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Title: Luke/Acts and the end of history
Author: Crabbe, Kylie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 888X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis investigates how understandings of history in diverse texts of the Graeco-Roman period illuminate Lukan eschatology. Two strands of Lukan scholarship have contributed to an enduring tendency to underestimate the centrality of eschatology to Luke/Acts. Hans Conzelmann's thesis, that Luke focused on history rather than eschatology as a response to the parousia's delay, has dominated Lukan scholarship since the mid-twentieth century, with concomitant assumptions about Luke's politics and understanding of suffering. Recent Lukan scholarship has centred instead on genre and rhetoric, examining Luke/Acts predominantly in relation to ancient texts deemed the same genre while overlooking themes (including those of an eschatological character) that these texts do not share. This thesis offers a fresh approach. It illuminates the inherent connections between Luke's understanding of history and its end, and demonstrates significant ways in which Luke's eschatological consciousness shapes key themes of his account. By extending comparisons to a wider range of texts, this study overcomes two clear methodological shortfalls in current research: limiting comparisons of key themes to texts of similar genre, and separating non-Jewish from Jewish texts. Having established the need for a new examination of Luke's eschatology in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 I set out the study's method of comparing diverse texts on themes that cut across genres. Chapters 3 to 6 then consider each key text and Luke/Acts in relation to a different aspect of their writers' conceptions of history: the direction and shape of history; determinism and divine guidance; human culpability and freedom; and the present and the end of history. The analysis shows that in every aspect of history examined, Luke/Acts shares significant features of the texts with which, because they do not share its genre, it is not normally compared. Setting Luke/Acts in conversation with a broader range of texts highlights Luke's periodised, teleological view of history and provides a nuanced picture of Luke's understanding of divine and human agency, all of which is affected in fundamental ways by his portrayal of the present time already within the final period of history. As a result, this study not only clarifies Lukan eschatology, but reaffirms the importance of eschatology for Lukan politics and theodicy.
Supervisor: Bockmuehl, Markus ; Rowland, Christopher Sponsor: University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biblical theology ; Acts of the Apostles ; Luke-Acts ; New Testament studies ; Luke ; Gospel of ; Methodology in biblical studies ; Theodicy ; Josephus ; Jewish War ; Virgil ; Aeneid ; Schema of history ; Genre ; Eschatology ; 2 Maccabees ; Tacitus ; Histories ; 4 Ezra ; Polybius ; Dead Sea Scrolls ; Hans Conzelmann ; Time in Second Temple Judaism ; Politics ; Diodorus Siculus ; Temporality and hope ; Valerius Maximus ; 2 Baruch ; Divine and human agency ; War Scroll