This analysis of Luke's post-ascension story of Jesus challenges orthodoxies in the interpretation of Acts and Paul. Carefully constructed narrative arguments from within the story in Acts use the themes of Pentecost, the Hellenists, and the character development of Saul-Paul to reveal Luke's insight that the future of the Jesus story is in the Hellenist movement realizing the promise of Pentecost in Israel. These Hellenists are at odds with the Jerusalem church on the implications of the outpoured Spirit of Pentecost. Further, the Saul-Paul of Acts is not what most readers presume from Paul's letters. For Luke, Paul finds his narrative significance in Acts only within the Hellenist movement and Pentecost fulfillment. Paul himself becomes Luke's premier example of the God active, God resisted theme of the speech of Stephen that drives the plot of Acts. This plot mechanism provides illuminating exegesis of Paul's insistence on going to Jerusalem from Ephesus with its dramatic conclusion in the shipwreck of Paul. Stevens concludes by integrating the ending of Acts into Luke's three major themes and overall narrative strategy--an impressive, compelling, and thoroughly fresh reading of Acts.
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