1 Section of Biblical Exegesis, Sections on Theology - Technical area, Faculty of Theology, Københavns Universitet2 Section of Biblical Exegesis, Sections on Theology - Technical area, Faculty of Theology, Københavns Universitet
On the question of referentiality
In 1993, in a discussion of fictionality and loyalty to tradition in the Gospel of Matthew, Ulrich Luz pointed out that the writer of Matthew had made substantial changes in the Jesus traditions as taken over from the Gospel of Mark and that in some cases he had even created traditions of his own. The author of Matthew thus consciously engaged in the fabrication of fiction. Nevertheless, according to Luz, throughout his narrative, he clearly expects his readers to accept the referentiality of what is related. This lack of awareness of the differences between fact and fiction places him outside the boundaries of ancient history writing. For parallels to this phenomenon, Luz points to the story of Moses in Deuteronomy and that of the patriarchs in Jubilees. These books, however, are examples of the “rewritten Bible.” This raises the question of whether, with regard to the question of referentiality, the New Testament gospels should be understood on the same presuppositions as the books normally categorized as “rewritten Bible,” and as different steps in a reception history through which the various traditions about Jesus were continually being rewritten and supplemented in accordance with changing theologies and churchly demands.
Studia Theologica, 2014, Vol 68, Issue 1, p. 21-40