Unity of Luke-Acts

Dani T. (NT3)

SUMMARY The relationship between Luke-Acts has long been the subject of much discussion. Whilst many scholars have scrutinised the stylistic and linguistic similarities and differences between the two volumes (often preferring to separate the two books) little attention has been payed to their narrative unity and sitz im leben. It is examining the formal features of both, as well as the thematic and narrative links, that it becomes clear that the author originally wrote both of these volumes as one united work which was later split into the gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Reading them as one work (ie. As LukeActs) has implications for how we understand the Lukan purpose, structure and theology.

Theories of the Relationship
Separate works by two different authors • Not popular view now • Clarke (1933)  linguistic evidence • Argyle (1974)  Luke uses te in gospel only 9 times, but 144 times in Acts… why? • Stylistic/Linguistic arguments are only part of the evidence • Important to look at the content, at the sitz im leben Separate works by same author • Some have argued that Acts was written before Luke Two part work composed as a whole • The hyphen is vital!!! • Tannehill  unity of L-A by showing it as a narrative unity. • Luke started story in gospel and continuing it in Acts • Howard  general consensus amongst scholars that we dealing with single literary work

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Links between L-A  Bridges and Hinges
Formal Features
Prologue

o Does it apply to only the gospel or too both books? - Alexander  much more to gospel than Acts o ‘Fulfilled among us’. Who is the us? - If it is Christians until Luke’s day then were the events being fulfilled only those to do with Christ or the early church as well (chapters of the early church)? • Probably not just with Christ since there are still things to be fulfilled at the end of Lk 24 o ‘Things about which you have been instructed’. What things? - Only about the life of Jesus? Surely also the work of the Spirit and the Gospel proclamation of the apostles. o Conclusion: Prologue is broad enough to cover both volumes and very possibly was intended to act for both volumes Ending of Luke o Overlap between end of Luke and beginning of Acts  ascension - Hinge that holds the two books together o End of Luke doesn’t provide complete closure… like it has been left wide open for a sequel

Themes
Jerusalem o Luke gives a lot of attention to Jesus journey to Jerusalem (Lk 9:5119:40) o Disciples meet Jesus after resurrection in Jerusalme - Receive charge to wait for Spirit o Jersualem as reference point for the mission of the nations - Acts 1:8, in Jerusalem  ends of the earth Universal scope of salvation o Another very important link between L-A - Whilst gospel has less explicit concern about mission to Gentiles, he makes a lot of Jesus’ ministry to the marginalised • Prophecy of Simeon (revelation to the Gentiles 2:32) • John Bap’s ministry to Roman Soldier • Tax-collectors, sinners, prostitutes • Prominence of women • Samaritans respons to Jesus - Acts 1:8  mission from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to ends of the earth Denials of Christ

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o Peter’s 3fold denial in all four gospels o Luke’s gospel’s last mention of Peter is when he sees the empty tomb and goes away wondering to himself (24:12) o Acts opens with 3 sermons of Peter where he testifies to the resurrection and lordship of Jesus - Acts 3:13-14 Peter uses the term arneomai (disowned)