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 together, the gospel alternates between five large blocks from Mark and the smoothly flowing Q and L sections. “Mark is a quarry from which stone is obtained to enlarge an existing building.” – Taylor. How Q and L are combined together suggests they were used in harmony with each another, which agrees with the Proto-Luke theory. It seems that Luke used Q to carefully select sayings of Jesus which would expand his own research. However, material sourced from Mark is dropped in without mixing with Q and L information. The scholar Taylor argues that when we exclude the Marcan content, the Q and L material flows in a understandable way, a so-called ‘relative continuality’. Therefore, the suggestion that a Proto-Luke version of the gospel existed prior to the introduction of Mark is a perfectly acceptable argument. Stanton applied this to the passion narrative by removing the Marcan verses and found that from Luke 22:14 and 23:53, (163 verses), only twenty were totally dependant on Mark. “If they are removed we still seem to have a coherent non-Marcan passion narrative.” – Stanton. The beginning and ending of Luke’s Gospel contain no material drawn from Mark. If Luke already had a gospel before he came across the Marcan material, then...
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