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The Synoptic Gospel Session at the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego

Here is the online program book for the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in San Diego on November 23-26, 2019. I am greatly looking forward to my session on the Synoptic Gospels and here is all the information if you would like to attend it:

1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Cobalt 501C (Fifth Level) – Hilton Bayfront

Theme: Neglected Solutions to the Synoptic Problem

Michael Whitenton, Baylor University, Presiding

Rebecca Runesson Sanfridson, University of Toronto
Accounting for Matthean Reception in the Farrer Hypothesis (30 min)
Tag(s): Gospels (Biblical Literature – New Testament), Gospels – Matthew (Biblical Literature – New Testament), Gospels – Luke (Biblical Literature – New Testament)

Alan Kirk, James Madison University
Orality, the Synoptic Tradition, and the Traditionshypothese: A Critical Examination (30 min)
Tag(s): Gospels (Biblical Literature – New Testament), Oral Traditions (History of Interpretation / Reception History / Reception Criticism), Orality Studies (Interpretive Approaches)

David B. Sloan, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
A Better Two-Document Hypothesis: Matthew’s and Luke’s Independent Use of Mark and the Gospel According to the Hebrews (30 min)
Tag(s): Gospels (Biblical Literature – New Testament), Gospels (Early Christian Literature – Apocrypha), Source Criticism (Interpretive Approaches)

George van Kooten, University of Cambridge
“Eyewitnesses of the Logos”: The Inclusion of John’s Gospel among the “polloi” of Luke’s Preface (30 min)
Tag(s): Gospels (Biblical Literature – New Testament)

Michael Kok, Vose Seminary
The Literary Relationship between Luke and John: Luke 7:36–50 and John 12:1–8 as a Test Case(30 min)
Tag(s): Gospels (Biblical Literature – New Testament), Source Criticism (Interpretive Approaches), Redaction Criticism (Interpretive Approaches)

This is the abstract that I submitted, when I initially saw that at least one session was on the relationship between John’s Gospel and the Synoptics. I would like to take the paper in a slightly different direction than I had in mind when submitting the abstract, so come attend the session if you would like to find out more.

We can isolate a range of sources behind the Lukan pericope of the sinful woman. First, Luke redacted the Markan pericope of the woman who anointed Jesus (Mark 14:3-9; cf. Matthew 26:6-13), relocating the scene to an earlier point in Jesus’s ministry, preserving the detail about the alabaster flask of ointment, and identifying the host Simon as a Pharisee rather than a leper. Second, Luke was probably familiar with a second pronouncement story about how Jesus refused to issue a judgment against a woman that had been brought before him by the religious elders. Papias of Hierapolis (cf. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 3.39.17) and the Disdascalia Apostolorum 7 attest to the most primitive form of this oral tradition. However, there is also a striking agreement between Luke 7:38 and John 12:3 concerning how the woman anointed Jesus’s feet. If this was John’s redactional change to the Markan source, a case could be made that Luke has included an element of Johannine redaction into his narrative and thus exhibits literary dependence on John’s Gospel. On the other hand, if John was relying on an oral variant to the Markan pericope, then Luke may have had contact with the same pre-Johannine tradition. In either scenario, Luke has edited the source by accounting for why the woman was wiping Jesus’s feet with her hair, namely because she had been crying and wanted to wipe the tears off Jesus’s feet.