The Ascension of the Messiah in Lukan Christology

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Building on the form-critical assessment of the Lukan ascension story (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:1-12) as a rapture story, and motivated by the consideration that the “monotheistic principle” almost inevitably must have led to a re-estimate of the meaning and function of rapture in comparison with heathen rapture stories (immortalisation and deification!), this study seeks to investigate the Lukan ascension story in the light of first-century Jewish rapture traditions (Enoch, Elijah, Moses, Baruch, Ezra, etc.). It is argued that first-century Judaism provides a more plausible horizon of understanding than the Graeco-Roman rapture tradition, and that Luke develops his “rapture christology” not as a reinterpretation of the primitive exaltation kerygma (G. Lohfink), but as a response to the eschatological question, i.e. the delay of the parousia, so as to secure the unity of salvation history.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden
ISBN (Print)9004108971
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Publication series

NameSupplements to Novum Testamentum

Bibliographical note

Relevant Reviews:

Robert Morgan, Expository Times 108/4 (January 1998): 117.
Robert K. McIver, Review of Biblical Literature (
F. Scott Spencer, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 60 (1998): 784-785.
Hans Klein, Theologische Literaturzeitung 123 (1998): nr. 7-8, 751-753.
Pieter W. van der Horst, Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 53 (1998): 249-250.
anon. RBB (1998): 530-531.
Eric Franklin, Journal of Theological Studies 50 (1999): 230-236.


  • New Testament
  • Ascension of Jesus
  • Luke-Acts
  • Acts of the Apostles
  • Christology
  • Early Judaism
  • Himmelfahrt
  • hemelvaart
  • Biblical Theology
  • Lukan Christology


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