Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Matthew said that "the prophet" predicted the birthplace of the savior would be the town of Bethlehem. All agree that Matthew considered the prophecy contained in Micah 5:2 to have been fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. Several verses before the prophecy in Micah, we read about the birth-pangs. Matthew has included both the birth-pangs and the prediction in reverse order with different meaning. Micah, who has the two ideas close together and in correct order, is talking about a new age to be announced by birth pangs. Matthew believes the new age is yet to come.

Matthew has included “For all the prophets and the law prophesized until John” [11:13] and the “birth pangs” [24:8] without recognizing that the new age which Jesus had announced had already begun. Mark has only the “birth pangs” [11:13]. In this instance it looks like Matthew used both Luke and Micah as sources.

Matthew is confused. He includes the language in 11:13 which is considered to be parallel to Luke 16:16 and also the birth pangs language of a new age in 24:8.

Verse 16 appears in variant form in Matthew 11:12f in reverse order and verse 17 in Matthew 5:18 with Luke preserving the original wording. Matthew’s use of Micah and Luke is consistent in that he has rearranged material which he found in juxtaposition in his sources.

Luke, because he is writing early, has not experienced the banditry, false messiahs and the abomination of desolation. Matthew included the birth pangs using Micah as his source. Mark has experienced the banditry, false messiahs and the abomination of desolation and included the birth-pangs in his gospel. Mark may also been influenced by his contacts with Paul.

Is there a better explanation?

Copyrighted 2007


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