|dc.description.abstract||The covenant idea has received an abundance of attention via the investigation of Pauline writings in light of certain aspects of Palestinian Judaism. Assuming Luke's association with Paul, this makes all the more plausible an inquiry into the possibility of similar avenues of Judaic influence upon the covenant idea in the two-volume Lukan work. Examining the work of a representative group of influential scholars reveals that there seems to be a paucity of in-depth research on the covenant concept in the Lukan writings. Explicit references to the covenant idea do receive direct attention by scholarship; however, allusions to the covenant idea in Luke-Acts are not always noted. In the case of implicit references, usually but not always only aspects of the covenant concept are detected. Promise-fulfilment terminology is key to any meaningful investigation. Scholarship recognizes the basic presence of the covenant idea, which is derived from God's promissory grace expressed to the Patriarchs. To this general observation is added commentary on the new covenant established by Christ at the Lord's Supper. Only a few scholars indicate an awareness of the basic interrelation of the covenants in the continuum of redemptive history spanning the Old and New Testaments.
Background to the covenant concept is supplied by the OT, the LXX and Palestinian
Judaism. The OT presents a concept of the covenant governed by two aspects, the
unilateral and the bilateral. However, at the heart of the OT covenant relationship is its
unifying inviolability. The Septuagint consistently translates berit as diathéké, which simply demonstrates the LXX translators' understanding of the covenant as divinely established. Palestinian Judaism has inherited emphases from the post-exilic period and is much indebted to its intertestamental history as it embraces an understanding in which the covenant idea becomes enshrouded by an intellectual development on the torah. This, in effect, precipitated a curious bilateralism, exacting an emphasis that rivals the pre-eminence of the unilateral aspect of the covenant concept as regards promised blessings. Luke writes his two-volume work with this backdrop as he follows the LXX and expresses the covenant idea by using diatheke. The Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles contain five explicit references and sixteen implicit references to the covenant idea, Luke presents the covenant predominantly in its
unilateral form. God is fulfilling in Jesus that which he promised and as a result is
bringing about salvation. For Luke, the covenant concept gives reason for salvation of God in Jesus. Luke-Acts refers primarily to the Abrahamic and the Davidic covenants
both in explicit and implicit references. The Davidic covenant is used to identify Jesus as
the one anointed to dispense promised salvation. The Abrahamic covenant is referred to in order to identify those to whom the promised blessings of salvation and mercy are offered and will be given. That is to Jews as well as Gentiles, The Mosaic covenant is alluded to for the purpose of drawing attention to Israel's unfaithfulness and skewed understanding of how covenant blessings are conferred and is not a positive contributor to the scheme of salvation in Luke-Acts. This buffers Luke from the unmitigated influence of Palestinian Judaism in which the bilateral aspect of the covenant factors influentially in its soteriology. Also, Luke seems to be aware of the spiritual dimension of the covenant idea via allusion to the Isaianic eternal covenant. A comparison of Luke's presentation of the covenant idea with that of Paul's reveals a
number of differentiating concerns. One of Paul's interests is the function of the covenant in justification. The Mosaic covenant is limited in its ability to justify.
Therefore, covenant blessings can only be promised-based fulfilled in the sacrificial
redemption of Christ. For Jews and Gentiles, the Abrahamic covenant provides access
by faith to the covenant blessings, Luke differs in that the covenants in Christ relate
ultimately to ecclesiological concerns. Luke, therefore, presents the covenant idea according to a Christianized Judaic
hermeneutic, where the covenant is primarily instrumental in giving reason for the salvific work of God in Christ. He also uses it to evoke a unilaterally defined sense of covenant identity for the readers and to integrate them into faithful Israel.||