Monday, May 08, 2006
The Neglect of Luke-Acts
This semester I've had the privilege of teaching courses on Luke-Acts and Jesus and the Gospels (half of the second course consists of examination of the Lucan parables). I must say that it has imparted to me an awareness of the significance and relative neglect of Luke-Acts in NT Study. Consider the following:
W.G. Kümmel, The Theology of the New Testament: According to its Major Witnesses: Jesus – Paul – John (London: SCM, 1972).
It is interesting that N.T. Wright's COQG project was initially three volumes: Introduction, Jesus and Paul - the same bias is inherent there.
We could add Bultmann's Theology of the NT while we are at it. A few pages on Jesus, the early church, the Hellenistic chuch, stacks on Paul, the Johannine writings, and the ancient church; but no Luke-Acts.
What about Luke who makes us 28% of the NT? I find it interesting that scholars will frequently dedicate their careers to one or two areas of study, either Jesus and Paul or John and Paul or similar. Yet very few will do say Luke and Paul (the exceptions here are of course Talbert, Marshall and perhaps Bruce Longenecker). But I still think that there is a relative neglect of Luke in favour of Historical Jesus, Paul and John. I lament that most Reformed Evangelical Ph.D candidates I meet are all doing Paul.
Ranting aside here are some recent Luke-Acts studies I've found to be an interesting read:
Yongmo Cho. Spirit and Kingdom in the Writings of Luke and Paul: An Attempt to Reconcile these Concepts (Carlise, UK: Paternoster, 2005).
James M. Hamilton, "Rushing Wind and Organ Music: Toward Luke's Theology of hte Spirit in Acts," RTR 65.1 (2006): 15-33.
Barbara Shellard, New Light on Luke: its Purpose, Sources and Literary Context (JSNTSup 215; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002).
Brendan Byrne, "Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel of Luke: Discerning a Pattern of Correction," CBQ 65 (2003): 80-95.