Re: [John_Lit] Another Luke-John Connection
- And thank you, Paul, for your kind words.
My reason for presuming a Luke > John flow of influence here is because
that is what I found in the case of Luke and John's Lazarus and
Mary-Martha texts in the short paper I referenced in my post. If you
would care to read it, here is a link:
There I present the case for Luke > John directionality in the Lazarus
texts on analysis of literary features alone. It seemed to me that
John's "five brothers" and his redundant "brother/sister" themes posed a
much higher probability of development from Luke to John than
vice-versa - see pages 7-9. My first impression is that the Luke-John
connection here in their respective 2nd chapters is very similar to that
Lazarus connection, both based on common characters and both somewhat
covert, and because John's raising of Lazarus replaces somewhat the role
of the Synoptic cleansing of the temple, which in turn John moves to
this position here in chapter 2.
I'm painfully aware however that assertions of directionality can't rest
on an isolated text or two, but must be based on systematic analysis. I
agree there is a special relationship between Luke and John. I do not
agree with Cribbs that Luke was influenced by John, but I'm not prepared
to refute his well-argued position. Yet.
Thanks again for the discussion.
--- In email@example.com
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> , Paul Anderson
> Thanks, Keith, for this thoughtful analysis of the Johannine-Lukan
> Do you have any strong reason to argue that the contacts imply John's
> familiarity with Luke instead of Luke's familiarity with John?
> If Luke used Mark (as we would most likely agree), and given that so
> Luke's most characteristic themes are missing from John, it seemsstronger
> to infer that Luke's additions to Mark that have Johannine echoesimply
> Luke's familiarity with the Johannine tradition.went the
> So, why could not the same evidence bolster a view that the contact
> other direction?[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Much appreciated!
> Paul Anderson
> George Fox University
- Dear Paul and Keith:
Wow, great response Paul. I'm out of my office right now at a conference, and so did not have all my material handy to study it as Paul did -- I am grateful for his response.
Let me just add a little word here. The issue of directionality is very difficult. In many cases one can argue either way -- and have. (for instance Bailey's work on the anointing).
For my part I thought a careful exegetical analysis of material in Luke and John would be most helpful. So in my "In Dialogue with Another Gospel" I deal with the series of similarities between Lk and Jn in the passion narrative testing John to Luke directionality. And I find it reasonable for this direction. (notice I did not "prove" that directionality, which is probably beyond our ability). [and, as a sidenote, I have a chapter the pulls together in chart form all the similarities I could find, and list which scholars have addressed them].
My main point here is that directionality requires some careful work. For instance, is there a linguistic basis (i.e., does Luke use Johannine words, or does John use Lukan words)?
One thing that impressed me is that Luke often has Johannine sounding material precisely where it varies from a Markan master narrative. That suggests that Luke has made room for some Johannine material in his revision of the Markan story. Of course that does not help with Lazarus, since that is in the interpolation material where Mark's story is not dominant. And it is why I stuck to the passion narrative. It seems to me that one needs some explanation for Luke's variation on the passion narrative, given that in much of the story he does follow Mark. A plausible explanation, it seems to me, is the Johannine version has influenced Luke in his writing.
Could it be John used Luke? well, sure, it could. And since John is more or less unique it is hard to test that. Except that John shows few clear signs of uniquely Lukan features intruding into his style.
Just some more thoughts on this issue.
Mark A. Matson
Milligan College, TN
From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Paul Anderson [panderso@...]
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 1:44 AM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Another Luke-John Connection
After looking at your paper, here are my impressions.
First, I do think there are Lukan-Johannine contacts worth considering, but
I really see very few marks of compelling connections between Luke 2 and
John 2. None of the details are similar enough to suggest much influence in
Second, I'm not convinced that any of the larger set of parallels in your
essay confirm a Luke>John directionality of influence. That Luke (or his
tradition) would create a moralizing story from the memory of Lazarus in the
afterlife, the inferred roles of Mary and Martha, and the motivation of the
woman anointing Jesus more plausibly suggests Luke's didactic expansion upon
less paraenetic Johannine narratives. So, do show me why Luke>John is
compelling as opposed to John>Luke. I do not find Bacon's conjectures
regarding John's dependence on the Synoptics convincing, though he worked
very hard at establishing an alternative paradigm.
Meantime, here are bases for considering the John>Luke direction of
influence, although I do not believe Luke had access to the completed
written Johannine narrative. These and several other features are laid out
in this essay: http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/acts357920.shtml and in *The
Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus *(Part III).
First, the most characteristic of Lukan features are largely missing from
John: the shepherds and angels around the birth narrative, hymns of
Zechariah, Mary and Simeon, a genealogy, the infant and young Jesus in
Jerusalem, the threefold temptation, the Nazareth inaugural address, the
Lord's Prayer and beatitudes, beatitudes (with an emphasis on the poor); the
parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son; the story of Zachaeus;
Jesus’ agony in the garden and his appearance before Herod; and
postresurrection encounters on the road to Emmaus. *None* of these
distinctive Lukan features, however, appear in John.
Put another way, the twelve chapters in Luke that are most distinctively
Lukan (Lk. 1-2 and 10-19) show very few contacts with the Gospel of John.
So, if the Johannine evangelist knew and used the Lukan tradition, he drew
only from incidental details and not from the most characteristic of Luke’s
features or sections. Such an inference is thus highly unlikely from a
literary analysis standpoint.
Second, the strongest inferences must take note of Luke’s multiple
departures from Mark and sidings with John:
1) Johannine detail is included in Luke-Acts:
- The beholding of Jesus’ glory (*doxa*) is added to the Transfiguration
scene (Jn. 1:14 Lk. 9:32)
Bethlehem is described as the city of David only in John and Luke (Jn.
7:42 Lk. 2:4)
Jesus is described as the son of Joseph only in Luke and John (Jn. 1:45;
6:42 Lk. 3:23; 4:22)
Stoning and fear of stoning by Jewish leaders or the crowd (especially in
Jerusalem) is mentioned only in John and Luke-Acts (Jn.8:59; 10:31-33; 11:8
Lk. 13:34; 20:6; Ac. 5:26; 7:58; 14:5, 19)
The *Ioudaioi* seek to kill Jesus and his followers (Jn. 5:18; 7:1 Ac.
The crowd acclaims Jesus as “king” at the triumphal entry (Jn. 12:13 Lk.
The place Jesus went to on the Mount of Olives was known and frequented
(Jn. 18:2 Lk. 21:37, 22:39)
The “right” ear of the servant was severed by Peter (Jn. 18:10 Lk. 22:50)
The court/house of the high priest was entered by Jesus (Jn. 18:15 Lk.
Annas is uniquely mentioned in John and Luke-Acts, as is his association
with Caiaphas (Jn. 18:13, 24 Lk. 3:2; Ac. 4:6)
Pilate’s instructing the words to be written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin
is a detail common only to John and Luke (Jn. 19:20 Lk. 23:38—in some mss.)
The tomb is one in which no one had ever been laid (Jn. 19:41 Lk. 23:53)
Two angels in white or two men in dazzling clothes are mentioned at the
empty tomb (Jn. 20:12 Lk. 24:4)
2) The Johannine presentation of John the Baptist is replicated in Luke and
People question outwardly or in their hearts about John the Baptist,
regarding whether he was the Christ (Jn. 1:20 Lk. 3:15)
John declares himself *not *to be the Messiah in John and Acts (Jn. 1:20;
3:28 Ac. 13:25)
John has a more extensive itinerant ministry (Jn. 1:19-42; 3:22-4:3;
10:40-42 Lk. 3:1-22; 7:18-35; 11:1) than portrayed in Mark
In both John and Acts, spiritual birth involves not just water but the
Spirit (Jn. 3:5 Ac. 8:12-17; 18:24-19:7)
3) Luke adds Johannine narrative and content:
The age of Jesus is alluded to (albeit differently) in John and Luke (Jn.
8:57 Lk. 3:23)
The “law of Moses” is referred to distinctively in John and Luke-Acts
(Jn. 1:17; 7:23 Lk. 2:22; 24:44; Ac. 13:39; 15:5; 28:23)
Mary and Martha are mentioned as sisters and are presented as having
similar roles (Jn. 11:1-45; 12:1-11 Lk. 10:38-42)
A man named Lazarus is presented in both John and Luke and in both cases
is associated with death and the testimony of after-death experiences—Luke
expands a narrative into a parable (Jn. 11:1-12:17 Lk. 16:19-31)
A distinctive story about a dead man being raised by Jesus is included in
John and Luke (Jn. 11:1-45 Lk. 7:11-17)
Pilate declares Jesus’ innocence three times (Jn. 18:38; 19:4, 6 Lk.
23:4, 14, 22)
The crowd desires to give tribute to Caesar in their double demand for
his crucifixion (Jn. 19:1-16 Lk. 23:2-33)
The day was the day of Preparation for the Sabbath, explaining the haste
of the burial (Jn. 19:42 Lk. 23:54)
The great catch of fish is climactically mentioned as something of a
calling narrative (Jn. 21:1-14 Lk. 5:1-11)
Concern is expressed at whether the nets might break (Jn. 21:11 Lk.
Jesus eats fish and bread with the disciples after the resurrec?tion (Jn.
21:9-13 Lk. 24:28-43)
4) Presentations of Jesus’ teachings and ministry in John are replicated in
The “word of God” is an embellished Lukan theme (Jn. 1:1-2; 10:35 Lk.
3:2; 5:1; 8:11, 21; 11:28; Ac. 4:31; 6:2, 7; 8:14; 11:1; 12:24; 13:5, 7, 46;
Only in John and Luke-Acts is Jesus referred to as “savior” (Jn. 4:42 Lk.
1:69; 2:11; Ac. 5:31; 13:23)
Double questions are asked regarding Jesus’ Messiahship and Sonship (Jn.
10:24, 33-36 Lk. 22:67, 70)
The ascension is alluded to or mentioned (Jn. 20:17 Lk. 24:51; Ac.
Jesus suddenly appears to his disciples after the resurrection, standing
among them (Jn. 20:19 Lk. 24:36)
Jesus invites his followers to see and touch his hands (Jn. 20:20, 27 Lk.
Jesus bestows peace upon his followers after the resurrection (Jn. 20:19,
21 Lk. 24:36)
Luke uniquely connects the beginning of feeding of the multitude with
Bethsaida, the home of Philip, whom Jesus in John asked to find the crowds
something to eat (Jn. 1:44; 6:5; 12:21 Lk. 9:10)
The citation of Isaiah 6:9-10 is distinctively associated with the
reaching of the Gentiles in John and Acts (Jn. 12:20-41 Ac. 28:25-28)
“Israelites” are portrayed as people in whom there is nothing false and
amongst whom God is at work in John and Acts (Jn. 1:47 Ac. 2:22, 29; 3:12;
5:35; 13:16; 21:28)
Jesus is presented explicitly as the prophet predicted by Moses (Deut.
18:15-22) in John and Acts (Jn. 5:46; 6:14 Ac. 3:22; 7:37; 26:22-23)
Jesus refers to “my kingdom” only in John and Luke (Jn. 18:36 Lk. 22:30)
Jesus prays for his disciples, that they might not fail during the time
of trial (Jn. 17:15 Lk. 22:31-32)
5) Presentations of disciples in John are repeated in Luke-Acts:
The disciples question who would be the betrayer (Jn. 13:22-24 Lk. 22:23)
Satan enters Judas (Jn. 13:27 Lk. 22:3)
Only John and Luke mention a second Judas who is *not* Iscariot (Jn.
14:22 Lk. 6:16; Ac. 1:13)
Mary Magdalene becomes a link between the ri?sen Lord and the Apostles
(Jn. 20:18 Lk. 24:10)
Peter runs to the tomb after Mary’s report (Jn. 20:4 Lk. 24:12)
Peter arrives at the tomb and sees the linen cloths lying there (Jn. 20:5
Peter is reported as having returned to his “home” (Jn. 20:10 Lk. 24:12)
after seeing the empty tomb
The unbelief of Thomas in John 20:24-28 is alluded to as the unbelief of
the apostles in Luke 24:11 following Mary’s report
Simon Peter is the primary disciple associated with the great catch of
fish (Jn. 21:2-11 Lk. 5:3-8)
Philip is presented as one who evangelizes aliens, including Hellenists,
Samaritans, and Ethiopians (Jn. 12:20-22 Ac. 8:5-40)
6) Luke follows John’s order and presentation several times, *against*Mark:
Luke begins Jesus' ministry in ways reminiscent of John's rendering: the
countryside of Galilee in the area around Nazareth (Jn. 1:43-2:11 Lk.
Only one sea-crossing is used in Luke rather than Mark’s two (Jn. 6:16-21
Only one feeding is mentioned in Luke, and this is the feeding of the
5,000, as it is in John (Jn. 6:1-15 Lk. 9:10-17)
Luke relocates the confession of Peter after the feeding of the 5,000 as
a contrast to its following the feeding of the 4,000 as it does in Mark (Jn
6:68-69 Lk. 9:20)
Luke moves the servanthood discussion to the last supper, where it is in
John (Jn. 13:1-17 Lk. 22:24-30)
Jesus extols and exemplifies the greatness of servant leadership at the *
table* (Jn. 13:1-17 Lk. 12:37; 22:24-30)
Luke moves the prediction of Peter’s denial to the last supper (Jn. 13:38
Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances begin in Jerusalem (Jn. 20:19-29 Lk.
7) At times Luke conflates John’s and Mark’s presentations together:
Peter’s confession is “the Christ of God” conflating “the Christ” with
“the Holy One of God” (Mk. 8:29 & Jn. 6:69 Lk. 9:20)
Luke departs from Mark’s presentation of the anointing of Jesus’ head,
and presents the event as the anointing of Jesus’ feet—an unlikely move to
make without a traditional basis; John provides such a basis (Mk. 14:1-11 &
Jn. 12:1-8 Lk. 7:36-50)
8) Sometimes associative links (not strong contacts, but distinctive
similarities nonetheless) appear between John and Luke-Acts:
“Levites” are mentioned only in John and Luke-Acts (Jn. 1:19 Lk. 10:32;
The claim by Jerusalem leaders that Jesus or his disciples lack of formal
education is mentioned in John and Acts (Jn. 7:15 Ac. 4:13)
“Siloam” is only mentioned in John and Luke (Jn. 9:7, 11 Lk. 13:4)
Speaking against Caesar is used rhetorically against Jesus and his
followers by surrogates of Jewish leaders (Jn. 19:12 Lk. 23:2 Ac. 17:7)
Jesus is described as a “king” and a threat to Caesar before Pilate (Jn.
19:14-15 Lk. 23:2)
Solomon’s portico in the Jerusalem Temple is mentioned only in John and
Acts (Jn. 10:23 Ac. 3:11; 5:12), and this is one of the places Jesus and his
followers witnessed to Jewish leaders
9) The Holy Spirit references emphasized in John are repeated in Luke-Acts:
The Holy Spirit will teach believers what they need to know and say (Jn.
14:26 Lk. 12:12),
The Holy Spirit is presented distinctively as “wind” (Jn. 3:8 Ac. 2:2)
The work of the Holy Spirit is described as “comfort” (*paraklēsis*)
provided by the Comforter (*Paraklētos*) in John and Luke-Acts (Jn.
14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 Lk. 2:25; Ac. 9:31)
10) Women are presented in similar ways in John and Luke-Acts:
Jesus enters the home of Mary and Martha and is served by Martha (Jn.
12:1-8 Lk. 10:38-42)
The mother of Jesus is featured prominently in John and Luke (Jn. 2:1-12;
19:25-27 Lk. 1:26-2:51)
Women make confessions in John and Luke (Jn. 11: 27 Lk. 11:27)
Women are reported as having seen angels/men in radiant clothes at the
empty tomb (Jn. 20:12 Lk. 24:23)
11) Samaritans are presented in similar ways in John and Luke-Acts:
“Samaria” is only mentioned in John and Luke-Acts in the New Testament
(Jn. 4:4, 9 Lk. 17:11; Ac. 1:8; 8:1, 5, 9, 14; 9:31; 15:3)
Jesus ministers in Samaria as well as Galilee (Jn. 4:4-42 Lk. 17:11)
Jesus’ followers (versus Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10:5) are
reported as traveling through Samaria (Jn. 4:8, 27-38 Lk. 9:51-56; Ac.
A Samaritan person is presented as a favorable example for later
audiences (Jn. 4:39-42 Lk. 10:25-37; 17:11-19)
Jews having no dealings with Samaritans is declared or suggested (Jn. 4:9
Samaritans are reported as believing that Jesus was the Messiah or
receiving his ministry with gratitude (Jn. 4:39-42 Lk. 17:16; Ac. 8:7-8,
12) Events reported only in John are alluded to in Luke-Acts:
The “idle tale” told by Mary Magdalene to the apostles in Luke 24:10-11
appears to be a reference to the account in John 20:2, where she reported
the empty tomb to Peter and the Beloved Disciple
The disciples’ visit to the tomb in John 20:3-9 is alluded to in the
disciples’ report on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:24
The Lord’s post-resurrection appearance to Simon Peter in John 21:2-21is
alluded to in Luke 24:34
So, because these features are not in Mark or Matthew but are contained in
the Johannine tradition, it seems stronger to argue that Luke has
incorporated these Johannine elements in producing his "orderly
account"--even seeming to expresses appreciation to the Johannine tradents
for what he has received from eyewitnesses and servants of the Logos (Lk.
1:2). Therefore, I believe the strongest critical evidence supports Lukan
dependence on the Johannine tradition, likely in its oral stages of
However, I'm willing to be convinced to the contrary, although (with Moody
Smith and Mark Matson), but so far I think Cribbs wins the critical case
over Bailey, Bacon, and others.
Thanks so much!
Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
George Fox University
Newberg, OR 97132
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