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Evidenceofa singleeditorialhandinluke4and7


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Evidenceofa singleeditorialhandinluke4and7

  1. 1. Evidence of a Single Editorial Hand in Luke 4:16-22a and Luke 7:18-35. According to Luke 4:16-22a, prior to Jesus’ inaugural speech in the synagogue atNazareth, he read from the prophet Isaiah, (Isa 61:1-2) which indicates that the Lord, byHis Spirit, has commissioned his anointed one (1) To evangelize the poor, and sent him (2) To proclaim release to the captives, (3) To restore sight to the blind, (4) To send ones who have been oppressed into freedom, (5) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1-2 Luke 4:17-20 4:17 kai e0pedo&qh au)tw|~ bibli/on tou~ profh&tou 0Hsai5ou kai a)naptu&caj to_ bibli/on eu{ren to_n to&pon ou{ h}n gegramme/non:61:1 4:18pneu~ma kuri/ou e0p 0 e0me/ pneu~ma kuri/ou e0p 0 e0meou{ ei3neken e1xrise/n me ou{ ei3neken e1xrise/n meeu)aggeli/sasqai ptwxoi=j eu)aggeli/sasqai ptwxoi=j,a)pe/staλκe/n me a)pe/staλκe/n me,i0a&sasqai tou_j suntetrimme/noujth~| kardi/a|khru&cai ai0xmalw&toij a!fesin khru&cai ai0xmalw&toij a!fesinkai tufloi=j a)na&bleyin kai tufloi=j a)na&bleyin, a)postei=lai teqrausme/nouj e0n a)fe/sei,61:2 4:19kale/sai e0niauto_n kuri/ou dekto_n khru&cai e0niauto_n kuri/ou dekto&n.kai h(me/ran a)ntapodo&sewjparakale/sai pa&ntaj tou_j penqou~ntaj 4:20 kai ptu&caj to_ bibli/on a)podou_j tw|~ u(phre/th| e0ka&qisen: kai pa&ntwn oi9 o)fqalmoi e0n th|~ sunagwgh|~ h}san a)teni/zontej au)tw|~. 1
  2. 2. Following Jesus’ reading of this excerpt from the prophet Isaiah (in Greek?), heannounces that “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” Later, in another excerpt from Proto-Luke (Luke 7:18-23), according to Brodie’sreconstruction, in response to the question, “Are you he who is to come or should we waitfor another?” posed by John the Baptist through his disciples, Jesus answers with thewords, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: (1) the blind receive their sight, (2) the lame waLuke, (3) the lepers are cleansed, (4) the deaf hear, (5) the dead are raised, (6) the poor are evangelized.” In canonical Luke, most, if not all, of these activities by Jesus have beenperformed prior to Jesus’ response to John in Luke 7:22. Clearly, (1) Jesus’ giving sight to the blind is quickly mentioned and sandwiched (Luke7:21) between John’s question (Luke 7:19-20) and Jesus’ answer (Luke 7:22). (2) Jesus’ earlier healing of a lame man has also been narrated prior to Luke 7:22(Luke 5:18-26). (3) He had also cleansed a leper (Luke 5:12-13) prior to Luke 7:22. and (5) He had raised a widowed mother’s son from the dead at Nain (Luke 7:11-17),prior to Luke 7:22. 2
  3. 3. All of these fulfillments of Jesus’ claims about his activities clearly appear priorto Jesus’ response to John (Luke 7:22-23), but what about Jesus’ claims in numbers (4),“the deaf hear,” and (6), “the poor are evangelized (ptwcoi; eujaggelivzontai)”? With regard to (6), one may observe that the first line of Luke’s Sermon on thePlain (Luke 6:20) reads, “Blessed are you poor (oiJ ptwcoiv), for yours is the kingdom ofGod.” Note the difference between the first line in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount(Matt 5:2), “Blessed are the poor (oiJ ptwcoiv) in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom ofheaven.” The word, “poor” (ptwcoiv) appears in only one other Lukan context prior toLuke 7:22, namely, within the excerpt from Isa 61:1-2, read by Jesus in the synagogue atNazareth, according to Luke 4:17-20. Luke 4:18 reads eujaggelivsasqai ptwcoi", i. e.,the same two vocabulary items which appear in Luke 7:22 and one verbal identity withLuke 6:20, ptwcoiv. It, therefore, appears that the evangelization of the poor has alsobeen fulfilled prior to Luke 7:22, if only in Jesus’ reading from Isaiah in the Nazarethsynagogue (Luke 4:18-19//Isa 61:1-2), if not also in the first line in Jesus’ Sermon on thePlain (Luke 6:20). Finding fulfillment of the deaf hearing, kwfoi; ajkouvousin (Luke 7:22) prior toLuke 7:22 is a bit more difficult, but perhaps not impossible to conceive in canonicalLuke. To do so, however, it is important to recognize that kwfo" can mean either “deaf”or “mute” and sometimes both.1 Once that is recognized, one may note that Zechariah is said to have remainedkwfo", according to Luke 1:22, having been struck mute (siwpwn) and unable to speak1 Liddell and Scott, s. v. kwfo". 3
  4. 4. (mhv dunavmeno" lalhsai) (Luke 1:20), because of his doubts about the angel’sprophecy about his forthcoming son, John the Baptist. Zechariah’s inability to speak isrepeated in Luke 1:22, oujk ejduvnato lalhsai, not only in words similar to Luke 1:20,mh; dunavmeno" lalhsai, but also with the introduction of a new vocabulary item,kwfo", in the phrase, “he remained (diemenen) kwfo",” in that same verse. In supportof the definition of kwfo" as both deaf and mute or even only deaf, in this context, onemay point to Luke 1:62 when the “neighbors and relatives” of Mary “began motioning(ejneneuvon) to him [Zechariah] to find out what name he wanted to give him [his son].”Why would they need to motion to him, if he could hear them? If Zechariah was deaf,however, as well as mute, such motioning would be an appropriate means ofcommunication with him. On the other hand, when Zechariah wrote on a tablet, “His name is John,” his cureis described with the following words, “Immediately his mouth was opened and tonguewas free, and he began to speak, praising God,” emphasizing his former state as a muteand saying nothing about a restored ability to hear. Furthermore, the healing of Zechariah as kwfo", however that word may bedefined, is not attributed to Jesus, whose own birth has yet to be recorded in canonicalLuke/Proto-Luke. His birth is first recorded at Luke 2:7. However, no less than three prophecies in the book of Isaiah unite the giving ofsight to the blind, which has been fulfilled by Jesus prior to Luke 7:22 at Luke 7:21 withrestoring the hearing of the deaf (Isa 29:18, 35:5 and 43:8). Perhaps, explicit reference toboth of these types of healing was just a small oversight by the author of Luke 7:21. Thatis, any one of these prophetic passages from Isaiah could be the background for Luke 4
  5. 5. 7:21, even if only one of the pair of thrice prophesied healings of blind and deaf personsactually made it into, perhaps, a quickly drafted text of Luke 7:21. However, one may give more intentionality to the author of canonical Luke, who,unlike the author of Proto-Luke, was able also to include the section, Luke 4:22b-6:49 oreven through Luke 7:1, in his gospel, which includes stories about the healing of the lame(Luke 5:18-26), the cleansing of a leper (Luke 5:12-13), which serve to confirm Jesus’statement to John at Luke 7:22, as they could not have for the author of Proto-Luke, ascurrently reconstructed by Brodie. With regard to the lack of a clear healing of a blind man prior to Luke 7:22, onemay also take note of the fact that healing of the blind is also not one of the pointsincluded in Isa 61:1-2 and, therefore, also not included in the excerpt from that prophet,which Jesus read and interpreted in the Nazareth synagogue (Luke 4:18-19). There is also no fulfillment of the prophecy to “proclaim the devkton year of theLord” (Isa 61:2//Luke 4:19) in Luke 7:22, but this might be accounted for shortly afterLuke 4:19, when Jesus affirms at Luke 4:24, in Luke’s words, oudei" profhvth"dektov" ejstin ejn th/ patrivdi aujtou. Although Brodie currently does not include Luke 4:24-27 in his reconstruction ofProto-Luke, the explicit references to Elijah and Elisha contained there explicitly refer toElijah’s ministry to a Gentile widow in Zarephath in Sidon during a time of famine(Luke 4:25-26, cf. 1 Kings 17:17-24) and to the healing of a leprous Gentile, Naaman theSyrian, by Elisha (Luke 4:27, cf. 2 Kings 5:1-27, esp. 5:1-4). The broader context of thefirst reference, of course, also includes the raising of the Gentile widow’s son from death(1 Kings 17:17-24). These two stories, were they in Proto-Luke, as they certainly are in 5
  6. 6. canonical Luke, serve to foreshadow Jesus’ healing of a leper in Luke 5:12-13, his raisingof a dead person in Luke 7:11-17 and Jesus’ response to John’s question at Luke 7:22.What sense does the seemingly quick inclusion of Luke 7:21 make, which attempts toprovide for an example of Jesus giving sight to the blind, just prior to Luke 7:22, in thecontext of a Proto-Luke, which does not include Luke 4:23-6:49 and, therefore, did notinclude Luke 5:12-13, the healing of a leper, and Luke 5:18-26, the healing of a lameman,, which would need to be included in order for Luke 7:21 to provide noticeable lastminute support for Jesus’ answer to John at Luke 7:22, by supplying the last (but one?) ofthe elements needed to complete the complement of deeds listed in Luke 7:22? WithoutLuke 5:12-13 and 5:18-26 for prior support, Luke 7:21 would seem to serve noparticularly significant purpose in the context of Professor Brodie’s currentlyreconstructed text of Proto-Luke. Although Luke 7:21 is just one verse, it serves a largeand important purpose in the context of the composition of the entire section of canonicalLuke 1:1-7:22. It seems unlikely to me, therefore, that Luke 7:21 stood in Proto-Luke, atleast as currently reconstructed by Professor Brodie. 6