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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Luke's Theology, June 12, 2006
This review is from: The Theology of the Gospel of Luke (New Testament Theology) (Paperback)
One of the deficiencies in single book Bible commentaries is that there is not enough discussion of the author's theological message. So this contribution by Joel Green is a welcome addition to the studies that have been done on Luke's Gospel. He ably surveys the theological landscape of Luke, occasionally making salient comments on whether this differs or is consistent with Luke's work in the book of Acts.

There are six chapters in this 184 page book, and in chapter one, Green discusses the world of Luke's gospel. He suggests that an understanding of Luke's gospel is predicated especially on an understanding of how Luke has grappled with the cultural world of Greco-Roman Palestine, and with how he has shaped his narrative. Green sees Luke as historiography, the story of Jesus within the story of God's purposes.

Chapter two surveys the theme of God as Savior, noting that God's purpose is explained in Luke as a desire to seek and to save that which was lost. We see this theme in the story of the lost coin in Luke 15, and the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, and in the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Luke also invites us to make their stories our story by properly responding to the salvation offered by God in Jesus.

Chapter three is a discussion of Jesus as Savior. Luke portrays Christ as Son of David, Son of God (as opposed to simply being son of Joseph), and Savior for all (Luke 2:10) The atonement of Christ is not as emphasized in Luke as it is in Acts.

I appreciated Green's acknowledgement on page 89 that central for Luke is that salvation is to be extended and offered to all people. We see this theme throughout Luke, as Jesus ministers to the marginalized members of society: the widow in Luke 7, the sinful woman mentioned in the same chapter, and in the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14.

Green has a concluding chapter that helps Christians to apply the message of Luke to our lives today. He says that Luke's message of God's universal offer of salvation should help us to repent of our ageism, our sexism and all the other isms that still plague the body of Christ.

I must confess that I found fault with Green's larger commentary on Luke (published in 1997) because I felt that Green was more concerned about the cultural background of the Gospel of Luke than about the text of Luke itself. But this book shows that Green has an excellent understanding of the text. I highly recommend this book to those who are studying or teaching or preaching through Luke's Gospel.
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