Dating acts between the evangelists and the apologists
Dating acts between the evangelists and the apologists - toccara dating
The destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by Roman armies in 70 CE is not mentioned in Acts but is probably alluded to in Luke -24. 90 CE, since the author seems to be ignorant about Paul's letters, which were not collected and circulated before that date.
But the chief significance of a late date for Acts takes us far beyond claims and denials of historical reliability.If the author of Acts knew of some pieces from this document, he could not have written his book before that date.Third, recent studies have revised the judgment that the author of Acts was unaware of the Pauline letters.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.An early date for Acts has been favored by many conservative and evangelical Christians, who emphasize the eye-witness character of its contents and, on that basis, assume the historical reliability of the book as a whole.
Most modern scholars who write about Acts favor an intermediate date, i.e., c. 90 CE, and they cite a number of factors to support this dating.
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.
Second, compelling arguments can be made that the author of Acts was acquainted with some materials written by Josephus, who completed his in 93-94 CE.
If the author was a companion of Paul, who accompanied him on some of his travels, then those sections of Acts that deal with Paul may be regarded as eye-witness reports about him and his life.
This does not, of course, carry over to the early chapters of Acts, where Paul is not present, but at least for chapters 13-28 we may be confident that we have a first-hand report.
Its significance relates to the probable context of Acts' composition.