Jesus, Patrons & Benefactors
Roman Palestine & the Gospel of Luke

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament
Series No. 2, Vol. 259

By Jonathan Marshall
December 2009
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161499012
383 pages
$147.50 Paper Original

Scholars use patrons and benefactors in the interpretation of Jesus and the Gospels, but this practice needs re-evaluation. Many New Testament studies build from outdated classical scholarship and only superficial interaction with archaeological research. Recent classical studies have improved modern understanding of these ancient categories tremendously. Archaeological advances shed new light on first-century Palestine. Jonathan Marshall evaluates the categories of patrons and benefactors in light of the findings of new classical studies and archaeological work. He offers a much needed clarification between socio-historical "patron-client" relationships and Roman patrocinium.

He also elucidates differences between patrocinium and benefaction. An in-depth investigation of cities, villages, and leadership in first-century Palestine reveals the minimal attestation of benefaction and, still less, patrocinium in the area and among the people. The dearth or, in some cases, complete lack of honorary inscriptions is one obvious pointer in this direction. An analysis of three passages in Luke (6:17-38; 14:1-24; 22:14-34) follows. The analysis demonstrates that Luke does not adopt the specific terminology of patrocinium. Use of the benefactor category is present but limited while debt to Jewish cultural influences predominates. One discovers that Luke's presentation of Jesus, in these three passages, matches well the historical realia of Jesus' day.



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