Item description for Luke, Judaism, and the Scholars: Critical Approaches to Luke-Acts by Joseph B. Tyson...
This survey of the history of critical scholarship on the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles draws particular attention to the interpretation of Luke's treatment of Jews and Judaism. It notes that the Holocaust was a major turning point in the history of New Testament scholarship.
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Studio: University of South Carolina Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.25" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.82" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1999
Publisher University of South Carolina Press
ISBN 157003334X ISBN13 9781570033346
Reviews - What do customers think about Luke, Judaism, and the Scholars: Critical Approaches to Luke-Acts?
Triumphalism, Tragedy, or Something Else??? Aug 1, 2008
I fully agree with the previous review of this book by Midwest Book Reviews. I find their reviews succinct, accurate, and extremely useful. That being said, I hope that I can amplify and flesh out their contribution. It should be noted that this work does not spend much time with scholars emphasizing source critical or historical critical analysis. It is largely a study of how attitudes brought to the text have shaped theological scholarship regarding Luke-Acts. If your primary interest is in the historical content of Luke-Acts and the sources of material included by the author, this book will provide you with some information but not as much as you might wish. Furthermore, my academic specialty makes me extremely aware of the conundrum of writing about the past while weighed down by the baggage of the present. While my primary interests are not addressed in this volume, please note that I still gleaned much of interest from this study. Also, Tyson is to be commended for writing a book that is accessible to all literate adults which provides a road map of where we have been and where we seem to be going in scholarship regarding Luke-Acts and Judaism.
Starting with F. C. Bauer representing the "Tubingen School" in the eighteen-thirties and running through Harnack, Schlatter, Heanchen and Conzelmann into the nineteen-fifties Tyson finds that these German scholars read a rather unremitting stream of anti-Judaism into Luke-Acts. One wonders if the results might have been different if scholars from another nation were queried? The short answer is probably not as anti-Jewish sentiment has existed in Christian circles since circa 40 CE right through the Augustine-Ambrose debates on the topic and thereafter. With the Crusades, this sentiment turned ugly and violent. Modernity which was ushered in during the sixteen hundreds was viewed by the Roman Catholic Church as a direct attack on its authority. And, as if by habit, the "evils" of modernity were blamed on the Jews. It was but a short leap to the political anti-Semitism of the nineteenth and early twentieth century which culminated in the Holocaust. In nineteen sixty-two, Jacob Jervell, a Norwegian scholar, started questioning the pervasiveness of anti-Judaism in the New Testament. The publication in nineteen seventy-two of his book, "Luke and the People of God," opened a floodgate of revisionist scholarship on Luke-Acts. The degree of anti-Judaism displayed in these scriptural texts has been an important topic in later works.
Once again, this should remind us of the dictum "that what we write about the past tells us much about our present." Tyson rightly and frankly sees the Holocaust as a pivotal event in the here and now that changed the scholarly treatment of anti-Judaism in the N.T. However, historical revisionism, new left historiography, and deconstructionist literary criticism have also contributed to this reassessment. These later factors have been instrumental in the weeding out of cultural bias from scholarly work in a number of fields. Regrettably, religious studies, theology, and related areas have lagged in their attempts to implement value free objective goals as well as rigorous methodological criteria. After Jervell, Tyson considers the work of three late twentieth century American scholars. They are Jack T. Sanders, Robert L. Brawley, and Robert C. Tannehill. In short, Sanders finds the ultimate closure of the mission to the Jews in Acts and the triumph of anti-Judaism in the text while Brawley finds in Luke-Acts a primarily positive attitude towards Judaism with a still open mission to the Jews at the end of Acts. All three of these scholars find ambivalence towards Jews and Judaism in Luke-Acts, but it is Robert Tannehill who emphasizes it most. At the end of Acts, he finds the mission to the Jews to be closed and replaced with the mission to the gentiles.
On the one hand, the earlier German scholars found a Christianity triumphant over a moribund "late Judaism." For them, Judaism earned the reprobation it received by its obdurate rejection of repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Tannehill sees a tragedy steeped in misunderstanding and ambivalence. An historical reading of Luke-Acts goes a long way to explain the ambivalence of the early Church regarding contemporary Judaism. On that topic, one might wish to consult a bibliography published by Joel B. Green on the historicity of Luke-Acts. A fine short closing chapter by Tyson indicates some of the future directions the study of Luke-Acts might take. The author deserves enormous credit for his evenhanded and objective approach to the material covered in this book. Even though Tyson lets you know his opinions, they never interfere with his careful explication of the scholarship of others. And, while Tyson dates Luke-Acts at a very late date, you would never suspect that from this book. There is much to be gained by reading this work. It is a model of objectivity. It should challenge and inform all but the most advanced students and scholars of the matters considered.
A supberly researched and written survey. Feb 3, 2000
Joseph Tyson is professor emeritus of religious studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and in his latest book, Luke, Judaism, and the Scholars: Critical Approaches to Luke-Acts, surveys the history of critical scholarship on the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Professor Tyson draws particular attention to the interpretation of Luke's treatment of Jews and Judaism as he notes that the Holocaust was a major turning point in the history of New Testament scholarship, including the study of Luke's writings. Professor traces the evolution of scholarly view of the text over the past two centuries and examines the work of leading New Testament scholars, both European and American. Luke, Judaism, And The Scholars is a splendid contribution to the growing body of New Testament scholarship focusing on the writings of Luke and the study of Christianity's Judaic roots.