Parthenos (1)

part 1 2 3

by Domenico Lembo

There is a persistent old misunderstanding about the word 'parthenos' and its implications in the Gospels. P. Harvey made here a great effort to provide a clarification, but was not able to overcome the traditional resistance to the evidence. One can, however, try to formulate better the point under discussion and refine upon the interpretation, so to avoid certain conceptual difficulties.

Actually, the greek word parthenos as such *never* had anything to do with physical virginity, at least until II Cent. AD. No greek passage, within this period, documents ever that the 'parthenos'-condition necessarily implies physical virginity. And many passages, on the contrary, use the name 'parthenos' for a woman bereft of virginity. Several of them, reported in LSJ, are rightly referred to by Harvey and correctly confirmed by Suter. Others could be referred to. Among the earliest is Hom. Il. II 512-515, where the poet mentions a 'parthenos' that bore ('teken') two children. The objections make no sense. We cannot help drawing the only possible conclusion: the greek word 'parthenos' does not mean 'a woman that is physically virgin'.

What is its real meaning? It is enough to notice that the standard opposition in Greek is 'parthenos'/'gyne'. The difference is not that the former is virgin, the latter is not: this is not always the case. The difference is that the 'gyne' has in principle a regular sexual activity, i.e. she is socially entitled to that, she has a properly qualified partner; whereas the 'parthenos' is for the society a woman not entitled to have sexual intercourse, i.e. she has no properly qualified partner. Even the young age is not necessarily implied. 'Parthenia' is not a stage in life. It's the condition of a woman that has no regular sexual activity. Cfr. Soran. Gyn. passim.

A 'parthenos' as such can be old or young: most 'parthenoi' are 'parthenoi' because they are just girls, i.e. not yet 'gynaikes', not yet (officially) entitled to do sex; but there are as well some old 'parthenoi', women that are no 'gynaikes', although they are no longer girls (the 'Hestiades parthenoi' in Plut. Cic. 19, like today's nuns, cannot be all girls). On the other hand, an old woman is not necessarily a 'gyne' and so a girl is not necessarily a 'parthenos'. The phrase 'parthenike neenis' in Hom. Od. VII 20 is not redundant, and so the phrase 'neanides parthenoi' in LXX Iud. 21.12.

_In se_ the 'parthenos'-condition has nothing to do with physical virginity, i.e. integrity of the hymen. A 'parthenos' is a 'parthenos' in that she is unmarried, even if she had some sexual intercourse. Cfr. hebr. 'betulah' Statististically, of course, 'parthenos' and 'virgin' in the ancient world are often the same. Conceptually, there is a sharp difference. And this is the point. Who says 'parthenos' means 'unmarried woman', not 'virgin' (as 'physically virgin'). We can translate 'maiden' to get a lexical distinction, or we can decide to redefine 'virgin' and explain that in ancient world 'virginity' does not necessarily imply 'physical virginity'.
This is a matter of choice. But the core of the whole question is that 'parthenos' means 'unmarried woman', not '(physically) virgin'. This meaning *never* changes, at least until II Cent. CE. To read 'parthenos' as 'virgin' (stricto sensu) in Matthew or Luke, one must prove that a change occurred. Sure, a development was possible. But where, in which text between Homer and the Gospels, does it occur? One must prove this.
Since the whole evidence tells us the opposite, the 'onus probandi' relies upon the interpreter that sees physical virginity as implied in the very concept of parthenos. If nobody gives such a proof, we are obliged to think that even in the Gospels 'parthenos' still means 'unmarried woman', wether physically virgin or not.

This is but the conclusive lexical evidence about 'parthenos'. And provides the minimal basis for the interpretation of both Mt 1.18-25 and Lk 1.26-38.
In the ancient greek world, a 'parthenos' that bears a child is a normal social event, although an irregular one. And being son of a 'parthenos' is a normal, although uncomfortable, condition. The same is in the world of both Matthew and Luke, as well in their narrative. The difference is just in the special religious, providentialistic, interpretation they provide (they need to provide). We must start from here, to read honestly the text. There are,of course, many further questions to raise as well to answer. But the whole exegesis has to be in harmony with this basic datum. The very interpretation is much more complex. Not only the greek term 'parthenos' here says nothing about Mary's hypothetical physical virginity. Nothing else there speaks of virginal conception, not Lk 1.34 either. But this is a longer story...

Domenico LEMBO

Universita' di Napoli

P.S. I am no native speaker. My written English is nothing near as effective as yours. But I hope the discourse is clear enough.

Rom 2:12-23 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God's sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.
15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all. 17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God 18 and know his will and determine what is best because you are instructed in the law, 19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, 21 you, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery?
You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You that boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

Rom 3:29-31 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Rom 5:13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law.

Rom 6:14-15 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Rom 7:4-8 In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. 7 What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead.

Rom 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Rom 7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.

Rom 7:21-23 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

Rom 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law--indeed it cannot,

Rom 10:4-5 (Gaus) Christ is what the law aims at: for every believer to be on the right side of [God's] justice. Moses, after all, describes the good standing based on the Law, saying: "The person who does these things shall be given life by them."

Strong's [Rm10:4]
G5056. telos, tel'-os; from a prim. tello (to set out for a definite point or goal); prop. the point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by impl.) the conclusion of an act or state (termination [lit., fig. or indef.], result [immed., ultimate or prophetic], purpose); spec. an impost or levy (as paid):--+ continual, custom, end (-ing), finally, uttermost.
Comp. G5411.

Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Rom 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

1 Cor 9:20-21 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law.

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?

Gal 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.

Gal 5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

1 Th 4 Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you. 9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one. 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

2 Th 2 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 6 And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. 13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17 comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

1 Tim 1:6-11 Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. 9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
The Jesus Seminar's Pink Letter Sayings: [Pink = I would include this item with reservations (or modifications) in the database. Jesus probably said something like this.]

16. Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food- what you're going to eat, or about your clothing-] what you are go- ing to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.
17. Or again, is there any woman with ten silver coins, who if she loses one, wouldn't light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she invites her friends over and says, "Celebrate with me, because I have found the silver coin I had lost." 18. Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests; but the son of Adam has nowhere to rest his head.
19. No prophet is welcome on his home turf.
20. Suppose you have a friend who comes to you in the middle of the night and says to you, "Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine on a trip has just shown up and I have nothing to offer him." And suppose you reply, "Stop bothering me. The door is already locked and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up to give you anything" - I tell you, even though you won't get up and give the friend anything out of friendship, yet you will get up and give the other whatever is needed because you'd be ashamed not to.
21. No servant can be a slave to two masters.
22. Heaven's imperial rule is like treasure hidden in a field: when someone finds it, that person covers it up again, and out of sheer joy goes and sells every last possession and buys that field.
23. Is there any one of you who owns a 100 sheep and one of them gets lost, who wouldn't leave the 99 in the wilderness, and go after the one that got lost until he finds it? And when he finds it, he lifts it upon his shoulders, happy. Once he gets home, he invites his friends and his neighbors over, and says to them, "Celebrate with me, because I have found my lost sheep." 24. Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand!
It's not what goes into a person from the outside that can defile; rather it's what comes out of the person that defiles.
25. Once there was a judge in this town who neither feared God nor cared about people. In that same town was a widow who kept coming to him and demanding: "Give me a ruling against the person I'm suing." For a while he refused; but eventually he said to himself, "I'm not afraid of God and I don't care about people, but this widow keeps pestering me. So I'm going to give her a favorable ruling, or else she'll keep coming back until she wears me down." 26. Once there was this man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the property that's coming to me." So he divided his resources between them. Not too many days later, the younger son got all his things together and left home for a faraway country, where he squandered his property by living extravagantly. Just when he had spent it all, a serious famine swept through that country, and he began to do without.
So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to feed the pigs. He longed to satisfy his hunger with the carob pods, which the pigs usually ate; but no one offered him anything. Coming to his senses he said, "Lots of my father's hired hands have more than enough to eat, while here I am dying of starvation! I'll get up and go to my father and I'll say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and affronted you; I don't deserve to be called a son of yours any longer; treat me like one of your hired hands.'" And he got up and returned to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved to compassion. He went running out to him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and affronted you; I don't deserve to be called a son of yours any longer." But the father said to his slaves, "Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Fetch the fat calf and slaughter it; let's have a feast and celebrate, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and now is found." And they started celebrating. Now his elder son was out in the field; and as he got closer to the house, he heard the music and dancing. He called one of the servant-boys over and asked what was going on. He said to him, "Your brother has come home and your father has slaughtered the fat calf, because he has him back safe and sound."But he was angry and refused to go in. So his father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, "See here, all these years I have slaved for you. I never once disobeyed any of your orders; yet you never once provided me with a kid goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours shows up, the one who has squandered your estate with prostitutes - for him you slaughter the fat calf." But said to him, "My child, you are always at my side. Everything that's mine is yours. But we just had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and now is found." 27. Follow me, and leave it to the dead to bury their own dead.
28. There are castrated men who were born that way, and there are castrated men who were castrated by others, and there are castrated men who castrated themselves because of Heaven's imperial rule.
29. Since when do people pick grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?
30. A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite guests. The slave went to the first and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said, "Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master has invited you." That one said to the slave, "I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said to the slave, "My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from the dinner." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said to the slave, "I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me." The slave returned and said to his master, "Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused." The master said to his slave, "Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner."
31. Think about how the lilies grow: they don't slave and they never spin. Yet let me tell you, even Solomon at the height of his glory was never decked out like one of these. If God dresses up the grass in the field, which is here today and tommorow is tossed into an oven, it is surely more likely you, you who don't take anything for granted!
32. The Father's imperial rule is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and then found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.
33. Think about the crows: they don't plant or harvest, they don't have store- rooms or barns. Yet God feeds them. You're worth a lot more than the birds!
34. It's easier for a camel to squeeze through a needle's eye than for a wealthy person to get into God's domain.
{14. Our Father.} 35. Your name be revered. 36. Impose your imperial rule.
37. A city sitting on top of a mountain can't be concealed.
38. I was watching Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
39. You must be as sly as a snake and as simple as a dove.
40. The Father's imperial rule is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one.
41. If you have money, don't lend it at interest.
Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back.
42. If I drive out demons in Beelzebul's name, in whose name do your own people drive out? In that case, they will be your judges. But if by God's finger I drive out demons, then for you God's imperial rule has arrived.
43. No one lights a lamp and covers it with a pot or puts it under a bed; ra- ther, one puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light.
44. God's imperial rule is like this: Suppose someone sows seed on the ground, and sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and matures, although the sower is unaware of it. The earth produces fruit on its own, first a shoot, then a head, then mature grain on the head. But when the grain ripens, all of a sudden sends for the sickle, because it's harvest time.
45. This is why Heaven's imperial rule should be compared to a secular ruler who decided to settle accounts with his slaves. When the process began, this debtor was brought to him who owed ten million dollars. Since he couldn't pay it back, the ruler ordered him sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, so he could recover his money. At this prospect, the slave fell down and groveled before him: "Be patient with me, and I'll repay every cent." Because he was compassionate, the master of that slave let him go and canceled the debt. As soon as he got out, that same fellow collared one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred dollars, and grabbed him by the neck and demanded: "Pay back what you owe!" His fellow slave fell down and begged him: "Be patient with me and I'll pay you back." But he wasn't interested; instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he paid the debt. When his fellow slaves realized what had happened, they were terribly distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had taken place. At that point, his master summoned him: "You wicked slave," he says to him, "I canceled your entire debt because you begged me. Wasn't it only fair for you to treat your fellow slave with the same consideration as I treated you?" And the master was so angry he handed him over to those in charge of punishment until he paid back everything he owed.
46. Why worry about clothes?
47. Be on guard against the scholars who like to parade around in long robes, and who love to be addressed properly in the marketplaces, and who prefer important seats in the synagogues and the best couches at banquets.
48. A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, "Perhaps he didn't know them." He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, "Perhaps they'll show my son some respect." Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him.
49. When you give to charity,
don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
50. You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your eye, they you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye.
51. My mother and my brothers - who are they? Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, that's my brother and sister and mother.
52. Provide us with the bread we need for the day.
53. What do sparrows cost? A dime a dozen? Yet not one of them is overlooked by God. In fact, even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Don't be so timid: You're worth more than a flock of sparrows.
54. There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, "I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing. These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died.
55. Calling ten of his slaves, he gave them each one hundred silver coins, and told them: "Do business with this while I'm away." As it turned out, he got the kingship and returned. He had those slaves summoned to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what profit they had made. The first came in and reported, "Master, your investment has increased ten times over." He said to him, "Well done, you excellent slave! Because you have been trustworthy in this small matter, you are to be in charge. The second came in and reported, "Master, your investment has increase five times over." And he said to him, "And you are to be in charge." Then the last came in and said, "Master, here is your money. I kept it tucked away safe in a handkerchief. You see, I was afraid of you, because you're a demanding man: you withdraw what you didn't deposit, and reap what you didn't sow." He said to him, "You incompetent slave! Your own words convict you. So you knew that I was demanding, did you?
That I withdraw what I didn't deposit and reap what I didn't sow? So why didn't you put my money in the bank? Then I could have collected it with interest when I got back." Then he said to his attendants, "Take the money away from this fellow and give it to the one who has ten times as much." 56. It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, "Look, here!" or "Look, there!" Rather, the Father's imperial rule is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it.
57. Who among you would hand a son a stone when it's bread he's asking for?
Again, who would hand him a snake when it's fish he's asking for? Of course no one would! So if you, shiftless as you are, know how to give your children good gifts, isn't it much more likely that your Father in the heavens will give good things to those who ask him?
58. No one can enter a powerful man's house to steal his belongings unless he first ties him up. Only then does he loot his house.
59. The last will be first and the first last.
60. Salt is good -
if salt becomes bland, with what will you renew it?
61. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a toll collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed silently as follows: "I thank you, God, that I'm not like everybody else, thieving, unjust, adulterous, and especially not like that toll collector over there. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of everything that I acquire." But the toll collector stood off by himself and did't even dare to look up, but struck his chest, and muttered, "God, have mercy on me, sinner that I am." Let me tell you, the second man went back to his house acquitted but the first one did not.
62. Forgive our debts to the extent that we have forgiven those in debt to us.
63. Forgive, and you'll be forgiven.
64. Every government divided against itself is devasted, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan is divided against himself - since you claim I drive out demons in Beelzebul's name - how will his domain endure?
65. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
66. Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?
67. The groom's friends can't fast while the groom is present, can they?
So long as the groom is around, you can't expect them to fast.
68. If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?
After all, even sinners love those who love them.
69. If any come to me and do not hate their own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters - yes, even their own life - they cannot be my disciples.
70. Struggle to get in through the narrow door; I'm telling you, many will try to get in, but won't be able.
71. The sabbath day was created for Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve for the sabbath day. So, the son of Adam lords it even over the sabbath day.
72. How difficult it is for those who have money to enter God's domain!
73. A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard; he came looking for fruit on it but didn't find any. So he said to the vinekeeper, "See here, for three years in a row I have come looking for fruit on this tree, and haven't found any. Cut it down. Why should it suck the nutrients out of the soil?" In response he says to him, "Let it stand, sir, one more year, until I get a chance to dig around it and work in some manure. Maybe it will produce next year; but if it doesn't, we can go ahead and cut it down." 74. Listen to this! This sower went out to sow. While he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn't much soil, and it came up right away because the soil had no depth. But when the sun came up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered. Still other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, so that it produced no fruit. Finally, some seed fell on good earth and started producing fruit. The seed sprouted and grew: one part had a yield of thirty, another part sixty, and a third part one hundred.
75. Can any of you add an hour to life by fretting about it?
76. When you are about to appear with your opponent before the magistrate, do you best to settle with him on the way, or else he might drag you up before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the jailer, and the jailer throw you in prison. I tell you, you'll never get out of there until you've paid every last red cent.
77. The [Father's] imperial rule is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.
78. causes the sun to rise on both the bad and the good, and sends rain on both the just and the unjust.
79. What did you go out to the wilderness to gawk at? A reed shaking in the wind? What did you really go out to see? A man dressed in fancy ?
But wait! Those who wear fancy are found in regal quarters.
80. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.
81. Stay at that one house, eating and drinking whatever they provide.
82. Let the children come up to me, don't try to stop them.
After all, God's domain is peopled with such as these.
83. When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through waterless places in search of a resting place. When it doesn't find one, it says, "I will go back to the home I left." It then returns, and finds it swept and refurbished. Next, it goes out and brings back seven other spirits more vile than itself, who enter and settle in there.
So that person ends up worse off then when he or she started.
84.I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes.
85. Whoever tries to hang on to life will forfeit it, but whoever forfeits life will preserve it.
86. Ask - it'll be given to you; seek - you'll find; knock - it'll be opened for you. Rest assured: everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks finds; and for the one who knocks it is opened.
87. Nobody wants young wine after drinking aged wine.
88. Those who are we[ll don't need a doctor.] 89. Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have.
90. When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you.

16. On anxieties: don't fret (Th,Q): Th36(75%);Lk12:22-23(75%);Mt6:25(75%) 17. Lost Coin (Lk): Lk15:8-9(75%)
18. Foxes have dens (Q,Th): Lk9:58(74%);Mt8:20(74%);Th86(67%) 19. No respect at home (Th,Jn,Mk): Th31:1(74%);Lk4:24(71%);Jn4:44(67%);
20. Friend at midnight (Lk): Lk11:5-8(72%) 21. Two masters (Q,Th): Lk16:13a(72%),b(59%);Mt6:24a(72%),b(59%);Th47:2(65%) 22. Treasure (Mt,Th): Mt13:44(71%);Th109(54%) 23. Lost sheep (Q,Th): Lk15:4-6(70%);Mt18:12-13(67%);Th107(48%) 24. What goes in (Mk,Th): Mk7:14-15(70%);Th14:5(67%);Mt15:10-11(63%) 25. Corrupt judge (Lk): Lk18:2-5(70%)
26. Prodigal son (Lk): Lk15:11-32(70%)
27. Leave the dead (Q): Mt8:22(70%);Lk9:59-60(69%) 28. Castration for Heaven (Mt): Mt19:12a(70%) 29. By their fruit (Q,Th): Mt7:16b(69%),a(33%),17-18(44%),20(33%),19(0%),
Lk6:44b(56%),a(33%),43(44%),45a(31%),b(24%) 30. The dinner party, The wedding celebration (Th,Q): Th64:1-11(69%),12(0%);
Lk14:16-23(56%),24(0%);Mt22:2-13(26%) 31. On anxieties: lilies (Q,Th): Lk12:27-28(68%);Mt6:28b-30(68%);Th36:2(68%) 32. Pearl (Th,Mt): Th76:1-2(68%);Mt13:45-46(68%) 33. On anxieties: birds (Q): Lk12:24(67%);Mt6:26(67%) 34. Eye of a needle (Mk): Mt19:24(67%);Lk18:25(65%);Mk10:25(64%) 35. Lord's prayer: revere name (Q): Lk11:2d(67%);Mt6:9d(67%) 36. Lord's prayer: impose rule (Q): Lk11:2e(67%);Mt6:10a(58%) 37. Mountain city (Mt,Th): Mt5:14b(67%);Th32(54%) 38. Satan's fall (Lk): Lk10:18(67%)
39. Sly as a snake (Mt,Th): Mt10:16b(67%);Th39:3(67%) 40. The assassin (Th): Th98(65%)
41. Lend without return(Th,Q): Th95(65%);Mt5:42b(51%);Lk6:34(44%),35c(27%) 42. Demons by the finger of God (Q): Lk11:19-20(64%);Mt12:27-28(56%) 43. Placing the lamp, Lamp & bushel (Q,Mk,Th): Lk8:16(63%),11:33(63%);
Mk4:21(63%);Mt5:15(63%);Th33:2-3(63%) 44. Seed & harvest (Mk,Th): Mk4:26-29(63%);Th21:9(46%) 45. Unforgiving slave (Mt): Mt18:23-24(63%) 46. On anxieties: clothing (Q): Mt6:28a(62%) 47. Scholar's privileges (Q,Mk): Lk20:46(61%),11:43(53%);Mk12:38-39(61%);
48. The leased vineyard (Th,Mk): Th65:1-7(61%),66(0%);Mk12:1-8(27%),9-11(0%);
Mt21:33-39(27%),40-43(0%);Lk20:19-15a(27%),15b-18(0%) 49. Left & right hands (Mk,Th): Mt6:3(60%);Th62:2(60%) 50. Sliver & timber (Th,Q): Th26(60%);Mt7:3-5(56%);Lk6:41-42(54%) 51. True relatives (Mk,Th): Mt12:48b,49b-50(60%);Th99:2(52%),3(27%);
52. Lord's prayer: bread (Q): Mt6:11(60%);Lk11:3(35%) 53. God & sparrows (Q): Lk12:6-7(60%),21:18(27%);Mt10:29-31(56%) 54. Rich farmer, Rich investor (Th,Lk): Th63:1-3(60%);Lk12:16-20(59%) 55. Money in trust (Q): Lk19:13,15-17a,19a,20-24(59%);Mt25:14-28(59%) 56. Coming of God's imp. rule (Th,Q): Th113:2-4(59%),51:2(0%);Lk17:20-21(57%) 57. Good gifts (Q): Mt7:9-11(59%);Lk11:11-13(43%) 58. Powerful man (Mk,Q,Th): Mk3:27(59%);Mt12:29(59%);Th35(59%);Lk11:21-22(57%) 59. First & last (Q,Th,Mk): Mt20:16(58%),19:30(50%);Mk10:31(50%);Lk13:30(47%);
60. Salting the salt (Mk,Q): Mk9:50a(58%);Lk14:34-35a(58%);Mt5:13b(53%) 61. Pharisee & toll collector (Lk): Lk18:10-14a(58%) 62. Lord's prayer: debts (Q): Mt6:12(58%);Lk11:4a-b(35%) 63. Forgiveness for forgiveness (Mk): Lk6:37c(57%);Mk11:25(50%);Mt6:14-15(45%) 64. Satan divided (Q,Mk): Lk11:17b-18(57%);Mt12:25-26(50%);Mk3:23-26(44%) 65. Hidden & revealed, Veiled & unveiled (Th,Q,Mk): Th5:2(57%),3(0%),6:5(55%),
6(50%),4(0%);Lk12:2(55%),8:17(54%);Mt10:26b(54%),a(0%);Mk4:22(38%) 66. Inside & outside (Th,Q): Th89(57%);Mt23:25-26(35%);Lk11:39-41(32%) 67. Fasting & wedding (Mk,Th): Mk2:19(56%),20(4%);Mt9:15a(56%),b(4%);
Lk5:34(56%),35(4%);Th104:2(16%),3(13%) 68. Better than sinners: love (Q): Lk6:32(56%);Mt5:46(53%) 69. Hating family (Q,Th): Lk14:26(56%);Th55:1-2a(49%),101(20%);Mt10:37(39%) 70. Narrow door (Q): Lk13:24(56%);Mt7:13-14(37%) 71. Lord of the sabbath (Mk): Mk2:27-28(55%);Mt12:8(37%);Lk6:5(37%) 72. Difficult with money (Mk): Mk10:23(55%);Lk18:24(52%);Mt19:23(51%) 73. Barren tree (Lk): Lk13:6-9(54%)
74. Sower (Mk,Th): Mk4:3-8(54%);Mt13:3-8(53%);Th9(52%);Lk8:5-8a(50%) 75. On anxieties: one hour (Q): Lk12:25(54%);Mt6:27(54%) 76. Before the judge (Q): Lk12:58-59(53%);Mt5:25-26(52%) 77. Empty jar (Th): Th97(53%)
78. Better than sinners: sunrise (Q): Mt5:45b(53%) 79. Into wilderness (Q,Th): Mt11:7-8(52%);Th78:1-2(51%),3(32%);Lk7:24-25(50%) 80. Wineskins (Th,Mk): Th47:4(52%);Lk5:37-38(52%);Mk2:22(52%);Mt9:17(49%) 81. Instructions for the road: house (Q): Lk10:7a(52%) 82. Children in God's domain (Mk,Th): Mk10:14b(52%);Mt19:14(52%);Lk18:16(52%) 83. Return of evil spirit (Q): Lk11:24-26(52%);Mt12:43-45(43%) 84. Fire on earth (Th,Q): Th10(52%);Lk12:49(36%) 85. Saving one's life (Q,Mk,Jn): Lk17:33(52%),9:24(39%);
Mt16:25(39%),10:39(39%);Jn12:25(30%);Mk8:35(24%) 86. Ask,seek,knock(Q,Th):Mt7:7-8(51%);Lk11:9-10(51%),Th94(51%),2:1(51%),2-4(0) 87. Aged wine (Lk,Th): Lk5:39a(51%),b(23%);Th47:3(51%) 88. Able-bodied & sick (POxy1224,Mk): POxy1224 5:2b(51%);Mt9:12(51%);
89. Have & have not (Th,Mk,Q): Th41(51%);Mk4:25(51%);Lk8:18b(51%),19:26(49%);
90. Instructions for the road: eat (Th,Q): Th14:4a(51%);Lk10:8(51%) ---
Pink Totals:
Lk:56 Mt:51 Q:43 Th:37 Mk:17
Jn:1 [4:44(67%)] Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1224:1 [5:2b(51%)] Quad attestation [Th-Mk-Mt-Lk]: 10
Triple attestation: 24
Double attestation: 27
Single attestation: 14
The Complete Gospels, Robert Miller ed., Jesus Seminar (Funk & Crossan),
Polebridge Press, Sonoma, CA, 1992, ISBN:0-944344-30-5 The Five Gospels, Robert Funk, Roy Hoover, Jesus Seminar (Funk & Crossan),
Polebridge Press, Sonoma, CA, 1993, ISBN:0-02-541949-8 ::::::::::::::
The Jesus Seminar's Red Letter Sayings: [Red = I would include this item unequivocally in the database for determining who Jesus was. Jesus undoubtedly said this or something very like it.]

1. Don't react violently against the one who is evil: when someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other as well.

2. When someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let that person have your coat along with it.

3. Congratulations, you poor! God's domain belongs to you.

4. When anyone conscripts you for one mile, go an extra mile.

5. Love your enemies.

6. What does God's imperial rule remind me of?
It is like leaven which a woman took and concealed in fifty pounds of flour until it was all leavened.

7. Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God.

8. Give to everyone who begs from you.

9. There was a man going from Jerusalem down to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and went off, leaving him half dead. Now by coincidence a priest was going down that road; when he caught sight of him, he went out of his way to avoid him. In the same way, when a Levite came to the place, he took one look at him and crossed the road to avoid him. But this Samaritan who was travelling that way came to where he was and was moved to pity at the sight of him. He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring olive oil and wine on them. He hoisted him onto his own animal, brought him to an inn, and looked after him. The next day he took out two silver coins, which he gave to the innkeeper, and said, "Look after him, and on my way back I'll reimburse you for any extra expense you have had."

10. Congratulations, you hungry! You will have a feast.

11. Congratulations, you who weep now! You will laugh.

12. There was this rich man whose manager had been accused of squandering his master's property. He called him in and said, "What's this I hear about you? Let's have an audit of your management, because your job is being terminated." Then the manager said to himself, "What am I going to do? My master is firing me. I'm not strong enough to dig ditches and I'm ashamed to beg. I've got it! I know what I'll do so doors will open for me when I'm removed from management." So he called in each of his master's debtors. He said to the first, "How much do you owe my master?" He said, "Five hundred gallons of olive oil." And he said to him, "Here is your invoice; sit down right now and make it two hundred and fifty." Then he said to another, "And how much do you owe?" He said, "A thousand bushels of wheat." He says to him, "Here is your invoice; make it eight hundred." The master praised the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.

13. For Heaven's imperial rule is like a proprietor who went out the first thing in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers for a silver coin a day he sent them into his vineyard. And coming out around 9 a.m. he saw others loitering in the marketplace and he said to them, "You go into the vineyard too, and I'll pay you whatever is fair." So they went. Around noon he went out again, and at 3 p.m., and repeated the process.
About 5 p.m. he went out and found others loitering about and says to them, "Why did you stand around here idle the whole day?" They reply, "Because no one hired us." He tells them, "You go into the vineyard as well." When evening came the owner of the vineyard tells his foreman: "Call the workers and pay them their wages starting with those hired last and ending with those hired first." Those hired at 5 p.m. came up and received a silver coin each. Those hired first approached thinking they would receive more. But they also got a silver coin apiece. They took it and began to grumble against the proprietor: "These guys hired last worked only an hour but you have made them equal to us who did most of the work during the heat of the day." In response he said to one of them, "Look, pal, did I wrong you? You did agree with me for a silver coin, didn't you? Take your wage and get out! I intend to treat the one hired last the same way I treat you. Is there some law forbidding me to do with my money as I please? Or is your eye filled with envy because I am generous?"

14. Our Father.

15. It's like a mustard seed:
the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.

1. Other cheek (Q): Mt5:39 (92%) || Lk6:29a (92%) 2. Coat & shirt (Q): Mt5:40 (92%) || Lk6:29b (90%) 3. Congrats, poor! (Q,Th): Lk6:20 (91%) || Th54 (90%); Mt5:3 (63%) 4. Second mile (Q): Mt5:41 (90%)
5. Love of enemies (Q): Lk6:27b (84%) || Mt5:44b (77%); Lk6:32,35a (56%)
{cf. "Pray for your enemies": POxy1224 6:1a; Didache 1:3; Poly-Phil 12:3} 6. Leaven (Q, Th): Lk13:20-21 (83%) || Mt13:33 (83%); Th96:1-2 (65%) 7. Emperor & God (Th, Mk):

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