Controversy Over Fasting

NA27 Matthew 9:14-17 B Mark 2:18-22 T Mark 2:18-22 P88 Mark 2:18-22 D Mark 2:18-22 W Mark 2:18-22 D Luke 5:33-39 T Luke 5:33-39 B Luke 5:33-39
14Tote prosercontai autw
oi maqhtai Iwannou



lego
nteV
Dia ti hmeiV


kai oi Farisaioi

nhsteuomen polla
oi de maqhtai sou
ou nhsteuousin;
15kai eipen autoiV o IhsouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV penqein
ef oson
met autwn
estin o numfioV;



eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin.




16OudeiV de epiballei
epiblhma
rakouV agnafou

epi imatiw palaiw.
airei gar
to plhrwma autou
apo tou imatiou
kai ceiron scisma ginetai.

17oude ballousin oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh ge,
rhgnuntai oi askoi

kai o oinoV ekceitai
kai oi askoi apolluntai
alla ballousin oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV
kai amfoteroi sunthrountai.
18kai hsan
oi maqhtai Iwanou
kai oi Fareisaioi
nhsteuonteV
kai ercontai
kai legousin autw
,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwanou
kai oi maqhtai twn Fareisaiwn

nhsteuousin,
oi de soi
ou nhsteuousin;
19kai eipen autoiV o IhsouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein;
oson cronon ecousin
ton numfion met autwn
ou dunantai nhsteuein
.
20eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinh th hmera.



21OudeiV epiblhma

rakouV agnafou
epiraptei
epi imation palaion.
ei de mh airei
to plhrwma af eautou
to kainon tou palaiou
kai ceiron scisma geinetai.

22kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh,
rhxei o oinoV touV askouV

kai oi oinoV apollutai
kai oi askoi
alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV.
18kai hsan
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi Farisaioi
nhsteuonteV
kai ercontai
kai legousin autw
,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi maqhtai twn Farisaiwn

nhsteuousin,
oi de maqhtai sou
ou nhsteuousin;

19kai eipen autoiV o IhsouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein;
oson cronon ecousi
ton numfion met autwn
ou dunantai nhsteuein
.
20eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinh th hmera.



21OudiV epiblhma

rakouV agnafou
epirapti
epi imation palaion.
ei de mh airei
plhrwma ap autou
to kainon tou palaiou
kai ceiron scisma geinetai.

22kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh,
rhxei o oinoV touV askouV

kai oi oinoV ekceitai
kai oi askoi apolountai
alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV.
18kai hsan
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi Fareiseoi
nhsteuonteV
kai ercontai
kai legousin autw
,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi maqhtai twn Fareisewn

nhsteuousin;


19kai eipen autoiV o IhsouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein;
oson cronon ecousin
ton numfion meq eautwn

ou dunantai nhsteuein
.
20eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinh th hmera.



21OudeiV epiblhma

rakouV agnafou
epirapti
epi imation palaion.
ei de mh airei
to plhrwma ap autou
to kenon tou palaiou
kai ceiron sceisma geinetai.

22kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh,
rhxei o oinoV touV askouV

kai oi oinoV apollutai
kai oi askoi
alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV blhteon.
18kai hsan
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi Farisaioi
nhsteuonteV
kai ercontai
kai legousin autw
,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi twn Farisaiwn

nhsteuousin,
oi de soi maqhtai
ou nhsteuousin
;
19kai eipen autoiV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein;



20eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinh th hmera.



21OudeiV de epiblhma

rakkouV agnafou
episunraptei
epi imation palaion.
ei de mh erei
to plhrwma to kainon
apo tou palaiou
kai ceiron scisma geinetai.

22kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh,
rhxei o oinoV touV askouV

kai o oinoV
kai oi askoi apolountai.


18kai hsan
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi maqhtai twn Farisaiwn
nhsteuonteV
kai ercontai
kai legousin autw
,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai twn Farisaiwn

nhsteuousin,
oi de soi maqhtai
ou nhsteuousin
;
19kai eipen autoiV,
Mh dunantai oi numfioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein.



20eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinh th hmera.



21OudeiV epiblhma

rakouV agnafou
episunrapti
epi imatiw palaiw.
ei de mh erei
ap autou to plhrwma
to kainon tou palaiou
kai pleiw scisma geinetai.

22kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
all eiV kainouV ei de mh,
diarrhssontai oi askoi

kai o oinoV ekceitai
kai oi askoi apolluntai
alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV ballousin.





33Oi de eipan proV auton,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
kai oi maqhtai twn Farisaiwn
nhsteuousin pukna
kai dehseiV poiountai
,
oi de maqhtai sou
ouden toutwn poiousin.
34O de IhsouV eipen proV autouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
ef oson ecousin ton numfion
meq eautwn
nhsteuein;



35eleusontai de hmerai
kai otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinaiV taiV hmeraiV.

36Elegen de kai parabolhn
pros autouV oti

OudeiV epiblhma
apo imatiou kaikou
scisaV
epiballei

epi imation palaion.
ei de mh ge,
kai to kainon scisei
kai tw palaiw
ou sumfwnhsei to apo
tou kainou epiblhma
.
37kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh ge,
rhxei o oinoV o neoV touV askouV
touV palaiouV
kai autoV ekcuqhsetai
kai oi askoi apolountai
38alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV ballousin
39kai amfoteroi thrountai.






33Oi de eipon proV auton,
Dia ti
oi maqhtai Iwannou
nhsteuousin pukna
kai dehseiV poiountai omoiwV

kai oi twn Farisaiwn,
oi de soi
esqiousin kai pinousin.
34O de IhsouV eipen proV autouV,
Mh dunantai oi uioi
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin nhsteuein;



35eleusontai de hmerai
otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
kai tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinaiV taiV hmeraiV.

36Elegen pros autouV
parabolhn oti

OudiV epiblhma
apo imatiou kaikou
scisaV
epiballei

epi imation palaion.
ei de mh ge,
to kainon scisei
kai tw palaiw
ou sumfwnhsei to epiblhma
to apo tou kainou
.
37kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh ge,
rhxei o oinoV touV askouV

kai autoV ekcuqhsetai
kai oi askoi apolountai
38alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV ballousin
39kai oudiV piwn palaion
qelei neon legei gar,
O palaioV crhstoV estin.






33Oi de eipan proV auton,

Oi maqhtai Iwanou
nhsteuousin pukna
kai dehseiV poiountai omoiwV

kai oi twn Fareisaiwn,
oi de soi
esqeiousin kai peinousin.
34O de IhsouV eipen proV autouV,
Mh dunasqe touV uiouV
tou numfwnoV
en w o numfioV met autwn
estin poihsai nhsteusai;



35eleusontai de hmerai
kai otan aparqh ap autwn
o numfioV,
tote nhsteusousin
en ekeinaiV taiV hmeraiV.

36Elegen de kai parabolhn
pros autouV oti

OudeiV epiblhma
apo imatiou kaikou
scisaV
epiballei

epi imation palaion.
ei de mh ge,
kai to kainon scisei
kai tw palaiw
ou sumfwnhsei to epiblhma
to apo tou kainou
.
37kai oudeiV ballei oinon neon
eiV askouV palaiouV
ei de mh ge,
rhxei o oinoV o neoV touV askouV

kai autoV ekcuqhsetai
kai oi askoi apolountai
38alla oinon neon
eiV askouV kainouV blhteon.
39OudeiV piwn palaion
qelei neon legei gar,
O palaioV crhstoV estin.

Notes:

Here are a few comments about the Controversy Over Fasting pericope. I have inserted an extra "guest column" for this series of pericopes from papyrus P88 to provide additional information about the structure.

On Fasting
1. This pericope is the third in a series of controversy stories that began with the Healing of the Paralytic. Matthew and Luke have all three stories occurring in Capernaum. Mark has a different setting for the Call of Levi with Jesus teaching beside the sea. Mark links the episode on fasting to the previous controversy with kai hsan (and were), a connecting device used frequently by him.

2. The antagonists confront Jesus using the interrogative Dia ti (why) in all versions but Alexandrian Luke, which continues the previous confrontation with a statement. This structure is different from Alexandrian Mark in the previous pericope, which uses the more ambiguous oti (what / that). The narrative structure is also different. The disciples are addressed and Jesus overhears in the previous story, whereas the conflict is escalated here by engaging Jesus directly.

3. Mark 2:19 uses the verb form eipen (he said) in agreement with Matthew and Luke, instead of Mark's more usual legei (he says) in direct discourse. This is possibly the residual sign of a difference in sources. Tertullian mentions that Marcion had a pericope in this place in his gospel where Jesus was confronted directly by John the Baptist.

4. Jesus poses a rhetorical question in Mk 2:19, and there is a doublet in the Alexandrian version (Mk 2:19b) where Jesus answers his own question oson cronon ecousin ton numfion meq eautwn ou dunantai nhsteuein (as long as they have the groom with them they are not able to fast). The doublet is not found in Western text-types of Mark, in agreement with Matthew and Alexandrian Luke. This is an unusual case where D Mark does not harmonize Alexandrian and Western texts. Interestingly, the statement in Mark 2:19b is also found in D Luke 5:34 rather than the question. This doublet is reminiscent of the Cleansing of the Leper in Mark 1:42, where A Luke 5:13 has one variant, D Luke has the other, and Mark has both forms.

5. Jesus uses a dispute over fasting to identify himself as the bridegroom of Israel. Fasting rules are suspended while a wedding is taking place. This is an overt Messianic claim, and it can also be interpreted as an epiphany. There is no Messianic secret evident here, and the epiphany is more like the Stilling of the Storm than the surrounding pericopes.

6. Mk 2:20 / Lk 5:35 ends with the expression en ekeinh th hmera / en ekeinaiV taiV hmeraiV (in that day / in those days). The singular form of this expression appears elsewhere in Mk 4:35 (cf. Lk 8:22) in the introduction to the Stilling of the Storm, and the plural form appears in Mk 8:1, beginning the Feeding of the 4000. Both of these events could be regarded as theophanies, so the language may be an editorial characteristic of a Son of God source document.

7. The Controversy Over Fasting pericope has no minor agreements between Matthew and Luke. Like the previous pericope, the composition can be explained by Markan priority. However, the results are also consisent with two similar source documents that are known to both Mark and Luke. It's a tough choice between fit or parsimony + special pleading.

8. The ending of Mk 2:18 may be a harmonization to Mt 9:14 and Lk 5:33. has oi de maqhtai sou ou nhsteuousin in ageement with Matthew, B has oi de soi ou nhsteuousin, which may be a harmonization to both Luke and Matthew, while P88 has neither. This is another example of a point of instability where the texts seem to go their separate ways. D and W Mark have what seems to be a further harmonization of both versions. B Lk 5:34 has Mh dunasqe touV uiouV and estin poihsai nhsteusai whereas has Mh dunantai oi uioi and estin nhsteuein in agreement with Mk 2:19.

New Patch onto an Old Garment
9. The minor agreements and variations in word order make it very difficult to account for the differences in this saying by Markan priority. Thomas has a completely different version involving sewing an old patch on a new garment. The great variation implies a proverbial saying in circulation much longer than Mark. It's more likely that the evangelists knew at least two sources. Luke's version in particular seems to be a compilation of multiple sources. This is a rare example where the Byzantine text is simpler than the Alexandrian. The Byz text of Lk 5:36 lacks the words apo, scisaV, and to epiblhma, all of which may have been added to smooth out the text.

New Wine into Old Wineskins
10. This is a difficult proverbial saying to put it mildly. Matthew and Mark have no minor agreements. The exception is W Mk 2:22b which has a high level of agreement with Mt 9:17b. The consensus ending of Mk 2:22b has weak support and lacks a verb. Is this an example of primitivity or a scribal blunder? The addition of blhteon (must be put) in P88 is probably original. The last line is missing from D Mk 2:22b alla oinon neon eiV askouV kainouV blhteon (rather, new wine into new wineskins must be put). This a so-called "Western non-interpolation". The scribes clearly had some kind of problem with this passage. Is it a metaphor for Jesus' atoning blood? "This cup, the new covanent in my blood" does not appear in the Last Supper scene in Western Luke.

11. P4 Luke 5:37 has rhgnusi in partial agreement with rhgnuntai in Mt 9:17 rather than the more usual rhxei. This could be a primitive byzantine reading .

12. The last line of the proverbial saying in Luke 5:39 is also a "Western non-interpolation". D Lk 5:39 substitutes Matthew's ending. Is this evidence of another long-forgotten Christological controversy? Note that crhstoV estin could be a pun for cristoV estin, comparing the "good old way" with the new way of Jesus as Messiah.