Emmaus Road / Cleopas Posts

When did Peter first see the resurrected Jesus? 2007-09-16

  • The Emmaus road narrative features as a core part of an attempt to explain the mixed messages given the role of Peter in the post-resurrection narratives of the canonical gospels. It argues that Peter first met the resurrected Jesus, as per 1 Corinthians 15:5, some time after the writing of the gospels of Mark and Matthew but just prior to Luke’s gospel — or more likely as late as that redaction of Luke by the author of Acts and around the time of the Pastorals.

The origin and meaning of the Emmaus Road narrative in Luke 2007-11-17

  • The Emmaus Road narrative in Luke 24 raises many questions. Why is the hitherto unknown Cleopas one of those who appears to be the first to meet the resurrected Jesus? Who is his unnamed companion? Why does the narrative conclude with a statement that Jesus has appeared to Simon when no such appearance is described? Is this really a reference to Simon Peter or some other Simon? Do the two travellers tell the eleven apostles about the appearance to Simon or is it the eleven apostles who are telling the two travellers that Jesus has appeared to Simon?
  • The best explanation I can think of is based principally on the problems faced by an author wanting to introduce relatively late in the life of the church a brand new narrative involving a central character. This leads to an look at the logic of the narrative of the gospel and an attempt to understand its structure through the standards of popular story-telling of the day, as well as in the context of similar well-known Jewish stories. It also considers the possibilities that the text found in an alternative manuscript, the Codex Bezae, contains some elements of the original story.

The Emmaus narrative and the techniques of popular story-telling 2007-11-18

  • Below I have summarized the conclusions of the far more detailed discussion of the Emmaus road narrative. It offers an explanation for some of the problems with this narrative by seeing it in the context of the art of popular story telling. . . . . Those problems largely disappear when the ending is read as being constructed with the tools of ancient popular fiction.

Luke’s dialogue with John on the first resurrection appearance? 2007-11-19

  • An examination of a possible relationship between very similar post-resurrection narratives in the Gospels of John and Luke, each narrating a scene of two people, one named and the other unnamed, walking back to their homes after discovering the empty tomb.

More on Luke’s use of Genesis 2007-11-19

  • Jacob, after deceiving his father Isaac with a kiss, the kiss described with the same “drawing near” motion later used of Judas in Luke, soon afterwards, a day or two it seems, left the scene of the betrayal of his father and brother to go to his mother’s home in Haran. It was on the way and near the end of a day that God appeared to him in the dream as he slept on rock or stone that assumed significance in Jewish legend — at “Oulammaus”. All of these features of the Jacob story are echoed, as previously discussed, in the story of Jesus appearing and revealing his identity to the two on the road to Emmaus.

Resurrection: more responses to Bishop Wright’s study 2008-04-30

  • The Road to Emmaus story contains easily recognizable literary motifs associated with similar stories in Genesis and Judges . . . .

Resurrection: Response to Wright, 4 2008-05-07

  • Written sources for the Emmaus narrative in Luke
    I have already discussed Luke’s use of Genesis and Judges in his construction of the Emmaus Road encounter with the resurrected Jesus. See points 6 to 10 in the Emmaus post. What follows is adapted from Matson, pp. 410-421.

Luke’s Resurrection chapter: its ties to the Infancy stories, Acts and Marcion 2008-06-12

  • Places the Emmaus Road narrative as a possible part of an anti-Marcionite agenda.

Resurrection Appearances and Ancient Myths 2009-11-22

  • Compares the Emmaeus Road appearance of Jesus to disciples returning from Jerusalem after thinking their hopes had been dashed with an inscription on the shrine of Asclepius in Epidaurus

Another reason for the walk to Emmaus: looking for the wrong kind of deliverance 2011-06-12

  • I thought I had nailed the reason for Luke’s choice of Emmaus (Luke 24:23-35) as the destination of the two disciples after the crucifixion when I posted on The Origin and Meaning of the Emmaus Road Narrative in Luke. That explanation hinged on Codex Bezae containing the original word, Oulammaus, and that led to the link with the place where God appeared to Jacob when he was traveling away from his home.
  • But now there is another possible explanation for the choice of the placename that I have come across in Classics and the Bible by John Taylor.

The earliest gospels 6(c) – Luke’s Gospel (Couchoud) 2012-01-03

  • On the Emmaus Road Marcion had Jesus remind the travellers that Christ must suffer. Luke goes further and adds that Jesus began with Moses and taught them all that the Prophets said must happen to Christ.

Earl Doherty’s Response to Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Mythicism: Telling the Gospels Like It Is 2012-04-30

  • Brief allusion to significance of Emmaus Road narrative to claim that gospels derived from historical oral sources.

The Evolution of the Resurrection Appearances 2013-03-31

  • Where the Emmaus Road episode fits in with the developing series of resurrection narratives.

One more free ride on Richard Carrier’s blog: Did Jesus Exist? (A metapost) 2015-03-09

  • Includes a link to a site comparing Luke’s Emmaus narrative with wording in the Testimonium Flavianum in Josephus.

The Gospel of Luke in its Original Context; New Perspectives, part 3 2018-5-03

  • Shelly Matthews questions the view that Luke-Acts was finalized as an early stage of a specifically anti-Marcionite program. This post includes a discussion of the Emmaus Road episode in the context of a “more variegated early Christian pluralism” than a simple divide between “orthodoxy” and “heterodoxy”.

Abe Lincoln Sightings in the South and a Trickster Jesus 2018-09-15

  • Comparing the Emmaus Road tale with other tales told by oppressed communities about a hoped-for deliverer.

Enticed by a great quote & surprised by a unexpected “mythicist” 2018-10-01

  • A brief reference by a mythicist on the function of the Emmaus story where the crucifixion was believed to have taken place in the heavens.

The Unclear Origins and Etymology of Kleopas (Κλεόπας) 2018-12-02

  • A critical review of Richard Carrier’s discussion of the meaning of the name Cleopas.



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Neil Godfrey

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