The Rejection of Pascal's Wager
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Other Sources of Matthew and Luke

The gospel of Matthew consist of slightly more than 1000 verses, we have accounted for the source of about 800 of these (600 from Mark and 200 from Q), the remaining 200 verses are materials peculiar to Matthew. These include some sayings of Jesus (in chapters 5-7 [not found in Luke] and the final parable in chapter 25) and some narratives (the events surrounding the birth and resurrection of Jesus in Matthew chapters 1 to 3 and 28). It is here we see Matthew's literary style takes free reign. This strongly suggests that either Matthew used oral sources for these or composed it himself. [1]

The gospel of Luke has about 1100 verses of which more than 500 verses, or about half the gospel, cannot be traced to either Mark or Q. As in Matthew, it is in this extra verses that we find Luke's unencumbered style. The distinctive Lukan words and phrases occur more frequently in these 500 plus verses than anywhere else in his gospel. This again strongly suggest Luke's sources to be either from the oral community tradition or his own creation. [2]

That some of Luke's sources are from oral tradition we can have some certainty. Luke shares many similarities with John which are not parallel in the other two gospels. These similarities do not have the close verbal correspondence that we see in the synoptics but the general outline of the stories are normally analogous. (The table below gives a list of these similarities.)

Documentary interdependence, i.e. that Luke copied John or vice versa is unlikely given the non-existent level of verbal correspondence mentioned earlier. As further proof of this documentary independence, analogous events are placed in different contexts by Luke and John. For instance, the miraculous catch of fish was placed by Luke in Galilee early in the ministry of Jesus. John, however, placed this miracle after the resurrection. Another example is the story of the anointing of Jesus by a woman. The words used are very similar but Luke said that the anointing was done by a prostitute in the house of a Pharisee while John said it was done by Mary, a close friend of Jesus, in her own house. Obviously the stories reached the evangelists either detached from its original setting or distorted by the oral transmission. All this similarities point to an allied source of oral transmission for Luke and John. [3]

1. There was a second Judas among the twelve.
2. The betrayal was Satan's entry into Judas Iscariot.
3. The slave lost his right ear in Gethsemane.
4. Pilate threee times declared Jesus' innocence.
5. The tomb that Jesus was laid in had never been used.
6. Two angels appeared on the morning of the resurrection.
7. Jesus first resurrection appearance was in Jerusalem.
8. The miraculous catch of fish.
9. Jesus anointed by a woman.
10. Jesus' friendship with Mary and Martha.
11. The story of Lazarus.
12. Other disciples apart from the women who saw the tomb.

Similarities between John and Luke[4]

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1.Guignebert, Jesus: p14
Martin, New Testament Foundations I: p152
Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence: p38
2.Caird, Saint Luke: p19
Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence: p38
3.Caird, Saint Luke: p20
4.Ibid: p20

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