Jonathan McLatchie writes about it on the Christian Apologetics Alliance web site.
Much of the book of Acts — about 50% — is comprised of speeches, discourses and letters. Among them, a total of eight speeches are given by Peter; a total of nine speeches delivered by Paul; there is Stephen’s famous address before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:2-53); a brief address at the Jerusalem Council by James (Acts 15:13-21); the advice given to Paul by James and the Jerusalem elders (Acts 21:20-25); in addition to the letter to the Gentile churches from the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:23-29) and the letter to Governor Felix from Claudius Lysias (Acts 23:27-30).
An interesting question that we can investigate pertains to whether these speeches and other addresses are historically authentic, or whether they instead represent the invention of Luke, the author of Acts. It is this question with which this essay is concerned.
Jonathan lists some of the reasons why we should trust Luke as a historian, such that he was a companion of the eyewitness Paul. But then he goes over the speeches of Stephen, Peter and Paul in detail to see what reasons there are to accept or reject them.
For example, look how closely what Peter says in Acts lines up with what he says in 1 Peter:
- “…by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge…” (Acts 2:23) //“…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God…” (1 Peter 1:2)
- “Silver or gold I do not have…” (Acts 3:6) //“…it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed…” (1 Peter 1:18)
- “…the faith that comes through him…” (Acts 3:16) //“Through him you believe in God…” (1 Peter 1:21)
- “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”(Acts 3:19-21) //“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” (1 Peter 3:11-12)
- “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…” (Acts 10:34)//“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially…” (1 Peter 1:17)
- “…whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead…” (Acts 10:42) //“But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5)
It looks like the speeches that are attributed to Peter in Acts match closely with what he says in 1 Peter.
Read the whole thing.
Filed under: Commentary, Acts, Apologetics, Bible, Bible Study, Christian Apologetics, New Testament, Parallel, Paul, Peter, Speeches, Stephen