NovTSup 87. Leiden: Brill, 1997. xiii + 291pp. ISBN 90 04 10897 1.
Building on the form-critical assessment of the Lukan ascension story (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:1-12) as a rapture story, and motivated by the consideration that the “monotheistic principle” almost inevitably must have led to a re-estimate of the meaning and function of rapture in comparison with heathen rapture stories (immortalisation and deification!), this study seeks to investigate the Lukan ascension story in the light of first-century Jewish rapture traditions (Enoch, Elijah, Moses, Baruch, Ezra, etc.). It is argued that first-century Judaism provides a more plausible horizon of understanding than the Graeco-Roman rapture tradition, and that Luke develops his “rapture christology” not as a reinterpretation of the primitive exaltation kerygma (G. Lohfink), but as a response to the eschatological question, i.e. the delay of the parousia, so as to secure the unity of salvation history.
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