Bruce, F.F. The Book of Acts Revised. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition. “II. Origin and Purpose of Acts” pp. 5-13.
Some have suggested that Acts was a second century composition intended to counter Marcion. Bruce, however, sees Luke and Acts containing overwhelmingly first century ideas, not those of the second century (Bruce 1988, 6). The prologue to Acts details the author’s desire to bring research to bear and provide a reliable narrative. The author was not always an eyewitness. He was a researcher (Bruce 1988, 7). The work has normally been associated with Luke, as has the third Gospel.
Another purpose of Acts could be to show the relatively peaceful intent of Christianity. As mentioned in Acts 28:22, Christianity was opposed in many places. Tacitus observes that Christ was accused of and executed for sedition (Bruce 1988, 8). Luke sets out to clarify the record and exonerate the Christians. Acts demonstrates that the Roman officials largely had no problem with Christians and that the strife was driven by Jewish leaders, not Christians (Bruce 1988, 9).
Acts has often been dated prior to 70 de to the lack of mention of the fall of Jerusalem (Bruce 1988, 10). . Some have also placed it before 65 because Nero’s persecution is not mentioned. However, Bruce considers that the silence could suggest that there were incidents not reflective of the Roman government as a whole. Luke takes Paul to Rome and shows the Gospel spreading. That seems the end of his goal (Bruce 1988, 11). His emphasis is on God’s ability to accomplish his purpose (Bruce 1988, 13).