Abstract

This article addresses the role of the rhetorical questions in the resurrection account in Luke 24–Acts 1 in order to provide insight into the rhetorical strategy of the author of Luke-Acts. The preface to Luke implies that Jesus’s story was met with uncertainty (Luke 1:4). Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus was a central point of debate. I propose that in each of the four postresurrection appearance narratives—those of the two angelic men (Luke 24:1–12, Acts 1:9–14) and those of the risen Jesus (Luke 24:13–35, 36–53), the rhetorical questions raised by Jesus and the two men (Luke 24:5b, 26, 38; Acts 1:11) function to identify clearly, and ultimately defend, the crucial issues in the debate over Jesus’s resurrection. I argue that the author employs these rhetorical questions in accordance with ancient rhetorical theory to help provide a cogent argument for the truth of Jesus’s resurrection in the face of skepticism. This argument depends on three areas of investigation: (1) the criticism directed at the Christian tradition of Jesus’s resurrection; (2) the use of rhetorical questions in ancient rhetorical theory; and (3) the function of rhetorical questions in Luke 24 and Acts 1 in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical standards. The goal of this article is to further scholarly understanding of the concern Luke-Acts manifests for the utilization of rhetorical standards in narrative composition and to give insight into Luke’s apologetic purpose.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-3876
Print ISSN
0021-9231
Pages
pp. 123-139
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-24
Open Access
No
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