“To Evangelize the Poor”

The Gospel According to Luke, Isaiah, and Origen

  • James E. Kelly Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (Brighton, MA)


In this essay, I will examine the scriptural basis for Origen’s interpretation of Luke 4:18-19 as an allusion to Jesus’ identity as savior, not as a call to social justice. I argue that this interpretation is consistent with the intentions of the gospel writer. The essay begins with an analysis of the gospel writer’s redaction of Mark 1 in Luke 3-5. Based on that redaction, I hypothesize that Luke intends to emphasize Jesus’s identity with the anointed one mentioned in Isaiah 61:1-2. This excerpt from Isaiah not only gives Luke 4:18-19 its Christological significance but also clarifies Luke’s understanding of poverty in relation to the Gospel. I then examine Origen’s application of the Lucan passage for his pastoral purposes. To conclude, I suggest that we, like Luke and Origen, read Scripture Christocentrically in order to better facilitate the church’s encounter with Christ during the liturgy.


How to Cite
Kelly, J. E. (2019). “To Evangelize the Poor” . Lumen Et Vita, 9(2), 21-28. https://doi.org/10.6017/lv.v9i2.11125