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 Post subject: Dating the Book of Acts
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Here's a new response by Earl Doherty ripping Bart Ehrman (Errorman) to shreds once again in part 17:

Quote:
Jesus Tradition in the Acts of the Apostles

"In the midst of addressing the testimony to an historical Jesus in epistles both canonical and outside the New Testament, Bart Ehrman devotes several pages to the “Jesus Tradition in Acts.” In introducing Acts he fails to enlighten his readers that there is great uncertainty within mainstream scholarship over the historical reliability of the content of this document. Furthermore, he accepts without question that the author of Luke was the author of Acts, and thus what was known to the former was known to the latter.
Is Acts reliable history?

Ehrman fails to question any aspect of this ‘history’ of the spread of the faith. He treats everything from Acts as though it were part of known Christian tradition, and as reliable as anything else. . . .

– No matter that the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is nowhere mentioned in the epistles (despite their focus on inspiration and revelation).

– No matter that the figure and martyrdom of Stephen is nowhere attested to outside Acts.

– No matter that in Acts the settling of the issue of requirements for gentile converts is presented in an Apostolic Council which the authentic Pauline letters seem to know nothing about.

– Nor is the dramatic shipwreck episode at the end of Acts mentioned by early writers who talk about Paul, inviting us to see it as sheer fiction, emulating a popular element in second century Hellenistic romances. (The so-called “we” passages, often alleged to be from a Lukan journal, have also been identified as a common literary feature in recounting travel by sea, such as is found in earlier parts of Acts surrounding such travels.)
When and why was Acts written?

There is also no discussion about the dating of this document.

Ehrman places it in the most traditional position, some time in the 80s of the first century, shortly after the most traditional dating of the Gospel of Luke, c.80 CE. No mention is made that much critical scholarship has moved toward a date at least a couple of decades, sometimes more, into the second century (Townsend, Mack, O’Neill, Tyson, Pervo). And, of course, no mention that the first attestation to Acts comes around 175 in Irenaeus, with possibly an allusion to it a decade or so earlier in Justin. That such a ‘history’ could have lain unnoticed for so long if it had been written a century earlier (or more, for those who maintain it was written before Paul’s death), is not considered worthy of note.

As long ago as 1942, John Knox (Marcion and the New Testament) presented a compelling case that Acts was not written until the 140s or 150s, an ecclesiastical product to counter Marcion’s appropriation of Paul in which he used the letters to demonstrate that Paul operated independently of the Jerusalem apostles and with a very different view of Jesus.

Thus, Acts was written and designed to show the opposite, that Paul immediately upon his conversion subordinated himself to the pillars and subscribed to their teachings, lock, stock and circumcision. Which is why the speeches in Acts, clearly composed by the author, show the identical content between those of Peter and those of Paul. (Neither does Ehrman discuss the considerable discrepancies between Acts and the Pauline epistles.) "

Obviously the red emphasis is mine. It's good to finally see Doherty on par with Acharya S and Dr. Price on the late dating of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts.

Apparently, the Westar Institute is about to publish its study on the Book of Acts so, we'll need to keep an eye out for that when it comes out. However, at their website I found a couple books, one titled Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle By Joseph B. Tyson where he argues for a: second-century date for the book of Acts.

Here's another book cited at the Westar Institute entitled Dating Acts where Richard I. Pervo acknowledges a: second-century date.

Another great scholar to read is Dr. Robert Eisenman. Sadly, I couldn't find a single youtube video of a lecture coming from a critical view examining the dating of the book of Acts - all I could find came from apologists.

Here's the thread discussing Bart Ehrman's anti-mythicism book Did Jesus Exist? basically starting on page 12.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:16 pm 
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In one of E. Earle Ellis's books, possibly The Making of the New Testament Documents, he argues that Acts must date from pre-70, for a whole host of spurious and apologetic reasons, including that old chestnut: "It doesn't reference the destruction of the Temple, which Luke surely would have done if it was post-70."

Mind you, this nonsense is coming from someone considered one of the leading New Testament scholars.

Richard Pervo is the real expert on Acts, and he isn't a credulous apologist. He's typically dated it around 115-120. His Hermeneia commentary on Acts is remarkably thorough.

Personally, I think Acts contains little of historical value, perhaps nothing at all. Anybody still reading Acts as reliable history at this point is an insane lunatic, or a hopelessly brainwashed church robot. (These categories are not mutually exclusive.)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:43 am 
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A long time ago I noted the Paul of Acts is not the Paul of the epistles. Sort of obvious really.

More recently I have had the thought but not yet investigated that Christianity seems to have appeared in northern Syria and eastern Turkey NOT in Palestine. If this is the case Acts might have been part of the attempt to direct the origin to Palestine appearing as it does as part of the appearance of gospel creation.

Just an idea. Nothing I would defend.

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