R. Gnuse, «The Temple Theophanies of Jaddus, Hyrcanus, and Zechariah», Vol. 79 (1998) 457-472
A close reading of three accounts concerning theophanies experienced in the Temple (Ant 11,326-328, Ant 13,282-283, and Luke 1,5-23) implies that all three narratives share a common narrative format. Though it does not necessarily indicate that Luke used Josephus writings, this similarity suggests that both authors may have drawn upon a common format. Use of this format and specific variations added to it by Luke reflect significant theological themes imparted to the narrative by Luke, especially in regard to the identities of John the Baptist and Jesus.
in Judg 13,2-23 at the promise of a son, for both couples were likewise barren. Also, we are reminded of Jeremiahs reservation that he was too young to be a prophet (Jer 1,6). Age is not a problem for God. Divine reassurance comes in Luke 1,19-20 when the angel dramatically says, "I am Gabriel", a phrase parallel to the response of Yahweh in the call narrative of Moses (Exod 3,14). The angel additionally speaks of standing in attendance before God, which is similar to what classical prophets claimed concerning their presence in the divine council. A sign is given in Luke 1,20. The angel tells Zechariah that he will be mute until the child is born. This dramatic sign is ironically comparable to prophetic call narrative experiences in the Old Testament wherein the sign is often connected to the mouth or speaking ability of the prophet. Isaiah has his tongue touched by a hot coal, Jeremiahs mouth is touched by God, Ezekiel eats a scroll, and in an indirect sense Moses claim to stutter and Aarons presentation by God as interlocutor also belongs on this list. Thus, the Lukan narrative bears some strong resemblances to prophetic call narratives. In his work Benjamin Hubbard delineates the Lukan text with a more detailed format: Introduction Zechariahs service, vv. 5-10; Confrontation angel appears, v. 11; Reaction Zechariah is afraid, v. 12; Reaction angel says not to fear, v. 13; Commission Zechariah receives message, vv. 13-17; Protest Zechariah disbelieves, v. 18; Reassurance Zechariahs sign of dumbness, and Conclusion Zechariah leaves and Elizabeth becomes pregnant, vv. 21-25 9. His format concurs very closely with the one advocated here.
Commentators also have noted the significant connection between the theophany to Zechariah concerning Johns birth and the theophany to Mary concerning Jesus birth (Luke 1,26-38). In both, the angel Gabriel appeared to a human being (Luke 1,11.26-27), the human was frightened or at least perplexed (Luke 1,12.29), and Gabriel said, "Do not be afraid" (Luke 1,13.30). In both Gabriel assured the human of divine favor (Luke 1,13.30), told of an impending pregnancy (Luke 1,13.31), named the future child (Luke 1,13.31), and spoke of his future greatness which would result from the power of God (Luke 1,15-17.32-33). In both the human recipient then questioned whether a baby could be conceived under the current circumstances (Luke 1,18.34), to which Gabriel said that God would