Luke-Acts - BS7104

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James WaddellAssociate Professor of Biblical Studies

This course offers an in-depth historical critical reading of the two-part New Testament text known as Luke-Acts. Special attention will be given to Luke’s unique perspective on justice issues, such as racism, the subversion of cultural expectations of the roles of women, and exploitation of the economically marginalized by the wealthy elite.

Part of the focus of this course will be placed on questions of dating, authorship, and christology of Luke’s gospel, the presentation of the individual traditions of Jesus’ sayings, the events of his life which were developed into a narrative from the author’s unique perspective, a narrative that leads to and climaxes in the cross.

We will also examine the Acts of the Apostles and critically read this document for historical information about the experience of community in the early church, the social and economic structures of the early church (community of goods with its Essene origins, e.g.), the leadership of the Jerusalem apostles, the gentile mission of Paul, and the tensions (as the author described them) in the transition from Jewish community to Gentile church. Special attention will be placed on the author’s agenda for writing Acts in its Greco-Roman context and the complicated problem of the author’s use of sources and their historical reliability.