records the prohibition of the shepherd's staff/club used for
protection. (See: E. Power, "The Staff of the Apostles," _Biblica_ 4
(1923): 241-66. This is a secondary ref. from Lane's comm. [207 n. 31]; I
haven't read Power's article.)

Is it feasible that there are divergent Aramaic words for these items, both
of which could be translated by the same Greek word? Anyone with adequate
expertise in the Aramaic of first century Palestine to comment?


Rodney J. Decker Calvary Theological Seminary
Asst. Prof./NT 15800 Calvary Rd. Kansas City, Missouri 64147

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