Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William Kurz

Second Advisor

Richard Edwards

Third Advisor

Joseph Lienhard

Fourth Advisor

Philip Rossi


Luke-Acts is consistently optimistic regarding the triumph of God's purposes through Israel. Yet three times at critical points in his narrative (Acts 13, 18, 28), Luke describes Paul's formal turning from Jews to gentiles. While it is impossible to ignore such a major transition, it is quite unsatisfactory to mediate that discontinuity by redefining the People of God as the Church (or gentiles). This dissertation offers a resolution of the Jew-gentile relationship in keeping with Luke's theological framework. It proposes a synthesis of the theme of continuity of the People of God with the theme of hospitality as an integral aspect of true discipleship. Chapter One elaborates on the problem and demonstrates from Luke-Acts that there were substantial numbers of positive and negative responses on the part of both Jews and gentiles prior to Paul's rejection of the Jews. Thus the rejection episodes appear either unfair (to the believing Jews) or redundant (to the gentiles). Passages which may be invoked as precursors to the formal rejections are shown to be only marginally suggestive of a displacement of Israel. Only the three passages in Acts could not be readily justified. Chapter Two provides a detailed analysis of the three Pauline rejections. Evidence supports interpreting the move from Jews to gentiles as a shift in the support base for the proclamation of the gospel. The synagogue is regularly allowed the first opportunity to believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and to sponsor the proclamation in its area. Whenever the synagogue reneged on its covenant obligation to support the ministry, the opportunity was presented to the gentiles in that region. The final chapter assesses the significance of mediating the shift from Jews to gentiles by the theme of discipleship. It concludes that Luke described a sensitive transition in the early Christian Church when sponsorship by those outside the synagogue became advisable. Part of Luke's intention in instructing his reader(s) was to justify appealing for gentile resources in the continuing need for sponsors of the Messianic mission.



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