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It Was Luke

In response to:

Le Diable au Coeur from the September 21, 1995 issue

To the Editors:

Norman Cohn’s review of my book, The Origin of Satan [NYR, September 21], contains many insights that I appreciate, as I have appreciated his books for many years.

As his review shows, our interests differ, but I am not writing to discuss these differences, obvious to a reader who compares our two respective recent books.

I am writing to correct a misstatement, which reads as if attributed to me, which says that “the only gospel of Gentile origin, John,…was probably composed around 100 C.E.” I am not certain what Dr. Cohn has in mind, since Luke, not John, is the only gospel probably written by a Gentile; but the dating he cites applies to John. In the following passage, again attributed to John, he discusses and then quotes a passage from Luke (Luke 10: 17–20).

Thank you for correcting this.

Elaine Pagels
Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion
Princeton University

Norman Cohn replies:

Elaine Pagels is of course absolutely right. I apologize to her and to your readers for my unaccountable lapse.

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