A Jerusalemite source for the list of nations in Acts 2?

David Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous explanations have been offered regarding the origin, content, and significance of the list of nations in Acts 2. Most suggestions propose a source list that Luke has adopted, modified, or mimicked in some way. This article proposes that Luke prepared his list from records or remembrances from the Jerusalem church, who could idenify the nationalities of those who made up the earliest post-pentecost Christian community. In support of this proposal, four lines of evidence are offered: the existence of Elamites and Medes in the first century CE; the Jerusalemite perspective evident in the strange inclusion of “Judea”; the lack of Cilicians on the list, which reflects the oppositional relationship between the early Christians and the Cilician Jews; and the absence of mainland Greeks from the list, which may reflect the financial depression of the region in the first century CE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gospels and Acts Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Acts
  • Jerusalem
  • Source
  • List of nations


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