John Kilgallen, «The Importance of the Redactor in Luke 18,9-14», Vol. 79 (1998) 69-75
Regarding the story of Luke 18, 9-14 there is disagreement among exegetes as to the reason why, in Jesus' view, the Pharisee did not return home justified. In what did the Pharisee fail? This essay suggests that the answer to this question is to be found in the introductory verse Luke gives to his reader; v. 9 makes clear how Luke read his inherited material (more likely than not including v. 14b) and wanted his reader to understand it. Whereas vv. 10-14 had to do with both Pharisee and Publican, v. 9 turns the reader's attention to the Pharisee and to the reason all his good deeds did not bring him justification.
Acts 24,15), Joseph (23,50) and Jesus himself (23,47; cf. also Acts 3,14; 7,52; 22,14); in Acts, Cornelius is described as "just" (10,22). Reverent and fearing God, Cornelius's "justice" is revealed in concrete acts of almsgiving and prayer (Acts 10,2; cf. also 10,22); Peter describes people like Cornelius as fearing God and doing justice (Acts 10,35). Presumably, the "justice" Luke presents so positively is, in most cases the justice that comes from obedience to the will of God, expressed so often in the Law of Moses 14. Indeed, one can point to this sense of "just" by looking at those who "pretend justice" (Luke 20,20); the reason these people can pretend justice is that they pretend a concern to obey law. Are those described by Luke in 18,9 as confident of their justice to be considered suspect in their self-evaluation? The question returns to the Pharisee, their representative: wherein lies his false estimate of himself? Is there something amiss in his statement that he is not grasping 15, unjust 16, adulterous, that he goes beyond even the Law in fasting and paying tithes? In other words, there is little in the first half of Luke's introduction to vv. 10-14 to indicate why certain people are wrong, and "will be brought low", for their claim to be what, after all, many others merited to be called: "just" 17.
Somewhat laboriously I have arrived at the second half of Luke's consciously crafted introductory verse. Here we read that the objects of Jesus' parable and judgements "despise 18 the rest 19". First, one recognizes immediately a concrete quality placed here in this introductory verse, in contrast to the preceding, very general quality "just". Second, one recognizes, in the use of "and", what is, for Luke's Gospel, an impossible, though obviously attempted, marriage: "justice" and "despising the rest".
By Chapter 18, Luke has spent much time in emphasizing for Theophilus the need for love of all people, a love which goes far beyond self-benefiting love (Luke 6,32-34). If Jesus orders love of enemy (6,35), one is expected also to love all those who fall short of being an enemy. In the context of the specific character of the parable, Jesus in real life seeks the good of toll collectors (cf. Luke 5,32), even though extensively criticized for this (7,29), and he finds himself closely approached by "all the toll collectors" (15,1).
On the other hand, the verb to mean "despise, disdain, contemn" and at times "reject with contempt" and "treat with contempt" 20, manifests a clear wickedness. No reader, made sympathetic to Jesus in Luke's Gospel, can approve of this quality, especially when, by the