Monday, June 11, 2007

Emmaus?

I recently read Jenny Read-Heimerdinger's "Where is Emmaus? Clues in the Text of Luke 24 in Codex Bazae" (Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts, ed. D. G. K. Taylor. Atlanta: SBL, 1999, pp. 229-244). Basically, Read-Heimerdinger suggests that in Luke 24.13, Bazae's reading of Oulammaous is to be preferred over Vaticanus' Emmaous. Oulammaous was the former name of Bethel (Gen28.19). Jacob was responsible for the name change. Genesis 28.10-20 tells of Jacob's marking of the spot where God dwelt on earth (thus the change to "Bethel"). Jacob dreams of a ladder, conneting heaven and earth, upon which angels descend and ascend.

I agree with Read-Heimerdinger's assessment. But I'd like to add something to her notion. I have suggested before that Luke is perhaps rewriting John's history in symbolic or parabolic form (cf. my post on
the rich man and Lazarus). (I am also working on the possibility of Luke's "Cleopas" [Lk24.18] being John's "Clopas" [Jn9.25]). If the preferred reading of Luke 24.13 is Bazae's Oulammaous in place of Vaticanus' Emmaous, and if Luke is perhaps rewriting John's history, I am compelled to believe that John 1.45-51 is rewritten in Luke 24. John 1.45-51 reads:

45: Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46: Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
47: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
48: Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
49: Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
50: Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these."
51: And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

Notice a two important parallels between John's text and Luke 24.13-35:

1. Both speak of Jesus' fulfillment of the "Moses and the prophets" (Jn1.45 // Lk24.27).

2. Both speak of visions of the angels (Jn1.51 // Lk24.23). Moreover, Luke's mention of Oulammaous (24.13) directly links his story to Jacob's dream (Gen28), in which angels were descending and ascending, representing God's provision for mediation between heaven and earth (cf. Jn1.51).


Copyright 2007

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