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Author Topic:   You Will Always Have the Poor
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 46 of 77 (756311)
04-17-2015 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Jon
04-17-2015 4:40 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
That makes Matthew's omission all the more strange, don't you think?

As you've shown/linked, what Jesus said in this particular story is easy to twist into Him saying something unusual.

On its own, "don't worry about the poor" doesn't look like something Jesus would say, but in the story I still think it works and makes sense.

For people looking to justify their behavior with Jesus' own words, someone who didn't want to actually help the poor would find this story, and that particular passage, rather appealing to their needs.

Is it possible that Matthew noticed this?

Also, what other sources did he have besides Mark? Could he have reason to suspect it should have been omitted?

Or, maybe he did think it was an improvement and/or clarification.

Edited by Cat Sci, : added /linked


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 77 (756313)
04-17-2015 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by New Cat's Eye
04-17-2015 6:56 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Also, what other sources did he have besides Mark? Could he have reason to suspect it should have been omitted?

There's the rub!

If the passage has had such a confused reception why is it in the gospels to begin with? Luke did okay without it. And perhaps "you can help them whenever you want" was Mark's unique way of addressing the potential misuse of the passage. Matthew, having reason to believe the phrase an invention by Mark to neutralize the passage, removes it as inauthentic.

But then he never neutralizes the matter. And so we have to again ask ourselves why he leaves the issue open.

I can't think of any reason other than to make some sort of point; what that point might be, given the rest of the gospel's emphasis on helping the poor, is completely beyond me.

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 48 of 77 (756318)
04-18-2015 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Jon
04-17-2015 4:40 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
You are mistaking me asking questions with me having a hard-and-fast opinion on this matter.

No. I am confusing your dismissal of alternative explanations fairly close to out of hand as you liking your position best.

That makes Matthew's omission all the more strange, don't you think?

No, Jon. As I have expressed many times in these forums, what I find strange is attempts to parse the words in the Bible in a way that creates an issue where none exists. It is completely unlikely that Matthew's omission has anything like the meaning you suggest.

As I read Matthew, I find the meaning quite clear, but twistable. I don't find the twisting profitable.


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Jon, posted 04-17-2015 4:40 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 8:35 AM NoNukes has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 77 (756323)
04-18-2015 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by NoNukes
04-18-2015 4:07 AM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
No. I am confusing your dismissal of alternative explanations fairly close to out of hand as you liking your position best.

In that case you are confusing me asking questions with me dismissing alternative explanations.

As I have expressed many times in these forums, what I find strange is attempts to parse the words in the Bible in a way that creates an issue where none exists.

I agree; yet many folks do just that.

It is completely unlikely that Matthew's omission has anything like the meaning you suggest.

And how do you figure?

If one follows the changes from the earliest gospel to the latest, a clear pattern develops of removing responsibilities from the believers, lessening their workloads, and often bumping up their rewards.

For some reason you think it absolutely impossible that Matthew's omission here could be a part of this trend.

As I read Matthew, I find the meaning quite clear, but twistable.

Indeed; but Mark's account is not so easily twisted.

Why do you think Matthew removed that important phrase to write a 'twistable' story when retaining it would have left matters undebatable?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 4:07 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by ringo, posted 04-18-2015 12:40 PM Jon has responded
 Message 55 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 4:32 PM Jon has responded
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4261
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 50 of 77 (756329)
04-18-2015 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Jon
04-17-2015 7:10 AM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Jon writes:

The statement is rather unusual for Jesus. It's repeated in three gospels and has held some good weight in circles of Christians who believe it can be used to relieve them of the burdensome charge of helping the poor:

Of course using the idea that Jesus said that "the poor you will always have with you" as an escape clause so that you don't have to sacrifice what you have, is a very un-Christ position to take.

What does it mean to be poor. It is a comparative term. Compared to someone living on welfare I am rich but compared to Bill Gates I am poor. The guy living on welfare is well off compared to the guy starving to death on the streets of some third world country.

Jesus was absolutely right to say that the poor will always be with us. Our God ordained job as humans is to improve the lot of those that we are able to help as best we can. It is about having hearts that love others as ourselves.

As far as the woman in the story is concerned she has just committed an act of self sacrificing love. Sure in practical terms she might have sold the perfume and given the proceeds to the poor but the point is that her heart was in the right place.

Edited by GDR, : grammar


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 13450
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 51 of 77 (756330)
04-18-2015 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Jon
04-18-2015 8:35 AM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Jon writes:

Why do you think Matthew removed that important phrase to write a 'twistable' story when retaining it would have left matters undebatable?


Nothing that Matthew could have anticipated would have made anything "undebatable". Nothing is undebatable.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 8:35 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 1:41 PM ringo has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 77 (756334)
04-18-2015 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by ringo
04-18-2015 12:40 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Okay...

Why do you think Matthew removed that important phrase to write a 'twistable' story when retaining it would have left matters no more or less debatable than Mark's account?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by ringo, posted 04-18-2015 12:40 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 4:25 PM Jon has responded
 Message 73 by ringo, posted 04-20-2015 11:45 AM Jon has acknowledged this reply

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 77 (756346)
04-18-2015 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Faith
04-17-2015 12:03 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Christians give more money to help the poor and suffering than any other group by far, and put themselves personally on the line to give help as well.

As a group, Christian philanthropy is well known. There is no doubt that Jesus actually requires that of us. However, individual counter examples abound and it is foolish to pretend that Christians on the whole observe this teaching any better than they observe the lessons to turn the other cheek or to not cast the first stone.


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 04-17-2015 12:03 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 77 (756347)
04-18-2015 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Jon
04-18-2015 1:41 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Why do you think Matthew removed that important phrase to write a 'twistable' story when retaining it would have left matters no more or less debatable than Mark's account?

Perhaps the issue is that he simply did not have you as an editor. Further, it is not clear that Matthew removed anything. But maybe you can resolve that. Why don't you trace through the sources that Matthew and Mark used and show us what Matthew missed?


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 1:41 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 4:33 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 77 (756348)
04-18-2015 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Jon
04-18-2015 8:35 AM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
In that case you are confusing me asking questions with me dismissing alternative explanations.

Wrong again. I'm confusing you not addressing counter arguments as not having a discussion, but instead being fixed on your position. I am also taking your loading of questions, "Why did Matthew omit this", as having already decided that Matthew did not report accurately what happened.

The fact that people get the Gospel wrong, without more, is not a failing of the Bible. Nobody can prevent a motivated reader from reading in accordance with his motivation.


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 8:35 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 4:40 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 77 (756349)
04-18-2015 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by NoNukes
04-18-2015 4:25 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
Why don't you trace through the sources that Matthew and Mark used and show us what Matthew missed?

This really isn't the thread for that.

If you want to catch up on the relevant theories, you can check out the Wikipedia page on the synoptic problem.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 4:25 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 9:37 PM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 77 (756351)
04-18-2015 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by NoNukes
04-18-2015 4:32 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
I am also taking your loading of questions, "Why did Matthew omit this", as having already decided that Matthew did not report accurately what happened.

Who's talking about accurate reporting of what happened?

We have three different stories; we can judge them on their own and on how they relate to one another.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by NoNukes, posted 04-18-2015 4:32 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9580
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 58 of 77 (756354)
04-18-2015 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Jon
04-18-2015 8:35 AM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
NoNukes writes:

As a group, Christian philanthropy is well known. There is no doubt that Jesus actually requires that of us. However, individual counter examples abound and it is foolish to pretend that Christians on the whole observe this teaching any better than they observe the lessons to turn the other cheek or to not cast the first stone.

I once read an article that stated...in essence...that if one took all of the money in the world and divided it evenly amongst the global populace, in a time it would return to its former ratios...the rich again being rich and the poor getting screwed. What I think that Jesus may have been hintingt at is the idea that human nature is what it is and because of this the poor will always be exploited. Hence poor.

GDR writes:

Jesus was absolutely right to say that the poor will always be with us. Our God ordained job as humans is to improve the lot of those that we are able to help as best we can. It is about having hearts that love others as ourselves.

Yes. This is the priority and goal as Christians (or even as humans in general.) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Jon writes:

If one follows the changes from the earliest gospel to the latest, a clear pattern develops of removing responsibilities from the believers, lessening their workloads, and often bumping up their rewards.

Im not so sure I buy the whole redactor argument---I believe that Christians need Grace to ever be as good as they are. Works are required, but human nature in general and by-and-large is of a selfish and/or survivalist motivation. Believers (and everyone else) needs to have responsibility and yet I think that Jesus was/is aware of the fact that we will always fall short.

If I decide to buy a new iPhone 6, does that mean that I am shirking my responsibility to the poor at that moment? Some would argue that certainly I am, but reality suggests that human nature is never focused exclusively on others---nor could it ever be---without Grace.


Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo
It's easy to see the speck in somebody else's ideas - unless it's blocked by the beam in your own.~Ringo
If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God only that God is not wooden.(Leo Tolstoy)

This message is a reply to:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 77 (756358)
04-18-2015 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Phat
04-18-2015 5:47 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
I once read an article that stated...in essence...that if one took all of the money in the world and divided it evenly amongst the global populace, in a time it would return to its former ratios...the rich again being rich and the poor getting screwed.

I think you've made some good points here. I'll also add that the above statement could also be used as an excuse not to help the poor. But that does not mean that the we should avoid making the statement or that the conclusion not to help the poor is what the speaker intends.


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Phat, posted 04-18-2015 5:47 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 77 (756359)
04-18-2015 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Jon
04-18-2015 4:33 PM


Re: You Will Always Have the Poor
This really isn't the thread for that.

Nonsense.

The question of what the author of Matthew read and what he actually wrote are important to the question, because you are imputing motives to the author. Can we verify that what we read today is an accurate version of what was written?

What did Jesus actually say? Was anything of importance omitted by the various Gospel writers and was something unsaid added?


Je Suis Charlie

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 4:33 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Jon, posted 04-18-2015 10:12 PM NoNukes has responded

  
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