Manual The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence

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Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. H55 L44 Unknown.

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More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents Introduction The Genre issue of Luke-acts and previous scholarship about 'tragic history' The Genre of Luke-acts : biography, novel, epic or history? Incomplete understanding - or misunderstanding of 'Tragic history' An introduction to 'tragic history' Whatls 'Tragic history' about? Vivid representation of scenes Another literary device of Livy for Unfortunately, he only briefly discusses his assumptions and then takes them for granted for much of the rest of the book rather than first providing strong evidence for their validity.

In other words, Mauck also uses the deductive method to identify the charges against Paul: inciting revolt and spreading an illegal religion.

He does this by boiling fourteen charges against Paul and fifty-nine defenses of Paul as stated in Acts down into these two overarching legal charges, as Mauck interprets them, in two well organized charts. If the assumptions are true, then Acts is a legal brief and if Acts is a legal brief, then the assumptions are true. Assumptions about Luke, Paul, and Theophilus.

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I will argue that Luke-Acts is a legal brief, an extraordinary legal brief. And from this point on pg. Undoubtedly, the content of Acts shows that Luke was familiar with both Jewish and Roman legal and procedural issues. Of course, such a bold statement would be speculation as well, but Paul does defend himself before numerous tribunals throughout the course of Acts.

Finally, Mauck argues more convincingly that Theophilus was a Roman official with some influence. Numerous others have also suggested this idea, and Mauck notes a few of them. Not only is this a classical non sequitur , but it is also circular. An alternative view with more evidentiary support is that Theophilus was a believing Roman official—a God-fearer like Cornelius—or perhaps already a Christian. Assumptions about the charges against Paul.

Certainly Paul was charged numerous times with inciting a riot, and the charges were always brought in vain.

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But as to the charge of spreading an illegal religion, a religio illicita , Mauck confronts a substantial obstacle. In short, Mauck simply takes for granted that there was a religio licita status at the time Acts was written, without citing to any particular authority on the matter. Furthermore, recent research has also cast doubt on the idea that Luke envisioned a broader political apologia for Christianity to the Romans as his specific purpose. In his assessment of the contents of Acts from the standpoint of the judicial reader, Mauck skillfully constructs a list of forty interrogatories based on the assumption that Acts in an answer to a complaint made against Paul.

These interrogatories imply that Christianity is under legal attack by the Roman state and that Luke needs to justify the religion in a formal legal argument. Curiously, Mauck only once briefly mentions a passage in Acts that would lend central support to this idea These two verses show the perception in Philippi that Paul was teaching disorderly doctrines that were subversive of Roman society.

Nevertheless, C. Again, this response assumes too much to be really convincing—and it tends towards anachronism. This defense would not have impressed a Roman criminal investigator. When Al Gore and Joseph Liebermann lost the election recount in Florida, Liebermann gave a speech in which he told the country that naturally he would do what the normal American would do in that situation: go to court. It is not so clear that going to court would have been such an immediate recourse in the ancient world, especially under Hebrew law relating to charges of blasphemy.

But in the end, the Sanhedrin stones Stephen for blasphemy when he tells them of his vision of Jesus on the right hand of God Acts First, the assertion that the Sanhedrin killed Jesus is not the reason that they stoned Stephen. That is clear even to a reader with no concept of the Hebrew law governing, and consequences for, blasphemy as found in Lev. They flawlessly conformed to Hebrew legal procedure for stoning in these verses.

But the prospective stoning of the suspected adulteress in John 8 indicates otherwise, as does the original precedent for capital punishment by stoning in the case of the blasphemer in Lev. Thus, the Sanhedrin conformed to prescribed procedure in stoning Stephen under Hebrew law and were under no obligation to turn to Roman courts for relief in a case of blasphemy.

Who Authored Luke-Acts?

True, in one sense this participates in one of the major weaknesses of the text—the anachronistic use of modern legal concepts to describe the situation in Acts. But aside from that, it is amusing to encounter these types of comparisons in the book. Second, although his work contains various valuable contributions to the study of Acts, particularly his unique lawyer approach and his argument for an early date of Acts, Mauck has not filled his burden of proving this bold assertion. Instead, his case proved to be centered on circular argumentation and built on untenable premises.

Further references to this book are given parenthetically in the text. His original reader, Theophilus, was, the evidence will show, the Roman official responsible for the judicial investigation of trials to be conducted before the Emperor Nero. Luke, true to his reputation as an evangelist, crafted his brief to present the gospel so that even the very investigator would come to believe in Jesus. Edward Zeller London: Williams and Norgate, [German original, ] suggesting that Luke intended to defend Christianity against Pagan charges and to show Christians how they might defend themselves ; J.

Instead, the Gospels are highly anonymous, not only in not naming their authors, but in writing in a collective, revisionist manner.

"Fathers" Motif in Luke - Acts - Asbury Theological Seminary -

New Testament expert Bart Ehrman Forged , pg. In all four Gospels, the story of Jesus is presented as a continuation of the history of the people of God as narrated in the Jewish Bible. Instead, Tacitus wrote in a unique Latin style that distinguished him as an individual, personal author, and he likewise comments on the events within his narrative from his own personal point of view.

We have seen above that the internal evidence does not support Matthew, Mark, or John as the authors of the gospels attributed to them. What about Luke? To name a few discrepancies:. Nevertheless, the author of Luke-Acts clearly had a strong interest in Paul. However, the Oxford Annotated Bible pg.

"Fathers" Motif in Luke - Acts - Asbury Theological Seminary

This outside evidence is corroborated within the text, when Tacitus mentions the burial of cities in Campania in the praefatio of his Histories 1. As has been shown, Tacitus has passed the criteria with flying colors, while all of the Gospels have had multiple internal problems. However, there are likewise external reasons to doubt the traditional authors of the Gospels.

Thus, Tacitus was identified as the author of his Histories from the beginning of the tradition, rather than being speculated to be the author later in the tradition. This is very strong external evidence. We have precisely the opposite situation in the case of the Gospels. The anonymity of the Gospel writers was respected for decades. When the Gospels of the New Testament are alluded to and quoted by authors of the early second century, they are never entitled, never named.

Even Justin Martyr, writing around CE, quotes verses from the Gospels, but does not indicate what the Gospels were named. Below are the first references and quotations of the Gospels among external source, which treat them anonymously for some decades after their composition:. Ignatius c. There is scholarly dispute, however, as to whether Ignatius and Polycarp are quoting written texts, or instead interacting with oral traditions.

As such, it is uncertain whether these two authors are directly referencing the Gospels that we possess today. Even more important, however, is when the Didache c. The Didache likely preserves, therefore, a trace of their original titles, which were anonymous. Justin Martyr c. Finally, Irenaeus c.

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  • The Genre of Luke-Acts.

It was about a century after the Gospels had been originally put in circulation that they were definitively named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This comes, for the first time, in the writings of the church father and heresiologist Irenaeus [ Against Heresies 3.