Friday, 13 June 2008

Rick Strelan's New Book: Luke the Priest

Rick Strelan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting some years ago in exploring the possibilities of doing my doctoral studies with him, has recently published a very intriguing book, Luke the Priest: The Authority of the Author of the Third Gospel. Rick is currently a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, University of Queensland, Australia.

Published by Ashgate, this latest book by Rick "focuses on the authority and status of the author of Luke-Acts. What authority did he have to write a Gospel, to interpret the Jewish Scriptures and traditions of Israel, to interpret the Jesus traditions, and to update the narrative with a second volume with its interpretation of Paul and the other apostles who appear in the Acts narrative?"

In this book, Rick Strelan constructs the author, "whom tradition has called ‘Luke’, might well have been a Jewish priest who, of course, had come to believe that Jesus is God’s Lord and Christ, the fulfillment of Israel’s Scriptures. It was the author’s status as priest that gave him the authority to interpret the various traditions he deals with and to write his interpretations as authoritative texts for his audiences." (from the Introduction)

The Table of Contents of the book is as follows:

1 Who Were the Gospel Writers?
2 Gospels, Authors, and Authority
3 The Status of Luke in Scholarship
4 Why Write Another Gospel?
5 Owning, Controlling, Guarding the Tradition
6 The Oral and the Written
7 Luke in the Tradition
8 Luke among the Scholars
9 Luke the Priest
10 Luke as Authoritative Interpreter of Scripture
11 Luke as Interpreter of the Jesus Traditions
12 Luke as Interpreter of Paul

For a sample page taken from the Introduction, please click here.

The sample page from the Introduction alone is enough to whet the appetite for this book. The only prohibition is the price of the book at £50.00! Could there be a special discounted price for scholars from the Two-Thirds World?


Alex Tang said...

thanks, Kar Yong. I must get hold this this book. Deconstructing Luke as a Jewish priest!

Man, for doctors, like me, St.Luke the physician is lke a 'sacred cow' doctrine. No one makes hamburger out of my sacred cow.

Kar Yong said... mean McDonalds is a no-no?

Tom Jagels said...

Heh, I'll be studying under Dr Strelan starting next year :D

It does interest me though that he's presenting Luke as a Jewish priest in this book, as I was under the impression that the scholarly consensus held the author of Luke-Acts to be a Gentile. Perhaps I need to read the book to see what he's getting at though. If only Rick's books were not so expensive!


Kar Yong said...

Hi Tom,

All the best for your studies with Rick. University of Wales gave me a full scholarship, so I decided to abandon Australia for the UK!

If Rick's thesis can be sustained, it will change the way we read Luke-Acts and interpret these 2 books.

Like what you say, the price remains the single prohibitive factor for me.

Joel Tay said...

Wandered to this blog via "Revelation is Real's blog".

Looks like everyone here has had some contact with Rick Strelan in the past. He was my New Testament Greek lecturer for the 2 semesters of Greek when I was studying in UQ last year.

Tom Jagels, you're in UQ too? It'll be a small Greek class of around 10 people. Great environment for learning.