Video Transcript: Authorship, Date and Genre

Announcer - This is Dr. Craig Keener, in his teaching on the book of Acts. This is session  number one, authorship, date and genre.  

Dr. Keener - We have many letters in the New Testament, that show us how particular  problems were dealt with. We have the gospels that show us more of the life of our Lord. But  we have one book in the New Testament that actually portrays in a narrative way, the life of  the early church. The theme of the book is the mission of the early church, how they carried  on Jesus's mission and followed his great commission. We find this in the book of Acts. And  we're going to start the book of Acts with a significantly long introduction to raise the major  themes and then we'll, we'll go through and sample in somewhat less detail, certain parts of  the book of Acts. The book of Acts, we might call it, Luke part two, because it's, it's very  significant. How the Gospel of Luke is carried on in the book of Acts, Gospel of Luke being all  that Jesus began to do and teach, and the book of Acts, showing how Jesus continued to  work through his followers. sActs tells us the beginning of many of the churches, and  therefore it's useful when considering the background for Paul's letters. For example, Romans was to a mixed church consisting once consisting only only of Gentiles Thessalonians, to a  largely Gentile church persecuted for believing in another king, when Jesus, well, Athenians,  that didn't make it into the canon, right. But in any case, we get, we get background on many  of the letters, even though that wasn't the original purpose of Acts, it helps us in that way.  Let's start by looking at the question of the authorship of Acts. We really can't address the  authorship of Acts without looking at the we narratives. The majority of scholars think that the  we narratives were authored by a companion of Paul, and there's good reason for that. But  some scholars do you demur and there are also reasons for that. You can tell where I stand,  because I said good reasons for one, and they're just good reasons for the other. But in any  case, the narratives are far more detailed. In the we section. There are more details on the on the few weeks spent in Philippi than the lengthy stays in Corinth 18 months and in over two  years in Ephesus, also where the we begins in the where do we leaves off in 16:10. And  following, we find that the we begins moving from Troas to Philippi. After Paul and Silas leave  Philippi the we breaks off. But years later, when Paul comes back to Philippi, in Acts chapter  20, we picks up again, and continues basically until the end of the book of Acts. Whenever  there's any travel, the we stays in the background, the first person is only mentioned where  we're necessary to include himself without elaborating by mentioning himself mentioning what he was doing, he's just included in the group. Now, some people have taken the we to be  other than what we normally take we to mean, we normally means myself plus someone else. But, you know, scholars, we make our living by making complicated things simple. And  unfortunately, sometimes by making simple things complicated, so I need to address these  other views about about we. Some say it must be a fictitious we. And the reason is, is  because they think that Luke Luke's depiction of Paul's thinking differs from the depiction of  Paul's thinking in Paul's letters. Well, there's some truth in that nobody says that Paul wrote  the book of Acts. Obviously Luke is a different person. But he's not so much of a different  person, that we must assume that he couldn't have known him or couldn't have traveled with  him. After all, if one of my students were to write a biography of my life, and, you know, you'd  see what they choose to emphasize what they would choose to emphasize about me would  be different from probably what I would choose to emphasize about me, in fact, the leading  difference that that scholars have often seen between Luke's depiction of Paul's theology and  Paul's own depiction of Paul's theology is that they say that well, in an Acts, Paul is favorable  towards the law. Whereas in Paul's letters, Paul was against the law. Well, that's a very  contentious reading of Paul. I won't say historically where it came from. But I will say that in in  the past few decades, the majority of Pauline scholars have repudiated that view. They no 

longer say that Paul was against the law. And therefore, scholars of Acts who are using that  contrast to try to distinguish Luke's Paul from Paul's, Paul need to catch up on their Pauline  scholarship. But in any case, why, why do we assume it's a fictitious we, we have fictitious  wes, or fictitious Is. In fictitious documents, such as novels, we do not have fictitious wes, or  fictitious Is. Normally, in historical works, which the majority of scholars agree that the book of  Acts is not all agree on how historical it is, but the majority agree that Acts is a historical  monograph. And it's a work of ancient historiography. The famous early 20th century Harvard  classicist, Sir Arthur Darby Nock, said that at most he could think of one example, in historical  literature in non fictitious literature, where first person plural or first person period was, was  used fictitiously. In almost all cases, in historical works, a first person meant that the author  was claiming to be there, or the author was claiming to be writing or something like that.  Moreover, if it were fictitious, why would it be fictitious only at these places, so that it leaves  off in Philippi, and picks up in Philippi. And it and it's such an obscure places, I mean, you  would think that the we would have carried through the entire narrative that we could have  been a disciple of Jesus, we could have been present at the empty tomb, the we could have  been present at Pentecost. But the author can't say that because apparently the audience  knows who the author is. And they they know, when the author was with Paul. And when the  author wasn't with Paul, the we appears in a very obscure way the author is not trying to  make make a big deal about being present, the author is simply including himself. It points  where the author was present. Some say it's not fictitious. Although some have said, well, you have this fictitious presence of a we in sea voyages. That has been very strongly answered  by scholars who've shown that most we voyages don't have a we in them. When the we is  there. Normally, it's because the author was claiming to be there. And outside of sea voyages, it's the same as inside of sea voyages. So the majority of scholars have rejected that  approach. But some scholars have said, Okay, it's not fictitious. It belongs to a travel journal.  And that's entirely possible, it's possible that it belongs to a travel journal. But keep in mind,  Luke, at the beginning of his first volume mentions many possible sources. He mentioned  getting material that goes back to eyewitnesses. Presumably a lot of the material that came to him could have come in first person form, and yet nowhere else does he preserve a first  person form. Why would Luke become an inept editor of his material at this point, and at this  point only? Doesn't it seem more likely that if there was a travel journal that is in use, it was  Luke's own travel journal? So if it was, it was a travel journal, including we would have been  Luke's travel journal. In other ancient literature, we normally means we just like it does today.  So instead of complicating with simple, we'll just leave it simple. And usually, I can say I'm in a strong consensus scholarship and this point there is debate but personally, I think that the  case is strong enough that I'm going to say I think this is really strong case, but who was this  companion? That that is presupposed in the we? Who is who is this first person voice? Well,  we know of certain people who went with Paul in in Colossians 4:10, and in Philemon, 24. He  mentioned Aristarchus being with him in Rome. However, Arastarchus is specifically  distinguished from the first person in Acts chapter 27. So this is somebody who was with  Aristarchus and Paul, but was not Aristarchus could be Epaphras. Epaphras is also with with  Paul in Rome. But there's no interest shown here in the Lycus. Valley. You would think  Epaphras, whose his home church where he where he labored the most was in the Lycus  Valley, you think that would show up somewhere in the book of Acts, but there's no interest in  in the Lycus valley there. Dimas was also with Paul in Rome. But tradition says that he didn't  persevere. Second II Timothy chapter four, says Dimas has abandoned me. So chances are,  he didn't write the book of Acts. Now, there's another strong candidate who doesn't normally  get mentioned, I think and that's Titus. Titus was close companion of Paul. And for some  reason, Titus is not mentioned by name in the book of Acts, unless he's the same person as 

Timothy, which a friend of mine has argued. But I think there are compelling reasons against  that personally, one of which being that we have I and II Timothy and Titus being separate.  But in any case, I think Titus could be a candidate. The problem is that when Paul lists his  companions in Rome, Titus is not among them. So there's one companion is listed in Rome,  who is not named in the book of Acts. And that's Luke. And not surprisingly, the unanimous,  unanimous view of the early church was that Luke was the author of the Gospel of Luke, and  the book of Acts. Interestingly enough, you would expect that if somebody were to make up a  tradition about some author, they'd make up somebody very prominent as the author, Luke  wasn't that prominent. So the external evidence and the internal evidence together both favor, Luke as the author. And when I sometimes you know, when you speak of an author of a work, you just use the traditional conventional author's name, because you don't have any better  name to use. But in this case, when I say Luke, I, personally do believe that Luke was the  author. Well, the tradition of authorship is very strong. classicists normally start with the  external evidence, and the external evidence here is very strong. The tradition is Luke, the  anti marcionite prologue, actually says that this was Luke doctor from Antioch Colossians.  4:14 does fit Luke being a doctor, although I don't believe he was from Antioch, given what we see in the book of Acts, says that he stayed single and he died in Boeotia in Greece at the  age of 84. I don't know about some of his other details, but it does fit the the evidence that  Luke was the author, we have stronger evidence from Irenaeus in late second century,  Clement of Alexandria in the late second century, Origen and Tertullian. Now to remember,  Luke addressed the book of Acts, and the Gospel of Luke to met. They knew who the author  was, he didn't have to state who he was, you know, he can say I am in the prologue, he can  say we later on, most people who receive such works, knew who the author was, and it didn't  have to necessarily be stated in the body. Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't. And in the  case of Luke, we know that at least part of his audience has dedicatee, as part of his ideal  audience is named, Theophilus and Theophilus undoubtedly knew who the author was. So  the book didn't have to mention it. But normally, the authorship was one of the last details that would be forgotten. And so here, we're talking about a few generations where this could be  passed on. And we're talking about unanimity. I mean, if if, if it wasn't passed on accurately,  you would have different hypotheses arising in different parts of the Roman Empire, but we  have unanimity. Also, a papyrus p 75. From somewhere between 175 and 225 ad calls the  gospel the Gospel of Luke, and pretty much everybody agrees If the same author wrote both  Luke and Acts, Luke was not prominent and tradition, yet, the authorship tradition is  unanimous, who would invent a non apostle and a night non eyewitness of Jesus as the  author? We have no evidence against it. It fits what little we know about Luke. And  interestingly enough, although this is purely subsidiary argument, many terms frequently  found in medical literature are also found in Luke Acts that was pointed out by Hobart  Cadbury rightly pointed out afterwards, that many of these terms are also found in non  medical literature. So it doesn't really make a case for medical medical author per se. But as  Cadbury pointed out, and scholars have sometimes since then neglected, well, it's consistent  with a doctor being the author. And many of the early scholars who are now quoted like  Dibelius, and others, Cadbury were were very positive towards Lukan authorship rather than  negative. Most of these terms are also found elsewhere to Harnack notes that and so on. But  you have some more recent studies that have drawn attention and [inaudible] and others  have drawn attention to, while it is consistent with the possibility of a medical author, the  authorship, the tradition is Luke, if it's by Luke, then if it's if it's by the Luke, who was with  Paul, according to Colossians, 4:14, he was, he was a physician, so just want to say a few  things about physicians, ancient physicians, there was some superstition, there was also  some genuine empirical data, it was all mixed together, because you didn't obviously do all 

your own experiments and patients, you had the traditions of what had been passed on, some of which was accurate, some of which was not accurate. You read Pliny the elder's natural  history, and he's talking about supposed cures for this or for that. Some of them are, you  know, you grind up the, the eyeballs of a rhinoceros, with, you know, all these different things  that just nobody's gonna get ahold of, and probably nobody ever managed to try. But in any  case, there were there were also things genuine observations that people made about, you  know, from from their experience with with patients, you have some of those and in [unintelligible], gynecology, and Galen and the Hippocratic literature and so on. But there were various  schools of medical thought back then one of them was actually called the Methodist school,  no relation to Methodists today. But but a number of different schools of thought different  approaches to medicine. They didn't have MCATs. They didn't have like a test to get into  medical school, they didn't have medical schools, he would be apprenticed under another  physician. Well, they did have some places where you could go for medical training, but there  was no accreditation. So you know, some physicians might be good, and some physicians  might be bad. But in any case, it's agreed that this is the same author as Luke's Gospel. And  the style is an educated style. It's not it's not highly rhetorical. It's not from a member of the  elite. It's in a more popular level. But it's also not from the kind of barely literate people that  we have writing ordinary papyri, business documents, that we find often executed by scribes.  Some people could barely sign their name. Luke is way beyond that level. Contrary to my  expectations, before I wrote a four volume Acts commentary. I, you know, before I wrote the  commentary, I was thinking that Luke was probably on a higher rhetorical level than Paul. But  after working through Acts, and having worked through Paul's letters, I've concluded the  opposite. Paul actually works in higher rhetorical level. You didn't even need to do that  normally in letters, but Paul does, then, then Luke does in the book of Acts. Nevertheless,  Luke is Luke is an educated person, he's not uneducated. He improves Mark's grammar  regularly in the in the Gospel of Luke. If we look at the author's background, assuming it's  Luke, something we can know about physicians, well, physicians was one of the occupations  where you had both men and women involved. So Luke would have probably been exposed  in his in his professional life to skilled women, which makes good sense of what we, what we  read in Luke and Acts where he has respect for women. He's, he's more inclusive than most  of his contemporaries back then who wrote about men and women. Often physicians were  slaves. Usually they were Greek. And usually they had some education. Yes, you could have  educated slaves back then it was. The slave culture was different than in some other settings. Some household slaves had, actually some households that had slaves actually had some  well to do household slaves who were highly trained. Sometimes they manage the estate for  the slave holder and so on. Some Jewish people opposed the use of physicians said you  need to just rely on God. But urban Hellenized Jews accepted this. And so Luke probably  would not have faced much prejudice in the areas that he normally goes with your normally  urban on account of his profession. There were no professional historians back then. That  wasn't a normal job description. Physicians were educated. Paul was sometimes sick,  personal physicians were usually among one's closest confidants, so it makes sense that a  physician would have traveled with Paul. But a physician could be a historian because the  physician was educated. One One scholar, Professor Loveday  Alexander has argued that  Luke's preface fits the kind that you would expect from a scientific author, therefore, not not  that Luke was not a historian, but Luke was the more scientific kind rather than the more  rhetorical kind. But in any case, there were no professional historians, they were orators or  something else, who just wrote history also, some some put a lot of their work into writing  history, but usually they were people who had enough wealth on the side or support on the  side that they could do that. Objections to Luke. Well, the one of the major objections is 

differences of detail from Paul's letters. But differences in detail were allowed for historians as long as they got the events, right. And when you compare other historians, as they they wrote  about figures of antiquity, and the letters that these the figures about whom they wrote,  composed, you have the same situation that you have with Acts and Paul's letters. You have  Cicero's letters, then you have historians who wrote about Cicero, and the situation is roughly  comparable, as some classes have shown. People have said, well, Luke has apologetic  apologetic agendas. That's true so does Paul. However, they both are writing with particular  agendas. So the differences of detail, actually are not more than what we would expect from a historian writing selectively about a person's life. historian who has the their own points that  they want to emphasize that doesn't mean that they made things up means that they  emphasized what what they felt was most important for their own audience. Luke is writing  later, I believe in Paul's letters. So in any case, what is really striking I think, to a person who  comes from a classical background or are working from ancient historiography, and I've read,  the ancient historians have read ancient biographies and worked through these ancient  sources in ancient ancient letters to Cicero's letters, Senecas letters, and so forth. What what  is striking to me, is the degree of correspondence that we have between them, given  especially the fact that Luke doesn't seem to have known most of Paul's letters, that wasn't a  major source for him. He didn't need that as a major source because he'd known Paul, and he knew churches that knew Paul. And so he had he had more direct information on which to rely than the letters. For example, if you're relying on on Paul's letters to the Corinthians, you  you'd include a whole lot of things that are are missing in the book of Acts, and, and so forth.  theological differences is another objection. And I mentioned that before, Luke is more  generalizing is less particular. It's a matter of genre. And again, the biggest theological  differences that people would point handed out, actually are probably not differences. It's a  matter of a misreading of Paul's letters that was being done a few generations ago. Most of  the differences are, are a matter of emphasis. We do have some details different, but again,  by the standards of ancient historiography, these are very small. The author's background?  Well, what we can see from geography, the geographic elements within Luke Acts, the author  knows the Aegean region quite thoroughly, and cares about that region, likes to report things  so probably his audience, may cluster in that region or is core audience in any case, not that  he wouldn't welcome other readers. Also, he knows coastal Palestine very well. He knows he  knows the Judean coast, which fits the traveling companion of Paul is geographic knowledge  seems to become weaker on the interior of Judea and Galilee, which again, would fit  somebody who traveled with Paul in the areas that we read about in the book of Acts. He  didn't travel with Jesus, you know, in Luke chapters nine in following, so arranging the those,  those details is, is a different matter. So, probably the authors from the Aegean region, the  author's background, Jewish or Gentile? Well, if he's, if he's the Luke of Colossians, 4:14,  who was with Paul in Rome, then he's presumably a Gentile, given the context of that  passage, although there is a Lucas in Romans 16, who appears to be Jewish, but Jewish or  Gentile, he doesn't seem to be familiar with all Palestinian Jewish customs, Judean Galileean  customs. So if he's Jewish, he's probably diaspora Jew. He's probably from the Greek  speaking Mediterranean Jewish community outside of Judea and Galilee. But he traveled to  Jerusalem, according to what we see between Acts 20 and Paul's letters, we put it together,  traveled to Jerusalem among representatives of Gentile churches, diaspora churches, but the  Gentiles bringing bringing his offerings, so probably, he was a Gentile, he knows the  Septuagint, backward and forward. So if he's a Gentile, probably he was a god fearer.  Somebody who spent time in the synagogues before his conversion to faith in in Jesus as the  Messiah. Although it's possible that he just learned a lot afterwards, I, I was converted from  atheism. I had no church background, I think I visited church, a Catholic church once. But I 

had no real church background. And I really was limited in my knowledge of what Christians  believed. I knew they believed in the Trinity and gargoyles. They didn't know very much about  Christianity. But you know, and what they picked up, you know, just from larger society where  they'd heard about, but after my conversion, I had to start cramming. Because the little kids in Sunday school knew more about the Bible than I did. So I started reading 40 chapters of the  Bible a day, you could do that you can get through the Bible every month or the New  Testament every week. And I caught up eventually. But there's a lot of interest in God fears in  the book of Acts. And so it's it's plausible that Luke could have been a God fearing, and many  scholars think that's the same for his target audience. We we can't say with certainty whether  he was Jewish or Gentile, but I'm inclined to think that he was probably a Gentile. Because I  think he's probably the Luke of the of Colossians. 4:14 is his target audience. Well, today, we  will usually recognize that many of these major foundational works, these were networks,  you'd right off the top of your head, something like like the book of Acts. In today's currency, it  would have cost 1000s of dollars to produce that between the papyrii and the scribe and, and  so on. These were these were major works by ancient standards. So it wasn't written off the  top of one's head. Luke probably would value as wide an audience as he could get. And  Richard Balcom and others have shown that probably works like the Gospels desired a wider  audience then sometimes reduction critics thought were they focused on a particular local  community at the same time. This can also be carried too far, because people normally have  a target audience, they have a core audience in mind, there's certain expectations that they  have certain people that they envision getting this message in particular, or take for granted,  who will listen to this message in particular. It's interesting that even though the book is  dedicated to the Theophilus, most excellent Theophilus therefore person of high rank and  status. Luke Acts and especially the first volume, the book of the Gospel of Luke, is is one of  the the strongest places in the New Testament, challenging riches and saying, we need to use all of our resources to serve the poor. At the same time, Luke presupposes a fairly educated  well to do audience, not elite. Elite audiences could afford multivolume historical work. So the  Luke isn't trying to write a whole history of humanities just writing the history of the mission of  the church. But he leaves out a whole lot of things we would love to know. Luke, Luke's  audience seems to be aware of a lot of names he takes for granted a wide geographic  knowledge, especially in the Aegean region, but elsewhere as well. he dedicates the book to  Theophilus, most excellent Theophilus. Now, some have spoken of the awfulest is the ideal  reader of the book of Acts. The dedicatee wasn't normally just one's core audience, one  would dedicated book to a wealthy patron often or a sponsor, or somebody that you hoped  would like the book, and therefore provided a good circulation. So Theophilus wasn't like the  core audience, but Theophilus was part of the audience. And Luke seems to assume a higher level, more sophisticated audience in terms of education than the Mark did. And probably in  terms of the Hellenistic diaspora, than Matthew or John did. Look, style varies between Greek literary prose style, and a Greek that's heavily influenced by the Septuagint. Kind of dialect of  Greek, some have called it Jewish Greek. Others have pointed out, well, that's just ordinary  koine, the Jewish Greek of the period was just ordinary koine, but ordinary koine is not Greek  literary prose style. Exactly. So Luke, Luke kind of varies in between those, and there are  places where he's clearly echoing the Septuagint, or the style of the Septuagint, particularly  when he's recounting traditional scenes, like in Luke chapters one and two. And some have  also found a lot of Semitism there. And in the first 15 chapters of Acts, my thinking is that  that's probably either echoing his sources, or that it's just echoing the style of the Septuagint,  in which Luke was very obviously immersed, and his sources were obviously immersed in that and many of his sources, for those sections may have been bilingual, Aramaic speaking, and  Greek speaking. And so you may have some idioms that carry over as well. My wife is from 

Congo. And she speaks five languages. And sometimes idioms from one language will carry  over into into another language. The focus of Acts . The geographic focus is often on urban  centers, in contrast to Jesus public ministry, which often took place in rural Galilee. The book  of Acts takes place often in urban centers, Luke often reports the conversion of elites,  although it wasn't just elites who were interested in that. If you belong to a marginalized  outside group, it's not well looked upon in society, it is to your advantage to be able to cite a  few people here and there. Well, look, we we have some professors or we have some, some  rich people or whatever, as well, so don't look down on us. But in any case, in the early  Christian movement was a minority movement, it was marginalized, and so they would have  appreciated this, but he does. He does often mention the conversion of elites, although he's  also quite an interested in showing God's concern for the poor. The geographic areas that are particularly focused on in the book of Acts, once it moves outside of Judea, where where it  began, Greece, Macedonia, Hellenistic Asia, it is primarily Greek speaking areas of Asia  Minor, although he also includes some others, and ultimately to Rome, which was the heart of the empire in which Luke's audience lived. So if not surprisingly, Luke cares about that,  because he knows his audience is going to care, especially about that, rather than tracing the  mission elsewhere with the gospel also traveled. He's most detailed in Philippi. And that  would make sense if the author did in fact, stay in Philippi. For a long time, as the narrative  suggests, when he's thinking of an audience, well, he knows the believers in Philippi are  going to are going to be interested in this work. And they may be at least in the back of his  head is a key core audience. Well, was the audience, Jewish or Gentile, Gentile. Christians  were still viewed widely as converts to Judaism. And there was an emphasis on conversion of Gentiles, not not any concerted missions movement. But there was a valuing of making  proselytes, the Jewish the Jerusalem church was still viewed as authoritative. So certain  things had to be settled there like in Acts 15. Luke presupposes a strong knowledge of the  Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament that I should say, the standard, most  common form of the Greek translation of the Old Testament in this period. So probably his  core audience is, is an audience that is very knowledgeable in Scripture. That doesn't  necessarily mean the Jewish that has been argued. And some good arguments have been  put forth for it. But I still think with the majority of scholars, these could be Gentile converts to  this Jewish faith in the Messiah. Actually, the diaspora congregations were mixed, so Jewish  and Gentile, but probably to the to the churches. Now, we need to ask the question about the  date. Some have argued for an early date, I mean, nobody argues for a date before the end  of the book of Acts, obviously. So Nobody argues for something before around the year 62.  But the earlier date, is the date argued, well, it's written by Paul's companion. Paul had many  junior companions. But Paul was martyred somewhere around the year 64, some dated as  late as 67. But under under Nero's persecution, which began in the year 64. If Luke outlived  Paul, only by a decade, that would push it to the mid 70s of the first century. The strongest  argument that's been offered in favor of the earlier date is that Acts does not close with Paul's  death. But keep in mind that the focus of Acts, Acts isn't biography per se, Acts is focused on  mission. Some people have noted biographic elements in Acts, and I can see those, but it's  not one whole work on one single person. Paul isn't even mentioned into Acts chapter nine.  So even though I see biographic elements in Acts, it's not a biography, per se. It's talking  about the the early Christian mission, and therefore it doesn't have to end with Paul's death.  In fact, Luke seems very happy to emphasize positive legal precedents. And Paul's execution  would not be such a positive precedent will also be tragic ending for the book rather than  having a positive upturn. Luke, Luke likes to end on positive notes. He ends the Gospel of  Luke certainly in a positive note, and he ends the book of Acts in a similar analogous way.  Well, Jewish another argument for an early date is that Jewish influence withRome that you 

see in Acts was only before the year 70. So this must have been written before the year 70. I  think that argument is not very good because Jewish influence continued in some places like  Asia Minor, far beyond that. Revelation chapters two and three, suggest that as well. So  talking about the later date, From between 70 and 90, this is where the majority of scholars  fall. The second leading group is the group in the 60s we've just mentioned. But the majority  of scholars date Luke in the 70s, or 80s. Here are some of the reasons for that. Luke chapter  21, looks like it was written after 70. It adjusts the language in Mark 13, looks like Jesus may  come back at the same time that the temple is destroyed. Matthew chapter 24, qualifies that  somewhat by by making, clarifying the nature of the disciples question. So it's really two  questions. When will these things be when will the temple be destroyed on the one hand, and  what would be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age on the other? Well, Luke, also  clarifies it so that the desolating sacrilege. Instead, he mentions When you see Jerusalem  surrounded by armies, and it's pretty clear that there he's talking about 70 Because he talks  about people being carried away as captives as slaves among all the nations by Rome, and  Jerusalem being trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. And  then he talks about the Lord's Lord's coming, you'll look up your redemption draws near. So  many think that this clarification, Luke is just making it more explicit after the fact after the  year 70. So, viewing Jerusalem's destruction through the template in Babylon, was very  common, although after 70 Although viewing Rome as a new Babylon actually went went  earlier than that as well. Also, there seems to be in the plot development. Some echoes of  what happened in 70. Jesus in Luke chapter 19. And elsewhere seems to be pleading with  Jerusalem to turn while there's still time. But in the book of Acts, we also have that in Acts  chapter, chapters 21 and 22. Paul's Paul's speech in Acts chapter 22 can be viewed as a is a  final plea to to the Jerusalemites the nationalistic Jerusalemites, not to not to choose the  course of violence against the Gentiles, but to to be open to peace, even though as the  Gentiles who are provoking it. The course of nationalistic militant resistance ultimately led to a terrible tragedy and the destruction of Jerusalem. And it looks to me having worked through  the text, as if Luke is responding to that, that those kinds of events, some people say, Well,  why why isn't the destruction of Jerusalem narrated? Well, you know, if you, if you're talking  about something in 1910, and you're writing it in 1930, after World War I, you're not  necessarily going to mention World War I because your narrative ends in 1910. It ends before World War I happened. And in the same way, he doesn't have to narrate it as having  happened. He narrates it is being prophesied is happening. And we know from within the  narrative that Jesus prophecies come true, just like the Second Coming, will come true. So a  traveling companion can still fit in the 70s and 90s. Again, most of most of his traveling  companions were probably younger than he was. They were Junior traveling companions,  except for Barnabas and Silas, who seemed to have been peers. Another another plank and  the 70. To 90 argument is that Luke used mark as a source, it's pretty clear he cleans up  Mark's grammar Mark wouldn't take Luke and then use more street level grammar. When  people really expected the higher level grammar higher in terms of what was considered  higher grammatically in that day. Luke used mark as a source. And we know that Luke use  sources he tells us that point blank and Luke chapter one Mark may have been written around the year 64. Scholars usually date mark between 64 and 75. I favor the earlier date for Mark.  Actually, we don't know it's possible Mark could have been written long before that. It could  have been written in the 40s. Some have suggested but probably from what we have from  Papias, if Mark got these things from Peter, probably he got them from Peter when he was  with him in Rome. And that being the case The date in in the 60s before Peters martyrdom,  probably somewhere around 64. Makes make sense for for Mark although Mark could have  published after he got the material. But in any case, if we take a date in the 60s, we have to 

leave time for Mark to be in circulation enough for Luke to half have it isn't available source.  So, sometime after 70 Makes sense, as some have argued for a very late date. Some have  argued that based on dependence on Josephus, because Josephus also mentioned some of  the things that we have in Acts. But I look at it this way. If Josephus is not simply making up  those events that he narrates, then these were events that were already known, and other  people besides Josephus could know about them. You didn't have to wait for Josephus, to  write about them to know about them. Also the place where he corresponds most closely with  Josephus, in terms of Judas the Galilean and Judas, he contradicts Josephus, which doesn't  very much sound like he's depending on Josephus, at that point, now somewhat dated, these  are the people mainly, that I'm talking about here, a date, Acts in the 90s. Of, of the number of scholars. If you take a survey, and this, this is in flux, so I'm taking this survey based on  information, actually, especially from somebody who dates in the second century, his survey  of what were the majority of views, according to his survey, that was done maybe 10 years  ago, from the time that I'm speaking, the majority view was between 70 and 92nd leading  view was in the 60s, third leading view was in the 90s. And the least view was in the second  century. Now, the second century view has increased since then, because of two scholars  who've written particularly on that Richard Pervo. And Joseph Tyson. Tyson dates that later  than Richard Pervo does, and he thinks it's related to Marcion. In the second century, there  are not very many scholars who go that far, especially because you can't really separate Luke and Acts that much. Richard Pervo, does separate them, although he acknowledges a  common author. But for those of us who think it's Luke Acts, that they're meant to be read  together, because especially Acts 1:1 refers to the previous volume. And basically, the way  that a historian would would write a second volume starting by alluding to the previous  volume. If Luke and Acts are tied together, you can't date Acts, too many decades later than  you date the Gospel of Luke. And we have reasons to date the Gospel of Luke in the first  century. And also because they argue for a traveling companion of Paul, which again,  detractors of that view, have also acknowledged that that is the majority view. So I think that  the very late to date suffers from a number of weaknesses. Certainly, if it was a traveling  companion of Paul, you can't date it in the time of Marcion. Now, I have another reason for  arguing for a fairly early date. And this reason, has to do with something that he argued in  terms of the purpose of the book, which I'll come to later, in more detail. But I believe, and I  didn't believe this, when I started working on my commentary on Acts, I knew of the view, but I didn't hold it. But after working through Acts, I adopted this view, because it was clear to me  the last quarter of Acts is Paul in captivity. Luke is with him. It's very important to Luke. That's  That's one reason that section is so detailed. But you know, you don't have some of the  characteristics. You have in other sections, you don't have very much of the signs and  wonders. You do have them coming up. You most of the speeches are defense speeches,  apologetic speeches, and you say, well, what's the purpose of that? Luke has an apologetic  agenda throughout the gospel and throughout Acts. And in his first volume, he shows that  Jesus was innocent of any charges that would, that would have made him rightly condemned  as a as a traitor against the Roman Empire as somebody leading a revolt against the Roman  Empire. Jesus was innocent of that. Probably since he's writing to Believers, probably the  majority of them agree with him on that. Some people have argued that Acts as written like  Legal Brief. It's actually not written like Legal Brief. But it does include the kind of issues that  would have come up in a legal brief, which wouldn't be a full fledged narrative like this. But if  you go through the book of Acts, one quarter of the book of Acts, is Paul in custody, Paul  defending himself in custody, and the charges against Paul, that are most damaging, for  which some evidence could be raised is that Paul instigated riots. This is a charge of Sedition  Acts 24:5, and you look through the rest of Acts, and Luke mentions riots in many of the 

places that Paul ministered. Now, if you're defending Paul against that charge, why are you  going to even mention the riots? Well, presumably he had to, because the riots were known.  So what Luke does is show that Paul didn't instigate the riots. And you read Paul's letters.  He's not the kind of person who would have instigated riots. That wasn't his agenda. But  apparently, people had accused him of that. And Luke shows that No, it's not Paul. It's his  very accusers, the people who wanted to get Paul in trouble, who were guilty of, of instigating  the riots. That's interesting, because it was a common defense technique in antiquity to turn  the charges against your accusers. Now, why would that be? Why would that be an issue?  Decades after Paul's death? I believe that this would be most relevant in a time when the  charges against Paul was still fresh. That would work for a date in the 60s, which is not what  I'm arguing for. But if you want to argue Paul still alive, you know, obviously would need a  defense then. But he would need it probably more in the form of a defense brief rather than a  full narrative like we have in Luke Acts. But soon after Paul's death, the charges are still fresh. And these charges reflect not only on Paul, but they reflect in the diaspora churches, because Paul was considered the leader of the Gentile mission. And so, you know, if Paul was reviled,  Paul is accused of being a criminal. That looks bad for all the churches, you read this in  letters in the New Testament. In II Timothy, it speaks of this, you know, this person was not  ashamed of my chains. Philippians chapter one speaks of those who didn't, who just wanted  to cause Paul, trouble in prison, but Paul was being tried for the defense of the gospel. So it, it looks like the legacy of Paul, and the legacy of the diaspora mission, were connected  together, there were some people that wanted to dissociate from Paul, because of his  imprisonment, because of his execution. But Luke, in his parallel volumes, may be suggesting that just as Jesus was innocent. Paul was innocent. Also, it was a corruption of justice in both  cases, for political reasons. And that, therefore, we should not we should not dissociate  ourselves from Paul. But we should recognize that what he did was was good. If, if that's the  case, probably, this is written at a time and Paul's legacy was still contested. Probably not  around the time that I Clement was written in the 90s. But probably in the in the 70s, or, or  possibly 80s. So I would argue for a date in the 70s. Now, none of these dates are certain. So I'm just giving you arguments for why I think certain things are likely of another's 60s as  possible. 80s as possible. 90s, I think is pushing it. Second Century, I don't think is likely at all. 70's I think is the most likely of the dates. And, you know, many evangelical scholars of whom  I'm one dated in the 70s. Some have said evangelical scholars dated in the 60s. Well, some  do. Some date it later, Ben Witherington dates it a bit later than I do. But, FF Bruce, who laid  out the argument for a pre 70 date, particularly cogently, in his third edition of his Acts  commentary, changed his view to a post 70 date. So I'm just saying this so that those of you  who have heard that everybody who everybody should date it in the 60s Just to let you know,  I do have company dating afterwards, in any case, whenever you date it, the genre is the  genre of history. All history was written with a purpose. History could be entertaining. But it  also had to be informative history, at least it was written for the elite, it needed to show  rhetorical artistry. And Luke had some of that over not the kind that you find in elite works. So, people wrote it to be entertaining, so you would enjoy reading it. But it had to be based on  information novels had to be entertaining, but they didn't have to be based on information.  Another element of his history was that it needed to have accuracy. That doesn't mean  necessarily precision on all details. But it doesn't mean that it had to be. It had to be  substantially accurate. There have been other proposals besides the proposal history,  biography has been proposed. Charles Talbert brilliant scholar who reinvigorated the thesis of biography in the gospels, rightly so and Richard Burridge, pretty much in his Cambridge  monograph showed that that did fit the Gospels and the majority of scholars now agree with  that. Talbert has also argued for that with the book of Acts, because there's a focus on major 

characters. It also fits the Gospel of Luke the first volume. So you have the continuity between Jesus and Peter and Paul, and we'll see more of that later that Talbot rightly points out.  Talbert argues for biographic succession narratives, especially in philosophic biography, that  sometimes you'll have a key figure and then you have succession narratives with other  figures. There were biographies that had multiple, multiple people in them, but normally you  didn't have a single volume, like the book of Acts, with a focus just on Peter in the first part  and Paul in the second part. So the majority of scholars don't think it's, it's biography. It  doesn't end with Paul's or Peter's death. And also you have a biographic focus in much  ancient historiography. One of the ways you could write ancient history was with a  biographical focus focusing on major characters. multivolume histories, sometimes included  one or more volumes, focused on a single character. So you had multivolume histories that  were written by a number of authors and they would have, say, a volume or two volumes on  Alexander the Great in their history. Succession narratives also appear not just in biography,  and especially when you just have philosophic lists of successors. That's not a strong word,  but we do have some successor biographies. So while I agree with the majority of scholars  that Acts is a historical monograph, biography was kind of a subtype of history and and there  are many helpful elements and Talbots proposal. There's a biographic focus in the way that  Luke does his history. It fits also what we have in parallel lives parallel biographies of some  ancient figures. So, there could be some overlap, I see it as kind of a biographic approach to  historiography. In the next session, we will look at some of the other proposals for the genre  of Acts, including models and come back to again the majority proposal and the one which I  argue, namely that the book of Acts is the historical monograph.  

Announcer - This is Dr. Craig Keener in his teaching on the book of Acts, this is session  number one, authorship, date and genre.

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