Original Research

The approach of conflict in Luke 12:49–59 through Form Criticism and its application in Nigerian churches

Ezichi A. Ituma, Prince E. Peters
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2208 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2208 | © 2021 Ezichi A. Ituma, Prince E. Peters | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 January 2021 | Published: 29 September 2021

About the author(s)

Ezichi A. Ituma, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Prince E. Peters, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Luke 12:49–59 contains two pericopes whose only bond of unity is conflict. The first pericope (49–53) deals with the kind of conflict best described as persecution because of Jesus, whereas, the first part of the second pericope (54–57) is a call for the Lukan community to understand various signs which mark a transition from the first to the second pericope. The second half of the second pericope (58–59) deals with inter-personal conflict among community members as it is seen and documented by the evangelist. In it, Jesus gives advice on how to avoid falling victim to legal justice. This research examines Jesus’ stance in handling conflict, and to observe if the contemporary Christianity in Nigeria understands conflict management as Jesus did in Lk 12:49–59, and how far the church has applied Jesus’ conflict management styles. The tools of exegesis and hermeneutics were employed to reconstruct the two pericopes and their various life situations.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The study’s implication is an approach with New Testament using Form Criticism to challenge the docility often seen in the (Nigerian) church each time there is a conflict situation. Peace and conflict study is analysed from the perspective of New Testament studies in order to cancel this stereotypical docility that is misunderstood as ‘Christian pacifism’. It then argues that the life situation of the conflict (whether it is intra-mural or extra-mural) should guide Christians to make the right choice towards conflict management.


 

 

 


Keywords

conflict; church; Jesus; life situation; Nigeria

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