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dc.contributor.advisorTrebilco, Paul
dc.contributor.advisorKeown, Mark
dc.contributor.authorvan den Brink, Julia Remoth
dc.identifier.citationvan den Brink, J. R. (2017). Blessings and Woes in Luke: Intertextual Echoes of Antithetical Covenant Blessings and Curses in Luke’s Gospel with Particular Reference to 6:20b-26 (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractLuke contrasts his Beatitudes with a corresponding series of Woes creating an antithesis between the eschatological fate of the blessed and those in woe. This antithesis displays similarities to the covenant blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28. In this thesis, I argue that Luke is framing his Beatitudes and Woes as a series of covenant blessings and curses that serve a similar purpose to that of Deuteronomy 28: to encourage and warn God's people, in the context of a renewed covenant. Consequently, Luke is drawing on a Jewish understanding of blessing and curse as an important feature of the covenant between God and his people. This covenantal background has shaped the presentation of blessing and curse, not only in the Beatitudes and Woes in Luke but throughout the Gospel. I demonstrate this by first examining the Jewish understanding of antithetical covenant blessings and curses, focusing on the multifaceted nature of the covenant and the antithetical nature of blessing and curse, as well as their relation to each other. This relationship between covenant and antithetical blessing and curse is most clearly seen in Deuteronomy 28, which I examine in detail. According to this passage, blessing and curse are part of God's covenant with Israel and are the corporate results of obedience or disobedience to the covenant. However, in later wisdom, prophetic, and Second Temple literature the concept of antithetical covenant blessings and curses developed to include both realised and eschatological circumstantial reversal. In my examination of antithetical covenant blessings and curses in Luke, I approach Luke's narrative as a coherent text. I begin by examining the presence of the themes of covenant and antithetical blessings and curses in the Lukan Infancy Narrative (Luke 1-2). God's covenant and blessings are both present, alongside an expectation that the respective situations of the poor and the rich will be reversed. This circumstantial reversal reappears in Jesus' Sermon at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30) where Luke's Jesus uses Isaiah 61:1-2 to define his ministry, focusing on the poor and marginalised. This exploration paves the way for the Beatitudes and Woes in Luke 6, where Luke's Jesus begins the Sermon on the Plain with a series of four beatitudes and four woes. The Beatitudes focus on the poor and the persecuted while the Woes focus on the rich and comfortable. They challenge a reading of Deuteronomy 28, where the blessed are always prosperous, and the cursed are always destitute. In Luke, the destitute and faithful are blessed, while the rich are in woe because they have turned away from God, distracted by their riches. Elements of antithetical covenant blessings and curses continue to appear throughout Luke's narrative. At the Last Supper, Luke's Jesus announces that he will be inaugurating the next phase of the covenant between God and his people: the new covenant, alluding to LXX Jeremiah 38:31-34. This Lukan new covenant has a series of blessings and woes in Luke 6:20b-26 that challenges a way of understanding Deuteronomy 28 and encourages obedience to the teaching of Jesus.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectLuke 6
dc.subjectbeatitude and woe
dc.subjectblessing and curse
dc.titleBlessings and Woes in Luke: Intertextual Echoes of Antithetical Covenant Blessings and Curses in Luke's Gospel with Particular Reference to 6:20b-26
dc.language.rfc3066en and Religion of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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