(Continued from yesterday)
I tried to adopt the historical-grammatical approach, but my view is at odd with others:-
e) If Jesus is just to demonstrate humility, kenosis etc., then why did He also pay the tax for Peter? He could simply pay His own. I think He demonstrated to the disciples the rule of the Kingdom of God that whoever wished to be the greater had to serve others, and He exemplified serving Peter by paying for Peter. The immediate preceding text (Mk 9:33-34) tells that inside this house were not only Peter, but all disciples. Before entering the house, they had just argued who was the greatest. The immediate following text (Mk 9:35-37 / Mt 18:1-5) talks about the same thing, so the temple tax incident is the core of the chiastic structure and should revolve around this theme.
Which interpretation is correct?
I have problems about your inserting Mt 17:24-27 in between Mk 9:33-34 and Mk 9:35-37 and calling them immediate preceding and following texts. You yourself noted that the temple tax incident is recorded only in Mt 17:24-27 and not other gospels. Its immediate preceding text is Mt 17:14-21 on the healing of a boy with a demon, and 22-23 on Jesus foretelling His betrayal and resurrection. Its immediate following text is Mt 18:1-6 on rank in the kingdom.
Mk 9:33-37 on who is the greatest is one single unit. It’s immediate preceding text is Mk 9:14-29 on the healing of a boy with an evil spirit, and 30-32 on Jesus foretelling His death and resurrection. Its immediate following text is Mk 9:38-41 on whoever is not against us is for us.
Although the immediate preceding texts of Mt 17:24-27 and Mk 9:33-37 are similar, the immediate following texts are different. You cannot simply insert Mt 17:24-27 into Mk 9:33-37, split the latter into two halves, and call them Mt 17:24-27’s preceding and following texts. Of course they are talking about greatness, because they are actually one unit! Matthew is Matthew and Mark is Mark. You can’t mix the two. It is an artificial construct, and the chiastic structure simply does not apply. I will deal with chiasm in a separate post.
(To be continued)