012 Commentary

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This page forms part of the resources for 012 Knowing the Danger in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

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John Dominic Crossan

Crossan discusses this complex in his 1983 study, In Fragments: The Aphorisms of Jesus (San Francisco, Harper & Row), pages 61-64. In Historical Jesus (page 250f) Crossan notes that the expression "Son of Man" occurs only in the Q version, while the Pauline usage (1 Thess 5:2 and the echo of Paul in 2 Peter 3:10) has "the Lord" as the one who comes like a thief and the remaining occurrences (RevJn 3:3 and 16:5) have Jesus speaking in the first person.

Jesus Seminar

The Seminar used "Homeowner and burglar" as the name for this cluster.

  • 1 Thess 5:2,4b
  • 2 Peter 3:10
  • Thom 21:5-7
  • Thom 103
  • Luke 12:39
  • Matt 24:43
  • Rev 16:15a

Gerd Lüdemann

Lüdemann (Jesus, 349) suggests that the saying in Luke 12:39 "is probably authentic." He notes that the thief who comes by night, and thus succeeds in his mission, is an example of the immoral hero -- a feature "which is always an indication of authenticity."