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21 The Christianization of a Topos (Luke 12:13–34)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces ancient Greek and Latin deliberations on greed into the discussion and demonstrates Luke's awareness of the conventions used in those deliberations. It is natural that wealth be associated with the pleasures it makes possible, and the moralists lost no opportunity to link covetousness and wealth with the hedonistic life. The topos comes into play especially in vv. 13-34, for it allows Luke to write in terms widely known in his day. The similarities to the popular conventions associated with covetousness are numerous and striking. Equally striking is the way Luke has placed his own theological imprint on those conventions, in the process Christianizing the topos.

Keywords: christianization; Luke



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