What does ‘faith’ and ‘faithfulness’ mean in the gospel of Luke?

Chris Seglenieks writes: The question of what it means to believe is one that has shaped much of my researching New Testament studies. Faith is central to Christianity, but we don’t always stop to reflect on what it involves. When it comes to the gospels, I have found that many people assume the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, … Continue Reading

Is the devotion of Mary better than the service of Martha in Luke 10?

The short stories told by and about Jesus in the gospels are both attractive and challenging. They are attractive because they are easily memorable (and there is a basic neuroscientific connection between story and memory), because even in their compressed retelling they include compelling characters, and because we are drawn to Jesus’ pithy summaries of … Continue Reading

Jesus is rejected at Nazareth in Mark 6

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 5 in Year B is Mark 6.1–13, and is yet another example of Mark’s highly concise storytelling that is packed with theological narrative significance. Once more the lectionary does us a slight disservice; the reading combines the story of those taking offence at Jesus in his home town with … Continue Reading

Were Joseph and Mary ‘poor’?

One of the repeated themes of short Christmas expositions is that, in the nativity story, we see God coming to the ‘poor’, and as a result the main message of Christmas is that we should pay particular attention to the ‘poor’. I put the term in inverted commas, because in both these contexts the term … Continue Reading

The annunciation to Mary in Luke 1

The lectionary gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent is Luke 1.26–38; though this year’s gospel is Mark, there is (of course) no annunciation in Mark, so we plunder part of Luke’s narrative to fill the gap. I have previously posted on the annunciation in more general terms, noting that the account is rooted … Continue Reading