Structure of the Acts of the Apostles

The structure of Acts, most scholars agree, is grounded in Jesus’ promise and command in Acts 1:8: “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Luke incorporates this as a programmatic statement for the second volume of his series. The overall structure of Acts remains perplexing, though, even with common ground of 1:8. To further analyze Acts’ structure, one should consider several major factors for starters: (1) the meaning of “εως εσχατου της γης” in Acts 1:8, (2) the Isaianic influence on Lucan writings, (3) the narrative flow of Luke-Acts, (4) the successful mission to the Jews first as fulfillment of scripture, and (5) the role of Samaria in the program.

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