The second denial (Mt 26:71-26:72)

“When he went out

To the porch,

Another servant girl

Saw him.

She said

To the bystanders.

‘This man was

With Jesus of Nazareth.’

Again,

He denied it

With an oath.

‘I do not know

The man.’”

 

ἐξελθόντα δὲ εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα εἶδεν αὐτὸν ἄλλη καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἐκεῖ Οὗτος ἦν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου.

καὶ πάλιν ἠρνήσατο μετὰ ὅρκου ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:69-70, Luke, chapter 22:58, and John, chapter 18:25, with some minor changes, as all 4 gospels have this 2nd denial of Peter.  In Mark, it is the same servant-girl rather than a different one.  In John, it was a group of people rather than one individual who addressed Peter.  Matthew said that Peter went out to the porch area of the courtyard (ἐξελθόντα δὲ εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα).  Another young servant girl or maid saw him (εἶδεν αὐτὸν ἄλλη).  She then said to the bystanders there (καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἐκεῖ) that this man was with Jesus of Nazareth (Οὗτος ἦν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου).  Again, Peter denied it with an oath (καὶ πάλιν ἠρνήσατο μετὰ ὅρκου).  He said that he did not know this man (ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  Peter, the great defender of Jesus, again denied him in public with a solemn oath for a 2nd time, something he said that he would never do.  Jesus had warned them about swearing oaths in chapter 5:33-37.

The first denial (Mt 26:69-26:70

“Now Peter

Was sitting outside

In the courtyard.

A servant girl

Came up to him.

She said.

‘You also were

With Jesus

The Galilean.’

But he denied it

Before all of them.

He said.

‘I do not know

What you are talking about.’”

 

Ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐκάθητο ἔξω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ· καὶ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ μία παιδίσκη λέγουσα Καὶ σὺ ἦσθα μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Γαλιλαίου.

ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο ἔμπροσθεν πάντων λέγων Οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγεις.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:66-68, and Luke, chapter 22:56-57, but Peter was warming himself and the cock crowed in MarkJohn, chapter 18:17, has a simple denial.  Matthew said that Peter was sitting outside in the high priest’s courtyard (Ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐκάθητο ἔξω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ).  Then a young servant girl or maid of the high priest came up to him (καὶ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ μία παιδίσκη).  She said that Peter had been with Jesus, the Galilean (λέγουσα Καὶ σὺ ἦσθα μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Γαλιλαίου).  However, he denied it in front of all of them (ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο ἔμπροσθεν πάντων), as he said that he did not know what they were talking about (λέγων Οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγεις).  This first denial story of Peter, the great leader, was in all 4 gospels.

How to enter a house (Mt 10:12-10:13)

“As you enter

The house,

Greet it!

If the house

Is worthy,

Let your peace

Come upon it.

But if it is not worthy,

Let your peace

Return to you!”

 

εἰσερχόμενοι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν

καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία, ἐλθάτω ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν ἐπ’ αὐτήν· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ ἀξία, ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω.

 

There are no exact equivalent passages in the other gospels about how to enter into a house.  Jesus, via Matthew, had some simple instructions again.  As you went into a house (εἰσερχόμενοι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), greet or pay respects to the people in the house (ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν).  If they were worthy people or the house was worthy (καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία), let your peace come upon them (ἐλθάτω ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν ἐπ’ αὐτήν).  But if they are not worthy or deserving (μὴ ᾖ ἀξία,), let your peace return or turn back to you (ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω).  I am not sure how you would get your peace greeting revoked in some way.

All the commandments (Mt 5:19-5:19)

“Therefore,

Whoever breaks

One of the least

Of these commandments,

Whoever teaches

Others to do the same,

Shall be called least

In the kingdom of heaven.

But whoever does them,

Whoever teaches them,

Shall be called great

In the kingdom of heaven.”

 

ὃς ἐὰν οὖν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων καὶ διδάξῃ οὕτως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἐλάχιστος κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν·ὃς δ’ ἂν ποιήσῃ καὶ διδάξῃ, οὗτος μέγας κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

This is a unique saying of Matthew, since the other gospels do not have Jesus saying this. If someone was breaking the least of the commandments (ὃς ἐὰν οὖν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων) and teaching other men to do the same (καὶ διδάξῃ οὕτως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους), they would be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (ἐλάχιστος κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν). However, on the other hand, if someone taught and practiced what was in the commandments (ὃς δ’ ἂν ποιήσῃ καὶ διδάξῃ), they would be called great in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτος μέγας κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.). Apparently, there was a gradation in the commandments (ἐντολῶν), so that some were more important than others. The same can be said for the kingdom of heaven (τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν), since some would be great (μέγας), but others would be the least (ἐλαχίστων) in the kingdom. As usual, Matthew has Jesus emphasize the commandments and the kingdom of heaven.

Different genealogies

Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke listed the family tree of Jesus. However, only David and Joseph were on both lists. These genealogies were theological statements with different parent genealogies and different audiences. Matthew, as just shown, went from Abraham to Jesus, so that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish messianic expectations. The theme of David was important, since Joseph was called the son of David. Matthew explained that there were 3 sections of 14 generations. One section went from the call of Abraham to the accession of David as king. The second grouping went from David to the Babylonian exile. The final section went from the Exile to the coming of the Messiah. Matthew also has the Magi story, where Herod’s appearance has echoes of the Old Testament with various references to Old Testament prophecies. The Gospel of Luke genealogy, on the hand, went from Jesus to Adam to God. Luke’s view was more universal. Jesus could trace his roots back to God. Luke, who had the best Greek, was writing for the gentiles of the Pauline Churches. The Son of God was a more meaningful term. Luke spoke of the Son of Adam, the second Adam, a theme that Paul also used. Jesus had both divine and human origins. This was not difficult for Greeks, since their gods were always having relations with humans in their mythical stories. Thus, there are two different genealogies for Joseph, with only one common person, David.

Different Gospel Beginnings

Do you know how many of the gospels contain the Christmas story?  The answer is that only two, since only Matthew and Luke relate the birth of Jesus.  The other two gospels, Mark, the earliest, and John, the latest, start with the Baptism of Jesus.  The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and the most direct gospel story, as it starts with the public life of Jesus.  The Gospel of John is more spiritual and opens with the beautiful theological prologue about the “Word” (Λόγος) with echoes of the Genesis story of creation.

Are the gospels biographies?

The gospels belong to the ancient genre of biography.  These ancient biographies were concerned with providing examples for readers to emulate, while preserving and promoting the subject’s reputation and memory.  Thus, they were about kerygma or preaching.  They were not biographies in the modern sense.  The biographies of Jesus are more like apocalyptic history, depicting Jesus as caught up in events near the end of time.  Despite this, scholars are confident that the gospels do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus.  There is no guarantee that the gospels are precisely historical in our modern sense of history.  These are faith documents, not eyewitness accounts.  Modern scholars are cautious of relying on the gospels uncritically, but nevertheless they do provide a good idea of the public life of Jesus.

Muratorian fragment

The Muratorian fragment is the earliest known example of a defined list of mostly New Testament books.  However, it is damaged and incomplete, but it is usually dated to the late 2nd century.  This Muratorian canon fragment has the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, along with 13 letters of Paul.  However, its condition makes it impossible to make any definitive statements.

The Apocryphal books

Over seventy different versions of gospels, acts, and epistles by various Christians appeared in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but they did not make it into the official canonical Bible.  They are often referred to as the apocryphal, hidden, or lost books of the Bible.  Scholars have been interested in these books to help them understand what some Christian people were thinking about at that time.  These writings tell us more about the author’s attitude about Jesus.