25 reasons why Luke is early
01. Luke wrote his first letter to Most Excellent Theophilus, the Jewish High Priest.
02. The first audience of the Gospel of Luke was Jewish.
03. The author of the Gospel of Luke was Jewish.
04. Matthew and Mark rewrote the Lucan Passion Narrative.
05. Luke does not condemn the animal sacrificial system.
06. Creed, Conzelmann and those who agree with them note that Luke has no equivalent of the ransom saying or of Matthew's connection of Jesus's covenant blood with the remission of sins. Luke does not connect forgiveness of sins with the death of Jesus. Esler states: “It is indeed, very difficult to imagine how a theory of atoning death of Jesus, already present in Paul and Mark and, indeed, in pre-Pauline and pre-Marcan traditions, could have arisen among Jews who preserved close links with the sacrificial cult.” As long as the Temple stood, the High Priest was in office, the Day of Atonement was being observed and Judaism recognized the followers of Jesus as Jews, including many priests who were obedient to the faith, there was no need or reason for Luke to proclaim a theology of the cross and in fact, Luke has no theology of the cross.
07. Matthew also rewrote Luke adding the pericope making Peter not James the leader of the ekklesia, a word which is an anachronism in Matthew and had the disciples wait for Jesus in
08. It is difficult to imagine how a theory of atoning death of Jesus could have arisen among Jews who preserved close links with the sacrificial cult because it would be an anachronism. It is likewise difficult to imagine, if such a theology existed, that it would not have shown its influence on Didache and the early Church Fathers. The apostolic fathers believed that salvation was based on repentance and not solely on the ground of the death of Jesus on the cross. Robert Kraft has stated: “There is no indication in the Didache that an initial repentance connected with the idea of personal sinfulness for which Jesus' death atones was considered basic to the Christian life.”
09. Josephus is dependent on Luke.
10. The Lucan Jesus does not walk on water.
11. Luke does not use the phrase the “abomination of desolation.”
12. Luke does not use the phrase “Let the reader understand.”
13. Matthew and Mark rewrote the Parable of the Wicked Tenants to add exaggerated killings and replacement theology.
14. Mark rewrote Luke because the disciples did not get it. The disciples did not understand that there was no need to be in the
15. Matthew and Mark followed the Roman custom of dividing the night into four watches. Luke retained the three watch system of dividing the night.
16. Luke is the only gospel writer to mention the circumcision of the Messiah and the covenant of circumcision and is the only gospel writer to mention circumcision because Matthew and Mark wrote after the battle over circumcision had been fought and it was no longer an issue.
17. For Luke, Jesus' mission of preaching the good news of the kingdom does not imply that
18. Luke [Lk 9:18-22] omits the name of the place where Jesus asks his disciples: "Who do the people say I am?" while Matthew [16:13-23] and Mark [8:27-33] identify the name of the place as Caesarea Philippi. When Josephus mentions in War and Antiquities the construction of a
19. Matthew and Mark both contain verses supporting the idea that the body of the risen Christ could be described as a new temple, which will replace the old destroyed one after three days. Luke does not contain these verses. These verses are the basis for the assertion that Jesus said that the
20. Luke has a strong emphasis on repentance. The synoptic gospels all note that John Baptist came preaching calling to the crowd that they should repent for the
21. Luke presents Jesus as a prophet like Moses while Matthew and Mark present Jesus as a prophet greater than Moses.
23. Luke is criticized, for recalling in his account of the sermon in
24. Luke in his entry into
25. Luke did not include the verse “False messiahs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect” which appears in Matthew and Mark with minor variation. Joel Marcus uses this verse as one argument for dating the publication of the Gospel of Mark near the end of the Jewish War. The emergence of false prophets appear to reflect the circumstances from the mid-fifties CE to the end of the Jewish War as described by Josephus.
This is a work in progress.