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Luz, Ulrich 1938–

Luz, Ulrich 1938–

PERSONAL:

Born 1938. Education: Attended college in Zurich, Switzerland, and Göttingen, Germany.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Universität Bern, Theologische Fakultät, Unitobler, Länggassstrasse 51, CH-3000 Bern, 9, Switzerland. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Theologian, educator, writer, and editor. Internaional Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, professor, 1969-71; University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, professor of New Testament, 1972-80; University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, professor of New Testament studies, 1980-2003.

MEMBER:

Societas Novi Testamenti Studiorum (president, 1998).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Honorary degrees from the Universities of Leipzig, Budapest, and Sibiu.

WRITINGS:

Das Geschichtsverständnis Des Paulus, C. Kaiser (Munich, Germany), 1968.

(With Rudolf Smend) Gott in Japan: Anstösse Zum Gespräch Mit Japan. Philosophen, Theologen, Schriftstellern, Ch. Kaiser (Munich, Germany), 1973.

Der Jude Jesus: Thesen Eines Juden: Antworten Eines Christen, Benziger (Zurich, Switzerland), 1979, translation by Lawrence W. Denef published as Jesus in Two Perspectives: A Jewish-Christian Dialog, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), 1985.

(Contributor) Eschatologie Und Friedenshandeln: Exegetische Beiträge Zur Frage Christlicher Friedensverantwortung, Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk (Stuttgart, Germany), 1981.

(With Rudolf Smend) Gesetz, Kohlhammer (Stuttgart, Germany), 1981.

(Editor, with Hans Weder) Die Mitte Des Neuen Testaments: Einheit Und Vielfalt Neutestamentlicher Theologie: Festschrift Für Eduard Schweizer Zum Siebzigsten Geburtstag, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (Göttingen, Germany), 1983.

(With Christian Link and Lukas Vischer) Sie Aber Hielten Fest an Der Gemeinschaft—: Einheit Der Kirche Als Prozess Im Neuen Testament Und Heute, Benziger (Zurich, Switzerland), 1988.

Matthew: A Commentary, translated by Wilhelm C. Linss, Augsburg (Minneapolis, MN), 1989-2001.

(Contributor) Zankapfel Bibel: Eine Bibel, Viele Zugänge: Ein Theologisches Gespräch, Theologischer Verlag (Zurich, Switzerland), 1992.

Die Jesusgeschichte Des Matthäus, Neukirchener (Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany), 1993, translation by J. Bradford Robinson published as The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Matthew in History: Interpretation, Influence, and Effects, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.

(Editor, with Ulrich Neuenschwander and Johann Zürcher) Albert Schweitzer, Reich Gottes Und Christentum, C.H. Beck (Munich, Germany), 1995.

(Contributor) Antijudaismus—christliche Erblast, Kohlhammer (Stuttgart, Germany), 1999.

Matthew 8-20: A Commentary, Fortress (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

(Editor, with Walter Dietrich) The Bible in a World Context: An Experiment in Contextual Hermeneutics, W.B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

(With Axel Michaels) Jesus Oder Buddha: Leben Und Lehre Im Vergleich, C.H. Beck (Munich, Germany), 2002, translation by Linda M. Maloney published as Encountering Jesus and Buddha: Their Lives and Teachings, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

(Editor, with Claus Günzler and Johann Zurcher) Albert Schweitzer, Vorträge, Vorlesungen, Aufsätze, C.H. Beck (Munich, Germany), 2003.

(Editor, with Ivan Z. Dimitrov, James D.G. Dunn, and Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr) Das Alte Testament als christliche Bibel in orthodoxer und westlicher Sicht: Zweite europäische orthodox-westliche Exegetenkonferenz im Rilakloster vom 8.-15 Mohr Siebeck (Tubingen, Germany), 2004.

Studies in Matthew, translated by Rosemary Selle, W.B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Matthew 21-28: A Commentary, translated by James E. Crouch, Fortress (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, translated by James E. Crouch, volume edited by Helmut Koester, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ulrich Luz is a theologian and educator and has written or edited numerous books focusing on religion. The author has written extensively about the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible's New Testament. In Matthew in History: Interpretation, Influence, and Effects, Luz looks at how the Gospel of Matthew has been interpreted over a long history and, as a result, how it has affected society and culture over the centuries. For example, he examines both the good and bad effects of the Gospel's interpretation, such as the anti-Semitism that it aroused for relating that the blood of Christ would be on the Jews who condemned Jesus to death and on their children as well. "This is a stimulating book which carefully addresses a serious issue," wrote Warren Carter in Interpretation. "Luz helpfully outlines some hermeneutical and ecclesial implications of the approach employed in his Matthew commentary." Writing in the Journal of Pentecostal Theology, Emerson B. Powery noted the author's "overall insightful method [of historical analysis], especially its appreciation for and sensitivity towards the various strands within Christianity."

In The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, the author focuses on the way the narrative of Jesus' story unfolds and provides short discussions of various themes within the narrative. He emphasizes segments such as the Sermon on the Mount, the miracles, the renunciation of possessions, and theology of judgment by works. "Pastors, students, and scholars all stand to benefit" from the book, according to Interpretations contributor John T. Carroll.

The author's in-depth exploration of the Gospel of Matthew includes a series of three commentaries published in English in which the author provides expert textual and historical-critical analysis and theological commentary. In Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, the author looks at the birth narrative, the baptism, and the temptation of Jesus, as well as the beginnings of Jesus' Galilean ministry and the Sermon on the Mount. The author pays special attention to the subsequent history of Christian appropriation of Matthew in homiletical and artistic interpretation. He also addresses the issues of Christian anti-Judaism and its terrible legacy.

The second book in Luz's three-book commentary series on Matthew, Matthew 8-20: A Commentary, includes discussions of the concept of the Son of David, Matthew's interpretation of the parables, Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, and commentary on the concept of the "Son of Man." "We can be glad that this excellent commentary is appearing in English," wrote P.J. Williams in RelTech. "It is well produced and contains detailed discussion in a wide range of areas." Michael Joseph Brown noted in the Journal of Religion: "What makes this commentary distinctive is its interesting discussions on the history of interpretation and its concluding sections on the meaning of a particular section for contemporary theological discourse."

Matthew 21-28: A Commentary, Luz's third commentary on Matthew, includes a discussion of the Passion narrative and the impact that Matthew's writing about the Passion has had on art history, music history, and literature. Writing in the Expository Times, Paul Foster noted the volume's "combination of rigorous historical criticism and a sensitivity to the reception history of the text." Edgar Krentz wrote in the Review of Biblical Literature:"This commentary makes a significant contribution to Matthean scholarship and beyond that to the use of this Gospel in the proclamation and life of the church."

Studies in Matthew, published in 2005, contains eighteen essays by the author concerning the Gospel of Matthew. Two of the essays have been previously published in English and two are new essays. Published from 1971-2003, the essays cover a wide range of issues, including a look at the narrative style and structure of Matthew, such as Matthew's use of traditional narrative and his innovations. Luz discusses the concepts of the "Son of God" and the "Son of Man" within Matthew, the disciples, the fulfillment of the law, and various other aspects of this Gospel. "For readers of the English-speaking world interested in how Luz arrived at many of his important claims or for those who wish to know more about certain claims, these essays offer a valuable resource to be read alongside his masterful commentary," wrote Clare K. Rothschild in the Review of Biblical Literature. "The layout of each piece is very clear," noted John Proctor in the Evangelical Quarterly, adding: "Numbered sections and judicious use of italics help the reader to follow the argument."

Luz is also the editor, with Ivan Z. Dimitrov, James D.G. Dunn, and Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, of Das Alte Testament als christliche Bibel in orthodoxer und westlicher Sicht: Zweite europäische orthodoxwestliche Exegetenkonferenz im Rilakloster vom 8.-15. This collection of essays focuses on how the Old Testament has been received throughout history. "The dominant theological issue that emerges throughout the volume concerns the relative merits of a text-oriented, historical approach to the OT versus a receptionoriented, christological approach," noted Stephen D. Ryan in Theological Studies. Many of the essays contrast how the Old Testament was used in Eastern Orthodox traditions as opposed to Western traditions, particularly the Protestant tradition. "Much of the contents will be new to many readers," commented R.E. Clements in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament.

Luz collaborated with Axel Michaels to write Jesus Oder Buddha: Leben Und Lehre Im Vergleich, translated into English in 2006 as Encountering Jesus and Buddha: Their Lives and Teachings. The book was called "a thoughtful examination of what Jesus Christ and the Buddha preached," by a contributor to the Internet Bookwatch. In their book, which grew out of a two lecture series on "Jesus and Buddha" that took place in Bern and Heidelberg, Germany, the authors cover a wide range of themes, including the relative importance of Jesus and the Buddha within Christianity and Buddhism, and their different perspectives on issues such as the self, the self's future, love, and ethics. The authors also explore these two historical figures' outlooks on prayer, suffering, meditation, and commitment to the community and the world. "Overall, the discussions are thorough, accurate, and helpful," wrote Leo D. Lefebure in Theological Studies. "The reader learns much about the original contexts of the two religious leaders … and the similarities and differences between the two teachers' perspectives."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Mayordomo, Moises, Die Prägende Kraft Der Texte: Hermeneutik Und Wirkungsgeschichte Des Neuen Testaments: (ein Symposium Zu Ehren Von Ulrich Luz), Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk (Stuttgart, Germany), 2005.

PERIODICALS

America, February 9, 1991, Daniel J. Harrington, review of Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, p. 132.

Biblical Theology Bulletin, winter, 2007, Dennis C. Duling, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 185.

Catholic Biblical Quarterly, January, 2002, Warren Carter, review of Matthew 8-20: A Commentary, p. 171; April, 2003, Robert J. Miller, review of The Bible in a World Context: An Experiment in Contextual Hermeneutics, p. 315; April, 2003, Russell Morton, "Das Evangelium Nach Matthaus: Teilband 4, Mt 26-28," p. 289; January, 2007, Benedict T. Viviano, review of Matthew 21-28: A Commentary, p. 156.

Choice, May, 2007, A.L. Miller, review of Encountering Jesus and Buddha: Their Lives and Teachings, p. 1550.

Commonweal, October 24, 1986, Paul M. van Buren, review of Jesus in Two Perspectives: A Jewish-Christian Dialog, p. 564.

Currents in Theology and Mission, December, 2003, Edgar Krentz, review of Matthew 8-20, p. 458.

Evangelical Quarterly, October, 2007, Volume 79, issue 4, John Proctor, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 359.

Expository Times, July, 2006, Paul Foster, "Two Commentaries on Matthews," pp. 427-428.

Internet Bookwatch, February, 2007, review of Encountering Jesus and Buddha.

Interpretation, July, 1991, Mark Allan Powell, review of Matthew 1-7, p. 294; July, 1996, Warren Carter, review of Matthew in History: Interpretation, Influence, and Effects, p. 307; July, 1997, John T. Carroll, review of The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, p. 297; January, 2003, Dorothy Jean Weaver, review of Matthew 8-20, p. 86; October, 2006, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 492; January, 2007, review of Encountering Jesus and Buddha, p. 110.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Volume 28, issue 5, 2006, Brendan McConvery, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 53.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, September, 2001, R.E. Clements, review of Das Alte Testament als christliche Bibel in orthodoxer und westlicher Sicht: Zweite europäische orthodoxwestliche Exegetenkonferenz im Rilakloster vom 8.-15, p. 97.

Journal of Biblical Literature, fall, 1992, Donald A. Hagner, review of Matthew 1-7, p. 539; spring, 1997, Warren Carter, review of The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, p. 145; winter, 2002, Donald A. Hagner, review of Matthew 8-20, p. 766; winter, 2006, Leroy Andrew Huizenga, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 816.

Journal of Pentecostal Theology, April, 1999, Emerson B. Powery, "Ulrich Luz's Matthew in History: A Contribution to Pentecostal Hermeneutics?," p. 3.

Journal of Religion, April, 1997, Jack Dean Kingsbury, review of The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, p. 288; July, 2002, Michael Joseph Brown, review of Matthew 8-20, p. 430.

Journal of Theological Studies, October, 2006, Paul Foster, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 641.

RelTech, Volume 8, 2003, P.J. Williams, review of Matthew 8-20.

Review of Biblical Literature, Volume 8, 2006, Clare K. Rothschild, review of Studies in Matthew, p. 411; Volume 9, 2007, Edgar Krentz, review of Matthew 21-28, p. 362.

Scottish Journal of Theology, March, 1992, C.M. Tuckett, review of Matthew 1-7, p. 114.

Theological Studies, December 1, 2006, Stephen D. Ryan, review of Das Alte Testament als christliche Bibel in orthodoxer und westlicher Sicht, p. 880; September, 2007, Leo D. Lefebure, review of Encountering Jesus and Buddha, p. 725; March 1, 2008, Karen A. Barta, "The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text," includes review of Matthew 21-28, p. 185.

Theology, May-June, 2003, Christopher Rowland, review of The Bible in a World Context, p. 196; May-June, 2007, Boris Repschinski, review of Studies in Matthew.

Theology Today, April, 2008, Dale C. Allison, Jr., review of Matthew 1-7, p. 133.

Times Literary Supplement, September 22, 1995, J. Leslie Houlden, review of The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew, p. 27.

ONLINE

Augsburg Fortress Web site,http://www.augsburgfortress.org/ (May 26, 2008), brief profile of author.

Institut fü Bibelwissenschaft, Universität Bern Web site,http://www.search.unibe.ch/ (May 26, 2008), faculty profile of author.

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