Peter and the others see the glory (Lk 9:32-9:32)

“Now Peter

And his companions

Were weighed down

With sleep.

But since they

Had stayed awake,

They saw his glory

And the two men

Who stood with him.”

 

ὁ δὲ Πέτρος καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ ἦσαν βεβαρημένοι ὕπνῳ· διαγρηγορήσαντες δὲ εἶδαν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς δύο ἄνδρας τοὺς συνεστῶτας αὐτῷ.

 

Luke uniquely said that Peter (ὁ δὲ Πέτρος) and his 2 companions (καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ) were weighed down with sleep (ἦσαν βεβαρημένοι ὕπνῳ).  However, since they had stayed fully awake (διαγρηγορήσαντες), they saw the glory of Jesus (δὲ εἶδαν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ) and the 2 men (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἄνδρας) who stood with him (τοὺς συνεστῶτας αὐτῷ).  This is another unique statement by Luke about Peter during the transfiguration, since the other synoptics did not mention this.  Peter with his 2 companions were almost asleep, like they did later in the Garden of Gethsemane.  However, Peter, James, and John stayed awake long enough to catch a glimpse of the glory of the transfigured Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, as they watched them talk together.  There was no indication what language was being spoken, but the assumption might be that it was Hebrew or Aramaic.  Have you ever fallen asleep so that you missed an important event?

Jesus told the little girl to get up (Lk 8:54-8:54)

“But Jesus

Took the little girl

By the hand.

He called out.

‘Child!

Get up!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς ἐφώνησεν λέγων Ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρ

 

Luke said that Jesus took her by the hand (αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and called out saying (ἐφώνησεν λέγων) to the child (Ἡ παῖς) to get up (ἔγειρ).  This curing of this young girl was similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Mark, chapter 5:41-42.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand and then said to her, “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” which means “Little girl! Get up or arise!”  Immediately, the girl arose or got up.  She began to walk.  She was 12 years old, the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowd was immediately overcome with great amazement.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.  Matthew had a very succinct story.  Jesus had the crowds put outside.  Then he went into where the dead girl was.  He took her by the hand.  Then this girl got up, without Jesus saying any words.  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

The cry of Jesus at three o’clock (Mk 15:34-15:34)

“At three o’clock,

The ninth hour,

Jesus cried out

With a loud voice.

‘Eloi!

Eloi!

Lema sabachthani?’

This translated means.

‘Oh my God!

Oh my God!

Why have you

Forsaken me?’”

 

καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:46.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, did not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Mark said that at three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ), “Eloi!  Eloi!  Lema sabachthani (Ἐλωῒ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?”  This cry is slightly different than Matthew.  Then Mark explained what this meant with a translation (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον), since this was a mixture of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for God in the first verse from Psalm 22:1. “Oh my God!  Oh my God (Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου)!  Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με)?”  This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53.  Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant, the son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross.  Why was there no help coming from God?

Barabbas (Mk 15:7-15:7)

“Now a man

Called Barabbas

Was in prison

With rebels,

Who had committed murder

During an insurrection.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος, οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν.

 

This is something like this in Matthew, chapter 27:16.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν).  Barabbas in Aramaic meant son of the father.  Thus, there may have been some attempt to relate Jesus to Barabbas.  Mark said that there was a man called Barabbas (ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν), who had been captured with some rebels (μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος).  Barabbas had committed murder in an insurrection (οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν), not a likely candidate for parole.  Would you release a murderer?

 

Remove this cup (Mk 14:36-14:36)

“Jesus said.

‘Abba!

Father!

All things are possible

For you!

Remove this cup

From me!

Yet,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ, πάντα δυνατά σοι· παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ· ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:36.  In Luke, chapter 22:42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Here there is an explicit mention of both the “Father” and the “cup of suffering”.  Mark recounted that Jesus prayed directly to his Father, using the Aramaic “Abba” for the word father but then immediately explained its meaning (καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ).  Anything was possible with the Father (πάντα δυνατά σοι).  He wanted the Father to remove or take away this cup of suffering from him (παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his heavenly Father.

The cry of Jesus (Mt 27:46-27:46)

“About three o’clock,

The ninth hour,

Jesus cried

With a loud voice.

‘Eli!

Eli!

Lema sabachthani?’

That means.

‘My God!

My God!

Why have you

Forsaken me?’”

 

περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες;

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:34.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, do not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Matthew said that about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων) “Eli!  Eli!  Lema sabachthani (Ἡλεὶ Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?”  Then Matthew explained what this meant (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν).  This was a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic, the Hebrew for God and Aramaic for the first verse from Psalm 22:1.  “My God!  My God (Θεέ μου θεέ μου,)!  Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες)?”  This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53.  Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross.  Why was there no help coming from God?

Title

“The Gospel according to Mathew”

 

Τὸ κατὰ Ματθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον

 

What is a gospel?  Who is Matthew?  The English term gospel comes from the Old English ‘godspel.’  There was a musical play with the name “Godspell” that opened on Broadway in 1971.  Like the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, gospel means good news or good tidings.  This term originally meant the Christian message itself.  However, in the second century, it came to be used for the books where this message was set out.  Thus, the gospels became known as written accounts of the career and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  This Gospel of Matthew is anonymous, since there is no explicit mention of a named author within the text itself.  This title (Τὸ κατὰ Ματθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον), however was added some time in the second century, perhaps with Papias of Hierapolis (100–140 CE), an early bishop and apostolic father.  The apostle Matthew was among the early followers and apostles of Jesus.  He was a first century Galilean, the son of Alpheus.  As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek.  His fellow Jews would have despised him because he was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force.  What we do know for certain is that the author of this gospel was probably a traditional male Jew, familiar with the technical and legal aspects of Hebrew Scripture.  He wrote in a polished Semitic synagogue Greek style.  Most scholars hold that the Gospel of Matthew was a product of the last quarter of the 1st century, a work of the second generation of Christians, probably sometime between 70-110 CE, or more precisely between 80-90 CE.  The defining event for this community was the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE, during the Jewish–Roman War of 66–73 CE.  The author of this Gospel of Matthew wrote for a community of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians probably located in Syria, just north of Galilee.  Antioch was the largest city in Roman Syria and the third-largest city in the Roman Empire, after Rome and Alexandria.  This is where the term “Christian” was first used.  Thus, it would seem like an appropriate place for Jewish Christians in the second half of the first century.   For practical traditional purposes, I will use the name Matthew as the author of this gospel.