The Roman Empire in Luke's Narrative

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Employing a historically-informed narrative-critical approach to 'Luke-Acts', this work illuminates Luke's portrayals of Roman officials in light of the Jewish portrayals of Gentile rulers in both the Old Testament and in Second Temple literature. It explores the intertextual relationship of 'Luke-Acts' with preceding Jewish literature, going beyond quotations and clear allusions. Luke's worldview is holistic: both Jewish and Roman authorities are under the authority of the Roman emperor, who is in turn under Satan's authority. False dichotomies such as those between Jewish and Roman, political and religious, and supernatural and earthly must be avoided. In this interpretative framework, five Roman provincial governors and three Herodian rulers are examined. Luke's portrayals of Roman and Herodian rulers reflect certain patterns found in Jewish literature concerning the relationship between God, Israel and Gentile rulers. Luke's portrayals of Roman and Jewish rulers are shown as having several important narrative functions. They not only shed light on the political background of early Christianity, but also illuminate theology, Christology, and ecclesiology in Luke-Acts. Formerly The Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement , a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. The Early Christianity in Context series, a part of JSNTS, examines the birth and development of early Christianity up to the end of the third century CE. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context. European Seminar on Christian Origins and Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Supplement are also part of JSNTS.