In 1980, Jacob Jervell wrote an article entitled, “Mighty Minority,” wherein he asserted that the Jewish segment of early Christianity late in the first century was a significant minority. In 1980, Jacob Jervell probably stood alone as a Mighty Minority among Lucan scholars in asserting that the community for which the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles were written contained a significant Jewish segment. In 1995, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, David Hellholm, Halvor Moxnes, Turid Karlsen Seim as editors published Mighty minorities?: minorities in early Christianity, positions and strategies: essays in honour of Jacob Jervell on his 70th birthday, 21 May 1995. C. K. Barrett, Adela Yarbro Collins, Lars Hartman, David Hellholm and Donald Juel contributed essays.
In 1972, Jacob Jervell had invited scholars to take a new look at Luke-Acts with Luke and the People of God: A New Look at Luke-Acts, (Minneapolis 1972). Since 1972, a number of scholars have challenged the essentially Gentile composition of the Lucan audience by noting the Judaic roots of Christianity as emphasized by Luke. Fletcher-Louis writes “there is a growing consensus, spearheaded by the work of Jacob Jervell, that accepts essential interaction with Jewish concerns and a Jewish readership.”[i] In my opinion the audience of Luke-Acts was predominantly of Jewish background[ii] as was the target of Stark's missionaries.
Jervell asserted there can be no Gentile mission without a mission to Israel at the same time. There is no final rejection by the Jews recorded at the end of Acts.[iii]
Recently I noticed more scholars are quoting and citing approval Jacob Jervell with approval: for instance, Hans Kvalbein, Oskar Skarsaune, James M. Scott and Jostein Adna to name a few. Jacob Jervell no longer stands alone.
[i]. Fletcher-Louis, 19; footnote 83 on page 19 mentions Jervell, Drury, Salmon, Sterling, Evans, Ellis; and 'mixed community' with respect to Esler and Tyson.
[ii]. Anderson, EQ 69:3 (1997), 195-215.
[iii]. Jervell; R.L. Brawley, Luke-Acts and the Jews, (Atlanta Ga. 1987), 155; and Ravens, Luke and the Restoration of Israel, (Sheffield 1995), 255.