Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Andrei A. Orlov
William S. Kurz
Deirdre A. Dempsey, Wanda Zemler-Cizewski
Scholars have examined several motifs in Luke 2:22-35, the "Presentation" of the Gospel of Luke. However, scholarship scarcely has treated the theme of nomos, the Septuagintal word Luke uses as a translation of the Hebrew word Torah. Nomos is mentioned four times in the Presentation narrative; it also is a word in Septuagintal Isaiah to which the metaphor of light in Luke 2:32 alludes. In 2:22-32--a pivotal piece within Luke-Acts--nomos relates to several themes, including ones David Pao discusses in his study on Isaiah's portrayal of Israel's restoration, appropriated by Luke. My dissertation investigates, for the first time, the Septuagintal Isaian use of nomos in this pericope.
My thesis is that Luke's use of nomos in the Presentation pericope highlight's Jesus' identity as the Messiah who will restore and fulfill Israel. Methodologically, I use intertextual narrative interpretation. In Chapter One, I examine Luke's transitional, dual use of nomos in the pericope. This includes Luke's use of nomos on the surface of the text, and his allusive appropriation, in Luke 2:32, of nomos in the LXX-Isaiah. In Chapter Two I discuss in greater depth an overriding theme of Luke-Acts--the new exodus--and the Isaian motif of the restoration and fulfillment of Israel which establishes and informs this theme. I outline the process of Israel's restoration, including the role of Septuagintal Isaian nomos within it. In my discussion, I critique David Pao's six themes of the restoration of Israel. I argue that Luke 2:32 alludes to nomos, situated within a Davidic context and integral to Isaiah's motif of the restoration and fulfillment of Israel. I show that, consequently, this Lukan allusion discloses Jesus as the Servant Messiah who restores Israel and offers salvation to the Gentiles.
Chapter Three addresses the influence of dikaiosune of the LXX-Isaiah on Luke's appropriation of nomos. In conclusion, I present the results of this study. Additionally, I address methodological implications of intertextual analysis, and of interpretation of the Book of Isaiah at the turn of the era.