My post on the portrayal of Paul in Acts generated a considerable response, so I thought maybe I should say a few more words about this issue in another post – or in a series of posts, if need be. Some responses have suggested that maybe “Luke” (we don’t know the author’s real name, so we may as well call him this) had sources of information available to him for the book of Acts, just as he clearly did for the Gospel (e.g., the Gospels of Mark and Q).

I think this is absolutely right, he almost certainly did have sources. Otherwise he would have had to make everything up himself, and I don’t think there’s any way that happened. There are too many close parallels to what Paul has to say about himself — even though on closer look, in almost all these parallels there are striking discrepancies; so Luke had sources, but the sources were not completely reliable; and he altered them as he saw fit.

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