Conflict in Luke: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Luke: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Luke: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Luke: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Synopsis

Intertwined with Luke's story of Jesus are two other story lines — the story of the authorities, who come into conflict with Jesus over the crucial issue of whom God has chosen to rule Israel, and the story of the disciples, who are both loyal and uncomprehending. Kingsbury leads the reader into the dramatic narrative of Luke's Gospel by tracing and interpreting all three stories. An introductory chapter provides orientation to basic features of literary analysis.

Excerpt

As the title indicates, this book is a companion volume to Conflict in Mark: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989). In the recent past, the literary, or narrative, approach to the study of the Gospels has proved so fruitful that it has now become, in North America, one of the dominant approaches. As evidence of this, one need only take note of the ever-increasing number of books, articles, and monographs being published utilizing this approach. Still, because the great bulk of these publications tend to be narrow in focus or highly specialized, they often do not lend themselves to ready use in the classroom or pastor’s study. As with Conflict in Mark, I have written this book not only for instructors but also for pastors and students. In chapter 1, my goal is to introduce the reader to the world of Luke’s gospel story and to elements that fill it with life and drama, such as settings, characters, and the plot. In chapters 2–4, I trace and interpret the three chief story lines in Luke’s Gospel, that of Jesus, of the religious authorities, and of the disciples. To be sure, the story of Jesus is central throughout Luke’s Gospel; nevertheless, intertwined with it are also the stories of the authorities and of the disciples.

The story of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel is that of Israel’s Messiah and God’s Son in whom God inaugurates the time of salvation by fulfilling his scriptural promises to Israel (and the nations) and thus accomplishing his plan of salvation. In his story of the religious authorities, Luke harshly stereotypes them as “self-righteous”; at the human level, they are Jesus’ chief opponents. And in his story of the disciples, Luke portrays them as followers of Jesus who are loyal yet spiritually immature. For an overview of the plot of Luke’s gospel story, the reader may turn to the end of chapter 1.

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