Markus Vinzent's Blog

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Characteristics of Luke?

For a substantial time, now, I am collecting the characteristics that scholars associate with Luke, to find out whether they give us insights into its author. If, as I now believe, Luke was a broadening of Marcion's Gospel, and Marcion himself has written his text, such characteristics would need to match, somehow, what we know of Marcion.
Today, I came across the following article by Dennis E. Smith,
‘Table Fellowship as a Literary Motif in the Gospel of Luke’, JBL 106 (1987): 613-38.
In its opening, Smith writes:

'Luke, as scholars have often noted, was probably the most literary of all the Gospel writers. That is, he was widely read in literature of the day and made conscious use of structures, forms, and images from popular literature in his writings.' Previous studies have noted the affinity of his writings to history, biography, and romance literature. Other studies have noted how Luke has built his argument and theology around various literary structures and themes such as "possessions" and the idea of the benefactor...'
It is interesting to note that in the discussion about the authorship, nobody has noticed that not only the well known characteristics of its high quality literature points to a conscious author (why would he almost slavishly adhere to a mediocre work like Mark?), as does the affinity to literature, but the mentioned themes such as 'possessions' and 'benefactor' match the profile of the business man and benefactor Marcion who according to Tertullian made an endowment (rather than a donation) of around 200,000 Sesterces to the Roman community.
The list is getting longer.