Re: Matthew 8:5-12

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Aug 09 1997 - 12:43:51 EDT

At 8:53 AM -0400 8/9/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 07:24 AM 8/9/97 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>Paul Dixon has noted that Mt uses this coda (EKEI ESTAI ... TWN ODONTWN) in
>>many an eschatological passage. It should be noted that it appears once in
>>Lk (13:28) in the same context. I would assume that this is a piece of the
>>common tradition shared by Mt and Lk and generally referred to as "Q." In
>>any case, this must be an "anaphoric" use of the particular article to
>>refer to something well-known to the audience (Smyth #1120a, BDF #252).
>>This is actually a very ancient usage of the article in its original
>>function as a demonstrative: "And that's where there'll be that
>>lamentatation and that gnashing of teeth (that you've heard about so many
>But from where would they have known of the reference? As far as I know, it
>isn't in the Old Testament. Even if it were in "Q", Matthew would be
>reasonably incompetent if he portrays Jesus as making references to things
>well known because the readers are familiar with "Q".

Apart from the sections of Daniel thought to derive from the Maccabean
period, there are several hundred years between OT texts and the NT, but
the apocalyptic eschatology in sectarian Judaism develops in that
intervening period, heavily under Zoroastrian influence. The NT speaks of
very many things indeed never mentioned in the OT.

I certainly didn't mean to say that Mt's readers were familiar with "Q."
What I meant by referring to it was simply that Luke and Matthew BOTH used
this traditional Jesus-saying--in a roughly if not exactly identical form
familiarity with a doctrine including a place of lamentation and gnashing
of teeth) in the culture of its audience. The fact that the articles are
with both nouns in Luke's form of the saying as well as in the recurrent
Matthaean uses of it surely seems to point to a clichˇ expression.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(704) 675-4243 OR

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