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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 V: Synthetic Considerations 193


Chapter V: Synthetic Considerations The Status Quaestionis presented in the opening pages of this work shows that the discussion concerning the John-Elijah association in Luke is fundamentally marked by two general observations in recent scholarship: firstly, Luke places significant emphasis on the Elijah-Jesus association and secondly, some impor- tant texts on the John-Elijah association occurring in Mark (esp., Mark 1,6; 9,9- 13) are omitted in Luke’s work. Therefore, the issue of the Elijah-John associa- tion in Luke remained in the shadow of the Elijah-Jesus association, and was mostly limited to the question of whether John was seen as the promised Elijah by Luke or not. Since one association with Elijah does not automatically exclude another, an omission does not automatically mean a negation and one may learn much more from Luke’s writing, than from his silence, the aim of this study has been to in- vestigate Luke’s attitude to the association between the promised Elijah and John: i.e. whether he truly attenuates it or not. If he does, our intention has also been to explain Luke’s attitude. If he does not, our aim has been to show how Luke elaborates that association and, in the light of his presentation, to explain why Luke does not use some important statements concerning the matter that are present in Mark. Luke’s particularity in presenting John the Baptist in the role of the promised Elijah will be taken into account At this stage, having studied the pertinent Lukan texts concerning the Elijah-...

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