- 東洋英和大学院紀要 (ISSN:13497715)
- vol.3, pp.43-56, 2007-03-15
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. "Matthew 7:6 (RSV) This enigmatic aphorism, which appears in the New Testament only in Matthew (a second form is also preserved in Thomas 93:1~2) has frequently been discussed because of its inimical nature and in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, or of the Gospel of Matthew. This saying betrays Jewish esoteric instructions to set them apart from the Gentiles : namely the holy rituals of the Jews must not be profaned by dogs and swine (gentiles). If the author of the Gospel received this saying from independent source material either oral or written, it must have been transmitted in the Jewish Christian community where he was raised. Matthew 7:6 is significantly so dissimilar to the teachings of Jesus, and of the contents of the Gospel of Matthew, that it is regarded as the crux interpretum. The first half of the saying, "Do not give what is holy to the dogs..." is cited in the Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles 9:5. In order to sanctify their rite of eucharist, the author of this Christian instructional manual asserts that the unbaptized are dogs and are not accepted at the table of the Lord's Supper. The difficulty is whether the author of Matthew held intolerant sectarian beliefs and set it in the Sermon on the Mount. U. Luz and several other scholars abandoned their efforts on its interpretation, because it had no apparent connection to the rest of the Gospel of Matthew. A majority of the scholars, however, regard 7:6 functioning as a footnote to the preceding pericope, vv. 1~5 ("Judge not"). By placing 7:6 after the stern precept of not judging others, the evangelist attempts to neutralize extreme interpretations of the saying. From those (dogs and swine) who are not ready to accept the authentic teaching of Jesus (what is holy=pearls), it must be kept secret. This essay attempts to shed new light on 7:6 from the perspective of the Golden Rule (7:12). The author of this essay will investigate the evangelist's editorial work, and clarify what he intended to convey. The author of Matthew places this prejudiced sectarian aphorism prior to the Golden Rule : 1. An Intolerant Custom to be transformed (Dogs and Swine) by the Golden Rule (7:6) 2. Exhortation to Constant Pursuit and Prayer in Response to the Grace of God, the Father (7:7~11) 3. The Golden Rule (7:12) Presumably the evangelist grew up among Jewish Christians, therefore he could share the esoteric view of 7:6, but as the Christianity and its gospel message spread into the gentile world, he recognized the need of a more accepting and open fellowship. In order to respond to the situation of his community, the evangelist seemed to have two goals : one primarily for the Jews, and another for the gentiles (Matt.15:21~28). He sought to overcome the intolerance of the Jewish Christians, and transform it to embrace world mission. This explains why he concludes his Gospel with the Great Commission of the risen Christ for world mission (28:16~20). and This also clarifies the section on Galilee of the Gentiles (Matt.4:15; Isaiah 9:1~2), where Jesus started his ministry. Likewise, the Gospel of Matthew describes astrologers, undoubtedly gentile, from the East who came to worship the infant Jesus when he was born (2:1~12). After 7:6 is seen through the Golden Rule, the esoteric saying fits in well with the entire message of the Sermon on the Mount as follows : The Scene and the Audience (5:1~2) I. Invitation to the Blessings of Jesus (Beatitudes) (6:3~12) II. Remarkable Features of the Followers (Christians) (5:13~16) Discipleship as the Salt of the Earth (5:13), and the Light of the World (5:14~16) III. Christian Righteousness (5:17~6:18) 1. Prologue (A Greater Righteousness Supplanting an Old Jewish One) (5:17~20) 2. Exposition of the Greater Righteousness (5:21~6:18) A. The New Orders versus the Old Commandments (5:21~5:48) i) Against Anger (5:21~26) ii) Against Adultery and Divorce (5:27~32) iii) Against Oaths (5:33~37) iv) Against Retaliation (5:38~42) v) Love of One's Enemies (5:43~48) B. The New Rituals versus the Old Ones (6:1~6:18) i) On Giving to Charity (6:1~4) ii) On Prayer (6:5~15) (The Lord's Prayer6:9~13) iii) On Fasting (6:16~18) IV. The Christian Ethics (6:19~7:11) 1. Serve God, and not Mammon (6:19~24) 2. The Highest Way of Life (Responding Life to the Care of God) (6:25~34) 3. Unlimited Pursuit of Internal Sanctions (7:1~5) 4. An Intolerant Custom to be Transformed (7:6) 5. Exhortation to Constant Pursuit and Prayer in Response to the Grace of God (7:7~11) Concluding Summary THE GOLDEN RULE (7:12) V. Finale (7:13~27) 1. Enter this Narrow Gate for Salvation, or Else to Destruction (7:13~14) 2. Beware of the False Prophets(7:15~16) 3. How to tell Good Trees (Prophets) from the False Trees (7:17~20) 4. Final Judgment (The Kingdom of Heaven, or Hell) (7:21~23) 5. Concluding Exhortation with the Parable of the Two Houses (the House Built on Rock, and the House Built on the Sand) (7:24~27) Concluding Rubric: Reaction of the Crowds 7:28~29 Adherence to the Golden Rule has the potential to end hostilities, enmities, or strife by intolerant religious sects throughout the world. We learn this from the survey of Matthew 7:6 as the author of Matthew places it before the Golden Rule.