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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/84

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MATTHEW


on


MATTHEW


style cMii ho (lotocti'd l.ctwrcii llu' siiyiiips of Christ ami tin- narratives that arc elaimetl to liave been oom- poscil in Greek, it would seem that these latter are also translated from the Aramaic. This conclusion is liased on the fact that they are of the same origin as the discourses. The unity of plan and the artificial arrangement of suliject-matter could as well have been made in Matthew's Aramaic as in the (Ircek doc- ument; the fine (Ircek construction, the lapidary style, the eli'ganc(- and good order claimed as characteristic of the Ciospcl, are largely a matter of opinion, the proof being that critics do not agree on this question. Although the phraseology is not more Hebraic than in the other Gospels, still it is not much less so. To sum up, from the literary examination of the Greek Gospel no certain conclusion can be drawn against the exist- ence of a Hebrew Gospel of which our First Gospel would be a translation; and inversely, this examina- tion does not prove the (ircek Gospel to be a transla- tion of an Aramaic original.

(3) Quotations from the Old Testament. — It is claimed that most of the (luotations from the Old Tes- tament are borrowed from the Septuagint, and that this fact proves that tiic Gosind of Mattliew was com- posed in Greek. The first proposition is not accurate, and, even if it were, it would not necessitate this con- clusion. Let us examine the facts. As established by Stanton ("The Gospels as Historical Documents", II, Cambridge, 1909, p. 342), the quotations from the Old Testament in the First Gospel are divided into two classes. In the first are ranged all those Cjuotations the object of which is to show that the prophecies have been realized in the events of the life of Jesus. They arc introduced by the words: "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet," or other similar expressions. The quota- tions of this class do not in general correspond exactly with any particular text. Three among them (ii, 15; viii, 17; xxvii, 9, 10) are borrowed from the Hebrew; five (ii, 18; iv, 15, 16; xii, 18-21; xiii, 35; xxi, 4, 5) bear points of resemblance to the Septuagint, but were not borrowed from that version. In the answer of the chief priests and scribes to Herod (ii , 6) , the text of the Old Testament is slightly modified, without, how- ever, conforming cither to the Hebrew or the Septua- gint. The Prophet Micheas w-rites (v, 2): "And thou Bethlehem, Ephrata, art a little one among the thou- sands of Juda"; whereas Matthew says (ii, 6): "And thrm Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda". A single quotation of this first class (iii, 3) conforms to the Septuagint, and another (i, 23) is almost conformable. These quota- tions arc to be referred to the first Evangelist himself, and relate to facts, principally to the birth of Jesus (i, ii), then to the mission of John the Baptist, the preach- ing of the Gospel by Jesus in Galilee, the miracles of Jesus, etc. It is surprising that the narratives of the Passion and the Resurrection of Our Lord, the fulfil- ment of the very clear and numerous prophecies of the ( )lil Testament, .should never be brought into relation with these prophecies. Many critics, o. g. Burkitt and Stanton, think that the quotations of the first class are borrowed from a collection of Messianic passages, Stanton being of opinion that they were accompanied !)}• the event that constituted their realization. This "catena of fulfilments of prophecy", as he calls it, ex- isted originally in Aramic, but whether the author of the First Gospel had a Greek translation of it is uncer- tain. The second class of quotations from the Old Testament is chiefly composed of those repeated either by the Lord or by His interrogators. Except in two passages, they are introduced by one of the formula;: "It is written"; "As it is written"; "Have you not read? " " Moses .said ". Where Matthew alone quotes the Lord's words, the ()uotation is sometimes bor- rowed from the Septuagint (v, 21 a, 27, 38), or, again, it is a free translation which we are unable to refer to


any definite text (v, 21 b, 2:;, 13). In those pas.sagea where Matthew runs p;irallel with Mark and Luke or with either of them, all the quotations save one (xi, 10) are taken almost literally from the Septuagint.

(4) Analogy to the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke. — From a first comparison of the Gospel of Mat- thew with the two other Synoptic Gospels v.c find (a) that 3:10 verses are peculiar to it alone; that it has between 331) and 370 in common with both the others, from 170 to ISO with Mark's, and from 230 to 240 with Luke's; (/3) that in like parts the same ideas arc ex- pressed sometinii's in identical and sometimes in difTer- ent terms; that .Matthew and Mark most frequently use the same expressions, Matthew seldom agreeing with Luke against Mark. The divergence in their use of the same expressions is in the number of a noun or the use of two different tenses of the same verb. The construction of sentences is at times identical and at others different. (7) That the order of narrative is, with certain exceptions which we shall later indicate, almost the same in .Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These facts indicate that tiie three Synoptists are not independent of one another. They borrow their subject-matter from the same oral source or else fromthe same written documents. To declare oneself upon this alterna- tive, it would be necessary to treat the synoptic ques- tion, and on this critics have not yet agreed. We shall, therefore, restrict ourselves to what concerns the Gospel of St. Matthew. From a second comparison of this Gospel with Mark and Luke we ascertain: (11) that Mark is to be found almost complete in Matthew, with certain divergences which we shall note; (b) that Mat- thew records many of our Lord's discourses in common with Luke; (c) that Matthew has special passages which are unknown to Mark and Luke. Let us ex- amine these three points in detail, in an endeavour to learn how the Gospel of Matthew was composed.

(a) Analogy to Mark. — (i) Mark is found complete in Matthew, with the exception of numerous slight omissions and the following pericopes: Mark, i, 23-28, 35-39; iv, 26-29; vii, 32-36; viii, 22-26; ix, 39, 40; xii, 41—14. In all, 31 verses are omitted, (ii) The gen- eral order is identical except that, in chapters v-xiii, Matthew groups facts of the same nature and sayings conveying the same ideas. Thus, in Matt., viii, 1-1.5, we have three miracles that are separated in Mark; in Matthew, viii, 23-ix, 9, there are gathered together incidents otherwise arranged in Mark, etc. Matthew places sentences in a different environment from that given them by Mark. For instance, in chapter v, 15, Matthew inserts a verse occurring in Mark, iv, 21, that should have been placed after xiii, 23, etc. (iii) In Matthew the narrative is usually shorter because he suppresses a great number of details. Thus, in Mark, we read: " And the wind ceased: and there was made a great calm", whereas in Matthew the first part of the sentence is omitted. All unnecessary particulars are dispensed with, such as the numerous picturesque features and indications of time, place, and number, in which Mark's narrative abounds, (iv) Sometimes, however, Matthew is the more detailed. Thus, in chapter xii, 22-45, he gives more of Christ's discourse than we find in Mark, iii, 20-30, and has in addition a dialogue between Jesus and the scribes. In chapter xiii, Matthew dwells at greater length than Mark, iv, upon the object of the parables, and introduces tliosc of the cockle and the leaven, neither of which Mark records. Moreover, Our Lord's apocalyptic discour.se is much longer in Matthew, xxiv-xxv (97 verses), than in Mark, xiii (37 verses), (v) Changes of terms or divergences in the mode of expression are extremely frequent. Thus, Matthew often uses tidiias, when Mark has cWrJs; ii.iv . . . S4, insteatl of xaL, as in Mark, etc.; th(! aorist instead of the imperfect em- ploj'ed by Mark. He avoids double ni-gatives and the construction of the participle with ci/xi; his style is more correct and less harsh than that of Mark; he