"At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priority"

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"At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priority"

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:21 pm

Irenaeus said, "Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own tongue, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome, and founding the church.''" Irenaeus said that Paul was not only preaching in Rome but also founding that church when Matthew wrote. Irenaeus was certainly inventive. Actually, Paul reached Rome in Acts 28:16 (long after writing the epistle to the Romans to an already founded Roman church). Acts ends with Paul still imprisoned, but Irenaeus depicts paired activities (preaching and founding) that would necessarily follow Paul's release. The simplest accounting for this would be that Luke finished Acts soon after Paul's two-year imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:30). Because Acts 1 : 1 refers to Luke's Gospel as "the former account," Irenaeus cannot place Acts before Luke. Irenaeus thus creates an interesting chronology: Luke's Gospel precedes the writing of Acts, whereas Matthew's 'Aramaic' Gospel would follow Acts. After completing the Aramaic version, Irenaeus would say that Matthew wrote a Greek version. At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priority:

1. Luke wrote his Gospel,
2. Luke wrote Acts upon Paul's release,
3. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Aramaic, and
4. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Greek.

Even if, as The Jesus Crisis maintains, Irenaeus accepted Matthean priority, his chronology actually presents Lukan priority. [John Niemela The Case for a Two Gospel-View of Gospel Origins]

https://books.google.com/books?id=xlWve ... 22&f=false
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:30 pm

What is interesting about this theory is that it is Irenaeus who first introduces Luke and Luke is argued to be the source for the Marcionite gospel by Irenaeus also. If we accept (as I would) that Irenaeus manufactured Luke or was 'Luke' are we that far off a inverted witness for Marcionite priority?
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:48 pm

David Flusser has chosen to presuppose R. L. Lindsey's theory of Lukan priority which is based on the fact that Luke is more easily translated into Hebrew. Can't find a reference for this whacked out theory. Witherington's summary
In his chapter on methodology and sources, Flusser stakes out his territory clearly. In his view “the most genuine sources concerning a charismatic personality are his utterances and the accounts of the faithful—read critically of course….An impartial reading of the Synoptic Gospels results in a picture not so much of a redeemer of mankind, but of a Jewish miracle worker and preacher.” (p. 2). He is convinced that the Synoptic Gospels do a better job of presenting us with the historical Jesus, whereas John presents us with a post-Easter Christological portrait. In other words, he does not see the Synoptic accounts as samples of early Christian kerygma, the preaching about Jesus. Flusser’s analysis of the Synoptic Gospels however did not lead him to embrace the theory of Markan priority, rather he wanted to suggest that “the Synoptic Gospels are based upon one or more non-extant early documents composed by Jesus’ disciples and the early church in Jerusalem.These texts were originally written in Hebrew. Subsequently they were translated into Greek and passed through various stages of redaction. It is the Greek translation of these early Hebrew sources that were employed by our three Evangelists….Luke preserves, in comparison with Mark (and Matthew when depending on Mark) the more primitive tradition” (pp. 3-4). Few scholars would follow Flusser in this conclusion of Lukan priority though certainly Q scholars tend to prefer the Lukan version of Q over the Matthean one, and recently there has been a detailed study by Maurice Casey showing the Aramaic Vorlage of a good deal of the Gospel of Mark (see his Aramaic Sources of Mark’s Gospel). But this is not all. Flusser also believed that Matthew, when independent of Mark, frequently preserves the earlier sources of the life of Jesus that lie behind Luke’s account. Mark is said to have reworked the material and unfavorably influenced Matthew. So much is this the view of Flusser that he concludes that Mark, presents us with a Jesus who is a supernatural, lonely holy man and wonder worker who is unique, and universally misunderstood even by his disciples. Flusser believes that the cry of dereliction from the cross which encapsulates this portrait is a Markan creation.

The net result of this view was to build a Lukan plus Matthean image of Jesus, whilst not agreeing that Mark presents us with the earliest glimpse of Jesus and the more primitive tradition. One more thing—Flusser did his own translations from what he believed was the Hebrew Vorlage behind the Greek of Jesus’ sayings in the Synoptics. But that assumes Jesus spoke Hebrew instead of Aramaic, which is surely wrong. It is not a surprise that many simply viewed Flusser as eclectic and even eccentric when it came to methodology.
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Peter Kirby » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:29 pm

Irenaeus also puts the death of Jesus in the reign of Claudius.[citation needed] And he puts the publication of the Gospel of Mark after the death of Peter.

They all sound like second century 'educated guesses'.

And while Irenaeus does imply that St. Matthew and St. Luke wrote very close together in time (while Peter and Paul where preaching in Rome and founding the church), the statement doesn't actually involve any statement regarding chronological priority. Nor is there an implied priority of Matthew. What is (strongly enough) implied is that Matthew was written when Paul had reached Rome and before he had died. What is obvious enough for Irenaeus is that Luke was written before Acts, which was written before Paul died.

If "x" >= 60 and "x" <= 65

and

If "y" <= 65

Which one is greater? Who knows?

If Irenaeus had a guess, he didn't seem to say, apart from these non-implications.
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:02 am

Peter Kirby wrote:Irenaeus also puts the death of Jesus in the reign of Claudius.[citation needed]
That would be from Demonstration 74:

And again David (says) thus concerning the sufferings of Christ: Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things? Kings rose up on the earth, and princes were gathered together, against the Lord and his Anointed. For Herod the king of the Jews and Pontius Pilate, the governor of Claudius Caesar, came together and condemned Him to be crucified.

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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by TedM » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:15 am

Peter Kirby wrote:And while Irenaeus does imply that St. Matthew and St. Luke wrote very close together in time (while Peter and Paul where preaching in Rome and founding the church)
I am not seeing any implication in what Irenaeus wrote that Gluke was written at any particular time, unless it is in the wider context of the passage. The phrase mentioned in the OP doesn't say anything or IMO imply anything about a written gospel other than what Matthew wrote.


The wider context:
“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.”
IMO The wider context then would imply the complete opposite of the OP: Luke was written after Matthew. If anything is implied in this chapter about what Irenaeus thought was the chronology it is this: First Matthew, then Mark, then Luke, the John.

Given Irenaeus' propensity, as Peter mentioned, to not be exact on chronology, this may be an exercise in futility, although one could argue that the closer proximity in time of the gospel writing as compared to the time Jesus' lived would increase the odds that Irenaeus' was more accurate on their chronology.

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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:45 am

I don't mean to lecture people at the forum about this but if there is one thing that drives me nuts here is that we have to stop worrying about whether things are 'true' or historical or 'untrue' or ahistorical. It all comes down to figuring out what Irenaeus believed. I think the author's reconstruction is quite surprising (I never saw an argument for Lukan priority in Adv Haer) but ultimately worth considering when trying to figure out his worldview and methodology.
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:49 am

Ted

But it is misleading to read order in Irenaeus as temporal order. In Book Three there are many examples of different orderings for the gospels. Also I think the point is Irenaeus is emphasizing Mark wrote after Matthew while Luke's activity is considered separate from that and John later than the apostolic period. There is no definitive time marker for Luke here (other than Luke being Paul's companion). There is a recognition that Paul's gospel (= Luke) was distinct in someway from Matthew's Hebrew composition. In other words, no ancient author believed the gospel was 'written' by humans. It was dictated by the spirit. Indeed there seems to have been two 'receptions' - Matthew and Luke - of the same 'gospel.' We have to fit the Matthean and Lukan compositions within the framework of Paul's statements in Galatians, 2 Corinthians, Romans etc. In other words, he and the Jerusalem community had 'gospels' written independently of one another, slightly different but nevertheless (according to the orthodox claims) ultimately compatible with one another. Paul could have been conceivably 'first' according to that scenario despite the order of Adv Haer 3.1.
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:10 am

And alternatively you have to ask - now that the author has brought it up - can Irenaeus (who was intimately familiar with the Pauline canon) really mean that Luke wrote the gospel according to Paul AFTER Mark who wrote after Peter and Paul died? Really? Can this really be what Irenaeus is saying? Let's look at the passage again:
After their (Peter and Paul's) departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.
This is where scholars and pseudo-scholars make a mental 'trick' on themselves shifting from 'what Irenaeus means' to 'what internal evidence from the gospels tell us' when interpreting this statement. So Peter and Paul die in the 60s, Mark writes the gospel after that (late 60's/early 70s) and now we are to believe Irenaeus is telling us that Luke wrote after Mark wrote after the death of Paul and Peter? Really? That (i.e. that Irenaeus meant to say this not Luke being written after Mark) seems a little far fetched to me. To me Irenaeus could just as well be making an open-ended statement that Luke wrote in apostolic times. That's it. In other words, Luke is separate from the Matthew and then Mark statement which precedes Irenaeus's statement about Luke.

Why is Matthew first? It has long been noted that Irenaeus's statement is an unattributed reference to Papias. This would imply that Irenaeus's audience was familiar with Papias's statement and thus shared his preference (or perhaps exclusive devotion) to the gospel written by Matthew. Throughout the canon we get the sense that Paul is being introduced (or perhaps re-introduced or repackaged) as someone unlike the Paul of heresy. There is a sense that Paul is not a heretic. Learn more about him through Luke who is the true witness to his true beliefs. This would all imply the audience were 'Jewish Christians' (Christians with Jewish leanings) of some sort.
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Re: "At face value, Irenaeus' chronology yields Lukan priori

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:19 am

Another interesting investigation would be - when does Paul reference 'his gospel' and do these references occur or are they placed within a temporal framework which preceded or came after Paul's (alleged) imprisonment? For instance I know the most important reference is in Romans. Was Romans (alleged according to orthodox corruption to have been) written before or after Paul's imprisonment? Might this be the way to crack the case so to speak?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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