The feedings of the five and four thousand.
Matthew 14.15-21; 15.32-39 = Mark 6.35-44; 8.1-10 = Luke 9.12-17 (John 6.3-15).
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Notes and quotes.
§ I count the following agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark:
- Matthew 14.15 and Luke 9.12 each have δε, while Mark 6.35 has
- Matthew 14.15 has τους
οχλους (the crowds)
and Luke 9.12 has τον
οχλον (the crowd). Mark 6.36 has
- Matthew 14.15 has the definite article τας to modify
Luke 9.12 also has τας
to modify κωμας in first
place, but adds αγρους
(fields) in second place. In Mark 6.36 the definite article
in first place, but κωμας
is also present in second place.
- Matthew 14.17 and Luke 9.13 each have οι
δε (but they) where Mark 6.37 has only
και (and). This match
involves a rather common agreement.
- Matthew 14.17 and Luke 9.13 agree in having ουκ (no) where the phrasing in Mark 6.37
- Matthew 14.15 and Luke 9.13 both have βρωματα (foods)
against Mark 6.36 or 6.38, which lack it; however, the Matthean and Lucan
instances are not strictly in parallel.
- Matthew 14.18 and Luke 9.14 have ειπεν δε (but he said).
Mark 6.38-39 lacks it.
- Matthew 14.19 has the accusative τους
οχλους (the crowds)
and Luke 9.14 has the accusative αυτους (them) against
the dative αυτοις
(to them) in Mark 6.39.
- Matthew 14.19 has τοις
οχλοις (to the crowds)
and Luke 9.16 has τω
οχλω (to the crowd). Mark 6.41 has
(to them) instead.
- Matthew 14.20 and Luke 9.17 each have the genitive κλασματων
(of broken bread, or of fragments) against the accusative
(broken bread, or fragments) in Mark 6.43.
- Matthew 14.20 has το
and Luke 9.17 has το
(both roughly meaning left over). Mark 6.43 lacks a parallel.
However, Mark 8.8 (from the feeding of the four thousand) has περισσευματα.
- Matthew 14.21 and Luke 9.14 both have ωσει (about).
Mark 6.44 lacks a parallel word. However, Mark 8.9 (from the feeding of
the four thousand) has ως
§ The phrase χωρις
παιδιων (apart from women
and children) in Matthew 14.21 and 15.38 is a
The phrase η δε
κλινειν (but the day began
to decline) in Luke 9.12 is also repeated in Luke 24.29.
§ There are very clear thematic and
verbal connections between these accounts of miraculous feedings
and the accounts of the last
supper of Jesus with his disciples.
§ John Dominic Crossan, on page 406 of
The Historical Jesus,
calls attention to book 8 of the Sibylline Oracles, lines 273-278,
which he renders as follows:
- With a word shall he make the winds to cease, and calm the sea
- While it rages walking on it with feet of peace and in faith.
- And from five loaves and fish of the sea
- He shall feed five thousand men in the desert,
- And then taking all the fragments left over
- He will fill twelve baskets for a hope of the people.
The Greek runs as follows: