Printer Friendly

The relationship of Luke and John: a fresh look at an old problem.

Although source criticism of the Gospels failed to provide the anticipated access to the historical Jesus, it provided a basis for redaction criticism. Not even the newer literary criticism can ignore Luke's creativity in interpreting Mark, Q (or Matthew),(1) and perhaps other sources, where it is interested in him as a writer. The present article will argue that Luke used at least one other written source, and that his treatment of it illuminates his literary technique and overall purpose.

Whether John was supplementing(2) the Synoptics, complementing them, or correcting them(3) has been disputed; but almost all nineteenth- and early twentieth-century biblical scholars agreed that 'the author of the Fourth Gospel was acquainted with at least those of Mark and Luke. . .'.(4)

This consensus was challenged by P. Gardner-Smith, R. Bultmann, and C. H. Dodd,(5) all of whom emphasized factors other than literary dependence, such as oral traditions(6) and non-canonical sources. They suggested that John's use of the Synoptic Gospels - if any - was marginal.

This view, which has stimulated important insights into the Johannine tradition, still characterizes the work of the most influential(7) North American critics. There have always been dissenting voices, however, especially in Europe. Some believe the connections are probably the result of common traditions,(8) other that there may be a (lost) common source,(9) yet others that there may be a direct literary relationship between the texts.(10)

The three Synoptic Gospels are not necessarily to be grouped together in this respect. Thus, John's relation to any one or two Synoptics might be literary, and in either direction, and to the other(s) based on common tradition. We can only select the model which in a statistician's terminology would be called the 'best fit' for the evidence.

V. Taylor and H. Klein,(11) who analysed the many points of contact between Luke and John, felt that these were too close for an indirect relationship consisting of mere linked traditions, since in certain passages the links in subject-matter, chronology, and even wording are much closer than those between Luke and the other Synoptics. They are especially close in the Passion sequence, where there are some striking shared omissions of material included by Mark and Matthew. Thus, neither Luke nor John(12) includes the following: the quotation of Zech. 13: 7; Jesus' statements to Peter, James, and John after he has left them and returned in Gethsemane; Judas arranging to give the crowd a sign; the seizing of Jesus by the crowd before the disciples strike out in his defence; the flight of the disciples; the night hearing by the Sanhedrin and the false witnesses who tell of Jesus' threats against the temple; the high priest's command to Jesus to answer the charge, and Jesus' silence; the reference to Jesus coming with/on the clouds of heaven; the explicit statement that Jesus has committed blasphemy (though this is implied at Luke 22: 71), and the unanimous verdict - death - by the Council; Peter's invocation of a curse on himself; the accusation by the chief priests before Pilate; Pilate's command to Jesus to answer and Jesus' silence; the crowd's call for Pilate to release a prisoner to them, Pilate's offer of Jesus, and the chief priests' incitement of the crowd to call for Barabbas; the mocking of Jesus by the onlookers, with a repetition of the charge against the temple and the injunction to come down from the cross; the unqualified statement that those crucified with him also reviled him (John makes no mention of this at all; Luke uses it as an opportunity to draw a contrast between the two malefactors and illustrate his favourite theme of repentance); the 'cry of dereliction' and the crowd's misinterpretation of it; and the naming of the women who saw where Jesus was buried.

Shared omissions, however, do not establish a relationship between two texts, even when they require some explanation. More suggestive of a direct literary connection between Luke and John are the following items common to them and omitted by Mark and Matthew, especially since these are often expressed in the same or similar words.

1. A 'farewell discourse' (Luke 22: 14-38; John 13: 31-17: 26).

2. The reference to Satan/the devil in connection with Judas (Luke 22: 3; John 13: 2, 27).

3. Jesus' behaviour at the arrest: in both, he is in control (Luke 22: 49; John 18: 8).

4. The detail that the right ([GREEK TEXT OMITTED]) ear was severed. (Further, although Luke's [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at Luke 22: 50 is a stylistic improvement on the vulgar Markan/Johannine [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (Mark 14: 47; John 18: 10), both Luke and John in their second references to the ear use [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (Luke 22: 51; John 18: 26).

5. The reference at Luke 22: 53 to the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED](13) (which John consistently applies to the Passion), and to 'the power of darkness' (which echoes Johannine symbolism; see John 13: 30).

6. Both Luke and John portray Judas as more active in Jesus' arrest. In John, he has procured a cohort of soldiers (John 18: 3) and also Jewish officers; in Luke, he leads the arresting party, as the verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at 22: 47 shows (contra Mark [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; or Matt [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]).

7. The threefold declaration of Jesus' innocence by Pilate (Luke 23: 4, 15, 22; John 18: 38; 19: 4, 6).

8. The presence of two angels at the tomb (Luke 24: 4; John 20: 12).

9. More than one disciple goes to investigate the woman's/women's report (Luke 24: 24; John 20: 3-8).

10. The circumstances of Peter's visit to the tomb (Luke 24: 12; John 20: 3-8).

11. The Jerusalem resurrection appearances and the display of Jesus' wounds to the disciples (Luke 24: 36 ff; John 20: 19 ff.).

12. The bestowal of the Holy Spirit (John 20: 22; Acts 2: 3).

13. The ascension (referred to in John 20: 17; narrated at Luke 24: 50-51, Acts 1: 9-10).

These obvious points of contact have stimulated detailed comparative study. Pierson Parker,(14) for example, estimated that whereas John agrees with Mark 19 times, with Matthew 24 times and with both against Luke 23 times, he agrees with Luke alone 124 times. Parker's article does not clarify sufficiently what he regards as agreements between Luke and John, neither does he adequately support his claim that phrases in common between their two Gospels exceed by a ratio of five to one those connecting John with Mark and Matthew. Nevertheless, the evidence he presents demands some explanation.(15) It is unlikely that shared oral tradition would so often agree so minutely;(16) some direct literary relationship between the two texts remains the most economical of the explanations offered.

Scholars who believe that the connections between the two are most plausibly to be explained by literary dependence, however, have almost all assumed that Luke was written before John.(17) This same assumption has helped to persuade many scholars of the complete independence of the Johannine tradition. Parker, for example, who like Klein had concluded from his study of the two texts that it is extremely difficult to argue convincingly that John used Luke,(18) was led by his assumption that Luke must have been prior to John to conclude that the two Gospels were therefore independent, despite the evidence to the contrary which his own article had highlighted.

The review by A. Dauer(19) of the changes in critical opinion since the publication of Schniewind's book in 1914 is typical. The various explanations offered for the connections between the two Gospels - Johannine dependence on Luke; Johannine reminiscences of Luke (though not actual written dependence); John's knowledge of Luke's source; the use by both Luke and John of a common source; common or related oral traditions - do not include the possibility that Luke might be dependent on John, rather than vice versa.(20) The suggestion that Luke may have been acquainted with Johannine traditions is acknowledged briefly and then dismissed from further consideration.

The evidence presented by many critics who assume Lukan priority could, however, suggest the opposite. Thus, Bailey,(21) who finds the sequence of Luke 22: 31-34 awkward, since Jesus's intercessory prayer (22: 31) is followed by Peter's predicted denial (22: 34), suggests that Luke has combined two differing fragments; hence the variation between [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (22: 31) and [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (22: 34). He proposes that John recasts Luke, placing Jesus' prayer for Peter later (John 17: 15), and reserving the 'rehabilitation' of Peter until after the resurrection. But it is equally possible that Luke has modified John's account to mitigate Peter's guilt by the insertion of 22: 31-32. This would accord with Luke's practice elsewhere, since he repeatedly softens criticism of the disciples, especially Peter.

When we examine the evidence offered by the two Gospels without any preconvictions as to priority, we must acknowledge that the secondariness of John to Luke is still unproven. This has been consistently argued by an American scholar, F. Lamar Cribbs.(22) J. F. Coakley made a similar inference regarding the story of the anointing.(23) Indeed, both V. Taylor(24) and J. M. Creed(25) felt that on occasions John's use of the shared material appeared 'more original',(26) even though they saw this as resulting from a related or common source. R. E. Brown, too,(27) suggested that Luke might have been acquainted with some early form of the developing Johannine tradition.

A feature of Luke's Passion narrative which many critics have remarked is his frequent agreement with John's chronology against Mark's. This is especially striking in view of his fidelity to Mark elsewhere. Luke is concerned about chronology; his prologue states that putting existing narratives about Jesus 'in order' ([GREEK TEXT OMITTED], Luke 1: 3) is his purpose in writing.

Cribbs(28) estimated that of the 71 triple tradition pericopae which are not shared by John, Luke follows Mark's order in 64, but in the 24 narrative pericopae where there is a Johannine parallel, the situation is very different. In eleven cases, the sequence is the same in all four Gospels, so there is no problem;(29) but in three cases the call of the disciples; the anointing; and the mocking by the soldiers - the Johannine material and the Markan/Matthean conflict, and Luke rewrites the incident and places it at a different point in the narrative. In seven(30) of the remaining cases, Luke's order accords more with that of John; he follows Mark/Matthew against John for an entire pericope in only three cases - the conspiracy to capture Jesus, the cleansing of the temple, and the betrayal - and even here, in the first of these, Luke 19: 47 (unlike Mark and Matthew) is vague about when the conspiracy actually took place, so there is no direct contradiction of John's account. Such a departure from Luke's normal practice in pericopae shared by John strongly suggests that Luke is following another tradition here which he considered more reliable in some respects.(31) If John were following Luke, it is remarkable that, in so many cases, he used the few pericopae where Luke's chronology and/or placement differed from that of Mark, and failed to use so many of the others. It is difficult to conceive what could have been his reasons for adopting such a course. If, however, Luke was secondary, he was attempting to mediate between two conflicting traditions and thus to give [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (Luke 1: 4) to his audience.

There is other evidence, too, that Luke is departing from his normal practice in pericopae shared also by John. The verbal agreement between Mark and Luke in these passages(32) is far less than usual. Luke is quite close to Mark in triple tradition pericopae,(33) but markedly less so in passages where there is a Johannine parallel.(34) Moreover, the agreement with John in these pericopae is frequently greater.(35)

There is a similar discrepancy between Luke's citations from Scripture. In triple tradition passages, Luke follows Mark/Matthew's Old Testament allusions/quotations quite closely, reproducing almost all those they share.(36) The only omissions(37) are in the apocalyptic discourse, which he modifies and extensively recasts, splitting the material into two speeches (at Luke 17: 20-37; 21: 8-36).(38)

In the twenty-four narrative pericopae shared by all four evangelists, however, Luke almost always uses only those quotations which John alludes to(39) or cites explicitly.(40) The only exceptions are the allusion to Ps. 110: 1 at Luke 22: 69 (cf. Matt. 26: 64/Mark 14: 62) and also the citation of Isa. 56: 7/Jer. 7: 11 at Luke 19: 46 (cf. Matt 21: 13/Mark 11: 17) in the cleansing of the temple pericope which Luke, like Mark and Matthew, places at the end of Jesus' ministry. Luke quite uncharacteristically omits the other five shared by Mark and Matthew in these pericopae,(41) as well as all the citations which appear in only one of the other evangelists. Here, too, the evidence suggests that Luke is attempting to reconcile conflicting Johannine and synoptic traditions; and the connections between Luke and John are at least as close as those linking Luke with Mark/Matthew.

It is nevertheless apparent from the paucity of the verbal parallels between Luke and John that Luke used John differently from the way he used both Mark and Matthew (or Q). This is not inherently unlikely: writers do not normally use all their sources in the same way, and many critics(42) accept that he used Matthew differently from Mark. Ancient writers (like their modern counterparts) took detailed notes from their sources and often paraphrased them freely.(43) For practical reasons they rarely used more than one scroll at a time, but they supplemented this from their own notes and their memory of what they had read. I suggest that the 'verbal reminiscences'(44) of John in Luke reflect this process, rather than an attempted harmonization. Luke had read John, as is suggested by his text, but he did not have it unrolled in front of him as he wrote.

Why, then, have almost all critics taken it for granted that Luke was written before John? An obvious reason is date; but this is an unsafe criterion. There is considerable disagreement about the date of Luke-Acts. At one extreme, some critics, such as J. O'Neill and J. Drury,(45) have suggested c. AD 115-130; at the other, C. H. Dodd, J. A. T. Robinson, and J. Wenham(46) have proposed that it should be placed before the fall of Jerusalem. Even the majority, who date it after Jerusalem's capture, range from those who, like D. L. Tiede, see it as belonging to the period immediately following this event, in a context of persecution,(47) to those who, like H. Conzelmann,(48) place it around AD 100, with the main weight of opinion supporting a date in the late eighties or early nineties. The 'terminus ad quem' is Marcion, who used Luke,(49) so that we must date it before c. AD 140 (assuming that this is the correct date for Marcion). Patristic sources without exception regard John as postdating the Synoptics, but the testimony of the early Fathers is not generally reliable in such matters.

There is similar disagreement about the date of John. R. E. Brown(50) estimates its composition to be c. AD 90, though many would date it in the early second century.(51) and J. A. T. Robinson(52) proposed c. AD 65. There are no more reliable historical grounds for maintaining that Luke is prior to John than the reverse.

It is assumed by some scholars that the high Christology of John's Gospel demands a late dating; Luke's very simple, low Christology is on the contrary regarded as early. But Luke could have been modifying a theology which may have seemed to veer dangerously close to docetism or ditheism. He is perfectly prepared to modify or omit uncongenial ideas, such as the 'redemptive' interpretation of Jesus's death. A low Christology is not necessarily early.

Looking at the question from the other side, Luke shares many of the concerns of the early second-century Church: his attitudes are sometimes close to those of Apologists such as Justin Martyr.(53) Kasemann's(54) much-criticized phrase 'early Catholic' rightly highlighted later concerns in Luke. He is not concerned with the Church as an institution as such, nor with the apostolic succession and an ordained ministry, but he does seek to validate the apostolic tradition, which he grounds in the post-resurrection instruction given to the disciples by Jesus. His interests are often ecclesiological:(55) the commissioning of the Seventy (two) seems to relate to the Gentile mission and the situation facing later missionaries, and is in consequence much fuller than his sending out of the Twelve. Perseverance in faith, too,(56) is a Lukan motif which he adds to his Markan/Matthean source at Luke 8: 15 (cf. Mark 4: 20/Matt. 13: 23). Closely related is the fear of apostasy which is reflected in Luke 12: 47-48; in 12: 10, too, the 'unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit' from its Lukan context is probably to be interpreted as denying Christ. Luke's rigorous attitude here has affinities with the same hard-line approach to this problem we see in Hebrews, and it was a feature of later debate.

Similarly, Luke's emphasis on the corporeality of Christ's gestation, birth, death, burial, and resurrection may well be aimed at counteracting docetic ideas.(57) So, too, Luke 17: 20-37 may have been directed(58) not (contra Conzelmann) at explaining a delayed parousia, but at combating an over-realized eschatology,(59) which provided a fertile seed-bed for second-century Gnosticism. In all these respects, Luke's affinities with the Church at the turn of the second century are a better indication of his date than a Christology which reflects his aim to provide a historical narrative. There is no reason on the ground of theological development for assuming that Luke is prior to the final redaction of John.

Four of the main complexes of material shared by John and Luke will now be examined. The pattern found here is repeated in the others.(60) It will become clear that Lukan priority cannot be assumed on literary grounds. There are indications, however, which challenge the usually accepted hypothesis that Luke is prior to John, and invite us to consider the implications for our appreciation of Luke's technique and purpose if the reverse is true. Even though it is not possible to prove the case either way, any more than it is possible to prove the existence (or otherwise) of common traditions, the proposal that Luke knew and used John finds support in the material they share.

JOHN THE BAPTIST (Luke 3: 2-22; John 1: 19-36)

The baptism of Jesus proved an embarrassment to the early Church. John omits any reference to the Baptist actually baptizing Jesus: the Baptist recognizes Jesus as 'The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world'. In Luke's account, the baptism is relegated to a participial phrase which can almost be overlooked, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. As in John, one is left to assume that it was performed by the Baptist. Luke instead stresses the descent of the Spirit which foreshadows the spread of the Church in Acts.

Both Luke and John have thus modified the narrative in accordance with their own particular concerns and Luke is in many ways much closer to Mark and Matthew than he is to John. There are, however, some important conceptual links between them. Both portray the Baptist as God's witness to Jesus, John emphasizing the Baptist's witness and subordination to Jesus at 1: 30-34, and Luke presenting this dramatically in his birth narrative as beginning 'in utero'.(61) 'Witnessing' is a common theme which Luke does not derive from Mark/Matthew, but is prominent throughout the entire Johannine tradition.(62)

Neither Luke nor John associates the Baptist with Elijah, even though this is implied in Luke's birth narrative at 1: 17, 76. There are tensions in Luke here, and he seems to be 'taking a middle position between the Matthean/Markan and the Johannine positions'.(63)

Thus, while John firmly refutes the identification of the Baptist and Elijah at John 1: 21, Luke is less explicit. Like John, however, he omits the description of the Baptist given in Mark 1: 6/Matt. 3:4 which alludes to that of Elijah in 2 Kgs. 1: 8. He similarly omits the coming of Elijah pericope from Mark's transfiguration sequence, and provides no parallel to Matthew 11: 14, where John the Baptist is identified with Elijah. In addition, he deletes [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (John 1: 27; cf. Matt. 3: 11/Mark 1: 7), which presents the Baptist as Jesus' precursor, perhaps because many expected Elijah to return in the Last Days,(64) and Luke wished to avoid a possible identification of the two here.(65)

There are other features peculiar to Luke and John. Both contain speculations by the Jews as to John's identity and significance (cf. John 1: 19-22/Luke 3: 15); both contain a denial by the Baptist that he is the Messiah (John 1: 20/Acts 13: 25); both imply some kind of an itinerant ministry by the Baptist (Luke 3: 3/John 1: 28; 3: 22-23, 26; 10: 40). And although Luke is very close verbally to Mark 1: 7/Matt. 3: 11 at Luke 3: 16, Cribbs(66) has demonstrated that every phrase in the Lukan verse has a parallel in Mark, Matthew, or John, and the Lukan version is in some respects as close to John as it is to Mark or Matthew. Moreover, Acts 13:25 is much closer to John 1: 27 than is Luke 3: 16. At Acts 13: 25, Luke has [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], like John, having followed Mark's [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at Luke 3: 16, and he uses the singular [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (as against the earlier plural form he shares with Mark and Matthew). He drops the reference to the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] and the baptism with fire,(67) which John also lacks. It seems that Luke, faced with conflicting details in his sources, adopts two strategies. Sometimes he avoids a clash, as over the possible identification of the Baptist and Elijah, and the description of the descent of the Spirit, which is witnessed by Jesus in Mark/Matthew, and by the Baptist in John. Luke does not say who saw it, but the phrase 'in actual bodily form' enables both to have done so. Alternatively, he splits the details between two accounts, as he is later to do with the traditions concerning Mary, sister of Martha, and the anointing. Thus, in Mark/Matthew's account of the trial before the Jewish authorities, false witnesses tell of Jesus' threats against the temple, but in John no such incident is recorded, and Luke postpones both the false witnesses and the threat until the trial of Stephen in Acts.

Luke seems in this material to be conflating the two traditions and seeking to mediate between them when they disagree.(68) There is no reason here for assuming that Luke is prior to John: if Luke-Acts is attempting to reconcile two conflicting accounts, the reverse is more likely, and implies a literary relationship, rather than a shared tradition.

THE ANOINTING (Luke 7: 36-50; John 12: 1-8)

The anointing of Jesus by a woman occurs in all four Gospels, but Luke places the incident early in Jesus' ministry. John and Mark disagree over the timing of the incident in relation to the Passion, the identity of the host, and the portion of Jesus' body anointed. Given such a discrepancy between Mark/Matthew and John,(69) Luke often rewrites freely and inserts the material elsewhere in his narrative. A conflict in his sources authorizes Luke to provide his own version which sidesteps the problem.(70)

John's account is nevertheless closest to Mark's. They share the location in Bethany, the reproach to Jesus about extravagance, Jesus's statement about the poor, and the intimation that Jesus' body is being prepared for burial; there is also a reference to the sum of three hundred denarii, and the rare phrase [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], which are found only in Mark and John. Luke's 'theology of the poor' perhaps explains his omission of Mark 14: 4-7; John 12: 5, 7-8 (and perhaps also the financial calculation in Mark 14: 5/John 12: 5);(71) the reference to 'pistic nard' may have been incomprehensible to an audience unfamiliar with the customs and products of Palestine, and perhaps to the evangelist himself. And since Luke places this episode earlier in his narrative, to illustrate the theme of repentance, he cannot locate it in Bethany, nor refer to Jesus' imminent burial.

Luke shares with John, however, an account of two sisters who were followers of Jesus, and the characterization of Mary and Martha is similar. But Luke does not include any reference to the raising of their brother Lazarus,(72) and he drops John's identification of the woman who anoints Jesus as Mary.(73)

Obvious similarities between John and Luke include the anointing of Jesus' feet rather than his head, the wiping of Jesus' feet with the woman's hair, and the reluctance of both John and Luke to follow Mark's implication of a royal anointing.(74)

Why is there the divergence between anointing Jesus' head and his feet? In Mark and Matthew, the woman pours ointment over Jesus' head, but Jesus refers to the anointing of his body for burial. Coakley(75) suggests that the original incident probably involved feet rather than head(76) but it was changed by Mark, either out of respectful reserve or to serve as the anointing of the 'King of the Jews'. Bailey(77) finds the repetition of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in John 12:3 clumsy, and suggestive of a secondary conflation of differing traditions; but John, altering Mark, may have repeated the noun for emphasis.

Some critics find the action of the woman who anoints Jesus' feet more appropriate as a gesture of penitence, as in Luke, than as the 'extravagant gesture of love'(78) depicted by John, although the 'overplus' element of Mary's action is completely Johannine.(79) Similarly, some regard it as improbable that Mary, having applied costly ointment to Jesus's feet, would immediately remove much of this with her hair (John 12: 3). But since the substance is conceived as a liquid,(80) the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] she uses, a vast quantity, would inevitably require some action to cope with the excess.(81) It accords with John's presentation that, whereas in Chapter 13 the disciples have their feet bathed in water by Jesus and wiped (the same verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is used at John 12: 3 and John 13: 5) with a towel, Jesus' are anointed in costly ointment and wiped with Mary's hair. The parallelism is deliberate and the point is christological. From the evidence of 1 Cor. 11, we know that a woman's hair was her 'pride' in Jewish thought, her 'crowning glory'. This action of Mary's, letting down her hair to mop up the spilled unguent, in itself indicates the extent of her love for Jesus, and is not to be dismissed as illogical.

Luke's account, however, contains some evident inconsistencies. It is difficult to imagine tears of repentance so very profuse as to bathe Jesus' feet sufficiently to require drying, and Jesus would hardly have needed to be a prophet (see Luke 7: 39) to deduce the likely profession of a woman who appeared in public with unbound hair. Moreover, the reference to wiping Jesus' feet with the woman's hair unbalances the structure of Luke 7: 44, where elsewhere there is a repeated contrast - no kiss/kissed feet; no water/tears; no oil/anointed feet. As Coakley(82) notes, hair seems an addition not properly integrated into the text, which Luke has derived from his source.

It is sometimes suggested that because Luke's story takes place at an unspecified time and place in Galilee, it is clearly more primitive. But Luke's temporal and geographical references are often vague, especially when his sources are at odds,(83) and precise details can easily drop out as a story is retold. Luke's account does not seem primitive in other respects. It seems to represent an attempt to simplify a hotchpotch of tradition concerning Mary,(84) by splitting the material into two separate incidents concerning different people. It is conceivable that the picture in Luke 10: 39 of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, as a devoted disciple, was inspired by John's story; but Luke preferred to use the anointing to illustrate his own favourite theme of repentance.

It should be observed that the fact that Luke's pericope is more coherent than John's does not prove that John was secondary. Luke. may have taken over John's story and adapted it to accord with his own particular emphases. Most critics now accept Luke's creative rewriting in his birth narrative, and his probable derivation of the parable of the Fig tree from the Markan/Matthean account of its cursing.

There is nothing in this story that would enable us to affirm that John used Luke. On the contrary, if the word 'hair' at Luke 7: 44 is an insertion, Luke's version here is secondary. There is evidence, too, that Luke is splicing together differing strands of material, so that while using Mark, he nevertheless reflects Johannine material. As at Luke 3: 16,(85) almost every phrase in Luke 7: 37-38 has a parallel somewhere in Mark/Matthew or John. This reconciliation of two differing traditions accords with his practice elsewhere, but it is not characteristic of John, who usually goes his own way. It seems that John is prior to Luke here if not to Mark, and that Luke's source is not a Johannine tradition, but John's Gospel itself.


Luke recasts the denial sequence which in Mark and Matthew follows the trial and mocking, and in John is split, with the first denial preceding the questioning and the second and third succeeding it; in Luke, all three denials occur before the trial and mocking. Some features of this sequence are characteristically Lukan, such as the presumably reproachful glance Jesus directs at Peter in 22: 61, which provokes the disciple's immediate remorse. The whole scene is thus more pathetic and provides a more direct illustration of Luke's theme of repentance. But there are also features Luke shares with John: both mute the denials and omit the self-curse Peter invokes on himself in Mark and Matthew, and they agree that the second accuser is male.

There is no reason to assume that Peter's second denial [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at Luke 22: 58 influenced John (compare John 18: 17, 25).(86) Both use [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], but any connection is more likely to be the other way round in view of the importance to John's Jesus of the assertion [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. (We have already seen the effect of this on the crowd at v. 6.) There is in John's narrative a powerful ironic contrast between two of Peter's denials and the two balancing positive declarations of Jesus to the soldiers who arrest him. Irony is a characteristically Johannine trait, and it is not one which many would attribute to Luke, who consistently expunges that of Mark. John's [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is thus more likely to be primary here.

There seems to be evidence of the combination of differing traditions in this pericope.(87)


contains echoes of both

[GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (Mark 14: 70), and of

[GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; (John 18: 26).

At Luke 22: 55, too,(88) Luke agrees with John in describing the actual kindling of a fire in the high priest's courtyard, even if the words used are different; in Mark 14: 54, since Peter warms himself by it, its existence is simply assumed. On the other hand, Luke follows Mark in recounting that Peter sat down with others by the fire, both using the verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], whereas in John, who uses [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at 18: 18, they stand.

Luke and John agree that there was no formal trial of Jesus in the night by the Jewish authorities. In Luke, Jesus is taken to the high priest's palace, where Peter's three denials take place; in John, he is taken at night to the house of the former high priest Annas, father-in-law of the present high priest, for interrogation, and in the morning to Caiaphas himself. Since Jesus had already been sentenced in absentia in John 11: 47-53, what happened at night amounted to a questioning by Annas of Jesus, followed by his maltreatment by his captors. Luke knows of Annas (see Luke 3: 2; Acts 4: 6), and his continuing influence, which is confirmed by Josephus, but there is nevertheless a difference in Luke's sources here, since neither Mark nor Matthew mention Annas, though Matthew (Matt. 26: 3, 57) refers to Caiaphas. Luke condenses the two hearings into one, and attempts to avoid the problem by not identifying the high priest in question. In similar circumstances, he fails to name Peter's partner in the fishing expedition(89) and to state who saw the dove at the baptism.

In both Luke 22: 63 and John 18: 22 (probably) Jesus is struck by those who arrest him, not by members of the Council, contra Mark 14: 65 and Matt. 26: 67, and in neither Luke nor John are Mark's witnesses present. These two features, which Luke (like John) omits from his Passion narrative, nevertheless reappear in Stephen's trial. In this context, although the words of the high priest's official in John 18: 22 do not form part of Luke's Passion narrative, there is a close connection with the words spoken to Paul in a similar situation in Acts 23: 4.(90) Here, too, Luke seems to have split his material.

The night trial is historically problematic. It could therefore be argued that Luke and John are following a more accurate tradition than Mark/Matthew. The sequence of events, as recorded in Luke 22: 66-23: 1, flows more smoothly, but it still contains tensions. It is unclear why, in Luke, Jesus is taken to the high priest's house at all: that the whole council at 22: 66, speaking as one (22: 70), question him in the same words is improbable and conflicts with 23: 51, and the reference to further testimony in 22: 71 is inappropriate since none has been sought.

Evans(91) suggests that Luke has condensed the Markan narrative, freely revising Mark 14: 55-64, but this ignores the far closer parallel between Luke 22: 67-71 and John 10: 24-25, 36, both of which combine two separate questions concerning Jesus' Messiahship (Luke 22: 67/John 10: 24) and his Sonship (Luke 22: 70/John 10: 36), with other material intervening. In Mark 14: 61 and Matt 26: 63 there is only one question, which combines both elements. The closeness of Luke and John is especially evident in:



These two Johannine verses are much closer to Luke's account than any in the later Johannine passage (John 18: 19-23), and they do not have any parallel in Mark 14: 61 or Matt. 26: 63. Some have seen the strong verbal agreement here as evidence of a shared common source.(92) But since this hypothetical source has a somewhat Johannine vocabulary,(93) the more economical explanation is that Luke has combined Mark and John.

There is little evidence that Luke is striving to use a better, more complete tradition than Mark. Luke

'does not furnish additional or alternative information for clarifying the issues whether the Sanhedrin did pass a formal sentence of death for blasphemy, or had the power of capital punishment in such a case'.(94)

These are precisely the points that John's account does cover; but whatever may have been Luke's practice elsewhere, in this instance his desire to absolve Rome as much as possible from responsibility for Jesus' death took precedence over any urge to answer historical questions of the nature addressed by John's narrative. Luke therefore concentrates on the political nature of the charges laid by the Jews (see Luke 23: 2, 5), which would obviously carry the most weight with Pilate who, even so, declares Jesus innocent. Since the reader knows from Luke's presentation that these charges are malicious lies, the effect is to emphasize further the guilt of the Jews and the (relative) innocence of Rome.

The mocking by the soldiers is attributed to Herod and his men at Luke 23: 11, in an incident which is peculiar to Luke. His account reflects his own interests(95) and underlines that it is the Jews, not the Romans, who are culpable; Luke consistently goes out of his way to exonerate Rome. The pericope contains at least fifteen characteristically Lukan words and phrases:(96) there is little to suggest the use of a source here.(97) It is typical that since there is a conflict between Mark/John, where Jesus is attired in an imperial purple cloak, and Matthew, whose soldiers use the regulation red, Luke avoids the difficulty by merely saying that Jesus is dressed in 'splendid' [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] garments. But certain features relate the mockery by Herod's soldiers in Luke more closely to the account of the mockery by the soldiers in John 19.(98) In both Luke and John, the incident occurs during the protracted hearing before Pilate and takes place before the sentence, not as a prelude to crucifixion; similarly, in both Luke and John, Pilate's second declaration that Jesus is innocent immediately succeeds the account of the mocking.(99) In addition, it is at this point (rather than earlier) that Luke and John stress the silence of Jesus, and their terminology is quite similar (compare Luke 23: 9 and John 19: 9). Both refer to the chief priests in this connection (Luke 23: 10/John 19: 6), unlike Mark or Matthew. And both Luke (Luke 23: 11) and John (John 19: 2) use the verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], contra Mark [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] and Matthew [GREEK TEXT OMITTED].

The link between Luke and John in this sequence is stronger than a mere linked tradition. There are too many verbal connections which support the likelihood of there being some literary relationship, and Luke's version offers more convincing evidence of the attempted reconciliation of differing strands of material.


It is generally acknowledged that the connections between Luke and John are most apparent in their resurrection narratives. Luke clearly combines Markan/Matthean and Johannine material here. Matt. 28: 1 records that dawn was drawing near [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; Mark 16: 2 that the sun had risen [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; John 20: 1 that it was still dark [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; and Luke 24: 1 that it was very early dawn [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], which sounds like a compromise. In Luke's account of the women at the tomb, too, Mary Magdalene and the other women find the stone rolled away (cf. Mark 16: 4); they see two angels (cf. John 20: 12) dressed in splendid garments (plural, cf. John 20: 12), which are dazzlingly bright (cf. Matt. 28: 3). In John, Mary Magdalene is alone, but we are given the substance of her conversation with Simon Peter; in Mark and Matthew, she is accompanied by another Mary, but no words to the disciples are recorded; in Luke, she is one of a group which includes the two Mary,(100) who tell the apostles of the empty tomb, although they are not believed. Both Luke and John use Mary's report to motivate the subsequent visit to the tomb. There are, however, numerous variations between all the accounts, and, since his sources conflict, Luke has rewritten freely. His version reflects the other three, and he has synthesized their differing elements.

An obvious link between Luke 24 and John 21(101) is that in both Jesus cooks fish. In John, he does so for the disciples but we are not told that he himself eats. This could suggest that the resurrection was not truly corporeal. Luke therefore stresses that Jesus, rather than the disciples, ate the fish.(102) The pericope was clearly intended in both Gospels to assert that the Risen Lord was not a spirit, despite no longer being subject to the normal laws of time and space.(103) If, however, there is a literary relationship between the two texts, the incident is explicable only if we assume Johannine priority. John would hardly have altered the story in the opposite direction unless he wanted to imply that Jesus was a spirit, rather than flesh. And in that case, he would surely have dropped it altogether.

There are also some very close verbal links between Luke and John, although these do not appear in all the main Lukan manuscripts. Examples are:

[GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at Luke 24: 36 (cf. John 20: 19)

and in the same verse in the same manuscripts:


There is also at Luke 24: 40:


which we may compare with John 20: 20; the only difference here is that [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] conforms to Luke's crucifixion account and [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] to John's.(105) The first of these passages is the Greek translation of the usual Jewish greeting shalom, so that it proves nothing, and the second is the obvious way to describe the situation. Luke 24: 40 is different. Many have rejected it as a later gloss, but Luke 24: 39, which contains the very Johannine [GREEK TEXT OMITTED],(106) is not disputed, and here Jesus clearly shows his wounds to the disciples. (In John, the same point is presented dramatically via doubting Thomas.)(107) All these phrases strongly suggest a connection between the two Gospels, but none proves priority in either direction.

The most notable example of all, however, the one that suggests most strongly that Luke is using John at this point, rather than vice versa, is Luke 24: 12:


This verse summarizes John 20: 3-8. Some critics(108) regard it as a Johannine interpolation, and have commented on its supposedly 'Johannine' vocabulary, instancing [GREEK TEXT OMITTED](109) (cf. John 19: 40; 20: 5), when Luke earlier, in common with Matthew and Mark, has [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], and also [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] and [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. But John's use of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is not consistent either, since at John 11: 44 he uses [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; and [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is characteristic of Luke, too, except when he is following Mark.(110) There are only two examples of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in John, both in John 20;(111) so one can hardly call it Johannine, although one could argue that [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is more necessary to John's account than it is to Luke's, since it delays matters until Peter arrives and enters the tomb.(112) It is not really relevant to Luke, which could suggest that it is secondary.

Many critics have also drawn attention to the historic present [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in Luke 24: 12. This tense is rare in Luke, who consistently corrects Mark's almost habitual use of it, but it is not unusual in John, who uses it six times in the first three verses of chapter 20, including [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at 20: 1. It must, however, be emphasized that examples of the historic present are occasionally found in Luke.(113) We cannot dismiss the verse as a Johannine interpolation on the strength of this verb and some not fully substantiated claims about vocabulary.(114)

There are some characteristically Lukan touches in Luke 24: 12, such as [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], and the participial use of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] followed by another verb. It is suggested by Curtis that even though the pleonastic [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is unquestionably Lukan, the position of the participle after the proper noun is unique; Luke habitually places the proper noun after the participle. But Muddiman points out that Luke's usage of the participle [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] frequently follows this pattern.(115) The verse, then, represents a fusion of John and Luke, in linguistic terms, and it is well-integrated into Luke's account. There is, on the contrary, no evidence of Lukan vocabulary in John 20: 3-8.

In his detailed consideration of Luke 24: 12, F. Neirynck sees the entire verse as a Lukan editorial composition, a creative elaboration of Mark 16: 4, which John used and amplified.(116) Neirynck argues that the repetition of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in John 20: 2, and the singular verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in 20: 3, even though the subject is actually plural (Peter and the 'other disciple'), are evidence that the presence of the beloved disciple is a secondary insertion, and therefore John's account is later than Luke's. It seems indeed an insertion: but perhaps into a basically Markan account, which Neirynck earlier believed had been used by John.(117) Similarly, the plural verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at John 20: 2 could relate to Mark's version rather than to Luke's.

There are elements in the text which do not support Neirynck's assumption of Lukan priority. John's verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at 20: 4, for example, is necessitated by his account, where the other disciple outruns Peter and, seeing the empty tomb, is the first to believe. Luke, who uses the related verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at 24: 12, does not need Peter to perform this action, since he omits all mention of the other disciple. The action could be typical Petrine impetuosity, or it could be secondary. There is no reason why Luke's account should be prior here. There is also [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in John 20: 7, which links with an earlier reference in the raising of Lazarus at John 11: 44. John's point is christological: Jesus did not need anyone to unbind him or remove the headcloth. Neirynck argues that the mention of the headcloth was suggested to John by Luke's [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] (Luke 24: 12), by which Luke meant 'only the gravecloths', i.e. not the body, although John understood it as meaning 'the gravecloths, not the headnapkin'. But it is equally possible that the situation was the other way round: John's account [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] .... [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] was reinterpreted by Luke as meaning that the body was not there, which he then linked to his earlier treatment of the empty tomb (Luke 24: 3). The headcloth was essential to the comparison John wished to make between Jesus and Lazarus; it was irrelevant to Luke, and so he dropped it.

The problem about this verse is that it, too, is not attested in all manuscripts. Although almost all the major ones contain it, including the very early third-century papyrus P75, Marcion (perhaps not surprisingly) and some Old Latin and Syriac texts and the Codex Bezae do not. But although some critics also reject it as a later scribal assimilation to John's text,(118) the weight of the manuscript evidence is against them.(119)

Furthermore, if we reject 24: 12, we are left with the disciples' disbelief in 24: 11, which contradicts 24: 34. Verse 24, too, is in some tension with 24: 12, and seems to reflect John's account, since it mentions disciples (plural) going to the tomb, as in John but not Luke. (The miraculous feeding, where 'Bethsaida' in Luke 9: 10 is inconsistent with the reference to the 'desert place' in 9:

12 which is derived from Mark and Matthew, is similar. In both cases, Luke makes changes at the beginning of a pericope which he fails to sustain later on.(120)) The content of the original source is discernible in this later verse, just as the language of that source may be apparent in the verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. Verse 34, which records the traditional Peter protophany, is itself in some tension with 24: 37. Luke is clearly trying to tie up all the loose ends in the final section of his Gospel, even though he modifies some of these details at the beginning of Acts.(121) He seemingly wishes to present all the resurrection appearances, beginning with that of the travellers to Emmaus(122) and ending with the ascension, in the very congested evening of the resurrection day.

An explanation of the relationship between John and the Synoptics, which would account for both the many similarities and also the numerous striking differences, is still needed. My proposal is that Luke, as well as using Mark and Matthew, in addition used John. He did so mainly for narrative purposes, without feeling obliged to include all John's material when it conflicted with his own interpretation.(123) Luke is throughout prepared to alter and rearrange his material, and to add to it or cut it if necessary, in order to achieve his aim of an 'ordered' [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; Luke 1: 3) narrative, which will give 'certainty', or 'accurate information' ([GREEK TEXT OMITTED]; Luke 1: 4)(124), to his readers. Thus, when Soards says: 'The greatest differences between Luke and Mark may be the result of Luke's strongest motives for writing his Gospel'(125), I suggest that this also applies to his use of Matthew and John. The 'many' sources that Luke refers to in his prologue (Luke 1: 1) are thus to be taken seriously and not dismissed as a mere rhetorical commonplace.(126) The [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] .... [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] of 1: 2 would hence refer at least to Mark, and maybe Matthew, and the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] would include John, who certainly claims eye-witness testimony at 21: 24,(127) in a verse which concludes with the verb, like the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], in the plural: [GREEK TEXT OMITTED].

I have shown some of the more obvious links which exist between John and Luke: and although many of these are echoes which could suggest memory, or perhaps related traditions (which may in some instances be the correct explanation), some suggest either a hypothetical shared written source, of which we have no evidence, or direct dependence. It is not usually possible to establish which came first, John's account or Luke's, and although in some ways Luke 22: 3a is compatible with Lukan priority, since John does not elsewhere use the term 'Satan', there is nevertheless some inconsistency in Luke's presentation in chapter 22.(128) John is throughout perfectly consistent, and it is perhaps appropriate that his only mention of Satan should be in connection with the archetypal traitor, Judas, whom he has already identified as a devil in 6: 70. The conflict of good and evil is thus personalized here: there are no other examples of demon possession in John.

It accords with what we have observed of his practice elsewhere that Luke has at this point combined the synoptic placement of the betrayal with the Johannine explanation for it, which was one that he would have found congenial. The word [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] at Luke 22: 14 (contra Mark 14: 17 and Matt. 26: 20) seems Johannine rather than Lukan, and this verse corresponds in its placement to the Johannine reference to the devil and Judas in the related John 13: 2.(129)

All the other very close correspondences, however - especially the hearing of Jesus before the Jewish authorities and Pilate, the empty tomb story, and the resurrection appearance in Jerusalem - suggest that Luke is later than John, and this offers a better explanation for the common features in pericopae such as the baptism and the anointing (and, indeed, the miraculous catch, the entry into Jerusalem, the arrest, and the crucifixion). If we accept the weight of manuscript evidence, and uphold the authenticity of Luke 24: 12, the case is much stronger. Luke knew and used John, and not vice versa, and what he is doing in passages shared by all four evangelists is effecting a confluence of the two separate streams of Jesus-material; in simple terms, he is reconciling the two.(130)


1 Though it is not especially relevant to my argument, I agree with E. P. Sanders, J. Drury, R. Morgan, E. J. Franklin, J. Muddiman, and M.D. Goulder that Luke knew Matthew's Gospel; although (against M.D. Goulder) I believe there may also be evidence of independent knowledge of some of the material shared by Matthew.

2 R. Maddox, The Purpose of Luke-Acts (Edinburgh, 1985), 159.

3 H. Windisch, Johannes und die Synoptiker, UNT 12, (Leipzig, 1926).

4 E. K. Lee, The Religious Thought of St. John (London, 1950), 23.

5 P. Gardner-Smith, St. John and the Synoptic Gospels (Cambridge, 1938); R. Bultmann, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Meyer KEK; ET: Oxford 1971(2)); C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge, 1953), 449 f.; id., Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge, 1963).

6 Cf. J. Schniewind, Die Parallel-perikopen bei Lukas und Johannes (Leipzig, 1914; repr. Hildesheim, 1958), although Schniewind (p. 99) believed that John's account presupposed the others.

7 For example, R. E. Brown, The Gospel According to John (ABC; Garden City, NY, 1966-1970); J. L. Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (Nashville, 1979(2)); D. Moody Smith Jr., Johannine Christianity (Columbia, 1985), although in a later book, John Among the Gospels (Minneapolis, 1992), the question is left open.

8 Thus, J. A. Bailey, Traditions Common to the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, NovT Sup. 7 (Leiden, 1963); D. W. C. Robinson, Selected Material Common to the Third and Fourth Gospels (M. Litt. Diss., Oxford, 1979). Robinson and Bailey both consider, however, that in some cases the connection may be literary.

9 Thus, V. Taylor: Behind the Third Gospel (Oxford, 1926); id., The Passion Narrative of St. Luke, SNTSMS 19 (Cambridge, 1972); H. Klein, 'Die Lukanisch-johanneische Passionstradition', ZNW 67 (1972), 366-403; A. R. C. Leaney, 'The Resurrection Narratives in Luke', NTS 2 (1955), 110-14; I. Buse, 'St. John and the Passion Narratives of St. Matthew and St. Luke', NTS 7 (1960), 65-76.

10 Thus, C. K. Barrett, 'John and the Synoptic Gospels', Exp. Times 85 (1974), 228-33; id., The Gospel According to John (London, 1978(2)); W. G. Kummel, Introduction to the New Testament (ET: Nashville, 1975(2)); F. Neirynck, Jean et les Synoptiques, BETL 49 (Leuven, 1979); id., Evangelica, BETL 60 (Leuven, 1982), 297-455; A. Dauer, Johannes und Lukas, Forschung zur Bibel 50 (Wurzburg, 1984); M. Sabbe, Studia Neotestamentica, BETL 98 (Leuven, 1991), 355-88, 409-513; H. Thyen, 'Johannes und die Synoptiker', in A. Denaux (ed.), John and the Synoptics, BETL 101 (Leuven, 1992), 81-107.

11 See n 9, above.

12 This list and the following summary of items included only by Luke and John are adapted from M. Soards, The Passion According to Luke. The Special Material of Luke 22 (Sheffield, 1987), 14-15.

13 Although both Mark (Mark 14: 41, cf. 14: 35) and Matthew (Matt. 26: 45) use [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] of the Passion, it is nevertheless characteristically Johannine to make it specific and personal; only John has my/his hour in this context (see John 2: 4; 7: 30; 8: 20; 13: 1; cf. 12: 27). Luke here says your hour, and he combines it with a very Johannine symbol which has no parallel in Mark or Matthew. If John at this point were using Luke, or a source shared by Luke, then his omission of this sentence seems inexplicable, as R. E. Brown, John ii, 817, concluded.

14 Pierson Parker, 'Luke and the Fourth Evangelist', NTS 9 (1963), 317-36.

15 We cannot dismiss them as easily as does L. Morris, Studies in the Fourth Gospel (Grand Rapids, 1969), 41, as being restricted to 'the resurrection appearances. . . and a number of smaller points' which are fewer than the agreements between John and Mark. Parker's evidence, to which Morris refers, shows that agreements between Luke and John alone extend throughout their Gospels, although they are most apparent in the Passion and resurrection accounts, and they are significantly more numerous than those between Mark and John alone.

16 Thus, A. Dauer, op. cit. 35.

17 Thus, for example, A. Dauer (id. 35) states that in the parallel pericopae, Luke's Gospel is presupposed in John. So, too, J. Schniewind (see n. 6).

18 P. Parker, NTS 9, 323. H. Klein, ZNW 67, 376 calls such a suggestion 'ausgeschlossen'.

19 A. Dauer, Johannes und Lukas, 15-38.

20 The same is true in his consideration of individual pericopae. The possibility that Luke's Gospel could have been secondary to John's is not mentioned, except when he is defending the authenticity of the Lukan text against a charge of possible Johannine interpolation.

21 J. A. Bailey, Traditions, 37-42, especially 38 n. 4, where he refers to the 'odd composition' of vv. 31-34.

22 F. Lamar Cribbs, 'St. Luke and the Johannine Tradition', JBL 90 (1971), 422-50; id., 'A Study of the Contacts Between St. Luke and St. John', in G. MacRae (ed.), Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers ii (Cambridge, MT, 1973), 1-93; id., 'The Agreements that Exist Between John and Acts' in C. H. Talbert (ed.), Perspectives on Luke-Acts (Danville, 1978), 40-61.

The same points are made, and supported by more detailed statistical data, in a later article, 'The Agreements that Exist Between Luke and John' in J. Achtemeier (ed.), Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers i (Missoula, MT, 1979), 215-51. Hereafter, I shall refer to the first two of these articles as simply 'JBL, 1971' and '1973'. The conclusions Cribbs drew are strikingly in line with those I have reached myself.

23 J. F. Coakley, 'The Anointing at Bethany and the Priority of John' JBL 107 (1987), 241-56.

24 V. Taylor, Passion Narrative.

25 J. M. Creed, The Gospel According to St. Luke (London, 1930).

26 J. M. Creed, id. 73.

27 R. E. Brown, John ii, 791.

28 1973, 8.

29 Thus: John the Baptist; his messianic preaching; the baptism; the entry into Jerusalem; Jesus is taken to Pilate; the death sentence; the journey to the cross; the crucifixion; the death of Jesus; the burial; the resurrection. (I have omitted from consideration the 'words of institution', since Luke's text is disputed here, Luke 22.: 19b-20 being a notorious crux. If we accept the authenticity of the longer version, then Luke on this occasion, too, follows Mark/Matthew, although it could be argued that the footwashing, which is of comparable significance, is similarly placed in John.)

30 See:

(a) the feeding of the multitude

(b) Peter's confession (in both Luke and John, the feeding and the confession are placed in close proximity, without much other Galilean and non-Galilean material intervening)

(c) The Last Supper (although the timing of the supper in relation to Passover in Luke's Gospel is probably that of Mark/Matthew rather than that of John, Luke's verb [Greek text omitted] at 22:1 is much less precise than Mark's and Matthew's [Greek text omitted] [Greek text omitted]. (John simply says [Greek text omitted].) Luke follows John's chronology against that of Mark/Matthew in the prediction of the betrayal (after the cup/footwashing in Luke and John, during the meal in Mark and Matthew), and there is a 'farewell discourse' after the meal and before the arrest in both)

(d) the prediction of Peter's denial (at the meal in Luke and John; after it, on the way to Gethsemane, in Mark and Matthew)

(e) the arrest (at the end of the scene in Luke and John)

(f) the Sanhedrin hearing (no night trial in Luke and John; the placement of Peter's denials is closer, too)

(g) the sequence of the hearing by Pilate is similar.

31 Thus, A. M. Perry, The Sources of Luke's Passion Narrative (Chicago, 1919), 5 'When two sources have divergent accounts. . .he is perhaps more likely to compare and select that which seems the more reliable.'

32 See the detailed analysis by V. Taylor in Behind the Third Gospel.

33 In these, the figure for agreement normally exceeds 51% and sometimes 75%. There are a very few exceptions - in the transfiguration, for example, the figure is 37.2%, and in the healing summaries of Luke. 4:40-41, 6: 17-19, it is around 34%. But these are atypical.

34 Here, the agreement seldom exceeds 25%, and is occasionally below 12%.

35 In the approach to Jerusalem, verbal agreement with Mark is only 11.4%, but with John it is over 23%, granted that there is some variation over the grammatical cases of the references to the Pharisees and the disciples. (Neither group is mentioned at all by Matthew/Mark.) Similarly, the agreement between Luke 24: 11 arid Mark 16:1-8 is 21.4%; but if we assume the authenticity of Luke 24: 12 (see below), the agreement between Luke and John is nearly 24%.

36 Ten are quoted by all three evangelists: Ps. 2: 7; Lev. 13: 49 and 14: 2 ff.; Isa. 6: 9-10; Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19: 18; Exod. 20: 12-16 and Deut. 5: 16-20; Ps. 118: 22-23; Deut. 25: 5; Exod. 3: 6; Ps. 110: 1; Dan. 7: 13-14. Two are alluded to by all three evangelists. Dan. 4: 21; Gen. 19: 26. Two are alluded to by Luke and quoted by Mark/Matthew: Isa. 5: 2; Isa. 13: 10. (Adapted from the list given by Cribbs, 1973, 23.)

37 Dan. 9: 27; 12: 11 in Matthew 24: 15, Mark 13: 14 Dan. 12: 1 in Matt 24: 21, Mark 13: 19 Deut. 13: 2 in Matt 24: 24, Mark 13: 22

38 The 'sheep without a shepherd' citation of Num. 27: 17 is used by Matthew and Mark in different contexts, and I have therefore ignored it.

39 There is an allusion to Ps. 69: 21 (Matt 27: 48/Mark 15: 36/Luke 23: 36/John 19: 29); and to Ps. 38: 11 (Matt 27: 55/Mark 15: 40/Luke 23: 49/John 19: 25) where Luke shares [Greek text omitted] with Mark/Matthew and [Greek text omitted] with John.

40 Isa. 40: 3 (Matt 3:3/Mark 1:3/Luke 3: 4/John 1: 23); Ps. 118: 26 (Matthew 21: 9/Mark 11: 9/Luke 19: 38/John 12: 13) Ps. 41: 9 (Matt 26: 23/Mark 14: 20/Luke 22: 21/John 13: 18); Ps. 22: 18 (Matt 27: 35/Mark 15: 24/Luke 23: 34/John 19: 24).

41 Namely, Zech. 13: 7 (Matt 26: 31/Mark 14: 27); Ps. 42: 6, ii (Matt 26: 38/Mark 14: 34); Dan. 7: 13a (Matt 26:64/Mark 14: 62: no 'coming with/on the clouds of heaven' in Luke 22: 69; he refers only to the enthronement); Ps. 22:7 (Matt 27: 39/Mark 15: 29); Ps. 22: 1 (Matt 27: 46/Mark 15: 34).

42 See n. 1.

43 See L. Alexander, The Preface to Luke's Gospel, SNTSMS 78 (Cambridge, 1993); R. A. Burridge, What Are The Gospels? (Cambridge, 1992); C. B. R. Pelling, 'Plutarch's Method of Work in the Roman Lives', JHS 19 (1979), 74-96; C. B. R. Pelling, 'Plutarch's Adaptation of his Source Material', JHS 20 (1980), 127-40; T. L. Brodie, 'Greco-Roman Imitation of Texts as a Partial Guide to Luke's Use of Sources', in C. H. Talbert (ed.), New Perspectives from the Society of Biblical Literature (New York, 1984), 17-46.

44 This phrase is H. Schurmann's, although he uses it in a different context. (See H. Schurmann, 'Sprachliche Reminiszenzen und Abgeanderte oder Ausgelassene Bestandteile der Spruchsammlung im Lukas- und Matthausevangelium', NTS 6 (1959), 193-210.)

45 J. O'Neill, The Theology of Acts (London, [1970.sup.2]); J. Drury, Tradition and Design in Luke's Gospel (London, 1976).

46 C. H. Dodd, 'The Fall of Jerusalem and the Abomination of Desolation', JRS 37 (1947), 47-54; J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (London, 1976); J. Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke (London, 1991). Dodd suggested that Luke's presentation in Luke 21 is derived from the Old Testament. But the description, a modification of Mark, is very specific, and P. F. Esler, Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts SNTSMS 57 (Cambridge, 1987) points out that by no means every siege involved constructing a circumvallation (Luke, 19: 43-44), nor were many cities razed to the ground (Luke, 19: 44) and 'trampled' by Gentiles, with their inhabitants being led off as captives (Luke 21: 24). These accurate and specific details strongly suggest a dating after the capture of Jerusalem.

47 D. L. Tiede, Prophecy and History in Luke-Acts (Philadelphia, 1980). Contra Tiede, it must be remembered that persecutions were localized and sporadic for the next two centuries.

48 H. Conzelmann, The Theology of St. Luke (ET: London, [1960.sup.2]).

49 And not vice versa, contra the opinion of F. C. Baur and the earlier work of A. Ritschl.

50 R. E. Brown, The Community of the Beloved Disciple (New York, 1979).

51 This is implied by J. L. Martyn, History and Theology. So, too, M. Hengel, The Johannine Question (London/Philadelphia, 1989), 81 f., who believes that the final editing of the Gospel took place soon after AD 100, although most of the material belongs to the period AD 90-100.

52 J. A. T. Robinson, Redating.

53 This is argued by J. O'Neill: Acts. Few would agree, however, that the contacts are sufficient to show that the two are roughly contemporaneous.

54 E. Kasemann, ET 'Ministry and Community in the New Testament', in Essays on New Testament Themes. SBT 41 (London, 1964), 63-94.

55 See, for example, Luke 10: 1-12; 12: 8-12; 12: 46-48, etc.

56 See, especially, Schuyler Brown, Apostasy and Perseverance in the Theology of Luke (Analecta Biblica 36: Pontif. Bib. Inst.; Rome, 1969).

57 See C. H. Talbert, Luke and the Gnostics (Nashville, 1966), 35, 65, 67, etc.

58 See C. H. Talbert, Reading Luke (London, [1990.sup.2]), 166 ff.

59 See, for example, Luke 17: 22, 23b. The Eschaton is not to be identified with the life of Jesus, even though the Kingdom is in some important respects anticipated in his ministry.

60 I have omitted the call/miraculous catch, where Luke is in many ways closer to John than he is to Mark/Matthew; likewise the miraculous feeding (neither Luke nor John has more than one), where aspects of Luke's structure and chronology, and the location of the incident itself, agree with John; the centurion's/nobleman's son/servant, where the sequence of events in Luke is closer to that of John than that of Matthew; the triumphal entry, where many of the details, such as the presence of the Pharisees, accord with John; the Last Supper, where there are verbal echoes and chronological correspondences; the arrest, where the same is true; and likewise the trial before Pilate. The accounts of the crucifixion and the burial have many points of contact, as was shown above.

61 This emphasis counters claims made by the followers of the Baptist, which may perhaps be reflected in Acts 18.

62 See A. A. Trites, The New Testament Concept of Witness (Cambridge, 1977). It should be noted that there are marked similarities in Luke's and John's treatment of this theme. Both stress that the Scriptures bear witness to Jesus (John 5: 39/Luke 24: 27, 44), and emphasize the importance of witnessing [Greek text omitted] (John 15: 27/Luke 1: 2; Acts 1: 22) and testifying to what has been seen and heard (John 3: 32/Acts 22: 15). Both regard this sort of testimony as a counter to heresy, John setting Jesus' unique witness to God against mystical ideas in John 3: 31-36, and Luke using the men and women from Galilee to validate the apostolic tradition. In both, too, Jesus' disciples are witnesses to Jesus after the resurrection (see Luke 24: 48/John 21: 24).

63 So, Cribbs, JBL 1971, 429.

64 See Mal. 3: 1; 4: 5; Sir. 48: 10.

65 In Acts 13: 25, where Luke, too, says that Jesus came after the Baptist, the reference (as in John) is purely temporal, and removed from any Elijah associations.

66 JBL 1971, 432. Cribbs also notes (1973, 87) that there are at least nine passages in Luke where a phrase or detail paralleled in Mark/Matthew but not found in John, and a Johannine phrase which similarly does not appear in Mark/Matthew, are combined in one Lukan statement. The examples he gives are Luke 3: 16; 7: 37-38; 22: 3, 59-60, 67-70; 23: 3-4, 22, 53; 24: 1-3.

67 See also n. 65 above.

68 Cf. F. L. Cribbs, JBL 1971, 429-30.

69 Cribbs makes this point in both the 1971 and 1973 essays. See above, p. 95.

70 We may compare Luke's interpretation of the 'leaven of the Pharisees', which is different from the (varying) interpretations of Mark and Matthew, and also his understanding of the 'no sign/sign of Jonah' reference (cf. Luke 11: 29-30/Matt 12: 39-40/Mark 8: 12).

71 He similarly omits the cost of the bread in the miraculous feeding; compare Mark 6: 37/John 6: 7/Luke 9: 13.

72 There is nevertheless a Lukan parable concerning a poor man, Lazarus, who is unique among parabolic characters in being given a name. Some connection, at least of the order of a verbal reminiscence, seems likely. The observation at Luke 16: 31 that even the raising of one from the dead (Lazarus, in John's pericope) does not persuade the Jews thus serves as a comment on both his own parable and the Johannine story.

73 John 11: 2, which appears to be a later attempt to structure a superfluity of material concerning Mary, is difficult to reconcile with a knowledge of Luke. Neither evangelist would have wished an identification of the sinner of Luke 7 with Mary of Bethany.

74 J. F. Coakley, JBL 107, 248 ff. points out that the verb used in the Septuagint for royal anointing is never [Greek text omitted], and this verb is only rarely used to translate the Hebrew [Greek text omitted] (see Gen. 31: 13; Exod. 40: 15; Num. 3: 3).

75 J. F. Coakley, id. 248 ff.

76 Contra R. E. Brown, John i, 451 and A. Legault, 'An Application of the Form-Critique Method to the Anointings in Galilee and Bethany', CBQ 16 (1954), 131-45, Coakley (id. 246-49) shows that although it was unusual, it was by no means unprecedented for the feet to be anointed in ancient literature.

77 J. A. Bailey, Traditions, 3.

78 Thus, J. F. Coakley, JBL 107, 254. f.

79 Compare the enormous quantity of wine at Cana.

80 See Mark 14: 3, where the same words occur. There were approximately 325 ml. to the litre, and expensive perfume is even now sold by the ounce (28.5 ml.).

81 R. Maddox, Purpose, 166-67 and J. F. Coakley, JBL 107, 251 both make a similar point.

82 J. F. Coakley, JBL 107, 250-51.

83 See, for example, Luke 20: 1-8 and compare Matt 21: 23-27/Mark 11: 27-33/John 7: 14 ff. (the question of authority). Matthew places the discussion the day after Jesus' entry into Jerusalem; in Mark's account, it is two days after; in John, it takes place much earlier in the narrative; and Luke avoids saying precisely when it occurred: [Greek text omitted]. The conspiracy sequence is similar: compare Luke 19: 47 with Matt 21: 45-46/Mark 12: 12 ff. and John 11: 45 ff.

84 See n. 73, above. This is also the conclusion of Cribbs, 1973, 38.

85 See above, n. 66.

86 Thus, J. A. Bailey, Traditions, 55 n. 1.

87 This is pointed out by Cribbs, 1973, 60.

88 Cribbs, id. 59.

89 In Mark 1: 16/Matt 4: 18, we are told that Peter is with Andrew: in John 21: 7, his companion is the Beloved Disciple. Luke's plural verb (Luke 5: 6) shows that Peter was not alone, but he avoids a potential contradiction by leaving him unnamed.

90 This is pointed out by H. Klein, op. cit. 376. Klein dismisses any suggestion that John could be dependent on Luke here, but does not consider the reverse position.

91 C. F. Evans, St. Luke (London/Philadelphia, 1990), 833.

92 Thus, J. A. Bailey, Traditions, 56 f.

93 For example, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], which is very common in John (98 uses) although it is comparatively rare in Luke-Acts, and also, perhaps, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. D. W. C. Robinson, Selected Material 131-32, concludes that either Luke and John here used a common source, or Luke at 22: 67 used John.

94 So C. F. Evans, St. Luke, 839.

95 This is supported by the parallel to the hearing in Acts 25.

96 V. Taylor Passion Narrative, 87.

97 Thus, too, H. Klein, ZNW 67, 367 f.

98 Cf. Cribbs, 1973, 69.

99 Compare John 19: 1-3 and Luke 23: 10-11.

100 As in Mark/Matthew: Joanna is a link back to Luke 8: 3.

101 Even though John 21 is clearly an appendix, which was presumably added by members of the Johannine circle, as is intimated by John 21: 23-24, the parallel to John 21: 1-8 at Luke 5: 2-10, as well as to John 21: 9-14 at Luke 24: 36-43, suggests that it was known to Luke.

102 A. Dauer, op. cit. 270 stresses the 'apologetic' tendency of this presentation.

103 See John 20: 19; Luke 24: 31, 36.

104 See the very full treatment of these phrases, which are omitted from many Lukan manuscripts by A. Dauer, Johannes und Lukas; and also the discussion by D. W. C. Robinson, Selected Material, 188 f.

105 Although Luke does not explicitly mention Jesus being nailed to the cross in his Gospel, unlike John 20: 25, this seems to be implied by Luke 24: 39. It would, however, be possible to take the reference here to his hands and feet as simply Jesus' way of demonstrating that he is not a spirit: these are parts of him that he can readily display to those around, since they would not have been covered by clothing. Certainly, in Acts 5: 30; 10: 39, the stress is on Jesus being hanged on a tree, which according to Deut. 21: 23 meant that the victim was accursed. But there is also a reference to his blood at Acts 20: 28 (and compare Luke 22: 20, if the longer text is authentic), which would perhaps support the interpretation that his flesh was pierced, especially since in Luke, Jesus is neither scourged nor crowned with thorns, both of which would also have drawn blood.

106 This seems an obvious 'verbal reminiscence' (see above, n. 44) of John in Luke.

107 The narrative of one Gospel appears to refer to that of the other here. The same is true, as is pointed out by I. Buse, NTS 7, 75, in their accounts of the Last Supper, where Luke's verb [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is better suited to John's footwashing than to his own breaking of the bread and sharing the cup.

108 For example, K. Curtis, 'Luke 24: 12 and John 20: 3-10', JTS NS, 22 (1971), 512-15; R. Mahoney, Two Disciples at the Tomb (Theologie und Wirklichkeit 6, Bern-Frankfurt, 1972).

109 Although there are two uses of the related [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in Acts 10: 11; 11: 5, the meaning there is 'sheet', not 'shroud'.

110 Both these points are made by J. Muddiman, 'A Note on Reading Luke 24: 12', Ephemerides Theologicae Lovaniensis 67 (1972), 542-48.

111 See John 20: 5, 11.

112 This is suggested by R. Mahoney, Two Disciples, 246.

113 There are six examples in narrative sections (Luke 7: 40; 8: 49; 11: 37, 45; 24: 12, 24) and five in parables (Luke 13: 8; 16: 7, 23, 29; 19: 22).

114 So, too, J. Muddiman, ETL 67.

115 For example, at Luke 9: 20, against his usual order, which on this occasion is found in the Markan parallel. Muddiman suggests that what we see here is a deliberate syntactical change, which throws special emphasis on the proper noun in question - Peter.

116 F. Neirynck, Evangelica, 313-34; 401-55. Neirynck, too, regards Luke 24: 12 as authentic (see, especially, pp. 313-28).

117 F. Neirynck, Jean et les Synoptiques.

118 See above, n. 108. So, too, J. Bailey, Traditions.

119 See B. M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament (Oxford, 1964). Metzger describes the Alexandrian text, of which P75 is a very early witness, as, 'on the whole, the best ancient recension, and the one most nearly approximating to the original' (p. 216). K. Snodgrass, '"Western non-Interpolations"', JBL 91 (1972) 366-79, denies that Western text omissions, including Luke 24: 12, should be regarded as authoritative. He refers (p. 372 f.) to the research of K. Aland, who reaches the same conclusion.

120 These are examples of a phenomenon which Mark Goodacre, in his as yet unpublished doctoral thesis, convincingly argues demonstrates Luke's secondariness to the other Synoptics.

121 The account of the time preceding the ascension given in Acts 13: 31 agrees more closely with John 20 than with Luke 24. (So, too, Cribbs, JBL (1971), 446). Luke is sometimes closer to John in Acts than in his Gospel; see the discussion of Luke 3: 16/Acts 13: 25, above.

122 The similarity of this to the account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 suggests this was a Lukan creation.

123 We may compare Luke's omission of Markan/Matthean material that he finds uncongenial, such as Mark's criticisms of Jesus' family and disciples, or the Matthean stress on hell-fire and judgment, or any evidence of a Gentile mission in either Gospel since, to Luke, the time of the Gentiles is after the resurrection.

124 The [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is demonstrated by the concern for chronology which we see in Luke and his attempt to reconcile differing ones (for example, at Luke 19: 47 or 20: 1; see n. 83); the [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is evidenced by Luke's attempt to include both Johannine and Markan/Matthean material when possible, and perhaps also to guard against heretical misappropriation.

125 M. Soards, Passion According to Luke, 123.

126 See L. Alexander, The Preface to Luke's Gospel SNTSMS 78 (Cambridge, 1993), 114. Contra H. J. Cadbury, 'Commentary on the Preface of Luke' in F. Jackson and K. Lake (eds.), The Beginnings of Christianity, ii (London, 1922), 489-510, L. Alexander says that [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] implies many sources, not just two. For Luke to have used it with this meaning would have been deliberately misleading, and conventions were not normally followed blindly, in total disregard of the facts.

127 See also John 19: 35. L. Alexander (id. 121 ff.) notes that in ancient prologues, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] is normally used to mean personal contact with a living tradition (the original witness) and [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] to bearing testimony.

128 Satan is the devil at Luke 22: 3; but he is associated with Peter at Luke 22: 31 in a context where his function is close to that of a prosecuting attorney, as in Job.

129 Judaean traditions nevertheless seem to be reflected in John and Luke as Maddox (Purpose, 168 ff.) points out. It is conceivable that the early Judaea-based Church, wrestling with the almost incomprehensible act of betrayal by one of the Twelve, had concluded that it must have been the work of Satan, which was expressed in a tradition later used by John and/or Luke. D. W. C. Robinson, Selected Material, 71 notes that it is very rare to use [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], as Luke does here, without the definite article, and it goes against his normal practice at 10: 18; 11: 18; 13: 16; and 22: 31. This, too, could suggest he is using a source.

130 In this context, D. Moody Smith Jr., who, in John Among the Gospels, 99, finds Cribbs' case for the secondariness of Luke 'surprisingly strong', observes that if Luke is attempting to combine traditions, his omission of almost all the close verbal agreements between Mark and John is strange. But these omissions are consistent with Luke's editorial practices and emphases elsewhere. Two relate to kingship (Mark 15: 9/John 18: 39; Mark 15: 17-18/John 19: 2-3), which Luke plays down for political reasons. The parallel at Mark 6: 50/John 6: 20 occurs in the 'Walking on the Water' pericope which Luke drops, since he seems to have associated the sea with evil. (See Luke 8: 31; he keeps Jesus away from it as much as possible, so that we would never guess from his Gospel that Jesus' centre of operations, Capernaum, was on the seashore.) The parallel between Mark 2: 9/John 5: 8; and Mark 2: 12/John 5: 9, where the narrative context is significantly different, consists of the command to the paralytic, [GREEK TEXT OMITTED]. Luke follows Mark's context, and, like Matthew, he avoids the vulgar [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], as he avoids the Johannine/Markan [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] in the arrest sequence. The other parallels which Luke omits are in the anointing sequence and have been considered above (see p. 103). In no case, then, is Luke's omission of verbal parallels between John and Mark inconsistent with the contention that he is nevertheless attempting to reconcile the two traditions.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Oxford University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:gospel versions
Author:Shellard, Barbara
Publication:The Journal of Theological Studies
Date:Apr 1, 1995
Previous Article:E.P. Sanders' 'common Judaism,' Jesus, and the Pharisees: review article of 'Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah' and 'Judaism: Practice and Belief'...
Next Article:Antichrist from the tribe of Dan.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |