"And so we came to Rome" : the political perspective of St. Luke
Christianity and politics Church and state
Cambridge University Press 1983EISBN 9780511555121
It has often been suggested that Luke's two volumes were written as an apology for Christianity, to demonstrate to the Roman authorities that the new faith was not a dangerous and subversive innovation, a threat to the Pax Romana and to Roman rule. This book reviews the development of the 'traditional perspective', then raises some questions, e.g. if Luke was writing an apologia pro ecclesia, why does he include so much material politically damaging to the Christian cause? Is it possible that the approach has been made from the wrong angle, that Luke was writing an apologia not pro ecclesia but pro imperio, to assure his fellow Christians that Church and Empire need not fear or suspect each other? This conclusion is then supported by an investigation of the text of Luke-Acts, particularly the trials of Jesus and Paul. This challenging volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the New Testament and to ecclesiastical and Roman historians.