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RE: [Synoptic-L] Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic (GPG) In Response To: Chuck Jones On: The Luke/Acts Join From: Bruce Chuck has noted the anticipation of Acts 2:1-4 in Luke 24:49b, but stay in
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 28, 2011
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      To: Synoptic (GPG)
      In Response To: Chuck Jones
      On: The Luke/Acts Join
      From: Bruce

      Chuck has noted the anticipation of Acts 2:1-4 in Luke 24:49b, "but stay in
      the city, until you are clothed with power from on high." He says, and I
      quote, "It seems quite a leap to say that aLk came back around and rewrote
      the ending once he read a copy of Acts. Other than common authorship, what
      other explanations are available for Lk's ending?"

      This link between Luke and Acts, like the one I mentioned a bit ago, does
      tend to show that things inside Luke are aware of, or somehow in resonance
      with, things inside Acts. So I am glad to have this on record as one more
      point against the idea that Acts was written much later than Luke, and by
      another team altogether. Thanks, Chuck. That's two, and maybe someone can
      contribute a third. But even with two, it is already not very probable that
      a separate, non-Lukan author of Acts would be able to get inside the text of
      Luke and change it to match, and thus vindicate, his new forgery. The people
      in charge of the one text, and the people in charge of the other, are
      working together too closely not to be, in effect, the same people.

      On the other hand, it seems to me that Chuck's way of putting it could use a
      little refinement, in the interest of the long run. Herewith my suggestion.

      CHUCK: It seems quite a leap to say that aLk came back around and rewrote
      the ending . . ." BRUCE: But it's not a leap. It is obvious from such places
      as the rewritten Nazareth scene (which, as it stands, refers to events like
      Jesus in Capernaum that come only later) that Luke DID in fact come back and
      rewrite, not just the ending of the previous Gospel, but much else also. It
      was at such a time that he added the Birth Narrative to the BEGINNING of the
      Gospel (Luke 3:1, let me say again, starts off very comfortably, as though
      it were the beginning of the whole story).

      What is in common with nearly all these second tries and rewrites and
      additions in Luke is that they involve narrative inconcinnities in the
      result. The Birth narrative (which makes John and Jesus cousins) is at odds
      with the Baptism scene (in which John and Jesus take par2t as strangers).
      The Nazareth rewrite, and relocation, have the Nazarethers know about
      Jesus's Capernaum miracles before he even goes to Capernaum. The relocation
      of the Calling of Peter also causes plausibility problems with Jesus's
      healing of Peter's mother-in-law. The Journey to Jerusalem via Samaria
      (making a statement for the Gentiles) fades away, leaving a journey which
      obviously lies through Jewish territory, and goes down the Jordan, not
      overland through Samaria. And the addition of Acts, however much patched up
      it is by the enabling insertion of Lk 24:49b (and I think that just that
      clause will suffice; for the wording, compare Ac 15:34). aLk did what he
      wanted at each of these points, but he was careless of other details at
      which he was not looking, and strange things happened accordingly. There is
      also the difference between the original end of Luke (the simultaneous
      Ascension) and the beginning of Acts (the protracted presence of Jesus, and
      the more gaudily written Ascension). Here too, the easiest solution seems to
      be that the simultaneous Ascension of Luke is older, whereas the protracted
      Ascension of Acts is later. aLk, in returning to the matter, has left his
      original Ascension in place (intervening only to signal the Conferring of
      the Spirit in Acts, the thing in which he is REALLY interested), not
      noticing that he has left behind, in Lk 24:51, a much more modest, and in
      its new context, inconsistent, account.

      Those strange things, those narrative gaffes, those stops and starts, are
      there in the text; I am not making them up. The challenge for readers of
      Luke is to explain what they mean; what sort of text formation process could
      have led to them. The above is my suggestion.

      E Bruce Brooks
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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