In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says that those who acknowledge him before others he will acknowledge before his "Father in Heaven." Luke 12:8 has a similar saying, where Jesus says that if anyone acknowledges him, he will acknowledge them before the angels of God.

Matthew 10:32
Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

Luke 12:8
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.

Assuming Luke had access to the saying as found in Matthew, why does Luke's account record "angels of God" instead of "my Father in heaven"?

  • I've edited the question in an attempt to get at what I think you're asking. If this doesn't reflect what you really are interested in, feel free to revert. – Soldarnal Jul 24 '13 at 15:10
  • Your question is actually a good argument against the probably too simple notion of one common textual source molded into Matthew's, Luke's, and Mark's account. – hannes Jul 24 '13 at 18:08

First, it is a big assumption you have here. While higher criticism gives a general idea of the history of the Bible texts, it is not really able to support such assertions as to specific phrases like these.

Second, not necessarily one must assume they transcribed literally what Jesus said to accept both as truthful. The truth is in the meaning, not on the tildes and iotas.

Third, the difference is immaterial. Angels are, literally in Hebrew, the messengers of God; in some instances in the Old Testament, references to an angel seem to be quite clearly to the Son, pre‐incarnation. So, ‘before the messengers of God’ is effectively the same as ‘before God’.

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