Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus
The use of Isaiah in the Lukan writings has long been recognized. David W. Pao examines the wider relationship between Isaiah and the theological program of Acts and thus proposes a new reading of them. As the Isaianic program draws from the foundation story of ancient Israel, the New Exodus program of Isaiah provides the hermeneutical paradigm in which the narrative in Acts can be understood. David W. Pao deals with the interpretation of the entire second volume of the Lukan narrative as well as of the individual episodes. The wider framework provided by Isaiah supplies the organizing principle for the inclusion of various individual stories; and the recognition of the Isaianic context also provides the clue to the identification of the function of the Lukan narrative.In the study of the individual Isaianic quotations and allusions that frame the Lukan narrative, one can appreciate the dramatic reversal of the Isaianic judgment-salvation scheme only when examined against the wider context of Isaiah. In the delineation of the theme of restoration, the coherence of the first half of Acts becomes apparent. And in tracing the conquest journey of the hypostatized Word of God and its relationship to its community, one is forced to reevaluate the traditional understanding of the main characters of the narrative; and this focus on the Word also provides striking parallel to the journey of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. The study of the opponent of the Word in Acts can then reveal the importance of the underlying anti-idol polemic. Finally, the examination of the role of the nations in Isaiah will also highlight the ways in which the Lukan project moves beyond the Isaianic vision.
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