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[Synoptic-L] II. Lukan additions to the resurrection narrative

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    II. Lukan additions to the resurrection narrative This post is a continuation of arguments for the plausibility that Luke knew and used Matt when writing Lk
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5 9:03 AM
      II. Lukan additions to the resurrection narrative

      This post is a continuation of arguments for the plausibility that Luke knew
      and used Matt when writing Lk 24. We are still in the first part of the
      project, which is comparing the respective final chapters of Matthew and Luke
      at the level of macro considerations. I first gave plausible arguments for
      excisions by Luke of larger chunks of material found in Matt 28 (Part I., and
      its subdivisions: the guards at the tomb; Jesus encounters the two women on
      their way from the tomb). It is now time to look at what Luke adds to the
      resurrection story, by comparison to Matt, at the macro-level. It is
      important to note that I am considering at the moment only macro-level chunks
      of material added by Luke to the resurrection story. Luke also "adds" to
      material found in Matt 28 in the sense of introducing numerous thematic
      concerns, both philosophical and theological, found in each of his stories
      (e.g., the Hellenistic theme of recognition of one come back from the dead;
      general skepticism about resurrection and the reality of the risen one that
      needs to be overcome; the theological theme of Jesus' suffering and death
      having been "prescribed" in the OT writings; the formality of resurrection
      "appearance" [and disappearance], etc.). These thematic "additions", together
      with their motives and sources, will be treated when I look at Luke's
      redaction of each of his resurrection pericopes at the micro level.

      I will now attempt to show (1) that there is really only one addition by Luke
      to the resurrection stories at this level of consideration: the story of the
      two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35); (2) that this account in
      some way substitutes for Matt's story of Jesus' encounter with the two women
      in Matt 28:9-10; (3) that, if one omits from consideration the material in
      Matt relative to the guards at the tomb, which, as I have suggested, was
      judged by Luke to be of local and limited interest only, the two final
      chapters of Matt and Lk have an analogous overall structure; and (4) that
      Luke's redaction of Matt here, viewed from the macro-perspective, is
      sufficiently analogous to Luke's redactional procedure elsewhere in his

      (1) That the Emmaus story is the only major addition by Luke to the
      resurrection stories as found in Matt does not need to be demonstrated, as it
      would, I think, be accepted by all. It should be noted, however, that Luke
      says more than does Matt at the seams, or overlap points, between the three
      major segments listed in (3) below (e.g. compare Matt 28:8 and Lk 24:8-11).

      (2) I argued in a previous post that both formal and material reasons can be
      given for Luke's excision of the encounter between Jesus and the women in
      Matt 28:9-10. I now suggest that Lk 24:13-35 may be seen as a substitute for
      this story, with a somewhat similar general function within Luke's final
      chapter as a whole. The passage certainly avoids the formal difficulty of
      Luke's having to copy what could be viewed as a Matthean doublet into his
      Gospel; Luke's new story also avoids speaking of an appearance of Jesus to
      women not justified by reference to the Pauline list of such appearances (1
      Cor 15), and could be viewed as an expanded story relative to the wider group
      of men that are said to have seen the Risen Jesus in the same 1 Cor passage.
      On the other hand, there is a general similarity of structure and function
      between Matt 28:9-10 and Lk 24:13-35: both stories lead up to a final
      encounter of the Risen Jesus with the eleven; in both stories Jesus
      encounters people (in the case of Matt, two women, in the case of Luke, two
      men) along the way; he intrudes on their respective journeys totally
      unexpectedly and casually (which contrasts with the programmed encounter of
      Jesus with the eleven, at least in Matt).

      (3) The closely parallel structures of the two gospels' final chapters (with
      the omission from Matt of the guard motif already noted) may be indicated as

      Matt 28:
      (A) women at the tomb of Jesus encounter a heavenly messenger;
      (B) Jesus meets the two women along the way, leading up to his final
      encounter with the eleven;
      (C) final encounter of Jesus with the eleven; they are instructed and sent
      out on mission.

      Lk 24:
      (A) women at the tomb of Jesus encounter heavenly messengers;
      (B) Jesus joins two men along the way, leading up to his final encounter with
      the eleven;
      (C) final encounter of Jesus with the eleven; they are instructed, their
      mission is announced.

      [Note: the negative element in Matt that Luke has omitted (the story of the
      guards which culminates in the counter-resurrection message disseminated in
      Judea) may also have been consciously substituted by Luke for the theme of
      the non-resurrection interpretation of past events prior to the revealing
      action of God that is characteristic of the protagonists in Luke's narrative
      as they encounter the Easter reality. Anti-resurrection doctrine of some that
      must be overcome simultaneously by resurrection doctrine of others (Matt)
      becomes interiorized and psychologized in Luke into a human vs. a divine
      understanding of the final events of Jesus that follow each other in temporal
      succession within the minds of the same identical subjects.]

      (4) It is clear that Luke's story of Jesus' encounter with the disciples on
      the way to Emmaus is very different, in many respects, from the story in Matt
      of Jesus' encounter along the way with the two women at the tomb and can
      hardly be viewed as "derived" from it. What has to be shown is only that
      Luke's highly proactive redactional activity here is analogous to what Luke
      has done earlier in his Gospel on various occasions, and that these analogies
      are precise enough to suggest a continued literary relationship between the
      two gospels. Let me summarize these analogies in the following few points:

      1. Luke's turning of the spotlight onto the male counterparts of the female
      disciples who encounter Jesus along the way in Matt 28 is closely analogous
      to the way in which he focuses on Mary instead of on Joseph (as in Matt) in
      his infancy stories. Luke likes to take an alternate and complementary route
      to Matt where possible. He also introduces complementary stories (from a
      gender point of view) into his gospel where one does not cancel out the
      other: Matt tells of a man's daughter being raised by Jesus, Luke tells this
      story, but also one in which a woman's son is raised by Jesus (Lk 7:11-17);
      Matt shows Jesus being hosted by a man (9:10), Luke tells this story, plus
      one in which Jesus is hosted by two women (10:38-42), etc.

      2. The entirely new stories that Luke introduces in his infancy account, by
      comparison with those told by Matt, differ from the latter in that dialogue
      occurs between human beings and the angel of the Lord: direct speech is no
      longer reserved to the side of the heavenly messenger, as in Matt (compare
      Matt 1-2 and Lk 1). The same is true of the new story Luke introduces into
      his resurrection narrative (Lk 24:13-35). On the other hand, Luke has
      preserved the one-sided direct speech in the resurrection stories he has that
      more closely parallel his Matthean source (Lk 24:1-11, 36-53).

      3. In Lk's resurrection stories, human beings act on their own initiative,
      just as they do, by contrast to Matt, in the infancy accounts. In Matt, both
      the infancy and resurrection accounts are governed by human beings being
      ordered to action by heavenly messengers, whom they regularly obey to move
      the story forward. In Luke's infancy account, Mary, e.g., goes spontaneously
      to visit her cousin Elizabeth after being informed by the angel of her
      pregnancy. Other moments of the story are likewise generated by spontaneous
      human actions, even if done in general conformity with human law or
      ordinance. The same may be said for Luke's resurrection accounts. The women
      at the tomb, e.g., as also the two disciples on the way to Emmaus,
      spontaneously return to the disciples in Jerusalem to tell them of the
      experienced events. Even the disciples' mission is not ordered in Lk, as it
      is in Matt, but rather prophesied. The only order issued in Lk by the
      Resurrected One is that the eleven remain in Jerusalem (24:49b) in
      expectation of the outpouring of the Spirit. (A similar kind of editing of
      Matt by Luke, where a command of Jesus and observance of this command by the
      disciples is transformed by Luke into a prophecy of Jesus that is discovered
      to be fulfilled by the disciples, may be found within the body of the
      Gospels as well: cf. Matt 21:6 and Lk 19:32; Matt 26:19 and Lk 22:13).

      4. The analogous sequences in Matt 28 and Lk 24 indicated in (3) above
      conceal one important feature, namely, the gross disparity in length and
      development between the two (B) elements: Jesus' encounter with two women in
      Matt 28:9-10 (Matt's B element) is extremely short and condensed, whereas
      Jesus' meeting with the two men in Lk 24:13-35 (Lk's B element) amounts to a
      highly developed story, clearly intended by Luke to be the masterpiece of his
      entire resurrection chapter. Question: can any light be shed on this
      disparity by Luke's redaction practice elsewhere in his Gospel? The following
      paragraphs respond to this question.

      One thing that must first be noted about Matthew's resurrection chapter is
      its intense focus on the eleven and their mission. Everything in the chapter
      leads up directly to their final empowerment for mission in the scene of
      28:16-20. Even the empowerment of the Roman guard by the Jewish high priests
      with a counter-resurrection message to be spread throughout Judea (28:11-15)
      is but a foil for this final commissioning of the eleven.

      Luke's is a Pauline Gospel. This means that wherever the focus in Matt is on
      the twelve (in this case reduced by one member, Judas), who are related
      explicitly in both Matt and Lk to Israel and its twelve tribes, Luke's
      picture will diverge from Matt's in that he will introduce a wider circle of
      disciples and/or missionaries, reflecting the new wave of missionaries to the
      Gentiles headed by Paul, who gradually come to occupy a position of relative
      prominence over the twelve by anticipation in Lk, just as they do in the
      latter part of Acts (which reflects Luke's own contemporary perspective).
      This "correction" of Matt may be shown elsewhere in Luke's gospel especially
      (1) at the time of the calling of the first disciples of Jesus; (2) at the
      time of the sending out of the apostles on a mission of preaching and healing
      and casting out demons.

      (1) In Matt, Jesus, while walking along the sea of Galilee, "saw two
      brothers" (4:18); in Luke, while standing near the lake of Gennesareth, Jesus
      "saw two boats" (5:2). It turns out later in Luke's story that the two boats
      do not belong, respectively, to the two sets of brothers called on this
      occasion, as might be suggested by the Matthean account; no, it is explicitly
      said that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were koinonoi of Simon (Lk
      5:10). Since this pericope in both Gospels contains the first prophecy of the
      church's mission (in Matt, "you will be fishers of men") it is very
      significant that Luke has introduced into this story a second boat,
      apparently not belonging to Peter and his associates (the twelve), but rather
      summoned in to help with the abundant harvest of fish that materializes in
      Luke's story, which is rich with motifs drawn from Ezek 47. This all seems to
      be an anticipation of the story of the church's twofold mission told in Acts
      (where even the Gentile mission conducted by Paul and his companions has
      first of all been "authorized" by Peter, upon divine initiative and
      provocation: cf. Acts 10 -15).

      (2) Matt 10 contains a long speech of Jesus to the twelve apostles who are
      sent out on a mission to Israel (cf. 10:6) in strict continuity with that
      mission as thus far exercised in Matt's Gospel by Jesus, Israel's Messiah,
      himself (cf. esp. 4:23 and 9:35). It is quite obvious that in Luke 9-10, Luke
      has used and reused some material from Matt 10 for a twofold sending out of
      disciples, the second with no parallel in Matt, and involving a group of
      seventy or seventy two who probably represent Paul and his associates sent
      out on a mission that will include Gentiles in its scope. What is interesting
      to notice here is the proportion (as well as the substance) of sayings of
      Jesus addressed to the twelve in the few verses of Lk 9:1-5 compared to the
      much longer and more pointed discourse directed to the group beyond the
      twelve in Lk 10:1-16 (only of these does Jesus say: "he who hears you, hears
      me, etc."). This is analogous to the disproportionate treatment of Jesus'
      resurrection appearance to the two disciples (not members of the twelve) with
      respect to the time Jesus spends with the twelve in Lk 24:36-53. [Note,
      however, that the extension here in Lk 24 beyond what is found in Matt 28 is
      not so much in terms of an extension of the mission -- beyond what is given
      to the group of the twelve (the eleven, after all, are sent to "all
      nations"), to a larger group of missionaries -- as it is the qualitative
      extension or development of the resurrection presence of Jesus in a pastoral/
      liturgical, as opposed to a strictly missionary direction].

      There is also an analogy between the way in which Matt 10 combines Jesus'
      calling, appointing and sending out of the apostles, whereas in Luke the
      moment of calling and preparation is separated by several chapters from the
      actual sending out (see Lk 6:12ff and 9:1ff). In Matt 28 the eleven are
      gathered and sent out, whereas in Lk 24 they are merely prepared for a future
      sending out by the Risen Jesus which will take place at the beginning of Acts.

      A further analogy may be noted by the way in which Luke always reports on the
      actions of the those sent out (cf. Lk 9:6; 10:17; 24:52-53), whereas Matt
      always ends his commissioning accounts with the word of Jesus.

      A final note: Luke's story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus works well
      as an illustration of the saying of Jesus found in Matt 18:20.

      In conclusion, if it is possible to view Luke's Gospel as a whole as a
      rewriting of Matt as a whole for a new ecclesial situation (and if we leave
      Mark out of the picture for the moment, this would certainly have to be
      considered an attractive a priori hypothesis of literary dependence) then it
      is no less plausible to take Lk 24 as in some sense a rewriting of Matt 28.

      Leonard Maluf

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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