Giancarlo Biguzzi, «Witnessing Two by Two in the Acts of the Apostles.», Vol. 92 (2011) 1-20
The program of Act 1,8 is carried through by the Twelve only in Jerusalem, Samaria and the Mediterranean coast, — but not «till the end of the earth». Their witness, however, is prolonged by the Seven of Jerusalem, the Five of Syrian Antioch, and the Seven companions of Paul of Act 20,4. Surprisingly, for everyone of the four groups of witnesses, the author narrates then the witnessing of only two of them. The narrative lacuna, apparently intentional since it recurs four times, allows Luke to involve the reader in reconstructing the spread of the gospel in all the directions for the remaining ten twelfths.
See more by the same author
16 GIANCARLO BIGUZZI
Peter and John, Stephen and Philip, Barnabas and Saul-Paul,
Trophimus and Aristarcus.
It has to be admitted that Luke does not employ the vocabulary
of the martyrÄ±a for each of the four pairs in Acts. The reason lies
probably in the specific weight Luke gives to the term martyv, Â¥
almost equivalent to â€œapostleâ€. Furthermore, it needs to be taken
into account that the Seven of Jerusalem are an apostolic creation
and collaborators of Peter and the Twelve in the Mother-Church,
whereas the Seven of Corinth are a Hellenistic creation and col-
laborators of Paul. It is sufficient for Luke to apply the vocabulary
of the martyrÄ±a to Peter and Paul to include by implication the
names of those in the four lists.
III. The Lukan â€œUnsaidâ€ and the role of the reader
1. The temporal â€œUnsaidâ€ at the end of the book
Mentioned eight times by means of the name Saoyl, fifteen
times by means of Saylov, one hundred seven times by means of
Paylov, â€” one hundred fifty times in all â€”, Paul is either
mentioned or remains a protagonist in twenty one of the twenty
eight chapters of Acts 30. Since he occupies the final scene as the
main figure, he remains in the readerâ€™s mind and memory. His last
words, concerning the reception of his evangelical message, are
formulated in the future tense so that they become an announce-
ment projected indefinitely into the future, and beyond the closure
of the book: â€œThis salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles.
They will listen (akoysontai) ! â€.
There is also something more to be added: the element of time
in Luke, the narrator, is open towards the future as well. On the
one hand, by putting himself at Paulâ€™s side on the three ships in
the journey towards Rome, Luke is able to end the book as an
intradiegetic character himself 31, and not only as an omniscient
narrator. On the other hand, by recording that Paul was in prison at
After the first appearance in Acts 7,58, Paul is subsequently mentioned in
all the chapters except in Acts 10.
Cf. the suggestive title, â€œwitness to the witnessesâ€, given to Luke by
C.-J. THORNTON, Der Zeuge des Zeugen. Lukas als Historiker der Paulusreden