Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts

Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts

Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts

Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts

Synopsis

"Parsons and Pervo argue that singular authorship of Luke and Acts (which they accept) does not automatically imply generic, narrative, and theological 'unity.' Their challenge to rethink each of these issues is concise, well-informed, engagingly written, and should stimulate interesting discussion among students of the Lukan writings."? Susan R. Garrett, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary"Professors Mikeal C. Parsons and Richard I. Pervo are well aware that they are framing the questions rather than seeking to settle issues once and for all. In fact, the importance of their book lies in the challenging questions they address to scholars and students of Luke-Acts. What is the precise understanding of 'Luke-Acts'? Do these two volumes have different genres, different theological constructs, and different 'narrators'?"? Robert F. O'Toole, S.J., Gregorian University Foundation

Excerpt

In many ways, this volume is an anomaly, and its genesis is an interesting story in itself. Two authors produce one book about one ancient author who produced two books. One author is an Episcopal priest teaching in an Episcopal seminary on Chicago’s North shore; the other is a Baptist minister teaching in a Baptist university in the Southwest. We are both interested in the same part of the Christian canon, the Lukan writings, but we both have distinct perspectives about their interpretation and employ diverse methods in exploration of those texts. If the old quip is true that Henry Cadbury earned his doctorate by depriving Luke of his, then it is equally true that this project, which attempts to underscore the division between Luke and Acts, became the basis for a personal friendship between its two authors, previously known to each other only through their writings. How then did this book come about?

In the fall of 1988, Mikeal Parsons delivered a paper entitled, “The Unity of Luke-Acts: Rethinking the Opinio Communis” to the Synoptic Gospels Section of the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Chicago. Richard Pervo was in attendance at the meeting, approached Parsons after the session, expressed his appreciation, and asked for a copy of the paper. After several months of correspondence about the issues raised in the paper, it became clear to us both that the topic was worthy of a booklength treatment, and further, that the topic would benefit from our different perspectives, interests, and specialties. John Hollar . . .

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