Acts of the Apostles

Christopher R. Matthews

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online August 2011 | | DOI:
Acts of the Apostles


The Acts of the Apostles is the second New Testament work composed by the individual responsible for the Gospel of Luke. It recounts the story of the genesis and spread of the early church, from the ascension of Jesus to the arrival of Paul in Rome. The title, which is not original, is misleading insofar as the book provides little information about the particular activities of the twelve apostles (apart from Peter). Since both the Gospel and Acts were originally anonymous books, the conclusion that the author was the “Luke” mentioned in certain letters of Paul (Philem. 24; Col. 4.14; 2 Tim. 4.11) seems to have been a deduction of early Christian tradition. While some continue to find this traditional assessment valid, most critical scholars employ the name “Luke” for the author with no assumption that this person at some time had been an actual associate of Paul. While it is now hackneyed to refer to Acts as a “storm center” in New Testament research, this notion is still valid given the rather conflicting interpretations that emerge depending on how one answers a series of disputed questions principally regarding the authorship, date, genre, and historicity of the book.

Article.  10278 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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