Redaction Criticism



'Redact' means to edit/revise

Examines how gospel writer edited his sources and why

Like editorial work, we must ask why Luke excluded and included what he did

R. critics suggest gospel writers were more creative than form critics gave them credit for

Concerned with: Choice material, Order, Alterations, Ommisions, Changes setting, Use Christological titles

Claim gospel writers had own purpose and each gospel had its own unique indentity

Relying on 4 source theory, Matthew and Luke used Mark, both used Q and different in places, Special L and M.

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The Author

R. criticism less about what gospels tell us about Jesus and more about author and their perspective

After discovering editorial or redactional work it is the job on the r. critic to see what reasons were behind the changes

Ex. Luke omits Greek Woman's Daughter as he didn't want to refer to gentiles as 'dogs'

Luke emphasis on prayer has Jesus praying at Transfuiguration and before his Baptism. This isn't mentioned in Mark

Matthew refers to "poor in spirit" but Luke refers to the "poor". This shows greater concern for the poor.

Many of the 14 parables unique to Luke emphasize Jesus mission to the lost and the outcast

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Conzelmann Redaction Critic for Luke

1954- Conzelmann presented a study of Luke's theology, isolating the major emphases of Luke. Ex. Interest in Jerusalem as the centre of activity.

He identified a 3 stage salvation history in Luke and Acts;

1. The Time of Israel

2. Jesus' Ministry

3. Work of the Christian Church

This is regarded as Luke's main theology as Luke viewed history as the story of God and his purpose was the salvation of men.

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First Era

Time of Law and Prophets

Ends with John the Baptist

Luke we hear: "The law and the prophets were proclaimed unitl John"

John is its climax, states "I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come"

Luke follows Mark pattern and order closely for most part. But keeps ministries of John and Jesus distinct as they belong to different eras

John is excluded from Baptism of Jesus as this is start of Jesus' ministry

Luke tells us Herod had John locked up in prison before Jesus' Baptism.

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Second Era

Time of Jesus' minsitry

Ends with Jesus Ascension into heaven

Conzelmann believes period of Jesus is Satan free. Satan left Jesus after his temptation and returned to enter Judas to betray Jesus.

Luke's presentation of salvation history seen in Jesus bringing salvation to all

Jesus stated at beginning of his ministry "because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor"

Shows women as prominent, by bringing them salvation

Mary is model of discipleship and faith

Jesus said to woman with haemorrhage "your faith has made you well".

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Third Era

Time of church

Begins with Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Contiues until time of Parousia

Luke didn't believe Jesus brougt an end to history so he writes the Acts of the Apostles. He sees time of the church as the third era in God's plan and not as a waiting period.

Luke wants to end one era before starting another. John is arrested before Jesus begins his ministry, and Jesus has ascended into heaven before the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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Delay of the Parousia

Luke's 3 stage salvation history may have developed from early church dilemma as to why Jesus hadn't returned

Mark says the kingdom of God is at hand, and this is omitted by Luke

Luke says disciples must take up their cross daily and the son of man will come but not in this "adulterous and sinful generation".

Both Matthew and Mark refer to Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven but Luke does NOT as he wants to avoid the idea of an imminent paraousia.

Luke makes it clear in his gospel that the church has a task to do before the second coming, and it's all part of God's salvation plan.

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Relationship between Christians and the Roman Empi

Realisation that the end of history was no longer near meant that Christians and Romans would have to live side by side for quite some time.

So Luke continously presents Roman authority as sympathetic to Chistianity, e.g. Pilate finds no fault with Jesus on 3 occasions.

"I find no basis for a charge against this man"

... "I have found no grounds for the death penalty"

If Pilate publicly declares Jesus to be innocent, and only condemns his due to pressure form Jewish authorities, then Rome and its leaders should recognise how the church founded on jesus can't be a threat to them.

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Conzelmann argues georgraphy in Luke was symbolic, ex. mountain is the place of prayer

He leaves it out in the temptation and changes the Sermon on the Mount to the Sermon on the Plain.

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Author's theological outlook seen as the framework of the gospel

Scholar Stein says "'scissors' of form criticism were manipulated by a theological hand, and the 'paste' was impregnated with a particular theology"

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