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The Acts of the Apostles, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of John are the critical components of the Bible, showing the historical background of the events during the year 0 and after. It is important to note that there are no precise factual data, but numerous similarities and overlapping information can be a clue to identifying historical origins.
The Gospel of Luke and the Holy Apostles Acts were known as two separate works since Marcion included only the Gospel in his canon. Except for the legend of single authorship and the prologues that unite both pieces, there is no external evidence in favor of the initially closer unity of these works. In the present, no single manuscript is known where the Acts of the Holy Apostles and the Gospel of Luke could be placed one after another.
According to papyrologists, the historical factor is that the text volumes of both works are significant because the initial use of two different papyrus scrolls was identified (Carroll and Cox 401). However, the early transition of Christ’s authors to using codes makes this argument less weighty. In church tradition, both in the West and in the East, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Holy Apostles were always contained in different books – the Gospel and the Apostle.
Today, biblical studies believe that the solution to the question can be based only on the internal criticism of texts. It involves analysis of language, style, genre originality, compositional methods, unity of narration, goals, main themes, and theological content of both works (Carroll and Cox 403). There are theories about the relationship between the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Holy Apostles. Therefore, the historical origins are tightly interconnected, and they are derived from each other.
Acts of the Apostles
The historical background of the Acts of the Apostles is intricated because it contains various interpretive versions and assumptions. According to the New Geneva Bible Study, there are three versions of the time of the writing of the Acts of the Apostles. The historical factors include the timelines between the years of 105 and 130, the 80s and 95s, and the early 70s (Balentine 2). The first two are based partly on the theory that the author of Acts used the work of a Jewish historian of the early century Josephus. The Apostles learned from him about the rebels Fevde and Jude (Balentine 5). However, it is possible that Felda, whom Gamaliel mentions, and Felda, about whom Joseph writes, are different faces. Thus, it is plausible that some coincidental misinterpretations can occur.
Similarly, the mention of Luke and Joseph Flavius of Judah does not prove that one author depended on another. Adherents of late dating claim that Luke was acquainted with the description of the death of Herod Agrippa I made by Josephus Flavius (Balentine 5). He borrowed material from there since both authors describe this event in similar terms, but these two descriptions vary considerably. In addition, it was stated that the theology of the book of Acts coincides with the ideas of Justin Martyr, a writer of the 2nd century (Balentine 4). This theory can be factual in the reverse order because Justin Martyr drew his theological calculations from the book of Acts.
The historical origin of John’s Gospel is more transparent and more precise than other books. This given text assumes familiarity of the readers with the rest of the Gospels. For example, the historical factor is that John the Baptist is mentioned as a fact known to readers because it was written for pagans who are not very familiar with Jewish customs (Stanton 117). The first 18 verses of the first chapter are the key to the subsequent presentation and description.
The main reason is that all the miracles and conversations presented are intended to confirm the truth expressed at the beginning that Jesus is the Son of God (Stanton 118). This Gospel was probably also directed against various false doctrines about the person of Christ since these false doctrines began to appear already in the first century.
In conclusion, it is essential to note that the Acts of Apostles, the Gospel of John, and the Gospel of Luke are vital pieces in the historical puzzle. The purpose can be seen by analyzing and identifying the key events, which led to the widespread popularization of Christianity as a religion.
Balentine, Samuel E. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Carroll, John and Jennifer Cox. Luke: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press, 2012.
Stanton, Graham. The Gospels of Jesus. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed., 2002.