Essay on Theology

Essay on Theology

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Luke 6:27-38
This passage sits in the context of Jesus' Sermon on the Plain which has striking parallels with Matthew's account, commonly called the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7). Both Luke and Matthew supplemented Mark with "Q" but used it differently to depict Jesus which is probably due to Luke's addition what is sometimes called "L" - Luke's distinct material that contains stories that exemplify positive moral behavior [Matera 64].{Where Q is a common source of oral and perhaps written tradition to which both Matthew and Luke had access. According to Streeter's Four-Document Hypothesis, Luke then combined Q and L to create Proto-Luke. This would have then been further refined with Marcan material to create what we have as Luke's Gospel account.} Where Matthew situates it at the outset of Jesus' ministry, Luke places it "well into Jesus' Galilean ministry. [Matera, 73]. Where Matthew frames the Sermon on the Mount as a sermon the Law and righteousness, Luke does not mention the Law, favoring a focus on enemy love and not judging each other [Matera, 73]. {Matera views Luke as addressing a situation in which Gentiles dominated the Christian community and as assuring them that their new faith is genuine [Matera, 64].} Additionally, Matthew's content is expanded and spiritualized (e.g. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" Mt. 5:3) which seems to indicate that Luke's material is closer to the original.[Lohfink, 35]{Based on the textual criticism principle that expansions are due to a scribe's perceived need to further explain the content. Additionally, Nolland points to the presence of more agricultural material in Matthew and believes that this type of content is more original and that Luke omitted it (Nolland, 292). This would proba...


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...nemies and to bless friends.[Nolland, 296] He also finds contrast with the Qumran community's ethic of loving the "sons of light" and hating "the sons of darkness."[Nolland, 296] Matera summarizes well, "The essence of the love that Jesus requires is a compassion that leads disciples to do good even to their enemies."[Matera, 76]
29-30 Nolland sees the switch from second plural to second singular as evidence that Luke has taken two separate sources and pieced them together to create this teaching.[Nolland, 296] This can be debated but may end up being inconsequential to the interpretation and meaning of the passage. For Luke the commands in these verses are practical examples of how to enact enemy love.[Nolland, 296] They put the Christian in a position of openness to the enemy/offender despite the potential for physical, social, or material injury.[Nolland, 296]

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