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Scripture Workshop Episcopal Church of the Resurrection The Gospel According to Luke Introduction September 16, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Scripture Workshop Episcopal Church of the Resurrection The Gospel According to Luke Introduction September 16, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scripture Workshop Episcopal Church of the Resurrection The Gospel According to Luke Introduction September 16, 2010

2 Who was Luke? Tradition says Luke was a physician who accompanied Paul, that he was a Syrian from Antioch But there’s no textual evidence for this tradition. It dates from late 2 nd century Academically familiar with Judaism. Familiar with Septuagint. Highly educated, aware of geography outside of Palestine, familiar with early church Writes from urban perspective, not the rural background of Jesus Tradition says Luke wrote in Antioch or Rome

3 When was Luke written? Jesus: 3-33 Paul’s Letters: Roman/Jewish War: Gospel of Mark: Rome destroys Jerusalem temple: 70 Gospel of Matthew: Luke/Acts: Gospel of John: Revelation: Other Epistles: Didache: Justin Martyr: Mid 2 nd Century Gospel of Thomas: Mid 3 rd Century (earliest manuscript dates from A.D.)

4 Is it Historically Accurate? Gospels were “…not composed to record historical remembrances about Jesus” “History” as objective discipline did not exist until 19 th century. Luke’s goal is to write a gospel, “evangelion”, which is a message of salvation. Goal: Preaching for conversion, identity claims for Jesus, interpreting Jesus stories to Christian community

5 Writing Style Of the four Gospels, Luke uses the smoothest Greek prose Luke is well-versed in Greco-Roman literary style

6 Social Context of Text Tradition of being oppressed by foreign powers, in this case Roman Empire, which collude with Jewish hierarchy Honor/Shame Society: Pivotal social value was public reputation. Disputes have challenge/riposte dynamic. In-group /out- group behavior Collectivistic: Individuals defined by communal identity. Non-individualistic Kinship defines a person

7 Social Context of Text Spirit world: Good and evil spirits everywhere considered normal. Most human issues had spiritual corollaries Patron/Client structure: “socially fixed relations of reciprocity between social unequals” Purity: System of meaning that determines behavior as good or deviant. Elaborate rules

8 Social Context of Text Hellenistic world Growing apocalypticism in face of Roman occupation Meals very ceremonial and microcosm of life Poor Agrarian

9 Levels Within the Text When reading, remember that Jesus lived in Palestine in the early 1 st C, whereas Luke’s community probably lived elsewhere, so we’re dealing with different social contexts Luke is interpreting the Jesus events for a later audience in a different place The connection between the two communities is the oral tradition

10 Women in Luke Property of fathers or husbands Extremely ritually unclean when menstruating Lived private lives in family, no social lives or power outside kinship circle Double standards Jesus treats them in egalitarian way Few are named or speak

11 Relationship to Imperial Rome Rome dominated Mediterranean world Enforced peace through violence Roman soldiers throughout Palestine Heavily taxed Jewish commerce, especially agriculture, reducing people to virtual slaves Used powerful Jews in patron/client structure: appointed Jewish governors and the high priest. Used Jewish men to collect taxes Jews hated the Romans

12 Relationship to Imperial Rome Persecuted some early Christian communities Rome is focus of apocalyptic projection Romans considered emperor to be a God Emperor’s image on all Roman coins, which Jews had to use Before the temple fell, Rome placed statue of emperor in holy of holies ROME DESTROYED HOLIEST JEWISH SITE

13 Relationship to Imperial Rome Rome allowed many religions to thrive in empire. Greco-Roman context was multi- religious, but Rome required subjects to recognize emperor as God Jews did not do this and Rome was suspicious Caesar Augustus was believed to be the son of God who brought peace to the world Christians used many of the titles reserved for Caesar for Jesus. Very inflammatory.

14 Theological Context of the Audience Religion inseparable from social, political, economic and psychological life Jesus does not match Messianic expectations Growing apocalyptic expectations Expected Jesus to return very soon Community of Jews, God-Fearers and Gentiles

15 Relationship to Judaism Christianity not distinct from Judaism when Luke was written Luke not creating a new religion. Fulfilling OT with Kingdom of God Jesus portrayed in prophetic tradition, challenging oppression Jesus challenges Jewish establishment Jesus reaches out to Jews and gentiles

16 Luke’s Jesus Continuous with history of Israel, fulfilling the nation’s hopes Holy Spirit, which moved throughout Jewish history also present in JBap and Jesus Emphasizes God’s compassion, reaching out to margins of society, especially women, impious, sinners, poor, sick, oppressed Leaves door open to Pharisees as well

17 Luke’s Christology Son of God: Rarely used, by angels, God or Satan. Privileged knowledge for reader Prophet: Comparisons to Elijah, John and David Lord: Refers to other characters, God and Jesus Messiah/Christ: Inside information, “anointed one” Son of Man: Most common self-reference, meaning unclear Savior: Only Luke uses this term,

18 Theology of Luke Jesus takes his message from the margins (Galilee) to the center of the Jewish world (Jerusalem) in the Gospel Then Paul takes Jesus’ message from the center of the Jewish world/edge of the Roman Empire (Jerusalem) to the center of the known world (Rome) Deals with: Jesus’ identity, discipleship, nature of salvation, character of Kingdom of God, repentance

19 Theological Themes God’s redemptive purpose: God’s sovereignty, fulfill scripture, scope of Jesus’ redemptive work Salvation for all alike: Jesus came for ALL people, Jews, gentiles, margins, etc Blessings of poverty/dangers of wealth: Contrary to popular theology Table fellowship: Inclusivity, joy Role of disciple: Importance of accurate witness

20 Relationship to Other Gospels Mark Luke Oral Tradition Q Tradition Mark Oral Tradition Matthew Oral Tradition John Oral Tradition John Luke Matthew

21 Luke’s Sources 1:1-2:52 - Luke 3:1-6:9 – Mark and some Q 6:20-8:3 – Q and Luke 8:4-9:50 – Mark 9:51-18:14 – Q and Luke 18:15-24:11 – Mark and Luke 24:12-24:53 - Luke

22 Conflation and Amalgamation Each of the Gospels is very different and tells a different story We have to work hard to avoid conflating the four individual Gospel stories into a single, amalgamated narrative We have to work hard to avoid projecting our expectation of what a Gospel ought to say onto Luke

23 Who is Jesus Mark: Enigmatic, tragic, misunderstood, abandoned. Following means taking up his cross and suffering too Matthew: New Moses who fulfills scripture. Following Jesus keeping his teachings and making disciples John: Word incarnate, heavenly revealer sent from another world. Following means belief, rebirth. Luke: Compassionate friend to outcasts, relates to Israel and contemporary issues and unfolds God’s redemptive purpose

24 Outline of Luke Prologue, 1:1-4 Infancy narrative, 1:5-2:52 Preparation for public ministry, 3:1-4:13 Ministry in Galilee, 4:14-9:50 Journey to Jerusalem, 9:51-19:27 Ministry in Jerusalem, 19:28-21:38 Passion, 22:1-23:56 Resurrection, 24:1-53

25 Calendar 9/16 – Intro, full gospel 9/23 – Infancy, prep for ministry, 1:1-4:13 9/30 – Ministry in Galilee, 4:14-9:50 10/7 – Journey to Jerusalem, 9:51-19:27 10/14 – Ministry in Jerusalem, 19:28-21:38 10/21 – Passion and resurrection, 22:1-24:53


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