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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Luke to Theophilus

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  • John Lupia
    ... Dear Karel: So then, are we to understand by this remark that there are no hard data that imperil, prevent, or dismiss Theophilus the High Priest as the
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 5, 2003
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      --- Karel Hanhart <k.hanhart@...> wrote:
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: John Lupia <jlupia2@...>
      > To: <synoptic-l@...>
      > Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 4:36 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Luke to Theophilus
      > Karel:
      > > The chiasmus construction is indeed interesting
      > and
      > > important, as I wrote before. However, the
      > > difficulties of equating Luke's Theophilus (a
      > > honorific title), and your very early dating of
      > his
      > > Gospel and of his Acts are enormous, turning
      > synoptic
      > > scholarship upside down.
      > John::
      > > Two questions:
      > >
      > > How is the identification of the High Priest,
      > > Theophilus (AD 37-41) enormously difficult?
      > >
      > > How is a date for the first canonical edition of
      > the
      > > Gospel of Luke to c. AD 37-41 enormously
      > difficult?
      > As I wrote Steve:
      > With my remark re. studies of the Synoptic problem
      > turned upside down, I
      > meant that no one, as far as I know, has claimed.
      > that Luke's Gospel was
      > written at the end of the thirties!!

      Dear Karel:

      So then, are we to understand by this remark that
      there are no hard data that imperil, prevent, or
      dismiss Theophilus the High Priest as the one
      identified by Luke in his Preface, and that the
      canonical version of Luke dates to and was written
      when Theophilus was in office AD 37-41?

      > > The early dating for Acts as a whole is obvious.
      > Is it that "obvious"?

      My comment was in context of the early dating being
      problematic since the later chapters (beyond 11)
      clearly date to AD post 41. Hence: "The early dating
      for Acts as a whole is obvious." meaning that it is
      onviously difficult to take Acts as a whole and date
      it to the reign of Theophilus.

      Even since von Harnack some
      > scholars have defended the
      > theory that Acts was written first and that Luke
      > adopted patterns from his
      > Acts, simply because the book stopped with Paul
      > arguing with "local leaders"
      > in Rome, hence before 70 CE.

      Yes, agreed on the basis of the later chapters that
      clearly assign the Roman pontificate to St. Paul (the
      first successor of St. Peter signifying he was dead)
      confirmed by his epistle to the Romans, an epistle
      that could only have been written by the Roman pontiff
      since he alone has jurisdiction and protocol allows
      only him to address the ecclesia Romana.

      The theory was still
      > defended by the late Dutch
      > scholar G. Bouwan.


      However, Luke according to most
      > scholars wrote his Acts
      > m,uch later.

      You need to step back and see the big picture that
      reveals why this is viable in a field dominated by
      Markan priority with conditional logical syllogisms
      built one atop another "if then" followed by "if then"
      based on nothing but conjecture and devoid of "hard
      data" where suggestions reigns supreme as if they were
      all facts. Honestly, Markan priority has enjoyed two
      centuries of prolific research and study with no
      solution to the Synoptic Problem anywhere in sight.
      Does not it styand to reason and common sense that an
      altogether different approach if given the same rigor,
      interest, time and effort might solve the Synoptic
      Problem in less than a decade? This will be proven to
      be the case following Lukan priority once researchers
      begin to see the enormous implications that result
      following this line of inquiry. Consequently, I
      predict that the Synoptic Problem will be considered
      to be resolved by the majority before 2013.


      > Karel:
      > Yes, John, one can only offer literary 'proof', if
      > it is based on hard,
      > historical data. Objective truth cannot be had on an
      > ever debatable
      > interpretation of these difficult texts. My
      > critique is focussed on the
      > lack of these hard data. For that very reason a
      > hermeneutic of suspicion, - alas, the least
      > objective of interpretative
      > approaches -, is admissable in this case.

      Agreed. Why are you so articulate about the current
      status questionis re: Lukan priority as it has been
      presented thus far yet do not speak critically
      likewise on the same grounds to Markan priority which
      has absolutely not a single shred of evidence. Yet
      Lukan priority does offer the opportunity to tie in
      objective historical data with the text. Though there
      can never be any proof in the scientific sense there
      shall certainly exist a plethora of highly tenable
      correlates like: Theophilus (including the ossuary),
      Thallus, etc. that link the text to a specific early
      period AD 37-51 and suggest rather vigorously when a
      full array of evidence is delivered that Luke's Gospel
      dates to this early period rather than the evidence
      being merely circumstantial, coincidence, or open to
      other interpretations that support radically different

      I have my
      > suspicions about
      > Josephus' account of king Agrippa's actions. I am
      > for instance interested
      > in Josephus' story of a certain Simon who called an
      > "ecclesia" together and
      > was publicly mocked by Herod Agrippa I who
      > subsequently banished by him. Is
      > this related to the story of Peter's miraclulous
      > escape in Acts 12 and his
      > going to "another place (topos)"? What do you think?
      > Here I believe, if
      > reluctantly, a hermeneutic of suspicion is required.
      > My hypothesis is that
      > the two are indeed related. Josephus is hinting
      > here at historical events
      > he does not wish to spell out.

      Yes I agree that caution in this case is prudent. I am
      unsure when St. Pter died. Legends have colored the
      way most scholars, especially Catholics have read
      history. The example I gave earlier above shows that
      St. Paul appears to have been St. Peter's first
      successor (not Linus according to legend) yet even
      Catholic historians are blinded to this by the

      Giovanni Lupia

      John N. Lupia, III
      Toms River New Jersey 08757 USA
      Phone: (732) 505-5325
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    • Richard H. Anderson
      Karel ... he was unaware and thus ignorant of the aims of this movement? No. People do not make irenical presentations because someone needs the information
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 6, 2003
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        >Do you seriously consider that
        Theophilus needed this information because he was unaware and thus ignorant of the aims of this movement?  
        No. People do not make irenical presentations because someone needs the information because they are ignorant. Rather, it is because, it is
        designed to promote peace; pacific; conciliatory; peaceful

        Luke has written an irenical appeal addressed to the High Priest explaining and reporting to him the fulfillment of numerous prophecies. Luke proclaims the significance of Jesus' words and deeds in the context of Old Testament prophecy, which argument would only be impressive to an audience that already believed and respected the text as sacred. Only a Jew would listen to an argument based on the fulfillment of the promises to David through Jesus the Messiah. The Jewish expectation for a coming Davidic King was particularly prominent among Palestinian Jews. Jesus' royal Davidic status would not impress a Gentile, but the High Priest would entertain such an argument.

        In a different context, C.J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, (Tubingen 1989), 185, stated in part: "...and an essentially eirenical work like Acts does not deny the sharpness of the present issue." Other writers including F.C. Baur, (1860) and D.P. Moessner, The Lord of the Banquet, (Minneapolis, 1989), 315, have noted the Lucan irenic qualities.

        >An inept comparison.
        No, actually it is not.  In looking at why people write letters, we do not examine the character of the recipient. You suggest the writing to Theophilus the HP is absurd. I gave examples modern and contemporary to Theophilus that suggest not. Look at my second other exampples.
        >Women were not much discussed in public at the time.
        This comment is not responsive. The fact of the matter is that Johanna is at the center of a chiasmus. 

        The proposed chiastic structure has not been previously recognized by scholars because two of the criteria set forth by Blomberg would be violated. The proposed chiasmus must solve a literary problem and the center of the chiasmus must be worthy of that position. Danker notes that "Luke rugged syntax in v. 9 troubled copyists . . . ."


        In this instance certain facts not known to scholars precluded the identification of Luke 24:8-11 as a chiasmus. These facts have now been presented and these facts now demonstrate that the chiasmus created by Luke is intentional. As noted by Long, unnecessary words were added to create the structure. Furthermore Johanna, the granddaughter of most excellent Theophilus and a witness who proclaimed the resurrection is worthy of the vertex.


        Richard H. Anderson

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