it seems that you and Pope both missed -and maybe I didn't write it clearly enough- is that the compiler of the Gospel of Luke and Acts doesn't identify himself. It seems both you and Pope believe this writer's name was Luke and that he WROTE all of Acts.
I'm saying no. The fellow who compiled the Gospel of Luke and Acts was one and the same person but I call him "Theofoolus" ... just to set him apart. He fools us, you see. We THINK the writings are original but they're not; they're compilations of older writings from which Theofoolus is copying.
Theofoolus doesn't inject HIMSELF into the story; he simply copies out one document, goes to the next one and copies that out as well -in what he believes to be the most accurately contiguous order. He may or may not have believed he was copying the writings of someone named Luke ... but ultimately that Gospel came to be known as "the Gospel according to Luke." Pseudographs were pretty common and accepted in those days.
Thus we see that sudden disjoint where the "we" occurs in Acts 16 verse 10. I'm saying that NO AUTHOR of an original piece would do such a thing without some kind of introduction. A transcriber would or might ... not thinking about the fact that his AUDIENCE isn't nearly so tuned into his own research as himself. We "all" do that from time to time ... we get so intensely involved with collecting and collating data, we forget to put in the little explanation joiners ... and then the stunned audience goes all guffaw.
Kate-> [ you dismiss all other ideas perfunctorily -- because it doesn't fit with what you already believe. ]
Well I imagine I'm biased all right but I hope I'm not totally close-minded. I'm always ready to change my mind if anyone presents me with a logical rational possibility ... backed by references ... which is what I've been trying to do myself.
Let me just ask you one more question: is anything I've proposed IMPOSSIBLE? Could it plausibly have happened? Can you find any fatal flaws in my theory?
The reason I ask is because I didn't start with a theory and then braced myself to defend it. I started with the problems I saw and tried to find logical and possible answers that would explain the problems.
I have a problem with the identity of Theophilus having been "lost". Doesn't that bother you too? How could such information be lost?
I have a problem with Father Irenaeus -in the middle of the second century- not KNOWING that Jesus had a one year or 3 year ministry and then being crucified at about age 33. How could he NOT have understood this information intimately, from reading the accounts of Jesus life in the Gospels? Does any believing Christian TODAY object to the record of the Gospels, concerning Jesus' life? How could Irenaeus have thought differently, if he HAD, had the 4 Gospels as his foundational faith?
[ For he came to save all through means of Himself -- all, I say, who through Him are born again to God -- infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age; a youth for youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise He was an old man for old men, that He might be a perfect Master for all, not merely as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age, sanctifying at the same time the aged also, and becoming an example to them likewise. Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be 'the first-born from the dead.'
They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, 'to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,' maintain that he preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In speaking thus], they are forgetful to their own disadvantage, destroying His work and robbing Him of that age which is both more necessary and more honorable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also, as a teacher, He excelled all others. ...
Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onward to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, (affirming) that John conveyed to them that information. AND HE REMAINED AMONG THEM UP TO THE TIMES OF TRAJAN [Roman Emperor, A.D. 98-117]. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other Apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to [the validity of ] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe?" (Iren. Adv. Haer. Bk. 2: ch. 22: secs. 3, 4, 5) ]
I have a problem with Matthew and Luke providing SPECIFIC details concerning the birth of Jesus, even quoting the characters' words ... and yet disagreeing on the dating of his birth. That doesn't bother you?
I have a problem with ALL SORTS of disjoints and gaps and collisions occurring amongst the 4 Gospel accounts and have tried to find a plausible explanation for why they're there.
I have a problem with there being NO RECORD of any Jesus Christ in secular history. That's what started my quest in the first place.
But none of those things bother you at all! You think ((I'M)) set in my "belief"?