Did Jesus Exit? – Part 13

I have taken a quick look at the L-source passages in Luke, and my conclusion is that the L source does represent Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person. So, Bart Ehrman is clearly the winner of the first round. But there are several more rounds to go before I will have enough facts and data to make a reasonable general conclusion about whether and to what extent the sources of the canonical gospels support the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH), and then after that we need to look at the non-canonical evidence that Ehrman points out.

Recall that Ehrman does not explicitly specify that Jesus was portrayed as a flesh-and-blood person in the gospels and their sources. However, I take it that being a flesh-and-blood person is part of what he (and others) means by saying that Jesus was an historical person or that Jesus existed.

So, Jesus being a flesh-and-blood person is a part of Ehrman’s thesis, and since Mark, Q, L, and (to some degree) M represent Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person, this aspect of Ehrman’s view is supported by the facts. What really will determine the success or failure of his Seven Gospels Argument (SGA), however, is whether these various sources agree on most or all of the basic aspects of the life and death of Jesus, as specified in MJH.

Here is my assessment of the L-source passages:

14 passages are NOT RELEVANT to the question of whether Jesus was represented as a physical person
9 passages provide SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT for the view that Jesus was represented as a physical person
3 passages provide WEAK SUPPORT for the view that Jesus was represented as a physical person

The following nine passages are the ones that I think provide significant support for the view that Jesus was represented in the L-source as a flesh-and-blood person:

Luke 7:11b-15 Jesus raises son of widow in Nain
Luke 7:36-47 A sinful woman forgiven
Luke 10:39-42 Mary and Martha dispute
Luke 13:10-17b Healing on the Sabbath
Luke 13:31b-32 Warning about Herod
Luke 14:2-5 Healing on the Sabbath
Luke 16:19-31 Parable of the rich man and Lazarus (“even if someone rises from the dead.”)
Luke 17:12-18 Ten Lepers healed
Luke 19:2-10 Zacchaeus repents

The following three passages are the ones I think provide some weak support for the view that Jesus was represented in the L-source as a flesh-and-blood person:

Luke 10:30-37a Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 13:1b-5 Repent or perish (discussing current events “He [Jesus] asked them…”)
Luke 14:8-10 & 14:12-14 Parable of choice of place at table (“He [Jesus] said also to the one who had invited him…”)

Ehrman wins the first round. Now on to round two.


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