September 27, 2018
Date(s) - 27/09/2018
7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
In 1790, William Paley published “Horae Paulinae” (seasons of Paul), in which he states his aim as follows:
- Imagine that you have discovered, in some celebrated library, a series of letters alleged to have been written by an apostle of Christianity, and an ancient history of the missionary labours of that same apostle but written by another individual. The question arises: are these writings all genuine and authentic documents? They seem to treat of subjects of vast importance to all mankind. Indeed, they appear to be the very source from which the doctrines of Christianity are derived. What if the whole thing were an invention, an ingenious forgery, the work of some clever enthusiast, or a trick to deceive the world into adopting a new religion? [slightly paraphrased to update from ye old English]
In his letters, Paul has no intent to record history. He is encouraging Christians and addressing issues that they faced. However, there are many instances where he provides incidental information that overlaps the narratives in the Acts of the Apostles. So, are they independent, sincere and truthful accounts, or are they contrived inventions? Paley argued that Acts often provides a view of the same events as referred to in Paul’s letters, but from a completely different perspective that has a consistency that “nothing but truth can preserve.”
In this talk, I will discuss a section of Paul’s 3rd missionary journey, which intersects with incidental information provided in 1&2 Corinthians and Romans and will address the following issues:
- Did Luke accompany Paul on his travels?
- Where did Luke get his information from?
- Is Acts derived from Paul’s letters or are they independent?
- Did Luke see or know about any of Paul’s letters?
- Is Acts consistent with the letters?
Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide and is also a research fellow and lecturer at the University of South Australia.