St Paul in Acts and his Letters
The two principal sources for describing Paul’s
life are the Acts of the Apostles and his letters. The author of Acts is not a
historian or biographer. He is a theologian, intent on putting together an
interpretation of Paul’s ministry to the early church. He knew a lot about Paul,
and may in fact have been the physician Luke, who was with Paul on one of his
missionary journeys. At the same time there are enough differences between the
two sources to raise questions here and there about what is history and what is
theology. Did Paul really study in Jerusalem under the great Rabbi Gamaliel?
Acts 22:3 says he did; Paul never mentions it. Was Paul really a Roman citizen?
Acts 23:27 says he was; Paul never mentions it. Is the Council of Jerusalem
described by Acts 15 the same Council described by Paul in Galatians 2? The
timeline differs and the participants