writing things down…

Acts: Issue #1 – Genre

I will be supervising a student from Fuller’s Northwest campus this summer. The student will be reading Acts and reading about Acts.  This supervision will be a way for me to begin getting my mind around the various issues I will want to address when I teach the exegesis of Acts next Winter or Spring quarter.  I may think about having the student do some guest posts as part of his course requirement.  We’ll see about that.  In the meantime, and since I am not finding things to blog about, I thought I would begin the reflection process with a little series here.  I have in mind to raise an issue or ask a question and give you the chance to give me your thoughts.  In other words, help me!

Joel Green, in his “Acts” entry in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development (7–24), begins with the problem of the genre of Acts.  How is Acts best generically categorized? Novel? Biography? Scientific  Treatise? Ancient Historiography? Other? Hybrid?



  Nijay Gupta wrote @

Be on the lookout for Loveday Alexander’s commentary (Black’s) on Acts (this summer?) – I think she will have a lot to say on this.

  Nijay Gupta wrote @

Ok, sorry to comment again, but I will add another Loveday source is also supposed to appear soon (?)

Acts and the Ancient Reader
Genre, Paideia, and the Reading of Luke’s Acts

Publisher: Westminister/ John Knox
Publication Date: ??? (Amazon says Aug 2008)
Binding: Other
ISBN-13: 9780664230777
Retail Price: $24.95
Author: Loveday Alexander

The whole process of “reading as” has dominated Luke-Acts studies in the last two decades. Here, Loveday Alexander offers a compelling reassessment of the genre, proposing an approach that is based on the readers’ expectations rather than on the author’s intentions-a perspective that immediately opens up the field of inquiry. Considering how ancient readers approached books and exploring the role of education and social class in the formation of literary expectation, she examines the expectations of ancient readers for the Acts genre in relation to historiography, biography,romance, apologetics and martyr logy and ends with an illuminating chapter on the role of Acts in the Chritian canon.

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