Journeying through Acts explores the literary and cultural aspects of Acts and offers a fresh reading of this dramatic volume.
Acts is unique in the New Testament canon in part because it is not a gospel or a Pauline letter. It presents a dynamic story of the spread of the Christian gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. The gospel was propelled by the earliest followers of the risen and ascended Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who is arguably the chief protagonist in the narrative.
Spencer's reading offers a traveler's guide through the book of Acts. He charts narrative features--plot development, character building, and shifting points of view--and explores cultural scenarios that affect the events in Acts--honor/shame contests, patron-client relations, and purity-pollution boundaries. Within this literary-cultural framework, Spencer undertakes to map the temporal, spatial, and social settings of each segment of the Acts journey.
Journeying through Acts offers students, pastors, scholars, and lay readers a satisfying--although by no means exhaustive--understanding of the overall narrative of Acts in light of recent academic scholarship.
F. Scott Spencer is professor of New Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.