Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Reading Luke-Acts: Dynamics of Biblical Narrative by William S. Kurz

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Reading Luke-Acts: Dynamics of Biblical Narrative, by William S. Kurr, S.J. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1993. 261 pp. $15.99 (paper). ISBN-O-664-25441-1.

KURZ EXPLAINS the purpose of his book in this way: "This book therefore attempts to read Luke-Acts as biblical narrative, which has a composite unity formed from disparate sources, as contributing to the Christian Bible viewed as fountainhead of Christian life and theology" (pp. 163-64). Kurz's interest in narrative biblical criticism arose from a dissatisfaction with historical criticism and the resulting alienation from and fragmentation of the text. Sensing the need for a new paradigm of biblical interpretation, Kurz argues that narrative biblical criticism provides the new paradigm because it gives "special emphasis on how readers respond to Luke and Acts in the act of reading" (p. 5).

The first three chapters feature a descriptive overview of narrative criticism: the methods, questions, and terms such as implied authors and readers. These chapters are helpful as they deal with plotting, gaps, and blanks. Chapters 4-8 provide the major portion of the book, in which Kurz systematically describes the narrative questions in his overview of both Luke and Acts. …