Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Luke, Paul and Galatians

It is generally accepted that Luke did not have access to the letters of Paul. However, Heikki Leppä has concluded in his dissertation, "Luke's Critical Use of Galatians", that Luke did use Galatians. I have not read the dissertation but Antti Mustakallio has provided me some examples from the dissertation that support this conclusion. I am only going to discuss one example involving the use of the Greek word συμπαραλαβὼν in Gal 2:1. Paul tells us that he and Barnabas took Titus with them to Jerusalem. Leppä considers the use of this Greek word to be rare. Luke uses the word in Acts 12:25; 15:37 and 38 mentioning Mark instead of Titus but not describing the same event. In addition to the LXX, Philo and Josephus examples, the Greek word also appears in 3 Maccabees 1:1 for a total 12 known examples of the use of the word in Greek writings.

The fact that the Greek word συμπαραλαβὼν also appears in 3 Maccabees may undercut the force of this dependency on Galatians since Luke has also used Maccabbees as a source for words. However the significant point about this example, as noted by Leppä, is that Luke and Paul use this word only in connection with Paul and Barnabas taking a companion with them on a trip.

Finally, I should note that Antti Mustakallio has indicated that Richard Pervo has cited this dissertation in his new book, Dating Acts.

Copyrighted 2007


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