Tag: Book of Acts

Historicity of the book of Acts (5)

Paul’s Commission: Acts 9:1-2 It has been claimed there is no historical basis for Paul’s commission from the High Priest to extradite from Damascus to Jerusalem any Jews who had become Christians,1 and that neither the High Priest nor the Sanhedrin had any jurisdiction in Damascus.234 Evidence & Commentary Peerbolte raises a parallel in the history of the Maccabees, in […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (4)

The historicity of Acts is taken seriously (though not accepted completely), even by highly regarded critical scholars such as Gerd Lüdemann,1 Alexander Wedderburn,2 Hans Conzelmann,3 and Martin Hengel.4 Furthermore, recent modern studies are far more positive in their assessment of the historicity of Acts than many previous critical commentaries.5 Acts 1:1-14: Visions of Christ Lüdemann acknowledges the historicity of Christ’s […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (3)

Peter’s address: Acts 4:4 Robert Grant claimed that the population of Jerusalem was too small for 5,000 converts to Christianity.1 Grant’s estimate of the population of Jerusalem relied on an influential study by Jeremias in 1943, 2 3 but did not mention that Jeremias calculated a far higher population figure for festival seasons such as passover, at which he estimated […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (2)

Some verses in Acts use the second person plural (‘we’), indicating that the writer is participating in the events he is describing. The traditional interpretation (that the writer was an eyewitness, the traditional Luke),1 was challenged in the twentieth century.2 Although there currently exists no scholarly consensus on the “we” passages,3 three interpretations in particular have become dominant: a) the […] 

Historicity of the book of Acts (1)

How historically accurate is the book of Acts? Current scholarly attitudes range widely; 1 German theologian Adolf von Harnack’s extreme criticism has been discredited, 2 but Ramsay’s views 3 are considered exaggerated, 4 and Sherwin-White’s praise 5 is qualified. 6 Professor of Religion Charles Talbert judges Acts to be consistently accurate with regard to many details: 7 8 Thessalonican city […] 

Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts?

The Claim It has been claimed that Luke used the writings of Josephus (specifically ‘Antiquities of the Jews’).1 2 Since Josephus wrote in 93 CE, this would date Acts no earlier than this time.3 The following passages are claimed as examples of Luke’s dependence on Josephus. * Luke 3:1: Josephus and Luke record the census of Quirinius, but Luke’s differs […]