Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

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stealthbishop
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Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Oct 10, 2022 12:24 pm

This popped up for me when we were talking about how the LDS church approaches repentance which I imagine most of us agree is seriously flawed and problematic. I thought about the atonement and how we generally view it as Jesus paying the price for our sins with his death.

From what I understand from Bart Ehrman, is that the gospel of Mark and some aspects of Paul's theology in some of his undisputed epistles have a view of the atonement of Jesus as substitutionary. Basically, he did for us what we could not do for ourselves which was to pay the price for our sins through his death. However, if the Gospel of Luke is read separately and distinctly from Mark (or any other gospel), it does not have this view at all. Instead the GoL downplays the concept of atonement and sees Jesus as the Messiah who was innocent and suffered and died like other Hebrew prophets had and therefore this should be a sort of a final wake up call for us to examine our lives and repent and draw closer to God.

Obviously there were different Christian traditions of what the death of Jesus meant but this substitutionary perspective and all its variants seems to be really problematic for me. I think it may be barrier to learning and growing maybe? It's interesting that JS as he developed his King Follet/Nauvoo theology seemed to be moving more towards that this life is about progression and learning.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by stealthbishop on Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dogbite
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by dogbite » Mon Oct 10, 2022 1:12 pm

What I take from your points is that Luke really wasn't written by a friend and direct traveler with/follower of Paul as is generally asserted in traditional Christendom

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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by dogbite » Mon Oct 10, 2022 1:22 pm

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/763073 ... he-ability is the source of this quote. I've read the book and I like it. It is perhaps a fringe view that sees the gospels as parallel to the the Jewish liturgical calendar. I think it gives a more early Christo-Jewish view of what the stories of Jesus may have meant to his earliest adherents than what we get from later Christianity.
“Atonement theology is not the pathway to life. The ability to give ourselves away to others in love is. It is not the winners who achieve life’s meaning; it is the givers. That is the basis upon which a new Christianity can be built for a new world. Atonement theology was born in Gentile ignorance of Jewish worship traditions. It was fed over the centuries by literalizing biblical narratives in ways that Jewish worshippers, who knew about storytelling, would never have understood. I say it again: Biblical literalism is nothing less than a Gentile heresy. Its results are now revealed in the fact that Christianity has been transformed into a religion of victimization. For centuries we have practiced our faith by building up ourselves as winners, survivors, the holders of ultimate truth, while we have denigrated the humanity of others. That is the source of evil. That is why Christianity has given birth to anti-Semitism. That is why the crusades were initiated to kill “infidels.” That is why we gave our blessing to such things as the divine right of kings, slavery, segregation, and apartheid. That is why we defined women as sub-human, childlike, and dependent. That is why we became homophobic. That is why we became child abusers and ideological killers. What human life needs is not a theology of human denigration. That is what atonement theology gives us. What we need is a theology of human fulfillment.”

― John Shelby Spong, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel

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stealthbishop
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:24 pm

dogbite wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2022 1:22 pm
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/763073 ... he-ability is the source of this quote. I've read the book and I like it. It is perhaps a fringe view that sees the gospels as parallel to the the Jewish liturgical calendar. I think it gives a more early Christo-Jewish view of what the stories of Jesus may have meant to his earliest adherents than what we get from later Christianity.
“Atonement theology is not the pathway to life. The ability to give ourselves away to others in love is. It is not the winners who achieve life’s meaning; it is the givers. That is the basis upon which a new Christianity can be built for a new world. Atonement theology was born in Gentile ignorance of Jewish worship traditions. It was fed over the centuries by literalizing biblical narratives in ways that Jewish worshippers, who knew about storytelling, would never have understood. I say it again: Biblical literalism is nothing less than a Gentile heresy. Its results are now revealed in the fact that Christianity has been transformed into a religion of victimization. For centuries we have practiced our faith by building up ourselves as winners, survivors, the holders of ultimate truth, while we have denigrated the humanity of others. That is the source of evil. That is why Christianity has given birth to anti-Semitism. That is why the crusades were initiated to kill “infidels.” That is why we gave our blessing to such things as the divine right of kings, slavery, segregation, and apartheid. That is why we defined women as sub-human, childlike, and dependent. That is why we became homophobic. That is why we became child abusers and ideological killers. What human life needs is not a theology of human denigration. That is what atonement theology gives us. What we need is a theology of human fulfillment.”

― John Shelby Spong, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel
This is really fascinating. I might need to read this book. Matthew's gospel retains the most Judaism of the four. I read one scholarly book that drills down on the sermon on the mount being part of the Matthew Q community which was likely in Judea or Galilee and probably connected to the earliest followers of Jesus.

I wonder if the author shares distinctions with Rabinical Judaism and Apocalyptic Judaism. Christianity developed from Apocalyptic Judaism of course. Really interesting food for thought though.
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stealthbishop
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:25 pm

dogbite wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2022 1:12 pm
What I take from your points is that Luke really wasn't written by a friend and direct traveler with/follower of Paul as is generally asserted in traditional Christendom
I think there are few scholars of reputation that believe that. The critical analysis just doesn't seem to support that. I don't believe it anymore.
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by moksha » Mon Oct 10, 2022 11:29 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:24 pm
"What we need is a theology of human fulfillment.”

― John Shelby Spong, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel
Sounds good to me.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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deacon blues
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by deacon blues » Tue Oct 11, 2022 11:06 am

This is really interesting, and makes some sense. I believe Christian thought was probably splintered almost as soon as emerged. The letters of Paul and others indicate that. I feel Dr. Spong goes overboard on blaming Atonement theology for problems that were created by various issues.
It would be neat if someone found an ancient manuscript that would clear all this up. Such a person would likely become rich and famous. ;)
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alas
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by alas » Tue Oct 11, 2022 11:15 am

moksha wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2022 11:29 pm
stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:24 pm
"What we need is a theology of human fulfillment.”

― John Shelby Spong, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel
Sounds good to me.
My view of the atonement is more of a theology of human fulfillment than it is typical Mormon theology or any of the “theories of the atonement” that I have read theorized by scholars. But it does not require Christ to die or even suffer, just to love us. I don’t even think he needed to suffer in order to understand us, because look closely at the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Why did he call her out and make her explain? Because he already knew she needed her relationship with her community healed after the years of being unclean. He already understood all her suffering before he suffered in the garden. The atonement is about healing sin and the result of sin, not about paying God to make up for his displeasure about our behavior. See, most people sin out of their own pain at having been sinned against. All Donald Trump’s abominable behavior? blame it on his father who loved him conditionally on his making money. So, the atonement is all about healing sin. Only Christ is not here personally to do it, so he needs us Humans to help by loving each other as he has loved us. So, you really could call it humanist theology because when it comes down to it, does it really even need Jesus?

But being one to believe in two kinds of spirituality, one the good feeling kind and the other “involving ghosts” as people here put it in another thread, I still like to claim the Jesus story, just not his dying, his suffering, his resurrection, or his second coming, or even his virgin birth. Not sure what is left of the Jesus story sometimes, but I hang onto it.

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moksha
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by moksha » Tue Oct 11, 2022 12:19 pm

alas wrote:
Tue Oct 11, 2022 11:15 am
when it comes down to it, does it really even need Jesus?
I would like Jesus to tell us to "go out there and give positive affirmations, also to turn off the TV, and help others (especially the old and needy) with their burdens." He could add, "That is the way to get heavenly brownie points." "Now quit buying jets for TV preachers and standing up when old religious dudes enter the room."
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Hagoth
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Re: Gospel of Mark vs. Gospel of Luke

Post by Hagoth » Tue Oct 11, 2022 2:29 pm

alas wrote:
Tue Oct 11, 2022 11:15 am
But it does not require Christ to die or even suffer, just to love us.
Just by being one of us he should have been able to understand our suffering and to love us. If he was anything more than one of us, he would understand our suffering even better and love us even more without the necessity of being whipped and nailed to things.
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