New Article in JTS on Luke’s Temple Theology

In March, I posted a presentation I had made to the Cambridge Graduate NT seminar on the theological importance of the Jerusalem temple in the Gospel of Luke. I had actually submitted the full version of that research to the Journal of Theological Studies (published by Oxford University) in mid-December 2013. The presentation I made in March was a highly condensed version. I found out a month or two after the presentation that the paper was accepted by JTS. That article has now been published at long last.

JTS published its articles online about a month before the actual hard-copy journal is released, so the abstract and PDF can be accessed now via their website.  The print version will arrive in October. [A funny quirk of the academic world is that, at least for rookies, it can take almost a year from submission to publication for a single journal article, even if it is accepted on the first time through.*] If for some reason you cannot access the PDF from the link and would like to see it, send me an email.

Title: “Luke’s Distinctive Use of the Temple: Portraying the Divine Visitation,” Journal of Theological Studies 65/2 (2014): 433–462. (link)

Abstract: The Gospel of Luke stands out among the Synoptics in its prominent and generally positive use of the Jerusalem temple in framing the narrative. The gospel begins and ends at the temple, and Jesus’ ministry is developed by the writer in such a way that the temple continually comes to the forefront. Prior scholarship has duly made note of the prominence of the temple in the literary structuring of Luke (and Acts), but few comprehensive treatments of the theological importance of the temple have been attempted. This article—after providing a summary of Luke’s temple language, the Jewish background of the temple motif in the gospel, and Luke’s unique treatment of the temple relative to Matthew and Mark—provides a detailed analysis of the theological use of the temple in Luke. In particular, the article examines how Luke uses a variety of Old Testament temple concepts to portray Jesus’ definitive arrival at the temple as the prophetic re-visitation of Yahweh. This theology of visitation, especially in view of Ezekiel 8–11 and 43, is traced throughout the major sections of the gospel, including the infancy narrative, baptism and transfiguration, the travel narrative, Jesus’ entry into the temple, and the eschatological discourse.

Many thanks again to my supervisor, Dr. Simon Gathercole, for making the offhand comment, “Why don’t you see if there’s anything interesting about Luke’s use of the temple….” As it turns out, there is.

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* I submitted an article to another journal this summer, and their automatic reply stated that I may not even hear anything (even a rejection) for up to 9 months! If it’s accepted, it’d be another 3 months for revisions … then another 1-3 months to be published!

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