Apostasy and Perseverance in the Theology of Lukeby S Brown
The starting point of our investigation, like much recent writing on Luke, was Hans Conzelmann's study, Die Mitte der Zeit. Despite the many evident merits of this book, it fails to offer a convincing exegetical foundation for the author's conception of a Satan-free Age of Jesus, bordered on the one end by the devil's completion of every peirasmoz (Lk 4,13) and on the other by the reappearance odf Satan and peirasmoz at the start of Jesus' passion (Lk 22,3). Upon further reflection it occurred to us that Conzelmann's conception was based on an unwarranted presupposition, i.e. that Luke understood peirasmoz in the same fashion as the epistolary literature of the New Testament. Only in terms of this latter understanding of the word could Conzelmann speak of a Satan free Age of Jesus or maintain that peirasmoz is the characteristic of the Age of the Church. Our study of the Lucan usage of peirasmoz revealed on he contrary that the word is not a part of Luke's own theological vocabulary and that in those places where he has taken it over from his sources he understands it in a sense quite different from the one it has in the New Testament epistles.
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