Loisy on Lk/Acts

Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 13:54:02 -0500
From: y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
Cc: crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com
Subject: Re: Order of Acts/Luke

Loisy believes that the mentions of Spirit are generally markers of later
additions, both in Lk and in Acts (ORIGINS, pp. 167,171).

"We are on safe ground in thinking (with Turmel, HISTOIRES DES
DOGMES, ii, 160-162) that everything in this passage which 
concerns the Spirit is an afterthought inserted into the 
context." (p. 171) 


The miracles in Acts are very important. They indicate that, for Luke, the
image of a "man of God", a _theios aner_, is very important. This is how
both Peter and Paul emerge in Acts. This is not the image of Paul that we
find in the Epistles. Writings attributed to Luke are basically in a form
of a Hellenistic romance: the message of Jesus is going from one victory
to another to conquer the world. Luke is very optimistic and upbeat.


Much has been written about possible use of prior sources in Acts. The "we
source" is one possible source. But not all passages containing "we" are a
part of that early source -- an added complication. The question is far
from having been settled. The question of a possible "Antiochene" source
has also been much discussed.


The main starting point for Loisy's analysis of Luke writings is the
opening of the Acts (ORIGINS, p. 167). He shows rather conclusively that

"I composed the first book, O Theophilus, on all that Jesus, from the
beginning, did and taught, until the day when he was taken away..." (Acts

is the original summary of Lk, the first volume of the writings. Starting
with 2b begins an interpolation, replacing here the original summary of
the second volume as was written by the "writer to Theophilus" that is
lost to us. 

The focus in the original summary is upon "did and taught". Virgin birth
is not there. Resurrection stories are not there.

The later interpolations, according to Loisy, are very much in the spirit
of Hebrews 2:3-4 (p. 166), and presumably can be dated accordingly.

Also, Loisy points to similarities between the opening of Acts and the
Apocalypse of Peter.

"The truth of the matter is that he [the editor] boldly introduces, at the
very beginning of Acts, certain data taken from the eschatological
catechesis and closely connected with the Apocaplypse of Peter, the forty
days terminating with the ascentsion of the Christ into heaven, localized
on the Mount of Olives, as in that apocryphal book." (p. 170) 

If you recall what I said in my post yesterday about Peter's baptism of
Cornelius, "Luke's" intention in that story seemed to be to put Peter
above Paul as the first apostle to the Gentiles.

All this points to the Petrine faction in the Church writing (or
substantially editing) the Acts in order to correct the "mistakes of
Paul", and to rewrite the history of the Pauline ministry. 

But the main editorial intention of Acts seems to be to present the image
of the Church totally unified. The conflicts between Pauline and Petrine
factions, of which we have many indications, including in the apocryphal
gospels, are smoothed over. The image is also of the Chuch Universal where
the Jews and the Gentiles live happily ever after, and always did. This
was of course a fiction. 



Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- http://www.io.org/~yuku

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he 
read made him mad -=O=- George Bernard Shaw

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