Redaction Criticism - Witness Statements


Witness statements relating to this text:

"It is not surprising that both Matthew and Luke omit the verse [v.43], which is also omitted by W b c and, except the last two words, by e [these refer to early manuscript copies]. There can be no doubt of its genuineness and primitive character. Only rarely in the Gospels are the emotions of Jesus described and His reaction to persons indicated. ... Whatever the obscurities of i.43 may be, in this verse we stand near events as they happened."

Vincent Taylor. The Gospel According to Mark: The Greek Text with Introduction, Notes and Indexes. 2nd edn. London: Macmillan Press. 1966:189.

Reproduced with the permission of Palgrave Macmillan


"Matthew makes subtle changes to his sources that very often signal a thematic or theological emphasis. This is perhaps most evident in his christology, which is both higher and more textured than Mark's, and in his christological exegesis. He removes references to Jesus' emotions and ignorance, apparently seeking to strengthen Mark's account. Nevertheless, Matthew's Jesus remains human and becomes more personal."

Richard Beaton 'How Matthew Writes' In. The Written Gospel. Markus Bockmuehl and Donald Hagner (eds.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2005:123.

Reproduced with the permission of Cambridge University Press


Here is a comment on Redaction Criticism

"Redaction Criticism, in particular, has called the attention of modern readers to this often obscured aspect of the Gospels, although the ancient titles ascribed to each Gospel in the second and third centuries sought to underscore this distinction. The "Gospel according to..." was their way of calling attention to the distinctive theological messages of each Gospel. Consequently, we are now in a  much better position to speak of the "theology" of Matthew, even in "Matthew" is now a more shadowy figure than he was once believed to be. Each of the Gospels, to be sure, is anonymous, yet each Gospel reflects a distinctive, definable theological outlook as it seeks to relate the story to Jesus in its own manner."

John Hayes and Carl Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook. 2nd edn. London: SCM Press. 1988:105-106.

(Italics retained from original)

Reproduced with the permission of SCM Press