Critique of the Gospel History of the Synoptics
by Bruno Bauer
Order to cross to the other shore.
Luke (Ch. 8, 22) says nothing about why Jesus boarded the ship and undertook that voyage which brought him to the land of the Gadarenes after the miraculous calming of the storm. He simply says “One day, he got into a ship with his disciples and said to them, Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” Thus, he has given Schleiermacher an opportunity to not bother with trivialities, indeed with nothing, an opportunity which the apologetic critic has also used diligently. Jesus did not want to embark on a preaching tour *), otherwise he would not have been deterred by the rejecting requests of the people in the vicinity of Gadara from all further attempts on that shore. The intention attributed to him by Matthew – we add: as well as Mark *), to withdraw from the people, is not probable either: then he would not have landed again at the same place from where he had set out. The easiest way to understand the matter is to imagine that the disciples had actually gone out to fish and Jesus had accompanied them so as not to waste time for teaching. Only during the voyage did the idea come to him **), to greet the other side. Hence, his prompt return can also be explained.
*) About the Writings of Luke, p. 124.
*) Ibid., p. 1-5.
**) Ibid., p. 126.
However, the fact that he returns so soon from the other side is solely the result of the pleas of the Gadarenes, otherwise it seems he would have stayed longer on that shore. But what finally undermines this explanation and makes all this misplaced acuteness unnecessary is the fact that it is not the disciples who set out and the Lord accompanies them, but the decision to cross – mind you, to cross! – comes from the Lord from the outset, and the disciples follow him. Finally, Luke has only left this account without connection to the previous one and did not exempt the pragmatism of Mark, because he added the arrival of Jesus’ mother and brothers to the parable discourse and therefore had to continue the narrative that Jesus gave the command to cross while giving the parable discourse from a boat and was still in it.
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