Luke-Acts takes the reader from the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist through to the ministry of Paul in Rome. In the decades after the death of Jesus the early Christian movement spread to the heart of the empire, and the acceptance of Gentiles into the community of believers was a source of debate. This unit will undertake the study of the origin, nature and distinctive theology of Luke-Acts, illustrated by means of an exegetical and thematic study of selected texts from the Gospel and Acts. Attention will be paid to the ways in which Luke makes use of the historiographical techniques of the period and the role played by the speeches in Luke-Acts as a means interpreting the deeper meaning of these events.

Unit code: BN9011Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive theology of Luke-Acts


Discuss the context in which this theology arose and the ways in which it addresses the challenges faced by Luke’s community


Exegete various texts making use of appropriate methodologies


Show an awareness of the complex nature of the relationship of the synoptic gospels by the exegesis of specific passages


Identify and evaluate the significance of the material that is unique to Luke


Apply appropriate skills in contemporary critical methods of biblical interpretation

Unit sequence

Two foundational units in Biblical Studies or equivalent


Lectures, readings, focus texts assigned to each week for group work, class discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bovon, François. Luke 1. Luke 2. Luke 3. 3 vols. Hermeneia. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2002–2013.
  • Byrne, Brendan. The Hospitality of God. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2000. (recommended for purchase)
  • Fitzmyer, Joseph A. The Gospel According to Luke. 2 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1981/85.
  • Green, Joel B. The Gospel of Luke. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997.
  • Johnson, Luke T. The Acts of the Apostles. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press. 1992.
  • ———.The Gospel of Luke. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991.
  • Keener, Craig S. Acts: An Exegetical Commentary vol. 1,2,3,4. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2012,2013,2014,2015
  • Levine, Amy Jill and Ben Witherington III. The Gospel of Luke. New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Mullins, Michael. The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary. Dublin: Columba Press, 2010.
  • Parsons, Mikeal C. Luke Paideia. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.
  • Pervo, Richard I. Acts: A Commentary. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2009.
  • Tannehill, Robert C. The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts. Vol. 1 Luke. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1986.
  • ———. The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts. Vol. 2 Acts. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

4500 word essay

4500 60.0

2500 word exegesis

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000