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Resurrection, Exaltation and Ascension in Luke-Acts

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Chapter Summary

At the earliest recoverable stage of nascent Christianity it became evident that Christ's exaltation to heaven or his session at the right hand of God coincided with the event of resurrection. From the late first and early second century AD onwards, the exaltation had been detached from the resurrection and transferred to a final act of ascension at the end of a series of appearances. The theme of apostolic witness to the resurrection recurs frequently in the Book of Acts (1:22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:40-41; 13:31). Of the three sayings preserved in the Gospel of Luke which are pertinent to this topic only the first (22:69) is attested to in all three synoptic gospels; the other two (23:42-43; 24:26) are Lukan Sondergut. The post-resurrection appearances described in the Gospel and Acts are all appearances of the already exalted Lord 'from heaven', in which Christ temporarily condescended to human conditions.

Keywords: ascension; early Christianity; exaltation; Gospel of Luke; post-resurrection appearances; resurrection

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