Thursday, July 10, 2008

Matthew and the OT (one more problem)

In my earlier post I missed the clearest case of an error on the part of Matthew.

Matthew 27:9-10 “Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 'AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel;

The closest thing we have to this is in the OT is Jeremiah 11:12-13 “I said to them, 'If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!' So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, 'Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.' So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.”

This is quite a loose quotation, and there is no reason to think that that it's a prophesy at all. But it does at least answer the question of what Matthew is talking about. The verses talk about thirty shekels of silver as being the price of the Lord, so it seems that the question of where it comes from is answered.

However, before this problem is declared solved, I should mention that I lied. The OT verses I quoted are not Jeremiah 11:12-13. They are Zechariah 11:12-13.

One proposed solution to other OT quotations that don't line up is the Holy Spirit. Perhaps He was telling Matthew insights into the meaning of the OT that were not necessarily clear in the OT alone. This verse makes it clear that Matthew was just wrong.