John Kilgallen, «Jesus First Trial: Messiah and Son of God (Luke 22,66-71)», Vol. 80 (1999) 401-414
Luke, according to the Two-Source Theory, read Mark. At the first trial of Jesus, that before the Sanhedrin, Mark has together, "Messiah, Son of God". Luke has intentionally separated the two titles. The present essay finds the explanation for separating Son of God from Messiah in the Annunciation scene of the Gospel. It is Lukes intention that the reader understand Son of God in a way that admittedly the Sanhedrin did not. The laws of narratology indicate that Luke 1,35, a part of the Lucan introduction, be used by the reader to interpret Son of God at Luke 22,70.
Scholars are divided about the possible source(s) of Luke 22, 66-711; perhaps the best judgment in this matter of sources is that of J. Fitzmyer: "Ascription of vv. 66-71 to L [material proper to Luke] seems to be a better solution than a mere redaction of the Marcan parallel, though one cannot be apodictic about it"2. But, whatever one identifies as Lukes source(s) for this episode, if one follows the Modified Two-Source Hypothesis, one cannot but assume that Luke made a number of decisions about what he found in Mark regarding the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. In particular, Luke had to know that and how Mark presented the Sanhedrins concern about Jesus being Messiah, Son of God and he must have determinedly chosen not to duplicate the Sanhedrins phrasing in Mark; "Messiah, Son of God". Lukes separation of the two titles for Jesus is a deliberate choice, not the unintentional result from use of a source other than Mark; it was a choice taken for a specific reason, and it is to suggest and to discuss this reason that this essay is written.
If one looks at the structure of Luke 22, 66-71, one is first struck by the absence of certain factors that are found in other renditions of this trial, e.g., false witnesses and the charge that Jesus opposes the Temple (Mark 14,56-58) (and the claim of blasphemy [v. 64]). Luke has reduced the matter, from that point of view, to a focused concern only about the two titles, Messiah, then Son of God. The Sanhedrins purpose in pressing Jesus about these titles and nothing else comes clear in Lukes episode just after the trial: the core charge there against Jesus before Pilate is that Jesus says he is Messiah, a king (23,2). The centrality of this accusation in the second trial helps make clearer why Luke concentrated on this title in the first trial.