I was just reading Geza Vermes book ‘the changing faces of Jesus’ and I came up to the chapter on Acts.
Geza does a great job detailing what titles and terms are used for Jesus and the seperation in the book from the Jerusalem ekklesia to the works of Paul (practically a 2 part writing). Geza does mention that Jesus is not given divine status in the book of Acts…as I have thought previously…based on the titles given and what people call Jesus through-out the book (also the original disciples pal around the temple a lot and hang with Pharisee’s). Acts 1:22 really sums it up:
“”Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know”
Jesus (the Nazarene) – a man – attested/acknowledged by God – with miracles/signs – God performed through Jesus
Geza still only points to John and aspects of Paul’s letters as backing the claim of divinity in Jesus…and those aspects of Paul’s letters may be later additions since Acts does not really get into Jesus as divine whatsoever. The pattern above from Acts 1:22 seems to be the norm through-out the book of Acts concerning Jesus.
From this we can deduce Luke (also written by the same writer as Acts) does not make a claim to Jesus being divine. In fact, I would go as far to put all 3 synoptic gospels in that category…since like 80% each gospel is similar in detail. That takes 4 of the 5 main books out of the equation (which actually quote Jesus or the early church’s movements) as claiming Jesus as divine. John, is the only oddball, and he was written as late as 125 AD/CE….meaning he may have a whole nother agenda at work.