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S. Jonathan Murphy
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In the shadow of giants: The narrative function of Stephen, Philip, and Barnabas in the book of ActsS. Jonathan Murphy
Dallas Theological Seminary
This dissertation examines the roles of Stephen, Philip, and Barnabas in the book of Acts from a narrative-critical perspective. Two goals are accomplished. First, the study adds to a recent and growing field of inquiry that examines narratives according to a method sensitive to intrinsic criteria of story. Second, as a result of this method, Stephen, Philip, and Barnabas are examined as characters in a story in relation to the ideological point of view advanced rather than to construct historical portraits of their persona. The thesis advanced is that the story of the progress of a Jewish-based church in Jerusalem at the beginning of the book of Acts to a Jewish-Gentile one across the known world at its end was bridged by the contribution of the key secondary characters Stephen, Philip, and Barnabas. The main body of the dissertation argues the thesis via six chapters. The emergence of the narrative-critical field and application to the book of Acts and the characters involved is followed by a consideration of the method's theory and legitimacy so that guidelines are proposed for the analysis of narratives. A narrative analysis of the book of Acts follows so that Stephen, Philip, and Barnabas are examined within the story world projected. Each character is then considered within his respective scenes in light of the ideology advanced by the narrator. The following conclusions verify the thesis proposed. Each character incarnates the ideological point of view of the narrative. Each of them also plays a distinct role ideologically in relation to its structural framing in Acts 1:8--a geographic and ethnic move. Stephen, moreover, voices the severance between the new community and Israel. Philip distinctly paves the way for the progress of the agenda through Peter and represents the full spectrum of its geographical and ethnic implications. Barnabas distinctly functions as a relational bridge-builder for key players in the third stage of the move toward the Gentiles. Ultimately, the narrator presents the ideology of the narrative in multiple ways. This dissertation demonstrates certain secondary characters are another vehicle of projecting this onto the narrator.
Philosophy, religion and theology; Language, literature and linguistics; Narrative criticism; Stephen, Saint; Philip; Barnabas; Acts; Acts of the Apostles; Classical studies; Biblical studies; 0321:Biblical studies; 0294:Classical studies
E. E. C. Johnson, Thomas L.; Bock, Darrell L.
Dallas Theological Seminary
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