'Healing Steps': Jesus' Dionysiac Tour in Luke
Dyer, Katherine Veach
Luke 8:1-3 and 18:35-19:10 are two uniquely Lukan scenes which are meant to evoke similarities between Jesus and Dionysus. Luke’s intentional comparison constructs an apologia that is a response to allegations of Jesus’ similarities to pagan divinities. By creating a section about Jesus’ missionary journey in which Jesus functions as a better version of Dionysus, Luke seeks to reassure both Christians and potential converts that Christianity did not possess the Bacchic traits that the Romans often considered objectionable. Moreover, Luke’s depiction of Jesus as a superior Dionysus relies heavily on Euripides’ Bacchae, demonstrating the validity of that text as a Lukan source.