Cc: Synoptic; WSW
On: Authorial Luke [L3]
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.
[This is the first chapter where possible comparisons with Mk exist. A
certain interest therefore attaches to whether Lk can be shown unambiguously
to have used Mk; that is, if there are passages highlighted by Farmer in
green. We previously found that Lk could be construed as making creative use
of Mt. That impression turns out to continue to be suggested by the Lk 3
material. / EBB].
3:1 . . . . . (L). . . . . Synchronism
3:2-3. . . .(Ltkb) . . Introduction of John
3:4-6 . . . (Ltkb). . .Isaiah prophecy
3:7-9. . . .(T) . . . . .Preaching of John
3:10-15 . (L) . . . . .Further Preaching of John
3:16-18 . (Tk) . . . .Prediction of Jesus
3:19-20 . (Lb) . . . .But Herod . . .
3:21-22 . (Ltb) . . . Genealogy of Jesus
3:23-38 . (Lt) . . . . Remainder of Genealogy of Jesus
The Teaching of John at one point is simply taken over from Mt. Lk then
expands on this core with further material of his own.
The Genealogy is also part of the Trajectory basis: Luke extends Matthew's
genealogy (with many changes of format and detail) back from Abraham
(exclusively Jewish) to God (universal). This is compatible with Lukan
behavior elsewhere: extending the validity of the Jesus mission beyond the
See further directionality notes under GOULDER, below.
Some adoption from Mt, some free composition to develop the Mt precedent,
and a high-handed redo of the ethnically limited Mt genealogy. There are
only a few passages where words or phrases are unmistakably drawn from Mk,
but these compel us to conclude that in addition to following Mt with a
respectful but free pen, Lk was also simultaneously aware of Mk. In this
section, there can be no question of putting down one Vorlage and picking up
another. Either Mt predominates, or the two are blended.
In fact, we get in Lk 3 no extended passage which can be said to be based
solely on Mk. Mt is the main precedent.
Not to be coy about it, but is there a segment in Farmer which is either
green (Mk parallel only) or blue (ambiguous result as to Mt/Lk), but no
fuchsia (unambiguously Mt)? Not everybody has their very own Farmer
Synopticon (my copy formerly belonged to C S Mann), so perhaps it is fair
for me to peek ahead.
One passage of this sort is the Capernaum Demoniac, Lk 4:33-37. (No Matthean
Another is Lk 8:26-39, the long story of the Demoniac. Much in this Lukan
story is ambiguously common to Mk/Mt, but a good deal also can only have
been derived from Mk (green). The only word in the whole passage which has a
parallel only in Mt is EMBAS "having embarked" [Mt 9:1]. It might be thought
that this could have been supplied by Lk's own sense of the narrative
requirements. But the story continues in Mt [9:2f] with the Healing of the
Paralytic, which has its own disjunct parallel in Lk 5:17f. I think that
here Farmer has been more sensitive to the parallels than have
Huck/Throckmorton. It may thus be better to see Lk as following Mt also at
this point, even if Mk is largely guiding the Lukan pen at this point.
Another is Lk 9:49-50, the Strange Exorcist. Not long, but pure green.
So yes, the color Synopsis does give us a sense of these things, and on
these examples, a reasonably careful and precise sense.
Note (1/270) on Lk's alternation of sources, and his concentration here on
Mt. As far as Lk 3 goes (and on the Farmer evidence), there is no doubt that
Mt is the major source, but it is also unmistakable that there are
smatterings of Markan wording as well. The text of Lk is drawing
simultaneously, and not sequentially, on both. This does not conflict with
the idea of *major* attention to one or the other, but it does qualify it.
Goulder (1/271) is good on the slight transpositions made by Lk in his Mt
precedent, and these amount to a directionality confirmation Mt > Lk. That
is, Lukan motives for the changes are readily available.
Goulder (1/275) justly observes the reluctance of earlier commentators (and
some modern ones) to assume that Lk is at any point original. This is an
outdated perception: Lk is clearly original at points; he has his own
version of the story, and his own interpretation of the traditions available
to him, and it is that recasting and reinterpretation that he is giving us.
Multiplication of "sources" was necessary on the old understanding of Lk as
simply a scribe, copying what was before him with his nose half an inch
above the page. That understanding is obsolete.
Goulder (1/279) notes the rearrangement of material in Lk so as to "close
off" the Baptist's career from that of Jesus. Exactly so. Lk's
rearrangements, both minor and major, are always motivated, and always
intelligibly motivated. Goulder (1/281) notes some "clumsy" phrasing which
arises as a consequence of certain of these rearrangements. Again, sound and
The only departure from Goulder here is the idea of successive sources; we
find Lk easier to explain on the basis of simultaneous use of Mt and Lk,
along with a generous helping of Lk's own creative imagination and
[E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst]