« Fellowship for Biblical Studies: August 2012 Meeting | Main | The One Poet I Know »

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Thanks for an enjoyable post, Sean. It's especially encouraging to see you actually citing my book! I hadn't really thought about this before but I'd have a general and a specific response.

(1) General: What is remarkable in the Synoptics is the degree of agreement between them, which is so much greater than anything we see in comparable works from antiquity. Our problem is that we are so spoilt by our our familiarity with them that we don't see how extraodinary the extent of the agreement is, and then we find it surprising when we see elements of disagreement or the absence of one text in another Gospel. The Two-Source Theory to some extent encourages us to think like this -- its architecture encourages us to minimize the extent to which any evangelist omitted anything in their source material. But even on the 2ST, Luke omits tons of stuff from Mark, including apparently congenial material, so our confidence in "he wouldn't have omitted congenial material" is false.

(2) Specific: I can't think of anywhere where Luke talks about being saved from sins, can you? As you mention, it is always a matter of forgiveness of sin. One may as well express surprise that he omits the "ransom for many" saying in Mark 10.45.

Well, brief comments on a stimulating post. Thanks again.

The rationale for McGrath's typical incredulity evapoates if you consider that Luke is actively hostile to his sources, and that the redactional activity of the evangelists in general was not characterized by a desire to avoid contradiction, but precisely to contradict where they disagreed with their predecessors' presentation. Harmonization was a later concern. It seems clear to me that Matthew was intended to supplant Mark, and I think the author of Luke had the same idea.

Thanks for posting this, Sean! For me, the strongest evidence for Q has not been the agreements, but the disagreements - places where I simply can't fathom why something was left out, or something is contradictory, if the one author had access to what the other wrote.

I hope your post generates some interesting discussion!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Keeping in Touch

  • Readers and Friends

Currently Reviewing

Recent Posts from My Blogroll