Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Use of Possessions and Wealth in Luke

A number of scholars have concluded that Luke intended to criticize the wrong use of wealth by the rich Christians in his community, or perhaps I should say, the wrong use of wealth by the members of his community. The problem with this conclusion is that there is an assumption that there are rich people in Luke’s community. This assumption is neither stated nor proven. Furthermore what evidence is there that Luke is writing to his community?

Last week in Luke Remembered the Poor, I suggested that the Macedonian example cited by Paul was the culmination of Luke’s six or seven years of service in Philippi and the surrounding communities. However, I am not suggesting the Macedonian communities are the first recipients of the Gospel of Luke. They did however receive the gospel, which Luke preached.

None of the numerous studies have recognized that Luke is criticizing the wrong use of wealth by the temple establishment. It is my theory that Luke is criticizing the temple establishment.

The following is a preliminary bibliography:

Degenhardt, Lukas Evangelist der Armen (1965);
Johnson, The Literary Function of Possessions in Luke-Acts (1977);
Pilgrim, Good News to the Poor (1981);
Seccombe, Possessions and the Poor in Luke-Acts (1985);
Schottroff & Stegemann, Jesus and the Hope of the Poor, (1986);
Esler, Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts (1987);
Ireland, Stewardship and the kingdom of God: an historical, exegetical, and contextual study of the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16:1-13, (1992);
Kyoung-Jin Kim, Stewardship and Almsgiving in Luke’s Theology (1998).

copyrighted 2005


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