‘I Must Also See Rome’ (Acts 19:21): Eyewitness Discourse in Luke and Acts

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    This article discusses eyewitnessing as a literary motif in Luke and Acts. Both
    writings position themselves within a scientific-historiographical tradition
    which conceives of eyewitness testimony as the most reliable source of
    knowledge. Hence, both Luke and Acts bolster the trustworthiness of their
    contents by presenting it as going back to eyewitness testimonies by e.g.
    the shepherds in Luke 2 and the women and disciples in Luke 24. Aside from
    this inclusio of eyewitnesses, the repeated expression ‘what we/you/they
    have seen and heard’ embodies the centrality of eyewitnessing in Luke’s and
    Acts’s accounts. The second section of the article connects the development
    of an eyewitness perspective in Acts with notions of space and memory. In
    that section I argue that the combination of spatial description and autopsy
    language in Acts serves to create literary memories of David’s tomb, the
    Areopagus, and the city of Rome.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197–211
    JournalNTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • autopsy
    • Luke
    • Acts
    • memory
    • space
    • travel

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