The literary structure of Luke 4:14-24:53 : a new proposal
The Gospel of Luke exhibits numerous correspondence between pericopes, some related to structure and others not. Those that were intentional reflect how Luke understood the individual units of tradition that were incorporated into Luke-Acts. They reflect an interrelationship he perceived between the corresponding pericopes. Accordingly, in the process of composing his volumes, Luke read the individual units of tradition intertextually, in the light of each other. This thesis adopts a form of the literary theory called "intertextuality" that accepts the importance of the author for the interpretation of certain types of text. The intent of Luke is frequently sought through the evidence of the correspondences. Robert C. Tannehill has studied intertextual correspondences in Luke-Acts that are not strictly structural in nature. His work is evaluated in the first chapter of the thesis. Eleven rigorous tests that assess the probability of authorial intent behind proposed correspondences are formulated and applied to proposals. Many withstand this scrutiny, but several do not. The second chapter applies the same tests to Charles H. Talbert's often extensive sets of Luke-Acts correspondences. He considers these to be the very framework of Luke-Acts. Several of them are found wanting, but authorial intent is proven to be probable in many instances. Chapter three establishes the literary precedent for the multi-fold parallel cyclical structure of Luke to be proposed in chapter four (e.g. ABC ... A'B'C'...). Numerous examples are presented of OT, Greco-Roman and NT texts that bear a similar patterned architecture. The new proposal for the cyclical structure of Luke 4:14-24:53 is developed in chapter four. The eleven tests for authorial intent are applied and the results strongly favor its intentional construction. Chapter five discusses the many literary and theological implications of the structure. Additionally, a viable method of Lucan composition, consistent with the proposed structure, is suggested.