Healing, Weakness, and Power

Perspectives on Healing in the Writings of Mark, Luke, and Paul

By Audrey Dawson

Healing, Weakness, and Power

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  • ISBN: 9781606083130
  • Pages: 320
  • Publication Date: 12/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
Web Price: $32.00

Healing, Weakness, and Power

Perspectives on Healing in the Writings of Mark, Luke, and Paul

By Audrey Dawson

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781606083130
  • Pages: 320
  • Publication Date: 12/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00

About-

Healing by Jesus and the apostles is not a popular subject for biblical studies today, but the importance of healing in the first-century eastern Roman Empire was enormous. In the New Testament writings of Mark, Luke and Paul we find considerable variation in their use of divine healing. With respect to Jesus' healing, Mark and Luke both emphasize it, but differ in their representation of its purpose and source. Also, Mark's accounts of Jesus' healing combine with his overall description in the Gospel to underline his theological view (a theologia crucis), while Luke depicts healing as showing primarily the glory of God (although a theologia crucis is also present) and he presents the theological aspect of Jesus' healing within each healing narrative.

Healing in the early church is then compared in Acts and Paul's undisputed letters. Luke continues to emphasize the power and evidential value of healing in spreading the gospel. Paul, instead, emphasizes the 'essence' of Jesus' ministry, love and compassion, and underplays healing , both by himself and by members of the churches he planted. The main reason for this seems to be because of his 'thorn in the flesh'; his physical weakness demonstrates that the gospel truth shines only because of Christ's influence. Paul's illness probably also sensitizes him to the risk of healing becoming a power which could compromise a fellowship based on love and equality.

Finally, the legacy of Jesus' healing is considered briefly over the subsequent few centuries.

Endorsements & Reviews-

'Audry Dawson's book uniquely addresses the topic of healing in the New Testament by comparing the perspectives of three of its writers. This analysis is set within the contemporary, Graeco-Roman and Jewish contexts in which the first readers were immersed. The focus and insights of this project are profoundly sharpened by Dr. Dawson's own life-long commitment to the care of the sick and her intimate knowledge of the kinds of relationship that evolve between healer and healed. The thoroughness of this contribution and the particular questions that are addressed within its scope will be welcomed by those studying the New Testament miracles, whether their focus be historical, theological, literary, or indeed pastoral.'
-- Andrew D. Clarke is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen.

'Audrey Dawson has followed a long career in a senior medical position with a switch to New Testament study and this monograph, based on her thesis, combines these aspects of her experience and knowledge to produce a comparative study of attitudes to healing in three of the main New Testament authors. Her exploration of the different nuances in these writers, especially the study of Paul with his personal experience of illness in a church where signs and wonders were accepted phenomena, is sane and insightful; it brings a fresh perspective to this important area of study and will be of great value to those concerned with the healing ministry of Christians today. '
-- I. Howard Marshall is Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Aberdeen

'Dr. Dawson's clear and wide-ranging study of healing is illuminated by here careful research and medical training. She provides a stimulating reading of healing in Mark, Luke-Acts and Paul--and, in particular, offers a fresh and insightful approach to Paul's relative lack of references to healing in the light of his "thorn in the flesh". This book will serve preachers and students well.'
-- Steve Walton is Senior Lecturer in Greek and New Testament Studies, London School of Theology

Contributors-

Audrey Dawson

Bio(s)-

Audrey Dawson was a consultant physician (clinical haematologist), working with adults and children in the Grampian area of Scotland, and Senior Lecturer in the University of Aberdeen, becoming OBE for services to medicine. On retirement, she obtained the degrees of BD and PhD.

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