Aug 11, 2012

Preaching as a Theme in Acts

I was recently thinking through the theme of preaching in Acts. My preliminary survey of the material yielded the following four observations. Note this only represents a preliminary examination of the topic and more work certainly needs to be done. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

1. Preaching in Acts is an important part of other themes in Acts including the expansion of the church, the spread of the inclusive gospel, and the ministries of Peter and Paul.

2. At least three different terms are used in Acts for preaching: kērussō “to proclaim, preach” (8x), euangeizō “to preach the good news (15x), didaxē “teach” (15x), didaskō “to teach”(16x).

3. The distinction between preaching and teaching is appears to be arbitrary and therefore, it is hard to distinguish between the two at times. For example, is Peter’s speech at the enrollment of Matthias preaching or teaching or something else (1:16-22, 24b-25)? Part of the issue may be how one defines preaching.

4. It seems likely that the recorded instances of preaching in Acts, especially the sermons, have been narratively compressed. Acts almost certainly contains summaries of both the act of preaching and what was preached.


No comments: