Matthew: Chapter 8 Footnotes
8:2 Jewish law provided for the cleansing of lepers (or those with skin disease) before they were allowed back into the religious communities. We see Jesus healing and the assumption they will be received back without any other cleaning rituals required.
8:3 Touching a leper made one unclean by Jewish law. Jesus touching the leper- he could have healed via a word as he does elsewhere- shows a disregard for said law; that his healing is above the old law.
8:5-13 Extremely detailed arguments continue over whether the similarities to other gospels here reflect a common oral tradition or a common literary source. The cure of the centurion's servant "is a foretaste of the Gentile mission" (Brown et al., p.648).
8:5 A centurion was a military officer commanding a hundred men. He was probably in the service of Herod Antipas (see "people" page).
8:8 Centurion's words show not only humility, but also the awareness of the sensitivity of Jewish customs regarding entering the homes of Gentiles.
8:10 Codex Sinaiticus has the identical wording of Luke 7:9 "not even in Israel," but seems due to harmonization.
8:11-12 Luke 13:28-29 has same phrase "There will be wailing and grinding of teeth." Phrase used frequently to reference final condemnation. "Matthew inserts into the story a Q saying about the entrance of the Gentiles into the kingdom and the exclusion of those Israelites who...refused to believe in Jesus" (Catholic Book Publishing, 8:11-12 note). A warning against religious complacency.
8:14-15 Mark has a request for healing rather than one at Jesus' initiative, and in Mark, she rises to serve "them," not "him."
8:17 This fulfillment of prophecy citation follows the MT version of Isaiah 53:4, not LXX.
8:18 "the other side," i.e. Sea of Galilee.
8:20 "Son of Man" is a peculiar phrase found rarely; it is found only on the lips of Jesus, "save possibly for Mark 2:10 and parallel passages, a fact which probably reflects an authentic tradition that Jesus did refer to himself in this way" (Brown et al., p.648).
8:22 Burying ones' parents was considered a duty of highest import in both the Jewish and Hellenistic cultures.
8:23-27 "From this allegory of the ship and the storm, we may take occasion to speak of the various senses in which the words of Scripture may be occasionally taken" (Haydock). This allegory is carried forth is many homilies by later men. "The author's handling of this miracle shows that he interprets it as an allegory for following Jesus" (Attridge).
8:23 "disciples," learners, those willing to sacrifice everything to follow Jesus. The above examples underline the requirements of discipleship.
8:25 Matthew and Mark contrast sharply: Matthew shows the disciples as pleading for help while Mark shows them almost rebuking Jesus for not helping them.
8:28 "Gadarenes" as the location is not certain. Various early versions of the Bible we have (Codex Vaticanus & Codex Sinaiticus) have different places that are similar in spelling.
8:29 "before the right time"- Apocryphal literature (e.g. Enoch) support the idea that evil spirits/demons were allowed to afflict human beings until the time of final judgement.
8:32 There are many hypothesis on why Jesus allowed the demons to be released into the swine. Bluntly, we cannot know.
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Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
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