The Mystery of Acts: Unraveling Its Story Paperback – 30 Oct 2008
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About the Author
Richard I. Pervo is the author of several books on Acts including Profit with Delight: The Literary Genre of the Acts of the Apostles (1987), Luke's Story of Paul (1990), Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts (with Mikeal A. Parsons, 1993), Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists (2006), and Acts. A Commentary (Hermeneia, 2008).
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Top Customer Reviews
As it turned out my need to train for a worthwhile profession and make my way in the world took me far away from biblical considerations, which is why I am now so grateful to Richard I Pervo for writing this carefully researched and very readable assessment concerning the truth about Acts, revealing why and when it was written and by whom as far as anyone is able to ascertain. It is also interesting to discover that he agrees with Burton L Mack (The Lost Gospel etc.) in dating the compilation of Acts to circa 120 AD, in addition to which we cannot be certain who actually wrote it.Read more ›
The author of the gospel of Luke does indeed begin his work by seemingly donning the mantle of a responsible historian and diligent researcher and in an elegantly worded prologue he assures us that having consulted all the best sources he now feels equipped to give us a truthful account of events concerning Jesus Christ. But he then kicks off his account with a beautiful and pious fiction, a nativity story so crammed with supernatural and pseudo-historical events that his credentials as a historian and diligent researcher are immediately suspect. If Luke begins with invention why should you place any confidence in the reliability of anything he has to say thereafter, not only in his gospel but in the companion work he wrote known as the Acts Of The Apostles?
Acts has always been regarded as a crucial document in the New Testament because without it the history of the early Church - what happened in the years immediately following the death of Jesus - would be an almost total blank, with only sketchy material to be derived from the letters of Paul.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you are truly seeking a deeper level of understanding of Acts, this book is surely a valuable reference.
This one is going to be referred to in my library many times.
What becomes clear from Pervo's analysis is that "Luke" (whoever the author really was) was not the least bit interested in writing a real history; the discrepancies between Acts and Paul's authentic letters are only the beginning! Still, as Pervo demonstrates a bit in this book, but even more in another of his works, is that the author had concerns for the survival of the church and was trying to address those concerns by "re-writing" the history of primitive Christianity. Some may suggest that maybe Christianity should not have survived, witness all the horrors committed in its name, but I don't agree. A lot of good came out of Christianity, too. However, it's long past time for Western civilization to address the myths that underpin its attitudes and ideas and coming to grips with the issue that Paul more or less created Christianity according to his own vision (literally or figuratively or both) and it's no more the "Word of God" than any other revelation then or since.
Thanks Richard I. Pervo for a great introduction to the problems that manages to be not just scholarly, but delightful and often funny at the same time.