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.
accomplish this act (Luke 1,19.35), and a sign was given (Zechariahs dumbness Luke 1,20, and Elizabeths pregnancy Luke 1,36). Many commentators assume that the theophany to Zechariah is the original narrative, taken from a John the Baptist source, and that Luke used it as a model to mold the theophany to Mary. Only a few scholars suggest that the John the Baptist annunciation was generated from the Jesus annunciation 10.
The announcement of Johns birth to Zechariah also seems to borrow motifs from the Old Testament in other ways, which we summarize here. As noted above, the motif of barrenness is taken from Old Testament accounts concerning Sarah and Abraham, Hannah and Elkanah, and Manoah and his wife. Perhaps one could include Isaac and Rebekah and also Jacob and Rachel, for the theme of barrenness appears to be implied for them. Zechariah and Elizabeth are old, just as Abraham and Sarah were. John the Baptist is characterized as a Nazirite, drinking no wine or strong drink, which reminds us of Samuel who also was a Nazirite and Samson whose hair was not to be cut (also part of Nazirite vows). Both Samuel and Samson, of course, were born to previously barren couples. The introduction to the birth narratives of Samuel and John the Baptist share common language. 1 Samuel 1,1 reads, "There was a certain man" . . . "whose name was Elkanah" . . . "He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah", and Luke 1,5 states, "There was a priest named Zechariah" . . . "his wife" . . . "her name was Elizabeth". Parents of both Samuel and John the Baptist learned of the impending birth from a revelation at a shrine. When the angel says to Zechariah, "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John" (Luke 1,13), this reminds us of the message to Abraham in Gen 17,19, "Your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac". Finally, the appearance of Gabriel links this revelatory experience to the visions of Daniel in the apocalyptic visions of the latter part of the book of Daniel. In Dan 9,21 Gabriel appears to Daniel during his prayer at the time of sacrifice, which is comparable to the "hour of incense" at which time Zechariah is in the temple. In both narratives Gabriels announcement is eschatological, for he speaks of those things concerned with the coming of the end of time or the messianic age 11. When all of these