The Acts Of The Apostles: What Really Happened In The Earliest Days Of The Church

For everyone with a desire to know what really happened in the earliest days of the Christian church, this volume is Lüdemann (Göttingen.
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The earliest explanation, suggested by Swiss theologian Jean LeClerc in the 17th century, posits that the longer Western version was a first draft, while the Alexandrian version represents a more polished revision by the same author. Adherents of this theory argue that even when the two versions diverge, they both have similarities in vocabulary and writing style—suggesting that the two shared a common author.

The disciples

However, it has been argued that if both texts were written by the same individual, they should have exactly identical theologies and they should agree on historical questions. A second theory assumes common authorship of the Western and Alexandrian texts, but claims the Alexandrian text is the short first draft, and the Western text is a longer polished draft. A third theory is that the longer Western text came first, but that later, some other redactor abbreviated some of the material, probably for Arian-leaning theological reasons, resulting in the shorter Alexandrian text.

While these other theories still have a measure of support, many modern scholars consider that the shorter Alexandrian text is closer to the original, and the longer Western text is the result of later insertion of additional material into the text. Ramsay in The Church in the Roman Empire held that the Codex Bezae the Western text rested on a recension made in Asia Minor somewhere between Ephesus and southern Galatia , not later than about the middle of the 2nd century.

Though "some at least of the alterations in Codex Bezae arose through a gradual process, and not through the action of an individual reviser," the revision in question was the work of a single reviser, who in his changes and additions expressed the local interpretation put upon Acts in his own time. His aim, in suiting the text to the views of his day, was partly to make it more intelligible to the public, and partly to make it more complete. To this end he "added some touches where surviving tradition seemed to contain trustworthy additional particulars," such as the statement that Paul taught in the lecture-room of Tyrannus "from the fifth to the tenth hour" added to Acts In his later work, St Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen , Ramsay's views gain both in precision and in breadth.

The gain lies chiefly in seeing beyond the Bezan text to the "Western" text as a whole. A third class of manuscripts, known as the Byzantine text-type , is often considered to have developed after the Western and Alexandrian types. While differing from both of the other types, the Byzantine type has more similarity to the Alexandrian than to the Western type. The extant manuscripts of this type date from the 5th century or later; however, papyrus fragments show that this text-type may date as early as the Alexandrian or Western text-types.

Today, the Byzantine text-type is the subject of renewed interest as the possible original form of the text from which the Western and Alexandrian text-types were derived. Josephus and Luke-Acts are thought to be approximately contemporaneous, around AD 90, and Eusebius wrote some two and a quarter centuries later.

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December Learn how and when to remove this template message. The First Christian Historian: Writing the 'Acts of the Apostles'. Luke-Acts and the Rhetoric of History: An Investigation of Early Christian Historiography. In Praise of Christian Origins: Stephen and the Hellenists in Lukan Apologetic Historiography. Archived from the original on Moving Toward a Consensus? Cadbury thinks the author is closest to being a historian, but writes on a popular level.

Donelson characterizes the author as a cult historian who travels from place to place gathering traditions, setting down the origin of the sect. Pervo observes that even scholars such as Haenchen who rate the author as highly unreliable nevertheless classify him as a historian. Burkitt The Gospel History and its Transmission, , pp. In addition it is often alleged that he made use of the writings of Josephus and the letters of Paul. The use of the LXX is not debatable, but the influence of Josephus and Paul has been and is subjected to considerable debate.

University of California Press. A Guide for New Testament Students', p. A characteristic conglomerate of details, which in part agree, in part reflect great similarity, but also in part, appear dissimilar and to stem from different provenances, accords with this analysis.

Dr. Ray Pritchard

I do not believe that any such dependence can be proved. The fact is, as Schurer has said: What is clear is that Luke-Acts and Josephus shared some common traditions about the recent history of Palestine. Continuum International Publishing Group. It was said of the early Christians, "Behold, how they love one another.

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They still hold true today. Acts teaches us about the worldwide mission of the Christian church. Many of you already know that the theme verse of Acts is found in the first chapter, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" Acts 1: Notice the phrase "to the ends of the earth. That was Jesus' plan from the beginning. He always intended that his followers would take his message and go in every direction with the good news.

And this took place in the reign of Claudius. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me. They kept saying, "It is his angel. And he said, "Report these things to James and the brethren. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie. We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!

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Therefore come out now and go in peace. But let them come themselves and bring us out. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say? He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.

From now on I will go to the Gentiles. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.


Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And they were accompanying him to the ship. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

They will certainly hear that you have come.

Historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles

We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.

From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished. Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

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For I will send you far away to the Gentiles. For this man is a Roman. Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck? We wanted to judge him according to our own Law.

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By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him. But there were some Jews from Asia - 19 who ought to have been present before you and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. I appeal to Caesar. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write.

And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. It is hard for you to kick against the goads. Your great learning is driving you mad.