Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Diatessaron Seems to Have Bracketed the 'Question of the Rich Man' Pericope Between Two Fig Trees

I have been reading the writings of Ephrem the Syrian and he clearly sees Jesus's curse against the 'barren' fig tree (= the Law) as the beginning of a section which ends with Zacchaeus in a sycamore fig tree (= the gospel).  These are two different trees.  The parable of 'judging each tree by its fruits' is clearly related.  The original juxtaposition of the Diatessaron is lost in our canonical gospels.  The basic order is:
  1. Cursing the fig tree
  2. Jesus declaring that he is not going to the Passover feast (cf. John 7.1 - 31)
  3. Question of the Rich Man (Mark 10:17 - 31)
  4. The Rich Man and Lazarus in Hades (Luke 16:19 - 31)
  5. Parable of the Great Banquet
  6. Warning About the Fate of the Son of Mark (Mark 10:32 - 34)
  7. The Request of the Sons of Zebedee (Mark 10:35 - 45)
  8. Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree (Luke 19:1 - 11)
It is worth noting that in the Arabic Diatessaron Zacchaeus specifically climbs 'an unripe' fig tree, perhaps in order to reinforce the juxtaposition with the cursed fig tree. 

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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