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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Markan Priority: Luke's preface

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    ... Yes, we are not even told here that the written accounts Luke is thinking about are Gospels, let alone sayings collections. ... This is not clear from
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 10, 2003
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      In a message dated 11/9/2003 10:51:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, brooks@... writes:

      > So, without bringing in other convictions or conclusions, and taking GLuke
      > as it comes, I think we have only the following tight inferences from this
      > passage:
      > 1. There existed previous written accounts (exact number not known;
      > obviously at least two).

      Yes, we are not even told here that the written "accounts" Luke is thinking about are Gospels, let alone sayings collections.

      > 2. ALuke was dissatisfied with all of them (otherwise he would simply recommend one, and this would be a short epistle rather than a long gospel).

      This is not clear from the Greek text, though it may perhaps be implied. It would have been more clear if Luke had used a concessive, rather than a causative particle as his opening word. He doesn't say "Although many have taken in hand...", but "Since (EPEIDHPER} many have taken in hand..." The multiplicity of previous efforts justifies {not the inadequacy of previous efforts necessitates) his own effort (after, for example, Matt already exists). The previous writing projects Luke refers to in v.1 may be the numerous writings of the OT which we know Luke had in front of him when writing his Gospel, and whose authors we know Luke considered to have written about "things that have been brought to fulfillment among us" (cf. Lk 24:27, 44-46). The KA'MOI in 1:3 may be an extra-textual allusion, and mean "me as well as Matthew", on the basis of the fact that the pre-Christian witnesses to Christ were multiple. So: because these biblical, pre-Christian testimonies were multiple, so why should not the post Jesus-era testimonies be so as well?

      > 3. He is personally taking the matter in hand, to write his own account,
      > which will be superior to all previous attempts (exact
      > number not known;
      > obviously at least two).

      This too is no more than implied by Luke in his prologue, and it would be well to distinguish here between simpliciter superior and superior secundum quid. In his new communication situation, certainly something new needed to be said, such that in this limited respect Luke would presumably have viewed his own Gospel as superior by comparison to others. But it need not be the case that Luke would have thought of his work as absolutely and in every respect superior to that of predecessors.

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA
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