022 Prophets Own Country

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Data

(1) GThom. 31 & P. Oxy. 1.31
(2) Mark 6:1-6a = Matt 13:53-58
(3) Luke 4:16-24
(4) John 4:44


Crossan analysis:
Item: 22
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Multiple
Historicity: +
Common Sayings Tradiion: No


Texts

(1) Thomas 31

/1/ Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; /2/ doctors don't cure those who know them." [Complete Gospels]

=POxy1 31
/1/ Jesus says, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; /2/ doctors don't cure those who know them." [Complete Gospels]


(2) Mark 6:4

/1/ He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. /2/ On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! /3/ Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. /4/ Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house." /5/ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. /6/ And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching.

= Matt 13:54-58
/54/ He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? /55/ Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? /56/ And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?" /57/ And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house." /58/ And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.


(3) Luke 4:24

/16/ When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, /17/ and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: /18/ "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, /19/ to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." /20/ And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. /21/ Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." /22/ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" /23/ He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'" /24/ And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. /25/ But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; /26/ yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. /27/ There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." /28/ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. /29/ They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. /30/ But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.


(4) John 4:44

/43/ When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee /44/ (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet's own country). /45/ When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.


Literature

Parallels

The kernel of an older story can be seen in Mark's account of Jesus' visit to Nazareth, although Luke has given it a distinctive twist in keeping with his desire to present Jesus as a dignified hero to his hellenistic readers:

Mark: He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
Matt:He came to his hometown ,
Luke:When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up,
John:

Mark: On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue,
Matt: and began to teach the people in their synagogue
Luke: he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom.
John:

Mark:
Matt:
Luke: He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
John:

Mark: and many who heard him were astounded.
Matt: so that they were astounded
Luke: All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
John:

Mark: They said, "Where did this man get all this?
Matt: and said,
Luke:
John:

Mark: What is this wisdom that has been given to him?
Matt: "Where did this man get this wisdom
Luke:
John:

Mark: What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
Matt: and these deeds of power?
Luke:
John:

Mark: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary
Matt: Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary?
Luke:They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
John:

Mark: and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon,
Matt: And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
Luke:
John:

Mark: and are not his sisters here with us?"
Matt: And are not all his sisters with us?
Luke:
John:

Mark:
Matt: Where then did this man get all this?"
Luke:
John:

Mark: And they took offense at him.
Matt:And they took offense at him.
Luke: He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'"
John:

Mark: Then Jesus said to them,
Matt:But Jesus said to them,
Luke:
John:

Mark: "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown,
Matt: "Prophets are not without honor except in their own country
Luke:And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown.
John: for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet's own country

Mark: and among their own kin,
Matt: and in their own house."
Luke:
John:

Mark: and in their own house."
Matt:
Luke:
John:

Mark: And he could do no deed of power there,
Matt:And he did not do many deeds of power there,
Luke:
John:

Mark: except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
Matt:
Luke:
John:

Mark: And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Matt: because of their unbelief.
Luke:
John:

Mark: Then he went about among the villages teaching.
Matt:
Luke:
John:

Mark:
Matt:
Luke:But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them

Commentary

John Dominic Crossan

Crossan [Historical Jesus, 347] considers this "a statement of unbrokered egalitarianism coming from the historical Jesus and not just from Mark's dislike of Peter." He asks just what was the precise tension between Jesus and his hometown, his family and especially his brothers? The obvious response that these people did not believe in Jesus or accept his vision of God's imperial rule is countered by their significant leadership roles within the early Christian movement after Jesus' death. Instead, Crossan offers an alternative suggestion:

If Jesus was a well-known magician, healer, or miracle-worker, first, his immediate family, and, next, his village, would expect to benefit from and partake in the handling of that fame and those gifts. Any Mediterranean peasant would expect an expanding ripple of patronage-clientage to go out from Jesus, through his family and his village, to the outside world. But what Jesus did, in turning his back on Nazareth and on his family, was repudiate such brokerage, and that, rather than belief or disbelief, was the heart of the problem. The complex 22 Prophet's Own Country [1/4] is simply Jesus' own experience of what we already heard aphoristically in 074 Peace or Sword [1/2]. This antibrokerage activity is confirmed, finally, by the very well attested complex 010 Receiving the Sender [1/5].


Jesus Seminar

The Seminar's voting record for this saying is particularly interesting. The item was first considered in a 1989 postal ballot and but was re-considered at the 1990 session in Sonoma. The Johannine version was not included in the postal ballot. In the initial ballot, the saying was rated Gray -- although in the case of the Thom version it had a weighted average of 0.49. When reconsidered the following year the saying was rated significantly higher: one third of the Fellows voted the John version Red, while half of them cast a Red vote for the Thom version. The final view of the Seminar was to assign a strong Pink rating, although in the case of the Thomas version it assigned a weighted average of 0.74 (just below the cut off point for Red).

  • Thom 31
  • Thom 31:1
  • Mark 6:4
  • Mark 6:4
  • Matt 13:57-58
  • Matt 13:57-58
  • Luke 4:24
  • Luke 4:24
  • John 4:44

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== Work to be Done ==