Dec 29, 2011
Acts as Narrative
How does Acts work as a narrative? Simply stated, the plot of Acts unfolds in support of Luke’s theological aim. On the one hand, he designs his story according to a specific geographical and chronological framework. The action begins in Jerusalem before moving beyond the holy city into the neighboring provinces of Samaria and Judea before moving into the nations and peoples beyond Palestine. Many have found this geographical outline indexed by Jesus’ programmatic prophecy in Acts 1:8. In addition, Acts traces the key events with brief glimpses of the most important leaders of earliest Christianity to establish a general chronology of the church’s origins. On the other hand, the historical conception provides the framework for two grand thematic movements (‘conversion’ and ‘consecration’), each scripted by extended citations of Scripture (see 2:17-21; 15:16-18) that narrate how the redemptive purposes of God are realized through the church’s mission.”
Robert W. Wall, “Acts,” in The New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes, vol. 10, ed. Leander E. Keck (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 13–14.