In Jesus After Two Thousand Years, New Testament historian Gerd Lüdemann analyzed the four traditional gospels, plus the more recently discovered Gospel of Thomas and apocryphal literature, to ascertain which of the alleged words and actions of Jesus can be judged authentic. Now in this companion volume, Lüdemann takes the same historical-critical approach to the Acts of the Apostles. Together these two in-depth studies lay the groundwork for a factually accurate history of primitive Christianity.
Although many books have been published on the Acts of the Apostles, Lüdemann’s work is unique in its emphasis on establishing reliable historical facts. Other scholars have delved into Acts to discover the author’s theology and the purpose of his writing. By contrast, Lüdemann examines each individual section of Acts to detect whatever tradition may lie behind it. Where possible, he offers a reasoned judgment on the historical value of every event and action described in this early Christian text.
For everyone with a desire to know what really happened in the earliest days of the Christian church, this volume is indispensable.
“Contemporary studies of the Acts of the Apostles rarely engage in an attempt to sort out those elements in the book that may be regarded as genuinely historical. Gerd Lüdemann, however, intentionally takes up this task. He refrains from making any kinds of wholesale judgments about Acts, regarding it neither as totally fictional nor fully factual. Instead, he examines each of the individual narratives, searching for the redactional and traditional elements and making judgments about the historical validity of each one. Luedemann’s is an important study that is sure to be widely discussed among scholars of Acts.” Joseph B. Tyson Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies Southern Methodist University Author of Luke, Judaism, and the Scholars