Mimesis and the Messianic Banquet
Eberhart, Zechariah Preston
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This thesis will explore the narrative unity of Luke’s central section. While the majority of scholarship emphasizes the disunity of chapters 14-16, this work will pursue the contrary, arguing that not only is there unity between these chapters, but that the parables within this unit address a specific issue within the early Christian community: table-fellowship. Luke’s juxtaposition of the Messianic Banquet (13:29-30) with the table-scene at the house of a prominent Pharisee (14:1-25) is evident. Luke, however, never explicitly moves Jesus outside of this location until 17:11. Exploring the parables of 14:16-24, 15:11-32, and 16:19-31, I will show how a narrative-contextual reading of Luke’s central section illuminates coherence that has previously been recognized, but not fully developed. This study will argue that this unit functions rhetorically to exhort the audience to host and participate in meals which mimic the messianic banquet, rather than the Greco-Roman convivium.