Lucan Priority Demonstrated
The following demonstration is based on a message posted on Synoptic-L in 2002 by John Lupia. I have only posted a portion of the message.
“Arguments for Lukan priority have different foundations. I have developed arguments based on the text as follows: (1) Jesus does not carry the cross (Lk 23:26); (2) Jesus is never flogged (Lk 22:63); (3) Jesus is not crowned with thorns, but instead becomes the target of amusement in a child's game (which Mt 26:67-8; Mk 14:65 retain). If the proper order is Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, then these anomalies cannot be simply dismissed nor satisfactorily approached by merely attributing them to his editorial style, or that he was attempting to play down the horrors of the passion because they were turning people off by upsetting to the sensitive and squeamish. If Luke were first then Mark, Matthew, John would have edited their material as they did, not the other way round. These Passion Narrative (PN) details are essential to the soteriological acts of the Messiah.”
As I stated yesterday, Martin Kahler's classic description of the gospels as “passion narratives with extended introductions” says it all. Thus if it can be demonstrated that “the correct sequence of events” of the passion is reported by Luke and that Matthew and Mark have corrupted the details, then a credible argument has been shown in support of the priority of Luke.
Our understanding of the Easter event is based for the most part on a composite reading of the gospel accounts. Although I have been studying the Gospel of Luke since high school, not until I read this posting by John Lupia did I realize how in-grained my composite understanding of the passion narrative had become.
Gospel of Luke