The Theology of the Gospel of Luke
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The Gospel of Luke, is also one of the earliest Christian examples of narrative theology. Unlike some writers of New Testament books, Luke has engaged in the theological task by shaping a narrative representation of the coming and mission of Jesus. In doing so, he goes to great lengths to ground the work of Jesus in the continuing story of God's redemptive plan, especially witnessed in the Scriptures, and he also emphasizes the ongoing character of that story, with the result that Luke's audience is challenged to discern the purpose of God so that they may embrace it and order their lives around it. This exploration of the way in which Luke accomplishes his theological talk in the first century is both informative and illuminating for contemporary readers seeking approaches to cultural criticism and constructive theology today.
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DavidandhisharemBristol EnglandAge: 45-54Gender: male2 Stars Out Of 5A limited approach but good closing chapterOctober 27, 2013DavidandhisharemBristol EnglandAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 2This is the first book I have read in this New Testament Theology series edited by Prof. James D G Dunn so I do not know how typical of the series it is or whether the format and constraints of the series are responsible for the limitations of this particular book but frankly I found it a disappointment and of very little use.
Not only is there virtually no history of interpretation but also very little explicit interaction with other scholars who are mainly dealt with in the footnotes.
Moreover there is pretty much no discussion of Luke's sources and barely any mention of how Luke redacted his work . Although I have only read the book once I think I am right in saying that we have to wait till page 64 before any mention is made of how a passage in Luke compares with its counterpart in another gospel. It is only at the beginning of the final chapter (some 60 pages later) that we get more of the same before the author goes off at a tangent and closes the book with its most useful part where he discusses the relevance of the gospel to the present church and its varied reception.
The net result of this approach is that time and time again we read about a certain aspect of Luke's theology and yet have no idea how it differs from Matthew or Mark's theology on the same theme even though they very often have parallel passages to the ones quoted from Luke.
Not often are the passages peculiar to Luke dwelt on with the exception of Luke 1 - 2. Verses from these opening two chapters are referred to throughout the book and I am not convinced they are as important or as programmatic as the author makes out.
Finally I was left with the feeling that if I wanted to know who Luke wrote this gospel for and why I would have to do some serious work extrapolating nuggets from various passages and piecing together the picture myself.
So yes this book does give you 150+ pages plus of the theology of the gospel of Luke but not in such a way as to let you know much about how his theology differs from the other gospel writers.
I accept that I might have been hoping for something this series or particular book did not intend to offer but at the end of the day I have come away with very little from reading it and much of what I have come away with actually comes from his not infrequent mentions of the book of Acts!
Edwin S. Nelson5 Stars Out Of 5July 24, 2000Edwin S. NelsonJoel Green has put us in his debt for his analysis of Luke. He draws out the major themes, especially noting the play between Luke's portrayal of things as they are vs. the reversal that Jesus brings. This is especially seen in the concern of Jesus to obliterate the Patronal system of the times and to create a community of mutuality, unfiltered by the distinctions of the world and unhindered by the structures of the Patronal system. His development of Jesus' presence as the Kingdom of God in their midst (the only reasonable reading of Luke 17:10) is seen in Jesus' fulfillment of the programmatic message from Isa. 61/58 as it appears in Luke 4:16-30. The release to the captives is realized as all, whether of strict demon-possession or not, are seen as bound by the evil one (who binds the present age with sickness and evil). All in all Green's book is an excellent presentation of the advantage of reading a Goispel as a whole and not atomizing it into pericopes. However helpful that may be at one stage of exegesis, it is a far cry from what Luke intended the church to hear. Green helps us to hear.
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