Understanding the Sources Used and Structure of Luke’s Gospel

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Understanding the Sources Used and Structure of Luke’s Gospel

The Gospel according to Luke is the first part of a two-volume work that continues the biblical history of God's dealings with humanity found in the Old Testament, showing how God's promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus and how the salvation promised to Israel and accomplished by Jesus has been extended to the Gentiles. In the prologue Luke states that his purpose of the two volumes is to provide Theophilus and others like him with certainty and assurance about earlier instruction they have received.

Among the sources which were used by Luke were at least two written documents, one of them the gospel of Mark in substantially
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Luke also used material unique to him ‘L’ and this accounts for half of his gospel. ‘L’ is where we find writings that are specific to Luke. Luke may also, of course, have kept a diary or have recorded material in notebooks, but there is no way of proving or disproving this. Nor is there any satisfactory means of determining from which of many possible informants he derived any particular incident or parable.

The question of Luke’s sources is complicated by Streeter’s theory that Luke had composed a gospel before he came into possession of a copy of Mark. As I have said above; we know that Mark was one of Lukes sources as half of Marks Gospel can be found in Lukes. This theory is based on the fact that in large sections of Luke, Mark is not employed as a source, and that it is possible to reconstruct from Luke, omitting all his borrowings from Mark, a gospel-like document of considerable extent. As Luke doesn’t interweave Mark but instead sets down Mark in chunks. Because of the way Luke used Mark; Streeter believes that Mark was not one of Luke’s original sources but extra material with which Luke added to his original copy and that our present gospel is a revised and enlarged edition of his earlier work. This theory that Luke had already written the first draft of his Gospel before Mark came into his possession is known as Proto

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