Fortress Press

Rejected Prophets: Jesus and His Witnesses in Luke-Acts

Rejected Prophets

Jesus and His Witnesses in Luke-Acts

Jocelyn McWhirter (Author)

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Although several scholars have written about how Luke portrays Jesus and the apostles as prophets, no one has yet provided a comprehensive theory as to why Luke's protagonists resemble the prophets. 
McWhirter shows that Luke uses these biblical prophets as precedents, seeking to legitimate the apostles’ teachings in the face of events, such as the destruction of Jerusalem and the deaths of Peter and Paul, which seem to contradict those teachings. In order to show that all this was part of God's plan, Luke compares Jesus and his witnesses to Israel's prophets who were rejected by their own people.
  • ISBN 9781451470024
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 128
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Publication Date January 1, 2014


"Jocelyn McWhirter's thoughtful literary and inter-textual analysis allows the prophetic melody of the Luke-Acts narrative to ring out, affirming both the legitimacy and the reliability of the witness of the biblical prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles, and thus also the author of the gospel. Friendly and accessible, her book will easily serve individual study, church, and classroom."
—Jane S. Webster
Barton College

"Jocelyn McWhirter’s investigation of prophets in Luke–Acts is an oasis in biblical study. From a desert thick with theory and tendentiousness, the author leads her readers deep into the Bible’s two Testaments to consider afresh a critical issue in Lukan theology. McWhirter’s procedure is exquisitely balanced: historically anchored and sensitive to literary cadences. Her mastery of scholarship never eclipses concentration on Luke’s primary texts. Wise and discerning, Rejected Prophets is a model of sound exegesis and should become a standard in Lukan interpretation."
C. Clifton Black
Princeton Theological Seminary

"Jocelyn McWhirter explores afresh the question of why the author of Luke and Acts employed allusions to Israel’s prophets in the portrayal of Jesus and his witnesses. She concludes that the use of prophetic imagery in Luke’s narrative was meant to satisfy a skeptical audience by providing biblical precedent establishing that events such as the crucifixion of the Messiah, rejection of his message by most Jews, and the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, were part of God’s salvific plan. This well-argued yet very readable book has much to offer students and scholars alike."
William Sanger Campbell
College of St. Scholastica 

"Although many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of prophetic figures and motifs in Luke-Acts, Jocelyn McWhirter takes that investigation a step further. Rejected Prophets contends that prophets and prophecy serve as important clues about the entire Lukan project, both its narrative shape and its historical aims. This is highly contested territory, but even those not persuaded will need to take McWhirter’s engaging work into account."
Beverly Roberts Gaventa
Baylor University