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Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts : The Social and Political Motivations of Lucan Theology - Philip Francis Esler

Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts

The Social and Political Motivations of Lucan Theology

By: Philip Francis Esler (Editor), John Court (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 30th April 1990
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Always observing the established techniques of New Testament analysis, especially redaction criticism, Professor Esler makes extensive use of sociology and anthropology to examine the author of Luke-Acts' theology as a response to social and political pressures on the Christian community for whom he was writing. Various themes such as table-fellowship, the law, the temple, poverty and riches, and politics are examined to determine how they have been influenced by the social and political background of Luke's audience. This book offers a New Testament paradigm and warrant for those interested in generating a theology attuned to the social and political realities affecting contemporary Christian congregations.

'Esler's thesis is undoubtedly one of the freshest to appear on Luke-Acts in recent years, clearly and compellingly written, complementing bold hypotheses with a wealth of detailed research and observation, and providing a careful justification of the sociological approach and an interesting application of sociological techniques and models ... provocative and challenging [it] represents a significant new approach to Lucan studies.' Journal of Theological Studies 'This book represents a significant advance in the study of the social and community setting of Luke-Acts, and repays careful reading.' Theology 'A brilliant attempt to pinpoint the purpose of Luke-Acts.' The Bible Today

Acknowledgementsp. xi
List of abbreviationsp. xiii
The socio-redaction criticism of Luke-Actsp. 1
Social and political influences on Lucan theologyp. 1
Towards a socio-redaction criticism of Luke-Actsp. 2
The methodology of the social sciencesp. 6
The comparative methodp. 9
Objections to the application of the social sciences to the New Testamentp. 12
Legitimation and Luke-Actsp. 16
The communityp. 24
Luke's audience-a Christian communityp. 24
When and wherep. 27
Jews and Gentiles in Luke's communityp. 30
Introduction: the case for a Gentile audiencep. 30
The universalist theme in Luke-Actsp. 33
The incident at Nazareth (Lk 4.16-30) and pious Gentilesp. 34
God-fearers in Luke-Actsp. 36
Sectarian strategiesp. 46
Introductionp. 46
The sociology of sectarianism: typology and modelp. 47
Sectarian strategies in Luke-Actsp. 53
Church and sectp. 53
Sectarian responses to the worldp. 58
From Jewish reform movement to Christian sectp. 65
Table-fellowshipp. 71
Table-fellowship between Jews and Gentiles in Luke-Actsp. 71
Jewish antipathy to dining with Gentilesp. 73
The anthropological perspective: external threat and purity lawsp. 73
Literary and historical evidence for the Jewish ban on dining with Gentilesp. 76
The attitude to table-fellowship between Jews and Gentiles in Galatians, Mark and Matthewp. 86
Table-fellowship in Galatiansp. 87
Table-fellowship in Markp. 89
Matthew and table-fellowshipp. 91
Table-fellowship in Luke-Actsp. 93
The conversion of Corneliusp. 93
The Apostolic Councilp. 97
Other instances of table-fellowship between Jews and Gentiles in Actsp. 99
The nature of the meal in Acts 27.33-8p. 101
Table-fellowship and Luke's legitimatory purposep. 105
The lawp. 110
Introductionp. 110
The law in Luke's Gospelp. 111
The infancy narrativesp. 111
Jesus' respect for the lawp. 114
Jesus' transcendence of the lawp. 115
Jesus' challenge to the lawp. 117
Jewish paranomia in the Third Gospelp. 118
Luke 16.16-18p. 120
Lucan omissions of legal materialp. 121
The law in Actsp. 122
Stephen and the lawp. 122
Paul and the lawp. 125
Conclusionp. 128
The Templep. 131
The prominence of the Temple in Luke-Actsp. 131
Luke's ambivalent attitude to the Templep. 133
The explanation for Luke's attitude to the Templep. 135
Historical reality and Lucan redaction in Acts 6.1-8.3p. 135
Introductionp. 135
The identity of the 'Hebrews' and the 'Hellenists' in Acts 6.1p. 136
The expulsion of the Hellenists from Jerusalemp. 139
The conflict between Hebrews and Hellenistsp. 141
Temple, God-fearers and Gospelp. 145
The attitude of Diaspora Jews to the Temple and the lawp. 146
The Temple and the cultp. 148
Marginalized God-fearers in Jerusalemp. 154
The impact of the Gospelp. 157
Conclusion: Luke's redaction and the needs of his communityp. 161
The poor and the richp. 164
A theology of the destitute in Luke-Acts?p. 164
Luke's theology of poverty and its social settingp. 169
The rich and the poor in the Hellenistic cities of the Roman Eastp. 171
Social stratificationp. 171
The experience of povertyp. 175
Conclusionp. 179
The Lucan version of the Nazareth pericope in its Hellenistic settingp. 179
The social strata represented in Luke's communityp. 179
Luke 4.18-19 and the experience of povertyp. 180
Conclusionp. 182
The rich and the poor in Luke's communityp. 183
The upper socio-economic strata in Luke's communityp. 183
The poor in Luke's communityp. 185
Conclusionp. 187
Luke's theology of the poorp. 187
Good news for the poor, grim news for the richp. 187
The rich and the poor in 1 Enoch 92-105p. 189
Luke's attitude to salvation: its other-worldly dimensionp. 191
Luke's attitude to salvation: its this-worldly dimensionp. 193
Conclusionp. 197
Rome and the ancestral themep. 201
Politically sensitive material in Luke-Actsp. 201
The Roman empire in Luke-Actsp. 201
Apologetic or legitimation?p. 205
An historical outline of the apologetic explanationp. 205
Problems with the apologetic approachp. 207
An analysis of the religio licita theoryp. 211
Roman respect for ancestral traditionp. 214
The ancestral theme in Luke-Actsp. 215
Conclusion: political legitimation in Luke-Actsp. 217
Epilogue: community and Gospelp. 220
Notesp. 224
Index of biblical referencesp. 259
Index of secondary authorsp. 267
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521388733
ISBN-10: 0521388732
Series: Society for New Testament Studies in Monograph
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 30th April 1990
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.72 x 14.12  x 2.03
Weight (kg): 0.38