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The ox plods a long, slow journey Luke’s style and structure

Unlike Mark’s disorderly rushing about, Luke writes an ‘orderly account’ (1.4). His preface has a calm, literary self-confidence, and this continues into the main narrative. While Mark introduces everything ‘and immediately’, Luke prefers the more leisurely ‘and it came to pass’ (e.g. 3.21; 5.1, 12, 17; 9.18, 51), sometimes adding ‘in those days’ (2.1; 6.12). ‘And it came to pass’ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew wayehi, used by Matthew six times, Mark four times, John three times and the rest of the New Testament only twice. Luke, however, has it no less than fifty times in his gospel and a further fifteen times in Acts: in a steady plodding pace, the ox puts one foot in front of another, as things ‘come to pass’ and event follows event…

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