Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Friday, February 16, 2007

25 additional reasons why Luke is early

51. The Lucan version of the Parable of the Wicked Tenants represents the original teaching of Jesus, a parable in which Jesus does not condemn the Temple and the animal sacrificial system nor does God reject his people.

52. The apocalypticism apparent in Matthew and Mark is an event subsequent to publication of Luke and is a product of the emergence of false prophets reflecting the circumstances from the mid-fifties CE to the end of the Jewish War as described by Josephus.

53. Luke wrote at a time when there was a significant Jewish opposition to the Mission to the Gentiles. This is evident from an exegetical examination of several key passages: Lk. 4:16-30; Acts 13:42-52 and Acts 28:16-31. In these passages, Luke has employed hermeneutic techniques to present his Isaianic theme. What is remarkable is that these same passages are cited in support of the proposition that Luke wrote about the rejection of the Jews. The Sermon preached in Nazareth has an aspect to it that has not received proper attention. Jesus mentions Elijah, a religious zealot for maintenance and restoration of God’s covenant with Israel. In all three passages, Jesus in Luke and Paul in Acts are presented as instructing the audience in the interpretation of scripture and, unlike similar examples in Matthew and Mark where Jesus instructs, we know the scriptural basis of the instruction provided.

54. The direction in Acts 6:4 that the Twelve are to engage in “prayer and ministry of the word” represents the proper implementation of the teachings of the gospel.

55. Luke correctly identifies Pilate as ἡγεμονεύω while Matthew uses a term that is an anachronism.

56. Luke does not use the term “rabbi” as does Matthew.

57. Luke does not use the phrase “in the days of Abiathar the high priest” as does Mark in 2:26.

58. Luke is the only New Testament writer to mention the angel Gabriel. Luke is not only telling us what happened to Zechariah and Mary but is also alluding to Gabriel’s appearance in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21.

59. Mark expanded Luke 24:45-47 to explain that the disciples did not understand because "their hearts were harden" and provides examples. Mark uses the Greek words 'porosis' and 'poroo' to criticize the disciples and also the Pharisees but not the scribes or Sadducees. Neither Matthew nor Luke employed these words. Mark equated the hardness of heart of the Pharisees with the disciples making the criticism devastating. This concept is unique to Mark. When one recognizes that in Matthew, Jesus stated, "on this rock I will build my church" the criticism by Mark becomes even more stinging in its effectiveness. Mark is challenging the authority of Matthew (because of Peter) and Luke (because of the Jerusalem community). Both Luke and Mark use the phrase "they did not understand" [agnoeo] but only Mark goes out of his way to explain why they did not understand.

60. Ezekiel reminds us that the term “shepherd” is intended as another image for king in the ancient Near East. The shepherd image for David derives from a common metaphor for rulers in the ancient Near East. It suggested the care, concern, and protection that a shepherd was to provide his flock of people. When the kings of Israel prove to be bad shepherds, Ezekiel declares that the Lord will assume the role of shepherd. The image of a people, harassed and helpless without a shepherd, present in Matthew 9:36; 25:32; 26:31; Mark 6:34 and 14:27 is absent from Luke. Instead, Luke tells us, “in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night."

61. Luke has accepted, adopted, acknowledged and/or created individual responsibility and individual eschatology.

62. Matthew and Mark have re-introduced collective responsibility which the Prophet Ezekiel (18:5-9) had abandoned to support their condemnation of the Jewish People for failing and/or refusing to accept Jesus as Messiah.

63. James Dunn has indicated that the passage in Acts 15:16-18 quoted from Amos was “featured in Jewish speculation of the period about the restoration of Israel, of the David kingdom” and it would not be surprising that the Jerusalem community identified with the remnant of Amos 9:11. This passage provided comfort to both the remnant and to select Gentiles. These verses were also cited by the Qumran community.

64. Perhaps the most important part of the Amos quotation utilized by Luke is this: Whoever responds in belief to this mission will be included in the eschatological community consisting of Jews and gentiles. With this response to this mission, the gentiles become part of God’s people without being obliged to observe the Mosaic laws in full.

65. Only Mark includes in his gospel Mk 11:16: “and he would not allow any one to carry any vessels through the temple.” This is an allusion to the event of 66 CE that triggered the revolt. Florus ordered his men to enter the Temple at Jerusalem to remove silver coins to satisfy the tribute obligation owing Rome. The Roman garrison is overrun by rebels who take control of the city and the temple. The daily sacrifices to the Roman Emperor are terminated. This event and the numerous signs and portents recorded by Josephus as occurring at this time elevated apocalyptic tensions. Mark is telling Rome that Jesus will stop the Romans from removing vessels from the Temple.

66. Steven Notley commenting on Mk 6:45, where Jesus directs his disciples to go to "the other side" to Bethsaida, notes "they 'crossed over' and arrived at the same side from which they departed—the plain of Genessaret on the NW corner of the lake." Notley states that this “topographical observation supports the view that the Markan Montage is an 'editorial intrusion' by Mark and not an omission by Luke.” Notley concludes that Mark portrays Jesus and the disciples doing a U-turn in the middle of the lake.

67. Luke uses the three night time periods that reflect traditional Jewish usage while Mark employs four, a redaction consistent with Roman customs.

68. Luke does not allude to or cite Zechariah 13:7 as do Matthew and Mark nor does Luke show awareness of the destruction of Jerusalem as do Matthew and Mark.

69. Mark states: “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations” while Matthew states “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.” Both Matthew and Mark have modified Luke, which said “This will give you an opportunity to testify” because many of the eyewitnesses have died.

70. Mark, reading and observing how Matthew and Luke had treated the Jonah material differently, omitted the explicit references to Jonah. Mark, instead, describes Jesus as angry as his way of alluding to Jonah the angry prophet. Mark alludes to the angry prophet Jonah because he does not understand the enigmatic Sign of Jonah proclaimed by Jesus.

71. Jonah is also about unexpected reversals. In 2 Kings 14:25-27, God permits the expansion of the borders of Israel “according to the word that his servant Jonah uttered” despite the nation’s persistent sinfulness. In Jonah 3:10, God reverses the evil that Jonah pronounced against Ninevah. The Sign of Jonah is about repentance and eschatological reversals. Luke understood. Matthew and Mark did not understand.

72. Willi Marxsen stated that Mark, the great theologian of the cross, rearranged everything in terms of the redemptive suffering and death of Jesus, the son of God. Conzelmann demonstrated that Luke had no theology of the cross. He further noted that Mark’s gospel was merely a commentary on the kergma of Acts 2:22-24, which existed prior to the Gospel of Mark and provided Mark with his initial outline. Just as Marxsen’s work (1959) was a response to Conzelmann’s The Theology of St. Luke (1953), the Gospel of Mark was a response to the writings of Luke.

73. The names, Johanna and Theophilus, only appears in the Gospel of Luke. The unmistakable role of the placement of the name of Johanna in the vertex of the chiastic structure is to draw attention to the one eyewitness to the resurrection known personally to the first reader, most excellent Theophilus. This demonstrates that Luke has employed chiastic structures as one of his rhetorical tools in “the presentation of verifiable facts.”

74. In the story of John the Baptist, Mark combined Matthew and Luke. Mark states: “John whom I beheaded, he has risen.” Lindsey states: “In other words, Mark combines the story of Luke’s confused Herod with a story of a Herod who is certain! Of course, you will need to read the Matthew’s straightforward story about the tetrarch Herod in which Herod showed absolute certainty in his decision that Jesus was John the Baptist returned from the dead and compare it with Luke’s account that ends with Herod ‘wanted to see Jesus.’”

75. An anachronism is "something out of place in time." Turton's second criterion is "No anachronisms are historical." Luke has no anachronisms.

Copyrighted 2007


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