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God as F(r)iend? Reading Luke 11:5-13 & 18:1-8 with a Hermeneutic of Suffering

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Employing an optic grounded in suffering and foregrounding intertexts in which God is portrayed unfavorably, it is argued that in Luke 11:5-13 and 18:1-8 Jesus acknowledges a negative experience and conception of the deity among some of early Roman Palestine’s “poor ... captives ... blind ... [and] oppressed” (4:18-19). Jesus does not ask them to suppress their impressions of God or to align them with more traditional representations; rather, they are encouraged to remain in conversation with the deity and not to become discouraged or be afraid, even when their speech pushes beyond socially acceptable limits and becomes accusatory, contemptuous, blasphemous, or outright hostile. Indeed, Jesus recommends impudence and audacious tenacity before God, confident that such conduct will receive a hearing and a response.

Affiliations: 1: Luther College Decorah, IA USA, Email:


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