If it is not to long could someone share NIGTC Matthew 7:6 COMmENTS. I am trying to make up my mind went to Logos to try and see a feel but you get less than a complete look with only a few paragraphs here and never get much into the comments. Just would like to see one whole treatment and this looks small enough. I cannot read much Greek virtually none. And so some focusing on textual differences are less helpful for me than to see what the comments are like.
as I just purchased it a minute ago, here you go!
2. Do Not Give Dogs What Is Holy (7:6)
6Do not give what is holy to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or [the pigs] will trample them under foot and [the dogs] will turn and tear you apart.
There are no significant textual variants.
Bennett, T. J., ‘Matthew 7:6 — A New Interpretation’, WTJ 49 (1987), 371–86. • Lips, H. von, ‘Schweine füttert man, Hunde nicht — Ein Versuch, das Rätsel von Matthäus 7:6 zu lösen’, ZNW 79 (1988), 165–86. • Llewelyn, S., ‘Mt 7:6a: Mistranslation or Interpretation?’ NovT 31 (1989), 97–103. • Sandt, H. van de, ‘“Do Not Give What Is Holy to the Dogs” (Did 9:5D and Matt 7:6A): The Eucharistic Food of the Didache in Its Jewish Purity Setting’, VC 56 (2002), 223–46. • Steinhauser, M. G., Doppelbildworte, 259–80.
See further at 5:1–2; 7:1–5.
7:6. It is difficult to be sure about the meaning and role of this verse, and many suggestions have been made. Without trying to be exhaustive, I will indicate something of the difficulty posed by this verse through a survey. A considerable body of interpretation improves the parallelism by postulating mistranslation of an original Semitic source (‘what is holy’ becomes ‘a ring/rings’, and the pearls end up ‘on the snouts’ of the pigs), but this is speculative and unnecessary (see below) and does not get us any closer to knowing what to apply the image to.
Sensitive to these concerns, others have postulated that either already in Aramaic or at the point of translation into Greek the existing (and original?) application of the saying to some form of Eucharistic exclusiveness led (on the [Matt., p. 322] basis of a ready-to-hand wordplay between ‘ring’ and ‘holy’ in Aramaic) to an interpretive rewording of the first part of the text.446 Whatever the value of these suggestions, a Eucharistic reference in Mt. 7:6 has no contextual support.
With either the text as we have it or with a reconstructed text, interpretive efforts have focussed on identifying a suitable referent for ‘what is holy’ and for ‘the dogs’ (‘your pearls’ and ‘the pigs’ are generally seen to share respectively the same referents). The main candidates for ‘what is holy’ have been the gospel message, the Sermon on the Mount, Israel, sacrificial flesh for the temple (possibly disqualified for temple use by blemish, etc.), and the Eucharist. The main candidates for ‘dogs’ (beyond the occasional attempt to take the word literally) have been Gentiles, the Romans, unbelievers, heretics, and Christians not living up to their profession.
When scholars have made serious attempts to fit the verse into its Matthean context, the preferred suggestions have been: a statement to counter-balance ‘do not judge’ (not judging can be taken too far!); an extension and generalisation of vv. 1–5 making the point that stupid acts (such as judging others) bring God’s judgment on oneself; a sarcastic restatement of vv. 3–5 (‘your pearls of helpful criticism are not going to be appreciated’); a relaying of a (Pharisaical?) proverb expressing a restrictive view only in order to overturn it on the basis of the (to-be-imitated) pattern of God’s generosity as laid out in vv. 7–11 to follow; a restriction to be imposed on vv. 7–11 (good things do not come to ‘dogs’ or ‘pigs’).
Von Lips has made the case that, with parabolic materials like this, application should be based on an appreciation of how the imagery and the action function as a whole rather than on a rather allegorical decoding of the elements of the imagery. He has also, by careful exploration of comparative materials, helped to clarify the imagery involved.447 Though the interpretation offered here is quite different from his, his work provides basic information for, and the central stimulus from which, my own proposals emerge.
The dogs spoken of here are best understood as scavenging wild dogs.448 Such dogs were never fed. They fended for themselves and played a useful role in disposing of organic rubbish in the ancient world. They are to be imagined as always hungry and capable of aggressive and hostile behaviour. Pigs form a contrasting image. They are domestic animals, and they are fed, indeed fattened, for the market. While wild boars may behave aggressively, this is not to be expected of the domestic pig. (This supports the common view that the verse [Matt., p. 323] is arranged in a chiasm, with the first consequence clause relating to the pigs and the second reaching back to the dogs.) Both kinds of animals have an interest in food, but that is not to distinguish them from other creatures.
Von Lips has identified a range of proverbial sayings in which something unsuitable is linked with a particular kind of animal to create an image of what is inappropriate; or, more pointedly, inappropriate food for the animal is called on to function in this way.449 ‘What is holy’ could refer to various things, but within the imagery emerging its natural reference is to sacrificial meat intended for the temple. This would at one and the same time be highly desirable from the point of view of the dogs, but a profanation of all religious sensibilities. ‘What is holy’ and ‘pearls’ are obviously both inappropriate as food, but for quite different reasons: dogs get rubbish, while what is holy belongs to God; pearls may be very fine for other uses, but they are quite useless as swine food. In proverbial sayings dogs and pigs at times function as a contrasting pair.450 We have in Mt. 7:6 not the synonymous parallelism that is normally assumed, but a synthetic parallelism that builds a composite image of inappropriate behaviour out of two somewhat contrasting instances.
How are we to move from image to application here? I suggest that the initial ‘what is holy’ is intended to provide the bridge. ‘What is holy’ belongs to God. That is what is meant by calling it holy. It belongs to him and should be given to him. This fits with the focus on God that has characterised chap. 6 and which seems to continue in 7:1–11. There is an implicit antithesis here between the dogs and God. The absolute antithesis is of the kind found in 6:24 (God and mammon) and can be related to that of vv. 19–20 (in heaven and on earth).
It seems to me that we have in 7:6 a fresh image for the challenge to make God our exclusive priority. In 6:19–20 the imagery was that of storing up treasure, in v. 24 it was that of having an exclusive master, but in 7:6 it is that of dispersing our resources (what we do with the holy and the valuable that we have available to us). In particular the rejected option is a use of our resources that is not focussed on God. An image of ‘spending’ now takes the place of an image of ‘hoarding’ (6:19–20) or an image of serving a master (v. 24) to make much the same point. There is the same assumption of a rejected middle ground as earlier. What is not directed towards God is seen to be as inappropriately dispersed as sacrificial flesh given to dogs or valuable pearls offered as pig feed. The pigs do not value the proffered pearls, and the dogs, stimulated by the taste and smell of raw meat, attack the giver in the hope of gaining more. The outcome here is probably the counterpart to the damage by moth and corrosion and the loss to thieves found earlier.
If this understanding is along the right lines, then, while dogs and pigs are certainly negative images, they do not sharply correspond to anything in [Matt., p. 324] particular: when it comes to where we should expend our resources, compared to God everything and everyone else is a dog or a pig (neither fitting recipients of our dispersal nor able to appreciate what we can give).451 The imagery is harsh and clearly not to be taken outside the very specific frame within which it is designed to function. Jesus is once again commending a radically theocentric vision of life.
Edited by gugu009, Yesterday, 11:52 PM.