Discuss Proto-Luke Theory Essay example

1044 Words Mar 7th, 2013 5 Pages
Discuss the Proto-Luke theory.
Whilst other scholars had previously thought of Mark’s Gospel as the foundation for Luke, B.H. Streeter refutes these views and suggests the opposite. He named this theory ‘Proto-Luke’, which suggests that while putting together his gospel, Luke wrote an early draft which was primarily made up of Q and L sources, before he became acquainted with Mark. This Marcan material was used as a secondary source, which was later slotted into an existing composition, which makes up the present gospel. The previous draft, which excluded any Marcan content, was dubbed Proto-Luke.
Arguments supporting Streeter’s hypothesis include the very structure of Luke’s Gospel. Rather than interweaving the Q, L and Marcon sources
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However, Stanton notes that Proto-Luke may have begun at 3:1, due to the formal introduction: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar…”
The fact that Luke omits so much of Mark, which accounts for a third of Luke, may suggest that he is giving priority to his original Proto-Luke limitations. Stanton talks of Luke’s disloyalty to his Marcan source: “At many points, [only two of which can be mentioned here,] Luke’s gospel seems to betray its Marcan basis”. If Mark was Luke’s framework for his gospel, how can we explain the omission of this much Marcan material? Another point to consider is the restrictions of writing on a papyrus scroll, the length of this would limit the degree to which Luke could supplement Proto-Luke with Marcan information.
On the other hand, many arguments discredit the Proto-Luke hypothesis. As of yet, scholars cannot agree on the verses that came from Mark and the verses which belong to Q and L, but the scholar Tuckett has claimed to have identified phrases from Mark in amongst blocks of Q and L. If he is correct in these claims then the Proto-Luke theory is doubtful.
Having said that it may have been possible for Q and L to have existed in a coherent order without any Marcan material, there are still holes in the narrative flow that Q and L create. This point can lend itself to arguments against Proto-Luke, leading some scholars to call it “an amorphous collection”. If it doesn’t read

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