Re: [XTalk] Dates and Authors of New Testament Books
- William Arnal wrote:
> Robert Davis wrote:
> >there is a good deal of reconsideration about the dating of Luke-Acts.
> >Traditionally, scholars have dated these works to between 85-100 AD, >and I
> >believe there are still many who would continue to advance that >position.
> >However, G. Raynal and I (I believe for different reasons) date Luke->Acts
> >closer to 120 AD, making the Gospel of Luke the last of the canonical
> >gospels to have been written.
> This is a view I happen to share, though more as a hunch or intuition than
> for substantive reasons. I'd be VERY interested to hear your reasoning for
> the late date of Luke-Acts.
Just sort of a loose note as for some of my reasons...
1. "Positively," I think "the more orderly account" is an expression of
the beginning of a collection of works and practices that were coming
together to define early "orthodox/ prax" Christianity in the second and
third decades of the second century CE. Luke-Acts together serve to
function like the Pentateuch for the movement providing for a new
calendar of celebrations (most clearly "New Passover" and "New
Pentecost"). In a real since I think "the Birth of Christianity"
belongs to ca. 120 to give it a date in the aftermath of such as
Ignatius death. Luke-Acts goes along with 5 key markers that give a
definite shape to what can be called early ortho -dox/ -prax
Christianity. Those include... the LXX as Scripture (and Luke Acts
allows for claiming the whole), the Lord's prayer as communal prayer
(thus "the sin" redaction) [3x a day per the Didache], the Eucharist as
daily feast in line with a beginning of a Festal Year, a clear line of
Apostolic succession... and thus basis for Bishops' leadership, and the
Baptismal Credo whose roots are early second century. Luke- Acts makes
"orderly" the theological/ ethical and power base for these defining
centers of the enduring, shall we say "centrist" community. Such as
James' role in the earliest days, the roles of such as Martha and Mary,
the role of such as Thomas is all "ordered!" I wonder if Ignatius
himself wasn't behind the beginnings of the Gospel, but I think Acts
clearly comes after Ignatius' death.
2. "Negatively" I think Luke was necessitated by not only John, but by
the redactional directions of such as Thomas and the beginnings of all
manner of other types of gospeling. Crossan has written about "a battle
of Gospel types." I think "Luke" had access to Mark, Matthew, Q,
Special L and perhaps other early Gospel attempts.
3. I think Luke's treatment of Paul also reflects both a kind of
elevation, but also taming of the strong Pauline advocates.
4. I think the quality of the Greek suggests the coming on board of more
Gentile sophisticates and the move to make what are sort of "commoner
works" (Mk. and Mt.) look decent;)!
In some ways I'm surprised that Matthew, Mark and John survived at all!
As Brian McCarthy once wrote to the Westar egroup... it is just too bad
that the Markan community and the Matthean Community and the Johannine
Community didn't also write "Acts." If they had we really might know
something about the era ca. 30 to 75 CE.
Well... this is sort of loosely stated... but Luke-Acts really did
capture the imagination of many, obviously. Such as Marcion started
with his rendition of Luke and the Pauline Corpus... deutero Paulines,
the Petrines etc. were spun out. Thankfully the wisdom prevailed to
save Mark and Matthew (and thus a doorway to Q), for otherwise seriously
historical work would have been nigh unto impossible had his/her/ their
"more orderly account" actually prevailed en toto;)!