The Gospel of Luke

"The Gospel of Luke, along with its second volume, the Book of Acts, is thought to be the work of an evangelist who lived in Caesarea and who produced his monumental work sometime between the years 83 and 90."[1,p.82]

Luke 2:1 Luke ii. verse 1, shows, whoever the writer was, he lived long after the events he related. His dates—about the fifteenth year of Tiberius, and the government of Cyrenius—the only indications of time in the New Testament, are manifestly false.
—Robert Taylor, Syntagma.
Luke 4:16-22 When Jesus sits down it does not mean he is finished speaking. It was the custom in those times to sit down when teaching. Today teachers stand when they are teaching.
Luke 5:37-39
(Matthew 9:17)
(Mark 2:22)
This has been interpreted as an allegory, where the new wine represents the new testament, the new covenant with God, Jesus, and the old wine represents the old testament, the old covenant with God. However, Luke 5:39 ruins this analogy by stating that "the old wine is better." Instead of a complicated allegory this passage could be just what it is--instructions on how to store and age wine. After all, the entire Jesus story is just an allegory on how to make wine, so naturally included are instructions on how to store wine.
Luke 6:20b-21 Beatitudes.
Luke 8:1-2 "Jesus clearly had women disciples, led by the intrepid Magdalene, who was obviously a key person in the Jesus movement, despite the church's later historical trashing of her reputation by turning her into a prostitute without a shred of evidence to support this act of character assasination. That was nothing but a dramatic patriarchal attempt to suppress her flesh-and-blood presence in Jesus' life as a reading of the appropriate biblical texts will affirm. The trashing of Magdalene beings in Luke 8:2, where this evangelist introduces a heretofore unknown bit of data: Jesus had cleansed Mary Magdalene of seven demons. By the middle of the second century of this common era, she had been transformed into a world-class pristitute. Later popes whould identify her with the woman taken in adultery and with the woman of the street who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. There is no biblical evidence to support this later development, though it continues to be reflected in plays, hymns, theater pieces, and television shows." [3,p.136]
Luke 12:39 The parable of the successful thief, or, The master thief.
Luke 16:1b-7 The parable of the shrewd steward.
Luke 16:17 This verse is an obvious forgery created by conservative Christians long after 70 C.E. It is derrived from the situation of Luke's community and not from the time of Jesus. The saying derives from a situation in the community in which a fight had flared up between liberal and conservative Christians. The liberal Christians were probably members of Hellenistic communities; the apostle Paul, who was accused by conservative Christians of apostasy from the Law, is also to placed in such a community. People spread the rumor that Paul taught all Jews in the Diaspora to stop circumcising their sons (Acts 21:21). The Christians making these accusations belonged to the community from Jerusalem which, under the leadership of James, a brother of Jesus, increasingly adopted a conservative attitude towards the Law. In these conservative circles, such a rigorous saying as Luke 16:17 might have been attributed to Jesus. In order to defend their own position in the fight against Hellenistic Christians, they attributed the saying to Jesus out of hand.

Jesus can never have uttered the saying, even if we think that he made different statements about the Law in different situations, or if it is claimed that he showed an ambivalent attitude to the Torah which accentuated the Law and relativized it at the same time. Beyond doubt Jesus' commandment to love one's enemy is an accentuation of the Old Testament law about loving one's neighbor. But that accentuation is of a different kind from that to be found in this logion, since it has completely different consequences. Moreover the exclusiveness of the saying is too clear for it ever to have been uttered by Jesus, no matter what the situation. It no longer allows any openness.[2,p.36ff]

This is still a favorite scripture verse of conservative Christians, which is no surprise since it was obviously forged by conservative Christians. Naturally these are also the Christians who conveniently overlook the Golden Rule about loving one's neighbors and advocate harsh treatement for members of our own community who do not strictly conform. (Golden Rule: see Lev. 19:18, Matthew 5:44a, Luke 6:27)

The verse itself stands in isolation in the train of thought in the Gospel of Luke. Before it comes the saying about taking the kingdom of God by storm (Luke 16:16) and it is followed by a saying of Jesus about adultery (Luke 16:18). Exegetes have laboured endlessly to devise a smooth flow of thought between these three logia of Jesus - with little success.[2,p.36ff]
Luke 18:2-5 The parable of the godless judge.
Luke 24:43 The passage in Luke seems contrived to offer irrefragable.

1. John Shelby Spong Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture
2. Gerd Lüdemann The Great Deception : And What Jesus Really Said and Did
3. John Shelby Spong A New Christianity for a New World

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