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The Genre of Acts and Collected Biography

£20.99

Part of Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series

  • Date Published: September 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108733960

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  • It is widely accepted by New Testament scholars that the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles probably originated as two parts of one work by a single author. In spite of this, the books have been assigned to very different genres: Luke is traditionally viewed as a biography of Jesus, and Acts as a history of the early church. Comparing in detail the structure and content of Acts with the formal features of history, novel, epic and biography, Sean A. Adams challenges this division. Applying both ancient and modern genre theory, he argues that the best genre parallel for the Acts of the Apostles is in fact collected biography. Offering a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of genre theory, along with an insightful argument regarding the composition and purpose of Acts, this book will be of interest to those studying the New Testament, Acts, genre theory and ancient literature.

    • Proposes a new understanding of the genre of Acts
    • Combines insights from both ancient and modern genre theory
    • Recasts our perception of biography in Graeco-Roman literature
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108733960
    • length: 333 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 140 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Modern and ancient genre theory
    3. Ancient individual and collected biographies
    4. Acts as collected biography
    5. Characterisation in Acts
    6. Peter, Paul and the ending of Acts
    7. Conclusion
    Appendix 1. Literary topoi in ancient Greek biographies
    Appendix 2. References to biographical works in Diogenes Laertius' Lives of the Philosophers
    Appendix 3. Divisions in collected biographies.

  • Author

    Sean A. Adams, University of Edinburgh
    Sean A. Adams is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He is co-editor of Issues in Luke-Acts (with Michael Pahl, 2012) and Paul and the Ancient Letter Form (with Stanley E. Porter, 2010), and is also the author of Baruch and Epistle of Jeremiah (2014).

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