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Martyrdom in Luke-Acts and the Lukan Social Ethic

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Chapter Summary

In Luke-Acts the deaths of Jesus and Stephen are portrayed as martyrdoms. When we focus on the Lukan Jesus' death, two things need to be said. On the one hand, in contrast to other New Testament witnesses like Paul and Matthew, Luke avoids any connection between Jesus' death and the forgiveness of sins. On the other hand, Luke portrays the death of Jesus as martyrdom, the unjust murder of an innocent man by the established powers due to the pressure of the Jewish leaders. Jesus is innocent of the charges against him. He is delivered up by the Jewish chief priests and scribes and executed by Gentiles. These martyrdoms are understood by the Evangelist in the first instance as the rejection of God's spokesmen which results in the rejection of the rejectors by God.

Keywords: Evangelist; Jesus; Luke-Acts; martyrdoms; New Testament; Stephen



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