The Didache and its Relevance for Understanding the Gospel of Matthew

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The image featured above, intended to symbolize the Two Ways of Life and Death, which are of central importance to the Didache, was photographed by Imen Bouhajja in Ghar Elmelh, Tunisia (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). 1. The Didache A portrait of Philotheos Bryennios found opposite the title page of Philip Schaff’s The Oldest Church Manual Called The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (1885). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. In 1873, Philotheos Bryennios, the metropolitan of Serres (Serrae) in Macedonia, discovered a Greek parchment manuscript in the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople.

LOY Excursus: Criteria for Distinguishing Type 1 from Type 2 Double Tradition Pericopae

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Revised: 6-December-2019

An important breakthrough in the formulation of Robert Lindsey’s solution to the Synoptic Problem was his recognition that there are really two sets of Lukan-Matthean Double Tradition (DT) pericopae. Lindsey noted that one set of pericopae is characterized by high levels of verbal identity, whereas the other set of pericopae is characterized by somewhat lower levels of verbal identity, despite the fact that the Lukan and Matthean pericopae are clearly parallels.

Jesus and a Canaanite Woman

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Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30 (Huck 116; Aland 151; Crook 170)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 11-October-2018

Table of Contents 1. Text 2. Conjectured Stages of Transmission 3. Story Placement 4.

Introduction to A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark

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My Hebrew translation of the Gospel of MarkRobert L. Lindsey, A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark (2d ed.; Jerusalem: Dugith, 1973).grew out of an eight-year personal encounter with this Gospel. Not long after Israel’s independence, I came to the conclusion that a new Hebrew translation of the New Testament was badly needed, especially by the Hebrew-speaking Christian congregations of the State of Israel. I chose to begin with the Gospel of Mark, under the impression that it was the earliest of the canonical Gospels and because it contained the kind of simple Greek text that would make translation relatively easy.

Measuring the Disparity Between Matthew, Mark and Luke

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These were printed by Huck in adjacent columns so that one could quickly compare the similarities and differences in, for instance, “The Call of Levi” pericope (Matt. 9:9-11; Mark 2:13-16; Luke 5:27-30; Huck no. 53): Pericope 53, The Call of Levi from Huck’s Synopsis

With such a passage it is necessary to check whether all the texts remain verse by verse in parallel.

Jesus’ Twin Parables

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We could now insert the Matthean form of the Disciples’ Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), which is much more Hebraic than the Lukan version (Luke 11:2-4)….

Next, we could add to this story the teaching discourse found in Matthew 7:7-11:

Ask, and it will be given you.

Darnel Among the Wheat Parable

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Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43
(Huck 96, 100; Aland 127, 131; Crook 149, 153)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'”

‏ לֵאמֹר לְמַה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה לְאָדָם זוֹרֵעַ זֶרַע טוֹב בְּשָׂדֵהוּ וּבִשְׁכִיבָתוֹ בָּא אוֹיְבוֹ וְזָרַע זוֹנִים בֵּין הַחִטִּים וְהָלַךְ וּכְשֶׁעָלָה הָעֵשֶׂב אַף עָלוּ הַזּוֹנִים קָרְבוּ אֶצְלוֹ עֲבָדָיו וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ אֲדוֹנֵנוּ רְצוֹנְךָ נֵלֵךְ וּנְקוֹשֵׁשׁ אוֹתָם וְאָמַר לֹא שֶׁמָּא תְּקוֹשְׁשׁוּ אֶת הַזּוֹנִים וְתַעַקְרוּ עִמָּם אֶת הַחִטִּים הַנִּיחוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם לִצְמוֹחַ עַד הַקָּצִיר וּבִשְׁעַת הַקָּצִיר קוֹשּׁוּ תְּחִילָּה אֶת הַזּוֹנִים וַעֲשׂוּ אוֹתָם חֲבִילוֹת וְתִשְׂרְפוּ אוֹתָם בָּאֵשׁ וְאֶת הַחִטִּים הַכְנִיסוּ לְאוֹצָרִי

And Yeshua told them this parable: “What is the matter like? It’s like someone who sowed good seed in his field. While he lay sleeping his enemy came into his field and sowed darnel seeds on top of the wheat that had already been sown. Then the enemy crept away.

Lost Sheep and Lost Coin Similes

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Matt. 18:10-14; Luke 15:3-10 (Huck 133, 172; Aland 169, 219, 220; Crook 188, 265, 266)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 7-January-2020

וַיִּמְשׁוֹל לָהֶם אֶת הַמָּשָׁל הַזֶּה לֵאמֹר מִי אָדָם בָּכֶם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מֵאָה צֹאן וְנִדַּחַת אַחַת מֵהֶן הֲלֹא יַנִּיחַ אֶת הַתִּשְׁעִים וְתִשְׁעָה עַל הֶהָרִים וְיֵלֵךְ וִיבַקֵּשׁ אֶת הָאֹבֶדֶת עַד שֶׁיִּמְצָא אֹתָה וּכְשֶׁהוּא מוֹצֵא אֹתָה שָׂם עַל כְּתֵפוֹ בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבָא לְבֵיתוֹ וְקֹרֵא לְאוֹהֲבָיו וְלִקְרוֹבָיו לוֹמַר לָהֶם שִׂמְחוּ עִמִּי שֶׁמָּצָאתִי אֶת הַשֶּׂה שֶׁלִּי הָאֹבֶדֶת אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם כָּךְ יֵשׁ שִׂמְחָה בַּשָּׁמַיִם עַל רָשָׁע אֶחָד שֶׁעֹשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה מֵעַל תִּשְׁעִים וְתִשְׁעָה צַדִּיקִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם צוֹרֶךְ בִּתְשׁוּבָה

וּמִי אִישָׁה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָה עֲשָׂרָה דִּינָרִים וְהִיא מְאַבֶּדֶת דִּינָר אֶחָד הֲלֹא תַּדְלִיק נֵר וּתְכַבֵּד אֶת הַבַּיִת וּתְבַקֵּשׁ עַד שֶׁתִּמְצָא אֹתוֹ וּכְשֶׁהִיא מֹצֵאת אֹתוֹ קֹרֵאת לְאוֹהֲבוֹתֶיהָ וְלִקְרוֹבוֹתֶיהָ לוֹמַר לָהֶן שְׂמַחְנָה עִמִּי שֶׁמָּצָאתִי אֶת הַדִּינָר שֶׁאִבַּדְתִּי אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם כָּךְ יֵשׁ שִׂמְחָה לִפְנֵי מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁמַיִם עַל רָשָׁע אֶחָד שֶׁעֹשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה

Then Yeshua told them this parable: “Imagine you have a hundred sheep and one of them strays from the flock. Won’t you leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go search for the one that got lost until you’ve found it? And when you’ve finally found it, won’t you carry it home on your shoulders and invite all your nearest and dearest and tell them: ‘Come celebrate with me! I’ve found my missing sheep!’?

Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes

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We have placed the Tower Builder and King Going to War similes following Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple because the Tower Builder and King Going to War similes aptly illustrate the situations described in Matt. 8:19-22; Luke 9:57-62.

Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry

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Matt. 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-31
(Huck 35, 157; Aland 67, 201; Crook 49, 236)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'”… According to Lindsey, the Miryam and Marta story (Luke 10:38-42) was the narrative introduction of a teaching complex that included not only Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry (Matt. 6:25-34 // Luke 12:22-31), but also the Rich Fool parable (Luke 12:16-21) and the Rich Man and Lazar parable (Luke 16:19-31), which he regarded as twin illustrations…. In support of his reconstruction, Lindsey noted that Jesus stated that Martha was “worried” about many things (Luke 10:41), which corresponds to Jesus’ instruction “Do not worry” in Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry (Matt. 6:25 // Luke 12:22)See Lindsey, JRL, 101.Lindsey also believed that the description of the birds that do not store in barns (Matt. 6:26; cf. … Moreover, Lindsey found his reconstruction to be satisfying because it supplied the identity of the mysterious “one thing is needed” (Luke 10:42), namely, “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33 // Luke 12:31).

Sending the Twelve: “The Harvest Is Plentiful” and “A Flock Among Wolves”

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Matt. 9:37-38; 10:16a; Luke 10:2-3 (Huck 58, 139; Aland 98-99, 177; Crook 102, 197-198)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'”… Such intense editorial activity on the part of the author of Matthew in the Sending discourse calls into question his placement of “The Harvest Is Plentiful” and “A Flock Among Wolves” sayings in Matt. 9 and 10, whereas the placement of these sayings in Luke 10 makes good sense.

Rabbinic Literature: A Spiritual Treasure for Christians

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.), “The day is short and the work is great, but the workers are lazy; however the wages are high since the owner is in a hurry” (Avot 2:15), is very similar to Jesus’ saying in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvesting is great and the workers are few. … Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:24-27 that good deeds are necessary along with knowledge (“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like…. … (Avot 2:4)

There is a striking similarity between this saying and the sayings of Jesus in Matthew 6:10 (“Let your will be done in heaven and on earth”)For a discussion of the rabbinic background to the entreaty, “Let your will be done in heaven and on earth,” see Brad Young, “The Lord’s Prayer (6): ‘Thy Will Be Done,'” Jerusalem Perspective 14 (Nov. 1988): 1-2…. Note the similarity between the following saying and the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12).

Cataloging the Gospels’ Hebraisms: Part Two (Luke 9:51-56)

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This variation occurs twice in Mark (Mark 1:9; 4:4); 5 times in Matthew (Matt. 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1); 22 times in Luke (Luke 1:8, 23, 41, 59; 2:1, 6, 15, 46; 7:11; 9:18, 28, 33, 37; 11:1, 14, 27; 17:14; 19:29; 20:1; 24:30; 24:51). 2) subjectless ἐγένετο + time phrase (as here, in Luke 9:51: “when the days were fulfilled”) + kai (and) + finite verb (as here, in Luke 9:51: “he set”). This variation occurs once in Matthew (Matt. 9:10) and 11 times in Luke (Luke 5:1, 12, 17; 8:1, 22; 9:51; 14:1; 17:11-12; 19:15; 24:4; 24:15).

Cataloging the Gospels’ Hebraisms: Part Three (Impersonal “They”)

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This rabbinic saying has a familiar ring to readers of the New Testament because Jesus uttered a similar saying: “With the measure you measure, it will be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2; cf. … In another place, Jesus says: “Lay up treasure in heaven,” also a teaching about giving to the poor (Matt. 6:20)…. (Matt. 7:16; my trans.); Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins…But they put new wine into new wineskins” (Matt. 9:17; NKJV); “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub….”