John's Use of Matthew
Barker, James William
The relationship of the Gospel of John to the Synoptic Gospels has been a perennial question since the patristic era, and yet there has been little sustained focus on John's connection to Matthew. Scholars have predominantly explained the relatively few John/Matthew parallels in terms of orally transmitted synoptic tradition. The thesis of this dissertation is that the Gospel of John reflects knowledge of the redacted Gospel of Matthew. The dissertation argues three case studies. First, Matthew (21:5) and John (12:15) regard Jesus' donkey-riding entry into Jerusalem as a fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy (9:9). John's quotation of Zechariah derives from Matthew and not from the Old Testament or a testimonium; contra Matthew, John specifies that Jesus rides only one donkey. Second, Jesus' authorizing disciples to forgive and retain sins in John (20:23) relates to Jesus' authorizing disciples to bind and loose in Matthew (18:18; cf. 16:19). John's saying copies the structure of Matthew's, but John's forgiveness language depends on the overall context of Matthew 18 and not on any connotation of binding and loosing. Whereas Matthew emphasizes the consequences if disciples do not forgive, John underscores their occasional responsibility not to forgive. Third, Jesus' two-day mission in the Samaritan city of Sychar (John 4) represents John's conscious disagreement with Matthew's prohibition of the disciples' evangelizing in Samaritan cities (Matt 10:5b). Although the Fourth Gospel diverges from Matthew in all three cases, the dissertation concludes that John wrote his gospel so as to be read alongside Matthew's, not instead of it.