Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Matthew 11

<idle musing>
I was reading in Matthew 11 the other day, and noticed something I had never seen before: in verse 2, the narrative uses XRISTOS:

ὁ δὲ Ἰωάννης ἀκούσας ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Χριστοῦ πέμψας διὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ σὺ εἶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἢ ἕτερον προσδοκῶμεν;

When John heard in prison what the Messiah (TOU XRISTOU) was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" NRSV

The use of XRISTOS here is unusual in the narrative of Matthew; XRISTOS only occurs at the beginning of Matthew (in the birth narrative), at Peter's confession, in the passion week narrative, and here. It seems Matthew was specifically setting up a contrast between the works of Messiah and the doubting of John as to whether Jesus really was Messiah.
</idle musing>

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