Currently I am working on my exegesis of Acts and my suggestions for its translation into Bakwé. Alexis, my Bakwé co-translator and colleague, is behind and still finishing up his part of Luke. After he is done, we will go over Luke once more and make changes where they are needed.
The literary structure of Luke and Acts is fascinating! The two books go together, with the “Ascension” forming the middle of the story. Luke starts out in chapter two with a decree from Rome and Acts ends up with Paul in Rome preaching the gospel. Jesus’ preaching ministry takes Him through Galilee, Samaria, Judea and then Jerusalem. The preaching of the gospel by the Apostles and Paul starts in Jerusalem with the coming of the Holy Spirit, and then moves through Judea, Samaria, the Gentile nations, and then to Rome. There are many other structural things going on as well. Although I don’t generally like titles, I have been struggling with how to use them to help bring out some of the structural emphases that Luke has going on in Acts. Most outlines I have looked at do not do this very well. We’ll see if I can pull it off.
The most helpful book so far has been David Gooding’s book True to the Faith: a fresh approach to the Acts of the Apostles (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1990). Another helpful book has been Victor M. Wilson’s Divine Symmetries: the art of biblical rhetoric (University Press of America, 1997). The narrative in Acts seems to be organized in part by five summary statements (6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; and 19:20). Vincent also points out (p. 196) that Luke and Acts each have a journey narrative in about the same place with about the same amount of text (Luke 9:51-19:40 and Acts 12:25-21:16). The shape of each narrative is a chiasm. The center of the chiasm in Luke’s Gospel is 13:31-35 with the words “…Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, …” The center of the Acts journey narrative is Paul’s speech in Athens to the Areopagus (p. 210). The mission of Jesus is fulfilled in Jerusalem in the Gospel of Luke. The mission of His disciples is centered on taking the Gospel to the nations.