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The Theology of the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament Theology) Paperback – 16 May 1996


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The Theology of the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament Theology) + The Theology of the Gospel of Luke (New Testament Theology)
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Review

"Jervell's book presents todays Catholic reader with a twofold challenge....Jervell's argument is cognent and deserves serious consideration." J. Terence Forestell, The Canadian Catholic Review

"...it is a perceptive and provocative study, well worth reading and pondering." John T. Carroll, Anglican Theological Review

"This book is a useful summary of the views of an importnat scholar who has provoked and continues to provoke debate on significant issues in the interpretation of Acts." Robert C. Tannehill, Journal of Biblical Literature

"Jervell's perspective on Acts as Luke's theological interpretation of the history of the church within world history is a helpful one, and there is much to learn from this synthesis of the theology of Acts. His book helps to fill an important lacuna in Acts-studies...." Joel B. Green, Ashland Theological Journal

"...gracefully presented and worth the read." Currents

Book Description

Who are the people of God? Luke's purposes in Acts are to identify the church, to establish the legitimacy of its gospel and to demonstrate that God was an active force in history. He shows that the communities of Jewish and Gentile Christians are the true heirs of God's promises to Israel.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Drab rendering of Luke as Theologian 7 Jan 2004
By Brian Gamel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Acts of the Apostles has always been a bit of a boring read for me and Jacob Jervell's review of its theology has not helped that inclination.
Jervell's main thrust is actually creative and throught provoking. He claims that the main artery of theology behind Acts is to discern who the people of God are and the Luke answers this simply as "Israel." Thus, Acts is seen not as a document for Gentiles but for Jews. It is replete with Jewish concepts (Theocentric lens of Christ), words ("laos" as people of God) and ideas (Jesus as Jewish Messiah).
He goes on to show Luke's portrayal of the law (how nothing is left behind or made obsolete but is fulfilled), Scripture (its role in showing the Messiah), salvation (as deliverance from evil men and forgiveness of the sin of rejecting the Messiah), Paul (as law-abiding teacher of Israel) and Spirit (the dynamic, creative force of God that identifies the people of God). All of this is well done and informative, but it is so boring in its presentation. Needless to say, something is missing in his delivery.
In spite of this blandness, the ideas are useful. Perhaps most useful is the end discussion where Luke's view of a theology of history is used to challenge us today to renew that quest, especially since Luke is the only writer in the NT to have dealt with the issue of history.
Overall, Jervell's work is adequate but dreary. A fine read for someone really interested in Luke-Acts or NT theology.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
He is sure... 2 Mar 2004
By Joseph Valentine Dworak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jervell's argument for this book is found on page 16 where he states,
"In the last decades of the first century many Christian Jews left the church and returned to the synagogue. There was obviously a relapse into Judaism. Luke is writing Acts in order to prevent such a relapse."
Jervell is out to prove that Paul is an apostle to the Jews, and that, "Christianity is true Judaism." (Powell 17) How does he do in this venture? It seems the tone throughout the book is one where if you dared to disagree with Jervell, you would have your head bitten off. He is sure in his arguments regarding the theology of God in Acts, the Christ in Acts, the Spirit in Acts, the Law in Acts, and the role of the disciples in Acts. He heavily emphasizes the role of God in Acts. Almost to the point where you feel he is tipping the perfect balance of the Trinity. God is seen, by Jervell, in Acts, as superior to Jesus or the Holy Spirit. How can this be? Maybe this was not his intent but the way in which he presents his argument one could certainly argue this is the case. If we stick with his stated goal of showing the theology of Acts, he does this well, it is just not in line with balanced Trinitarian theology. This heavy emphasis on God the father supports the argument that Christianity is true Judaism but again seems a bit skewed.
It almost seems as if, to make his point, Jervell focuses heavily on the contextualization of Acts for the first century, but decries the fact that it is only an evangelistic document to the first century Jewish Christians who were relapsing to Orthodox Judaism. When I read the Acts and hear Jesus saying to take the Gospel to Jerusalem, Judea-Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, I hear him saying this in regards to all people Jews and Gentiles. Jervell does little to convince me otherwise. Jervell is far too limited in his view of Acts. As stated in the Mark Powell book "What are they saying about Acts" this is a "minority view" (Powell 71), and it should stay that way. I prefer the both/and approach to the evangelistic nature of the book of Acts. The theory that the mission to the gentiles in Acts supplements the mission to Israel. (Powell 69) This allows for what Jervell is arguing for, but does not limit it to the Jews.
Joseph Dworak
2 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The Acts of the Apostle's according to Jervell 18 May 2007
By Peter Wales - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hard reading.

Not much substance.

Highly over-rated.

Read the Bible instead.
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