Criswell Theological Review 5.1 (1990) 31-41.
Copyright © 1990 by The
THE SPEECHES IN ACTS*
SIMON J. KISTEMAKER
Reformed Theological Seminary
About half of the Book of Acts consists of speeches, discourses, and
letters. Counting both the short and the long addresses, we number at
least 26 speeches that are made by either apostles and Christian leaders
or by non-Christians (Jews and Gentiles). Classifying these speeches,
we have eight addresses delivered by Peter,1 a lengthy sermon of
Stephen before the Sanhedrin (7:2-53), a brief explanation by Cornelius
(10:30-33), a short address by James at the Jerusalem Council (15:13-
the advice to Paul by James and the elders in
and nine sermons and speeches by Paul.2 The rest of the discourses
were given by Gamaliel the Pharisee (5:35-39), Demetrius the silver-
smith (19:25-27), the city clerk in
lawyer (24:2-8), and Festus the governor (25:24-27).3 In addition, Luke
relays the text of two letters: one from the Jerusalem Council to the
Gentile churches (15:23-29), and the other written by Claudius Lysias
addressed to Governor Felix (23:27-30).
The speeches in Acts make the book interesting, because when
people talk we learn something about their personalities. Luke gives
* A few paragraphs in this article have been taken from my commentary An
Exposition of Acts (New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990).
1 See Acts 1:16-22; 2:14-36, 38-39; 3:12-26; 4:8-12, 19-20; 5:29-32; 10:34-43; 11:5-
2 See Acts 13:16-41; 14:15-17; 17:22-31; 20:18-35; 22:1-21; 24:10-21; 26:2-~, 25-27;
3 H. J. Cadbury, "The Speeches in Acts," The Beginnings of Christianity: The Acts
of the Apostles (repr. ed.; 5 vols.;
"Speeches in Acts," The Bible Today 65 (1973) 1114-17.
32 CRISWELL THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
the reader an opportunity to listen to the speakers and by listening to
come to know their personalities. Luke was personally present when
addressed the Ephesian elders, spoke in
self before Felix, and delivered speeches before Festus and Agrippa.
We presume that Luke received from Paul the wording of Paul's
sermon in Pisidian Antioch and his Areopagus address. Perhaps Paul
and other witnesses provided information on Stephen's speech before
the Sanhedrin. From Peter, Luke gathered material on the addresses of
Peter in the upper room, at Pentecost, near Solomon's Colonnade,
before the Sanhedrin, and at the
he received the details concerning the Jerusalem Council.
If Luke collected his information from eyewitnesses, does he faith-
fully reproduce the speeches which they and others made? As can be
expected, the context reveals that Luke presents the addresses in sum-
mary form. But are these summaries true to fact or have they been
placed in the mouths of speakers? Some scholars are of the opinion that
the speeches are the creation of the writer of Acts. By comparison, they
point to the Greek historian Thucydides and claim that Luke adopted
the methodology of Thucydides. This historian declared that in com-
posing his speeches he "adhered as closely as possible to the general
sense of what was actually said."4 The apparent intention of this
ancient writer was to state that the speeches he wrote were historically
accurate and not based on his own imagination.5 Even though the
words of Thucydides have been a topic of much debate, the inclination
to take his saying at face value prevails. The task which the ancient
historian assumed was to give an account of the events just as they
happened. He reported facts not fiction.
If we listen to Luke's own words in the preface to his Gospel, we
learn that he gives an account of the things that have happened and
which people have accepted as true (Luke 1:1; cf. Acts 1:1). Thus at the
beginning of his writings, Luke informs the reader that his reporting as
a historian is true to fact.
The question that concerns the student of Acts is whether Luke is
giving a truthful presentation in this historical account. Does he ac-
curately report the speeches he himself did not hear?
4 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.22.1.
5 M. Dibelius, Studies in the Acts of the Apostles (London: SCM, 1956) 141,
expresses doubt; but W. W. Gasque accepts the statement as true, in "The Speeches of
Acts: Dibelius Reconsidered," New Dimensions in New Testament Study (ed. by R. N.
Longenecker and M. C. Tenney;
F. Glasson, "Speeches in Acts and Thucydides," Exp Tim 76 (1964-65) 165.
Simon J. Kistemaker: THE SPEECHES IN ACTS 33
Before we examine some of the speeches in Acts, let us first note
that Luke's reporting reflects linguistic peculiarities that show the area
and setting in which a dialogue took place. In many sections of his
Gospel and Acts, Luke expresses himself in excellent Greek. This is
evident, for instance, from the Greek in the introduction to his Gospel
(Luke 1:1-4). But throughout the birth narratives (Luke 1 and 2), his
diction and word choice bear a distinct Aramaic stamp. It is as if Mary
herself relates to Luke the accounts of Jesus' conception and birth in
Aramaic Greek. Indeed, so Luke reports, Mary kept all these things in
her heart (2:19, 51).
Also in Acts, Luke varies the choice of words with reference to the
locale. He reflects the diction, vocabulary, and culture of the area he
describes. In the chapters that depict
has an Aramaic coloring. The second half of the book (16-28) reflects a
Gentile setting and is written in fluent Greek that, at times, rivals
classical Greek. To illustrate, of the 67 times that the optative mood
occurs in the NT, 17 of these are in Acts. These 17 instances appear
mostly in the second half of the book and often come from speakers
who know Greek well.6 Another aspect of a Jewish backdrop that Luke
portrays in Acts is the use of Semitisms. For instance, Jesus addresses
on the way to
the Grecized form Sau?loj (9:4; 22:7; 26:14; and see 9:17; 22:13). By
contrast, when Governor Festus alludes to Emperor Nero as o[ Sebasto<j
and o[ ku<rioj (25:25,26), he exposes a typical Roman setting.
Is Luke composing speeches that he places on the lips of the
speakers, or does he present more or less the exact words the speakers
uttered in summarized form? If we say that Luke is the source for these
speeches, he proves to be an exceptionally skilled artist who writes a
masterful book with all the possible nuances of speech and word
choice.7 His work, then, is closer to fiction than history. But if we
contend that Luke's source material comes directly from the speakers
or the community that heard them, he mirrors people as they are with
their own peculiarities and characteristics. "The question of the his-
toricity of the speeches is not beside the point in the study of a work
which claims to be a historical narrative."8 Luke, then, is both a writer
and a historian.
6 These include the Greek
(17:27 [twice]), Governor Festus (25:16 [twice], 20), and Paul addressing King Agrippa
(26:29). The other instances are: 5:24; 8:20, 31; 10:17; 17:11; 20:16; 21:33; 24:19; 27:12, 39.
7 Concludes J. T. Townsend, "There is therefore, no reason to suppose that the
speeches in Acts which are found in the mouths of Christians reflect any other mind than
the mind of the man who wrote them, the author of Luke-Acts." 'The Speeches in Acts,"
ATR 42 (1960) 159.
8 F. F. Bruce. "The Speeches in Acts-Thirty Years After," in Reconciliation and
Hope (ed. by R. Banks;
34 CRISWELL THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
Space does not permit examination of all the discourses in Acts.
We must be selective and refer to only a few, namely, those of Stephen,
Peter, and Paul, with a passing reference to the ones of Tertullus and
Festus. In the last part of Acts (20-28), Luke discloses that he himself
was present and, therefore, he speaks as an eyewitness.
The most extensive speech in Acts is the one Stephen delivered
before the members of the Sanhedrin (7:2-53). Stephen traces the
history of the people of
Solomon's temple. But the speech is much more than a chronicle of
historical events. Stephen imparts that he is an expert theologian who is
thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures. He is knowledgeable in
drawing implicit conclusions and displays the same theological acumen
as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews unveils.
Stephen directly quotes no less than 15 OT passages, of which 13
are from the Pentateuch and two from the Prophets. Of the 40 OT
quotations cited in Acts, 15 are in Stephen's speech.9 The repeated
appeal to the OT is not a characteristic of Luke's style but rather points
to a theologian of Stephen's stature (6:9-10). Moreover, Stephen has
selected considerable detail from the primary
history. "The major events and details which are included are carefully
chosen and presented to indicate convincingly the accuracy of Ste-
phen's interpretation of
In his speech, Stephen shows that God is not bound to an earthly
temple built by human hands: God revealed himself to Abraham in
to Joseph in
burning bush. Stephen proves that the Jews are unable to confine God's
dwelling place to the temple in
themes of God, worship, the Law, the covenant, and the person and
message of the Messiah. Through the work of the Messiah, the house of
mentioning the name of Jesus but teaches that God has raised up a
Savior for the house of
9 Gen 12:1 = v 3; Gen 48:4 = v 5; Gen 15:13-15 = vv 6-7; Exod 3:12 = v 7; Exod
1:8 = v 18; Exod 2:14 = vv 27-28; Exod 3:2 = v 30; Exod 3:6 = v 32; Exod 3:5 = v 33;
Exod3:7, 8, 10 = v 34; Exod 2:14 = v 35; Deut 18:15 = v 37; Exod 32:1, 23 = v 40; Amos
5: 25-27 (LXX) = vv 42-43; Isa 66:1-2 = vv 49-50.
10 J. J. Scott, Jr., "Stephen's Speech: A Possible Model for Luke's Historical
Method?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 17 (1974) 93. Consult A. F. J.
Klijn, "Stephen's Speech-Acts VII. 2-53," NTS 4 (1957) 25-31. C. H. H. Scobie thinks
that Luke used a Christian tract as source material in "The Use of Source Material in the
Speeches of Acts III and VII," NTS 25 (1979) 399-421.
Simon J. Kistemaker: THE SPEECHES IN ACTS 35
We are unable to ascertain from whom Luke received the sub-
stance of Stephen's speech. We surmise that Luke gained access to the
speech that Stephen delivered before the Sanhedrin from Paul and
those members of the Sanhedrin who later became Christians. The
speech came to Luke's attention through a fixed tradition either in oral
or written form. With reference to Acts 7--a study of word choice,
references to the temple and to Moses, and the absence of typical
Lucan constructions--all these facts indicate that Stephen's speech did
not originate in the mind of Luke.
Thus, the words promise and affliction have their own significance
in the context of Acts 7 and do not correspond to their usages in the rest
of Acts. Next, Stephen's manner of speaking about Moses and the
temple is confined to this particular discourse. Luke writes nowhere
else in Acts in a similar manner. And last, in Stephen's speech are at
least 23 words that do not occur again either in Acts or in any other
book of the NT; also, numerous literary forms, peculiar to both the
Gospel of Luke and Acts, are absent from Stephen's speech.11 We
cannot assume that Luke has presented a verbatim account of Stephen's
speech, but we confidently assert that he allows the original speaker to
be heard in words and concepts that belong to Stephen, the first
We infer that as a faithful historian Luke has incorporated the
discourse of Stephen at this juncture of Acts to prepare the reader for
the persecution subsequent to Stephen's death and for extending the
church beyond the confines of
Luke, who provided the impetus to further the church's development.
Luke, therefore, is reporting factual information based on historical
events.12 He is a historian who, in the manner of Thucydides, reports
speeches as closely as possible to the general sense of what the speakers
Peter's Pentecost sermon is the first of the three major addresses
Peter delivered (2:14-36; 3:12-26; 10:34-43). Some scholars are of the
opinion that Peter's Pentecost sermon is much more a theological
11 M. H. Scharlemann, "Stephen's Speech: A Lucan Creation?" Concordia Journal 4
(1978) 57. See also L. W. Barnard, "Saint Stephen and Early Alexandrian Christianity,"
NTS 7 (1960-61) 31.
12 Compare M. H. Scharlemann, Stephen: A Singular Saint (Analecta Biblica 34;
and Redactional Study of Acts 7, 2-53
(Analecta Biblica 67;
Press, 1976) 113.
36 CRISWELL THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
discourse written by Luke than a historical report of the apostle's
speech.13 We know that Luke
himself was not present in
the Day of Pentecost, but that he received his information from "eye-
witnesses and servants of the word" (Luke 1:2). We presume that Peter
served as Luke's informant who gave him the pattern and wording of
the sermon. In fact, "Both the pattern and the basic theology are older
than Luke and probably reach back into the early days of the church."14
Luke presents a summary of Peter's sermon, which is also the case in
the other discourses. Luke indicates that much more was said, for Peter
warned the people with many other words (2:40).
In his speeches, Peter employs concepts that have an echo in his
epistles. He even exhibits similarities in his word choice. Comparing
these similarities in both his speeches and letters, we find some in-
stances that are striking not only in the Greek but even in translation.
Acts 1 Peter
by the set purpose and according to the
foreknowledge of God (2:23) foreknowledge of God (1:2)
silver or gold I do not such as silver or gold that
have (3:6) you were redeemed (1:18)
the faith that comes you believe in God
through him (3:16) through him (1:21)
as judge of the living to judge the living
and the dead (10:42) and the dead (4:5)
When Peter addresses the household of Cornelius, he tells the
Gentile audience that "God shows no favoritism" (10:34). Next, he
repeats this thought in slightly different wording when he speaks at the
Jerusalem Council in favor of admitting the Gentiles to membership in
the church. He says that God "made no distinction between us and
them" (15:9). Third, in 1 Peter he writes that God "impartially judges
each man's work" (1:17). And last, when Peter proclaims the good
news to the crowd at Solomon's Colonnade, he instructs the people to
repent in order to hasten the coming of Christ (3:19-21). He expresses
the same sentiment in a brief sentence in 2 Peter. He writes, "You ought
13 Among others, R. F. Zehnle, Peter's Pentecost Discourse: Tradition and Lukan
Reinterpretation in Peter's Speeches in Acts 2 and 3 (SBLMS 15; ed. by R. A. Kraft;
taries; ed. by R. V. G. Tasker;
The Apostolic Preaching and its Developments (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936)
Simon J. Kistemaker: THE SPEECHES IN ACTS 37
to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and
speed its coming" (3:11b-12a, NIV).
We admit that all these resemblances are no more than proverbial
straws in the wind. Nevertheless, these similarities point in the same
direction and lend verbal support to the historicity of Peter's dis-
courses.15 In these speeches, Peter clearly teaches both the humanity
and divinity of Jesus Christ (e.g., 2:22, 33-36). Also throughout his
writings, Peter refers to Jesus as God and man (e.g., 1 Pet 1:2, 3; 2:21,
24; 3:15; 2 Pet 1:1). In brief, Peter presents Jesus Christ as God and man
in both his addresses and epistles.
Luke has recorded three of Paul's missionary discourses: the syna-
gogue sermon in Pisidian Antioch (13:16-41), the Areopagus speech in
(20:18-35). Of these three, Luke personally heard the third one; he
appears to have received information for the first two discourses from
Paul and his travel companions.
The Pisidian Antioch sermon is a type that Paul delivered through-
sermon basically consists of three parts: (1) a survey
(2) the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; and (3) the application of
the gospel message.16 Many aspects of this sermon resemble features in
the sermons delivered by Peter in
one Stephen preached before the Sanhedrin (7:2-53).
Paul's sermon in Pisidian Antioch discloses aspects of his epistolary
teaching. When Paul preached in the synagogue at
his sermon by mentioning the doctrine of justification. He said, "Every-
one who believes in [Jesus] is justified from all things from which you
could not be justified through the law of Moses" (13:39). There is a
discernible link between his sermon and his epistles, for Paul expresses
the doctrine of justification in his Epistles to the Romans, the Galatians,
and the Ephesians.17 This fundamental tenet he taught both in sermons
15 Cadbury is skeptical of these similarities and parallels, for he points to compar-
able word choices in other NT writers. "The Speeches in Acts," Beginnings, 5.413.
16 Refer to J. W. Bowker, "Speeches in Acts: A Study in Proem and Yelammedenu
Form," NTS 14 (1967-68) 101-2.
17 Cf. Rom 3:20,21,28; Gal 3:16; and Eph 2:9. Rejecting that Luke wrote Acts, J.
Roloff says that in general the speeches which the writer places on the lips of Paul have
nothing in common with the Pauline theology and characteristics known from his
epistles. Die Apostelgeschichte (NTD 5; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1981) 3.
38 CRISWELL THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
Strictly speaking, Paul's Areopagus address in
defense of the Christian faith. Rather, his speech is both a challenge to
the pagan religion and a proclamation of the gospel. When Paul stood
before members of the Areopagus Council, he faced an audience that
was different from that of the synagogue worship services. In the
presence of the Athenian philosophers, he could not assume that they
had any knowledge of the Scripture or of Jesus who fulfilled Scripture's
prophecies. Paul had to begin his speech by teaching his audience the
doctrines of God and creation. He continued his teaching with the
doctrine of man, for man is God's offspring. And he concluded his
oration with the doctrines of judgment and the resurrection.
We affirm the historicity of Paul's visit to the Council of the
Areopagus. In that meeting, Paul the apostle to the Gentiles introduced
a pagan audience to the teachings of the Christian faith. He commented
that God created man, appointed a day for judgment, and overlooked
man's sins of the past. Paul's speech and writing reveal similarity. In his
letter to the Romans, Paul mentions that God has made himself known
in creation, that God judges men's secrets through Jesus Christ, and
that God has shown his forbearance by leaving sins unpunished (Rom
1:19-21; 2:16; 3:21-26). Comparing these comments with his Areopagus
address, we assert that Paul himself addressed the council members of
the Areopagus.18 We assume that at a later time he gave Luke the
wording of this speech.
Even though Paul alludes to an altar inscription (“to an unknown
God”) and quotes some lines from pagan sources, he nowhere indicates
that the gospel occupies common ground with pagan religion and
philosophy."19 Paul uses these pagan aspects as points of contact with
his audience but refuses to accommodate and compromise the gospel
message. In this respect he is true to his God, who gives man the law
not to have any gods before him. When Paul refers to pagan gods, he
skillfully employs the neuter gender: “What [o!], therefore, you worship
in ignorance, this [tou?to] I am proclaiming to you" (17:23); and “We
ought not to think that the divine being [to> qei?on] is like an image”
(17:29). He refrains from calling an idol “God,” but classifies it with
impersonal objects. Conclusively, Luke indicates that Paul carefully
chose his words when he addressed the Athenian philosophers.
18 F. F. Bruce, "Paul and the Athenians," Exp Tim 88 (1976) 11. H. Conzelmann
calls Paul's speech "not an extract from a missionary address, but a purely literary
creation." See his "The Address of Paul on the Areopagus," Studies in Luke-Acts (ed. by
L. E. Keck and J. L. Martyn;
Hemer, "The Speeches of Acts: II. The Areopagus Address," Tyndale Bulletin 40/2
19 T. L. Wilkinson, “Acts 17: The Gospel Related to Paganism," Vox Reformata 35
Simon J. Kistemaker: THE SPEECHES IN ACTS 39
Paul's farewell address to the Ephesian elders on the beach of
are a few illustrations:
serving the Lord with serving the Lord (Rom 12:11)
all humility (20:19) with all humility (Eph 4:2)
that I may finish I have finished
the race (20:24) the race (2 Tim 4:7)
complete the task I complete the task you
received from the Lord received in the Lord
Examining the diction of Paul's farewell speech, R. H. Charles
There is every ground for accepting this speech as a trustworthy record of
Paul's speech. Some of the phrases are exclusively Pauline as plh>n o!ti,
kai> nu?n i]dou<, desma> kai> qli<yeij, nouqetei?n; others are
characteristically Pauline and non-Lucan as mh> fei<desqai,
tapeinofronsu<nhj, u[poste<llesqai, nu<kta kai> h[me<ran, to>
In view of Luke's presence, we confidently affirm the historicity of
Paul's speech recorded by his friend Luke. C. K. Barrett pointedly asks
why Luke would write fiction and attach the story
“the great city and Pauline centre
torical event, then the address is an eyewitness report that reflects the
words Paul spoke.
The speeches which Paul the prisoner delivered before the Jews in
able differences even though both contain the account of Paul's con-
version experience. For one thing, the audiences are different. In his
tion of Jesus' self-identification (22:8). Paul purposely circumscribes
the name to avoid giving offense to his Jewish audience. But when he
20 P. Gardner, "The
tions of the Day (ed. by H. B. Sweet;
includes the investigations of R. H. Charles.
21 C. K. Barrett, "Paul's Address to the Ephesian Elders," God's Christ and His
People: Studies in Honour of N. A. Dahl (ed. by J. Jervell and W. A. Meeks; Oslo/Ber-
gen/Tromso: Universitetsforlaget, 1977)109. Consult G. A. Kennedy, "The Speeches in
Acts," New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hill/London:
I. The Ephesian Elders at
40 CRISWELL THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
addresses King Agrippa and tries to persuade him to believe in Jesus,
he explicitly mentions Jesus' name (26:9).
Further, addressing the Jews in
as a devout man according to the law and respected by all the Jews
looks the entire encounter with Ananias because it detracts from his
purpose to acquaint the king with the gospel. He
address in Hebrew or Aramaic (21:40) but his discourse before Agrippa
and Festus in excellent Greek. In the presence of these government
officials, military commanders, and prominent
Paul's diction compares with that of classical Greek. To illustrate, he
employs an Attic verb form i@sasi instead of the third person plural
oi@dasin (26:4); he ingeniously quotes the words "Nothing was done
secretly in a corner" (26:26), which philosophers pejoratively used for
uneducated teachers;22 and he uses the optative mood in his closing
remark to Agrippa: Eu]cai<mhn a@n (26:29).
What are the characteristics that support the historicity of Paul's
speech before King Agrippa? In summary, here are the highlights:
First, no speech either of Paul or any other speaker in Acts is as
personal in tone as Paul's address before Agrippa (see especially v 27).
This speech sparkles in the beauty of its direct gospel appeal. Paul
speaks engagingly to King Agrippa throughout his discourse by ad-
dressing him by title, name, and personal pronoun you.23
Next, Paul fits his choice of words to the class of his audience. That
is, his diction and syntax are approaching classical Greek and equal that
of his Areopagus address (17:22-31). At the same time, we hear in his
Agrippa speech the same tone and tenor of Paul's other discourses.
Third, in his speech before Agrippa, Paul repeats his conversion
experience (cf. 22:1-21; and see 9:1-19). Although the three conversion
accounts reveal differences, Paul freely selects from his own recollec-
tion those elements that suit his present purposes. And because Paul is
the speaker, he is free to choose his own wording to describe the event.
Last, Paul addresses Agrippa, who is of Jewish descent and, as
curator of the
disputes of the Jews" (26:3). Yet Paul's speech is not a one-sided gospel
appeal directed only to Agrippa (see, for instance v 8); he presents the
doctrine of Christ's resurrection as a light both to the Jewish people
and to the Gentiles (v 23).24
22 Consult A. J. Malherbe, "'Not in a Comer': Early Christian Apologetic in Acts
26:26," The Second Century 5 (1985-86) 193-210.
23 Cf. vv 2, 3, 7, 13, 19, 27.
24 Compare K. Haacker, "Das Bekenntnis des Paulus zur Hoffnung Israels nach der
Apostelgeschichte des Lukas," NTS 31 (1985) 437-51; J. J. Kilgallen, "Paul Before
Agrippa (Acts 26,2-23): Some Considerations," Bib 69 (1988) 170-95.
Simon J. Kistemaker: THE SPEECHES IN ACTS 41
The speeches in Acts accurately portray the speakers and reflect
their individual traits. The syntax in some of Peter's speeches is awk-
ward and in some verses disjointed. For example, before Cornelius and
his household Peter literally said: "The word which he sent to the sons
you yourselves know the thing which took place
(10:36-37). Tertullus the lawyer attempts to influence Governor Felix
with flattery. Luke, who was present at the hearing, records Tertullus's
grammatical errors with journalistic accuracy. The orator utters a parti-
ciple ("finding this man to be a troublemaker" [24:2]) instead of a main
verb, and thus he disrupts the flow of the sentence. The letter from the
hand of commander Claudius Lysias is written in military style (23:26-
30), while the diction and syntax of Governor Festus characterize him
as an educated Roman official who is able to speak excellent Greek
Although Luke is the writer of the speeches in Acts, he is not their
composer. That is, he does not create discourses which he places in the
mouths of speakers. He himself asserts, "I myself have accurately
investigated everything from the beginning" (Luke 1:3; see also Acts
1:1). Hence, we are assured that Luke's presentations are based on
factual and faithful research. Luke presented the people as they were,
precisely because he was personally acquainted with most of them. As
a travel companion of Paul, he recorded the historical events relating to
Paul's words and deeds.
A close examination of Paul's speeches to the Jews shows that
"there is much in the content that is not essentially Lukan."25 As he
addressed Jewish audiences, Paul regularly appealed to the OT Scrip-
tures. But this characteristic does not fit Luke's style. Also, much of the
content and the vocabulary of Stephen's speech is not repeated in the
rest of Acts; this feature indicates that Luke is reporting and not
composing Stephen's address. We conclude, then, that the speeches in
Acts do not appear to be Lucan creations.
25 F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and
Commentary (3d rev. and enlarged
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