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Prophecies of Future Greatness: The Contributions of Greco-Roman Biographies to an Understanding of Luke 1:5–4:1

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Chapter Summary

What handle can the interpreter grasp to bring Luke 1:5-4: 15 within the sphere of our understanding? Since the question of the sources of Luke 1-2 is well nigh impossible to answer and that of Luke 3:1-4: 15 has become increasingly difficult, no argument can be framed with confidence on the basis of a comparison of the final form of the Gospel with its sources. An alternate route, the one chosen in this chapter, is to attempt to indicate how a Greco-Roman reader/hearer of Luke-Acts would have understood Luke 1:5-4:15. Before taking this route, however, it is necessary to justify the focus on 1:5-4:15 as a coherent unit within the Third Gospel. A survey of the contents of the early chapters of Luke seems to support the focus. Before 1:5-4:15 we find the prologue; after it there is the frontispiece of the public ministry.

Keywords: Gospel; Greco-Roman reader; Luke



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