Christina Solmunde Michelsen vart ph.d. á Københavns Universitet
Fríggjadagin 22. september vardi Christina Solmunde Michelsen ph.d.ritgerð sína á Københavns Universitet. Ritgerðin kallast “John the Baptist’s Public Ministry in Lk 3:1-20: Is Luke a Writing Reader of Matthew?”.
Christina Solmunde Michelsen hevur verið innskrivað á Teologisk Afdeling for bibelsk eksegese á Københavns Universitet. Mogens Müller, professari dr.theol., hevur verið vegleiðari hennara. Hon hevur eisini verið á l’Institut Protestant de Théologie de Paris í sambandi við ph.d.-arbeiðið.
Í metingarnevndini vóru:
Clare K. Rothschild, professari, Lewis University, Illinois, USA
Christfried Böttrich, professari og Dr., Universität Greifswald, Tyskland
Jesper Tang Nielsen, professari mso, Det Teologiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, formaður
Verjan gekk sera væl. Metingarnevndin tók undir við premissunum um at kanna Doyparamyndina í Lukasarevangeliinum sum eina “bíbilska endurskriving”. Metingarnevndin segði at talan var um eina gjølliga ritgerð og at tað er ein nýhugsandi granskingarháttur, sum hon hevði valt at brúka uppá Lukasevangeliið. Metingarnevndin hevði onkrar viðmerkingar til partar av ritgerðini, serliga hildu tey, at bíbliutulkingarnar kundu verið enn gjøllari. Metingarnevndin mælti henni til at halda fram við granskingini og at royna granskingarháttin við einum øðrum parti av Lukasevangeliinum.
Ritgerðin kann lesast her
Les um Christinu Solmunde Michelsen í Heilagrunninum
This dissertation, John the Baptist’s Public Ministry in Lk 3:1-20: Is Luke a Writing Reader of Matthew?, addresses two issues in New Testament exegesis. Firstly, does the strategy of rewritten Scripture influence the way the gospels were written: can Luke be assessed as a biblical rewriting? Secondly, does a demonstrable literary dependence of Luke on Matthew offer a different solution to the synoptic problem?
These issues are handled through an investigation of the portrait of John the Baptist in Luke-Acts and through an exegetical analysis of John’s ministry in Lk 3:1-20 compared to Mk 1:1-11 and Mt 3:1-17. I seek to test the direct literary relationship between Matthew and Luke according to the L/M hypothesis: that Luke rewrote Mark consistently and moreover used Matthew as a written source.
This dissertation consists of two parts, the first of which traces the possibilities of reading the gospels in light of biblical rewritings from the period of Second Temple Judaism. Chapter 1 examines the term rewritten Bible and how this phenomenon has influenced biblical interpretation the past fifty years. In this chapter, the literary characteristics of a biblical rewriting are listed in order to facilitate an analysis of Luke as a rewriting of Matthew. Furthermore, the question on the interrelationship between the gospels relates to the question of common material and literal dependence of some sort. Chapter 2 therefore compares the positions of two models concerned with these questions, the Two Source Hypothesis (2SH) and the L/M hypothesis. On the one hand, proponents of the 2SH focus on sources and redaction: the material which Matthew and Luke have in common against Mark is taken as a remnant of a lost source. They presuppose the independence of Matthew and Luke and that their redaction is contemporary, not separated in time. On the other hand, proponents of the L/M hypothesis stress an investigation of the literary relationship between Matthew and Luke without resorting to speculations on lost sources. They recognize Luke’s creativity and dispense with lost sources as an explanation of what Matthew and Luke have in common.
Chapter 3 examines how to evaluate the direction of literary dependence between Matthew and Luke. The 2SH is the commonly accepted solution to the synoptic problem. Yet, it does not provide sufficient evidence for the presupposed independence of Matthew and Luke. I argue that a focus on Luke’s composition and interpretive activity discloses new insight on Luke’s relationship to Matthew. I present a model for categorization of changes in a biblical rewriting, which I then apply to Luke’s portrait of John. These changes are comprised of new, omitted, adapted and reserved material. My main argument in part I then is that the identification of Luke’s sources and the direction of dependence between the gospels remain open for discussion.
Part II investigates Luke’s characterization of John the Baptist with a focus on his ministry in Lk 3:1-20. Chapter 4 offers a brief overview of the Baptist figure in Luke-Acts and analyses John as a figure re-casted in the gospel narrative. Special attention is given to three examples of literary changes to John’s ministry. These changes relate to John’s identity, to his authority and to the quality of his baptism. A key concern in the second part is the exploration of the interpretive implications of the modifications found in Luke. I find that such changes found here disclose a high degree of creativity and a particular rewriting strategy on Luke’s part. I examine how recent commentaries on Luke explain those changes and Luke’s attitude to written sources. Most of these adhere to the 2SH and explain Luke as a rewriting of Mark and the hypothetical Q. According to these commentaries, Luke adapted Q in various ways throughout his gospel; the result being that Q becomes a plastic source adapted differently from one commentary to another. Their acceptance of Q excludes any possibility to assess Luke’s relationship to Matthew and the former’s possible use of the latter. I argue that an analysis of Luke’s literary changes compared to Matthew is prior to speculation on Luke’s use of lost sources.
Chapter 5 analyses Luke’s modifications to the baptizer’s name. Luke tells of John son of Zechariah in Lk 3:2 while Matthew’s narrator introduces John the Baptist in Mt 3:1. In line with recent scholarship, I study Luke’s baptizer as disclosing part of Luke’s theological agenda. An analysis of Lukan additions on John’s activity as a preacher discloses that his role as a baptizer is diminished. Special attention is given to the fact that the figure is never called “the Baptist” in the narrator’s perspective, and that Acts mainly refers to John’s function as a past figure and to the inferior baptism in his name. Furthermore, by adding a birth narrative in Lk 1 and 2 and by modifying John’s name, Luke narratively reshapes what Mark and Matthew depict as a competing figure to Jesus.
Chapter 6 demonstrates how Jesus and John are separated in Luke’s account of John’s ministry. Throughout this chapter, I examine the impact of this imposed distance between the figures on John’s authority. Moreover, in the rewriting perspective, Luke has omitted the Matthean account of John and Jesus’ meeting (Mt 3:13-14). Luke has changed the actors of this meeting for narrative purposes, and anticipated the account of it to a new narrative context as part of the double birth narrative (Lk 1:43). I stress John’s threefold preaching (Lk 3:7-17), and argue that Luke accentuates John’s preaching activity. Luke moreover introduces shattered Messiah expectations towards John in an earlier narrative context compared to Mark and Matthew (Lk 3:15). All of Luke’s modifications stress Jesus’ superiority to John.
Chapter 7 examines the anticipation of John’s imprisonment in Lk 3:18-20 in light of Jesus’ baptism scene without John in Lk 3:21-22. Some commentaries harmonize their readings of the baptism scene with that of Mark and Matthew and explain Luke’s changes as a bare stylistic solution. By contrast, I choose to follow those commentaries that argue that Luke’s modifications are theologically significant.
In the conclusion, I state that the distinctive portrait of John the Baptist in Luke-Acts has several examples of literary changes similar to those that characterize biblical rewritings, such as omissions, additions and adapted material. A closer glance at Luke’s reception of Mark’s and Matthew’s Baptist portraits reveals literary modifications, which all have interpretive implications. I argue that what Luke has in common with Matthew on John’s public ministry (in Lk 3:1-20) can be read as material which Luke has received, and not as shared material. This dissertation answers positively that there is a coherent theological thread in Luke-Acts on the relationship between John and Jesus and on the avoidance of treating John as Jesus’ baptizer. By consequence, the Lukan portrait of John the Baptist discloses a creative literary activity and a rewriting strategy. Finally, the conclusion argues that Luke by changing the baptizer’s name and ministry reflects a need to reassure readers that John is secondary to Jesus.