Arco den Heijer

Portraits of Paul's Performance in the Book of Acts

Luke's Apologetic Strategy in the Depiction of Paul as Messenger of God

[Beschreibungen von Paulus' Auftritt in der Apostelgeschichte. Die apologetische Strategie des Lukas in der Darstellung des Paulus als Bote Gottes.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-160860-5
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Sponsored by: Stichting Afbouw Kampen
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Published in English.
The Book of Acts depicts Paul as a commanding speaker to both Jewish and Greco-Roman audiences. Based on an analysis of five episodes of Acts, Arco den Heijer suggests that this depiction of Paul served to counter negative views of Christians in both Roman and Jewish circles.
In the Book of Acts, Paul is portrayed as a messenger who brings the good news of God to the world. He is a commanding orator who captivates his audiences, including a Roman senatorial proconsul and a Jewish king, with his gestures, appearance, and speeches. His performances appeal to both Greco-Roman and Jewish cultural scripts alike. But why does Luke portray Paul in this way? Using insights from both modern performance studies and ancient rhetoric, Arco den Heijer analyses five episodes from Acts (in Paphos, Pisidian Antioch, Lystra, Athens, and before Agrippa in Caesarea) to suggest that Luke's portraits of Paul's performance served to counter negative views of Christians in both Roman and Jewish circles, views that circulated in the social network of Theophilus, the addressee of the book.

Arco den Heijer Born 1989; studied Classics and Theology; 2015 MA Literary Studies from Radboud University Nijmegen; 2016 MA Theology from the Theological University Apeldoorn; 2021 PhD from the Theological University Kampen; currently Lecturer of Greek and New Testament there.


The following reviews are known:

In: New Testament Abstracts — 66 (2022), pp. 287–288
In: European Journal of Theology — 32 (2023), pp. 129–130 (Pieter J. Lalleman)
In: Theologische Revue — (Stefan Eckhard)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (12/2022) (Daniel B. Glover)
In: Journal of Gospels and Acts Research — 6 (2022), pp. 151–152 (Joshua W. Jipp)