On: Lk 14-18 Discourse
There is a tiny note here (at the end) about Lk <> Thos directionality. I am
persuaded by arguments for Lk > Thos directionality in several individual
passages, but each passage is its own story, and there may be here an
exception to that tendency.
My working model is the one previously argued for:
Lk A > Mt > Lk B and Acts I > Acts II > Lk C
Lk 14-18:14b seems to be a largely original Lukan "Discourse of Jesus," in
which Lk puts together in more consecutive and consistent form what he
accepts of Mark's partly obsolete theology, while adding some refinements of
his own, especially in the direction of the theology of renunciation, with
the literal poor as frequent examples. The topic runs from the urgency of
preparing for the End Days (Lk 14:1-6 is not just another Pharisee conflict
story, though borrowing that form for reasons of apparent authenticity) to
the coming of the Kingdom itself, with several relevant topics touched on in
The passages of special interest are those which do NOT fit that model, and
may be later intrusions (that is, they may come from Lk B or Lk C). In the
interest of brevity, I mention only those here. None, at first glance, seem
to come from Lk B.
Lk 17:11-19. Healing of Ten Lepers. Lk C (the message is that only the
Gentiles are worthy of salvation, or truly accept it). There is no
continuity with the surrounding material.
Lk 17:25. But first the Son of Man must be rejected (not merely killed). Lk
C The rejection of Jesus by the Jews is the signature doctrine of Acts II
(AC 28:28), and is inserted here to register it as an exception to the
surrounding material, with which it is out of sequence.
Lk 17:21. The Kingdom is in your midst. This utterly conflicts with the
literal Kingdom Coming scenario which is the whole point of the Discourse.
It has no Synoptic parallel, and no Synoptic theological basis. It
represents one answer to the problem of the Delayed Coming, but Luke
elsewhere in the Discourse adopts the final Markan view: that no external
sign will warn of the Coming, but it will occur suddenly and believers must
be constantly prepared to meet it as an unexpected event. There is however a
parallel at GThos 3. Was it introduced from GThos? That is the present
Goulder 2/650 draws attention to Lk 11:20, as also claiming that the Kingdom
is already present. I am not sure that the two can be equated; the question
there is merely whether Jesus is working with God's power or with demonic
Nor need the "Kingdom Among You" statement necessarily void the idea of a
later physical realization of the End of the World. The idea that the elect
are already saved (so that the later Judgement is merely a formality) can be
seen in several late 1c texts, including the Alpha portion of 1 John (at
least as analyzed by myself, earlier this year). But at stated in Lk 17:21
it goes further in that direction than anything else in the Gospel. I would
thus be inclined to class it with the last of the authorial additions to
Luke (my Luke C). This would already put it in the 80's (on my present
schedule for Luke), which is perhaps its least uncomfortable dating.
But the matter is difficult and the parallels are difficult. I would be glad
of any comments from those who have worked with these materials from a
perhaps slightly different angle than my own present one.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst