A dynamic reading of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts
This study examines the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts through a new perspective: 'dynamic biblical narrative criticism'. Chapter I briefly surveys the past and present issues in the study of the Holy Spirit in Luke and Acts by focusing on three representative scholars: J. D. G. Dunn; R-P. Menzies; M. M. B. - Turner, while noting that their research (including that of other influential scholars) was almost always undertaken by 'historical critical methods', especially 'redaction criticism’. Then I set out my methodology and procedure for the present work. Chapter 2 provides the literary repertoire of the Lukan Holy Spirit by examining the use of ruach or pneuma in the Jewish Bible and concludes that the divine Spirit in the extra text is always characterized as God's own Spirit, revealing his will/purpose by representing his power, activity and presence through his human agents. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 explore the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts as dynamic biblical narrative. Chapter 3 discusses the relationship between the narrator’s point of view and the Spirit and notes especially that this point of View focuses not only on God and Jesus, but also on the Holy Spirit. References to the Holy Spirit are used to suggest narrative reliability: both the Lukan narrator and reliable characters are positively associated with the 'divine frame of reference', particularly with the Holy Spirit. Chapters 4 and 5 elucidate the Holy Spirit as a literary character through narrative theories of 'character' and 'characterization'. So Chapter 4 analyses the Spirit ill terms of 'character-presentation' and concludes that the Holy Spirit is characterized as God's promised Holy Spirit giving God's power and insight for his ongoing plan to God's human agents and his people in general as anticipated in the literary repertoire. At the same time, however, the Spirit is also characterized in close relation to (the risen) Jesus the Messiah and Lord, and after Jesus’ ascension the Spirit is almost always presented in contexts in which Jesus' witnesses are said to bear witness to the risen Jesus, not only to Jews, but also to Gentiles. Chapter 5 further explores the characterization of the Holy Spirit ill terms of the narrative function of the Spirit in relation to the causal aspect of the plot. It is argued that the major narrative function of the Holy Spirit is to empower and guide individual characters as God's human agents and Jesus' witnesses to seek and save God's people in accordance with the plan of God, while the Spirit also functions as verifying group characters as incorporated into God's people and is employed in relation to the life- situations of believers in settled communities by granting them charismatic gifts or comforting and encouraging them or initiating forms of patriarchal leadership. Chapter 6 summarizes the conclusions of the earlier chapters and briefly draws out implications of the results. of this study: (1) the theological significance of the Lukan presentation of the Holy Spirit and (2) the relationship of the Holy Spirit to (a) the narrator or implied author, (b) the text and (c) the implied reader of Luke-Acts, with final remarks about the legitimacy of Lukan ideology, the power of modem readers and my reading.