Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 69:2 (Fall 2007)
Article: Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations
Author: Anonymous

Abstracts Of Recent WTS Doctoral Dissertations

The Shepherd-Flock Motif In The Miletus Discourse (Acts 20:17-38) Against Its Historical Background

Bernard Aubert

In this study we show that the shepherd-flock motif is central to the Miletus speech of Acts 20 and helps to integrate other motifs and themes in this discourse. Recognizing the role of the shepherd-flock motif sharpens the understanding of Luke’s broader concerns generally and Acts 20 in particular.

The introduction (Chapter 1) defines the topic, surveys previous scholarship, and offers an outline of the dissertation.

In Chapter 2, we define our methodology. The concept of metaphor, semantics, and the comparative method assist us in refining our motific approach.

Chapters 3 and 4 situate our study in the context of Lukan scholarship. Chapter 3 presents issues of historicity and theology. Paul and Luke are urban, yet familiar with the countryside. The Jewish influence is pervasive in Luke-Acts, and Luke’s work can be labeled spiritual biblical history. The Greco-Roman context is also visible in Luke-Acts.

In Chapter 4, we examine the speech’s relationship to other pastoral texts, its position between Luke and Paul, its structure, and its form. The comparison with other pastoral discourses and the structure strengthen the contention that the shepherd-flock motif is central in the speech. Acts 20 is defined as a farewell pastoral speech.

In Chapters 5 and 6, we survey the background of the shepherd-flock motif. Chapter 5 looks at texts that are more remote in time, while Chapter 6 presents passages that are contemporary to Luke. Thus we present the motif in the Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian background in which Luke-Acts is situated. These chapters offer a backdrop for our study of Acts 20 and for further examination of the shepherd-flock motif in the NT.

In Chapter 7, we show that Paul’s self-presentation corresponds to the character of the watchman, whose characteristics are similar to those of the shepherd. The elders shepherding and the life of the flock are related to the involvement by the triune God with the flock, salvation history, and enemies (persecutors and

false teachers). Luke’s presentation of the motif is distinct yet indebted to its several backgrounds. Luke stresses the spiritual search for the lost and places the motif in the context of his presentation of redemptive history. By examining the speech in the light of the Hellen...

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