The Persecuted Prophet And Judgment On Jerusalem: The Use Of LXX Jeremiah In The Gospel Of Luke -- By: J. Daniel Hays

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 25:4 (NA 2015)
Article: The Persecuted Prophet And Judgment On Jerusalem: The Use Of LXX Jeremiah In The Gospel Of Luke
Author: J. Daniel Hays

The Persecuted Prophet And Judgment On Jerusalem:
The Use Of LXX Jeremiah In The Gospel Of Luke

J. Daniel Hays

Ouachita Baptist University

This article argues that within Second Temple Judaism, Jeremiah was well known as the paradigmatic “persecuted prophet” and was likewise closely associated with the consequential fall and destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, when the Gospel of Luke portrays Jesus as the “persecuted prophet” in conflict with the leaders in Jerusalem or recounts Jesus’ warnings of judgment on Jerusalem, allusions and parallels to Jeremiah are numerous, implying that the traditions associated with LXX Jeremiah form a critical background for understanding those texts.

Key Words: Jeremiah, persecuted prophet, Luke, Jerusalem, judgment


The influence of the book of Isaiah in Luke–Acts has long been recognized.1 Likewise, few would question that the OT prophets in general form an important literary and theological background for Luke–Acts.2 On the other hand, it may be that the ubiquitous recognition of Isaiah’s influence, along with the tendency to treat the rest of the prophets as a single monolithic block of literature, has produced an under-appreciation of the specific role and influence of the book of Jeremiah in Luke–Acts.

The thesis of this article is that LXX Jeremiah and associated Jeremianic traditions had a strong intertextual influence on the Gospel of Luke, particularly in regard to the related themes of the persecuted prophet and the

consequential judgment on Jerusalem.3 This argument will be developed as follows: (1) Jeremiah is unique among the OT literary prophets in regard to the strong emphasis on the prophet’s persecution by the ruling powers in Jerusalem. (2) Jeremiah also stands out from the other prophets in the extent to which he proclaims judgment on Jerusalem and the temple. While several OT prophets warn of coming judgment on Jerusalem, none of them describe or experience this destruction in quite the detail that Jeremiah does, nor do they connect the judgment on Jerusalem to the rejection of their message and the persecution against them to the degree that Jeremiah does. (3) The literature of Second Temple Judaism indicates that in the literary milieu of the first-century A.D. Jeremiah was well known as the paradigmatic persecuted prophet and likewise was closely associated with the destruction of Jerusalem. (4) When using OT (LXX) texts and traditions, the Gospel of Luke is prone to use indirect...

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