Who Questioned Jesus?

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One should not exaggerate the opposition against Jesus in Jerusalem during the fateful Passover that witnessed his crucifixion.

Revised: 20-Oct-2013

The question of complicity in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus has been discussed since the early days of the church, and the misapplication of guilt has done much to generate Christian anti-Semitism. In the last twenty years, however, Jewish and Christian scholars have attempted to clarify the historical setting of these events and to correct traditional misunderstandings.

Lukan Solutions

The synoptic tradition contains a number of historical and literary problems. In many instances the solution to these problems lies in adopting the theory of Lukan priority, that is, the assumption that the first gospel to be written was Luke’s, which influenced Mark and, through Mark, even Matthew to varying degrees. This is the approach advocated by members of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.

The relationship between the three Synoptic Gospels (pre-synoptic sources excluded) according to Robert Lindsey. David Flusser accepted Lindsey’s solution to the Synoptic Problem as a working hypothesis.

The significance of Lukan priority does not concern just the meaning of individual pericopae, but affects our understanding of the entire synoptic relationship. A number of Lukan solutions have been acknowledged within established New Testament scholarship; however, few scholars have realized the full significance of the priority of Luke’s gospel and its importance for establishing the historicity of the events described.

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This article originally appeared in issue 25 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • R. Steven Notley

    R. Steven Notley

    R. Steven Notley is professor of Biblical Studies at the New York City campus of Nyack College. A member and past director of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, Notley earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Religions at the Hebrew University (1993). He studied in Jerusalem…
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