The Preface to Luke's Gospel
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.
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questions and assumptions
On the beginnings of books
origins and development
structure content and style
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Acts ancient Apollonius of Citium Apollonius of Perge Archimedes Aristeas Artemidorus audience autopsia autoptes Avenarius beginning Belopoeica ben Sira Berossus biblical Cadbury Cassius Dio Catoptr century BC Christian cited claim classical clause dedicatee dedication Demetrius Dibelius Diocles Diocles of Carystus Diodorus Dionysius Dioptr Dioscorides Empiricist Erotian example formal further Galen genre Gospel Greek hellenistic Jewish Herkommer Hermogenes Hero Hero of Alexandria Herodotus Hipparchus Hippocrates historians historical prefaces historiography II Maccabees Josephus language literary convention literature Luke Luke-Acts Luke's preface main verb Mat.Med narrative nepi oral parallels particular passages Philo phrase Polybius predecessors pref preface-convention prose Ps.-Scymnus readers rhetorical Roman scientific prefaces scientific tradition scientific writers seems sense sentence Serenus social context Spir style subject-matter suggest Testament Texts studied Theophilus Thessalus Thucydides topic treatise verse Vettius Valens Vitruvius vocabulary word written
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