Jul 18, 2009
Something to think about.
For Luke, stories of conversion are stories about beginnings—the beginning of Jerusalem community, the beginning of the church in Samaria and beyond, the beginning of triumph over the church’s enemies. Conversion also begins the response of an individual to a calling (9:15–16) and the response of a community to its calling (11:1–18). Conversion can only be described as part of the Lukan garment.
Beverly Roberts Gaventa, From Darkness to Light: Aspects of Conversion in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), 125.
Jul 17, 2009
Jul 16, 2009
H. Porter Abbott notes concerning repetition that, “Repetition is one of the surest signs of the meaningful. If you are stuck trying to interpret a text, one good question to ask yourself is: What is repeated in this narrative?” With that in mind, it is worth noting that there are several events in Acts that Luke mentions three times. Paul’s conversion (9:1–22, 22:1–23, 26:1–23), the conversion of Cornelius (10:1–48; 11:1–18; 15:7–11 [also alluded to by James in 15:14]), and the prohibitions from the Jerusalem Council (15:20, 29; 21:25) are all mentioned three times. Is it accidental that all three of these triads relate to the mission to the Gentiles?
H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 195.
Jul 15, 2009
Though I cannot endorse all aspects of Beverly Gaventa’s From Darkness to Light, I think that the following summary concerning Paul’s conversion in Acts is helpful.
“Although Paul is not a paradigmatic convert, there are certain assumptions operative in Luke’s narrative that are important to not: (1) Paul’s conversion results from divine initiative; (2) conversion is not an end to itself but a means to growth of the gospel; (3) the narratives we have examined treat and individual conversion in order to savor the experience but always in order to witness.”
Beverly Roberts Gaventa, From Darkness to Light: Aspects of Conversion in the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), 92.
Jul 14, 2009
Jul 13, 2009
According to John T. Squires:
“The exposition of central aspects of the faith is the major type of apologetic activity which is present in Luke-Acts. Two key events have recurred throughout our investigation, for it is these two events which are pivotal to the plan of God and which therefore need to be expounded in some detail. (a) The necessity and centrality of the passion of Jesus is asserted and expounded, in opposition to the deed of the Jewish leaders and the misunderstanding of the disciples, as being central to the plan of God. (b) The integral role of the mission to the Gentiles, as an important part of the plan of God, is asserted and expounded in opposition to Jewish objectives and misgivings on the part of certain Christians. Each of these events is central to the plan of God; each of them is explained by recourse to divine providence.”
John T. Squires, The Plan of God in Luke-Acts Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 76, ed. Margaret Thrall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 194
Jul 12, 2009
The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest from a Bible Exposition perspective include:
J. K. Aitken
The Semantics of Blessing and Cursing in Ancient Hebrew
Reviewed by Yael Avrahami
Rami Arav, ed.
Cities through the Looking Glass: Essays on the History and Archaeology of Biblical Urbanism
Reviewed by Aren Maeir
Donald T. Ariel, Hava Katz, Shelley Sadeh, and Michael Segal
The Dead Sea Scrolls Catalogue
Reviewed by George J. Brooke
The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
Reviewed by J. K. Elliott
Healing, Weakness and Power: Perspectives on Healing in the Writings of Mark, Luke and Paul
Reviewed by Kobus Kok
The Apostle Paul and the Pauline Tradition
Reviewed by Korinna Zamfir
John T. Fitzgerald, ed.
Passions and Moral Progress in Greco-Roman Thought
Reviewed by Wayne A. Meeks
Richard A. Horsley
Wisdom and Spiritual Transcendence at Corinth: Studies in First Corinthians
Reviewed by Anthony C. Thiselton
Darin H. Land
The Diffusion of Ecclesiastical Authority: Sociological Dimensions of Leadership in the Book of Acts
Reviewed by Steve Walton
Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri
Reviewed by J. K. Elliott
Exchange Relationships at Ugarit
Reviewed by Roger S. Nam
Charles B. Puskas and David Crump
An Introduction to the Gospels and Acts
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge