Release for the captives : spiritual conflict in Luke-Acts
This is a motif analysis of spiritual conflict, in the Luke-Acts narrative. The study begins with a survey of previous research and sets forth methodological foundations and overall objectives. Chapter one explores Luke 1:5 - 4:13 for explicit and implicit 'harbingers' of spiritual conflict. Special attention is devoted to the temptation narrative (4:1-13). An excursus on 'temptation' in Luke concludes the chapter. Chapter two explores the programmatic significance of the Nazareth sermon. Careful attention is devoted to the possible spiritual conflict background ideas connected with the catena of O.T. phrases at 4:18,19. Other mission statements in Luke-Acts are explored to see how they echo spiritual conflict ideas set out at 4:18,19. Finally, the 'incident' at Nazareth is discussed with spiritual conflict in mind. Chapter three, the longest of the six, studies the miracles in the gospel for ideas of spiritual conflict. The two miracle interpretations (10:17-20; 11:14-26) are given special attention. Chapter four analyzes Luke's story of the death of Jesus with an eye toward the Jesus vs. Satan motif. Particular attention is devoted to Luke 22 and the Jewish understanding of the Passover night as a time of spiritual attack. Speech material in Acts which interprets the death/resurrection of Jesus as a victory over the power of darkness is also studied. Chapter five explores Acts for ideas of spiritual conflict. Five scenes are analyzed in which Luke develops the spiritual conflict theme (5:1-11; 8:4-24; 13:4-12; 16:16-18f; 19:11-20). Particular attention is given to the encounters of the Christians with pagan magic (8:4f; 13:4f; 19:11f) and we interact closely with S.R. Garrett's recent analysis of these texts (The Demise of the Devil [Fortress Press, 1989]).