In this book, Robert Beck proposes to read Luke-Acts from the perspective of its implied reader. In making this reader a gentile sympathetic to Judaism, like the ""God-fearing"" centurions inscribed in his text, Luke reverses the empire-critical narrative perspectives of Mark and Matthew. And yet he profoundly challenges imperial cultural values. Luke launches his double narrative with Jesus' proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue. In lieu of the tradition of Ezra with its safeguarding customs, this programmatic announcement promises a path to the gentiles in the tradition of Third Isaiah, with both its releases and its risks. Luke shows a way for the outsider to enter into the traditions of Israel, and not replace them. This reading regards the full narrative sweep of Luke's double work. It yields a fresh look at his Gospel, as well as the largely neglected narrative structure of Acts. ""Reading from the perspective of a Gentile, God-fearing friend of the synagogue, Beck constructs Luke-Acts as calling this implied reader (typically a centurion) into Israel's narrative interpreted by Jesus through Isaiah 40-66's vision of a light to the nations. Jesus' teaching subverts and affirms aspects of imperial culture even as Luke-Acts invites Gentiles into a distinctive discipleship."" --Warren Carter, Brite Divinity School at TCU ""Beck's masterful sleuthing to uncover Luke's 'implied reader' to be a gentile 'fearer of God, ' attracted like a Cornelius to the one God of the Jewish synagogue, poignantly profiles Luke's narrative agenda and rationale for his wholesale re-configuration of his narrative source Mark. . . . Beck succeeds at championing the Luke whose two volumes compose an open invitation to all who, pressed down by unbridled power to the margins of meaninglessness, desire to 'love God' and find new identity in the only God who 'shows no partiality.'"" --David P. Moessner, A. A. Bradford Chair of Religion, TCU ""In A Light to the Centurions, Robert Beck proposes that the Lucan implied reader is not only a gentile but a Roman intrigued with and interested in the faith. . . . Beck argues that the Lucan call to universalism, 'a light to the Gentiles, ' is actually a light to the Romans exemplified by the Centurion, offering a pathway to membership that is both welcoming and at the same time a subversion of Greco-Roman values."" --Laurie Brink, OP, Catholic Theological Union ""There are many books on Luke-Acts. Veteran teacher and author Robert Beck of Loras College in Iowa has pioneered a new approach. In his previous books, on Mark and Matthew, Beck has made clear his great literary gifts. In this one, he has gone beyond his earlier efforts, displaying both historical and literary talent. . . . This work is not to be missed."" --Benedict T. Viviano, OP, University of Fribourg, Switzerland Robert R. Beck is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, and a professor emeritus of religious studies at Loras College. He is the author of Nonviolent Story: Narrative Conflict Resolution in the Gospel of Mark and Banished Messiah: Violence and Nonviolence in Matthew's Story of Jesus. He currently publishes a column entitled ""Sunday's Word"" on the Sunday lectionary.