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The Apologetic Revisited

Exonerating Luke from an Ancestral Exegetical and Theological Burden


Innocent Emezie Ezeani

The trend in the scholarship of Luke has been that of presenting Luke as being interested in the survival of Christianity within the Power apparatus of the Roman world. To achieve this pivotal aim, he seems to overlook the abysmal social maladies and wrongdoings of the Powerful of his time hoping not to endanger the peace and tranquility of Christianity. The intention of this research, however, is to show the defiance and fearlessness of Luke in dealing with the rich and the Powerful. He did not compromise the basic teachings of Christianity even in his respect for the constituted profane Authorities of the Roman order. A second proper look beholds the critical dynamics of his Gospel and the Acts, beginning with the Magnificat running through the angelic Annunciation scene and the Temptation of Jesus and ending with the punishment of Herod Agrippa. The reader beholds a hitherto unknown Luke, who operates from a particular critical stance and distance to the Powerful from the sociological perspective of hidden transcripts.
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Chapter 4


1. The second item of the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:5–8)

1.2 Greek text

1.3 English Translation

2. The context of the temptation pericope

Since the topic of the dissertation has to do with the criticism of power and dominion in Luke-Acts, the second item of the temptation narrative is of immense importance, in as much as it avails us the opportunity of tracing the trajectory of this theme in Luke-Acts. The very appearance of τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης (v.5b), ἐξουσία (v.6b) and δόξα (v.6b) is already suggestive of the importance of this pericope for the dissertation because kingdoms, authority and honour are important elements and accessories of power. This temptation pericope is situated between the Genealogy of Jesus (Lk 3:23–38) and his first public ministry in Galilee and Nazareth (Lk 4:14–30). It falls however within the wide context beginning with the baptism of Jesus (Lk 3:21). The whole process is bound together with the mention of the Holy Spirit,1 which seems to be the connecting word and the motivating factor behind the presentations.

Taken alone, the temptation narrative is carved into a unit characterised with the presentation of the wilderness, as the place where Jesus encounters the devil. It begins in Lk 4:1 and stretches to Lk 4:14. The occurrence of the word ὑπέστρεψεν with the mention of the Holy Spirit in v.1 and v.14 shows the unit of Lk 4:1–13.2 The...

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