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No longer can Acts be seen as a simple apologia that articulates Christianity's harmlessness vis-à-vis Rome. Rather, in its attempt to form communities that witness to God's apocalypse, author Kavin Rowe argues that Luke's second volume is a highly charged and theologically sophisticated political document. Luke aims at nothing less than the construction of a new culture - a total pattern of life - that inherently runs counter to the constitutive aspects of Graeco-Roman society.
For almost 300 years, the dominant trend in New Testament interpretation has been to read the Acts of the Apostles as a document that argues for the political possibility of harmonious co-existence between 'Rome' and the early Christian movement. Kavin Rowe argues that the time is long overdue for a sophisticated, critically constructive reappraisal. "A brilliant piece of work by a young scholar of considerable promise." --First Things "This well-written, well-argued book is a must read for New Testament scholars." -- Review of Biblical Literature "This sophisticated argument offers a comprehensive vision of Acts and deserves a wide readership." -- Religious Studies Review "There is so much happening in these pages that a slow and careful read will provoke sustained thoughts on a variety of subjects of ecclesial interest ranging from Christianity and culture to issues of tolerance and political theology." -- Themelios
In this groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary work of philosophy and biblical studies, New Testament scholar C. Kavin Rowe explores the promise and problems inherent in engaging rival philosophical claims to what is true. Juxtaposing the Roman Stoics Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius with the Christian saints Paul, Luke, and Justin Martyr, and incorporating the contemporary views of Jeffrey Stout, Alasdair McIntyre, Charles Taylor, Martha Nussbaum, Pierre Hadot, and others, the author suggests that in a world of religious pluralism there is negligible gain in sampling from separate belief systems. This thought-provoking volume reconceives the relationship between ancient philosophy and emergent Christianity as a rivalry between strong traditions of life and offers powerful arguments for the exclusive commitment to a community of belief and a particular form of philosophical life as the path to existential truth.
Luke alone among the Gospel authors uses kyrios (Lord) programmatically and expansively to narrate the identity of Jesus. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of Luke’s unique and complex use of kyrios in the whole of his Gospel. Detailed attention to Luke’s narrative artistry and his use of Mark demonstrates that Luke has a nuanced and sophisticated christology centered on Jesus’ identity as Lord.
The unity of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles remains a contested subject in contemporary New Testament studies. Editors Andrew F. Gregory and C. Kavin Rowe--both accomplished voices in the ongoing dialogue about Luke-Acts--are joined by an international cast of scholars to challenge deeply imbedded assumptions central to this debate, to propel the discussion forward in substantive new ways, and to illustrate the importance of relating the exegesis of these texts to the history of their reception. The contributors survey the terrain employing the techniques of historical, hermeneutic, and literary criticism and innovative reception-history research to map the overarching interpretive questions currently facing scholars and students of Lukan studies and to locate opportunities for additional research on these ancient documents. Rethinking the Unity and Reception of Luke and Acts begins from the viewpoint that scholarly consensus on the single authorship of Luke and Acts is not in itself evidence that the books are two volumes in a single work or that they are intended to be read and understood in tandem. Viewing the books as discrete but interrelated narratives invites discussion by the contributors who examine historical evidence pointing toward a new understanding of how these texts were received and read prior to being entered into the biblical canon. Essays also explore the theological implications to be discerned from the canonical placement and perceived function of the books, and the ways in which Acts can be read as a sequel to all four gospels and as an introduction to Pauline and Catholic epistles. Gregory, Rowe, and their contributors bring together the best examples of contemporary thinking on the Luke-Acts debate to articulate fully and concisely the challenges in reading the foundational unity of the two Lukan works against the divergent viewpoints found in their reception history. In short, the contributors raise provocative and searching questions both about how Luke and Acts were read before they were included in the canon and how they should be read today. The resulting volume is an exemplar in the methodological usefulness of reception history as an avenue to fresh insights into historical interpretation of the New Testament texts.
Answers to the usual introductory questions do not yield sufficient harvest to enable an intelligent reading of Acts. The approach of "Reading Acts" is to ask how ancient Mediterranean auditors would have heard Acts when it was read in their presence. To be successful Talbert divides this approach into two parts- how Acts would have been heard in its precanonical context and in its canonical context.
A distinguished group of scholars here provides a comprehensive survey of the theology of the early church as it is presented by the author of Acts. The twenty-five articles show the current state of scholarship and the main themes of theology in Acts.

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