LukeActs Speeches

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This page is part of the Lectionary series.


Working within the conventions of Greek and Roman historiography, Luke created appropriate speeches for selected characters at key points in his narrative:

  • Mary's song (Luke 1:46-55) when learning that she is to become the mother of the Christ Child
  • Zechariah's song (Luke 1:68-79) after John is named and his own speech restored
  • The song of the angels (Luke 2:14) at the birth of Jesus
  • The song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32) when the Chrtist Child is presented in the temple
  • Jesus' inaugural sermon in Nazareth's non-existent synagogue (Luke 4:21-27)
  • The sermon on the plain (Luke 6:17-49)
  • Jesus' heroic (almost Stoic) words from the cross (Luke 23:32-48)(cf. Acts 7:60)
  • Peter's sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2) with its many parallels to Jesus in Luke 4
  • Peter's sermon and address after healing the lame man (this week's passage)
  • Stephen's speech before his martyrdom (Acts 7:2-53)
  • Peter's speech at the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:34-43)
  • Peter's defence of admitting Gentiles to membership (Acts 11:1-18)
  • Paul's missionary sermon to a Jewish audience (Acts 13:16-41)
  • James' speech at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:13-21)
  • The decree from the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:23-29)
  • Paul's address to the pagan philosphers in Athens (Acts 17:16-31)
  • Paul's farewell address to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:18-35)
  • Paul's defence on the temple steps (Acts 22:3-21)
  • Paul's defence before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:1-10)
  • Paul's defence before Felix (Acts 24:10-21)
  • Paul's defence before Herod Agrippa (Acts 26:2-29)
  • Paul's final address to the Jews of Rome (Acts 28:17-22)

None of these speeches are to be taken as historical transcripts, or even as garbled memories of actual speeches, songs and prayers. To the extent that they have some semblance of verisimilitide, that is simply a testimony to the author's literary skill.

Each of them serves the literary and theological purposes of the author, and has been created for that reason.