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.
conscious effort of the redactor, it extends to "the rest" 21. The appeal of the Good Samaritan story rests foremost on the realization that no one among "the rest" can be in any way despised. The only logical conclusion to that story regarding historic enemies is the advice of Jesus, in the wake of the enemy's actions: "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10,37).
From all this, the point to be made seems to be the following. Luke inherited a parable and at least one expression, if not two, of Jesus' judgment 22 about the two central figures of the parable. For his own teaching ends, Luke constructed an introductory statement which would tilt the parable towards interest in one of these two figures, the Pharisee. While it is unclear from the parable just whom the Pharisee might represent, it is very clear from Luke's introduction that the Pharisee stands for those 23 who have confidence in themselves that (because) they are just and (while) 24 they despise the rest. From Luke's introduction, in which he plays off "just" and "contempt", it is clear that Luke means here to claim an incompatibility, thus an impossibility that justice can sit in the same room (or soul) with contempt for the rest. Too much of the Lucan Gospel speaks to this incompatibility.
This introductory verse gives excellent clarity to what I have suggested is unclear about the parable and the judgments which follow. Whatever the balanced presentation of the Pharisee and the toll collector might suggest to the hearer of the parable, and whatever reason Jesus' words might suggest as the reason the Pharisee remains unjust and the toll collector becomes just, and whatever the sense the parable gives to the proverb of v. 14b, it is now clear that the Pharisee fails 25 to gain Jesus' favorable judgment because of his words "I thank you that ... I am not like this toll collector" (v. 11) 26. That statement, though one can argue that it reminds one of the holiness of the Psalmist, is not to read in any other way that as a statement of contempt. It is Luke who defines it that way.
In its own way, Luke's redactional verse also determines the meaning of the judgment Luke inherited from Jesus. Luke so reads the story that he knows Jesus' authoritative judgment to be founded, not on the good deeds of the Pharisee, but on what Luke presumes to be Jesus' complaint against the