This chapter situates Acts within debates concerning the Jews in Acts, Acts’ view of empire, and the possibility that Acts, along with canonical Luke chapters 1 and 2, are written in response to Marcion. It argues that the rhetorical method of Acts is to depict nonbelieving Jews as murderous and subversive and to underscore the compatibility of Christianity with the Roman Empire. It then refines arguments of Knox and Tyson concerning the role of Marcion in the final form of Acts, by offering an alternate model of heresy, thus making it possible to understand Luke-Acts as responding to “marcionite” ideas, without pinpointing them to the time of Marcion’s ministry in the East. Finally, by underscoring the martial imagery and rhetoric of vengeance that infuses Luke 1–2, it notes the perfect suitability of this Gospel preface in refuting marcionite associations of Gospel with mercy and peace.
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