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Reading Luke (Scripture And Hermeneutics V6) [Hardcover]

By Craig G. Bartholomew (Editor), Joel B. Green (Editor) & Anthony C. Thiselton (Editor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   484
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 28, 2005
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310234166  
EAN  9780310234166  
UPC  025986234164  

Availability  1 units.
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Item Description...
In this volume, the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar brings its work on biblical hermeneutics over the past six years to bear on a specific text, namely, the Gospel according to Luke.

Publishers Description
A rich and comprehensive volume---essential reading for all those interested in how to read Luke as relevant for today In this sixth volume, the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar brings its past six years of work on biblical hermeneutics to bear on the gospel according to Luke. In his introduction, Anthony Thiselton, world authority on biblical hermeneutics, sets the context for a wideranging exploration of how to read Luke for God s address today. Traditional and more contemporary approaches are brought into dialogue with each other as several top Lukan scholars reflect on how best to read Luke as Scripture. Topics covered include the purpose of Luke- Acts, biblical theology and Luke, narrative and Luke, reception history and Luke, the parables in Luke, a missional reading of Luke, and theological interpretation of Luke. Since prayer is a major theme in Luke, this volume explores not only the role of prayer in Luke, but also the relationship between prayer and exegesis."

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More About Craig G. Bartholomew, Joel B. Green & Anthony C. Thiselton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Craig Bartholomew (MA, Potchefstroom University, PhD, Bristol University) is professor of philosophy and biblical studies at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Reading Ecclesiastes: Old Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutical Theory. He has also edited In the Fields of the Lord: A Calvin Served Reader and co-edited Christ and Consumerism: A Critical Analysis of the Spirit of the Age. He is the series editor for the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series.

Craig Bartholomew has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Scripture and Hermeneutics
  2. Studies in Theological Interpretation

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great collection of essays  Jun 18, 2007
Reading Luke is the sixth volume in the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, which maintains that a healthy hermeneutical approach will always lead to exegesis. This particular volume purposes to further a narrative theological reading of Luke as Christian Scripture. In the first chapter, Anthony Thiselton sketches the development of Lukan studies over the last half-century with particular attention to issues of theological interpretation. Prior to the 1953 publication of Hans Conzelmann's influential work, Die Mitte der Zeit (translated into English in 1961 as The Theology of Saint Luke), there had been little, if any, discussion of the Lukan corpus as a serious contributor to NT theology. Joseph Fitzmyer's 1981 commentary on Luke 1-9 dedicates significant attention to the theology of Luke and represents another major step toward widespread recognition of a distinctively Lukan theology. Some have scorned narrative theological interpretation because it re-appropriates traditional concerns such as historical factuality and traditional readings of Luke's use of OT texts as apologetic or Christological in nature (56-57). However, in the volume's second chapter, Joel Green contends that this is the way Luke invites us to read. Narrative theological interpretation requires the reader/auditor to become the "model reader" by accepting Luke's narration of the story, especially his theological understanding of time and the relationship of the audience thereto (55-74).

The third and fourth chapters of Reading Luke, respectively written by David Wenham and F. Scott Spencer, provide contrasting perspectives on the role of historical matters that stand outside the text. Wenham elevates the role of historical data in interpretation claiming "historical understanding is both possible, and also a theologically necessary and helpful ingredient in the process of interpreting the Bible" (80). By "historical understanding," Wenham is referring to empirically verifiable historical data that can be used to reconstruct a historical situation, with which he presumes Luke to be concerned. Wenham's assumption about Luke's interest in history leads him to posit that Luke's purpose for writing was largely apologetic. Spencer mutes the importance of history for interpretation, especially as envisaged by Wenham. He rightly casts a critical eye on the impetus that Wenham places on matters of authorship. Given the subjective nature of discussions of authorship coupled with the fact that Luke is an anonymous work, I cannot help but to join Spencer in his gracious puzzlement over Wenham's assertions (107-11).

David Moessner contributes an illuminating chapter on Luke as ancient Hellenistic narrative (125-54). By examining two first century B.C.E. writers, Polybius of Megalopolis and Diodorus of Sicily, Moessner is able to show that narrative was commonly arranged with a "trialectic hermeneutics of authorial intent (purpose), narrative structure (poetics), and audience impact (comprehension)" (126). Luke, Moessner argues, works within the parameters of Hellenistic trialectic narrative poetics by mentioning his scope (1:1, 3), beginning point (1:2; Acts 1:2), divisions (1:3; Acts 1:1-2, 8), and purpose (1:1a, 4) (132). As an example of how reading Luke through this lens is exegetically significant, Moessner challenges the redaction critical claim that Luke omits Mark 10:45//Matt 20:28 because he does not envisage Jesus' death as atoning. Rather, Moessner asserts, Luke makes the same claim through the purposeful unraveling of his narrative (134-51).

In the sixth chapter of Reading Luke, I. Howard Marshall notes Luke's use of political and military language for telling about Jesus' mission in Luke 1-2 and the perceived disjuncture between this language and the way Jesus' mission is recounted in the rest of the narrative. After a very brief response to common explanations to this issue, Marshall opines that political language is best understood as metaphoric for religious and spiritual realities in the mission of Jesus (160-62). Marshall suggests that interpreters not identify language in Luke as apocalyptic because of the propensity for such a designation to elicit a metaphorical or mythological reading of what Luke meant to be taken literally (175). Rather, language such as that found in Luke 21 should be understood as eschatological and thus as references to real future events (169-70).

Michael Goheen contributes a critical examination of David Bosch's missional and critical reading of Luke (229-64). Bosch's missional hermeneutic assumes that the theology of the early church was primarily missiological because of its rootedness in the person and work of Jesus. The critical aspect of his hermeneutic seeks to derive meaning at the level of self-identification. That is, to find meaning at the point of the interaction between early church's self-understanding and how the church understands itself today (236). For Bosch, a missional reading of Scripture must involve more than key texts. Rather, he aims to take seriously the missional thrust of the scriptural testimony and embrace a more expansive concept of salvation and the missio Dei (251-55). Goheen's critique focuses on Bosch's aspersion of the OT as anti-missional. This, Goheen claims, does not take seriously enough the extent to which the OT is part of the Lukan narrative nor the narrative development of key themes in Luke such as witness, suffering, table fellowship, prayer, and the Spirit (258-60).

The tenth through the thirteenth chapters of Reading Luke deal with various prominent themes in Luke's Gospel. Max Turner examines Lukan pneumatology with particular attention to its significance for contemporary readers in chapter ten. Turner offers a balanced overview of several prominent understandings of the Spirit in Luke. He notes that the Lukan testimony is relatively ambiguous regarding the nature and meaning of the Spirit (281). To remedy this, Turner suggests a canonical approach commonly called new redaction criticism. This approach, Turner claims, "[is] inevitably bound to highlight scriptural unities rather more strongly than possible authorial diversities, especially where the latter appear to imply a conflict" (287). Some readers will be surprised (and perhaps dismayed) that Turner clearly sees theological harmonization as a significant goal of the hermeneutical enterprise (287).

Charles Scobie approaches Luke from the "perspective of a canonical biblical theology...with special reference to `the journey motif' as a key theme linking Luke with the Old Testament and with the rest of the New Testament" (329). The journey motif is a natural path to a canonical biblical theological reading because of its prevalence in the OT and in Luke. Scobie notes the defamiliarizing effect that the journey motif has when "the new Israel does not settle down to life in the land, but is sent forth, after Pentecost, on a new series of journeys from Jerusalem and from the land" (342). For the reader/auditor of Luke, understanding the journey motif illumines matters of Christology and discipleship and is therefore edifying to the faith community.

The final section of Reading Luke handles issues related to the historical reception, or Wirkungsgeschichte, of Luke. This section sets François Bovon and Andrew Gregory in dialogue over the use of Luke in the second century. Bovon discerns a limited and sporadic use of Luke by second century writers. Luke was only later (and gradually) being read as Scripture, which Bovon refers to as an "orthodox reading" (396). Gregory raises three points of contention with Bovon regarding methodology and presupposition. He is careful to emphasize the continuity between the historical Jesus, the historical disciples, and the faith of the early church. He writes, "The Jesus on whom Christian faith in God is centered and based is the Jesus testified to by Luke and the other evangelists whose writings were recognized as consistent and in continuity with the faith of those to whom the risen Lord first appeared" (412). Finally, Heidi Hornik and Mikeal Parsons contribute an instructive analysis of portrayals of Luke in Renaissance and Baroque painting. Art, in their estimation, should be considered "visual exegesis" and must be carefully considered as part of the project of unveiling the Wirkungsgeschichte.

Reading Luke is a valuable contribution to Lukan studies and to the project of scriptural hermeneutics. One of the most obvious and consistent qualities of each contributor is her or his commitment to hermeneutical approaches that are both critical and constructive. Biblical scholarship has not served the church well in this regard for some time. Those who value the recovery of the Bible as the church's text will find Reading Luke a refreshing departure from some contemporary manifestations of the historical-critical model. Still, Reading Luke could have done more to bridge the chasm between those who support a narrative theological reading and those of a historical-critical persuasion. They are joined by a common concern for Christ's church, but the discussion of how interpreters can profitably draw from both methods is lacking. Within a limited space, it will be impossible to raise issues with each of the contributors so my critique of individual essayists must be selective.

The essay by Wenham is the most problematic contribution to Reading Luke. Beyond the issues raised by Spencer, I will mention several others. The weight that Wenham places on issues of authorship, authorial intent, eyewitness testimony, and the early date of Luke is highly troubling (80-81, 83, 99). To found interpretation on the authorship of an anonymously written narrative is to build a house (and an important house at that!) on a foundation of sand. We must also take seriously that Luke is not available to confirm our opinions of his intent and his sources are relatively unknown. Wenham also posits a number of contact points between Luke's narrative and verifiable historical data which he uses to support his interpretation of Luke's gospel as apologetic (96-98). The problem is that Wenham relies primarily on information that stands outside of the narrative to interpret it. This prevents Luke from setting the terms for reading his narrative and prevents interpreters from seeing the contours of a Lukan theology that is developed narratively. In light of these criticisms of Wenham's essay, it is unclear to this reviewer why it was included in Reading Luke, which purposes to further narrative theological readings of Luke and other biblical texts.

Marshall's dichotomy between political and spiritual language begs further attention (158). This assertion raises important questions about the nature of salvation, namely whether it is, in Lukan perspective, merely a spiritual matter. For those who daily bear the weight of political oppression, salvation must involve real reversal of political circumstances. Marshall labors under the assumption that interpreters of Luke must spiritualize any political language if it is to be rightly understood, as though such language is either spiritual or insignificant. This claim is not merely problematic from a socio-historical perspective; it is also distinctly un-Lukan.

These criticisms should not overshadow the valuable contribution that we have in Reading Luke. The highest praise I can offer this volume is to say that it has potential to start a number of valuable conversations that can yield constructive interpretations of Luke as the church's Scripture.

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