I think that one of the purposes of Acts is to show continuity of the Petrine and Pauline missions. I don’t go for Baur’s idea that Luke is wilfully smoothing over a vicious rivalry between Peter and Paul; but he does want to highlight continuity. One place where we see this is in the parallel reports of two directions of scattering after Stephen’s martyrdom.
Here’s my sense of the big picture of Acts:
If we zoom in on those two directions of scattering in 8-14, we see a number of differences and parallels:
The thing that I’m intrigued by at the moment is the confrontations between the key apostles and magicians. Simon Peter confronts Simon Magus in 8:14-21. The word ‘Simon’ is not used for Peter, but the contrast between the two Simons was noticed immediately in the interpretation of Acts in church history, and went on to become important in the church’s view of Peter. Saul confronts Sergius Paulus’ magician Bar-Jesus in 13:4-12 – and it is within this section that Luke moves from using the name ‘Saul’ to using the name ‘Paul’ for the apostle to the Gentiles. The fact that this magician is known as ‘Bar-Jesus’ is, of course, another irony. Although there are differences in the accounts, they do seem to carry enough similarities to be an intentional parallel. I guess the point is that Paul has the same penetrating authority that Peter has in confronting evil.