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Jesus’ Birth in Luke and the Nature of Religious Language

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to employ a modified type of reader-based interpretation of the Lukan birth narratives in order to show how a literary-critical reading supports a view of religious language that is closer to that typified by Bultmann than to that represented by Durkheim. By reader-based criticism an approach to the text that asks first of all about what the auditors in Mediterranean antiquity would have heard when the text was read aloud in their presence. It is the author's belief that an answer to this question then permits an inference about the author's general intent. In the light of such a reading, the author intends to comment on an interpretation of Luke 1-2 which illustrates how biblical study should not be done. The chapter considers the text i.e. Luke 1-2. These two chapters are part of the larger thought unit, 1:5-4:15, in the arrangement of the Third Gospel.

Keywords: Bultmann; Durkheim; Gospel; Lukan birth narratives; Luke; Mediterranean antiquity; religious language



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