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24212RE: [XTalk] Re: Luke's use of his sources

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Jul 14, 2014

      If we confine ourselves to Markan words of Jesus present also in Luke, and if we exclude Lukan passages which I have found reason to think were later rewritten (and typically expanded) in Lk (my Luke B), the material is limited, but not without interest. Some samples from Mk 1-5.


      Mk 1:38 > Lk 4:43. Luke longer by the addition of a clarifying clause

      Mk 2:11 > Lk 5:24. Luke replaces the vulgar word krabbatos, otherwise same

      Mk 2:17b > Lk 5:32. Luke longer by the addition of an explanatory phrase

      Mk 3:3 > Lk 6:8b. Luke longer by the addition of a clarifying phrase.

      Mk 3:4 > Lk 6:9. Luke longer by an introductory phrase.

      Mk 3:23 > Lk 11:17. Luke omits first question

      Mk 3:25 > Lk 11:17. Luke omits or condenses into preceding sentence

      Mk 3:26 > Lk 11:18. Luke omits last line of Mark

           >  Lk 11:18. Luke adds a whole paragraph not in Mark

      Mk 3:27 ? Lk11:22. Luke longer by the addition of detail

      Mk 3:28-29 > Lk 12:10. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 3:33-34 > Lk 8:21. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 4:5 > Lk 8:6. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 4:8 > Lk 8:8. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 4:12 > Lk 8:10. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 4:13-14 > Lk 8:11. Luke much abbreviated

      Mk 4:17 > Lk 8:14. Luke slightly abbreviated

      Mk 4:21 > Lk 8:16. Luke longer by the addition of a clarifying clause

      Mk 4:24 > Lk 8:18. Luke considerably abbreviated

      Mk 5:19 > Lk 39. Luke considerably abbreviated

      Mk 5:30 > Lk 8:46. Luke rephrases, and adds an explanatory clause


      This small sample tends to suggest that Luke treated Jesus sayings not that differently from how he treated Mark’s narrative material: sometimes expanding it for clarity, sometimes shortening it for narrative concision, sometimes reproducing it with little or no change.


      A full quantitative survey would probably reveal that Luke modified Marks Jesus material less than he modified Mark’s narrative, but I think the above will show that he did not hold Jesus sayings in complete respect, but treated them in much the same way he treated everything else in Mark. When he modifies them, he seems to do so for the same reasons that are implied in his treatment of Markan narrative.


      It should be also in the equation that Luke *invented* a lot of Jesus material, both in his Sermon on the Plain (which I see as anterior to Matthew’s expansion as the Sermon on the Mount), and even more in his very long Sermon on the Way (even after the intrusive Luke B Matthean addenda have been eliminated). If we imagine Luke as using a separate Jesus Sayings Source, and treating it with greater respect than any other source, extant or conjectured, then these additions surely pose a problem.




      E Bruce Brooks

      University of Massachusetts at Amherst



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