Luke-Acts – The Prophetic Gospel

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The Two-Volume Gospel
The Gospel ascribed to Luke is the second of a
 two volume composition conventionally
 designated Luke-Acts.
  The Gospel of Luke (the first volume) tells the story
    of Jesus by using Mark as his main narrative
    source and discourse material from “Q” and “L”.
  Like Matthew, Luke follows the Markan storyline
    from baptism to burial.
  But Luke follows Mark even more closely than
    Matthew, altering Mark’s language only for
    literary correctness and clarity.
Luke omits a substantial portion of Mark’s middle
 section (Mark 6:45—8:26). Possibly out of a
 dislike for doublets and a concern for the portrayal
 of Jesus and the disciples.
Luke adds narrative material at the beginning with
 infancy accounts (chs. 1-2) and at the end with
 several appearance stories and an account of the
 ascension (ch. 24).
Luke adds a substantial amount of “Q” material
 (shared with Matthew) and “L” material, most
 notably, the distinctive Lukan parables.
Luke exploits a narrative seam in Mark 9-10 (Jesus’
 journey to Jerusalem) and expands it to include the
 bulk of his discourse material (Luke 9—19).
Luke adds a prologue to each of his volumes (Luke
 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-2).

The Acts of the Apostles (the second volume)
 tells the story of the early church, with
 special attention to Peter (ch, 1—12) and
 Paul (chs. 13— 28).
  Luke appears to be the first to undertake this
   narrative; if he had written sources, they are
  He constructions the narrative similar to Hellenistic
   historians, using journeys, speeches, and
   summaries, to write volume 2.
Another literary device spanning both
 volumes is Luke’s use of prophecy.
  As in the other Gospels, Luke notes the way that the
   events in history stand in “fulfillment” of
   prophecies written in Torah, although he avoids
   Matthew’s formula citations and extends such
   fulfillment to the events of Acts, as well.
  More distinctive is the way in which characters in
   the narrative make statements that are prophetic
   and that are “fulfilled” by the subsequent events in
   the narrative.

The genre that best fits Luke-Acts as a whole is that
  of Ancient Historiography, but it is important to
  recognize the volumes together form “Luke’s
   The literary implication of the two-volume work is that Acts
     represents not only an extension but also an interpretation
     of the first volume.
   The theological implication is that the story of the church
     continues the story of Jesus. Luke links them by a variety
     of means, but most importantly by having the same Holy
     Spirit at work in Jesus also at work in his followers.
Luke uses geography as a way of focusing attention
  on the critical part of his narrative.
  The Gospel narrative lends toward the city of Jerusalem
    (2:22; 2:41-51; 4:9; 9:31, 51;13:22; 19:11, 28).
  The narrative in Acts moves out from Jerusalem (1:8) but
    constantly circles back to the city.
  Luke thereby makes the reader focus on events in Jerusalem
    that forms the middle of the story (Luke 19-Acts 8). Its is in
    Jerusalem that Jesus is rejected, raised, exalted, and here,
    his disciples are empowered to preach and heal in his name.
Sometimes, this is a matter of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”
  within a single incident: Jesus in Nazareth (4:14-19,
  fulfilled 4:21, Stephen’s Speech-Prophecy (esp. Acts 7:51-
  53, fulfilled 7:57 with martyrdom).
Sometimes, it is a matter of “programmatic prophecy,” in
  which a statement governs the direction of the subsequent
  narrative (Luke24:45-49).

Luke also portrays his major characters as prophets in the
  tradition of Moses.
    In the Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as a prophet who brings
      God’s visitation to the people.
    In Acts, all the protagonists are depicted in prophetic
      terms. Or by gentiles, as if they ae gods (Acts 14:11).

Each of the Synoptic Gospels engages a
 distinct aspect of the symbolic world of
Mark uses apocalyptic;
Matthew, rabbinic; and
Luke, prophetic dimensions of
 contemporary Judaism.

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