Recent studies on the unity of Luke-Acts have drawn attention to the use of Luke and Acts in the second century (i.e. Andrew Gregory, Markus Bockmuehl, C. Kavin Rowe, F. Bovon). With a few exceptions (Irenaeus, Muratorian Fragment, and possibly Justin Martyr) it seems that Luke and Acts were not read together as one literary unit in the second century. Instead, Luke was read as part of the tetraevangelium and Acts was either read beside the Pauline writings or with the Apostolos or Catholic Epistles. Furthermore, if we look at the various NT codices and papyri we notice that Luke and Acts rarely occur in physical proximity. As far as I can tell, based on my UBS4, the only manuscripts where Luke and Acts are together are:
p45 p53 05
(We could include 01, A, B, and C but these usually comprise the whole NT [i.e. eacpr], so the co-existence of Luke and Acts together there is not significant either way.)
In fact, p53 contains Mt. 26.29-40 and Acts 9.33-10.1. (How about a case for the narrative unity of Matthew-Acts based on this manuscript?)
What do the NT manuscripts tell us about the unity of Luke-Acts? If Luke and Acts were rarely found together in the one manuscript/codex, does that provide further evidence that Luke and Acts were not read as a narative unity by second and third century Christians? Does the dislocation of Luke and Acts assail the coveted assumption of literary critics that Luke-Acts was written as a narrative-unity and read that way by its first-century readers? Or, do we have a situation more analagous to that of Josephus' Antiquities and Against Apion, where the preface to Apion (like that of Acts) refers to a previous work but without actually being an extension of it? After all, Luke ends his Gospel with an ascension narrative, while Acts commences his historiography of Christian Origins with an ascension 40 days after the resurrection. Is the assumption that Luke and Acts were originally one literary unitk, but were separated early in the second century, a valid assumption?
Whether TC can shed any light on this topic is one question. What the significance might be to the unity of Luke-Acts is, however, another.