Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle annotated edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1570036507
ISBN-10: 1570036500
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle is a breakthrough contribution concerning not only the composition and purpose of Luke-Acts but also Paul's legacy, Marcion's theology, and patristic hermeneutics. Joseph Tyson's study is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the canon and the development of Christian orthodoxy. This volume is highly recommended for scholars and students alike."--Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion

About the Author

Joseph B. Tyson is professor emeritus of religious studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where has taught for forty years. Tyson's many books include Luke, Judaism, and the Scholars; Images of Judaism in Luke-Acts; The Death of Jesus in Luke-Acts; and The New Testament and Early Christianity.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press; annotated edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570036500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570036507
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,136,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By calmly on July 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some Bible "scholars" believe that the scriptures are simple, direct accounts of what happened. They seem to favor early as possible dates for each of the New Testament scriptures. Acting as believers first and historians a distant second, they present history to suit their beliefs.

It is, therefore, an eye opener when a scholar suspects that both Acts and the canonical version of the Gospel of Luke were not written until about 120-125 C.E. and with the teachings of Marcion fully in mind (such a date might mean some of the surviving Gnostic texts were also written before Acts and the canonical Gospel of Luke). Tyson makes a credible argument for such a hypothesis. In doing so, he reveals a good deal about what is known about Marcion and his form of Christianity, as well as about how proto-orthodox Christians composed their stories so as to bring together Jewish Christianity and Pauline Christianity. Had they not succeeded, Christianity would have been far different than it came to be, without an Old Testament in the Bible, with a radically different understanding of God and with a much more substantial place for Paul's letters.

Tyson also raises questions about whether much of the dating of the New Testament texts has not been rigorous and instead of based on historical study has been based to large extent on conveniences of the beliefs of scholars. That recalled for me Walter Bauer's classic Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity which conservative Christian scholars have sought to discredit due to suggestions that significant Gnostic Christian activity may have preceded the writing of many of the New Testament scriptures.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Daryl M. Williams on August 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My avocation, inter alia, is studying the Bible. I have always thought the Old Testament is more interesting from an exegetical standpoint because it tends to be more numinous than the often conflicting writings of the New Testament. However, Marcion and Luke-Acts provided me with a particular perspective of the New Testament and the impetus behind the canonization of certain early works. The thesis of this essay--that Luke/Acts is a response to Marcionite Christianity--is well presented and worthy of consideration by any serious student or hobbyists like me. Anything written about the origins and reasons for particular books in the New Testament and their approaches is, of course, somewhat problematic because of the lack of autographs and necessary reliance on second and third century(or later)writers, but Tyson does a good job of summarizing a major hypothesis in a readable and compelling way. The book is well done: good footnotes, good analysis of pericopes, and good summaries of views by others.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris Albert Wells on January 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scholars who try to change our perception of essential NT texts are rare enough to deserve praise.

Tyson considers, with the Tubingen school, that Acts was written in Rome and responds to a consensus reached by the rivaling Jewish and Gentile factions after having been agitated by Marcion's influence using Galatians to give the Gentiles arguments to achieve self consciousness. Marcion also had a version of Luke.

Tyson's main theses here is that Marcion's Luke text was a primitive version and that canaonical Luke was also later completed as a reaction against Marcion.

Analyzing the opening and childhood chapters as well as the final chapter in canonical Luke, Tyson shows that they must have been written by a different author.

Acts and the completed Luke therefore responded to community strategies in the aftermath of Marcion, which I find a very realistic conclusion.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dowling on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marcino and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle is certainly one of the best 'higher criticism" books I've read. Tyson outlines the background, the opinions/views of other scholars who both concur AND disagree with some of his assertions, and like a true scholar carefully outlines why he takes up a certain viewpoint. I'm not sure I concurred with every assertion, but he did convert me to his general thesis for a later date for Luke-Acts, with a more primitive Luke existing much earlier that was used by both Marcion and the canonical author. The book is written clearly enough for interested lay readers (like myself), although it goes deep enough into pre-existing theories/biblical history that it would certainly help to have some familiarity with the general field (although I don't think this the type of book a person with only casual knowledge of early Christian history takes out of the bargain bin box, ha) Overall, an excellent and concise piece free of some of the biases and assumptions that cloud way too much of forays into early Christian history. Highly recommend.
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