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Textual Criticism and Exegesis of the Gospel of Matthew

by Robert Randle  
8/18/2009 / Bible Studies

Many of us are familiar with the miracles, sermons, parables, and prophetical utterances, but what about a simple narrative study and comparison of a few selected citations which might cause you to ask a few questions; thereby doing some follow-up research.

1: 1
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

NOTE: Who would be the most interested in a genealogical introduction?

Matthew 1: 12-16
And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel; and to Zerubbabel was born Abiud; and to Abiud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor; and to Azor was born Zadok; and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud; and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob; and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called the "Christ."


I Chronicles 3: 16-20
And the sons of Jehoiakim ["Eliakim"] were Jeconiah his son, and the sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner [during the "Babylonian captivity"], were Shealtiel his son, and Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. And the sons of Pedadiah ["Shealtiel"; Matthew 1: 12??] were Zerubbabel and Shimei. And the sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shemolith was their sister; and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushabhesed, five (??)[by "Shimei", verse 19??].

Matthew's account has some significant inconsistencies which have been previously noted, but in addition to those listed above, there are others: Abiud, Azor, Achim, Matthan, Jacob son of Mattan, and Joseph son of Jacob are not mentioned in any genealogical record or Scriptural reference; except here in this account.

There are 2 Eliakim's; one is a son of Hilkiah (Cp. II Kings 18: 18) and the other Eliakim is the king of Judah, whose name was changed to "Jehoiakim" by Necho king of Egypt (Cp. II Chronicles 36: 4).

As for Zadok, it is a little difficult to pinpoint his ancestry because it is so varied. He is the son of Ahitub (Cp. I Chronicles 6: 6-9, 11-15; Ezra 7: 1-5), the son of Meraioth (Cp. Ezra 9: 11), the son of Baana (Cp. Nehemiah 3: 4, 6), and the son of Immer (Cp. Nehemiah 3: 29)

Eleazar is interesting because according to I Chronicles 6: 4, he begat Phinehas, but I Chronicles 23: 22a; 24: 28 states that he died having no sons but only daughters. Ezra 7: 5 and I Chronicles 9: 20 mentions that Phinehas is the son of Eleazar. He is also mentioned as the son of Dodo the Ahohite in I Chronicles 11: 12, and as the son of Mahli (Cp. I Chronicles 23: 21; 24: 28).

Mattan is mentioned as a priest of Baal who was killed during the purge of Jehoiada (Cp. II Chronicles 23: 17; II Kings 11: 18) or the father of Shepthatiah (Cp. Jeremiah 38: 1).

NOTE: Presumably this Mattan is Matthan??

Joseph is the son of Bani (I Chronicles 25: 2; Ezra 10: 42) or the son of Shebaniah (Cp. Nehemiah 12: 14).

1: 18-23
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And you shall bring forth a Son and call His name "JESUS" and He shall save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, bear a Son, and they shall call His name "IMMANUEL," meaning, 'GOD WITH US.' (Cp. Isaiah 7: 14 )

NOTE: Read Isaiah 7: 1 through 8: 10; esp. 10-11, 14-15; 8: 8b, 10b??). Also, this prophesy doesn't mention the name "JESUS." Also, why didn't Mary tell Joseph that she was carrying the Holy Seed inside of her?

2: 1-2, 7
Wise men ["Magi, Astrologers'] from the East inquired of Herod the King after following His "Star" about the birth of One King of the Jews.

NOTE: Was it a brilliant star in the heavens, the Planet Jupiter, a unique constellation configuration, cosmic phenomenon, or truly an inexplicable 'supernatural' event?

2: 4-5
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the "Christ" was to be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: Micah 5: 2.

NOTE: Curiously, Matthew doesn't include the part in Micah that mentions "Whose goings forth are from of old, from Everlasting," and in Matthew 6b, "Who will shepherd My people Israel" is found in II Samuel 5: 2??

2: 11
Gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Cp. Isaiah 60: 6).

2: 13-15
Take the Child and depart to Egypt (Cp. Hosea 11: 1).

2: 20
Those [Herod the Great??] who sought the Child's life are dead.
NOTE: The King probably died around 4 BCE, according to 'Wikipedia.'

2: 22
Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod [The Great], and Joseph and his family were warned in a dream by God and turned aside into the regions of Galilee.

NOTE: according to "Wikipedia," Herod Philip I ruled Judea, Samaria, and Edom; but in Luke 3: 1 it states that Philip was tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis (around Syria).

2: 23
He came and dwelt in Nazareth that it might be fulfilled as spoken by the Prophets, "HE SHALL BE CALLED A NAZARENE."

NOTE: This prophetical utterance is not found in Scripture.

3: 1
John the Baptizer came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3: 3
This is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: Isaiah 40: 3

3: 7-8
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! (Cp. 12: 34; 23: 33) Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance."

3: 10, 12
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

3: 13
Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John.

3: 16-17
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well leased."

NOTE: The Scriptures do not say if anyone else heard the voice but Jesus, and as far as seeing the Spirit of God descend as a dove, outside of Jesus, John the Baptizer was the only other person who could (Cp. John 1: 31-32). This is not all that surprising, considering the account in Luke 1: 15, 26-41.

4: 12-16, 17
Jesus heard that John was put in prison and departed back to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth He came and dwelt in Capernaum, by the Sea [of Galilee/Tiberius] in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali (Cp. Isaiah 9: 1-2; 42: 7). From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

NOTE: Jesus continued what John the Baptizer started (Cp. 3: 1)

4: 24
Then His fame went throughout all of Syria.
NOTE: Why not throughout Judea, Samaria, or Galilee?

5: 17-19
I did not come to destroy ['loosen'] the law ["Torah"] and Prophets but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth shall pass away, one Yodh [smallest letter] or one small stroke will by no means pass from the Law ["Torah"] till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

NOTE: Loosen might convey a better sense of the verse than destroy. Now what are those commandments?

5: 21
You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not Murder" (Cp. Exodus 20: 13; Deuteronomy 5: 17).

5: 22b
And whoever says to his brother, Raca ('I spit on you')! shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, You fool ('you coward')! shall be in danger of hell fire ("gehenna").

5: 27-28
You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not commit Adultery" (Cp. Exodus 20: 14; Deuteronomy 5: 18). But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

5: 29-30
And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than your whole body be cast into hell ("gehenna"). And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than your whole body be cast into hell ("gehenna").

NOTE: Why did Jesus mention a "right" body part instead of just one in particular; and was He advocating maiming oneself? For the idea behind "HELL" look at II Kings 23: 10; Isaiah 30: 33; Jeremiah 7: 31-33.

5: 31
Furthermore it has been said, "Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality [unfaithfulness] causes her to commit adultery (??); and whoever marries a woman who is divorced [for marital infidelity??] commits adultery (Cp. Romans 7: 2-3??).

NOTE: Under the Law of Moses a divorced woman could remarry another man but the only prohibition was that she could not return back to be a wife to her former husband because it was deemed a 'defilement' (Cp. Deuteronomy 24: 1-2); Jesus goes beyond that in His teaching, too?? Also, under the Old Testament, when a man had sexual relations with a married woman, both of them are to be put to death (Leviticus 20: 10)

5: 33
Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord (Cp. Exodus 20: 16; Leviticus 19: 12b; Deuteronomy 23: 23a).

5: 38
You have heard that it was said of old, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Cp. Exodus 21: 12-27; Leviticus 24: 17-21; Deuteronomy 19: 21).

5: 43
You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

NOTE: Deuteronomy 23: 7 says, You shall not abhor an Edomite, and Leviticus 19: 18 says, Love thy neighbor as thyself.

8: 11-12
And I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

NOTE: Jesus did not include the north and south, the ends of the earth, or refer to the nations [Gentiles]. It seems rather here that the kingdom of heaven is a geopolitical government rather than the heavenly one.

8: 16b-17
And He cast out the spirits with a word, and He healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." (Cp. Isaiah 53: 4a)

10: 5-7
Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

10: 23
You will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

11: 2-3
And when John in prison had heard of the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

NOTE: Is it not strange that although John the Baptizer heard of the things Jesus did, still his understanding of the prophesied "Messiah" or 'Anointed One' and what He would do to usher in the expected kingdom of heaven was at odds with what was actually being done. If indeed, John the Baptizer was an Essene from the Qumran community that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, then the role of Messiyah bringing about the Apocalyptic battle between the "Sons of Light" and the "Sons of Darkness" would have left him a little puzzled, indeed.

11: 4-5
Jesus answered and said to them, "Go tell John the things which you hear and see. The blind see and the lame walk (Cp. Isaiah 35: 5a, 6a); the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear (Cp. Isaiah 35: 5b), the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

NOTE: Isaiah's prophesy mentions about the tongue of the dumb singing ["loosened"], but nothing about the dead being raised and the poor having the gospel preached to them, or the poor mentioned at all.

11: 10
For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You (Malachi 3: 1)

NOTE: The rest of Malachi 3: 1 reads: And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of Hosts [YHVH Sabaoth].

11: 12
The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Cp. Luke 16: 16??). The Law and the Prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.

NOTE: It seems as though the people looked on this as a real political, social, religious and civil governmental entity as opposed to a spiritual one.

11: 13-14
For all the Prophets and the Law ['Torah'] prophesied until John [the Baptizer]. And if you are willing to receive it, he is the Elijah to come (Cp. Luke 1: 17??).

NOTE: See Luke 16: 16 and Malachi 4: 5-6a

11: 18
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, "He has a demon."

NOTE: This is curious because nowhere in the Gospel record does it mention about John the Baptizer was accused of having a demon, but rather Jesus was labeled in that manner.

12: 16-21
Jesus warned the multitude not to make Him known; thereby fulfilling Isaiah 42: 1-4.

12: 23-24
The multitudes asked if this was the Son of David but the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, ruler of the demons.

NOTE: If this entity is over the demonic hordes then where does Satan fit in all of this?

12: 27
By whom do your sons cast them (demons) out?

NOTE: Does Jesus' statement mean that the Jews practiced exorcism and where in the Law [Torah] are the instructions in this rite mentioned? There is of course the incident mentioned in Acts 19: 13-19.

12: 46-50
While He was talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mothers and My brothers!"For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

NOTE: It doesn't appear that the social family bonding was all that strong.

13: 10, 13
Speaking to the multitudes in Parables (Cp. Isaiah 6: 9-10).

13: 24-30
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then also the tares appeared. "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?' "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.

13: 34-35
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in Parables [The Sower, Wheat and Tares, Mustard Seed, Leaven]. . . that it might be fulfilled by the prophet, saying. . . See Psalms 78: 2.

13: 45-52
Jesus instructs the disciples on the parables of The Hidden Treasure; The Pearl of Great Price; The Dragnet, and in verse 51, Jesus asked them if they understood all these things, to which they replied, "Yes Lord."

13: 54a, 55-56
And when He had come into His own city, He taught them in their synagogue. Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses [Joseph], Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?

NOTE: It would be quite interesting to know more about His siblings and mother Mary.

14: 1-2
Herod the Tetrarch heard the report about Jesus whom he thought was John the Baptizer whom he beheaded had risen from the dead (Cp. Luke 3: 1).

14: 25, 33
Jesus was walking on the Sea [of Galilee/Tiberius] and came into the boat. Those in the boat worshipped Him saying, "You are the Son of God."

NOTE: Jesus did not tell them to keep this quiet (??).

15: 1-4, 7
Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked Him why His disciples transgress the "tradition" of the elders; to which He replied, "Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your 'traditions'?" {Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites!}

16: 13-17
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So the said, "Some say John [The Baptizer], some Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ ["Anointed"], the Son of the Living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

NOTE: Did the people as well as the disciples believe that Jesus was one of the Prophets who died centuries ago, and God has miraculously brought back to life? Even Herod the tetrarch thought that Jesus was John the Baptizer risen from the dead (Cp. Matthew 14: 1-2), so is this belief in the doctrine of Reincarnation or the Transmigration of Souls?

16: 19
The keys to the kingdom of heaven and binding on earth and heaven and loosing on earth and in heaven.

NOTE: Keys seem to denote authority to open up (allow; loosen) and restrict (prevent; bind). With this thought in mind, consider Isaiah 8: 16, which says, "Bind up the Testimony. Seal the Law ['Torah"??] among My disciples," along with Matthew 5: 17: I did not come to destroy ['loosen'] the Law ["Torah"] and Prophets but to fulfill.

16: 20
Jesus commanded that His disciples should not tell anyone that He was the "Christ".

NOTE: What about Matthew 14: 30??

17: 1-4
Jesus, Peter, James, and John go up on the Mountain of Transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to Jesus.

NOTE: Elijah is only the second person in the Scriptures to have not seen death but taken directly to heaven. The first was Enoch (Cp. Genesis 5: 22, 24) and Elijah (II Kings 2: 1, 11-12a).

17: 5
A voice spoke from the cloud that overshadowed them, saying, "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

NOTE: Almost word-for-word with Matthew 3: 17.

17: 9
Jesus told them not to tell the "vision" until the Son of Man is risen from the dead; why?

17: 10-12a, 13
And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming [first] and will restore all things? "But I say to you that Elijah has come already (Cp. 11: 14), and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptizer (Cp. Malachi 4: 5-6a; Luke 1: 17).

NOTE: How is it that John the Baptizer was the Elijah who was to come and would have the power to restore 'all' things??

18: 8-9
"If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell ("gehenna") fire.

NOTE: Essentially word-for-word as Matthew 5: 29-30.

18: 10
Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

NOTE: According to Jesus, children do indeed have "Guardian Angels."

18: 18-20
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Cp. 16: 19b). Again I say to you that if "two" of you agree on earth concerning 'anything' they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

19: 28
Assuredly, I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

NOTE: Not judging the nations or the world, but just the Twelve tribes of Israel??

20: 20
Then the mother of Zebedee's son's came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something of Him.

NOTE: It would seem that these sons were not yet men, and most likely teenagers to have their mother intercede for them.

21: 1-2, 4-5
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you will say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "TELL THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, LOWLY, AND SITTING ON A DONKEY, A COLT, THE FOAL OF A DONKEY." (Cp. Zechariah 9: 9)

NOTE: There are two Bethany's; one is around the Mount of Olivet near Jerusalem, and is called Bethphage. The other one is the Bethany Beyond the Jordan, called Bethabara, opposite the one in Judea.

21: 9-11
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying, "HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! Hosanna in the highest!" (Cp. Psalms 118: 26a) And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved [stirred up with excitement, anticipation, confusion, anxiety, etc.??], saying, "Who is this?" So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.

NOTE: The Old Testament doesn't say anything about the "Prophet" coming from Galilee (Cp. Deuteronomy 18: 15, 18a; John 7: 40, 52; Matthew 2: 4-5)

21: 12-13
Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold [practiced extortion and usury] in the temple precincts; He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves, as it is written, "MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER, 'BUT YOU HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF

NOTE: This combines both prophesies of Isaiah 56: 7b and Jeremiah 7: 11.

21: 17
Then He left them and went out of the city [Jerusalem] to Bethany [Bethphage??], and He lodged there.

21: 21-22
So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done. "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

22: 29-30
Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven."

NOTE: This refutes the teaching of some who believe in conjugal rights and family planning in the hereafter.

23: 1-3,
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and His disciples, saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. "Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say and do not do."

NOTE: Although the Scribes and Pharisees wielded religious authority among the people as the inheritors of the Mosaic Law ["Torah"] to teach the people in place of the former Levites and Priests {??}, still, didn't Jesus say in Matthew 15: 6 that they [Pharisees] set aside the commandment of God [contained in the "Torah" of Moses] by their [oral] traditions?

23: 13-34 "Jesus pronounces woes"

NOTE: The most serious and profound denunciation of any group or person in the New Testament Gospels; and perhaps in the entire Bible.

23: 35b
Zechariah the son of Berechiah, who you murdered between the temple and the altar.

NOTE: This incident is recorded in II Chronicles 24: 20-22, but it is Zechariah son of Jehoiada. The only other mention of a name close to that of "Berachiah" is, Zechariah son of Benaiah in II Chronicles 20: 14.

24: 1-3, 6b, 22, 24, 31, 33-34
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Now as He sat on the Mount of Olivet, the disciples came to Him privately saying, "Tell us, (1) when will these things be and (2) what will be the sign of Your coming and (3) the end of the age?" For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. For false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near; at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away until all these things take place.

COMMENTARY: The first thing is to read the entire chapter, keeping in mind the 'context,' which is predicated upon the three questions the disciples wanted Jesus to answer. Jesus mentioned "these things" as events which the disciples would seemingly be alive to see ['the end is not yet; when you see all these things; this generation will by no means pass away until. . .']. Also, curiously, Jesus says His angels will gather the "Elect" from the four corners of heaven instead of the four corners of the Earth, or even gathering them from every nation under heaven. Lastly, the 'Elect' is usually thought of as being the Christian Church, and while some aspect of that may be true, but in this particular instance, Jesus may have more nationalistic interests. God's Elect would appear to be "Israel" foremost (Cp. Isaiah 45: 4; 65: 22; Romans 11: 7, 28; I Peter 1: 1-2; II John 1: 1, 13??; Revelation 7: 4-8 & 14: 1-5??)

25: 31-46
The Son of Man will judge the Nations (Cp. Revelation 7: 9-10; 14: 6-7; "Gentiles")

26: 17-18, 20
Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, "The Teacher says, 'My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."'" When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

NOTE: Nothing is mentioned in the other Gospel narratives about Jesus saying, "My time is at hand." MARK and LUKE mention about a guest room where Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples (Cp. Mark 14: 12-17; Luke 22: 7-13). John's Gospel shows Jesus instituting the ordinance of "Foot-washing," probably as an example of humility and demonstration of Love; as opposed to The Lord's Supper ("Eucharist") as mentioned in the others, including the Apostle Paul's instructions in I Corinthians 11: 17-34. Also, JOHN'S narrative is the only one to record a very lengthy discourse by Jesus (chapters 13 through 18)to the disciples before leaving for the Brook of Kidron near the Mount of Olivet, where He was finally arrested and sent to His execution ("Crucifixion").

27: 32-44 "The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ"

NOTE: It is puzzling that Jesus could have been have been publicly executed between 12PM and 3PM by the hated Romans without the people rioting and committing insurrection because according to Matthew 21: 9, 11, 45-46, Jesus was highly esteemed by the people as a prophet.

28: 16-17
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them (Cp. Matthew 28: 10; Mark 16: 7). When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted.

Note: It is curious why this narrative mentions some disciples were doubtful; was it such a shock and they were so traumatized as this event was beyond belief, and they just could not rationally accept the impossible feat of seeing Jesus having been raised from the dead? Mark 16: 12-14 seems to be a record of what is mentioned in Luke 24: 13-38. Also, in Luke 24: 34, it mentions about the Lord appearing to Simon [Peter], but verse 12 doesn't mention any such thing. The narrative of JOHN is the only book to mention about Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene alone (Cp. John 20: 11-18).

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
July 29, 2009

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