From Publishers Weekly
In this well-researched, if specialized, study, Baylor University scholar Parsons draws on a wealth of resources to explore how the author of the Gospel of Luke functions as an ancient bard, an interpreter of received traditions and an evangelist of the early Church. Situating Luke in his Hellenistic and late Jewish context, Parsons locates Luke's canny control of narrative and his dramatic storytelling skills in the arts of ancient Greek rhetoric. Parsons demonstrates, for example, the ways that Luke used Greek rhetorical exercises as a means of structuring the preface to his own gospel. Luke's writing was enriched, according to Parsons, by his lively interpretations of Hellenistic ideas such as friendship and Jewish notions such as the suffering servant. As an evangelist, Luke redefined the idea of Christianity and the roles that Gentiles could play in this Jewish sect. Regrettably, Parsons's book lacks a clear unity and often reads as a collection of disparate essays thrown together without any rhyme or reason; the lack of a conclusion only intensifies the book's incoherence. Only readers with deep familiarity with New Testament scholarship will be able to wade through the Greek, the frequent references to previous scholarship and the scholarly tone of this well-meaning book. (Dec.)
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"Parsons is doing creative workand this work should not be ignored by his fellow scholars."―Robert C. Tannehill, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Review of Biblical Literature
"Parsons' characterizations of the author as storyteller, interpreter, and evangelist allows him not only to focus on the author's major functions but also to call attention to the significance of rhetorical techniques and their bearing on the meaning of Luke's narrative."―Joseph B. Tyson, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University
"Parsons offers the seminary student or advanced undergraduate a detailed introduction to Luke as author within three ancient contexts: pagan, Jewish, and emerging Christian."―Kindalee P. DeLong, Pepperdine University, Religious Studies Review
"Parsons' incisive and challenging interpretations should move the field of Lucan studies forward on several important fronts, notably in terms of method and theology. This book will make an excellent addition to required reading lists for graduate courses on Luke and Acts."―John A. Darr, Boston College, Catholic Biblical Quarterly
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