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

Structure.

Like much biblical narrative (including the gospels), Acts is an episodic narrative with minimal authorial comment and simplistic chronology. It is not easy to analyse in modern terms. Ancient narrators do not think in terms of chapters or sections but create a seamless flow; Luke often uses summaries to mark the transition from one scene to next, and interleaves characters and themes (e.g. the introduction of Saul at 7:58 ). But the alternation of ‘summary’ and ‘scene’ (typically a significant event followed by diverse reactions and interpretative speech) suggests that we may usefully analyse Acts, like many of the Greek novels, in dramatic terms, as a drama with four major acts, each with several scenes. But it must be stressed that this is a modern, not an ancient, division.

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Oxford University Press

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