My study begins with “paradise” as it is found in the Lukan Jesus’ promise to the second criminal crucified with him (Lk 23:43). I look at the different associations “paradise” carried in the Septuagint and in Second Temple Judaism, from a royal park to the garden of Eden. Next I concentrate on the immediate context of Luke‘s “paradise,” and suggest that an informal trial and judgment is taking place in the dialogue between the two criminals and Jesus. Finally, I examine Luke‘s passion narrative and Luke-Acts for further signs of conflicting judgment between human beings and God: those whom people reject, God favours. In the end, I suggest that Luke’s thinking on “paradise” coheres with his theology of the divine reversal of unjust human situations.
The development of knowledge and wisdom is traced in Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 1-4, using narrative criticism influenced mainly by Ricoeur. Nebuchadnezzar, limited by past and future narrated time, displays tensions between the wisdoms of skillful artisanship, judging justly, and interpreting dreams. Nebuchadnezzar's attainment of wisdom is possible but uncertain, leaving the reader to extract wisdom from his story.