By Paul W. Walaskay
It has usually been recommended that Luke's volumes have been written as an apology for Christianity, to illustrate to the Roman experts that the hot religion was once no longer a perilous and subversive innovation, a risk to the Pax Romana and to Roman rule. This booklet stories the improvement of the 'traditional perspective', then increases a few questions, e.g. if Luke was once writing an apologia professional ecclesia, why does he comprise rather a lot fabric politically harmful to the Christian reason? Is it attainable that the strategy has been made of the inaccurate perspective, that Luke was once writing an apologia now not professional ecclesia yet professional imperio, to guarantee his fellow Christians that Church and Empire don't need to worry or suspect one another? This end is then supported through an research of the textual content of Luke-Acts, relatively the rigors of Jesus and Paul. This hard quantity should be of curiosity to scholars and students of the hot testomony and to ecclesiastical and Roman historians.
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Additional info for "And So We Came to Rome": The Political Perspective of St Luke
Danker, for example, holding on to the traditional view that Luke has presented an apologia pro ecclesia, states: 'Luke knows that the identification of Jesus as a king has raised eyebrows. This story should clear the air. "Down with the establishment" is not his theme song. ' A Roman official would have been only mildly impressed with this episode. Naturally, people are The politics of Luke: a reappraisal 36 to pay their taxes. The denarius, with its imprint of Tiberius, is the symbol of stable currency and commerce for which Romans and provincials could be grateful.
Throughout Luke—Acts, the Evangelist has done his best to modify his sources in order to sculpt the virtues of the empire in high relief. This modification is, of course, most evident in the Third Gospel for we have Mark and, to some extent, Q as controls; it is more difficult to make such a comparative study of Luke's second volume. Nevertheless, in the analysis of the following five passages of the Third Gospel, I shall refer occasionally to Luke's pro-Roman perspective as it occurs woven throughout the fabric of both volumes.
Yet Luke consistently presents these magistrates against the backdrop of (1) jealous Jews who constantly pressure the authorities to act against Christians and (2) a durable imperial legal system The politics of Luke: a reappraisal 24 that transcends local administrative waffling. None of these episodes depicts Rome as an enemy of Christianity. At worst, it can be said that the civil authorities succumbed to Jewish pressure; most often, they acted out of ignorance; and at best, the Roman judicial system protected the apostles from the chaos and caprice of an unruly mob.