Explore the rich narrative of Luke’s gospel with leading New Testament scholar John Nolland. Examining the historical context, literary structure, and relationship to other gospels, Nolland provides a detailed reading of Luke that emphasizes the historicity of the book and its theological meaning.
“And to be ‘of God’s good pleasure’ is to be established in a favored relationship with him in which his mercy and power are experienced through his faithfulness to the covenant (see further IQ34; 3 ii 5–6). The Lukan text, then, reflects a semitechnical Semitic expression referring to God’s people and having overtones of election and of God’s active initiative in extending his favor. ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας means ‘among the people whom God has favored.’” (Page 109)
“Shepherds suit the pastoral setting of David’s origins in Bethlehem (1 Sam 16:11; 17:15; Ps 77 :70). Royal figure though he is, the entire drama that surrounds the birth of Jesus takes place with no part given to the secular or religious rulers of the land.” (Page 106)
“His anointing signals appointment and empowering to be the Isaianic figure who heralds and brings salvation. The salvation in view is represented with Jubilee imagery, but is no call for an implementation of Jubilee legislation. Jubilee release is not spiritualized into forgiveness of sins, but neither can it be resolved into a program of social reform. It encompasses spiritual restoration, moral transformation, rescue from demonic oppression, and release from illness and disability.” (Page 202)
“Most pointedly, modern study has demonstrated that the evangelists were in their own right theologians, that just as important to them as the task of preserving and propagating the memory of Jesus was the need to interpret him and all that his coming implied in the light of the resurrection and into the ongoing context of life within which they as Christians knew and served Jesus as the living Lord. The evangelists were engaged in proclamation and not just reporting; their concern was so to tell the story of the historical Jesus that their readers might encounter the living Christ.” (Page xxviii)