[B-Greek] Matthew 26:64 συ ειπας

Donald COBB docobb at orange.fr
Fri Oct 23 03:55:39 EDT 2009


Hi George,

I don't think that's a problem. What is the High Priest tearing his clothes over? It wouldn't necessarily be the mere fact that Jesus claimed to be Messiah. That's not blasphemous.

In Matthew's account (as I read it), Jesus responds in a thoroughly ambiguous way ("YOU said it", SU EIPAS) and, at the same time, "ups the ante" by transferring the discussion to the heavenly court scene in Daniel. What he says is at least this: his status is to be understood as the one whom, in the face of his enemies, the Ancient of Days himself vindicates.

What would be blashphemous in all that? Two possibilities: 1) M. Hengel (*Studies in Early Christology*, 183f.) notes that there is a tendency (cf. LXX and elsewhere) to assimilate the one "like a Son of Man" with "the Ancient of Days". The quotation, in Jesus' mouth would amount to giving himself not merely messianic but divine status. 2) If, in the logic of the quotation, Jesus is the Son of Man of Dn 7, who are his accusers? Theoretically they are the beasts in Dn 7:11-12! Jesus doesn't SAY it, but one would certainly understand why the immediate, indignant response could be "blasphemy!"

As far as PLHN is concerned, BDAG gives no other connotation than adversative or contrastive. Unless it can clearly be shown to be otherwise, I think that's the meaning we should retain. I note that LS also gives the meaning in "later" literature of, "besides, in addition to", but the references are "LXX De.18.8, 29.1" (BTW, the latter is incorrect). However, we have in these two references, the only ones that are given, cases of translation Greek.

As far as I can see, there's no reason to posit another meaning for PLHN than the contrastive unless we can't get a good one out of what would be the most natural reading of the passage.

And once again, I have ventured far from merely grappling with the meaning of the Greek. So again, my apologies.

Donald Cobb
Aix-en-Provence, France




> Message du 23/10/09 08:07
> De : "George F Somsel" 
> A : "Donald Cobb" 
> Copie à : "James Ernest" , "Cornell Machiavelli" , b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Objet : Re: [B-Greek] Matthew 26:64 συ ειπας
> 
>  λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς·σὺ εἶπας.πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν·ἀπʼ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπουκαθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.
> LEGEI AUTWi hO IHSOUS, "SU EIPAS, PLHN LEGW hUMIN, 'AP' ARTI OYESQE TON hUION TOU ANQRWPOU KAQHMENON EK DECIWN THS DUNAMEWS KA ERXOMENON EPI NEFELWN TOU OURANOU'."
> 
> If, for the sake of discussion, we take πλὴν PLHN as introducing an adversative to the preceding, it seems to me that we have a problem in attempting to explain why in the following verse we read τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ λέγων·ἐβλασφήμησεν·  TOTE hO ARXIEREUS DIERRHCEN TA hIMATIA AUTOU LEGWN, "EBLASFHMHSEN."  Without an understanding that he is thereby equating himself with τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπουTON hUION TOU ANQRWPOU and thereby with ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU, the High Priest's reaction is without foundation.
> 
> george
> gfsomsel 
> 
> 
> … search for truth, hear truth, 
> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
> defend the truth till death.
> 
> 
> - Jan Hus
> _________ 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Donald Cobb 
> To: George F Somsel 
> Cc: James Ernest ; Cornell Machiavelli ; b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Sent: Thu, October 22, 2009 10:36:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Matthew 26:64 συ ειπας
> 
> 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 
> >To: Cornell Machiavelli 
> >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
> >------------------------------
> >---
> >B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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> 





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