Oct 18, 2010

The Function of the Amos Quotations in Acts

Huub van de Sandt has noted that the only two quotations from Amos in Acts perform an important thematic function in the book. 

Sandt states, “between the first Amos quotation (punishment of Israel) in Acts 7 and the second (new perspective for the Gentiles) in Acts 15, many chapters are needed to gradually introduce Luke's view that the Gentiles will be saved as Gentiles. Through his accounts in chapters 8 (the actual start of missionary activities aimed at non-Jews), 9 (Paul’s call), 10–11 (Cornelius' story), and 13–14 (the extended mission among the Gentiles), Luke shows how in his time, salvation had come within reach of the nations. In order to substantiate this view, he presents Peter and James in Acts 15 as interpreters of events that recently happened to the Gentiles. The realization of the promise in Amos 9.11–12 was guaranteed by the events taking place in his time. The converted Gentiles are accepted as Gentiles in the restored ‘tent of David’ and will participate in the promises to Israel.”

Huub van de Sandt, “The Minor Prophets in Luke–Acts,” in The Minor Prophets in the New Testament, ed. Maarten J. J. Menken and Steve Moyise, Library of New Testament Studies 377, ed. Mark Goodacre (London: T & T Clark, 2009), 77.


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