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This verse is part of the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matt 22:1-14. Luke does not mention the army that destroys the city in the version of Luke 14:15-23

Matt 22:7 - The king was enraged, and he sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city.

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    You must have some textual evidence to make such assumption or doubt its authenticity (lest it is an opinion based question and should be closed), because there are many verses different in the Synoptic gospels.
    – Michael16
    Aug 18, 2023 at 13:00
  • I mean the major or significant textual variants are mentioned in various modern bibles footnotes which mentions if a verse is not found in the earliest and best mss or that some later mss reads this and that. I recommend using NET bible, it is on stepbible site for free with other versions, its footnotes are very helpful. Use mybible app for mobile where u can have all the bible versions too. The modern bibles are critical text based, they dont include the verses that are shown to be later addition.
    – Michael16
    Aug 18, 2023 at 16:02

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There is no historical evidence that Matt 22:7 is a late addition - it appears in all the earliest manuscripts of Matthew that contain this chapter.

The fact that Luke and Matthew report this parable with a slightly different text need not surprise us because:

  • Matthew and Luke were independent of each other and used different sources: - Matthew used his own notes and recollections; Luke used other witnesses that may have heard things slightly differently'
  • This parable may have been told more than once by Jesus: Matthew's account appears to be in the temple grounds the day after His triumphal entry to Jerusalem and during the week; however, Luke's account appears to have been told in a Pharisee's house during a Sabbath lunch (see Luke 14:1).

Thus, while Jesus told the same parable, he had a slightly different purpose on each occasion and thus varied the story slightly. A careful comparison of the two versions of the parable in Matt 22 & Luke 14 shows more than a dozen significant differences; which shows, again, that Jesus used the parable for different purposes. Here are a few:

Matt 22:1-14 Luke 14:15-24
A king holds a banquet a certain man holds a banquet
The banquet is a wedding feat the "great" banquet's reason is not stated
The king prepares oxen and fatter cattle no menu is listed
The king sends more than one set of servants to invite guests Only one servant is sent to invite guests
The guests ignored the invitation The guests gave excuses not to come
The servants are mistreated and some are killed no mistreatment of servants is listed
The king orders the his troops to destroy the guest and burn their city No reprisals are listed
Only One invitation is given for more guests Two invitations are given to those in the streets and alleys
The king inspects the guests and find one without a wedding garment No inspections of the guests is recorded

There are many more. Thus, the parables are similar but far from identical.

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  • Thanks for the answer. I was reading N. T. Wright's commentary and he pointed out that this fragment could be an addition.
    – Vargenos
    Aug 18, 2023 at 10:55
  • @Vargenos - intersting speculation; but there are many more differences between the two parables.
    – Dottard
    Aug 18, 2023 at 10:56
  • I forgot why I even decided to create this question. I wanted to point out that there is a historical inaccuracy in Matthew's parable. The king orders to call to the feast everyone whom the servants meet, but this happens after the destruction of the city. The Gentiles are being referred to here, and the destruction of the city refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and I think all interpreters will agree with this. However, as we know, faith in Christ began to be preached among the pagans long before the destruction of Jerusalem. (Sorry for my English, I use a translator)
    – Vargenos
    Aug 18, 2023 at 14:33
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I searched on Google books for the reasons if some scholars, as you mentioned, N T Wright, believe this verse Matt 22:7 could be a later addition, and found a reference from Charles A. Estridge's (2022) Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, where he mentioned some arguments of why scholars date the origin of Matthew's Gospel to a later time (after 70 AD) than the traditional view.

Blomberg, Carson, Gundry, and Maier are evangelical scholars that date Matthew between AD 50-70. They cite the dispersion of the Jewish Christians from Jerusalem around AD 50 and that Matthew was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. There would have been little need of a written gospel in Jerusalem before this time, since the apostles and eyewitnesses of Jesus were still alive, and the church was expecting Christ’s imminent return. Matthew 24 speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem as being in the future. Mark and Luke also speak of this event as future; and in Acts, the temple is still being visited by the disciples.”. However, several modern scholars date Matthew around AD 80-90 or beyond. .

  • The priority of Mark is important to this argument if Mark was written around AD 65-70. If Matthew quoted from Mark, then one would have to date Matthew later.

  • The conflict between rabbinic Judaism and the church in Matthew reflects a period in the AD 805 and 90s. This would have been after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Birkat ha-Minim—a curse on heretics that many modern scholars believe was mainly against Christians. The Birkat ha-Minim, which was said at the end of synagogue liturgy, is credited to Shmuel ha-Katan and is usually dated around AD 85-90."

  • This school of scholars believes Matthews theological themes are 100 well developed for the middle of the first century. For these scholars, the gospel’s use of “the potter’s field” the Trinitarian formula for baptism, Christology, and the circulation of stories of Jesus' body being stolen by the disciples indicate a later date.

  • Lastly, they also hold that Mark was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, This is because they believe Matthew 24 is not prophecy, but recorded history cloaked in prophetic language (an interpolation). They also read into Jesus' parable of the marriage feast (Matt, 22:7ff) a historical reality. Scholars believe the king sending his army to destroy and burn the city (Jerusalem) must be an addition to the text. They also read Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem as a reference to Jerusalem’s destruction, for he says, “Behold your house is [being] left to you desolate”   

It would've been very strange if some scribe added a whole verse to depict the city destruction, because in most cases the scribal interpolation was limited to just a word or phrase if not for adding an explanatory note. Such a big interpolation to depict the already happened destruction as a prophecy would be unnecessary, though possible. Since there is no evidence surviving manuscript that lack the verse, so far, this is only a weak conjecture. One conjecture of Alexandros Pallis (1932), raises the objection on the grounds of rationality in the story, stating "For how is it rational to say that, whilst the feast was ready, it was held over until an army could be sent and a city burnt down?"

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