Early Christian Origins: Studies in Honor of Harold R. Willoughby

By Allen Wikgren | Go to book overview

III
SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND

Carl H. Kraeling UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Matthew 7Luke 11
Ask, and it will be given you; 9 . . . Ask, and it will be given seek, and you will find; knock, and you; seek, and you will find; knock it will be opened to you. 8 For and it will be opened to you. everyone who asks receives, and he 10 For every one who asks rewho seeks finds, and to him who ceives, and he who seeks finds, and knocks it will be opened. to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 Or what man of you, if his son 11 What father among you, if his asks him for a loaf, will give him son asks for a fish, will instead of a a stone? fish give him a serpent;
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a serpent? give him a scorpion?
11 If you then, who are evil, know 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to yor chil­ how to give good gifts to you children, how much more will your dren, how much more will the heavFather who is in heaven give good enly Father give the Holy Spirit to things to those who ask him? those who ask him?

The doubly-attested logion in which the proverbial "seek and you will find" occurs and which is here given in full for convenience' sake in the rendering of the Revised Standard Version is among the more familiar of the sayings of Jesus. Quoted and commented upon by Christian writers since days of the earliest anti-heretical Fathers and speculative theologians, it is still subject to interpretation from different points of view and does in fact raise various questions. So, for instance, it is interesting to inquire in what context the saying may have stood in the Second Source from which Matthew and Luke drew it; that is, whether it was handed down as one element of a collection of words dealing with prayer and the answer to prayer such as Luke 11:1-13, and if so why Matthew chose to take

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