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How have scholars attempted to resolve the problem of the Dating and Authorship of Luke: Acts.

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Introduction

How have scholars attempted to resolve the problem of the Dating and Authorship of Luke: Acts. The problem of anonymous authorship and speculative dating is common to all of the New Testament texts. Added to this is the problem of authenticity in that the Church would have been inclined to ascribe the name of the text to someone with authority in the Church. The authenticity factor sheds light on the selection process of the twenty-seven Christian writings that compile the New Testament Canon. ...read more.

Middle

Primarily however - issues of authorship are related to the value the early Church would have placed on a piece of work. For example, the authorship of the Hebrew letters is considered very hazy but the work is acknowledged because it is thought to supply the early Church with useful material. Added to these uncertainties is the possibility that the writing could have been re-worked at a later date and consequently sole authorship cannot be attributed. Scholars also occupy themselves with clarifying the composition date of the Gospel as if we know the context in which the work was written - it is an informative method of showing the topical issues of contemporary writers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, the problems of Authorship and Dating are inextricable - the reliability of one issue determining the value of the other. Despite the fact that the New Testament Canon has been set for a long time, counter-arguments to claims of authorship are still evolving - reflecting the perennial nature of a debate that continues to interest the Christian church and scholars. The speculative nature of this work has resulted in a shift of emphasis to exploring how authors develop themes, the use of sources and the influence of Sitz im Leben in altering the face of the work. ...read more.

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