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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Assuming that the Third Gospel’s audience faced the public relations problem of a crucified Messiah, this chapter argues that the Gospel of Luke is an insiders’ defense of Jesus despite his ignominious death on a cross. Furthermore, while the chapter reviews various methodological approaches to the Lukan author, its own brand of audience-oriented criticism seeks to reconstruct the horizon of expectations and repertoires by which the Gospel’s authorial audience would likely have understood the Third Gospel’s defense. Accordingly, it avers that the Third Gospel negotiated a politics of respectability by imagining Jesus and his followers not solely as prophets and philosophers but as benefactors whose cosmopolitan reach rivaled the Roman Empire’s own claims of worldwide benefaction. Finally, the chapter appraises the Gospel’s defense for its ethical utility under very different circumstances in the world today.

Keywords: Gospel of Luke, Third Gospel, crucified Messiah, audience-oriented criticism, horizon of expectations, repertoire, authorial audience, politics of respectability, Roman Empire

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