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«He of Whom It Is Written»

John the Baptist and Elijah in Luke


Jaroslav Rindos

Scholarly discussion concerning Elijah in Luke is affected mainly by the detection of the many allusions to Elijah in connection with Jesus and, at the same time, by noting the absence of some associations of Elijah with John the Baptist familiar from the Gospel according to Mark. This twofold observation has brought many scholars to rethink whether or not Luke continues to present John as the Elijah who was to come. In Luke’s perspective, John is the Elijah promised by Malachi acting «in the spirit and power» of the Elijah of old. Luke, furthermore, agrees with Malachi that the promised messenger prepares for «the Lord». These and several other claims concerning the theme are proposed to the reader as the fruit both of the scholarly discussion and of an analysis of the appropriate Lucan texts in this monograph.


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Chapter IV: The Lord’s Word for and about John (Luke 7,18-35) 165


Chapter IV: The Lord’s Word for and about John (Luke 7,18-35) In the three former chapters of this work we have analysed three texts from Luke’s narrative about John the Baptist (Luke 1,5-25; 68-79; 3,1-20[22]) in the quest to understand how Luke relates John and Elijah. Now, in chapter four, we will study Luke 7,18-35, a text which, in itself, does not form part of Luke’s nar- rative about John. Instead, it contains the story from the public mission of the Lord Jesus, which is moreover focused on the identity of the latter; however, John the Baptist appears once again and his role is even defined once again. The story speaks of John’s sending his disciples to the Lord Jesus in response to the rumours spread about the latter. They are to inquire about His identity (Luke 7,18). The encounter with the disciples leads Jesus to speak of John to the crowds and his words include the quotation associated with the promised Elijah in regard to John (Luke 7,27). So Luke 7,18-35 and, above all, Luke 7,27, will be the subject of the following analysis. Preliminary Remarks Context and Delimitation of the Unit Even though we have seen John the Baptist disappear from the public scene in chapter three, we now see him in action once more as he sends his messengers to Jesus. The unit Luke 7,18-35 is part of the larger section of episodes (Luke 7,1 -...

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