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of the Holy Spirit in Acts states that Luke must not always be interpreted by Paul but "is a theologian in his own right and must be treated as such" (1984:11).

Bosch would join the chorus of voices by saying that "Luke was first and foremost a theologian . . . . He was not a mere chronicler of history . . . . His interest was in the way the Gentile mission was to be motivated theologically not in an history report of the origins and course of the mission" (1991:87).  Finally, Hengel states Luke is a "historian and theologian who needs to be taken seriously . . . .  We only do justice to the significance of Luke as the first theological 'historian' of Christianity if we take his work seriously as a source" (1979:61,67).  

The table below summarizes the positions of the historical and theological study of Luke-Acts today.  The historical-critical school represented by Conzelmann, Haenchen, Verheyden, Fitzmyer and others have downplayed the historicity of the Lukan account and accentuated the theological is represented in quadrant one.  The more conservative school represented by Bruce, Marshall, Gasque and others would be situated in quadrant three which affirms both the high historical and theological value of Luke's work.   

The Unity of Luke-Acts

Luke and Acts are introduced by similar prologues which naturally point to a two volume work. However, because they have traditionally been separated in the New Testament canon, this has tended  "to obscure the second-volume character of Acts" (Fitzmyer 1998:50).  Not only on this practical but theological terms, the question of the unity of Luke-Acts has been raised.

In his commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Hans Conzelmann argued that Luke wrote the book in order to explain to the Christians of his day the historical delay in the promised return of Jesus.  Out of this eschatological concern, Conzelmann posited that Luke-Acts was not merely written to record history but to primarily give meaning to it.8

Within this theological-historical framework, he divides Luke-Acts into three distinct phases of salvation history which included John the Baptist (the period of Israel), Jesus (the middle of time) and the epoch of the Spirit (the Church).  Therefore Conzelmann would see a theological discontinuity between Luke-Acts, between John, Jesus and the Church      

8 As was denoted in the previous chapter, Conzelmann who is from the redactive school of interpretation, would tend to shift emphasis from the uncertain facts of history to their theological meaning.  


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