COUNTERVAILING 'MISSIONARY' FORCES: EMPIRE AND CHURCH IN ACTS

Jeremy Punt

Abstract



Scholarly consensus has long held that Acts was intended as some sort of Christian apology
to the ruling authorities, serving to allay the fears of the imperial forces and their
collaborators that the followers of Jesus posed no political threat. This scholarly edifice has
been eroded somewhat, among others by the position that the source and direction of the
apology were the reverse of the consensus position – a promotion of the imperial regime
among followers of Jesus. Given these and other understandings of the imperial setting
portrayed in Acts, the relationship between Acts and Empire clearly remains an unfinished
and important discussion. Such interpretative positions regarding the relationship between
Acts and Empire are briefly reviewed amidst first-century conceptions and positions of power,
before highlighting a number of instances in Acts where this relationship comes to a head,
suggesting also four possible avenues for further investigation.

Keywords


Roman Empire, Jews; Politics, Economics, Kingdom of God

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/103-0-587

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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