Richard I. Pervo, Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists. spoke, since he did not know the latter, not being an acquaintance of the apostle.  The most comprehensive recent proposal for a late date of Acts is that of Richard I. Pervo, Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists (Santa . Richard Ivan Pervo (May 11, – May 19, ) was an American biblical scholar, former Episcopalian priest, and Fellow of the Westar Institute. He was best known for his works on the New Testament book of Acts of the Apostles. . " Book Review: Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists". Interpretation.
Pervo dating acts of the apostles - Recent Posts
Late daters of Acts agree with intermediate daters in questioning its historical value. But the chief significance of a late date for Acts takes us far beyond claims and denials of historical reliability. Its significance relates to the probable context of Acts' composition. Proponents of an early date sometimes point out that the early 60's of the first century was a time when the Jesus movement was going into its second generation.
Believers at that time may have needed some reminder of the early days, a story that would remind them of the roots of the movement and its early heroes. In defense of an intermediate date, it may be observed that the period CE was a time when the Jesus movement had spread both geographically and ethnically.
After the fall of Jerusalem, Christians may have been in need of some narrative that would explain how this movement, which claimed to be the fulfillment of Jewish expectations and prophetic scriptures, came to be a Gentile movement but was almost totally rejected by Jews.
Although these suggestions are plausible, the virtue of a late date for the composition of Acts lies in its ability to cite a known and datable historical situation which would provide a meaningful context to which Acts responds. In the first half of the second century, important Christian concepts were still in the process of being formulated.
A major contributor to this proc-ess was Marcion of Sinope. Marcion was one of the best known Christian leaders in the early church, and, in my judgment, Acts was written as, at least in part, a response to the challenge he presented. Marcion stressed the distance between Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures, but the author of Acts repeatedly showed that Paul and all the other Christian preachers maintained that Jesus fulfilled the predictions of the Hebrew prophets.
Mar-cion claimed that Paul was the only apostle, but Acts portrays him as at one with Peter and the others, even subservient to them on some occasions, and it even defines apostleship in a way that excludes Paul. Marcion called Peter and the others "false apostles," in contrast to Paul, but Acts not only characterizes them as in total agreement with Paul but even goes so far as to attribute to Peter the first conversion of a Gentile Acts Marcion maintained that Paul pro-claimed a God of grace, who released humankind from the domination of the God of Torah, but the author of Acts characterized Paul as a Torah-observant Jew and a devout Pharisee.
Marcion taught that Jesus brought Torah to an end, but Acts showed that the apostles and Paul agreed that some things from Torah were still to be required even of Gentile believers see Acts Conceiving Acts as an anti-Marcionite text enables us to appreciate the contribution of its author. This author is not merely telling the story of the rise of Christianity, nor is he simply at-tempting to address the problem of Jewish rejection of the Gospel.
He is defining the Christian movement in direct opposition to the Marcionites. Because the Acts author is separated from Paul by years of history and of theological d evolution. He is a second-century Paulinist like the author of the Pastorals. Plus, the author of Acts is a reconciling Catholic, which is why, no matter what his sources say, his characters are going to wind up sounding largely the same. It is refreshing to see Pervo spill the insides of apologists Ben Witherington III and Colin Hemer, who otherwise manage to receive way too much serious regard.
A survey of words and phrases held in common by Acts on the one hand and the Deutero-Paulinists and the Apostolic Fathers on the other demonstrates that Acts belongs very clearly on the latter side of the divide. As does a thematic comparison between Acts and theological themes in the second-century apologists.
But then one recalls that he already did. His wonderful book Profit with Delight: The Literary Genre of the Acts of the Apostles already covered this ground. Acts of the Apostles is unique among known Christian texts of the three centuries in purporting to give a continuous narrative of early developments and figures in the first decades of the young Christian movement.
Scholarly questions about, and interest in, this major text continue, and have even received renewed attention in recent years. There is a fourth huge volume to come that will complete the set. Over the years, Acts has been the focus of previous multi-volume projects. Perhaps the most well-known is the still-important 5-volume work: The Beginnings of Christianity: Part 1, The Acts of the Apostles, eds.
In the s there appeared another multi-volume series with much to offer, The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting published by Eerdmans: Bruce Winter and Andrew Clarke ; Vol. Richard Bauckham ; and Vol.
Acts of the Apostles: A Continuing/Renewed Focus