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WHAT IF LUKE HAD NEVER MET THEOPHILUS?

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Asking the 'what if ?' questions of virtual history is a way of rubbing our noses in history's essential contingency—in the fact that things could have been different, that human choices (among other contingencies) actually matter. And of all history's contingencies, those of authorship seem—at least to those of us who are authors—the most precarious imaginable. With Luke we are dealing with an author who seems particularly sensitive to the delicate combinations of forces, both communal and individual, that hedge about the articulation of the word. Asking 'What if Luke had never met Theophilus?' is in the end an invitation to consider the possibility of the non-existence of Luke's Gospel and Acts. Can we imagine the New Testament without these two texts (which together make up 25% of its bulk)?

Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield

10.1163/156851500750119141
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2000-01-01
2016-12-07

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