I’ve just begun to catch up with “Parallel Lives: The Relation of Paul to the Apostles in the Lucan Perspective” by Andrew C. Clark and, well, I’m biased since I love almost any book helping me explore how texts work. The work is mainly about how and why the author has set up Peter and Paul as parallel lives, but the discussion begins with comparisons of Jesus and John the Baptist in the first few chapters of Luke, and also has a closer look at Plutarch’s Parallel Lives.
But one set of details I was not expecting to see discussed here was the function performed by the characters of Stephen, Philip and Barnabas. I had seen at least the first two as something of transition figures to advance the plot of Acts, but Clark has helpfully filled in the mass of detail needed to explain exactly how they work as such. read more