An illuminating literary analysis of the 2-part drama of Luke and Acts. Beginning with the premise that these texts were intended as oral literature, Borgman provides a close reading of Luke's story on its own narrative terms, paying careful attention to repetition, chiastic patterns, and "hearing clues" upon which plot, character, and theme depend.
Among the classics of ancient Greek and Jewish literature, the story of Luke-Acts has few rivals. Yet we moderns miss much of the meaning of Luke's two-part drama because we read it like any other text and not as it would have been heard by ancient listeners -- in public performance by a skilled storyteller.
The Way according to Luke unlocks the big picture of Jesus' mission by attending to the repetition, patterns, and other clues of oral narrative. In this single volume Paul Borgman lays out a holistic view of the organic unity between Luke and Acts while demonstrating that the meaning of Luke-Acts is uniquely embedded in its narrative. Borgman's distinctive work makes available both the satisfying pleasure of reading the Bible as great literature and the rewarding insight gained from receiving Scripture as it was originally delivered.
Paul Borgman is professor of English at Gordon College,Wenham, Massachusetts. A specialist in biblical narrative,he is also the author of Genesis: The Story We Haven'tHeard. "
David P. Moessner
University of Dubuque
"If for the ancient world Pindar characterizes the nature of oral performance ?'aboard the Muses' chariot I beg the eloquence that this occasion needs' ? then Paul Borgman has risen to the occasion. With his 'echoing sequences,' 'spiraling repetitions,' and 'hinge points' for Luke's two-volume performance, Borgman has given us 'winged words' to imprint Luke's own literary genius indelibly into our memories. If narrative performance be judged today by the brilliance of its aural impact, then Borgman has generated a delightfully persuasive movement of Luke's own 'way' of pronouncing the Word of God and moving his audiences to new ways of viewing the story of salvation through Israel's Messiah. This is a command performance for professional and lay reader alike."
Joel B. Green
author of The Theology of the Gospel of Luke
"In this exploration of Luke's literary art, Paul Borgman displays his significant gifts as sensitive reader and trusted guide. Although fully engaged with contemporary study of Luke-Acts, he is no slave to 'the experts' as he demonstrates again and again how Luke's narrative works to shape our grasp of Luke's literary and theological agenda. Biblical studies is the richer on account of this sort of interdisciplinary work."
Bible Literacy Project
"Paul Borgman's book on hearing the whole story of Luke-Acts presents rich insights into how these two books of the New Testament represent a dramatic unity and how the structure of oral literature forms the written text that we have today. This is a must-read for those who really want to understand Luke-Acts and the pattern of repetition that yields meaning."
Robert W. Wall
author of the New Interpreter's Bible commentary on Acts
"This fine study from Paul Borgman examines the narrative coherence of Luke's gospel and his Acts from the perspective of an auditor, who likely would have been among the first beneficiaries of Luke's literary masterpiece. Repeated themes and wordplays are 'ear clues' that not only frame the plotline of a good story but more importantly supply the rich texture of the core beliefs of a biblical faith. Borgman's formalist treatment of Luke and Acts amply shows the importance of a careful analysis of literary patterns in guiding the theological interpretation of biblical narrative."
James L. Resseguie
author of Narrative Criticism of the New Testament
"Paul Borgman gives us an engaging and lively reading of Luke-Acts that attends to the balanced patterns, narrative echoes, and interlocking themes of Luke's two-part story. By reading the narrative on its own terms as narrative art, Borgman recovers what is often missed a coherent and compelling story of God's message of peace. The Way according to Luke sets high the standard for how to read and hear New Testament narratives, and is certain to stir interest in biblical stories as artistic, unified narratives."
"A splendid example of what literary critics have to teach exegetes. Borgman's insistence on 'Hearing the Whole Story' reminds us importantly that Luke, like all the NT authors, wrote primarily to be heard. . . Read this book for the breath of fresh air that it brings."
Review of Biblical Literature
"We need more books like this, where something more substantial can be provided to the general reader in a responsible, well-thought-through, and passionate manner."
Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"Borgman presents a readable and accessible study of Luke-Acts. It is that accessibility, along with its conciseness, that distinguishes B.'s treatment from those of his many colleagues. . . An excellent resource for pastors and educators."