The Preface to Luke's Gospel

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Oct 13, 2005 - Religion - 268 pages
Luke's two-volume work begins with a formal preface unlike anything else in the New Testament, and it has long been academic orthodoxy that Luke's choice of style, vocabulary, and content in this short passage reveal a desire to present his work to contemporary readers as 'History' in the great tradition of Thucydides and Polybius. This study challenges that assumption: far from aping the classical historians, Dr Alexander argues, Luke was simply introducing his book in a style that would have been familiar to readers of the scientific and technical manuals which proliferated in the hellenistic world. The book contains a detailed study of these Greek 'scientific' prefaces as well as a word-by-word commentary on the Lucan texts. In her concluding chapters, Alexander seeks to explore the consequences of this alignment both for the literary genre of Luke-Acts (is it meant to be read as 'history'?) and for the social background of the author and the book's first readers.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


questions and assumptions
On the beginnings of books
Historical prefaces
origins and development
structure content and style
Lukes preface
Prefaces in hellenistic Jewish literature
The social matrix of Lukes preface
The appropriate form of words for the occasion
Appendix A Structural analysis of Luke 1 14 and
Select bibliography
Index of scientific authors
Index of modern authors

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xiv - JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JSNT Journal for the Study of the New Testament JTS Journal of Theological Studies...
Page 233 - Jervell, Luke and the People of God: A New Look at Luke-Acts (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1972), pp.