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The community of salvation in the theology of St. Luke

Giles, Kevin Norman (1974) The community of salvation in the theology of St. Luke. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is an attempt to understand Luke's own thought on the community who enjoyed the salvation found by faith in Jesus Christ. Recent Lukan studies have shown that our estimation of Luke’s eschatology determines our estimation of the nature of the salvation proclaimed and of those, who considered collectively, embrace it. In both the Gospel and Acts kike enhances the eschatological significance of the present. In the Gospel, the Kingdom of God is present in a dynamic way through the ministry of Jesus and His disciples. In Acts the Holy Spirit inaugurates the new age and enables Luke to continue to speak of Christ as the present Lord. Thus salvation, a basic motif, is understood by Luke as the gift of "the last day" in the present. In the Gospel, salvation is found in fellowship with Jesus, in Acts, in fellowship with the Spirit. In both books Jesus' disciples are to be recognized as the historical eschatological community of salvation. The second half of the study concentrates attention on the titles Luke gives to this community. In the Gospel the only title he develops is "the disciples." His development of this title shows mature thought and suggests wide usage in the early Church. Not only is this term a "church idea," it is also used to bring before our attention what it means to be a Christian in the age after Easter. In Acts many titles are found, most of which tell us something about the community of salvation. Again, "the disciples" is the most important and most developed one. The word εκκλησίɤ on the other hand, is not developed. It only refers to a specific group of people who actually assemble together: it is not used in the catholic sense. Acts 9%31 is interpreted as the individual members of the Church of Jerusalem dispersed throughout Judea Samaria and Galilee, and Acts 20:28 as revealing Pauline theology. The resultant picture suggests that Luke's eschatology and views on salvation are theologically mature and very similar to those of St.Paul. His theology of the community of salvation, on the other hand, is not theologically developed. "The Church" is not an ontological reality; it is not the body of Christ. Individual relationship to Christ retains a primacy in Lukan theology. -Those who are saved are "true Israel," not "new Israel," -"a third race."

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:37

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