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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Genre of Acts and Collected Biography
Adams, Sean

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 pp. xiii + 319. £60.00

Series Information
Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 156


Description: It is widely accepted by New Testament scholars that the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles probably originated as two parts of one work by a single author. In spite of this, the books have been assigned to very different genres: Luke is traditionally viewed as a biography of Jesus, and Acts as a history of the early church. Comparing in detail the structure and content of Acts with the formal features of history, novel, epic and biography, Sean Adams challenges this division. Applying both ancient and modern genre theory, he argues that the best genre parallel for the Acts of the Apostles is in fact collected biography. Offering a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of genre theory, along with an insightful argument regarding the composition and purpose of Acts, this book will be of interest to those studying the New Testament, Acts, genre theory and ancient literature.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Acts, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches

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Review by Brian C. Small
Published 10/26/2017
Citation: Brian C. Small, review of Sean Adams, The Genre of Acts and Collected Biography, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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