Jesus' Death in Luke-Acts
Browsing the internet I came across this fascinating article by Richard Anderson on the view of Jesus' atonement in Luke-Acts. It's well worth reading in full, but for the lazy here's a short summary of some of what I felt were the important points:
1. Luke contains no statements that give any sort of 'theological' interpretation to the cross. Nor does Acts contain such statements except where it's quoting the speeches of Paul. (In Luke's gospel the sole interpretation of Jesus' death is that he was a martyr)
2. Luke-Acts heavily emphasizes the Jewish concept of repentance and forgiveness to an extent not found in the remainder of the New Testament. The Jews believed that a person who truly repented would be forgiven by God. The importance of repentance occurs regularly throughout Luke-Acts, and a primary function of Jesus' ministry is "to call sinners to repentance".
3. Luke omits all negative statements toward Sacrifices, Temple, and Dietary Laws from the preaching of Jesus. In Acts all such statements are placed in the mouths of certain followers of Jesus subsequent to Jesus' death. Luke's version of Jesus is acceptable to a person who is a Law-following Judean, and Anderson sees them as the intended audience.
4. Overall Luke-Acts is very careful in distinguishing between the theology of the writer and the theology of Paul in terms of what is said about Jesus' death, Sacrifices, the Temple, and Dietary Laws. (This would seem to raise the question, not dealt with by Anderson, of what Luke's own view of Paul's theology is, and how Luke is trying to portray Paul... it had never crossed my mind that Luke (or his audience) might not like Paul or Paul's theology!)