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Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History Hardcover – November 1, 1990
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First off, let me elucidate his conclusions. He argues for "a dating of Acts in 62" (p 408) after an exhaustive investigation into the evidence. Also, he contends that Luke was the author of both Acts and Luke.
He insists that various "inconsequential details are hard to explain except as vivid experiences recalled at no great distance " (p 389). In addition, to argue for a later date is to have to explain why there is no mention of the fall of Jerusalem, not even a hint of war, or of the death of James.4 .
There is not even the slightest suggestion in either Luke and Acts of "the more immediate deterioration of Christian relations with Rome involved in the Neronian persecution" (p 377), all of which is inexplicable except with the early date.
Furthermore, "The prominence and authority of the Sadducees in Acts belongs to the pre-70 situation, before the collapse of their political cooperation with Rome" (p 378).
Hemer argues for an early date based on such reasons as "The prevalence of insignificant details of a cultural milieu of early, even Julio-Claudian date....Among examples...the prominence of the popular assembles rather than administrative councils in city life...the importance of Roman citizenship...when the distinction between cives and peregrini ...as under Trajan...a tone and feel of civic life which finds its nearest parallels in the first century writers Strabo, Josephus and Dio Chrysostrom...the occurrence of person of names of old-fashioned type...in the Julio-Claudian period...references to the 'Hellenists'" (p 380).
Some of the episodes in Acts are only of importance, and would therefore be included, in an early Jewish setting. These include the stoning of Stephen and the anger over Paul reputedly bringing a Gentile into the Temple.
Furthermore, Christian terminology used is primitive
Luke shows all the characteristics of a true scholar and a reliable historian. And, of course, he writes in the most elegant Greek of the New Testament. Time and again, Hemer finds proof Luke appears to have questioned "surviving eyewitnesses" (p 355) including the mother of Jesus. Hemer also finds evidence that he has re-interviewed eyewitnesses and as a result "sometimes edited older traditions (p 351).
He also argues that "Galatians...as the earliest epistle, c late 48" (p 270) against the most usual candidate, 1 Thess. And he provides brilliant arguments for this conclusion.
Regarding the all important 'we-passages' Hemer is clear as to their importance and meaning. Indeed, all the arguments against the we-passages being just what they seem are strained and unlikely.
Chapter 4 and 5 give what has got to be the most EXHAUSTIVE list of historical and other knowledge displayed in Acts that I have ever seen. It actually runs from page 101-220. This alone makes the book valuable.
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE PLEASE REISSUE THIS BOOK!!! For one thing, I want a copy I don't have to pay $140 for.