Dating acts between the evangelists and the apologists

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It would be highly unlikely for an author who was also a companion of Paul to go to such lengths to exclude Paul from an office that he so vig-orously claimed for himself. First, Acts seems to be unknown before the last half of the second century.

But in Acts -22 the criteria for being an apostle definitively exclude Paul from membership in this group.It becomes unlikely that Acts provides us with an eye-witness account of the life of Paul.The author is a generation removed from the time of those persons he writes about and, although he devotes sig-nificant attention to Paul, he fails to mention important things about him.Convincing arguments have been made especially in the case of Galatians by scholars who are convinced that the author of Acts not only knew this Pauline letter but regarded it as a problem and wrote to subvert it.They especially call attention to the verbal and ideational similarities between Acts 15 and Galatians 2 and show how the dif-ferences may be intended to create a distance between Paul and some of his later interpreters and critics.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.

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