Podcast 2.6: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus – Prophet Elijah, part 1

Here I discuss how the gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as a prophet like Elijah, which also entails presenting Jesus as a saviour to the poor and marginalized of society (part 1 of 2). In this first part, I provide some important background for understanding this two volume work, Luke-Acts, both as ancient biography and as ancient history-writing. This is part of series 2 (“Early Christian portraits of Jesus”) of the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean podcast.

Podcast 2.6: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus – Prophet Elijah, part 1 (mp3; archive.org page with various downloading options here).

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One thought on “Podcast 2.6: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus – Prophet Elijah, part 1

  1. Richard Fellows

    Phil, thanks of that.

    You suggest that the ‘we passages’ may have been someone else’s travel diary that has been spliced into Acts by its author. However, no-one seems to be able to cite any precedents for this type of thing. Another problem is that the vocabulary and style of the we passages is indistinguishable from that of the other passages.

    You also suggest that Luke may have used the first person for effect. But why, then, does he not use the first person in his gospel or in the first half of Acts? And why does he limit its use largely to sea voyages?

    I suggest that the author of Acts was the Lucius of Rom 16:21 and Acts 13:1, the name “Luke” being a short form of “Lucius”. This Lucius was in the right place at the right time to have embarked on the journeys described in the we passages.

    Notice how Acts is careful not to reveal the present addresses of any Jewish Christians. Paul’s letters indicate that Prisca, Aquila, Jason, Sosthenes and Crispus all moved on from the cities where they are placed by Acts. It seems that Luke wanted to avoid giving away information that could be used by civil or synagogue authorities to round up the leading Jewish believers. I therefore suggest that the author limits his use of the first person to the voyages to protect his own identity. Anyone wanting to arrest the author of Acts would not know where to start looking or who to interrogate to find his identity. He made himself untracable. His caution is understandable because no-one could predict when persecution might break out.


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