Acts Of The Apostles Essay Research Paper

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Acts Of The Apostles Essay, Research Paper The Acts of the Apostles By Tim Emery The Acts of the Apostles provides us with a tome of knowledge on a lot of aspects of the second and third quarter of the first century AD. But most importantly it provides us with a wealth of insight into life and society in the cities of the Roman Empire. Without the Acts of the Apostles there would have been very little correlative evidence on this. For knowledge of the cities and people that appear in it, we have to rely otherwise on the collection of details from other sources, which can be a painstaking process. Although the author (Luke?) did not presumably set out to satisfy our interests in this topic, he was a good observer and the details that he gives provide a great number of

snap-shots for the times. As Sherwin-White said “Acts take us on a conducted tour of the Graeco-Roman world. The detail is so interwoven with the narrative of the mission as to be inseparable. This essay will look at the book of Acts historically to find out how much information can be taken from it’s pages about Roman life and society in cities and how accurate it is to the Historian studying it. The book of Acts is one of the most valuable sources for information on life and society in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire during the 1st Century AD. The historical framework of the book is exact and in terms of time and places the details are precise and correct. They are a lot of references to the Roman world with political arrangements, legal procedures, commercial

activities, social structures, religious allegiances etc found throughout the whole narrative, along with a lot of vivid details of family, group and urban life. The narrative of Acts begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome and traces the progress of Christianity from the former city to the latter. When you start to read the Book of Acts historically, you find that it is really a guided tour by Paul and his companions of the Graeco-Roman cities of the 1st Century AD. Acts provides us with evidence on how they travel by land and sea and what we would expect to find in the streets, markets and assemblies of Ephesus, Corinth, Athens and Thessalonica. The life in cities that are depicted in Acts accords with near contemporary descriptions in Strabo and Dio of Prusa, not to mention the

Jewish Historian Josephus The Roman urban life is seen vividly through the cults, food shortages, magistrates and even the jails. Also Pauls Roman Citizenship gives us a peek into the legal processes within the empire and administration. The trials that Paul goes through are also a good legal record for the period. As Lord Hewart said “the best short general picture of the Pax Romana and all that it meant-good roads and posting, good police, freedom from brigandage and piracy, freedom of movement, toleration and justice-is to be found in the experience, written in Greek, of a Jew who happened to be a Roman Citizen-that is, in the Acts of the Apostles.” The whole series of States that Paul moves through within the book of Acts lay under Roman control. At Philippi, Athens and

Corinth a series of different governmental arrangements can be seen at work. Several features of Paul’s career are outlined in Acts. Firstly his relations with the civic authorities that he comes across in different cities of varying status. And secondly his claim to having Roman citizenship, his appearances before Gallio, Felix and Festus, and his appeal to Caesar. The conclusion of this then is that the picture in Acts is true to its dates. “Acts breathes the climate of the earlier phase of the Roman Empire, by contrast, for the example, with the situation which prevailed half a century later, in the time of the younger Pliny. The Romans, as they spread their military and political influence throughout the East, planted colonies of their own, which served as bastions of the