Ernie Rea presents a series on BBC Radio 4 exploring Luke's gospel (see Choice for the Day, bottom right). Luke's gospel is often described as the gospel for women. Ernie asks how revolutionary Jesus's attitude really was.
In the opening sequence, he interviews Richard Burridge at the British Library in front of Codex Sinaiticus talking about Luke 1:1-4 identifying the patron of the work, most excellent Theophilus. Prof Burridge clarifies that about half of Luke is from Mark's gospel; a quarter is teachings of Jesus shared with Matthew, and a quarter is unique. A person would have encountered Luke or writings like it at a dinner where it would have been read out loud for about an hour and a half.
Luke's organization of the account locates Jesus in space and time the way he wants it in the events of world history (Luke 3). Loveday Alexander at Sheffield University discusses Luke's sociological picture: the Emperor, Roman rule and the Herodian rulers as client kings of Rome in 29CE, very much like Baghdad of today.Then we hear from Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham.
Prof. Larry Hurtado at Edinburgh discusses "the kingdom of God" as controversial in the context of Roman political and religious reality. It's a kingly domain evident in Jesus' ministry and miracles which he attributes to the ruling power of God and God's power. Jesus' message is directed to women, to the poor and outcasts. Part two continues tomorrow.