Was Luke the Evangelist Jewish or Greek?

Last November at the AAR/SBL Annual Meetings I heard a wonderful paper from Matthew Thiessen ("Indices of Ethnicity in Modern Constructions of 'Luke'") that deconstructed my presuppositions regarding the author of the "third" Gospel. I walked away from the session convinced that I could no longer say with confidence that Luke was not a Jew. I was interested to see that this is a question being asked by others. At the "Jewish Studies Blog" Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg wrote an article titled "Could Luke be Jewish, Possibly?" He concludes, "There are no serious reasons to continue to claim that Luke was definitely a Gentile." If "Luke" was Jewish, not Greek, does this change how we read this Gospel? 

Lennox Lecture Series #ReinventingtheBible

The videos for the first three of four Lennox Lectures are available on YouTube now with Mark Chancey's talk coming soon:

Michael Satlow, "Who in Antiquity Read the Bible?"


Annette Yoshiko Reed, "The Bible Beyond the Bible: From Apocrypha to Anime"


Valarie Ziegler, "Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture"

The Messiahs of Israel at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

For those who live in, near, or around Austin, TX, you may be interested in their forthcoming (4/18-19) interfaith event "The Messiahs of Israel" feat. Drs. Drs. Matthias Henze (Rice University), Kelley Coblentz Bautch (St. Edward's University), and Jonathan Kaplan (University of Texas, Austin). For more info visit their website

Recent "Goodreads" (01.12.2016)

These are the last five books I've marked as completely read on Goodreads, some with more commentary than others: 

Brian Dennert's John the Baptist and the Jewish Setting of Matthew

David E. Garland's A Theology of Mark's Gospel 

Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity edited by Tom Thatcher

Beth M. Sheppard's The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament 

Michael S. Heiser's Supernatural

In the Mail: Dennert's John the Baptist and the Jewish Setting of Matthew

I received a copy of Brian C. Dennert's John the Baptist and the Jewish Setting of Matthew (WUNT II/403; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015) to review for The Review of Biblical Literature. (Special thanks to Shawn Wilhite for informing me of its availability.) If you haven't heard of this book, here's the blurb:

Although recent discussions on Matthew have emphasized the document's setting within Judaism, these studies have not analyzed how the Jewish figure of John the Baptist functions within this setting. Brian Dennert steps into this gap, arguing that Matthew presents Jesus to be the continuation and culmination of John's ministry in order to strengthen the claims of Matthew's group and to vilify the opponents of his group. By doing this he encourages Jews yet to align with Matthew's group (particularly those who esteem the Baptist) and to gravitate away from its opponents. The author examines texts roughly contemporaneous with Matthew which reveal respect given to John the Baptist at the time of Matthew's composition. The examination of Matthew shows that the first Evangelist more closely connects the Baptist to Jesus while highlighting his rejection by Jewish authorities.