As the Bandit Will I Confess You: Luke 23,39-43 in Early Christian Interpretation
Brepols / University of Strasbourg, Dec 1, 2013 - Religion - 371 pages
The story of the so-called Good Thief as found in Lc 23, 39-43 has a vibrant and diverse afterlife in early Christianity. Synoptic and eschatological disparities raise concerns and provoke a variety of harmonizations. Controversies notwithstanding, early interpreters occupy themselves most of all with the episode's potential for exhortation as they identify themselves and their hearers with the good bandit. He becomes a model of Christian practices, beliefs and virtues including worship, faith (even Nicea's formulation), justification by faith, conversion, catechesis, confession, martyrdom, baptism (in many modes), endurance, asceticism, simplicity of language, penitence, and last-minute salvation. A wide variety of typological readings fashion the bandit as the first to return to paradise and even a key participant in the pivotal moment of salvation-history. By around the late 4th century, the episode becomes a standard Good Friday lectionary reading and sermon topic in the East.
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1st-century 2nd-century accusations Acts alluding allusion analysis appears approach Augustine bandits beatitude brief calls canonical character Christian Chrysostom commentaries concern confession connections contrast conversion criminal critical editions crucifixion death Diatessaron distinct divergent drama earlier earliest early early Christian echoing Emergence eschatological example execution faith figures final Given Gospel Greek hand head helpful idea illustrate indict interpretation intertextual invite involved Jerusalem Jesus Jewish keeping lacks language late later Latin Lucan Luke manuscripts Mark Markan/Matthean Matthew mention names narrative notable notes offers original paradise Parsons passage passion patristic patristic interpretation perhaps points popular possible potential present promise provides quoted reading recent references reflection respective reviling righteous Roman Samuel Saul says second criminal sermons side significant story suggest Syriac takes term texts theme tradition translation variety various wide zealots