Friday, February 24, 2023

WM 271: Turretin on Scripture: Question 14: The Septuagint



The Vision (2.24.23): The Ordinary Means of Grace


Image: With Pastor Paul Wang, one of the lead translators for the new Trinitarian Bible Society Chinese NT at a Thanksgiving Service in Herndon, Virginia (2.23.23).

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday afternoon’s sermon, “Revivals or the Ordinary Means of Grace?” Look here for the full manuscript for the message.

The Reformed (Biblical) theological tradition, teaches that God has provided for his people “ordinary means” of grace.

This is taught in our Confession in 14:1. The ordinary means the Lord has provided for the saving of sinners and then increasing and strengthening them in the faith, as noted in Confession 4:1 are:

First: The ministry of the Word. That means the reading of the Word, privately and publicly, and it especially means the preaching and teaching of the Word (see Romans 10:14, 17; 1 Corinthians 1:21-24; 2 Timothy 4:2).

Second: Alongside the ministry of the Word we also have the ordinances or sacraments of baptism (the public confession of one’s faith before men, and the symbolic identification with his life, death, and resurrection by immersing the whole body in water—in obedience to his command) and the Lord’s Supper (taking bread and cup in that spiritual meal instituted by Christ and commanded for perpetual obedience till he comes again) (see Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Third: To these the confession adds prayer. Paul urged believers to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In Acts we have description of the church often meeting to pray, as when the apostle Peter was imprisoned and they gathered in the house of Mary the mother of John (Acts 12).

Fourth: And it mentions “other means appointed by God.” This might include fasting, meditation on the Word, the assemblies of the saints, but these must have scriptural warrant (see, e.g., Matthew 6:16-18; Acts 2:42).

May the Lord continue to use these means to draw men to himself and to increase and strengthen them in “the most holy faith” (Jude 20-21).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Turretin on the Authoritas Divina Duplex


Nevetheless all authority must not be denied to versions. Here we must carefully distinguish a twofold divine authority: one of things, the other of words. The former relates to the substance of doctrine which constitutes the internal form of the Scriptures. The latter relates to the accident of writing, the external and accidental form. The source has both, being God-inspired (theopneustos) both as to the words and things; but versions have only the first, being expressed in human and not in divine words.

-Francis Turretin, Institutes, Topic 2, Question 13.XIV

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

WM 270: Review: Emma Thorne & James Tabor on Mark's Ending



Gospel titles and artwork in Codex Alexandrinus

I did some browsing yesterday through an online edition of Codex Alexandrinus at the artwork and titles at the end of each Gospel.

Mathew has the urn and concatenated line at the bottom (as in the title to Acts):

Mark has a framing line at the top and in the left margin:

Luke also has a framing line at the top and in the left margin with a wider and more intricate criss-cross design. The title is written horizontally rather than vertically (as in Matthew and Mark) and it has three leaf figures:

John's is the simplest, scrunched in at the end of the column. A tight stylized framing with the title written veritcally and a space between each word:


Monday, February 20, 2023

WM 269: Turretin on Scripture: Question 13: Versions



Revivals or the Ordinary Means of Grace?

Note: Sermon manuscript from last Sunday's afternoon service at CRBC:

Revivals or the Ordinary Means of Grace?

Jude 20-21

CRBC February 19, 2023

We’re going to take a break today from our Lord’s Day afternoon series through the Minor Prophets, having finished Haggai, before we move on, Lord willing, to Zechariah and then complete the series in Malachi.

In this break, as we do from time to time, we want to consider this sacred meal in which we participate Sunday by Sunday, the taking of the Lord’s Supper, in obedience to the command of our Lord, who said, “This do in remembrance of me.”

Ordinary Means of Grace

The Reformed (Biblical) theological tradition, teaches that God has provided for his people “ordinary means” of grace.

This is taught in our Confession in 14:1. The ordinary means the Lord has provided for the saving of sinners and then increasing and strengthening them in the faith, as noted in Confession 4:1 are:

First: The ministry of the Word. That means the reading of the Word, privately and publicly, and it especially means the preaching and teaching of the Word.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1 Corinthians 1: 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Second: Alongside the ministry of the Word we also have the ordinances or sacraments of baptism (the public confession of one’s faith before men, and the symbolic identification with his life, death, and resurrection by immersing the whole body in water—in obedience to his command) and the Lord’s Supper (taking bread and cup in that spiritual meal instituted by Christ and commanded for perpetual obedience till he comes again).

Third: To these the confession adds prayer. Paul urged believers to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In Acts we have description of the church often meeting to pray, as when the apostle Peter was imprisoned and they gathered in the house of Mary the mother of John (Acts 12).

Fourth: And it mentions “other means appointed by God.” This might include fasting, meditation on the Word, the assemblies of the saints, but these must have scriptural warrant.

So, Jude urges:

Jude 1: 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


I saw a tweet yesterday from a RB pastor in California which read, “Tomorrow [the Lord’s Day] is the weekly day of revival.”

He was making a sly reference and perhaps even a critique of the current “revival” that recently began at the Wesleyan and Holiness heritage Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. It started with a student led chapel service on February 8 and has continued to meet day and night since then. By this time, you may have seen this on your social media feeds.

It has attracted attention across the country and similar meetings have sprung up on various other campuses (most recently at Samford University in Birmingham) and visitors (like evangelical pilgrims pursuing “spiritual tourism”) have flooded the school to experience the revival in person.

It has been been covered by media from the Washington Post to Tucker Carlson. To the university’s credit they have discouraged live streaming and tried to manage the media frenzy and attention.

The Wikipedia article on the “Asbury Revival” has a day-by-day timeline of what is happening. The university has apparently announced that the revival will end on February 24 (strange to announce the end of a "revival") and has written letters to the parents of students, some of whom might have been concerned about how these meetings have affected the things universities are mostly known for, like academic instruction.

This is actually the second revival of this type to have happened at Asbury. Another apparently took place in 1970.

And, of course, there were great revivals in the past that had a significant impact on our nation.

The so-called First Great Awakening began with Jonathan Edwards preaching his classic sermon (reading from a manuscript in a monotone from behind a pulpit) “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” in colonial America. It is reported that some who heard his preaching of God’s wrath were so filled with terror that they feared the floor beneath might collapse at any moment and deposit them into hell.

Then there was the so-called Second Great Awakening in the nineteenth century that really set the tone for what most still think of as the pattern for a revival—a time of spiritual renewal and enthusiasm. These were the times of the camp meetings and “the saw dust trail.” It sadly resulted in many excesses, the introduction of “new measures,” including the “anxious bench” and altar calls, making extra-ordinary subjective experiences the measure of true faith. When the whirlwind of enthusiasm ended, however, it led to the creation of “burned over districts” which bred cults, like the Mormons. As Paul reminds us in Romans 10:2 there can be zeal for God, “but not according to knowledge.”

What do we make of the Asbury revival and of revivals in general?

Questions might be raised. The Asbury revival seems driven not so much by the ministry of the Word in preaching but by singing and swaying to contemporary praise songs.

There has been the reading of Scripture and giving of testimonies at an “open microphone.” But what about the injunction in James 3:1: “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”?

It seems to be a series of meetings taking place apart from the oversight of any local church and its elders. Christ did not say, I will build my Christian university, or my para-church student ministry, or even, I will build my "revival," but I will build my church (Matthew 16:18).

On the other hand, I think we can point to some things we can see in this as hopeful and encouraging signs:

First, it shows us that there are young people, in particular, in this generation who have been and will continue to be drawn to the cause of Christ. The Lord will not be without a witness in each generation till he returns in glory. He has his elect in this generation whose hearts will be strangely warmed by the work of his Spirit. We should not spurn or attempt to quench that. This is encouraging in light of the fact that we are nearly constantly told by the media that the faith is in decline or demographically challenged. They seem to delight in telling us that this is a generation of “nones” (no faith) and “dones” (tried it but left).

Second, many of those who might be drawn to spiritual things through this movement, whatever its weaknesses (and perhaps, upon later reflection, because of its weaknesses) will be drawn to study the Scriptures in greater depth. They will be drawn to Biblical doctrine and to faithful churches. There will likely be not a few who might be drawn eventually to become confessional Reformed Baptists!

What about us?

What about us? Will we begin a series of Asbury-style revival meetings? Will we make a pilgrimage to Wilmore or the next big place where “revival” breaks out?

No. We will continue to meet on the Lord’s day and give attention to the ordinary means of grace as the Lord has provided. We will commit ourselves to the ministry of the Word. To baptizing new believers upon the confession of their faith in Christ. To sitting down at the Lord’s table and receiving the bread and the cup in obedience to his command. To private and public prayer, and to other ordinary means.

By these means, we believe the Lord will be faithful to, as Jude put it, build us up in our “most holy faith” (v. 20).


Friday, February 17, 2023

The Vision (2.17.23): The Coming of the Son of Man


Image: Overcast tower view from roof, Nagytemplom, Debrecen, Hungary, November 2022.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 24:14-28 (audio not yet posted).

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Much of the teaching in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 has to do with things already fulfilled relating to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 (24:2, 15). In these words, however, the Lord points his disciples toward the future, toward his second coming (see v. 27).

The Son of man is Christ himself (see Matt 16:13: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”). His coming [parousia] refers to his second advent.

The emphasis here is on the fact that when he comes in glory at the end of the ages it will be as sudden and stunning and glorious as lightening suddenly streaking across the sky from east to west. Paul spoke of this when he said the day of the Lord will come “as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

This is where the prognosticators get it wrong. They cannot figure out when he will come, because it will be like a streak of lightening, like a thief in the night. We who are in Christ have nothing to fear, nothing to lose, and all to gain.

What do we make of that last statement in v. 28? Where there is a carcass, the eagles gather. We think of the eagles as birds of prey, hunters, majestic symbols of power, but they are also, like vultures, birds of carrion, meaning they feed on carcasses.

What is Christ saying? This old world is dead and rotting in sin. And you can see the signs and evidences of its death, like the eagles circling a carcass. You can smell it. But do not worry. A new world is coming. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (vv. 51-52).

So, we can say with the saints of old, Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus! (1 Corinthians 16:2).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Thursday, February 16, 2023

RBF-VA Announcement: Spring 2023 Presbyterion: Pastors' Fraternal, April 14


The Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia will be hosting a Presbyterion (the Eldership) Pastors' Fraternal on Friday, April 14, 2023 at Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Louisa (2997 Courthouse Road, Louisa, VA).

All men serving as Elders in local churches are welcomed to attend.

The meeting will begin at 10:30 am and conclude at c. 2 pm. Lunch will be provided at no cost.


10:30 am Coffee and Fellowship

11:00 am Session One: Short Reviews (15 minutes each) of four sections in Dr. Jim Renihan's new book To the Judicious Reader: An Exposition of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (Founders, 2022).

Jeff Riddle, Christ RBC: Confession ch. 1 on Scripture

Ryan Davidson, Grace Baptist Chapel: Confession ch. 22 on Worship and the Sabbath

Steve Clevenger, Covenant RBC: Confession 26 on Church Officers

Van Loomis, Redeeming Grace BC: Confession chs. 28-29 on Baptism

12:00 nn Lunch

1:00 pm Session Two: Roundtable Discussion and Prayer

2:00 pm Depart for home

WM 268: Turretin on Scripture: Question 12: The Authentic Version (continued)


Topic 2, Question 12 continues Turretin's discussion of The Authentic Version, begun in Q. 11. Listeners beware: Toward the end I mistakenly referred a couple of times to the readings as being from Q 11 not 12.


Monday, February 13, 2023

Resource: Audio Version of William O. Einwechter, English Bible Translations: By What Standard?


Glad to see this resource in an audio version. I got this booklet from Chapel Library several years ago and read it with profit. Einwechter also contributed an essay to the Why I Preach from the Received Text anthology.

Enjoy, JTR

Saturday, February 11, 2023

John Thackway on the Divinity, Clarity, and Sufficiency of Scripture


I was able to hear this sermon in person in London last September at the 2022 TBS Text and Translation conference. Pastor Thackway ably proclaims the divinity, clarity, and sufficiency of Scripture.


Friday, February 10, 2023

The Vision (2.10.23): Consider your ways


Image: CRBC's Ben C. gives a report following the afternoon worship service on a Missions class he just completed through IRBS (2.5.23).

Note: Devotion based on last Sunday afternoon's sermon on Haggai 1 (no audio yet posted).

Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways (Haggai 1:5).

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways (Haggai 1:7).

Only two chapters in length, Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. Only Obadiah is shorter.

We don’t know a great deal about the prophet Haggai. He is mentioned by name in the OT, outside his own prophetic work, in just two other places: Ezra 5:1; 6:14. His name means “festal.” Some have suggested he was born during one of the Jewish feasts. The Roman equivalent of this name is “Festus.”

The name is fitting, because Haggai’s primary prophetic ministry, alongside his fellow prophet Zechariah, was to urge those who had returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile to rebuild the temple. He was a restoration prophet. They had rebuilt their own homes but neglected the LORD’s house.

Twice in chapter one Haggai urges them, “Consider your ways” (vv. 5, 7).

In Haggai 1:6 he describes in Solomonic style the futility and emptiness of a life without worship of the one true God:

Ye have sown much, and bring in little;

Ye eat, but ye have not enough;

Ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink;

Ye clothe you, but there is none warm;

And he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

The prophet now speaks to us through the written Word. Have we neglected the things of God in the pursuit of things that will not satisfy?

Haggai is in many ways the OT equivalent to Hebrews 12:24-25 in which the apostle exhorts those who had forsaken the assembling of themselves together in worship, urging them to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”

Let us, therefore, consider ourselves and turn in new obedience to our Lord.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Jots & Tittles 17: "Plus Nothing" LIfe and Teachings of Jesus: A Modern Day Diatessaron?



Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Vision (2.3.23): And ye would not!


Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 23:34-39.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37).

Christ’s withering denunciation of the spiritual hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23 ends with his prophetic lament over Jerusalem.

He had earlier spoke of his opponents as “serpents” and a “generation of vipers” (v. 33). Now, he shifts the metaphor and declares, “how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings….”

Christ here compares himself to a mother hen who had longed to gather those sinful inhabitants of Jerusalem under his protective care, shielding them from the wrath of God which they justly deserve.

No one, of course, knew Scripture better than Christ, and he is drawing upon an OT image. It’s there in Psalm 91 which begins:

Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

And continues:

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Christ appropriating to himself the things of God. Psalm 91 says the one true God gathers his saints under his wings. Then Christ says to the people of Jerusalem, How often would I have gathered you under my wings?

What was their response? “And ye would not!” Some modern translations render it, “and you were not willing.”

Here, then, is a great testimony to the folly of those who resist and reject Christ. He would protect, but they “would not.” May the Lord take away our heart of stone, and give us a heart of flesh, and make us willing.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Friday, February 03, 2023

WM 265: Is Matthew 23:14 in the Bible?



I recently finished preaching through Matthew 23 (find complete Matthew sermon series here). This is Matthew’s record of Christ’s extended and withering discourse or speech against the scribes and the Pharisees, as he moves closer to the cross.

In the red-letter edition of the AV, other than the first verse and the first word of the second verse, all other verses are in red (vv. 2b-39).

The other two “Synoptic” Gospels offer much shorter accounts of this speech. See Mark 12:38-40 and Luke 20:45-47.

In Matthew’s account one of the repeated statements first appears in 23:13a: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” This is, of course, a great prophetic statement by Christ.

In the traditional text there are eight of these prophetic woes (vv. 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29).

But in the modern critical text there are only seven woes, because Mathew 23:14 is one of the verses that does not appear in the modern critical text (Matthew 17:21 and 18:11 are also omitted in the critical text). So, it is one of the so-called “missing verses” (which M. Everhard, for some bizarre reason, thinks we traditionalists believe was removed by aliens or some other kind of conspiracy theory).

Matthew 23:14: What is the issue?

When you look more closely at this verse, you see that it was obviously a matter of controversy in the transmission of the NT, not only as to whether it is authentic to Matthew, but also, if authentic, where it should be located (because in the Majority Text the verse is present, but it appears after v. 12 and before v. 13).


Traditional Text:

Standard versional order: v. 13, v. 14.

KJV Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Scrivener Matthew 23:13 ουαι υμιν γραμματεις και φαρισαιοι υποκριται οτι κλειετε την βασιλειαν των ουρανων εμπροσθεν των ανθρωπων υμεις γαρ ουκ εισερχεσθε ουδε τους εισερχομενους αφιετε εισελθειν

14 ουαι δε υμιν γραμματεις και φαρισαιοι υποκριται οτι κατεσθιετε τας οικιας των χηρων και προφασει μακρα προσευχομενοι δια τουτο ληψεσθε περισσοτερον κριμα

Note: While the entire printed TR tradition includes v. 14, the order with v. 13 varies: 14-13 (Stephanus; Beza); 13-14 (Elzevirs).

The Protestant translation tradition prominently confirms the 13-14 order (Tyndale, Geneva, KG Hungarian, Reina Valera, Dutch Statenvertaling).

Modern Critical Text:

Omits v. 14

Translations based on the modern critical text omit v. 14 and skip from v. 13 to v. 15, with some editions placing v. 14 in the footnotes.

Majority/Byzantine Text:

Includes v. 14 but in the order v. 14, v. 13.

Berean Standard Bible Matthew 23:13 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You defraud widows of their houses, and for a show make lengthy prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.

Patriarchal Text (1904) Matthew 23:13 Οὐαὶ δὲ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι· διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρῖμα.

14 Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κλείετε τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ὑμεῖς γὰρ οὐκ εἰσέρχεσθε, οὐδὲ τοὺς εἰσερχομένους ἀφίετε εἰσελθεῖν.

Examining External Evidence

Based on the NA28 apparatus:

In support of v. 13 followed by v. 14: Family 13, Old Latin, Clementine Vulgate, Curetonian Syriac, and some Bohairic mss. Note: This is a minority TR reading with respect to word order.

In support of omitting v. 14: Alpeh, B, D, L, Z, Theta, family 1, 33, Old Latin a, Sinaitic Syriac.

In support of v. 14 followed by v. 13: K, W, Gamma, Delta, 0102, 0107, and the Majority/Byzantine, Syriac Peshitta, Syriac Harklean. Pickering says this is 98% of extant mss.

Examining Internal Evidence

The most plausible explanation for v. 14 to be absent in some manuscripts is the unintentional error of homoio-arcton (having the same or a similar beginning). This would then lead to confusion when this error was recognized and the verse was reintroduced back into the text.

Metzger in his Textual Commentary, Second Ed., however, makes a different case for omission, arguing, “That v. 14 is an interpolation derived from the parallel in Mk 12:40 or LK 20:47 is clear…” (50). He gives this an {A} rating.

Metzger’s position reflects a bias in modern textual criticism against harmonization of content or agreement among the Gospels.

The overwhelming Majority, including many older mss., across a wide geographical spectrum, retain both verses.

This leaves only the question of verse order. Printed editions of the TR are divided but there seems to be a strong consensus among Protestant translations going back to Tyndale, et al. that the order v. 13, then v. 14 be followed.

In recently preaching on this text, I can affirm that v. 13 makes logical (homiletical) sense, given that it provides a broad description of hypocritical behavior (shutting persons out of the kingdom) that is then followed by more specific examples of this, beginning with the devouring the houses of widows and making long prayers. In Mark and Luke, this teaching is followed by the account of the widow in the temple (but omitted in Matthew).

An Internal Argument Based on Intrinsic Probability

In preparing to preach this chapter, I also ran across this assessment in R.V.G. Tasker’s Matthew commentary in the Tyndale NT Commentaries Series (IVP, 1961):

In the AV eight ‘woes’ follow; but it is almost certain that they should be reduced to seven, for the ‘woe’ contained in v. 14, which is omitted in RV, is not found in the most ancient witnesses to the text, and would seem to have been a later insertion into the text of Matthew from Mark xii.40 and Luke xx.47. It is intrinsically probable that our evangelist, with his Jewish fondness for the symbolism of numbers, made a collection of seven (217).

Having just spent the last two plus years reading and preaching through Matthew, however, I do not find this argument particularly convincing.

One may well make an argument for the possibility of John’s interest in the symbolic meaning of seven (like the Seven I AM sayings and Seven Signs [Miracles] in his Gospel, and the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 1-2, etc.), but it is less convincing with Matthew.

There are indeed seven parables in Matthew 13, but it seems Matthew has less interesting in structuring his Gospel with seven-fold patterns than in offering a variety of arrangements. A few examples:

Five fulfilment citations in Matthew 1-2: 1:22-23; 2:5-6, 15, 17-18, 23.

Five discourses (as noted by B. W. Bacon): chapters 5-7, 10, 13, 18, 23-25.

Ten Miracles in Matthew 8-9:

            The healing of the leper (8:1-4);

The healing of the Centurions servant (8:5-13);

The healing of Peters mother-in-law and many possessed with devils (8:14-17);

The stilling of the storm (8:23-27);

The healing of the Gergesene demoniacs (8:28-34);

The healing of the man sick of the palsy (9:1-8);

The healing of a certain rulers daughter (9:18-19, 23-26);

The healing of the woman with the issue of blood (9:20-22);

The healing of two blind men (9:27-31);

The healing of the dumb man (9:32-34).

Six Parables after the final arrival in Jerusalem broken into two sets of three:

First three: Two sons (21:28-32; The householder and the ungrateful husbandmen (21:33-44); The Kings wedding for his Son (22:1-14).

Second three: Ten Virgins (25:1-13); Talents (25:14-30); Judgement of Nations (25:31-46).

Four Controversies in the Temple:

Tribute to Caesar (22:15-22); Sadducees and Resurrection (22:23-33); Great Commandment (22:34-40); Psalm 110:1 and Davids Lord (22:41-46).

From this we see the idea that Matthew shows an intrinsic probability to offer seven woes rather than eight seems unlikely. It may, however, provide a suggestion as to why some scribes might have intentionally sought to remove one of the eight and reduce the number to seven.


Based on overwhelming external evidence, as well as internal evidence, we can affirm the authenticity of v. 14. We may also affirm with the greater Protestant translation tradition that its most fitting location in Matthew 23 is following upon v. 13.