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Matthew 4:12-25

May 19, 2011
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-Matthew and Mark give the impression that Jesus returned to Galilee because John was imprisoned. John 4:1 says that Jesus returned  to Galilee because of concerns about the Pharisees (not the Sadducess, interestingly). We might have two different returnings to Galilee  here, but I’ve only ever seen them made the same event. The aforementioned impression is not mmainly problematic because it presents a different reason. Both reasons could have prompted Jesus’ action. The problem is tgat John 4:1 implies John the Baptist wasn’t put in prison yet.

-I don’t see any reason to think that Isaiah 9:1-2 was fulfilled in Matthew 4:12-13. Isaiah 9 seems to describe a time of much greater happiness and peace for Israel. It is noteworthy that Isaiah 9 is the famous “to us a child is born…he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God” passage.

-Peter, Andrew, James, and John are given a much more decent introduction in Matthew 4:18-22 than they get in Luke 4:38/5:10. The Gospel of John says (1:35-42) that Jesus had already met Peter, Andrew, and possibly John. I don’t know how that could contradict the other accounts, though.

-Matthew 4:18-22 (almost identical to Mark 1:16-20) and Luke 5:1-11 are very hard to reconcile. Hadn’t Peter and the others already “left everything and followed him” by the time they were with Jesus in Capernaum? Luke places the 5:1-11 account after incident with Peter’s mother-in-law in 4:38. However, Matthew (and Mark) have Peter and the others start following Jesus before the events in Capernaum.

-Matthew 17:14-18 blames at least some seizures on demon-possession. However, Matthew 4:24 seems to list those having seizures as a completely separate category. I guess those might be just those who had seizures from physical causes, if Matthew allows for that, though.

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