Item description for Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus (Biblical Studies Library) by David W. Pao...
New Testament scholars have long recognized the use of Isaiah in the Lukan narrative. While previous studies have focused on isolated quotations and allusions, Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus provides a fresh reading that examines the wider relationship between Isaiah and the Book of Acts. David Pao recognizes the "new exodus" program of Isaiah as a hermeneutical key that offers important clues to the structure and function of Acts and the entire Lukan narrative.
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David W. Pao (PhD Harvard University) is Professor of New Testament and Chair of the New Testament Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His publications include Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus, Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme, Early Christian Voices: In Texts, Traditions, and Symbols (coeditor), Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, and After Imperialism: Christian Identity in China and the Global Evangelical Movement (coeditor).
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a biblical theology of Luke-Acts Mar 11, 2006
Pao seeks to make corrections to historical, theological and literary approaches that "fail to provide a satisfying account of the connections between the "travel narrative" and the earlier chapters in Acts" (pg. 4). He argues that "the scriptural story which provides the hermeneutical framework for Acts is none other than the foundation story of Exodus as developed and transformed through the Isaianic corpus" (pg. 5). The story of Exodus provides an "identity" for the "rebuilding of the community of God's people" (pg. 5). This in turn, acts as a hermeneutical framework (pg. 10). Pao's thesis essentially challenges Strauss's thesis that the Isaianic New Exodus is only "one of the metaphors." Pao asserts that it should be seen as the dominating or controlling metaphor (pg. 13). Pao's thesis is backed up by three analyses: 1) explicit Isaianic citations, 2) the Isaianic influence on the Lukan narrative framework, and 3) the broad Isaianic themes developed in Acts (pg. 18).
Pao uses a literary-critical methodology in his approach. This focuses on the assumption that the author is not merely a "collator of sources but also a skilled writer" (pg. 17).
The writing style is not terribly difficult but it is a re-worked dissertation. It would be great to see a layman's version of this book by the same author. The book includes some Greek and some Hebrew, most of which is translated for the reader.
Timothy Porter has a relatively neutral and brief review of this book in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) vol 45 pg. 364-5.
Here are some positions and assumptions that Pao takes (they are generally conservative):
1. Luke contains midrash techniques but does not fall under that generic genre (pg. 9).
2. He does not use first-, second-, third- Isaiah designations (pg. 19).
3. The unity of Luke-Acts is assumed and affirmed (pg. 19).
4. The "we" passages are inclusive of the author himself and Paul (pg 22).
5. Acts was written "towards AD 70" (pg 29).
6. Quotations from Isaiah by Luke do justice to the context (pg. 31).