Equal to angels : The early reception history of the Lukan ἰσάγγελοι (Luke 20:36)

Journal article


Litwa, M. David. (2021). Equal to angels : The early reception history of the Lukan ἰσάγγελοι (Luke 20:36). Journal of Biblical Literature. 140(3), pp. 601-622. https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1403.2021.8
AuthorsLitwa, M. David
Abstract

This article argues that the Lukan rewriting of Mark's ὡς ἄγγελοι (“like angels,” Mark 12:25) as ἰσάγγελοι (Luke 20:36) indicates a more robust idea of physical and moral transformation. In short, believers have the capability of being transformed into angels or into entities ontologically and morally on a par with angels. This thesis is argued mainly by a reception-historical investigation of Luke 20:36 up to and including the fourth century CE. Ultimately, I recommend that future editions of the NRSV not translate ἰσάγγελοι in Luke 20:36 as “like (the) angels,” as if ἰσάγγελοι and ὡς ἄγγελοι (Mark 12:25 // Matt 22:30) meant the same thing. The ἰσ- prefix expresses more than the vague term “like,” and translations of ἰσάγγελοι should reflect the more daringly transformational sense of the term: “they are equal to angels.”

Year2021
JournalJournal of Biblical Literature
Journal citation140 (3), pp. 601-622
PublisherSBL Press
ISSN0021-9231
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1403.2021.8
https://doi.org/10.1353/JBL.2021.0028
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85118670580
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range601-622
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2021
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