Luke the Priest by Rick Strelan

By Rick Strelan

This ebook specializes in the authority and standing of the writer of "Luke-Acts". What authority did he need to write a Gospel, to interpret the Jewish Scriptures and traditions of Israel, to interpret the Jesus traditions, and to replace the narrative with a moment quantity with its interpretation of Paul and the opposite apostles who seem within the Acts narrative? Rick Strelan constructs the writer as a Jewish Priest, studying such matters as writing and orality, authority and culture, and the prestige and function of clergymen. The research is decided in the context of scholarly opinion in regards to the writer, the meant viewers and different similar matters.

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In the end, Luke’s purpose is instruction. That seems to be the implication of Luke 1:4, as it is also of Acts 1:1. This line of thinking probably deflates Luke as a historian (and possibly also as a theologian), and while that might not appeal to some modern scholars, it need not lower Luke’s authority, status, or power as a writer. After all, Luke was not to know that nearly two thousand years later, there would be raging debates about the historical Jesus or about about his own reliability for our construction of history!

The use of the word avsfa,leia reveals a concern for a reading and an oral performance of the tradition that is free from mistakes and free from language that might result in misinterpretation, misunderstanding and contradiction. I suggest, then, that we ought to read the phrase peri. w-n kathch,qhj tw/n lo,gwn (1:4) in a more literal sense. Luke is talking about words that Theophilus has been taught, not only ‘matters’ or ‘things’, as most (if not all) translations and commentators will have it (for example, RSV, Goulder 1989: 202; Alexander 1993: 139).

Luke is an older man passing on the mantle to Theophilus; he is a priest in control of the tradition and of how it was transmitted. Concern for the text and for how it is read is evident in the pagan literature, in the Qumran texts, and in early Christian literature. j lo,gouj) were abused by people ‘reading them in the worst possible 28 Luke the Priest manner side by side with their own, dividing them at the wrong places, mutilating them, and in every way spoiling their effect’ (Panathen. 17).

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