The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

8. The Acts of the Apostles

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

Philip R. Davies† [+-]
University of Sheffield, (Emeritus)
Philip R. Davies, who died in 2018, was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. Educated at Oxford and St Andrews, Scotland, he edited, authored or co-authored 37 books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and various aspects of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including In Search of Ancient Israel (1992), Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (1995), Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (1998), The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002) and Memories of Ancient Israel: An Introduction to Biblical History (2008). He was co-founder of Sheffield Academic Press and former President of the British Society for Old Testament Study and European Association of Biblical Studies.


‘In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach’. So Acts begins, picking up where the Gospel of Luke ends, with Jesus’s appearances to the apostles and his ascension. Jesus’s work will continue through the Holy Spirit. Jesus’s life brought him from Galilee to Jerusalem; the Spirit will lead from Jerusalem to Rome, from the Jewish capital to the imperial capital, universalizing the gospel. Acts is the only scriptural narrative we have of Christian origins, though the letters of Paul supply some autobiographical information. Its main aim is not factual history, but ‘sacred history’, like the Old Testament, and its historical reliability, which is hard to assess, is not particularly important. Luke was a companion of Paul but did not necessarily witness all that he relates. The maps of Paul’s ‘missionary journeys’ probably reflect the author’s arrangement of different pieces of information—places visited, journeys made— into a scheme, which is not always straightforward to follow (18:24-19:7 is a good example).

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Davies, Philip. 8. The Acts of the Apostles. The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 94-103 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797440. Date accessed: 20 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35689. Nov 2018

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