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But Luke's apologetic strategy belongs ®rmly on the `story' side of early Christian 57 On the signi®cance of the repetition, cf. Witherup, `Cornelius'; MargueÂrat, `Saul's Conversion'. 58 Walzer, Galen on Jews and Christians, 15, 57. 59 Cameron, Rhetoric of Empire, ch. 2. 60 MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire. 61 Aratus' philosophical poem proclaimed the universal indwelling of Zeus in all human life: `Let us begin with God, whom men never leave unspoken: full of God are the streets, and all the marketplaces of humanity, and full the sea and the harbours; and we are all in need of God everywhere.

Luke's purpose in the former seems to be eirenic rather than apologetic, showing a reluctant Peter convinced by supernatural means to accept the `Pauline' position (only Acts does not so identify it) on Gentile converts. Similarly, the theme of preaching to the Greeks has surprisingly little prominence in terms of direct speech: important though the theme is, it would seem a little unbalanced to identify philosophically minded Greeks as the book's primary audience. Of all the reported sermons in Acts, only two are addressed to pagans, and Paul's synagogue discourse to the Jewish community in Antioch-in-Pisidia (13: 16±41) is longer than the two put together.

Whatever its ambiguities, the ®nal scene of Acts does appear to place some kind of closure on the appeal to the Jewish community: `Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen' (28: 29).

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Apologetics In The Roman Empire by Edwards et al (eds)


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