Luke/Acts: The Gospel and the Church

We forget that Luke wrote more words of the NT than Paul, and so a grasp of Luke/Acts is essential. This course will study Luke/Acts as both theological and historical narratives, exploring typology, echoes of the LXX, linguistic detail, social context and more. Special attention will be given to Jesus’ parables, prayers, and miracles, speeches in Acts, the organization of the early church, and more. 

Taught by Dr. Matthew Colvin.

Runs from 9/27/-12/10/21.


This Bible course will be taught by Dr. Matthew Colvin, and will run from September 27 through December 10. The syllabus is available here.

This course covers Luke/Acts as a narrative about the announcement of God’s victory in Jesus the Messiah, and the church as Christ’s body continuing “to do and to teach.” It will practice the interpretation of Luke/Acts as both theological and historical narratives, not one to the exclusion of the other. Students will pursue methods of interpretation that bear exegetical and theological fruit for preachers and teachers including typological reading,  finding echoes of the LXX, close readings of detail in narrative and language, and applying the relevance of Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world. 

Special attention will be given to Jesus’ parables and prayers; to Jesus’ relation to the Jewish and Roman authorities of; to the significance of Jesus’ and the apostles’ miracles against the background of the OT/intertestamental literature; to the rhetoric and logic of speeches in Acts; to the apostolate as an institution; and to the depiction of the organization of the early church in Acts. Students will gain an appreciation of Luke’s theology and his narrative art, and the ability to make connections between the details of Luke’s text and other parts of Scripture and history.

Dr. Matthew Colvin is a presbyter in the Reformed Episcopal Church. From 2012-2017, he served as a missionary teaching ministerial students in the Philippines and Indonesia. He holds a PhD in ancient Greek literature from Cornell University (2004). His published works include articles on Heraclitus (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2005 and The Classical Quarterly 2006), a translation from Latin of the 1550 Magdeburg Confession (2011), and The Lost Supper, a study of the Passover and Eucharistic origins (Fortress Academic, 2019). He is currently working on a book on women’s ordination and the origins of ordained office in the early church. He lives on Vancouver Island.

Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion in the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.
This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.