This article addresses a complex and perennial interpretive issue vis-à-vis the third Gospel’s soteriological grammar, which therefore requires a complex approach. If, as many scholars have noted, salvation in Luke is inextricably tied to public adherence to Jesus, then why does Jesus, in his encounter with the lawyer in 10:25–37, answer the lawyer’s question about “inheriting eternal life” without making any explicit reference to faith or discipleship? This two-part essay attempts to answer this question. Part 1 examines the literary-theological shape of Luke’s soteriology both as a whole and also in the “type-scene” parallel to 10:25–37, that is, Jesus’s encounter with the rich ruler (18:18–23). This first part of the essay arrives at two conclusions. First, it concludes that Luke’s soteriological grammar is indeed ineluctably Christological, making explicit the apparent tension between this overall soteriology and Jesus’s answer to the lawyer. Second, part 1 argues that the differences in Luke’s characterization of the lawyer and the rich ruler evoke from Jesus different rhetorical strategies; these differences become the key for resolving the tension between Luke’s Christologically oriented soteriology and Jesus’s markedly “un-Christological” answer to the lawyer. Part 2, then, explores in detail Jesus’s rhetorical strategies with the lawyer, concluding that the Lukan Jesus is not offering an alternative soteriology to that of the Gospel as a whole; rather, he is obliquely attempting to persuade the lawyer to take up a new form of life—attachment to Jesus and his interpretation of the law.

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