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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Question of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Indictment of the Religious Leaders: A Critical Analysis of Luke 7:18–35
Martínez, Roberto

Cambridge: James Clarke, 2012 pp. xiv + 231. £20.00

Description: Luke 7:18–35 has attracted the attention of commentators and scholars since the patristic era, but its significance has often been glossed over, misunderstood or misrepresented. Divergent interpretations of John the Baptist's question within the context of the passage have influenced the way in which commentators have understand the role of John, the identity of Jesus, and the relationship between them, including the school of thought that John saw Jesus as an adversary. In this book, Roberto Martínez contributes to our understanding with a refreshing use of a narrative-critical perspective, which has only recently gained prominence within the field of Biblical studies. This is the very first study that deals exclusively with this pericope, building upon previous Lukan scholarship dominated by historical-critical and redaction-critical views. Drawing from a variety of interpretations, Martínez explores whether the question of the Baptist had to do with John’s difficulty to accept that the 'one who is to come' had to face death, and addresses the contradiction in verses 19–20 where John’s disciples seem to question Jesus’ identity despite John’s prior affirmation that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The questions of authorship and historical background are also examined. Finally, he shows how Luke puts this tradition about John and Jesus at the service of his theocentric and christological views and offers an alternative explanation to the prevailing understanding of John’s question.

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

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Review by Bart J. Koet
Published 3/13/2015
Citation: Bart J. Koet, review of Roberto Martínez, The Question of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Indictment of the Religious Leaders: A Critical Analysis of Luke 7:18–35, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


Review by Brian C. Dennert
Published 3/13/2015
Citation: Brian C. Dennert, review of Roberto Martínez, The Question of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Indictment of the Religious Leaders: A Critical Analysis of Luke 7:18–35, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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