Year of publication:
Titel der Quelle:
New Testament Studies
Angaben zur Quelle:
66,1 (2020) 106-124
Bible. Criticism, interpretation, etc., Christian
New Testament. Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Rome History 30 B.C.-284 A.D.
Rome In the New Testament
This article proposes that the Synoptic Gospels’ pronouncements of Isa 40.3 (Matt 4.3; Mark 1.2–3; Luke 3.4–6) invite a comparison with the Roman road system and its extensive broadcast of Roman imperial ideology. Heralding the sovereignty of a coming king on newly constructed roads through difficult terrain, Matthew, Mark and Luke portray the coming of the kingdom of God in terms analogous to the laying of Roman roads followed by the enforcement of Roman rule throughout the Roman Empire. If Isa 40.3 heralded the arrival of the true God through the ministry of Jesus, as the Synoptic Gospels proclaim, then Rome's pretentions were by implication counterfeit. The engineering feats of raising ravines, levelling heights, smoothing terrain and making straight highways denoted Roman expansion, conquest and the standardisation of Roman imperial ideology. In contradistinction, the Synoptic Gospels’ citations of Isa 40.3 presage the triumph of God, while simultaneously parodying Roman imperial ideology.
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