Thursday, April 1, 2010

NT Pod 32: The Passion of Jesus in Luke's Gospel

NT Pod 32 discusses the Passion Narrative in Luke's Gospel. It is the third of the four back-to-back episodes on the Passion Narratives in the Gospels this week.

It is thirteen and a half minutes long. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

NT Pod 32: The Passion of Jesus in Luke's Gospel (mp3)

NT Pod 32: The Passion of Jesus in Luke's Gospel (mp3) (Alternative location)

Key texts: Luke 22, Luke 23, Luke 24.

Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. Mark,

    Fascinating as always. I read recently that even if one takes all of the 13 Pauline letters to be authentic, Luke's 2 writings still make up more of the NT.

    Luke leaves out the "ransom" saying in Mark 10 which seems odd. Skimming amazon I found an interesting book that discusses this in some deatil, P. Doble's The Paradox of Salvation: Luke's Theology of the Cross. Too bad it is $55. I wish the SNTS monograph series weren't so expensive.

    -Neil Parille

  2. Excellent as always. Thank you for providing such insightful material for the lay audience. I especially appreciate you pointing out Luke's unique take on Jesus as innocent victim. Even the passage in Acts that you mention where the Ethiopian eunuch is reading Isaiah, Luke chooses verses that emphasize Jesus innocence instead of all the King of Kings stuff also available to him in Isaiah.

  3. Thanks, Neil. Yes, those monograph series are all very expensive, including the one I edit (LNTS).

    Thanks, Scott.

  4. Once again I love the podcast. I know you have a lot on your plate but are you working on anymore books?

    As to this particular topic I wanted to add a few thoughts.

    I think Luke is presenting Jesus' death as more than that of an innocent man. Luke presents Jesus as the second Adam. In the genealogy Adam is said to be "the son of God" as Jesus is declared to be the "son of God." The placement of the genealogy in between Christ's baptism and his temptation further underscores this point. The temptations which follow demonstrate that Christ is greater than Adam. They also foreshadow Christ's final trial. Luke presents the cross as a continuation of the temptations. The Devil's opportune time in Luke 4:13 is Judas in Luke 22:3. Jesus asks his disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation. Jesus, like Peter is given the opportunity to deny who he is but in a slight modification to Mark and Matthew's account directly condemns himself by agreeing that He is the "son of God." The temptation continues with the crowd's taunting, "He saved others; let Him save Himself..." Luke certainly believes that Jesus can save himself in the same way he believes that the Angels would not let Christ fall from the pinnacle of the temple (Luke 4). The last temptation of Christ is for Jesus to step down from the cross. But unlike Adam, Jesus resists this temptation, remains obedient to the will of the Father, and in his death can say to the thief on the cross, "today you shall be with Me in Paradise." Jesus victory has reopened the garden of Eden!

    In a similar manner I believe that Jesus trial before Herod does more than simply underscore the fact that Jesus was innocent. One of the main purposes of Luke-Acts is to demonstrate that in Christ the barriers separating Jew and Gentile has been broken down. Luke's emphasis on the Herod account is not that Herod found Jesus innocent. He never declares him to be so. Rather the emphasis in the Herod account is on the fact that Pilate and Herod, two enemies, have become friends. In light of Luke's emphasis on Jew and Gentile relations it seems likely that he sees these two men as representatives. And thus Luke may be reflecting the teaching of Ephesians and Colossians. Ephesians 2:14-15 states, "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace."

    What do you think?

  5. Thanks for the interesting thoughts and questions. Yes, just finishing up a book on Thomas at the moment.

  6. Given your discussion on the Podcast and your take on the very Lukan character of the words, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do," that you would not bracket that phrase as an interpolation as NA/UBS and the NRSV does.

  7. It's a tough one, Fr Dan, but the sentence certainly coheres with Lucan style and theology in a striking way.

  8. A late arrival, I'm working backwards from John's Passion through these podcasts, and finding the experience very worthwhile, thank you Mark.

    The citation of Luke's last word from the cross at podcast7:44 needs a little correction (you cite Ps 36 instead of Ps 31).

    I was glad to get the citation in any case, as I had somehow missed it through the years and only found your 'typo' when I went to read it for myself.

    In my view, Luke cannot exactly be accused of substituting his own version of the last word for the one in Mark/Matthew, because he is actually alleging new material - the fruit (perhaps) of his researches as to what that last loud cry of Jesus had been (which is recorded as following the Ps 22 quote in Mark). I can sympathise with his wish to simply leave off the logia from the Markan source as too problematic (but he arranges things so as to avoid the accusation of straight substitution).

    Ahh, this (your Podcast format) is what education should be! I am so inspired by your work, Mark.


  9. Thanks, John, and thanks for pointing out my error. That's what comes with speaking "extemp." Oh well, at least it was educational for you to dig out the correct reference!