The Book of Acts: Form, Style, and Theology

By Martin Dibelius; K. C. Hanson | Go to book overview

5
The Speeches in Acts
and Ancient Historiography

PURPOSES OF THE SPEECHES

The historian’s art begins where he no longer contents himself with collecting and framing traditional events, but endeavors to illuminate, and somehow to interpret, the meaning of the events. Delight in knowledge and desire to understand must unite in his soul, otherwise history remains a heap of facts or dissolves into pseudo-prophecy. The questions of sequence of events, development, and meaning need not necessarily be unequivocally answered, but the possibilities offered in reply to the questions must help to make the subject clearer to the reader. It may be that the deeper meaning of things will be inherent in the portrayal itself, or that the historian will give his own judgment, concurrently with the story, upon the events that take place. Finally, it may be that the persons involved speak and indicate the meaning of the events either in a speech or in argument.1

This last method has become foreign to us. When considering historical characters, we expect the account not only of their actions but also of their speeches to conform to the standards of reliable tradition, and we wish to hear reported in an historical account only words genuinely spoken by the persons involved. Since authentic words are usually spoken on the spur of the moment and do not often penetrate to the deeper significance of the occasion, it is relatively seldom that an authentic speech can serve to make the situation clear, in any fundamental way, for the historian.

Historical writing in ancient times began from a different point of view. There, speech was regarded as “the natural complement of the deed”;2 to the Greek and the Roman historian, speeches served as a means for their purpose, however differently this purpose might be conceived. The ancient historian was not aware of any obligation to reproduce only, or even preferably, the text of a speech which was actually made; perhaps he did not know whether a

-49-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Book of Acts: Form, Style, and Theology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 239

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.