Luke-Acts was written to be read aloud to a group of Jesus-followers gathered in a house to share the Lord’s supper. The author assumes an educated Greek-speaking audience, but directs his attention to specifically Christian concerns rather than to the Greco-Roman world at large. Thus, Luke–Acts was intended as a work of “edification,” the empirical demonstration that virtue is superior to vice. Acts was read as a reliable history of the early church well into the post-Reformation era, but by the 17th century biblical scholars began to notice that it was incomplete and had a theological program.
“Which of you,
Does not first
You have to see
Whether you have enough
To complete it.”
Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην, εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν;
Luke uniquely has Jesus tell this story about intending or wishing to build a tower (Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι). Did they not first sit down (οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας) and calculate the cost (ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην)? They would want to see if they had enough money to complete it (εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν). Luke uniquely used the word ἀπαρτισμόν that means completion or perfection. This story about building a tower would assume a sophistication on the part of his audience. Very few people would have enough assets to build a tower. Do you calculate the cost of things before you start something?