By Mark J. Edwards, Martin Goodman, Simon Price, Chris Rowland

This e-book is a entire survey of the discussion among pagans, Jews, and Christians within the Roman empire as much as the time while Constantine declared himself a Christian. every one bankruptcy is written through a distinct student and is dedicated to a unmarried textual content or crew of texts with the purpose of opting for the possible viewers, the literary milieu, and the situations that resulted in this way of writing.

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63 For the comparison, see further D. R. Edwards, Religion and Power, and my ` ``In Journeyings Often'' '; also my `Narrative Maps'. 64 Maddox, Purpose of Luke±Acts, 66±7. 65 Even where the dramatic audience is Roman (as in the hearings before Felix and Festus), the accusers and the charges are essentially Jewish; and by bringing on Agrippa as an interested observer in the ®nal court scene (ch. 26), Luke e€ectively turns Paul's last and fullest apologetic speech into a restatement and defence of his whole theological standpoint before a ®gure who can be identi®ed as a symbolic spokesman for Diaspora Judaism.

55 It is against this background, I believe, that we should understand the rather puzzling vagueness which pervades the apologetic scenarios in Acts. Despite their careful dramatic construction and characterization, it is not always easy to tell what the precise charge is and how (if at all) it is rebutted. The apologetic speeches in Acts also exemplify other important features of early Christian apologetic in the New Testament period. The formal distinction between speech and narrative is largely deconstructed by Luke himself, in that the speeches he gives to his characters constantly refer back to narrative, repeat narrative, and reinforce and interpret narrative.

The Western text, clearly feeling something lacking in Luke's account, inserts a more robust declaration of innocence by the magistrates. Cf. Johnson, Acts, 302. 48 Cf. Judge, `Decrees of Caesar'. 36 Loveday Alexander two court appearances before Felix and Festus (chs. 21±6). This is the section of the narrative which most clearly depicts the apostle on trial before a Roman tribunal, culminating with the famous `appeal to Caesar' and the journey to Rome (chs. 27±8). This is the most obviously `apologetic' section of the book: ®ve of Acts' six occurrences of the verb apologeomai and both its occurrences of the noun apologia appear in these chapters.

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