Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30
(Huck 116; Aland 151; Crook 170)
A non-Jewish woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter, who suffers from demonic oppression. At first she is rebuffed, as Jesus says that it is not right to take food from children to give it to dogs, but the woman counters that even dogs get to eat the children’s scraps. Jesus, impressed with the woman’s tenacity, grants her request.
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The story of Jesus’ encounter with a Canaanite (or Syro-Phoenician) woman does not show signs of having descended from a Hebraic source. This conclusion does not mean that the story is fictional, only that it did not appear in the conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua. This conclusion also helps us understand why the story of the Canaanite woman does not occur in Luke, even though the author of Luke was particularly interested in stories about women and Gentiles. Luke’s main sources were Anth. and FR, both of which descended from the Hebrew Life of Yeshua. Since the Canaanite Woman story did not appear in the Hebrew Life of Yeshua, it did not appear in Anth. or FR either. Mark supplemented his Gospel with this story, which might have come to him via oral tradition, and Matthew reused the Canaanite Woman story because he found it to be a convenient vehicle for conveying his own theological message.
-  For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.’“ ↩