Saturday, 3 October 2015

More reflections on Luke's passionless passion...jury is not just out but on holiday!

In my previous post, I outlined my brief exchange with Dr. Bart Ehrman on the question of why Luke might have stripped from Jesus' brutal death the emphases on suffering and agony. I pointed out why the argument for a textual corruption on the drops of blood seems highly probable (for me I am as certain as you can be about these things), but the resulting and obvious question is still begging. Why would Luke do that? Why would he want to portray a suffering-free, calm, collected, reflective Jesus all the way up to his death? Initially I put forward a hypothesis: could it be that Luke was wanting to differentiate Jesus from the Son of Man, who WOULD suffer?

Although I got Ehrman's initial interest on that idea, I proceeded to shoot down my own idea in flames, on the basis that the Lukan text would have had to be subject to a huge conspiracy of corruption to end up with what we have now, because there are many passages that DO associate Jesus with the Son of man.

Ehrman's next response is: It was probably (to give it in its shortest version) to show those suffering that they too did not really need to suffer if God was on their side.  They too could be calm and in control.

But how does this account for Luke's idea that Jesus is the Son of man who must "suffer and die"?

For me this is a mystery indeed that I think I will simply put on hold until I hear a more developed explanation. I do not have one.

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