Thursday, 6 November 2014
Jews and Anti-Judaism in the New Testament: Decision Points and Divergent Interpretations,
Terence L. DOnaldson, SPCK, 2010, page 78
Moving on to Luke-Acts, Donaldson has been looking at Luke's motivation in writing and, in particular, speculating on the position of Theophilus. Suspecting that Luke is trying to create continuity between Judaism and Christianity, he says:
To be sure, as long as the Chritian movement was seen as just an aspect of Judaism, Roman suspicion would not been aroused, for they had learned to accomodate Jewish distinctiveness (including their refusal to honour the gods of the empire), partly because the recognised this as loyalty to ancestral tradition and admired the Jews for it. But as soon as Rome began to perceive the Christians as an entity distinct from Judaism, they were no longer able to benefit from this policy of tolerance.
Luke-Acts could, then, be seen as an attempt to persuade a high-placed Theophilus that this was a legitmate continuation that deserved a similar level of toleration.