Re: the Lukan context of the LP
- I think that Jeffrey's suggestion that Luke is, broadly, dealing
with discipleship and apostasy in this material is a good one.
Before Luke 9.51, Luke has been careful to make clear what true
discipleship involves. It is "hearing the word of God and doing it".
Key texts here are:
6.46-49: "Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does
them, I will show you what he is like . . . " (at the conclusion
of the Sermon on the Plain, addressed to his disciples (6.20) in
the "hearing of the people", 7.1)
8.21 "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of
God and do it" (a redactional reworking of Mark 3.35, "doing the
will of God")
The Travel Narrative gets underway with the question of "would-be
disciples" (9.57-62); seventy-two are then sent out on mission and
again the hearing of the word of God, in the context of discipleship
and apostasy, is key:
10.16: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you
rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
The Good Samaritan + Mary and Martha complex seem further to have the
Shema ("Hear O Israel, the Lord your God . . .") very much in the
background. It is explicit in 10.25-28 and implicit in the Mary and
Martha story which appear to be all about discipleship roles:
10.39: ". . . Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to
his teaching" (HKOUEN TON LOGON AUTOU).
She is the one that is commended by Jesus as the true disciple
This story leads into the Lord's Prayer, which is Jeffrey's major
concern, and its context in 11.1-13 appears to be the Fatherhood of
God and sonship. The Friend at Midnight parable and the associated Q
teaching (11.9-13) appears to concern God's faithfulness in the light
of the requests made by his children.
As always, teaching on true discipleship in the Travel Narrative is
interleaved with matters of controversy over Jesus' ministry, as in
11.14-26 in which Jesus is charged with casting out demons "by
Beelzebul", while some seek signs. God's judgement has already come
on opponents who are the antithesis of the earler models of
discipleship like Martha.
11.27-28 pronounces a blessing on the true disciple. We should not
be surprised that the true disciple is conceived, in typical Lukan
language, as the one who "hears the word of God and keeps it"
(11.28). Meanwhile, there are those who will continue to seek for
signs (11.29) but who do not repent when the word of God is preached
(11.29-32). Once more, Luke is interleaving teaching on true
discipleship with controversy about those who reject "the word".
This is just a quick sketch of the way that I see the early chapters
of the Travel Narrative working. I agree with Jeffrey's notion that
the LP in Luke fits into a context broadly concerned with matters of
discipleship (hearing the word of God) and apostasy (rejecting the
word of God).
Let me conclude by observing that just as the Sower Parable is key to
the plot of Mark's Gospel (often realised, e.g. by Tolbert & Drury),
so too it is key in the plot of Luke (less often realised). For Luke
has, in his interpretation of the Sower Parable (8.11-15), the
opening line "the seed is the Word of God" (redactional change to
Mark on the assumption of MP). And then the different types of
ground as those who "hear". Some are those who reject the word (the
apostates). For the interpretation of the LP note especially:
Luke 11.13: "And the ones on the rock are those who, when they
hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root; they
believe for a while and in the time of temptation (PEIRASMOS,
again LukeR of Mark) fall away."
Those, like Martha, who hear the word of God and do it are celebrated
in the conclusion of the parable's interpretation (8.15).
Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology Tel: 0121 414 7512
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
World Without Q: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
(Please note new address)
I am currently writing my dissertation in the area of
forgiveness in Matthew (obviously much more specific than that, but that
will do for now) and am doing some work on M's version of the LP. When
you say that the prayer is not about "praying down the end times" would
you then disagree with N.T. Wrights analysis of the eschatological and
exilic elements of the prayer (thy kingdom come)? Much of my work has
to do with the link between forgiveness and exile and I am convinced
that Wright is correct in much of what he argues (or Steck before him).
I do wonder how a first century Jew would have viewed the prayer and
what he would have thought of several elements.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey B. Gibson [SMTP:jgibson000@...]
> Sent: Thursday, July 02, 1998 6:00 PM
> To: Crosstalk
> Cc: Synoptic-L; graphai
> Subject: the Lukan context of the LP
> I'm beginning my probe into the Lukan context of the LP - which,
> recall is in the interest of finding evidence that the LP is a prayer
> which is more concerned with keeping the disciples from apostasy than
> "praying down" the "end times". So I have several questions upon which
> I'd like feed back from anyone who'd care to reply and expecially from
> anyone who has been doing work on Luke (not my forte)
- Lamerson, Sam wrote:
> I am currently writing my dissertation in the area of
> forgiveness in Matthew (obviously much more specific than that, but that
> will do for now) and am doing some work on M's version of the LP. When
> you say that the prayer is not about "praying down the end times" would
> you then disagree with N.T. Wrights analysis of the eschatological and
> exilic elements of the prayer (thy kingdom come)? Much of my work has
> to do with the link between forgiveness and exile and I am convinced
> that Wright is correct in much of what he argues (or Steck before him).
> I do wonder how a first century Jew would have viewed the prayer and
> what he would have thought of several elements.
Thanks for your message. Funny you should mention Wright. I have not yet
read his _The Lord and His Prayer_ but I had just last night resolved to
do so today! So as to whether I disagree with him I cannot as yet say.
However, Tom and I were both students of G.B. Caird, so I am enormously
sympathetic to Tom's view of the eschatology of Jesus as set out in
_Jesus and the Victory of God_, a view which owes much to Caird's own
work on eschatology and the historical Jesus. So I can't imagine he and
I are too far off from one another, at least in the idea that if any
eschatology pervades the LP it is one which sees the BASILELIA as having
already dawned. It is this sense of KAIROS - that is, a sense that
Israel is even now being visited by God and how it responds in the light
of this will determine it's fate - that stands behind the LP.
Now as to the meaning of the petition "let your Kingdom come": you
should note that I carried on some discussion of this point on crosstalk
and Synoptic-L back in February of this year. But in case you cannot
access the archives to these lists, I'm appending as an attachment, the
posting I sent in which I first mooted my musings on this matter. Feel
free to respond to it.
Also, I should very much like to see (as I'm sure others on the lists
above would too) what you have to say about the forgiveness petition in
the LP as well as what the additional teaching on forgiveness which
Matthew attaches to the LP does to the meaning of the LP as a whole.
P.S. plase ignore the fact that the attachment is labeled "bebop". I had
to name it something, and bebop was the first thing that came to mind.
That's the influence of listening to a golden oldies station as I write!
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626
- Jeff, just a quick bibliographic not e.
Do you know THE LORD'S PRAYER, Supplementary Issue No. 2 to The Princeton
Seminary Bulletin? It was published in 1992, a report on the 1991 Frederick
Neumann Symposium on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture.
And then, one substantive comment. I find in Jesus' words both the
conviction that the Kingdom was among them and that it still lies in the
[immediate] future? You seem to regard that as impossible. Such enigmatic
seeming contradictions arecharacteristic of his words.
And it seems to me that is also true in 2 Isaiah. Comment?
Peace, Ed Krentz
Edgar Krentz, Prof. of New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 EAST 55TH STREET
CHICAGO, IL 60615
Tel:  256-0752; (H)  947-8105
Reply to: ekrentz@... (office)