> What you propose is clearly not impossible. But it is certainly not as good
> as the original. What you present here is a brief general call to
> repentance, followed by scenarios of people eager to repent. In our extant
> Luke there is a warning of wrath and fire, so that by verse 10 one can sense
> the crowds feeling guilty and ready to make amends. It parallels an
> evangelistic meeting where there is a lengthy build-up of emotion before a
> challenge to commitment. Luke was a good storyteller!
'Better', is a subjective judgment. Personally I'd prefer a version without the fire and brimstone, but that's just my subjective judgment.
Consistency, and sticking with a theme is a less subjective measure.
> But there remains the jump in the opposite direction, between verses 3 & 4.
> In the extant text vv. 4-6 represent a temporary departure from the theme of
> repentance so that Luke can portray the Jewish scriptures as hinting at the
> salvation of the Gentiles (v.6).
I really don't see this as much of a jump, if any. v3 mentions forgiveness (group not named), and the quote from Isaiah's 'punchline' is about salvation (for all). "Forgiveness -> salvation" seems like theme continuity to me.
I've not had a chance to look at the rest yet. Probably Tuesday, if not before then.