Dating the book of acts
(Compare the legend of the Image of Edessa.) The Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (writing c.
325), shows no acquaintance with this work, although he was aware of "Letters of Pilate" referred to by Justin and Tertullian.
It relates the fact that God is in control, and how He protects His faithful servants.
The second section can either be construed as prophecy, or history containing some prophecy, depending on the date one assumes that the book was written.
Justin Martyr wrote, "And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate." The Apology letters were written and addressed by name to the Roman Emperor Pius and the Roman Governor Urbicus. The Acta Pilati have had a long history inspiring devotional works.
A Meditatione sopra la Passione del nostro signore Iesu Christo, drawing in part on Acta Pilati for its expanded anecdotal elements in the Passion, was printed twenty-eight times in Italy between about 14, and inspired the depiction of Christ before Pilate by Pontormo.
The main body of the Gospel of Nicodemus is in two sections, with an appendix, Descensus ad Infernos—the Harrowing of Hell—and is found to be a later addition to some versions including Greek and Latin.
(Allberry 1938: 142, 143, 192), establishes the 3d century as the terminus ad quem for the redaction of the apocryphon, but the Acts had to have originated earlier, between 150 and 200, closer to 150 than to 200.
The distinctive christology of the text, its silence concerning the historical and biblical Jesus, and its distance from later institutional organization and ecclesiastical rites militate for an early dating.
A literature of miracle-tale romance developed around a conflated "Leucius Charinus" as an author of further texts.
The Harrowing of Hell episode depicts St Dismas accompanying Christ in Hell, and the deliverance of the righteous Old Testament patriarchs.
It is divided into two main parts: history and prophecy.