Luke-Acts as a Unity?

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by Neil Godfrey

A neat outline of current thinking among scholars on the question of the relationship between Luke and Acts is set out by Phillip Long at https://readingacts.com/2019/04/25/unity-of-luke-acts-in-current-scholarship/.

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Neil Godfrey

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6 thoughts on “Luke-Acts as a Unity?”

  1. Stevan L. Davies has an illuminating suggestion in the 2012 revision of his ‘Revolt of the Widows’. Noting that “in Acts Luke never depicts an apostle telling a miracle story from the first book nor does anyone repeat even a single sentence of Jesus’ that is found in the Gospel”, he posits a different order of composition.
    “The author of Acts was not familiar with the Gospel of Luke 3:1ff, and the author of the Gospel was not familiar with the Birth Narrative. And yet that author wrote those things. This is not a paradox : it’s pretty clear that Luke wrote Acts first and then, in some later year, or later decade, Luke wrote the Gospel 3:1ff. Then later still Luke wrote the Birth Narrative. Luke 1:5-2.52. Accordingly, nothing of what was written later appears in what was written earlier and no one should expect that it would.”

  2. I think I’m increasingly inclined to think that “Acts” may have been the last piece of the canon. Authored by whoever put together Mk, Mt, Jn and so on. I guess I need to read Trobitsch one of these days.

  3. I started having second thoughts about common authorship after watching a video of Richard Carrier explaining how, if you disregard the first chapter, the story in Acts is inconsistent with any plausible narrative in which Jesus of Nazareth was a real man who was really executed by any Roman official.

    1. I have this from my Kindle copy of OHJ by Richard Carrier, chapter 9 The Evidence of Acts, subheading 3 The Mysterious Vanishing Acts –

      “So after the first chapter of Acts, the moment Christianity’s history becomes public record, it suddenly appears as if Jesus had no family whatever. That is certainly more likely if there was no Jesus in the first place. For if Jesus didn’t exist, then our author’s genuine historical sources, insofar as he had any, would only have begun with the origin of the church under Peter (as represented from Acts 2 on), and these sources would never mention any of the family of Jesus (or Pontius Pilate, or anyone who buried Jesus, or carried his cross), because no such people existed. Or else they had nothing to do with a historical Jesus. Minimal historicity, by contrast, cannot as easily explain this.”

      Hope that helps.🙂

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