Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Luke-Acts is a work full of cultic material

“This is obvious in Luke’s portrayal of Jesus a man of prayer and in his use of canticles, as well as his frequent setting of scenes in the temple. In the canticles the theme of light and darkness occurs (Lk. 1:79; 2:32), while the whole Nunc Dimittis is a play on passages from Isaiah 42:6; 49:6 and 52:10. According to Acts the Servant passages feature in the preaching of the early Church: in Solomon’s Portico Peter in Acts 3:13 speaks of how God has gloried his servant, in Acts 8:32-3 Isaiah 53:7-8 is the passage that Philip explains to the Ethiopian eunuch, in Acts 13:47 Paul and Barnabas use Isaiah 49:6 to justify their preaching to Gentiles. More particularly it is Luke 22:37, alone of the Gospels, which cites Isaiah 53:12 as from Jesus’ lips. All of this is not especially extensive, as de Jonge and others have noted, but it is intriguing to note also that in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus which is constructed in jubilee periods the name of Levi occurs twice.[i] It seems as if Luke’s presentation of Jesus is mildly infected with a Palestinian Jewish tradition which associated the priestly Messiah with the Servant of Isaiah.”[ii]

This is a work in progress.

Copyrighted 2008

[i] On Luke’s genealogy, see the inclusive and detailed study of R. Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church (Edinburgh T & T Clark, 1990), 315-73.

[ii] George J. Brooke, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, (Fortress Press 2005), 155-56.


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