Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Parsons, Mikeal†C.

Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006 pp. 191. $21.99


Description: Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles come out of a world in which it was commonly believed that outward appearance, including physical disabilities, indicated inner, moral character. This belief that you can, as it were, judge a book by its cover has been described as the "physiognomic consciousness" of the ancient world. Luke, in stories related to the establishment and fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, introduces the language of physiognomy only to subvert it. Theology trumps physiognomy: inclusion in the people of God is not determined by one's physical features. After surveying the relationship between physical appearance and character in Greco-Roman, Jewish, and early Christian literature, Mikeal Parsons sketches Luke's attitude toward the body-soul relationship before homing in on four key passages: the bent woman of Luke 13, Zacchaeus in Luke 19, the lame man of Acts 3-4, and the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8. A brief epilogue suggests avenues of contemporary application, and an appendix displays several key ancient texts.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Luke, Acts, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

I donít remember my SBL password.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).


Email Address
SBL Password
 


Review by Pieter J. J. Botha
Published 5/3/2008
Citation: Pieter J. J. Botha, review of Mikeal C. Parsons, Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Review by Glenn E. Snyder
Published 4/4/2009
Citation: Glenn E. Snyder, review of Mikeal†C. Parsons, Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


Review by Patrick E. Spencer
Published 5/3/2008
Citation: Patrick E. Spencer, review of Mikeal C. Parsons, Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us