[B-Greek] Matthew 26:64 συ ειπας

Donald Cobb docobb at orange.fr
Fri Oct 23 01:36:27 EDT 2009


Obviously, George's statement assumes that Matthew's and Luke's direct 
source is the Gospel of Mark, certainly the majority opinion (two source 
theory), but which 1) can and is questioned by many and 2) shouldn't 
determine ipso facto the way we understand the Greek. I think it's 
striking that, despite the fact we are told this is unambiguous in 
Greek, the examples produced (cf. Elizabeth Kline's last messages) are 
neither numerous nor directly relevant. This suggests that Jesus' answer 
is perhaps not as unambiguous as one might affirm, or as Mark has tried 
to make it.

It's almost impossible to answer the question without getting into 
questions of interpretation. I note, however, that Jesus in the 
Synoptics never uses the title XRISTOS as an explicit self designation, 
presumably because of the inevitable militaristic connotations that 
attached to it at the time. He did, however, clearly use the "the the 
Son of Man" imagery in Daniel 7.

It seems to me that what looks like an ambiguous statement in Mt 26 
could well be just that. Jesus is throwing back at Caiaphas what he has 
just said. (note that in the Gospels Jesus is arrested for messianic 
pretentions, something that he apparently never explicitly claimed about 
himself; doesn't that in itself add up to a tacit avowal of 
messiahship?) Jesus then redefines messiahship in the terms he 
habitually uses, in connection with Dn 7: "However (PLHN), I say to you" 
(vindication by the Ancien of Days and not by men or military victory). 
He then, tantalizingly, pushes the envelope further by partially quoting 
Ps 110 ("seated at the right hand"), a clearly messianic psalm but one 
in which, again, God himself is the one who does the vindicating.

In Luke's interpretation (Lk 22:68-69), Jesus' answer is thoroughly 
ambiguous, as is, I would say, Matthew's as well. I personally think 
that Mark is working with the same traditions as the two others, but 
disambiguates the statement in order to show that Jesus is indeed the 
Christ.

There are huge assumptions in just about everything I've said, and I'm 
well into the realm of interpretation. My apologies. Perhaps, though, it 
does help answer Cornell's question.

Donald Cobb
Aix-en-Provence, France




George F Somsel a écrit :
> While each text must be understood on its own terms, I hardly think that a text which used Mark which unambiguously has Jesus say ἐγώεἰμι [EGW EIMI] would thus contradict his source by having Jesus deny what he there affirmed.
>  george
> gfsomsel 
>
>
> … search for truth, hear truth, 
> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
> defend the truth till death.
>
>
> - Jan Hus
> _________ 
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: James Ernest <jdernest at alum.bu.edu>
> To: Cornell Machiavelli <cornellmachiavelli at yahoo.com>
> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Thu, October 22, 2009 7:12:56 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Matthew 26:64 συ ειπας
>
>   
>> Does the use of πλην shortly thereafter help us determine the contrast
>>     
> between the answer (first clause) and the following clause? In fact, why the
> use of PLHN here?
> Charles Talbert's commentary on Matthew in the Paideia series (sorry, not
> yet published) says that in Matt 26:11 this phrase gives a negative answer;
> if it had been an unambiguous "yes," Pilate would have then pronounced
> sentence immediately. He didn't. So the wording itself is noncommittal; but
> Pilate takes it as a no.
>
> So at 26:64 (getting now to CT's take on PLHN):
>
> So, in Matt 26:64 Jesus’ answer to the high priest must be understood as a
> negative followed by a clarification of his identity in transcendent terms
> (cf. the same tactic in John 18:36).
>
>
> James Ernest
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> James D. Ernest, PhD, Editor
> Baker Academic & Brazos Press
> jernest at BakerPublishingGroup.com / http://www.BakerPublishingGroup.com
> ------------------------------
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