Only Gospel of Luke talks about thief on the cross getting saved. (and about Jesus' birth, some big details don't overlap between Matthew and Luke)

Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 23:
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”​
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”​
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”​
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”​
(New International Version)​

Absolutely stunning that this is left out of the other three gospels, because this is about the absolute centrality of the Christian message.

And with that last verse, I’ve seen the punctuation parsed: Is Jesus saying this today, or will the man be in paradise today?

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And yes, I’m prepared to go with two other examples in which the Gospel of Luke certainly seems to be a turbo-charged version of The Gospel of Matthew. But dear reader, I’d also be interested in your examples.

(Bible as literature, probably not true)

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Previous title:
Only the Gospel of Luke talks about the thief on the cross getting saved (and two other examples in which Luke is a turbo-charged version of Matthew?)

Eventually, I wish to write very respectfully about the resurrection of Jesus.

As respectfully as regarding any other person who has given their life for what they believe in.

As respectfully as about Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to save the lives of his employees. And in fact, worked to get more employees toward the end of the war for the express purpose of saving their lives. And I personally think the world of both the real story and the Steven Spielberg movie (which was really pretty accurate for a Hollywood movie).

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Later edit:

All the same, I think there is a case to be made that the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection are both longer and bigger in Luke than they are in Matthew.

This is a long-term project and perhaps better for another thread.
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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“ . . If we look more deeply into the Word of God, however, we learn that there were not two other men crucified with Jesus, but four other men, two on each side of Jesus. . ”

“ . . During the Reformation many traditions that had been held for hundreds of years were recognized to be only tradition and not truth, . . ”

“ . . Matthew 27:38 (ESV) and Mark 15:27 (ESV) clearly state that there were ‘two robbers’ crucified, while Luke 23:32 (ESV) says there were ‘two criminals’ . . ”

“ . . much more likely that they are two different sets of men when we add the piece of evidence that Matthew says the robbers (lēstēs) reviled Christ but Luke says that only one of the criminals (kakourgos) did. . ”

“ . . Whoa! If John 19:18 is accurate in the ESV, then we must be wrong about there being four others crucified with Jesus, . . . . . The fact that almost every modern version of the Bible adds the word “one” to John 19:18 when it is not in any known Greek text is a testimony to the power of tradition. The tradition that there were only two men crucified with Christ leads translators to support that tradition even though the textual evidence is against it. Interestingly, Young’s Literal Translation is one of the few English translations that does not add the word ‘one,’ and without punctuation it reads: ‘where they crucified him and with him two others on this side and on that side and Jesus in the midst.’ . . ”


crucified_jesus.jpg


fivecross2.jpg

This writer presents a case that four additional people were crucified with Jesus.
 
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AgnosticBoy

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Absolutely stunning that this is left out of the other three gospels, because this is about the absolute centrality of the Christian message.

And with that last verse, I’ve seen the punctuation parsed: Is Jesus saying this today, or will the man be in paradise today?
This would be a good topic, by itself. I've read that the Greek New Testament manuscripts did not include any punctuation. Translators decide on the punctuation.

I agree with you that that this story is important to the Christian message because it deals with the requirements of salvation. The thief obviously did not go through baptism, no confession of sins, etc. Yet, it seems that he ends up saved.

As for your other question... Please elaborate on your view on the relationship between Matthew and Luke. If you offer your additional examples, that would help others see if your view is valid or not.
 

Multicolored Lemur

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Please elaborate on your view on the relationship between Matthew and Luke. If you offer your additional examples, that would help others see if your view is valid or not.
My view is a long way from being valid, or not. I’m just trying to clearly explain and display what I mean.

And please give me a day or two for each of my examples.
 

Multicolored Lemur

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From the gospel of Matthew regarding Jesus’ birth:

my summary:

Mary becomes pregnant through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18), Joseph is told of this by an angel in a dream and is therefore not afraid to continue with their plans of getting married (Matthew 1:20-21), the prophecy of a virgin conceiving and the son being called Immanuel (Matthew 1:23).

Jesus being born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1), in order to fulfill prophecy (Matthew 2:5-6).

The wise men, or Magi from the east, follow a star to find the new baby (Matthew 2:1-2 & 7-10), and they present baby Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11), the Magi are warned in a dream to avoid King Herod on their way home (Matthew 2:12), Joseph is warned by an angel in a dream to take Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt (Matthew 2:13), and this is also to fulfill a prophecy (Matthew 2:15).

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However hardly any of this is in Luke. So, in all honesty, this part DOES NOT SUPPORT MY THESIS — That important parts of Luke are turbo-charged versions of Matthew. I still think there are good examples of this thesis, but just not the birth of Jesus.

In Luke, the angel comes to Mary, not Joseph. And Jesus is born in Bethlehem. All the rest of the above aspects of Matthew are simply not there in Luke.
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 1:
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.​
6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.​
7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
(New International Version)​

And an angel later comes to Zechariah and tells him that he and Elizabeth will have a son (shades of Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament).

And it sounds like this child will be John the Baptist.
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 1:
26 . . . God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,​
27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.​
28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”​
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.​
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.​
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.​
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,​
33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”​
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

And we see that the same angel Gabriel also comes to Mary and tells her that she will give birth to a son, and that she is to call him Jesus. (But no mention of Immanuel is made in Luke, at least not in the first three chapters.)
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 1:
67 His father Zechariah [father of John the Baptist] was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,​
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.​
69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us​
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies​
and from the hand of all who hate us—​
.​
.​
76 And you, my child [John the Baptist], will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,

Of the three mentions of prophecy in Luke 1, two are forward looking. Only the middle one, Luke 1: 69-70, can be considered a backward looking prophecy.

In the second chapter, there is only one mention of prophecy and it's a forward looking prophecy, Luke 2: 36-38.

In Luke chapter 2, the part about the older man Simeon includes one example of backward and one example of forward looking prophecy (Luke 2: 25-35).

The older woman Anna includes current status as prophet and one example of (a rather vague) forward looking prophecy (Luke 2: 36-38).
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 2:
my summary (except for quotes):​
census in all of Rome (verses 1-3),​
Joseph, and Mary who is pledged to marry him, go to Bethlehem (verses 4-5),​
time comes for the baby to be born (verse 6),​
7 “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”​
an angel appears to shepherds (verses 8-9),​
10 “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

11 “‘Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 “‘This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

13 “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,​
14 “‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”​
the shepherds decide to go to Bethlehem to look for the baby, and indeed find him in a manger (verses 15-16),​
shepherds leave and spread word (verse 17),​
18 “and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.​
19 “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.​
20 “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”​
on the eighth day, the male baby is circumcised and named Jesus (verse 21)​
(NIV, or New International Version)​

I enlarged the part which I think people remember the most and which I think is almost always included in Christmas plays and pageants as a major part.
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 2:
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.​
26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,​
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:​
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,​
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.​
30 “For my eyes have seen your salvation,​
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:​
32 “a light for revelation to the Gentiles,​
and the glory of your people Israel.”​
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.​
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”


This is both backward looking and forward looking prophecy.

It’s backward looking at the part in which we are told that the Holy Spirit previously revealed to Simeon that he would live long enough to see the Messiah. And it’s forward looking at the part in which Simeon says to Mary, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, . . ”
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 2:
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,​
37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.​
38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Describing Anna as a prophet is current status. Generally, someone gets accepted as a prophet, for whatever reason, and then what they say about the future is taken seriously. And therefore, the situation is forward looking.

And when Anna spoke about the child for those who were (somewhat vaguely) looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem, this is also forward looking.
 
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Chapabel

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There are several examples of events omitted in the various gospels. The gospels are not biographies of Jesus Christ. Each gospel was written to a specific audience for a specific purpose. In order to get a more clear picture of Jesus Christ, all four gospels must be studied.

Imagine if you will two cars collide at an intersection. There is an eyewitness standing on each corner of the intersection. One eyewitness may have noticed which vehicle had the green light; one eyewitness may have observed one driver texting while driving; Another witness may have seen one vehicle trying to speed through the intersection; finally the other eyewitness sees a dog running thru the intersection. The officer who responds to the accident will take statements from all witnesses to get a complete picture of what happened. Just because not all witnesses see the driver texting doesn't mean he wasn't. Just because all witnesses did not see the dog in the intersection does not mean it didn't happen. Just because not all the gospel writers did not mention what you believe to be essential does not mean their accounts are inaccurate.
 

Multicolored Lemur

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There are several examples of events omitted in the various gospels. The gospels are not biographies of Jesus Christ. Each gospel was written to a specific audience for a specific purpose. In order to get a more clear picture of Jesus Christ, all four gospels must be studied.

Imagine if you will two cars collide at an intersection. There is an eyewitness standing on each corner . . .
Hi, I see you’re a new member, and welcome to the group! :) And I think you’ve done a fine job describing the complementary thesis.

Now, I’m an atheist, just to put that out there.

I was raised in an evangelical church, and had a crisis at age 15 about something a book said about being filled by the spirit.

About the gospels, in general I’m going to say urban legend is a big universe. And in the beginning of Luke, the author even says he (or she) is drawing from multiple sources.
 

Multicolored Lemur

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Luke 1:
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,​
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,​
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.​

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It sounds like the author of Luke pulled every written source available. I’m sure he or she wanted to think they were based on eyewitnesses.

Eyewitnesses can be mistaken. There’s a whole science of when eyewitnesses tend to be more dependable and when they tend to be less. For example, if the criminal is in the 6 mug shots presented to the victim, the victim is pretty good at identifying the criminal. But if the criminal is not there at all, the victim can fixate on one of the other people.

From a speech at a local university, in Texas where I live, a police officer is supposed to say to a crime victim before showing mug photos, “ . . the criminal may or may not be in this set of photos. We will continue working on this case and trying to solve this crime whether the person is here or not . . , ” or something to that effect. I don’t know how much this helps, maybe some.

And from what little I’ve read about the study of urban legends, they seem to sometimes develop one step sooner than you’d think they would.
 
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Chapabel

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Luke 1:
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,​
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,​
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.​

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It sounds like the author of Luke pulled every written source available. I’m sure he or she wanted to think they were based on eyewitnesses.

Eyewitnesses can be mistaken. There’s a whole science of when eyewitnesses tend to be more dependable and when they tend to be less. For example, if the criminal is in the 6 mug shots presented to the victim, the victim is pretty good at identifying the criminal. But if the criminal is not there at all, the victim can fixate on one of the other people.

From a speech at a local university, in Texas where I live, a police officer is supposed to say to a crime victim before showing mug photos, “ . . the criminal may or may not be in this set of photos. We will continue working on this case and trying to solve this crime whether the person is here or not . . , ” or something to that effect. I don’t know how much this helps, maybe some.

And from what little I’ve read about the study of urban legends, they seem to sometimes develop one step sooner than you’d think they would.
I don't believe Luke pulled from any written sources since there probably weren't any when he wrote his Gospel or his letter we know as the Book of Acts of the Apostles. Luke was a travelling companion of the Apostle Paul. He talked at length to those who had seen and touched the risen Savior. It also appears he had personally met with Mary, the mother of Jesus, due to the fact that only Luke mentions the account of Jesus being separated from Mary and Joseph on the return from Jerusalem when He was 12 years old. Eyewitnesses can indeed make mistakes, but you will not find multiple eyewitnesses making the same mistakes. For instance, if the victim and 15 different eyewitnesses named "Sam" as the guilty person, there's not much need for the victim to look at mugshots. All of the Gospel accounts compliment each other. There is no contradiction in their accounts. In fact, the Apostle Paul mentions 500 people who were eyewitnesses to the resurrection.

Here's a question I will put to you...There are multiple eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, but there is not a single witness to contradict the resurrection. Why not? Why isn't there a single shred of evidence to suggest Jesus did not rise? Surely, if the followers of Jesus were simply making up an outlandish story of Jesus being resurrected, someone would have discovered the falsehood and exposed His followers as fakes and frauds. Why didn't the religious leaders, who wanted Jesus killed, drag His dead, lifeless body out of the grave to prove He was still dead? It doesn't have to be the resurrection either. Give eyewitnesses that can refute the Gospel accounts of Jesus feeding the multitudes; or Jesus calling Lazarus from the dead; or any other miracle recorded. Give me someone who was there that can dispute the claims of the Gospels. I have the Biblical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to base my faith on. What do you base your nonbelief on?

BTW, thanks for the welcome!
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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In fact, the Apostle Paul mentions 500 people who were eyewitnesses to the resurrection.

This is an impressive number, but there’s no follow up.
1 Corinthians, chapter 15:


4 that he was buried,that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5 and that he appeared to Cephas [the apostle Peter], and then to the Twelve.

6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

8 and last of all he appeared to me also [meaning the writer Paul], as to one abnormally born.
There’s no city given. No name of a husband and wife. No name of two brothers. Or two sisters.

There’s nothing given that even the people at the time could follow up on.
 

Multicolored Lemur

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if the followers of Jesus were simply making up an outlandish story

There are other possibilities besides this.

For example, grief hallucinations are relatively common. It’s been most studied in senior citizens, but anyone can experience this.

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Dr. Richard Carrier presents a case that there’s about a two-thirds chance there was no historical Jesus at all, and only about a one-third chance that there was a historical Jesus.

And since Paul did the earliest writings, with I think Galatians and/or 1 Corinthians being about 50 AD, and the earliest gospel Mark being written slightly after 70 AD (when the main temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans),

and Paul knowing of Christianity second-hand through a (brief) career of persecuting Christians (and the fact that he only briefly persecuted Christians may have meant he felt the guilt more acutely and remembered it more),

and since Christianity shared elements with Greek mystery religions,

I think a reasonable case can be made, and Carrier might be on to something.
 
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Multicolored Lemur

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And regarding Jesus’ birth . . .

For Luke to leave out the memorable part from Matthew of wise men (no number given) from the East bringing expensive gifts seems pretty unlikely if they were drawing from the same source.
 
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Chapabel

Guest
This is an impressive number, but there’s no follow up.

There’s no city given. No name of a husband and wife. No name of two brothers. Or two sisters.

There’s nothing given that even the people at the time could follow up on.
I would invite you to provide any evidence from eyewitnesses, who were there at the time, that can refute the Bible. Offer someone who says Jesus did not feed the multitude. Name someone in the synagogue the day Jesus healed the man with the withered hand who claims He didn’t heal him. Please tell me of anyone who was present in Jerusalem or Galilee at the time of Jesus’ ministry who can refute the claims made in the Bible.

I have the testimony of the eyewitnesses found in the Bible to base my faith on. Upon what evidence do you support your nonbelief on?