On: Authorial Luke [L2]
CONVENTIONS: K = many links to Mark (k = few); T/t ditto Matthew; B/b ditto
Both; X/x all. L = no other Synoptic parallel save Luke himself.
ERRATA: The ochre bars on Farmer p144 should be magenta.
2:1-6 . . (L). . Bethlehem narrative
2:7 . . . .(Lt) . Birth of Jesus ( ~ Mt 1:25)
2:8-20 . (L). . Shepherds and angels
2:21 . . .(Lt) . Naming of Jesus ( ~ Mt 1:25)
2:22-38 (L). . Presentation at the Temple
2:39 . . .(Lt) . Return to Nazareth ( ~ Mt 2:23)
2:30-52 (L). . Young Jesus in the Temple
Nothing here contradicts the Trajectory presumption that Mt > Lk; indeed,
some of these details are part of the Trajectory argument itself.
A replacement of most of the Matthean counterpart material (with its Exodic
resonances) with other material of equal liturgical piety and greater
literary power. Luke here uses one bit of Matthean material at more than one
place in his narrative, and puts in closer conjunction items more widely
spaced in Matthew, showing again that he is not following Mt or any other
Vorlage with his nose half an inch off the page; he is rather executing a
large design formed by previously considering the whole of his material,
including his own inventions.
Luke is free and indeed high-handed with Matthew ("This, my young friend, is
how one writes a Gospel"), but he is affected by Matthew's wording in the
passages which he retains in his different narrative structure. He is thus
not allergic to Matthew. On the contrary, he is perfectly willing to use a
good thing, whether a word or a large structural component, when he sees it,
just as Bach was not at all averse to using whole compositions by Vivaldi as
the basis for his own. A B-flat is a B-flat, and is nothing the worse if
Telemann used it first.
Chiefly concerned to note the degree of control exerted in Lk by OT
material, which for Lk was as true as anything else within his purview.
Luke's strategy in maintaining local continuity and large consistency,
despite rejecting much of Matthew's material, is convincingly assessed.
Goulder is particularly good on Luke's theme of Jesus's complete
self-knowledge from childhood on, thus preparing to banish the Markan
implication that Jesus only discovered himself in the course of his
preaching. I would not have written every word of it that way myself, but as
much could be said of the essays of Dryden, with perhaps little detriment to
the reputation of Dryden. Warmly recommended.
[E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst]