Original Research

Astonishment and joy: Luke 1 as told from the perspective of Elizabeth

Robin G. Branch
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.77 | © 2013 Robin G. Branch | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2012 | Published: 25 July 2013

About the author(s)

Robin G. Branch, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa and Department of Bible and Theology, Victory University, United States


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Abstract

This article, a dramatic, scholarly monologue, examines the events that Luke 1 recounts, retelling them from the viewpoint of Elizabeth, the elderly wife of Zechariah, a priest. It uses a literary method and presents the monologue as an eyewitness account.1 Luke 1 frames its central events from a female and gynocentric perspective.2 As a participant in the infancy narrative in Luke 1, Elizabeth should figure predominantly in scholarly articles and sermons. Surprisingly, she does not. Instead, scholarly, lectionary and congregational attention focuses primarily on Zechariah and Mary, two of the other speaking characters. Consequently, this article seeks to showcase, honour, and analyse Elizabeth, an overlooked yet pivotal character in Luke’s gospel. Via a dramatic monologue, it lets her speak about the astonishing recent events in her life and thereby invites readers and hearers to share her joy, surely a singular theme in Luke’s gospel.

Hierdie artikel, ‘n wetenskaplike monoloog in dramavorm, ondersoek die gebeure volgens Lukas 1. Dit word hervertel vanuit die perspektief van Elisabet, die bejaarde vrou van die priester Sagaria. ’n Literêre metode word gebruik en die monoloog word as ’n ooggetuieverslag aangebied. Lukas 1 se hoofgebeure word vanuit ‘n vroulike perspektief asook dié van ongebore babas (‘gynocentric’) gekontekstualiseer. As inherent deel van die jeugvertelling van Lukas 1 behoort Elisabet oorwegend in wetenskaplike artikels en preke te figureer. Dit is verrassend dat dit nie gebeur nie. In wetenskaplike leesstukke en tydens gemeentelike byeenkomste word hoofsaaklik op Sagaria en Maria, die ander twee hoofkarakters, gefokus. Elisabet is ’n miskende sleutelkarakter in die Evangelie van Lukas en daarom poog hierdie artikel om Elisabet uit te lig, eervol te erken en te analiseer. Deur dramatiese monoloog kry Elisabet die geleentheid om oor die verstommende gebeure van haar onlangse lewe te praat. Sy nooi hiermee die lesers en toehoorders uit om in haar vreugde te deel – sekerlik ’n buitengewone tema in die Lukasevangelie.



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