Saturday, 26 August 2017

Matthew and Levi


#matthew #levi

While some scholars argue that Matthew is NOT Levi others do. Why?

The gospel of Matthew calls the tax collector commanded by Jesus to follow me Matthew but the gospels of Mark and Luke call him Levi.

There's a simple explanation. Matthai or Maththai was easier for Greek speakers to pronounce than Levi. If you have a Greek New Testament you'll see in the textual notes at the bottom of page that while the only difference in various early manuscripts in how Matthew is written in Greek is whether it has a tth or thth in the middle word.

Whereas LEVI is written as Leui Leuei Leuin Leuis and Leuee in various manuscripts.

WHY? Hebrew and Aramaic had a sound scholars call Waw or Vau pronounced W or U or V.

KOINE GREEK didn't have that sound.

Mark and Luke were probably trying to show they knew some "proper" Hebrew whereas Matthew ...well if matthew comes from a phrase meaning gift of god/yahu perhaps Matthew was his name at work or he was known by both names but preferred Matthew? The actual form seems to have been Mattai but there was another similar name Mattathias. The Greek text renders it as Maththaion.
Latin changed it to Mattheus and

This could be pronounced by Greek and Aramaic speakers but Levi?

A Greek or Latin speakerwould normally use ou to represent w or v in other languages.

Spelling it as Leui is Luke trying to get closer to the actual Hebrew!

More on the Story of Matthew Levi son of Alphaeus next week.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Antimenes' Athena

#Athena #athene #antimenes #Athenianblackware #ancientgreekpottery  #Attic #ceramics

So there are lots of images of the goddess Athena
so why did I choose this one by the Antimenes Painter  to share?

A) It has have some wear n tear but that erosion show us the two colors of clay slip used to create the image.
B) clarity of detail notice the birds on top of the columns and the way the crest of her helmet stands out
C) the pose she's about to take action she's not just a woman posing in a costume this is Athena Warrior
D) the beautiful proportions of the vessel itself and how the banded ornament that frames the image works on the vessel.
E) I don't know if the potter was also the painter but this vessel is both practical with two well handled handles and a mouth wide enough for easy pouring and refilling and also decorative and pleasing to look at whether its standing on a shelf or table or being carried.

A lovely example of Classic Attic Ware ! Enjoy

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Galatians 3:28

Yes this are my comments on #CHARLOTTESVILLE


There is neither Jew nor Greek, 
there is neither slave or free,
there is neither male nor female



But if you bite and devour one another 
take heed that you are not consumed by one another

the works of the flesh ...
idolatry enmity strife jealousy dissension 

If you were at Charlottesville 
as any part of the AltRight you were in the wrong.

If you are whining about Antifa and defending Southern heritage you are on the wrong side


the fruit of the Spirit ...
peace patience kindness self-control 

If any one was a hero at Charlottesville it would be the UNARMED pacific counterprotestors !

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Textual Variants are not Errors - The Tale of the Paralytic.

3 version of the story of the Paralysed Man
and the textual variant issue.

I often have seen people claiming textual variations are errata that invalidates scripture.
While I don't think every Bible verse needs to be read or interpreted literally at the other extreme I think a copyist changing one word or syllable vastly alters or invalidates the content of a verse.
The Classics I add have the same problem people arguing over variant texts.

My example here is three passages from Matthew Mark and Luke dealing with the story of the Paralysed Man.Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:27-32.

The main points of variance are not Jesus actual words but in the background setting and description.

Matthew writes of Jesus being in his own (idian) city, mark states it was Capernaum, in a house/home, and Luke just doesn't bother.
Matthew and Mark use the word paralutikon while Luke uses a perfect passive particle but form the same stem, using his higher level of education and usage of a more literary variety of Koine Greek.

Another point of variation is whether the bed is described as a klinee or krabatton or klinidion.

The idea seems to be the same though that the bed that was lowered was something of matting or low pallet.

None of these differences alter the meaning of Jesus' words and message of healing.

His ability to forgive sins and heal a paralysed man are both expressions of his power and authority as the "son of Man"  (Matt. 9.6)

All three versions of the story end with a command to the paralytic.

"rise up lift up your bed and go / walk to your home!"

I note also all 3 versions agree that the scribes teachers scholars and pharisees were mainly alleging Jesus was blaspheming.

Finally the other main variant can be easily explained.

Matthew doesn't mention the roof being removed. Mark and Luke do.

Mark describes the roof being removed and dug through and Luke writes of them going through the tiles roofing the house or chamber after climbing onto the roof.

A simple explanation? An older roof of mud brick or thatch or maybe just one large dining room was being converted to being tile covered. The 4 carriers of the paralytic probably used building equipment lying around to climb up onto the roof and break through it. The roof tiles were still loose and one section was still thatched. Perhaps they had to move both to make a large enough opening to lower the bed.

Unless you have a one of those easy read versions notes at the bottom will tell you if there's another spelling or a different word used. My English RSV and Greek Aland NT both list variants.

Just use also a good commentary that honestly but simply discusses any variation in the Greek.

In most cases you'll find its more likely to differ from English because a verb is Aorist Subjunctiv eor Imperative  or the word doesn't translate exactly into English.

We're dealing with three different views of the same event.

Matthew may have been an eyewitness. Mark was either a very young man or minor follower hearing the story from others and Luke heard the story much later.

Don't get hung up on textual variances. Just use a good sensible commentary.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Klimt's Athena

#klimt #athena #painting

For a change some "modern art" that shows classical influences and references not only in its subject but its details: the steely grey eyes, the helmet and the Aegis with the Gorgon's face.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

APHIENTAI Forgive is letting go.

#aphientai is usually translated as Forgive. It does however literally mean let go or send away.
#apo+hieemi send forth discharge send our or away let go set free permit let dissolve

Both Matthew and Mark and Luke record a confrontation during which Jesus asks the scribes which is better to forgive sins or heal.

Noe that he does both and heals the paralytic man.

they have been let go of/for you the sins are his words here.

Yes I'm being rather literal but I'm emphasizing a point

The use of Forgive  is a good translation but we should think of why that word was chosen to translate Aphientai?

not just I forgive you but You are forgiven and freed!

Byzantine Page Layout

#greek #calligraphy #byzantine #illuminedmanuscript

 Another example of #Byzantine #manuscript page layout

Note the way capitals are used and the placement of illustrations to the right rather than the left of the page and the delightful image of the stork nesting on a pillar.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

delayed posts

Sorry folks I've been sick off and on for the last week with the sort of minor ailments that tempt one to overdo things so one is sick one day and better the next but not fully recovered

stomach bug upsetting my blood sugar levels wattle pollen allergy leading to sinusitis sniffles mild flu or pollen reaction ... generic weird aches and twinges

I'm functioning on green tea and boringly sensible soups brown rice etc since anything much spicier sweeter or stronger makes me sick again

maybe by the weekend I've have the energy and inspiration to make a decent post