The book of Acts was recognized as canonical throughout most of the Catholic Christian world by the early third century. Its canonization was due largely to its linking of the Old Testament with the ministries of Jesus, the Jerusalem apostles, Paul, and the "bishops" of Ephesus. In this way it functioned as a unifier of the developing Biblical canon and provided justification for episcopal hermeneutical authority.
Chapters in The Canonical Function of Acts are “The Patristic Use of Acts: Late Second/Early Third Centuries,” “The Patristic Use of Acts: Fourth Century,” “The Patristic Use of Acts: The Works of Bede as Synthesis and Development,” “A Comparative Analysis of the Apocryphal Acts,” “Acts and Contemporary Issues,” and “References to the Holy Spirit in Acts.”
David E. Smith, Ph.D., teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.