Jan 10, 2010

Jervell on Luke and the Law

“For Luke the law remains the law given to Israel on Sinai, in the strict meaning of the word, the law of Israel. And Luke is concerned about the law because it is Israel’s law. Certainly Moses is a prophet as well (Acts 3:22; 7:37), but he is primarily associated with the law. It is significant that Luke is most concerned about the ritual and ceremonial aspects of the law. The law is to him not essentially the moral law, but the mark of distinction between Jews and non-Jews. The law is the sign of Israel as the people of God, which is evident from Luke’s overall perspective and from individual passages.”

Jacob Jervell, Luke and the People of God (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1972), 137.


Anonymous said...

I wonder, though, whether the civil/ceremonial/moral distinction is one that Paul or Luke or Moses would have understood. Once God has commanded, has not his command become moral?

Charles Savelle said...

Thanks for the comment. I actually thought something fairly similar when I first read this. I also wonder whether Jervell overstates the case. I hope to do a more detailed study in all of the occurrences of the Law in Luke-Acts and see if this assertion can be sustained.

Any other thoughts?