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Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist

By Mikeal C. Parsons

Paperback, 252 pages $34.95
Published: 1st July 2014
ISBN: 9781481300681
Format: 8.5in x 5.5in

Subjects: New Testament

In this volume Mikeal C. Parsons provides an overview of Luke and Acts, reading Luke and Acts in the context of ancient rhetorical criticism as practiced in the Hellenistic world. Parsons first compares Luke’s storytelling with narrative techniques of ancient rhetoric. He next compares Luke’s interpretation of Jewish sources within the social conventions of Luke’s day. Finally, Parsons profiles Luke’s specific evangelistic theological artistry, one in which Luke creatively uses Isaiah to call for the conversion of the Gentiles. The depth and breadth of Parson’s chapters root Luke’s narrative strategy, interpretive moves, and theological imagination in the pagan, Jewish, and Christian contexts of the period.



1.     The Life of a Legend : The Making of “Luke”

Part One: Luke the Storyteller

2.     Luke and the Progymnasmata: A Preliminary Investigation into the Preliminary Exercises

3.     Luke 1:1-4 and Ancient Rhetoric

Part Two: Luke the Interpreter

4.     Interpreting Pagan Traditions: Friendship and Physiognomy

5.     Interpreting Jewish Traditions: Jerusalem and the Suffering Servant

6.     Interpreting Christian Traditions: Parables and Paul

Part Three: Luke the Evangelist

7.     Reconstituting the People of God: The Examples of Peter, Cornelius, and Others


"Parsons offers the seminary student or advanced undergraduate a detailed introduction to Luke as author within three ancient contexts: pagan, Jewish, and emerging Christian.”

—Kindalee P. DeLong, Pepperdine University, Religious Studies Review (34:4)

“Parsons’ incisive and challenging interpretations should move the field of Lucan studies forward on several important fronts, notably in terms of method and theology. This book will make an excellent addition to required reading lists for graduate courses on Luke and Acts.”

—John A. Darr, Boston College, Catholic Biblical Quarterly (70:3)

"Parsons' characterizations of the author as storyteller, interpreter, and evangelist allows him not only to focus on the author’s major functions but also to call attention to the significance of rhetorical techniques and their bearing on the meaning of Luke’s narrative."

—Joseph B. Tyson, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University

“Parsons is doing creative work…and this work should not be ignored by his fellow scholars.”

—Robert C. Tannehill, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Review of Biblical Literature (July 21, 2007)

Mikeal C. Parsons is Professor and Macon Chair in Religion at Baylor University.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 252 pages
 8.5in x 5.5in

  REL006220, REL006710
 Baylor University Press

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