Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Precision time markers

In my post, “On the third day,” I noted that, according to Arthur A. Just, Jr., Luke used precision time markers to announce the beginning of the three day period with the Day of Preparation and ending at Emmaus. This use of precision time markers is consistent with way Luke has presented in his writings the historical data imparted to him.

“And he said to them, ‘O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

A year ago, I wrote that Emmaus should be considered a conversion experience. In the same post, I reported the observation of Gary Goldberg that there is “the use of the first person plural in identifying our leaders, the principal men among us.” I also noted the observation of Margaret Barker that “There is nothing in the MT of the prophets which describes a suffering Messiah who sees the glory of God . . .”

The Lucan Jesus instructed the two disciples. Luke says: “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

The two disciples were able to accurately present all the evidence needed to believe in the resurrection. However, as indicated by Heil, they were not able to believe “because they have not believed the prophets who predicted.” The two disciples did not understand the divine necessity of the suffering and death before entering into glory.

Koet has demonstrated that the Luke employed three technical terms used in the interpretation of Jewish Scriptures. This concept, with these words, 24:15, reasoned; 24:32, he opened; and 24:27, he expounded provide the background for understanding this passage. “Jesus confronts the disciples with the interpreting actualization of Torah which is given in and by the life (Luke 24:27): “he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures (= tradition) the things concerning himself (= actualization).” Koet ends his incisive discussion with these words: “From that moment on they are able to pass on the interpretation (actuality and tradition).”

The inclusion of these technical terms used in the interpretation of Jewish Scriptures is further evidence that both the author and first recipient of the writings of Luke were Jewish men proficient in the interpretation of Jewish Scriptures. It may also be evidence, when considered in conjunction with the use of precision time markers, the use of the first person plural and a description of “a suffering Messiah who sees the glory of God,” that the author was an eyewitness participant and the unknown disciple who was confronted by the Master who instructed him so that he would able to pass on the interpretation. Based on his understanding, derived from his personal embarrassing confrontation, Luke is able to accuracy present to Theophilus as a minister of the word what he has seen and heard.

There is yet another important clue. Cadbury's lexicographical study of Luke 1:1-4 showed that parakoloutheo in verse 3 cannot refer to historical research but must mean either "to keep informed about current events" or "to participate" in them. Therefore, the lexicographical study of the prologue supports the conclusions of this book that Luke was an eyewitness.

Furthermore the resurrection appearance was probably already generally known to Theophilus and perhaps no further identification was necessary. The two brief mentions of Johanna with the second mention of her name, appearing within a chiastic structure at the center and climax thereof, alerts Theophilsu that someone he knows is a witness to the resurrection. It is rare for the name of a person to occupy the prominent position of a chiastic structure. In this instance, the Johanna chiastic structure introduces the Emmaus resurrection appearance which is also a chiasmus.

In the final analysis the two witness rule utilized by Luke is the missing linking evidence. If Theophilus does not know Luke, then the recounting of the Emmaus resurrection appearance can not be considered persuasive evidence. The failure to follow the two witness rule in this dramatic instance would in deed be a strange way for a Jewish writer to conclude his first book.

Copyrighted 2006


Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

So why does someone have to be Jewish to be proficient in the Hebrew scriptures? Wouldn't traveling for years with Paul, who was steeped in the scriptures, have the same effect?

6:25 AM


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