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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Interweaving Innocence: A Rhetorical Analysis of Luke's Passion Narrative (Luke 22:66--23:49)
Gorman, Heather M.

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2015 pp. x + 198. $24.00


Description: In this study Heather Gorman analyzes Luke's portrayal of Jesus' death in light of the ancient rhetorical tradition, particularly the progymnasmata and the rhetorical handbooks. In addition to providing a detailed, up-to-date exegetical study of Luke 22:66--23:49, she argues three things. First, through the strategic placement of rhetorical figures and the use of common topics associated with refutation and confirmation, Luke structures his passion narrative as a debate about Jesus' innocence, which suggests that one of Luke's primary concerns is to portray Jesus as politically innocent. Second, ancient examples of synkrisis suggest that part of the purpose of Luke's characterization of Jesus in the passion narrative, especially when set in parallel to Paul and Stephen in Acts, was to set up Jesus as a model for his followers lest they face similar persecution or death. Third, Luke's special material and his variations from Mark are explicable in terms of ancient compositional techniques, especially paraphrase and narration, and thus recourse to a special Passion Source is unnecessary.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Luke, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Rhetorical Criticism

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Review by Steve Smith
Published 2/9/2017
Citation: Steve Smith, review of Heather M. Gorman, Interweaving Innocence: A Rhetorical Analysis of Luke's Passion Narrative (Luke 22:66--23:49), Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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