Luke - Historian and Theologian examines the theology of Luke and the distinctive message found in his Gospel.
Taking into account both Luke’s Gospel and Acts, Marshall makes three suggestions. First, that Luke’s faith rested on the events associated with the work of Jesus and the apostles, hence the historical accounts found in his writings. Second, that the key concept in Luke’s theology is “salvation,” understood as both a present possession and a foretaste of future blessings. Third, that Luke was an evangelist or preacher concerned to lead people to Christian belief on the basis of a reliable record of the historical facts.
Luke’s writings have become the storm center of much biblical study. Is Luke a reliable historian or merely a theologian concerned to commend what he considered to be Christian faith, even at the expense of accuracy? In this book, Howard Marshall, author of an outstanding commentary on the Greek text of Luke, examines these and other related problems.
“The first is that Luke’s theology is closely related to that of his sources.” (Page 9)
“It is our contention that a proper balance needs to be achieved in study of Luke. Part of our thesis is that Luke is both historian and theologian, and that the best term to describe him is ‘evangelist,’ a term which, we believe, includes both of the others. E. Käsemann has stated of Luke: ‘We can only understand him as an historian, if we have first understood him as a theologian.’” (Page 18)
“It is our thesis that the idea of salvation supplies the key to the theology of Luke. Not salvation-history but salvation itself is the theme which occupied the mind of Luke in both parts of his work.” (Page 92)
“The point in the adoption of the conventional form is that Luke was claiming for his work a place in contemporary literature and thereby commending it to the attention of readers. He is confessedly writing a piece of literature, no doubt meant for a wider audience than would be found within the circle of the Christian church.” (Page 38)
“Each of the Gospels is evangelistic; each of them is concerned to present Jesus as the Saviour. But, whereas the stress in Mark is on the person of Jesus, in Matthew on the teaching of Jesus, and in John on the manifestation of eternal life in Him, Luke’s stress is on the blessings of salvation which He brings.” (Page 117)
Highly recommended to all serious students of the New Testament.
—F. F. Bruce
Because of the great importance of Luke’s writings, because of the crucial significance of Lukan theology, because of the current storm center in Lukan studies, and because of Marshall’s careful development of Luke’s theology of salvation, this book should be given careful consideration by every student of the New Testament.
—F. D. Lindsey, Bibliotheca Sacra
A work of fine scholarship, wide reading, sane balance and practical usefulness.
Those wanting a constructive approach to Luke and Acts cannot do better than consult Dr. Marshall’s valuable contribution.