Item description for The Gospel of Luke (Sacra Pagina Series, Vol 3) by Luke Timothy Johnson...
Overview What makes this commentary on Luke stand apart from others is that, from beginning to end, this is a literary analysis. Because it focuses solely on the Gospel as it appears and not on its source or origin, this commentary richly and thoroughly explores just what Luke is saying and how he says it.
What makes this commentary on Luke stand apart from others is that, from beginning to end, this is a literary analysis. Because it focuses solely on the gospel as it appears and not on its source or origin, this commentary richly and thoroughly explores just what Luke is saying and how he says it.
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Studio: Liturgical Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.38" Width: 6.42" Height: 1.56" Weight: 1.95 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1992
Publisher Liturgical Press
Series Sacra Pagina
ISBN 0814658059 ISBN13 9780814658055
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More About Luke Timothy Johnson
Professor Johnson's research concerns the literary, moral, and religious dimensions of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity (particularly moral discourse), Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters, and the Letter of James. A prolific author, Dr. Johnson has penned numerous scholarly articles and more than 25 books. His 1986 book The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, now in its second edition, is widely used in seminaries and departments of religion throughout the world.
A former Benedictine monk, Dr. Johnson is a highly sought-after lecturer, a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and a senior fellow at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He received the prestigious 2011 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his most recent book, Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (2009, Yale University Press), which explores the relationship between early Christianity and Greco-Roman paganism.
Luke Timothy Johnson currently resides in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia.
Luke Timothy Johnson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Gospel of Luke (Sacra Pagina Series, Vol 3)?
commentary Feb 18, 2008
The Sacra Pagina series of New Testament commentarys are worthwhile books to have on any religious practitioner's bookshelf.
Good, but a little thin Mar 3, 2006
At one point Johnson writes: "... the reader who wants to understand how Luke constructs his overall story in order to accomplish certain religious goals." It's a good description of Johnson's approach: using literary analysis to call our attention to the flow and structure of Luke's argument.
Johnson certainly knows the literature; in this commentary he chooses to present arguments and conclusions without extensive reference to the literature. Not many footnotes. He is a serious scholar and does not lead people astray, but those seeking an in depth study may be slightly frustrated. It might be a better commentary for those who are new to in depth scholarship rather than to those wanting to study a particular passage in depth.
I also found myself frustrated at times that he seems to stop just when things are getting interesting. That is, the space needed to draw out and explain Luke's argument doesn't leave room for the reflection on theological and spiritual implications of the text that I would have valued coming from Johnson.
Still, while I have written negative sounding comments, this is a serious commentary by a prolific, respected author and worth attention.
Luke-Acts Volume 1 Aug 7, 2004
[I've just noticed that this site has tagged this book "Out of Print," a recent development. It is still available from other sources, though. Try to get a copy, as a companion volume to Luke Johnson's commentary on Acts of the Apostles in the same series. The two commentaries belong together.]
The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, jointly called Luke-Acts, have long been recognized as the single work in two volumes of an author with a distinctive understanding of the origins of Christianity. Luke Timothy Johnson has written the commentaries on booth books for the Sacra Pagina series. He has treated them as a literary unity, and chosen the progression of the narrative as his interpretive tool, almost to the complete exclusion of historical-critical concerns. With rhetorical flair he can declare (p. 362), "We ask not about the facts of history but about the meaning of narrative." This approach to understanding particularly suits the study of Luke-Acts. Luke appears to have believed in the persuasive power of narrative, as evidenced by the Gospel prologue (proposing to present an "orderly account"). Not so evident is that Luke's literary art, used so successfuly to communicate his religious perceptions, stamps the whole composition. It has taken the efforts of scholars like Johnson, Robert Tannehill and Joel Green, among others, to bring it out, for which all interested readers should be grateful. The selective remarks below have to do with Luke-Acts as a whole. My review of Sacra Pagina Volume 5 is a brief recap.
Johnson has classified Luke-Acts as an apologetic work in the form of historical narrative--not in defence of Paul or of the Christian movement within the Roman Empire, as some have supposed, but of God's faithfulness to his promises and his people. The early chapters of Acts are crucial to Johnson's interpretation of the whole. He reads the perspective of Acts 1-7 back into the Gospel story and forward to the remainder of Acts. In the Lukan drama God acts in the world to form a "people after his name," and the offer is universal. God indeed had been faithful to the Jews (or the people--Greek "laos"--which in Luke's idiom usually means God's people) and had acted to "restore" them, as the events concentrated in Jerusalem show. Those who rejected the good news cut themselves off from the blessings. Only after establishing that understanding does Luke move on to narrate the Gentile mission. The Christian movement was a continuation of the biblical story.
Many scholars have thought of Luke's composition as an account of salvation history. Johnson does not deny the idea but sees the main story line as that of the Prophet and the people. From beginning to end he relentlessly brings out the prophetic structure of the narrative, first as concerning the words and deeds of Jesus, then of the apostles in their capacity as Jesus' prophetic successors richly gifted with the Spirit. The principal OT model is Moses; his prophetic career of sending and rejection, especially as sketched in Stephen's speech (Acts 7), is paralleled by that of Jesus and the apostles. The death and resurrection of Jesus, and the words of the resurrected Messiah (Luke 24), throw light on the Scriptures and offer the key to interpreting them. As Johnson sees it, "that which is written about me has a fulfillment" (Luke 22:37, author's translation) is a "stark statement" that "stands as a summary of Luke's view concerning Jesus." (p. 349.)
The disciples' recounting of the resurrection appearances (Luke 24) and the accounts of Cornelius' conversion (Acts 10, 11, 15) stand out as examples of narration in Luke's scheme of things. Johnson's astute observation is that the telling and retelling of what had happened, with accompanying interpretations, provided the basis for discernment, and not only became "communal narrative," but began to form the believing community itself.
The commentary is arranged in discrete sections, each consisting of the author's own translation of the Greek, followed by notes, an interpretation, and a brief bibliography. The notes combine the technical notes and the verse by verse exposition found in other commentary formats. The many references to Hellenistic literature identify Luke's cultural milieu and place his writing within it. In terms of content and the space they occupy, the notes constitute a very important part of the commentary. But it is in the interpretation subsections that Johnson's Luke-Acts shows the most vigor. Here he does not use many words, and he does not have to. He makes almost every paragraph tell as it contributes to building an overall picture of what Luke was up to when he composed his masterwork. Each discrete section has meaning in itself, but Johnson has avoided an atomistic study of the text by relating sections to each other, pointing out recurring themes and, best of all, showing how the various vignettes accomplish Luke's literary and religious goals.
I recommend getting both commentaries and reading them in sequence. But note this: neither volume has a subjects index, something to be regretted in works so rich in content. The four-star rating is my assessment of each commentary standing by itself--taken together they rate more, for sheer consistency in demonstrating (1) the prophetic structure of Luke-Acts, (2) the overarching theme of God's faithfulness to his redemptive purpose, (3) how each part relates to the whole, and (4) that Acts continues the Gospel narrative, confirms it, and provides the key to interpreting it.
Good, But Leaves Much to Be Desired Feb 6, 2004
Johnson is a matchless New Testament scholar and his output has been on the whole, very helpful. However, this book leaves much to be desired. The comments on the various passages are too short and Johnson does not provide much help for the pastor preaching on Luke's gospel. His interpretation, of course, is orthodox, there is just too little with which to interact. This is a jr. hamburger, when steak is needed. There are other more helpful commentaries.
AN EXCELLENT GUIDE TO LUKE'S GOSPEL Nov 13, 2003
I first became aware of the Sacra Pagina commentary of Luke's Gospel when I was taking a course on Luke's Gospel at Boston College. From a student's point of view, the commentary was both insightful and chock full of details. In that same year, the gospel readings in the Roman Catholic Lectionary as well as the Common Lectionary were generally taken from Luke's Gospel, and I would sometimes read the commentaries prior to hearing the Gospel proclaimed in a church. From a spiritual point of view, the commentary also had much to offer.
The set up of this commentary is like the other volumes in this series. It begins with a general introduction to the Gospel of Luke as well as current research on this gospel. As far as the actual commentary is concerned, the gospel is divided into major sections and subsection. The sections are divided into the major plot lines of Luke's Gospel, e.g. the birth narratives, early ministry, journey to Jerusalem, etc. Each subsection begins with the scholar's translation of a short gospel passage, has notes about significant words and phrases in the lines that have been translated, and ends with an interpretation of the passage and how it relates to specific themes in the Gospel. Johnson, a noted Catholic scripture scholar and a respected authority on the Gospel of Luke includes ample material in the commentary. His scholarship is current, but also includes historical interpretations as well. While it is evident that Johnson's perspective is Catholic, his sources are not limited to Catholic scholars alone.
People who preach will more than likely found this commentary most useful. Since so many of Luke's stories are relatively well known, finding new interpretations that are authentic to the text can be challenging for anyone involved in preaching. Johnson includes a plethora of information that is bound to capture the interest of a congregation or Bible study group. Students will also find the commentary helpful since it includes an extensive bibliography for further research on Luke's Gospel. This commentary may not be that interesting for a person looking for casual or semi-serious scripture study, but people who want to study Luke's Gospel at home or in a small group in an in depth manner will certainly find this book worthwhile.