Monday, February 04, 2008
Luke the Priest
My Doktorvater, Rick Strelan, is about to have published a book on the author of the Third Gospel. It is called: Luke the Priest: The Authority of the Author of the Third Gospel (Ashton: Ashgate, Feb 2008).
This book focuses on the authority and status of the author of Luke-Acts. What authority did he have to write a Gospel, to interpret the Jewish Scriptures and traditions of Israel, to interpret the Jesus traditions, and to update the narrative with a second volume with its interpretation of Paul and the other apostles who appear in the Acts narrative? Rick Strelan constructs the author as a Jewish Priest, examining such issues as writing and orality, authority and tradition, and the status and role of priests. The analysis is set within the context of scholarly opinion about the author, the intended audience and other related issues.
[Note, while this might seem novel, consider the following quotation from Irenaeus: "Now the Gospels, in which Christ is enthroned, are like these … That according to Luke, as having a priestly character, began with the priest Zacharias offering incense to God. For the fatted calf was already being prepared which was to be sacrificed for the finding of the younger son" (Adv. Haer. 3.11.8).
Who were the Gospel writers?
Gospels, authors and authority
The status of Luke in scholarship
Why write another Gospel?
Owning, controlling, guarding the traditions
The oral and the written
Luke in the tradition
Luke among the scholars
Luke the priest
Luke as authoritative interpreter of Scripture
Luke as interpreter of the Jesus tradtions
Luke as interpreter of Paul
Rick Strelan is an ordained Lutheran, having graduated from Luther Seminary, Adelaide, in 1969. He was chaplain at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1970–75, then a secondary school chaplain for five years, and chaplain at the University of Queensland from 1980–95. After the completion of his PhD dissertation on Paul, Artemis and Jews in Ephesus (1995), he took up a lecturing position at the University of Queensland in New Testament and Early Christianity. In addition to the publication of his thesis (de Gruyter, 1996), he has published in a number of leading NT journals, and in 2004 published Strange Acts (de Gruyter). He is currently Head of the Studies in Religion department and Senior Lecturer in NT and Early Christianity at the University of Queensland.