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It is a relatively short description of recent historical events, set in the real world of the eastern Empire in the middle of the ®rst century ce. This narrative construct is much too substantial to be called merely a framework, like the narrative frameworks to the great dialogues of the classical tradition. Nevertheless, it is a narrative which creates a great number of dramatic opportunities for formal speech: and these are the most obvious places to look for apologetic in Acts. 27 Oden, `Philo of Byblos'.

But narrative imposes its own disciplines, one of which is the need to bring the story to an end. Whatever its ambiguities, the ®nal scene of Acts does appear to place some kind of closure on the appeal to the Jewish community: `Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen' (28: 29).

38 In refusing to obey the Sanhedrin, Peter implicitly questions its moral authority and lays claim, as so many philosophers had done from Socrates onward, to a higher allegiance: `We must obey God rather than men' (5: 29, cf. 4: 19±20). ' These early chapters also illustrate an important subsidiary theme in the apostolic apologia, the counter-charge that the tribunal which is examining the apostles was responsible for Jesus' death (4: 10; 5: 28). As in Luke's Gospel, this charge is directed primarily at speci®c holders of authority in Jerusalem, not at `the Jews' as an ethnic group.

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