What does it mean to be “Spirit-Filled”?: An Exegetical Study of Acts 2

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After seeing and taking part in several conversations lately concerning what it means to be Spirit-filled, I thought that it might be a good time to weigh-in on the topic. For me this usually means referring to something that I have written in the past. What follows is thus a short paper that I wrote for a presentation that I did in Mark Wilson’s Acts class at Regent University. Obviously, there is much more that I could write on this topic and even the Acts 2 pericope. However, I hope that this at least gets some thinking about what the fulfillment of the promise of the Spirit means for us today.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the context, historical cultural-background, theological dimensions, and main point of Acts 2. Many scholars have recognized the importance of Acts 2 within the overall book of Acts, but it remains a pericope that has too often been misunderstood. Therefore, this work will illuminate some of the issues regarding the most prominent elements impacting comprehension of this important pericope. Key factors such as the paradigmatic nature of Acts 2, its narrative context, and historical-cultural milieu will be explored. Furthermore, Luke’s theological emphasis upon the Spirit and his principal message to his original audience will be revealed. Finally, a modern application will be supplied in order to further the conversation pertaining to this important pericope and edify both the individual and corporate Christian community.

 

Context

The first thing that can be noticed about Acts 2 is that it is paradigmatic for the entire book of Acts.[1] It is also a self-contained unit which includes a plot, definite boundaries, setting, characterization, climax, and resolution. The outline of Acts 2 can be easily discerned by the flow of the topics: (1) Verses 1–4 describe the coming of the Spirit; (2) 5–11 contains the outsider’s response; (3) 12–13 expresses their misunderstanding; (4) 14–39 are Peter’s sermon; (5) and 40–47 are Luke’s summary and commentary about what happened.[2] To understand the context of Acts 2 within the whole of Acts, one has to recognize some key features which set it off from the passages that surround it.

First, Acts 2 has to be read in light of Luke’s view of Jesus’ anointing. In Luke’s Gospel, the water baptism of Jesus has become primarily an anointing account.[3] In Luke, the anointing account of Jesus comes before his ministry in order to signify the importance of being filled with the Spirit. Jesus’ anointing both foreshadows his instructions later in Luke 24.49 and Acts 1.1–8 regarding the disciples’ reception and parallels their experience when it comes. Second, Luke builds anticipation for the arrival of Acts 2 in the way that he emphasizes prayer and what happens when prayer is taking place. In Luke 11.1–13, Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray and concludes by saying “how much more will your Father who is from heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Therefore, by the time readers arrive at Acts 2.2 they would take note of the fact that the disciples were praying when the Spirit came. Third, Luke includes explicit directions at the end of his Gospel and in Acts 1 about waiting in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit. Thus, Acts 1 serves as an anticipatory introduction to the events which begin in Acts 2. Finally, the beginning of Acts 2 is set apart from Acts 1 by Luke’s use of an adverb of time in verse one (Καὶ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι), which is best translated, “And when the day of Pentecost had fully arrived.”[4]

Everything in Acts 2 occurs on the day of Pentecost. In fact, Peter’s speech is the only one in Acts placed in the context of a feast.[5] Acts 2 is marked off from Acts 3, by the introduction of new characters and theme. In addition, like the beginning of Acts 2, Acts 3 introduces a new time which marks it off from Acts 2. The plot and climax of Acts 2 are easy to detect. The disciples speak in languages they have not learned when the Spirit comes. The onlookers have a mixed reaction to the disciples’ speech. To clarify matters, Peter stands up and preaches. The sermon makes an impact and the people are moved to convert. Peter thus calls them to repentance. The key to the entire passage is Peter’s sermon. It functions as an apostolic interpretation of the Spirit-event on the day of Pentecost. Peter’s sermon can be divided into three parts that are clearly distinguished: (1) 14–21; (2) 22–28; (3) 29–36. Each point (1) begins with an appeal to Peter’s audience: “Fellow Jews and all who live in Jerusalem,” “Men of Israel,” and “Brothers”; (2) contains a significant OT quote: (1) Joel 2 in verses 17–21, (2) Psalm 16.8–11 in verses 25–28, (3) Psalm 110.1 in verses 34–35; and (3) an explanation of the texts. These explanations connect the coming of the Spirit with speaking in tongues and the person and work of Jesus with the OT. Although understanding the narrative flow of Acts 2 helps to comprehend the intended message, the historical-cultural background of the readers or hearers of the narrative helps us to understand how they might have interpreted it.

 

Historical-Cultural Background

There are a plethora of theories surrounding the historical-cultural background of Acts 2. Whatever one decides concerning these matters, it seems apparent according to the internal evidence of Acts, that the document is intended for insiders of ‘the Way’. Perhaps Witherington’s point is apt concerning Gentiles when he says that “a pagan Gentile audience would neither have clearly understood nor necessarily appreciated the numerous references to the scriptures and their fulfillment in this work.”[6] However, it is also unlikely that a non-Christian Jewish audience would understand or appreciate both the way in which Luke universalizes the promises given to Israel and critiques the Jewish people.

As many scholars have attested, the material in Acts appears to be less theologically developed compared to Pauline writings. Therefore, based upon the lack of theological development, we may safely assume that the book of Acts, and by extension Acts 2, is intended for an early Christian audience. I also agree with Stronstad and many others who argue that Luke intends the book of Acts to be a historically reliable document – regardless of the way in which he compiles and presents his material.[7] This means that Acts is intended to serve as an historical defense of the young Christian faith to new or immature believers. The question then becomes: How would these new believers understand what Luke has provided in Acts 2?

There are several internal clues within Acts 2 that indicate how Luke wishes this self-contained narrative to be understood by his original audience. As mentioned in the previous section, the narrative suggests that the original listeners would have been encouraged to understand Acts 2 in light of Luke’s Gospel. The narrative itself takes place on the day of Pentecost or the Festival of Weeks in Jerusalem fifty days after the Passover. This was a celebration of the harvest and possibly a remembrance of the giving of the law at Sinai. Jews and proselytes from all over would have been in the city to celebrate the Passover and many would have stayed there through Pentecost. Yet, the most important factors in comprehending the historical-cultural setting in Acts 2 are its narrative context, geographic listing, and Peter’s sermon. Since I have already covered the narrative context, I will now turn to both Peter’s sermon and the geographic listing in Acts 2.

There have been many theories regarding the geographic listing contained within Acts 2. The four most commonly suggested sources for the listing are ancient astrological lists, lists of the Jewish Diaspora, Gen 10 and the Table of Nations, and biblical prophecies like Isa 11.11 which speak of the eschatological ingathering of Jews from the Diaspora. Scholars advocating an ancient astrological listing have stated that each sign of the zodiac was thought to have control over a certain geographic area.[8] Gilbert uses the fourth-century C.E. astrologer Paul of Alexandria’s listing as a prime example.[9] According to advocates of this position, Luke’s listing indicates the idea of the whole world. However, Bruce Metzger has pointed out that Paul’s list cannot be proven to predate Acts and the two lists are very different as to the locations that they mention.[10] Jewish lists of the Second Temple period have also been proffered as possible sources or models for the list in Acts 2. This is specifically true regarding the work of Philo of Alexandria. Although, the most compelling list from Philo still differs significantly from the list in Acts 2.[11] In fact, the list in Acts 2 would have to be seen as omitting numerous locations that were known by Luke to have possessed large Jewish communities.

James Scott has attempted to connect what he calls the Table of Nations tradition in Jewish writings to the list in Acts 2.[12] Nevertheless, Scott’s theory suffers from the same problem as the others in that the lists rarely match up. Furthermore, his argument for a parallel between the tower of Babel and Pentecost seems to fail because the giving of the Spirit does not reverse the diffusion of languages created with the Tower of Babel event. In fact, the empowerment of the disciples to speak in many languages suggests that the word of God is multilingual and not monolingual.[13]

Some have suggested that perhaps the listing would have stimulated the listener to think about the eschatological expectations of biblical prophets and later Jewish writers concerning the Day of the Lord and the ingathering of Jewish exiles. Scholars such as Gerhard Krodel have advocated the position that the list is a representation of the Jewish Diaspora and that Pentecost stands as the beginning of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel before the parousia.[14] This position encounters the same difficulty as the others regarding the names involved in the listing and their incompatibility with Acts 2. Peter’s sermon which follows also seems to play down the implication of the Pentecost event for only Jews while emphasizing its universal consequences. Most importantly, Luke mentions the use of Joel in Peter’s sermon as the passage which interprets the events – a passage which refers to the Spirit being poured out, not upon just Jews, but upon “all flesh”. In fact, none of the passages quoted from the OT in Peter’s sermon have any indication of an ingathering of Jews or the restoration of Israel. Instead, Peter’s sermon emphasizes the universal significance of Jesus’ death and exaltation. The gift of salvation is for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord,” and the Spirit is for “all flesh.” Still, the crowd is largely, although not solely, Jewish, and the event takes place in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Furthermore, the entire passage is pregnant with eschatological meaning. Perhaps Krodel and others thus have it partly right. Maybe this event symbolizes the constitution of a new Israel through Christ.

The most likely candidate for the listing might be a Lukan critique of Roman imperial claims over geographical spaces. Rome was well known for using media to propagate its political ideology. “A variety of media, including literary texts, religious altars and shrines, inscriptions, and coins, saturated the Roman world with evocations of and tributes to the emperor as savior and testimonies of Rome’s ability to establish peace.”[15] Such media even referred to the emperors as gods and Rome as rulers over the world. These often included lists of the countries that were under the control of or had been dominated by Roman power.

The theory is that Luke, in critique of Roman claims, presents the outpouring of the Spirit as the beginning of the gospel’s spread among all nations and the list of nations as a proclamation of Jesus’ rule as Lord and Messiah.[16] Five observations support this position: (1) Geopolitical themes dominate the narrative which makes such a reading consistent with the overall theme of Acts. (2) The rest of Acts seems to dismiss the importance of the restoration of Israel. (3) The giving of the Spirit is used in the rest of Acts to highlight Luke’s universalistic message. (4) Peter interprets the giving of the Spirit as an event for all people (2.14–36, 38–40). (5) When presented with the question of Israel’s restoration in Acts 1, Jesus rebukes the disciples (1.6–8) and refutes their Jewish eschatological expectations by pointing them to the coming of the Spirit and the universal mission of God.

Rather than championing Roman hegemonic discourse, the list (thus) declares the inevitable expansion of Christianity and the universal power of God and Jesus throughout the world. (Acts 2) then provides its readers with the tools necessary to build a stronger understanding of themselves, particularly as they seek to define Christianity in relation to the Roman Empire.[17] The original listeners of Acts would have been immersed in the world of Roman imperial power and propaganda, regardless of whether they were Jews or Gentiles. They would have understood Acts 2 both in relation to the previously mentioned expectations regarding the outpouring of the Spirit in Luke’s Gospel and to the Roman dominated world in which they lived. They would have heard Acts 2 and understood that Luke was first and foremost making an emphatic universal claim concerning the person and work of Jesus against either Roman imperialism or Jewish nationalism.

The problem with all of these theories is that in their conclusions they do not recognize both the continuity and discontinuity taking place within the whole of Acts and ch. 2 specifically. For instance, based upon his strong argument for seeing the listing in Acts 2 as Luke’s critique of Roman imperialism, Gary Gilbert concludes that there is no continuity between what is taking place in Acts 2 and Israel.[18] However, the appointment of Matthias (1.26) and the constitution of the 12 (Luke 6.12–19; Acts 1) are clearly symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel. In addition, it is obvious in Peter’s sermon that he is addressing a mostly Jewish audience and that he calls on the “house of Israel” to recognize Jesus as Lord and Christ (2.36). Equally, Krodel and others make the mistake of concluding that Acts 2 mainly has to do with reconstituting the nation of Israel. But, as aforementioned, it is clear in the passage that Luke intends his message to be universalistic (2.14–36, 38–40). All may receive both salvation and the gift of the Spirit (2.17–21). Furthermore, though it is mainly Jews present, there are Gentiles who are proselytes in the crowd (2.10). Therefore, it would seem that Luke desires his listeners to understand that there is both continuity and discontinuity taking place between the nation of Israel and the new Israel through Christ.

Understanding the historical-cultural background of the audience of Acts 2 within their early Christian and Roman dominated world allows us to comprehend how they would have interpreted the message that Luke provided for them. They would have understood how the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2 related to Luke’s Gospel through elements such as the anointing of Jesus, his teaching concerning prayer, his instructions to wait in Jerusalem at the end of Luke and the beginning of Acts, and his ascension and exaltation. They would have recognized both the Roman critique contained within the geographic listing and the language of covenant used to point out continuity and discontinuity between Jewish expectation and the lordship of Christ. They would have understood that the point of Acts 2 was not as a restoration of Israel or simply a critique of Rome––it was the empowerment given from the Lord Jesus for his people to carry on his saving work. Comprehending these matters allows us to re-evaluate our thoughts and positions concerning Acts.

 

Theological Dimensions

Luke addresses several theological matters in this paradigmatic chapter. He deals with issues relating to Pneumatology, Christology, Trinity, Ecclesiology, and mission. Unfortunately, the scope of this paper does not allow for comprehensive coverage of each topic. Nevertheless, it is important to note that all of the theological issues in Acts 2 are intensely Christocentric. One of the most important issues in Acts 2 for renewalists over the years has been separability––separability of regeneration and Spirit baptism. For classical Pentecostals, separability is vital, for in this matter lies a significant part of their missions-minded Pneumatology.[19] However, initiation-conversion scholars argue against separability. At water baptism, for instance, the charismatic Spirit is thought to be given. Initiation-conversion scholars have pointed out that the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost fulfills eschatological expectation by inaugurating the age of salvation and the era of the church.

The reality is that separability is not what Luke intends. “Luke presents a believer (or apparent believer) without the Spirit as an anomaly, an anomaly that calls for an immediate corrective response from the church” (Acts 8:15; 19:2-6).[20] According to Luke, this anomaly would be abnormal theology and practice. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that in the ordo salutes Spirit baptism follows Spirit regeneration. The theological point is distinctiveness, not separability. This idea is supported by the fact that after the disciples have seen and believed in the resurrected Jesus, he tells them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Spirit which he sends after his ascension. Then, when Luke presents the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2, it is both connected with and distinct from salvation. Peter quotes Joel as his key text for interpreting the event—a text which although universal in scope pertains to those who are already children of God. And, as aforementioned, Luke presents Jesus’ anointing as paradigmatic for the outpouring of the Spirit. As such, the gift of the Spirit serves a prophetic function––it makes believers effective witnesses to Jesus. In fact, this is the pattern that is continually repeated throughout the book of Acts—boldness for witness through the Spirit. However, the giving of the Spirit is also closely connected with salvation: “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (2.38). Thus, it must be concluded that initiation-conversion scholars are right when they assert that the Pentecost event has to do with the disciples entering into the new age and experiencing the blessings of the new covenant, and renewal scholars are right when they say that the Pentecost event is empowerment for witness.

Another point that needs to be mentioned here is the issue of tongues. The principal function of tongues in Acts 2 is to testify that Jesus is the exalted Lord. Tongues are Christological in intent and accentuate the fact that a new age has arrived through the Spirit (2.17). Tongues supply evidence that God is fully at work in believer’s lives. In this paradigmatic chapter, tongues also show that believers are given the responsibility of evangelizing the world. Ultimately, the community can only do it by being full of the Spirit. Jesus’ lordship is manifested on earth by God through the Spirit. Because Acts 2 is paradigmatic and tongues are an integral piece in its structure and content, those who join the community and its mission are expected to receive Spirit-baptism and speak in tongues. Luke intends his audience to understand this when they receive Acts. Since this is what happened in Acts 2, this is what is expected to have happened at every juncture, whether or not it is mentioned at various points in the narrative. This is how paradigmatic episodes function when they are situated at the beginning of the narrative. This is not to indicate that Luke had a dogmatic stance concerning tongues as “initial evidence”; that is a modern theological development. However, tongues should be understood as the normative sign of “Spirit-filledness.”

Acts 2 also provides a paradigm for the nature of God’s community. The head of God’s community is the Lord Jesus. Members are to seal their commitment by being baptized in his name. This indicates the uniqueness of the community. No one can belong to the community without both believing in and confessing Jesus. Although the Spirit is a mark of this community, its identity is found primarily in Jesus. This community is to be Spirit-anointed. In addition, the community can only accomplish God’s purpose through the enablement of the Spirit. The Spirit enables the community to witness, with the accompaniment of signs and wonders, and to be a redemptive-healing community (cf. 2.44). In other words, this is a caring community.

Lastly, Acts 2 speaks about the church’s mission. The presence of the Lord is active within and among its members. The Spirit-filled church proclaims Jesus’ lordship through word and deed, even in the midst of persecution. Jesus’ giving of the Spirit on Pentecost unmistakably shows his present and unremitting activity in the world. Therefore, in Acts 2 Luke clearly shows that Jesus has inaugurated his work from his throne and that he will continue to do so throughout Acts and beyond. Indeed, Jesus has commissioned the church to serve as prophetic witnesses.

Main Point and Contemporary Application

Acts 2 is both foundational for the church and a prophetic outpouring—it is both continuity and discontinuity with Israel and the OT. It fulfills the promise to Abraham to be a light to the nations and connects with Isaiah and Moses in fulfilling what was promised to Israel while making Gentiles part of the new Israel––a spiritual Israel united through Jesus. In other words, it is both and not either or. As aforementioned, the main purpose in Acts 2 is to show that when the Spirit comes upon God’s people they are empowered to proclaim the dynamic and effective message about Jesus. Jesus has provided the way of salvation through his life, death, and resurrection, and as the exalted Lord he has empowered his people, the church, with the Spirit to proclaim this “good news” to the ends of the earth. The exciting part for the modern church is that we are still living in Acts. We are part of the eschatological people of God who are called to be empowered by the Spirit so that we may effectively proclaim the “good news.” We are also called to live in a community worthy of our Lord and to assert the need for God’s people to receive the fulfillment of the Spirit. We, as people of the Spirit, should expect miracles and signs and wonders to take place in our midst when we proclaim the “good news” concerning Jesus to the world. We are his witnesses and he has empowered us to carry on his work by proclaiming him to the world through the power of the Spirit.

Footnotes

[1]. Leland Ryken perhaps provides the best definition for a biblical paradigm in his explication of type scenes in How to Read the Bible as Literature… and Get More Out of It (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984) 191–192. He says that “a type scene is a story pattern or situation that recurs often enough in the Bible that we can identify a set of conventions and expectations for each one… An awareness of such type scenes can become a significant organizing pattern for either individual books of the Bible or the Bible as a whole.”

[2]. All translations are my unless otherwise indicated.

[3]. See Ben Aker, “New Directions in Lukan Theology: Reflections on Luke 3.21–22 and Some Implications,” in Faces of Renewal (Edited by Paul Elbert; Peabody: Hendrickson, 1988), 108–127. Also see Robert P. Menzies, Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991), 174 and C.H. Talbert, Literary Patterns, Theological Themes, and the Genre of Luke-Acts (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1974), 16.

[4]. While it is beyond the scope of this paper to deal with all of the narrative elements of Acts 2, an in-depth analysis of some of the most vital aspects can be found in Robert C. Tannehill, The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts: A Literary Interpretation, Vol. 1of Acts of the Apostles (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990).

[5]. See Richard F. Zehnle, Peter’s Pentecost Discourse: Tradition and Lukan Reinterpretation in Peter’s Speeches of Acts 2 and 3 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1971), 36–37.

[6]. Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 63.

[7]. See, for instance, Roger Stronstad, The Prophethood of All Believers: A Study in Luke’s Charismatic Theology (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999).

[8]. Gary Gilbert, “The List of Nations in Acts 2: Roman Propaganda and the Lukan Response,” in  Journal of Biblical Literature 121 (2002), 500–501.

[9]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 501.

[10]. Bruce M. Metzger et al., Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F.F. Bruce (ed. W. Ward Gasque and Ralph P. Martin; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 131.

[11]. See Philo, The Works of Philo (Trans. C.D. Yonge; Peabody: Hendrickson, 1993), 782.

[12]. James Scott et al., The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting, Vol. 2 of The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting (ed. Conrad Gempf and David W.J. Gill; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 483–544.  

[13]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 504.

[14]. Gerhard Krodel, Acts (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986), 77.

[15]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 526.

[16]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 518–519.

[17]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 524.

[18]. Gilbert, “List of Nations,” 521–522.

[19]. See, for instance, Menzies, Empowered for Witness and Stronstad, The Prophethood of All Believers.

[20]. William Atkinson, “Pentecostal Responses to Dunn’s Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” JPT 6 (April 1995): 129.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aker, Benny C. “New Directions in Lukan Theology: Reflections on Luke 3.21–22 and Some   Implications.” Pages 108–127 in Faces of Renewal. Edited by Paul Elbert. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1988.

Atkinson, William. “Pentecostal Responses to Dunn’s Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” JPT 6 (1995): 49–72.

Bock, Darrell L. God’s Promised Program, Realized for All Nations: A Theology of Luke and Acts. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Clarke, Andrew D., and Bruce W. Winter, eds. The Book of Acts in Its Ancient Literary Setting. Vol. 1 of The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Gasque, Ward W. A History of the Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975. Repr., Peabody: Hendrickson, 1989

___, and Ralph P. Martin, eds. Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F.F. Bruce. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970.

Gempf, Conrad and David W.J. Gill, eds. The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting. Vol. 2 of The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

Gilbert, Gary. “The List of Nations in Acts 2: Roman Propaganda and the Lukan Response.” Journal of Biblical Literature 121 (2002): 497–529.

Hemer, Colin J. The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Edited by Conrad H. Gempf. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1990.

Krodel, Gerhard. Acts. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986.

Marshall, I. Howard, and David Peterson, eds. Witness to the Gospel: The Theology of Acts. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.

Menzies, Robert P. Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991.

Philo. The Works of Philo. Translated by C.D. Yonge. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1993.

Porter, Stanley E. Paul in Acts. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. Repr., Hendrickson: Peabody, 2008.

Ryken, Leland. How to Read the Bible as Literature… and Get More Out of It. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

Soards, Marion L. The Speeches in Acts: Their Content, Context, and Concerns. Louisville: John Knox, 1994.

Stronstadt, Roger. The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1984. Repr., Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012.

___. The Prophethood of All Believers: A Study in Luke’s Charismatic Theology. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999.

Talbert, C.H. Literary Patterns, Theological Themes, and the Genre of Luke-Acts. Missoula: Scholars, 1974.

Tannehill, Robert C. The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts: A Literary Interpretation Vol. 2: Acts of the Apostles. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990.

Winter, Bruce W. and Andrew D. Clarke, eds. The Book of Acts in Its Ancient Literary Setting. Vol. 1 of The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting. Edited by Bruce W. Winter. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Witherington, Ben III. The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.

Wright, N.T. Acts for Everyone: Part One. Louisville: John Knox, 2008.

Zehnle, Richard F. Peter’s Pentecost Discourse: Tradition and Lukan Reinterpretation in Peter’s Speeches of Acts 2 and 3. Nashville: Abingdon, 1971.

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