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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Acts - Introduction

The book of Acts occupies a unique position in the NT, forming a bridge between the gospels and the epistles. It provides a narrative (the only one we have) of the steps by which the Christian message made the transition from the rural, Palestinian world of Jesus to the largely urban world of Paul and the later epistles, based in the Greek cities of the Roman empire. Whereas the gospels focus on Jesus, Acts focuses on people talking about Jesus, the apostles and others who spread his gospel across the Graeco-Roman world. While the Gospels are set almost exclusively in Galilee and Judea, Acts moves purposefully out from Jerusalem to the wider world of the empire, and its final scene is set in Rome. And while the gospels are located within the world of Palestinian Judaism, Acts moves out into the diaspora, where ‘the Jews’ are one vocal minority group among others seeking to maintain their identity within the multicultural civic communities of the empire.

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Oxford University Press

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