AbstractThis article drives home some important principles of evangelism by examining the biblical narrative of the Ethiopian
Eunuch. It is an insightful and delightful exposition of a well known biblical narrative but from a distinctive perspective. Originally, this paper was delivered at a plenary session during the
recent Amsterdam 2000 conference of itinerant evangelists, July 29-August 6, 2000.
Adelakun, Adewale J. “Civil Disobedience and Democratic Sustainability in Nigeria: A Study of Acts 5: 17-42.” Ilorin Journal of Religious Studies 6, no. 1 (2016): 17–30.
AbstractCivil disobedience was made famous in the 1950s? protests against racial discrimination in the United States of America. Arising from this are different views on whether it is right or wrong for good citizens to disobey civil authorities. From biblical perspective, civil disobedience is neither condemned nor commended directly but there are cases of individuals and groups of people who refused to obey civil orders in the Bible. In the recent time, the importance of civil disobedience to sustainability of democracy in Nigeria has not been given rapt attention by scholars. Hence, this article examines an act of civil disobedience in Acts 5: 17-42 and its implications for democracy in Nigeria. Using contextual hermeneutical approach, it is argued that civil disobedience is more advantageous than disadvantageous in democratic societies. It is concluded that while Christians are asked to obey all authorities, the New Testament allows non-violent civil disobedience.
Akpunonu, Peter Damian. “The Church and Churches in the Acts of the Apostles.” Revue Africaine de Théologie 13 (1989): 17–30.
AbstractHow does John Calvin view the book of the Acts of the Apostles? What does he see as the benefit of this book for the church of his time? Is he, like so many today, of the opinion that the book of Acts is primarily about the work of the Holy Spirit? Calvin preached and commented on the book of Acts from 1549 to 1554. His commentary is preceded by an Argumentum as well as a number of dedicatory letters (accompanying the respective editions). In these introductory documents Calvin gives the reader insight into his view on the benefit and the theme of Acts. He describes the benefit of the book of Acts primarily from a Christological perspective: the book of Acts paints a picture of the effect that Christ’s death and resurrection had after he ascended into heaven. This benefit takes its most visible form in the theme of Acts, which Calvin subsequently identifies: the beginning of the church. The theme of the book of Acts is therefore defined from an ecclesiological perspective. This article demonstrates the value of studying not only Calvin’s commentaries themselves, but also the introductory documents that accompanied them. In this way, a clear picture of Calvin’s view on the book of Acts is painted.
Alten, Herman H. van. “John Calvin on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in His Commentary on Acts.” Koers 82, no. 2 (2017): 1–13.
AbstractJohn Calvin is often considered to have taught the cessation of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. This certainly does not give the complete picture of how Calvin wrestled with those passages from Scripture which deal with the extraordinary gifts. In his commentary on the book of Acts Calvin makes a conscious effort to show that in most of the cases where the gifts of the Spirit are mentioned, the focus is not on the gifts in a general sense, but in an extraordinary sense. These extraordinary gifts had been limited to the initial phase of the church. The reasons that Calvin provides for this cessation is somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand Calvin indicates a very specific, divine purpose for the gifts, which limits its usefulness and existence until the point when the purpose had been achieved. However, there are also passages where one gets the impression that the cessation of the gifts was not necessarily divinely intended, but was due to human error. Of great importance is the way Calvin subsequently applies these texts to the readers of his own day.
Amewowo, Wynnand. “The Christian Community and Acts of the Apostles.” Biblical Pastoral Bulletin, no. 6 (1987): 31–38.
AbstractLuke used the Jerusalem motif to make the christological point that Jesus was the promised messiah. After surveying Luke's redactional utilization of the Jerusalem motif, the article deals with the role of Jerusalem in Israel's history and religion, and then focuses on Luke's view of Jesus as redeemer of Jerusalem and universal Messiah.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA31-1987-3-1105
Boesak, Allan. “In the Name of Jesus (Acts 4: 12).” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 52 (1985): 49–55.
AbstractContext is critical when discussing what Luke puts forth with his heroes and other narrated characters. To do this, some observations regarding the prevalent intellectual, spiritual atmosphere in a Greco-Roman urban centre are made as well as some suggestions for situating Luke-Acts within this general experience at a possible occasion for a probable audience. Luke basically accepts his society's values. His nuanced and sophisticated way of relating the Jesus story and the heroes of the Jesus movement to contemporary beliefs and values reflects an attempt at reconciliation. It would be quite difficult and complex to retell Luke's stories today, and a few remarks regarding this issue are made.
Bowers, Paul. “The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary.” East Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 6, no. 1 (1987): 44–46.
Brookins, Timothy, Peter Reynolds, and Mikeal Parsons. “In Defense of Peter and Paul : The Contribution of Cramer’s Catena to the Early Reception of Canonical Acts.” Journal of Early Christian History 1, no. 1 (January 1, 2011): 22–39.
AbstractThis article offers translations of ten scholia from the third volume of J. A. Cramer's Catenae Graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum, which collects patristic comments on the book of Acts. The scholia were selected based on two criteria. First, they were not found in published translation elsewhere. Second, they contain a defense of Peter or Paul from impressions of wrongdoing or impropriety which might arise from a reading of the Acts of the Apostles. The selected scholia offer comment on the following passages: Acts 5:5; 10:10; 15:39; 16:7-8, 33-34; 22:27; 23:1-2, 3-5, and include the writings of Ammonius of Alexandria, Maximus the Confessor, and Severus of Antioch (or perhaps Sevarianus of Gabala) as well as a number of anonymous authors (two of which may be attributable to John Chrysostom and Didymus the Blind). The article also includes a brief introduction to Cramer's Catenae generally, and to volume three specifically, and concludes with a summary of the arguments employed in the defense of the apostles by the authorities translated.
Cloete, G. Daan, and Dirkie J. Smit. “‘Its Name Was Called Babel ...’ (Gen 11:9) (Acts 2:8, 11-12).” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 9, no. 86 (1994): 81–87.
AbstractEvents of martyrdom deeply affect the immediate audience as well as the readers of a written account. This effect is induced when the reader relates and sympathises with the martyr. It is therefore imaginable that these powerful voices may be used as emotional leverage for propagating a specific ideology. Sometimes it may even be used to suppress an existing ideology. Two such texts will be investigated: 2 Maccabees 7 and Acts 7. These two texts propagate two entirely different ideologies despite their similar departure in martyrdom. Both texts present the voice of the martyr; both choose martyrdom because of its rhetorical value, but one sacrifices doctrinal consistency for the sake of Judaism, and the other sacrifices Judaism for the sake of doctrinal consistency. This in turn has the effect of a movement from an exclusive ideology in 2 Maccabees 7, to an inclusive ideology in Acts 7.
Cornelius, Elma. “Does Virginity Still Matter in the Modern World? Virginity and the Denial of Marriage in the Acts of Paul and Thecla.” Journal of Early Christian History 5, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 49–71.
AbstractIn the modern world where people are still fascinated by the idea of virginity, the expression 'being a Thecla' or being a 'disciple of Thecla' refers to the state of virginity. This is a reference to Thecla in the ancient apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla. This article attempts to determine whether Thecla's virginity still has relevance in our modern world. This apocryphal work is interpreted as the understanding of the characteristics of Thecla's virginity and the denial of marriage. It transpires that the virginity in this apocryphal work is relevant to both men and women. Through her virginity, Thecla won social freedom, independence of male control and true love. She committed herself to her truelove of Jesus Christ. It is concluded that Thecla's virginity, as a free individual choice for both men and women, still matters in our modern world. However, virginity in modern patriarchal societies, where it is an instrument to control women, is a violent system of oppression of women; this is as negative and unacceptable as Thecla's being forced to marry Thamyris. Virginity for the sake of a career and the freedom to choose married life or not, as we find in our modern world, both fit into Thecla's framework of thinking. Virginity as a health measure to prevent HIV and AIDS does not affect one's freedom to control one's own body and is therefore typical of Thecla's choice. Forced virginity testing of women, however, would be another violent system of oppression.
Dali, Samuel D. “What If...Reverse Mission: Rhetoric or Reality?: Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8.” Brethren Life and Thought 63, no. 2 (2018): 50–56.
AbstractThe Acts of the Apostles is an example of Practice Interpretation – making connections between the Gospel event and our own situation. Pentecost speaks to the situation of the speakers of minority languages, and of those who struggle for the establishing of justice, exemplified in the life of the church in South Africa under apartheid. Acts is the story of the continual inclusion of new groups of people, and of the problems which such inclusion brings. Pivotal events in Acts supply patterns for corporate decision-making. Practice Interpretation of Acts will remind the church that it is a movement before it is an organisation, and that creativity happens at the edge rather than the centre.
De Villiers, Pieter GR. “‘ God Raised Him on the Third Day and Made Him Manifest... and He Commanded Us to Preach to the People...’(Acts 10: 34-40).” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 70 (1990): 55–55.
AbstractSabinet African Journals - reliable research that offers more than 500 African journals, including the African Journal Archive. It is the most comprehensive, searchable collection of full-text African electronic journals available on one platform.
Draper, Jonathan A. “Church-State Conflict in the Book of Acts: A South African Perspective.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 158, no. 97 (1997): 39–52.
AbstractIn the first part of the article the issue of identity is briefly defined and discussed. Several facets of the church's identity in Luke-Acts are identified as elements of a comparative grid. These are: the relationship with Jesus, inclusiveness, vulnerability vs. power, and movements of the Spirit. In the second and third parts the proposed grid is applied to the missional actions and communities in Luke and Acts respectively. The fourth part deals with a possible shift of paradigms from Luke to Acts and also within Acts itself. The paper closes with a few conclusions and gives indications for further investigation.
Du Toit, Philip L. G. “Was Paul Fully Torah Observant According to Acts? : Original Research.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 72, no. 3 (January 1, 2016): 1–9.
AbstractThis article primarily examines the question if the Acts of the Apostles portrays Paul as being fully Torah observant. This question secondarily coheres with the question if it can be derived from Acts whether it was expected of all Christ-believers from the loudaioi to fully adhere to the Torah, or that such a belief was universal in the early church. The conclusions on all of these questions are negative. These conclusions are reached by way of analysing these claims against the text of Acts (mainly 15:1-35; 16:3; 18:18; 21:17-26; 21:39; 22:3, 23:6 and 26:5) in comparison with the principle Paul laid out in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 to be everything to everyone. The latter principle is found to be compatible with the narrative in Acts, although the difference in the approaches of Luke and Paul is acknowledged, especially in terms of their portrayal of the Mosaic Law.
Dube, Zorodzai. “The Ethiopian Eunuch in Transit : A Migrant Theoretical Perspective.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 69, no. 1 (October 31, 2013): 1–7.
AbstractBiblical scholars tend to see the Ethiopian eunuch and court official through the eyes of Philip the evangelist, which is also what the author of the text wants us to do. However, the narrative about the Ethiopian court official is also a story about the experiences of an ancient traveller, and as such, the story invokes the tales of contemporary migrants. In this study, I explore how the story about a sojourning court official intersects with contemporary immigration and identity issues. My study demonstrates how the travelling court official can be used as a figure to think with and how his story mirrors challenges faced by migrant workers today.
Falusi, G. K. “Some Reflections on the Concept of Koinonia in The New Testament, with Particular Reference to Acts and the Pauline Epistles.” Fiorita, Ibid. XIV, 1982, 132–139.
AbstractPaul before the Areopagus (see Acts 17:16-34) displays a theology of evangelization and formation in transition. The episode is an exemplary symbol for missionary groups in the task of evangelization and formation of new candidates.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA41-1997-2-1005
Germiquet, Eddie. “Luke’s Journey Narrative: A Literary Gateway of the Missionary Church in Acts.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 16–29.
AbstractThe article is written in the form of a broad overview of Luke's two-volume work and
focuses on the 'Journey Narrative' with the portrayal of Christians as 'Followers of the
Way' as its dominant theme. Key markers which stand out as dominant characteristics in
Luke's literary structure, are identified and their contribution to the Missionary Church in
Acts briefly discussed. These key markers are: the centrality of the resurrection and its
associated characteristic of justice; the importance of faithfulness to the scriptures in the
light of the resurrection; the setting of people free from that which binds them; their reintegration
as whole people into the society and the commission to being witnesses of
Gilbert, Gary. “The List of Nations in Acts 2: Roman Propaganda and the Lukan Response.” Journal of Biblical Literature 121, no. 3 (2002): 497–529.
AbstractPsalm 16 is one of the most well-known Psalm texts of the Psalter. This can be attributed, among other reasons, to the fact that the NT, specifically the Acts of the Apostles, applied this text to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The quotations from Psalm 16 in the book of Acts thus got a messianic-Christological meaning. If we, however, take a look at the text of Psalm 16, it seems that this psalm does not contain any direct messianic conceptions. Neither does it refer to the resurrection of the flesh. There are, however, features in the Greek translation (LXX) of this psalm which offered an opportunity to the New Testament authors to apply the text to Jesus – specifically to his resurrection from death. In part I this article will focus on the MT text of Psalm 16. Part II will focus on its application in Acts of the Apostles, as well as the hermeneutical background of the author( s) of the Acts.
Groenewald, Alphonso. “Psalm 16 (LXX Ps 15) and Acts of the Apostles Part II.” Old Testament Essays 21, no. 2 (2008): 345–57.
AbstractPsalm 16 is one of the most well-known texts of the Psalter. This can be attributed to, amongst other things, the fact that the NT, specifically Acts of the Apostles, applied this text to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The quotations from Psalm 16 in the book of Acts thus got a messianic-Christological meaning. If we, however, take a look at the text of Psalm 16, it seems that this psalm does not contain any direct messianic conceptions. Neither does it refer to the resurrection of the flesh. There are, however, features in the Greek translation (LXX) of this psalm which offered material to the New Testament authors to apply the text to Jesus - specifically to his resurrection from death. In Part I of this article the focus was on the MT text of Psalm 16. Part II will focus on its application in Acts of the Apostles, as well as the hermeneutical background of the author(s) of Acts of the Apostles. It seems that the Septuagint paved the way for this interpretation of the MT text and that it can be regarded as 'praeparatio evangelica'.
Huggins, Jonathan. “The Providence of God in the Acts of the Apostles.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 113, no. 0 (2014): 1–10.
AbstractIn order to better understand the context of the book of Acts I will look at how the people of his day understood divine providence. Was the author (presumably Luke) presenting an original theological concept? Or was he modifying, or making use of, notions of divine providence already available to his audience? Was there enough overlap between Jewish and Greco-Roman understandings of this idea for Luke to make a commonly understood appeal? Luke, as historian and theologian, clearly appeals to divine providence in his portrayal of how the early church was formed, spread and organized. To begin to answer these kinds of questions, I will begin by looking at the Jewish background and then examine the Greco-Roman background. This will enable us to make better sense of the form of Luke’s presentation of the early church, as well as to understand a prevailing theology of the Holy Spirit present in the early church.
Huizing, Russell L. “Identifying Leaders: The African Eunuch as a Model of Christian Leadership.” Neotestamentica 50, no. 1 (2016): 247–267.
AbstractLuke’s account of the African eunuch in Acts 8:26–40 provides for the modern reader a glimpse into how the early church recognised its leaders. Using socio-rhetorical criticism, the ideological texture of the passage is studied, distinguishing principles within the text similar to the modern theoretical concepts of organisational identity and leadership identification. Drawn from the ideology of Luke are recommendations on using identity as indication of leadership development.
Igba, Jacob T., and Henk G. Stoker. “Salvation in Acts 16: Meaning and Missional Implication Derived from the Sociohistorical Method.” Verbum et Ecclesia 39, no. 1 (September 26, 2018): 1–9.
AbstractIn Acts 16:17, a slave girl proclaims: ‘these men are the servants of the Most High God who have come to show a way of salvation!’ The Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30 asks, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ What do they have in common regarding their understanding of the meaning of salvation? How is it similar or different from the understanding of salvation in Africa? Are these in line with the salvation narrative aim of Luke in Acts 16? Through the sociohistorical method, this paper explores the Greco-Roman context of the slave girl and the jailer. In this process, a contextual similarity between the Greco-Roman context and the African context is identified and the impact of these contexts on the understanding of the meaning of salvation is examined. Placed in conversation with the Lukan meaning of salvation in the passage, an alternative meaning of salvation emerges, along with implications for the Greco-Roman and African contexts.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article shows interdisciplinarity by an engagement with a theological concept through the utilisation of the sociohistorical method in generating meaning and understanding of a New Testament text. It navigates the disciplines of New Testament, Biblical Studies, Mission and Apologetics.
Igba, Jacob T., Risimati S. Hobyane, and Henk G. Stoker. “Salvation in Acts 16:16-40 : A Socio-Historical Exploration of the Graeco-Roman Understanding: Research.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75, no. 3 (January 1, 2019): 1–7.
AbstractThis article demonstrates the value of understanding the socio-historical background of a specific text in the task of interpretation and the search for meaning. This is done here by utilising the socio-historical method in the search for meaning and understanding of the concept of salvation in the narrative about the slave girl in Acts 16. Substantial integration of the understanding of words and concepts at the time of writing the text and the cultural and social background is relevant and leads to an in-depth understanding of the Biblical text and is therefore essential for thorough New Testament studies. Through the socio-historical method, the article explores the Graeco-Roman understanding of salvation as a necessary precursor to arrive at the meaning of salvation in Acts 16. Theos upsistos [Most High God] and the Lukan usage of ?????? ?????? [python spirit] are explored in the light of their Graeco-Roman allusion in relation to the girl who was a slave in the narrative of Acts 16. The article argues that Luke’s point in the narrative is to expose, engage, challenge and counter the long-held assumptions about what is the meaning of salvation and how to obtain it. The article contributes an exemplification of the use of the socio-historical method towards the broader and in-depth understanding and credible meaning-making of the Acts 16 text. The article challenges assumptions about the point of the text in the narrative of Acts 16 and opens up possibilities for further interpretation that could be found meaningful to modern-day interpreters of the text.
Igenoza, Andrew O. “The Vaticinia Ex Eventu Hypothesis and the Fall of Jerusalem: The Perspectives of Luke Acts and African Culture.” Africa Theological Journal 24, no. 1 (2001): 3–16.
AbstractThe author of Luke-Acts presents a ?messianic kingdom theology? – a synthesis of Christology and ecclesiology woven with the chord of soteriology. This theology has often been reduced in many a study by isolating Christology or some other aspect of Luke‘s theology as his focus. Reading Luke-Acts from a language-in-life-situation hermeneutic reveals that Luke weaves the ideas of a people of God in unfavourable condition with those of a community messiah concerned with the wellbeing of his people in presenting the Jesus story. He projects two prongs of this theology: Prompted by his royal theology, Jesus Messiah challenged the dehumanisation and oppression of the vulnerable of his society through campaigns to create a new society built on respect for human dignity and the rights of the people (Luke). His commissioners after him continued his liberation and human rights advocacies and completed the formation of his messianic countercultural community (the ????????), in spite of fierce opposition from a coalition of Jewish parties and Roman imperial officials (Acts). This article suggests and traces this synthetic theology of the messianic kingdom in Luke-Acts based on Luke‘s motivation and goal in writing.
Isizoh, Chidi D. “A Reading of the Areopagus Speech (Acts 17, 22-31) from the African Traditional Religious Perspective.” African Christian Studies 14, no. 2 (1998): 1–25.
AbstractAfter suggesting that there is a striking similarity between the religious disposition of the Greeks as described in Paul's Areopagus speech in Acts 17:22-31 and African traditional religionists, the article examines the text of the speech from the point of view of a reader in African traditional religion. It treats the religiosity of the people, religious artifacts in worship, concepts of God, judgment of the world, and return to life after death. It concludes that the important vocabulary found in the Areopagus speech is not foreign to Africans.--C.R.M. Abstract Number: NTA43-1999-3-1783
Jabini, Frank. “Witness to the End of the World : A Missional Reading of Acts 8:26-40.” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 13, no. 03 (March 1, 2012): 51–72.
AbstractIn Acts 1:8, Christ told his disciples that they will be his witness 'to the ends of the earth'. The article argued that Philip's encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 was the beginning of a witness among people who were considered to live at the end of the world. In this article, the biblical account was read from a missional exegetical perspective, and. it discussed the sharing of Christ in a personal encounter and the Christ-centred message based on a translation of the Word of God. This event opened the door for an African to join the worldwide church, the body of Christ. The article concludes with the identification of five general principles that are significant for the church today in light of this passage.
Jantsch, Torsten. “The God of Glory : Explicit References to God in Discourses in the Acts of the Apostles (7:2–53; 14:15–18; 17:22–31).” Stellenbosch Theological Journal 4, no. 2 (2018): 197–222.
AbstractThis essay offers insight into Luke’s concept of God by analysing three sections in which God is explicitly a topic of discussion. These sections are Stephen’s apology (Acts 7:2–53), the account of Paul’s and Barnabas’ mission in Lystra (Acts 14:8–18), and the Areopagus speech (Acts 17:22–31). Because these texts share similar motifs, they can be said to constitute an argumentative series. In these sections, Luke provides a coherent concept of God comprised of many motifs from Luke-Acts. The central motif is that God created the world, which results in God’s self-sufficiency. Therefore, a worship with neither sacrifices nor temple is the appropriate response to God as a selfsufficient, transcendent, spiritual, and perfect being that is completely different from every mortal being on earth.
Jerkins, Marcus. “The Dynamism of Blackness in An Ethiopian Story and Acts.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 46, no. 3 (2019): 307–26.
Kalu, O. “Luke and the Gentile Mission : A Study on Acts 15.” African Journal of Biblical Studies 1, no. 1 (1986): 59-65 N1-Accession Number: NTA0000005469; Issued by ATLA: 20190715; Publication Type: article; Abstract Number: NTA33-1989-1–221.
AbstractThe apostolic decree of Acts 15 presupposes a pluralistic cultural context. Jews were to keep their laws, but Gentiles were only to obey those laws that are for all times and places. The observance of these laws would in no way constitute cultural imperialism carried under the guise of the gospel or fear of syncretism.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA33-1989-1-221
Keener, Craig. “Novel’s ‘Exotic’ Places and Luke’s African Official (Acts 8:27).” Andrews University Seminary Studies (AUSS) 46, no. 1 (2008): 5–20. digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3009&context=auss.
AbstractThe principle that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35) sets the sharing of goods within the community of Christian believers apart from all other groups in the 1st century a.d. Luke wishes us not only to admire the sharing spirit of the churches in Jerusalem and Antioch but also to see the basis of this spirit in the life and teaching of Jesus (see Lk 9:10-17 parr.).--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA44-2000-3-1781
Koech, Joseph. “The Spirit Motif in Luke 4:14-30; Acts 1:8 and the Church Today.” Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 27, no. 2 (2008): 155–76.
Abstract[Due to the popularity of the name Marcus, C. Clifton Black has argued that there is no necessary identity between the John Mark of the book of Acts (12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37-39) with the Mark(s) found in the Pauline corpus (Col 4:10; Phlm 24; 2 Tim 4:11), the first epistle of Peter (1 Pet 5:13) or the writings of Papias of Hierapolis (cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.15). On the contrary, this paper will propose that the author of Luke-Acts was not only aware of Mark's connection with Paul and Barnabas, but also critically interacted with the developing traditions about the evangelist Mark. The positive and negative aspects of the literary characterization of John Mark may be a clue to the ambivalent reception of Mark's gospel in Luke-Acts.]
Kovacs, Frank, John Gosling, and Francois Viljoen. “The Lukan Covenant Concept : The Basis of Israel’s Mandate in Luke-Acts : Original Research.” Verbum et Ecclesia 34, no. 1 (January 1, 2013): 1–9.
AbstractUpon analysis of Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles conjoined theoretically in the reading event, the basis of Israel's mandate became pellucid in Lukan terms. This kind of analysis required the viable assumption of conceptual unity behind the gospel and Acts, and the application of the appropriate methodological approach of structural criticism. Morphosyntactical analysis yielded positive results that suggested text-based evidence concerning Israel's calling. It was observed that the covenant concept presented in its operative aspect of service to God was the basis of Israel's mandate. Luke and Acts appeared to agree that Israel was called to live in obedient righteousness following the call to Abraham to walk blamelessly. The covenant-based calling was affirmed by Isaianic allusions to Israel's mandate to be a light to the nations in her righteousness. The mandate's disruption had disabled Israel, requiring the resolution of God's deliverance.
Le Roux, Jurie H. “The Different Manifestations of Suffering and the Lukan Jesus.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75, no. 3 (November 14, 2019).
AbstractEben Scheffler wrote much on poverty and social injustice, and this article focusses on his understanding of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts in order to comprehend the different dimensions of suffering and the healing ministry of the Lukan Jesus. Scheffler stressed that Jesus’ life, from birth to cross, was immersed in suffering thus becoming part of the human condition of sorrow and misery, but Scheffler ultimately stressed the compassion of Jesus’ ministry which continued in the early church and which must be reflected by his followers to all people.
Le Roux, L. V. “Style and the Text of Acts 4:25(A).” Neotestamentica 25, no. 1 (September 1, 1991): 29–32.
AbstractThis essay undertakes a comparative analysis of the Song of Moses and Paul's speech to the Athenians. One incentive for doing so is the opportunity to address the issue of whether Paul overly diluted his proclamation of the gospel to accommodate the proclivities of his pagan (gentile) audience. A second motivation for considering the relationship between these two portions of scripture is that this topic has received only a cursory consideration in the secondary academic literature. This study concludes that at a literary, conceptual, and linguistic level, Paul connected his message to the Athenians with the theological perspective of the Song of Moses (and more broadly with that of the Tanakh). Another determination is that the apostle did not weaken his declaration of the good news to oblige the tendencies of his listeners. Rather, Paul examined the most exemplary archetypes of secular philosophical thought in his day, compared their dogmas to the truths of scripture, and declared how God's Word is infinitely superior.
Loba-Mkole, Jean-Claude. “The Social Setting of Jesus’ Exaltation in Luke-Acts (Lk 22:69 and Ac 7:56).” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 61, no. 1–2 (March 1, 2005): 291–326.
AbstractThis article presents a model for "intercultural exegesis" and applies this model to Luke 22:69 and Acts 7:56. In this process, the term "Son of Man" is approached from two perspectives: that of a biblical culture in the first century Graeco-Roman world, and that
of a current Christian culture in Africa. The study concludes that the "Son of Man" concept in the selected texts not only includes a reference to the eschatological saviour, judge and defender, but also creates a sense of Jesus' solidarity with his fellow human beings. Such an understanding
would certainly have led to Jesus' exaltation by his followers, who lived under conditions of social turmoil in the Graeco-Roman world of the first century, and would lead to such an exaltation by those who experience similar circumstances in Africa today.
Lotter, George A., and Glendon G. Thompson. “Acts 17:16-34 as Paradigm in Responding to Postmodernity : Research Article.” In Die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi 39, no. 4 (December 1, 2005): 695–714.
AbstractActs 17:16-34 as paradigm in responding to postmodernity This article shows, in the description of Acts 17:16-34, important guidelines that may be found from Biblical material and how to understand and respond to postmodernity today. The main argument of this article is discussed under the following headings: Paul and Hellenistic pluralism; idols and gods: pluralism par excellence; Paul in Athens: prolegomena (Acts 17: 16-21) and Paul's address to the Areopagus (Acts 17:22-34). Similarities between the situation in Athens will subsequently be discussed, followed by guidelines from Acts 17 to address postmodernity: the primacy of Biblical revelation, the utilisation of apologetics and flexibility through contextualisation. Finally, it will be shown how Paul did not assume a combative posture, but how with admirable delicacy, he challenged and corrected the major positions of the Stoics and the Epicureans, whilst being sensitive towards the Athenians. He portrayed how the message of the gospel can be conveyed by speaking relevantly and pointedly in the same manner to postmodern society.
Manus, Chris U. “Conversion Narratives in the Acts : A Study on Lucan Historiography.” Indian Theological Studies 22, no. 2 (1985): 172–95.
AbstractAfter surveying the three accounts of Paul's conversion in Acts (9:3-19; 22:6-16; 26:12-18), the article relates them to OT prophetic call narratives and compares them with Paul's account in Gal 1:6-19. Then it highlights some critical issues raised by the texts and explores their similarities and dissimilarities. With their emphasis on Paul's prophetic mission, Luke's conversion narratives helped readers to form a good estimate of Paul's value as an apostle and witness, as a missionary called by the Lord as the Twelve were.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA30-1986-3-1154
Manus, Chris U. “The Areopagus Speech (Acts 17:16-34): A Study of Luke’s Approach to Evangelism and Its Significance in the African Context.” Africa Theological Journal 14, no. 1 (1985): 3–18.
AbstractThis article affirms the presence of the intentional consciousness in texts which purport to depict reality or real events. Intentionality, in the context of this article, is not conceived as a pre-existing thought or idea, which precedes the text, but as something which inheres in the text and is produced in it. The Cartesian split between consciousness and being which the former conception enacts is here elided and authorial intention is seen as something which is reproduced in the processes of writing and interpretation. This distinction is significant because the main argument of this article is that authorial intention in texts that purport to depict real events and intervene in a particular socio-historical process for mobilisational purposes, leads to the production of a certain kind of text which deploys specific narrative strategies that consolidate its reading and rendering of events and reinforce narrative closures. These intentionally motivated closures are embedded in narrative strategies, which are seen as both necessary and imperative for the consolidation and legitimation of the message and to foreclose other readings. Very briefly, this article seeks to reinscribe the agency of the author in his/her intentional stance with regard to the text. It further shows how this agency is enacted within the world of the text.
Moon, Sewon, and Jeremy Punt. “Jesus and His Apostles as Prophets Par Excellence in Luke-Acts.” Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa 112, no. 1 (January 1, 2013): 1–10.
AbstractIn Luke-Acts, Jesus and his Apostles are characterized by language that is reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets, particularly Moses and Elijah. This article atttempts to understand the meaning of such characterization in the narrative world of Luke-Acts. This world includes the frameworks of Judaism of the first century as a hierocratic symbolic empire, the perception of the prophet par excellence like Moses in Judaism, and the plot and geographical movement of Luke-Acts. This article argues that the earthly Jesus (Lk. 4:16-30) and the Twelve Apostles after the Pentecost (Acts 2) are characterized in Luke-Acts as prophets par excellence who confront the current hierocratic symbolic empire, participating in the making and renewal of the Covenant, which underlies the identity of God's people.
Mtshiselwa, Ndikho. “In Chains, yet Prophetic! An African Liberationist Reading of the Portrait of Paul in Acts 27 : Original Research.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 71, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 1–9.
AbstractNew Testament scholars have argued that Luke-Acts presents an apologetic historiography and political propaganda which portrayed Roman officials as saviours of the world. The problem with the discourse on the apologetic historiography and political propaganda in Luke-Acts is that the presence of various forms of oppression behind and in the text becomes hidden. Thus, it is pertinent to highlight the reality of oppression as well as the prophetic voice that responded to them, as illustrated by the text of Acts 27. In this article, Lucky Dube's Mickey Mouse freedom song is employed as a hermeneutical tool to unlock the meaning of Acts 27, and to argue that whereas Acts 27 contains an apologetic narrative, Paul's prophetic voice is equally evident in the chapter. From an African liberationist perspective, lessons are therefore drawn from Acts 27 regarding the liberationist prophetic voice of Paul. In the end, this article sees Paul's prophetic voice as an embodiment of both resilience and resistance in the face of imperialism and chains (oppression).
Mutavhatsindi, Muthuphei A. “The Preliminary Urban Missionary Outreach of the Apostle Paul as Referred to in Acts 13–14.” Verbum et Ecclesia 38, no. 1 (February 28, 2017): 10.
AbstractThe objective of this article is to deal precisely and systematically with the preliminary urban missionary outreach of the apostle Paul as referred to the book of Acts, chapters 13–14. This article covers an ample spectrum of Paul’s mission work together with his companions. The book of Acts gives us a full exposition of the Holy Spirit as the primary agent of mission. The Holy Spirit led the church in Antioch of Syria in the dedication of Paul and Barnabas for their mission work which was specifically to the Gentiles as the Jews who were given the first preference rejected the Gospel (Ac 13:46). Christ in Acts 9:15 indicated his intention of choosing Paul as his chosen vessel to bear his name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel, and this commission of Paul to the Gentiles was also referred to in Acts 22:21. The result of the apostles’ propagation of the Word of God was that many Gentile people from different cities repented and became Christians. Although the apostles encountered many challenges and opposition, their initial campaign ended in a good mode, as they experienced the wonderful works of God to the Gentiles as God had opened a door of faith (salvation) among the Gentiles. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article deals with missiological issues as it refers to Paul, who together with his crew encountered many challenges in their mission work like an opposition, expulsion, exaltation, stoning and so on. Even though they faced those challenges, they did not evacuate their responsibility of propagating the Word of God in different metropolitan areas. Thus where the element of ‘perseverance of the saints’ of the Reformed Dogmatics comes in.
Mworia, Thadei A. “The Missionary Techniques in Acts.” Revue Africaine de Théologie 19, no. 37 (1995): 21–36.
AbstractThis article argues that Luke’s characterisation of Zechariah and the other ordinary priests in Acts 6:7 represents the most striking characterisation of the priesthood in the Gospels. This positive depiction, seen against the generally stereotypical image of chief priests in the Gospels, makes Zechariah’s image that of a model priest. Such characterisation demonstrates that despite Jewish hostility towards early Christianity, not all Jewish priests were against early Christianity. Through this, the article presents a fascinating and obscure dimension of the Jewish priesthood and, therefore, helps uncover the hidden voices in the gospels’ representation of Jewish priesthood.
Nel, Marius. “The Pentecostal Movement’s View of the Continuity of Tongues in Acts and 1 Corinthians.” In Die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi 51, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 1–7.
AbstractPentecostals see a continuity between the speaking in languages as a part of the filling or baptism with the Spirit in Acts 2 and the other four incidents in Acts (8, 9, 10, 19). This is also the case of the phenomenon described in 1 Corinthians 12–14, and their own experience, in contradistinction to most Protestants who regard the gift of tongues in terms of Acts 2’s description. It is described as the miraculous ability to speak in real foreign languages with the purpose to reach people from different nationalities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this article the pentecostal claim of continuity between the speaking in languages in Acts and Corinthians and our own day is being analysed and criticised. The position poses several questions that need to be addressed, like the seeming and presumed discontinuity between languages in Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians, with the modern pentecostal phenomenon of speaking in languages related to what happened in 1 Corinthians and not in Acts. The implication is that a difference exists between the languages used by the Galileans on the Day of Pentecost and the phenomenon of languages occurring in the Corinthian assembly – with the Corinthian assembly associated with the modern charismatic movement. This poses the question whether a differentiation between speaking in languages in Acts and the phenomenon designated with the same term in 1 Corinthians is sustainable; also whether the identification of modern Pentecostals with the Corinthian phenomenon is allowed.
Nell, Ian A. “Leadership in Acts through a Social Capital Lens : Original Research.” Verbum et Ecclesia 30, no. 2 (2009): 1–7.
AbstractSocial capital can be defined in various ways. In most of these definitions at least three dimensions can be distinguished. First there is 'bonding' (the horizontal relationships between people operating within different social networks and with specific norms and values). The second dimension is 'bridging' (bonds that transcend differences in religion, ethnicity, culture and socioeconomic status). This dimension prevents horizontal ties from becoming the basis for narrow and even sectarian interests. Normally, a third dimension called 'linking' also forms part of social capital, and ideological aspects come into focus here. This dimension includes aspects such as justice, political power and the equitable distribution of income and property. When leadership in Acts is analysed through the lenses of these multi-focal spectacles, interesting perspectives are discovered that can enrich theories on leadership. These discoveries can also open up new perspectives on aspects of being a missional church in our South African context from within the context of Acts.
Ng’ang’a, Moses N. “The Theological Significance of Acts 17:24-28 for Resolving Tribal Conflicts: A Case Study of Molo Constituency, Kenya.” Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 27, no. 1 (2008): 35–44.
Ngele, Omaka K., and Prince E. Peters. “A Critical Study of Acts 6:1–3 and Its Implications for Political Restructuring in Nigeria.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75, no. 4 (October 31, 2019): 8.
AbstractThe nascent church in Jerusalem represented in Acts 6 verses 1–3 was promptly challenged by the problem of inequity and lack of fair play among the various stakeholders and such disaffection reached a situation of murmur and open agitation. This challenge to the apostles was a threat to the consolidation of the already established Christian community in Jerusalem and its spread to the whole world. Something must be done to arrest the situation or the Church runs the risk of disintegration. Having some moral lessons drawn from the pericope at the back of the mind, one notices that recently there has been a clamour by the different geopolitical groups in Nigeria to restructure the Nigerian political system. The clamour is based on the failed position of post-war federalism to give all parts of Nigeria’s pluralistic society a fair and equal representation which hitherto was meant to stop Nigeria from another civil war or the cry for cessation by one region or another. The church, as an impartial umpire in the art of politics, should, in the midst of the turmoil, serve as the conscience of the masses, pressing hard to the actualisation of the demands of the masses. The study, through historical-critical method of biblical scholarship with Form criticism, analysed that situation of agitation to inequality and gross misrepresentation in the book of Acts 6:1–3, pressing to offer vital lessons to Nigeria in her quest for political restructuring. It concluded by finding out that Nigeria’s pluralistic nature, when restructured, should be a catalyst for global vision attainment and sustainable development.
Ngugi, J. Njoroge wa. “Stephen’s Speech in Acts 7:1-53 as a Challenge for Enculturation in Catechesis.” African Christian Studies 18, no. 1 (2002): 34–66.
AbstractThis article investigated the challenges associated with being a missional church in an everchanging world and possible patterns to live missionally in new contexts. The need for Christian missions to be radically contextual in facing up to these changes provided the basis for this study to build on the importance of context and the ways in which the early church in Acts reinvented itself continually in facing up to new challenges, opportunities, peoples, cultures and questions. The way in which the faith community emerged as a church when it became aware of its boundary-breaking mission was explored by using the seven phases in the development of the mission of the church, as identified by Bevans and Schroeder in their groundbreaking theology of missions. By reflecting on these seven phases, this article formulated patterns for a missional church.
Njoroge wa Ngugi, J. “Stephen’s Speech in Acts 7:1-53 as a Challenge for Enculturation in Catechesis.” African Christian Studies 18, no. 1 (2002): 34–66.
AbstractCivil right violations appear to be increasing in Ghana. Some of the events leading to civil rights abuse are similar to what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi. While Paul was aware of his right as a Roman citizen, many Ghanaians are unaware of their rights. This work examined the arrest of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-40. Through critical analysis of the relevant verses of the passage, elements of civil right violations were identified. This was then related to the Ghanaian situation where aspects of civil rights abuse were also identified. Remedial lessons were drawn from the text and applied to the Ghanaian context. The study recommends the need for intensive civil right education in Ghana. Moreover, it is necessary that the judiciary and police force should be independent and the law of the nation be applied indiscriminately. The study concludes that these issues could serve as some of the possible corrective actions that can address the challenge of human right violations in Ghana.
Odede, Calisto. “The Foundations and Future of Christian Missions in Africa: An Exposition of Acts 10:1-11:18.” AICMAR Bulletin 5 (2006): 33–50.
AbstractThe article examines Acts 17:16-34 with regard to its potential for highlighting the need to minister to the educated. The discussion centers on approach and method, the social context of the passage, analysis and interpretation, and application today. This text provides a lesson in realism, showing how to effect genuine and lasting social and religious change. It challenges the church in Africa to focus its ministry on the educated through whom modern Africa has been ruined.--C.R.M. Abstract Number: NTA34-1990-1-235
Osei-Bonsu, Joseph. “The Intermediate State in Luke-Acts.” Irish Biblical Studies 9, no. 3 (1987): 115–130.
AbstractIn the personage and movement of Simon Kimbangu there arose in Lower Zaire a socio-political and religious awakening. This awakening signaled internal indigenous and external colonial dissatisfaction and structural critique. As Kimbangu's religious healing ministry intensified, so too did the movement spread and become diversified in more-religious to more-political nativistic movements. In the process, Kimbangu became the prophetic hero-figure of all pre-independent Zairian social movements. The methodological strategy herein is that of a diachronic "mapping out" of the major socio-historical factors which created, sustained, and energized the Kimbanguist and "pseudo-Kimbanguist" movements in their religious and political trajectories.
Petzer, J. H. “St Augustine and the Latin Version of Acts.” Neotestamentica 25, no. 1 (1991): 33–50.
AbstractThis article seeks to classify Augustine's citations from Acts in an attempt to identify the Latin text-types known to him. It is argued that he knew at least four Latin text types of Acts, since he cites from three major Latin text-types, the African text (K) and the two European texts, D and I, as well as a local text-type found in only very few other witnesses. He does not seem to have known the Vulgate, as he does not cite from it.
Plessis, Johann du. “Models for Missional Churches in Acts.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 1–15.
AbstractIn the first part of the article the issue of identity is briefly defined and discussed. Several
facets of the church's identity in Luke-Acts are identified as elements of a comparative grid.
These are: the relationship with Jesus, inclusiveness, vulnerability vs. power, and
movements of the Spirit. In the second and third parts the proposed grid is applied to the
missional actions and communities in Luke and Acts respectively. The fourth part deals
with a possible shift of paradigms from Luke to Acts and also within Acts itself. The paper
closes with a few conclusions and gives indications for further investigation.
Punt, Jeremy. “Countervailing ‘Missionary’ Forces: Empire and Church in Acts.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 45–59.
AbstractScholarly consensus has long held that Acts was intended as some sort of Christian apology
to the ruling authorities, serving to allay the fears of the imperial forces and their
collaborators that the followers of Jesus posed no political threat. This scholarly edifice has
been eroded somewhat, among others by the position that the source and direction of the
apology were the reverse of the consensus position – a promotion of the imperial regime
among followers of Jesus. Given these and other understandings of the imperial setting
portrayed in Acts, the relationship between Acts and Empire clearly remains an unfinished
and important discussion. Such interpretative positions regarding the relationship between
Acts and Empire are briefly reviewed amidst first-century conceptions and positions of power,
before highlighting a number of instances in Acts where this relationship comes to a head,
suggesting also four possible avenues for further investigation.
Punt, Jeremy. “The Accusation of ‘world Disturbers’ (Acts 17:6) in Socio-Political Context : Original Research.” Verbum et Ecclesia 37, no. 1 (January 1, 2016): 1–8.
AbstractActs 17:1-9 presents a narrative of the consequences of Paul's engagements in Thessalonica's synagogue. Following Paul and Silas' reported successful 3-week mission, some Jews hauled Paul and Silas' host, Jason, and a number of Jesus followers before the authorities. The three fold accusation was that Paul and Silas turned the world upside down, acted against Caesar's decrees and claimed another king, Jesus. This incident is investigated from the perspective of Acts' presentation of competing missions, in the context of the intersectionality of religion and politics in the 1st century CE. The article challenges a narrow theological interpretation of Acts 17, insisting on the need for and value of a socio-political interpretive lens to make sense of the rhetoric of this chapter. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article challenges a narrow theological interpretation of Acts 17, insisting on the need for and value of a socio-political interpretive lens to make sense of the rhetoric of this chapter.
Rakotojoelinandrasana, Daniel. “The Gospel in Adversity. Reading Acts 16:16-34 in African Context.” Word & World XXI, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 191–97.
AbstractThe funding of the church according to the book of Acts: Was it socialistic or capitalistic? Furthermore, can this model of giving be developed and defended that promotes and integrates the believer and his material possessions while at the same time respecting the believer as an autonomous agent, who, as such, may be led by the Holy Spirit to give up all his possessions in support of the work of the church?
Rinquest, Linzay. “One for the Money, Two for the Show : The Case of Ananias and Sapphira. A Sermon Based on Acts 4:32 - 5:11,” 2007.
AbstractThe fact that ???? ???? and? ???? ??? ???? occur relatively seldom as a terminology for Jesus, enhances the difficulties surrounding the study of these terms with the regard to Jesus. The predicate ???? is used four times only with reference to Jesus viz. 3 : 13, 26; 4 : 27, 30. In the first two instances it occurs as part of the speech of Peter in the colonnade of Solomon, while the other references are found in the prayer of the congregation after Peter and John had been threatened by the Jewish Council.
Roberts, J. H. “Ekklesia in Acts - Linguistic and Theology: A Venture in Methodology.” Neotestamentica 7, no. 1 (January 1, 1973): 73–93.
AbstractSabinet African Journals - reliable research that offers more than 500 African journals, including the African Journal Archive. It is the most comprehensive, searchable collection of full-text African electronic journals available on one platform.
Rosica, T. M. “The Road to Emmaus and the Road to Gaza: Luke 24:13-35 and Acts 8:26-40.” The Road to Emmaus and the Road to Gaza: Luke 24:13-35 and Acts 8:26-40 68, no. 2 (1994): 117–31.
Sauer, Christof. “Missio Dei and Compassio Dei: Minority Christians Experiencing God’s Acts in the Face of Hostility.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 60–65.
AbstractThis article examines what we can learn about being a 'missional church' from reading the
book of Acts, with a minority Christian community experiencing God's acts in the face of
hostility. Romanian theologian Josef Ton discovers three lessons on suffering and
martyrdom in the book of Acts: understanding the sovereignty of God, regarding suffering
for Christ as a privilege and honour, and trusting the leading and empowering of the Holy
Scheffler, Eben. “Caring for the Needy in the Acts of the Apostles.” Neotestamentica 50, no. 3 (2016): 131–65.
AbstractIn his portrayal of Jesus in his Gospel, Luke (more than any other evangelist) emphasises the care for people in various situations of suffering and need (physical and psychological needs, poverty, political enmity, ostracism, guilt [regarding sin]). The purpose of this article is to probe to what extent these various needs are cared for in the book of Acts. It is concluded that the apostles are portrayed in Acts (similarly as in the Gospel) as indeed continuing to care for the needy (confirming the single authorship of Luke-Acts), though the focus on spreading the word and making converts appears to be more central. Furthermore, the book of Acts appeals to Christianity (ancient and modern) to similarly care for the needy in afflicted societies as the latter forms an integral part of Luke’s missionary vision to spread the gospel.
Sim, David C. “How Many Jews Became Christians in the First Century? The Failure of the Christian Mission to the Jews.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 61, no. 1/2 (2005).
AbstractThis study examines the early Christian mission(s) to the Jews, and attempts to determine, albeit speculatively, the number of Jews in the Christian movement in the first century. It is argued that the combined Christian mission was marked by a distinct lack of success. Neither the Law-observant gospel of the Jerusalem church nor the Law-free gospel of the Hellenists and Paul made much impression upon the people of Israel. Throughout the first century the total number of Jews in the Christian movement probably never exceeded 1 000 and by the end of the century the Christian church was largely Gentile.
Speckman, McGlory T. “Healing and Wholeness in Luke-Acts as Foundation for Economic Development : A Particular Reference to OJloklhrija in Acts 3 : 16.” Neotestamentica 36, no. 1/2 (January 1, 2002): 97–109.
AbstractPost-apartheid South Africa needs the healing of memories, bodies, relationships, etc. This will create conditions for social and economic development. Luke-Acts seems to have something to say in such a situation, dealing as it does with a range of social and economic issues. This paper focuses on the word oJloklhrija (Acts 3:16), a word which describes what happened to the former beggar whose condition was transformed after his encounter with Peter and John. It also highlights aspects of the miracle Acts 3 : 1-10 which are relevant for the context of socio-economic development in South Africa today. The conclusions are that physical and mental health, productivity, participation in the processes of production, and the need for a holistic approach to ministry and community service are of utmost importance if economic stability is to be achieved in South Africa.
Speckman, McGlory T. “Jesus and the Tyche of Jerusalem : A Reflection on the Mission of Jesus in Luke 19:41-44 with Special Reference to the Mission of Kairos in Greek Mythology.” Missionalia: Southern African Journal of Missiology 42, no. 3 (November 2014): 168–91.
AbstractThe paper argues that Luke 19:41-44 has, since the publication of the Kairos Document in South Africa in 1985, been understood in eschatological terms by biblical scholars and missiologists. However, when read as an episode in a long narrative of Luke-Acts which is about the fortune (tyche) of Israel and against the backdrop of the mission of Kairos in Greek mythology, the picture suddenly changes. The episode becomes a watershed point between the rejected ministry of Jesus and the future mission of the church (the Way) which provides countless opportunities to individuals and groups who fail to recognise and snatch the first opportunity presented to them. The conclusion of the paper is that unlike Kairos, son of Zeus who offered a lifetime opportunity to individuals, Jesus, the representative of God offers countless opportunities to all who turn to the Way that leads to him. A foundation for the latter is laid in the gospel while it continues in the Acts of the Apostles.
Spencer, Aida B. “A Style Study of the Apostle Paul's Communication with Festus and Agrippa : The Use of Literary Koine Greek in Acts 25:14-22; 26:1-29 : Original Research.” In Die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi 50, no. 4 (2016): 1–7.
AbstractThis article defines style, stylistics and literary koine Greek and analyses the literary koine Greek employed in Luke's recording of the Apostle Paul's court case at Caesarea in Acts 25:14- 22; 26:1-29. The principles and methodology in stylistics are explained and an overview of some of the style studies in the last 30 years is made. Paul demonstrates a literary style of Greek when speaking with Festus and Agrippa. Stylistics defines 'style' as the choices an author makes (whether conscious or subconscious) amongst linguistic possibilities (usually but not always a choice amongst grammatical possibilities). In grammatical studies, rhetoric is the manner of writing. Style study helps to observe the author's emphasis, analogies and message, and helps with the appreciation of communication.
Stenschke, Christoph W. “The Presentation of Jesus in the Missionary Speeches of Acts and the Mission of the Church.” Verbum et Ecclesia 35, no. 1 (January 14, 2014): 18 pages.
AbstractThis article first discusses the methodological issues involved in examining the portrayal of Jesus in the missionary speeches of the book of Acts and the nature of these speeches. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the presentation of Jesus, following a chronological line: Jesus? origin, his ministry, suffering, death and burial, his resurrection, exaltation, present ministry and parousia. The analysis is supplemented by the various portrayals of Jesus in the narrative of Acts. Afterwards, a detailed interpretation of this portrayal is offered, that is, its emphases (namely the saving significance of all of Jesus? life, the pervasive motif of the fulfilment of Scripture, Jesus as the agent of God, and the Jewishness of his life and ministry, focussing on Israel), the consequences that are drawn from this portrayal, the impact of the audiences on the presentation of Jesus, and the use of Christological titles. A final section reflects on the implications of the portrayal of Jesus in the missionary speeches of Acts for the witness and proclamation of the church. This comprehensive approach accounts for the length of the article.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Some research has criticised Luke-Acts for its alleged lack of Pauline theology and the ?depth? of Paul?s interpretation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This article shows that Acts in its own way offers a significant summary and Christological and soteriological interpretation of the life of Jesus and its enduring significance. The article also reflects on the significance of this interpretation for the present day presentation of Jesus and provides some necessary corrections.
Stenschke, Christoph. “‘Enabling Conditions’ in the Conflicts of Acts 1–8:3.” Journal of Early Christian History 7, no. 2 (July 1, 2017): 54–86.
AbstractIt is possible to identify a number of contested domains in the religious conflicts of Acts 1–8:3, namely the heritage of Israel; the identity, fate and significance of Jesus of Nazareth; the privilege and duty of instructing the people of God; authority in other spiritual matters; legitimate leadership of the people of God; and public recognition/honour. But there are also a number of political, social, economic, cultural, psychological and transcendent enabling conditions on both sides of this conflict which made its course and development possible. An examination of these enabling conditions sheds light on the complexities of intra-religious conflicts in both that context and the present.
Stenschke, Christoph. “Migration and Mission : According to the Book of Acts.” Missionalia: Southern African Journal of Missiology 44, no. 2 (December 1, 2016): 129–51.
AbstractAfter a brief survey of migration in the Bible, this article examines migration – be it voluntary or enforced – in the Book of Acts. Acts describes in Stephen’s speech in surprising detail experiences of migration in Israel’s past and its theological implications. According to Acts, many early Christian missionaries served in places that were not their places of origin, voluntarily or by force: the disciples ended up in Jerusalem and eventually at the ends of the earth. Others had come to Jerusalem from elsewhere even before encountering the Gospel and ministered throughout the Eastern Mediterranean world as they became involved in mission. Early Christian mission is closely related to migration and dislocation, voluntary or by force, led by the Spirit and for the sake of the Gospel. Repeatedly missionaries had to flee in order to avoid persecution. Despite the tragedy and suffering involved, there were also great opportunities, which were readily seized: the Gospel moved forward. A final section reflects on the significance of this portrayal for the church and its mission in the 21st century.
Stenschke, Christoph. “Mission in the Book of Acts: Mission of the Church.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 66–78.
AbstractThis paper examines how the early Christian mission is portrayed in the Book of Acts.
While leading figures such as Peter and Paul and their ministries dominate the narrative,
there is a substantial amount of evidence that many more people than the apostles were
involved in spreading the Gospel under different, at times adverse, circumstances. Even the
mission activities of prominent figures are deeply embedded in the mission of various
churches, above all the church in Jerusalem. This inspiring portrait challenges some
contemporary notions of mission and evangelism. While mission is primarily the mission of
God (missio Dei), it is also the mission of the church (missio ecclesiae) – not only of its
ordained ministry or particular societies devoted to mission, but the mission of all
Christians so that many more Africans may go on their way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
Steyn, Gert J. “Torah Quotations Common to Philo of Alexandria and the Acts of the Apostles.” Acta Theologica 33, no. 2 (2013): 164–81.
AbstractIt is the intention of this study to explore the trajectory of the transmission and reception of three elements from Amos 5:25-27 through the stages of its history in ancient religious literature. Four stages in its trajectory are explored, namely in the Amos Masoretic Text (MT), the quotations from the Jewish Damascus Scroll sect, the Jewish-Hellenistic context of the Septuagint (LXX) Amos, and the Early Christian context of Stephen's speech by Luke in Acts 7:42-43. The astral Mesopotamian deities of Amos MT changed to symbols which now stood for the law, the congregation, the prophets and the interpreter of the law in the sectarian context of the Damascus scroll. The LXX, in turn, understood these to be 'the tent of Moloch' and the 'star of your god Raiphan'. This version is used in Acts 7, but whereas the LXX shows traces of a connection with the Heaven-and-Sun god, particularly with the planet Saturn, Luke now places the same elements within the context of the exodus narrative in Stephen's speech. The investigation shows how the mutation of scripture becomes clear in the trajectory of its transmission and how it is constantly being reinterpreted to be relevant within the context of its time.
Suggit, John N. “"The Holy Spirit and We Resolved ... (Acts 15:28).” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 79 (June 1992): 38–48.
AbstractLuke-Acts was written during the period after the destruction of the second temple, when, for most Jews, hopes for future restoration were conceived largely in terms of rebuilding the temple and city of Jerusalem and resuming the cultic life associated therewith. Against this background Luke poses an alternative vision, in which the divine presence associated previously with the o:p is seen no longer as localised but as dispersed. The Holy Spirit manifested in the life and expansion of the Church transcends and supersedes the notion of sacred space associated with the Zion traditions.
Ukpong, J.S. “Mission in the Acts of the Apostles from the Perspective of the Evangelized.” Africa Theological Journal 17, no. 1 (1988): 72–88.
AbstractThe article begins with a discussion of the development of the doctrine with regard to the Holy Spirit. This development took place in three phases: from apocalypticism to the Nicene Creed to the Reformation. In the doctrine of the Triune God the Holy Spirit functions as the third persona. In the New Testament the Spirit of God should be seen against the background of intermediary and apocalyptic figures. A comparison of passages in Luke-Acts, the Gospel of John and Paul's letter to the Romans attests to a diversity of witnesses with regard to the Spirit of God. The article includes a discourse on the nature of the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit witnessed in 1 Corinthians 12. By way of conclusion, a list of recommended publications with regard to the Biblical witness of the Spirit of God is presented.
Van Aarde, Andries. “Reading the Areopagus Speech in Acts 17 from the Perspective of Sacral Manumission of Slaves in Ancient Greece.” Biblical Theology Bulletin 47 (February 1, 2017): 47–58.
AbstractThis article suggests that the metaphor of Paul as seed-picker who gathers dirt from the market in Athens (Acts 17:18) is part of the broad slave metaphor found in Greco-Roman literature and in the New Testament. The stigma of depersonalization, desocialization, and religious marginalization is attached to enslavement. Slaves are excluded from authentic personhood. The article explores the rhetoric in Paul's Areopagus speech. It demonstrates Pauline influence on the narrative in Luke-Acts. The essence of the Areopagus speech is the universal unity of humanity and the life-giving effect of the resurrection belief. Building on the notions of fictive kinship and quasi-kinship the article compares the practice of sacral manumission for slaves with that of manumissio in ecclesia.
Van der Bergh, Ronald H. “‘Old Testament Awareness’ and the Textual Tradition of the Explicit Quotations of Isaiah in Codex Bezae’s Acts.” Novum Testamentum 57, no. 4 (September 2015): 360–78.
AbstractThis article investigates the textual history of the explicit quotations of Isaiah in the Acts of the Apostles of Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (Acts 7:49-50; 13:34; 13:47) by introducing the concept of “Old Testament awareness.” This concept can be defined as the degree to which a NT tradition, at any stage of its transmission history, is aware of a quotation stemming from the OT. OT awareness can be identified in the layout of Codex Bezae (e.g., the indentation of text in the manuscript to indicate OT quotations), the text of quotations (e.g., readings that can be shown to be a subsequent change towards an OT tradition) and the context of the quoted text (e.g., the quotations’ introductory formulae). Through assessing the OT awareness of Codex Bezae’s explicit quotations of Isaiah, different stages in the transmission history of the text of these quotations in Codex Bezae’s Acts can be identified.
Van der Bergh, Ronald H. “The Use of the Term Βάρβαρος in the Acts of the Apostles : A Problemanzeige.” Neotestamentica 47, no. 1 (2013): 69–86.
AbstractThis article seeks to highlight the problematic use of the term ???????? in the Acts of the Apostles (28:2, 4). In the ancient world this term could function as an ethnic and linguistic marker to designate another people group as the
Van der Merwe, Dirk. “The Power of the Gospel Victorious Over the Power of Evil in Acts of the Apostles.” Scriptura: Journal for Biblical, Theological and Contextual Hermeneutics 103, no. 0 (2010): 79–94.
AbstractThis research focuses on how the author of Acts managed, rhetorically, to communicate his
ideological standpoint regarding “the power of proclaiming the good news about the
kingdom of God and the power that exist in the name of Jesus Christ” (8:12). In three
related texts (8:4-25; 13:1-12; 19:1-20) he addresses the practices of magic which
occurred in the society or even in the early Church, to prove to his readers that the
proclamation of the gospel overpowers the practice of evil. In these texts there are
references to magic or magicians (Acts 8:4-25, mageiva, mageuvw 13:1-12, mavgo~ (bis);
xei~, pariverge~) which refer to the occurrences of magical practices. In
addition references to 'exorcism' (ejxorkistw`n), 'deceit' (d.ast..f..) and 'evil' (p....)
also occur. Complementary to this is the considerable frequency of references to the
proclamation of the gospel and the occurrences of miracles (duvnami~ and shmei`a) within
the same historical context. When these texts are compared with one another, it becomes
evident that other similarities also occur. The reason for making such a comparison is to
point out how the author used the interaction of events such as 'magic,' 'exorcism of evil
spirits,' 'miracle' and 'gospel proclamation' to explain his understanding of the supreme
power of the 'gospel' as victorious over the power and influence of 'evil.'
Van Tilborg, Sjef. “Acts 17:27 - "that They Might Feel after Him and Find ... ".” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 57, no. 1/2 (December 14, 2001): 86–104.
AbstractThe aim of this article is to investigate the allusion to the possibility of touching God ??????? in Paul's Areopagus speech (Acts 17:27). The article aims at assessing the Lukan notion of God's nearness in space and time. The Areopagus discourse is investigated against the background of its imbeddednes in the holistic context of Acts. God's nearness is studied in light of common Hellenistic parallel epiphanies. It focuses on dream types in Acts, epiphanies of Jesus, epiphanies of God, and in conclusion the expression ''filled with the Spirit".
Van Zyl, Hermie C. “The Soteriological Meaning of Jesus’ Death in Luke-Acts. A Survey of Possibilities.” Verbum et Ecclesia 23, no. 2 (2002).
AbstractThe portrayal of Jesus' death in Luke-Acts remains an intriguing issue. Ever since the rise of critical scholarship it has become the standard view that Luke does not accord salvific meaning to the death of Jesus, but rather stresses the exaltation of Jesus as the zenith of his soteriology. In light of this standard view, this article investigates the question whether the soteriological meaning of Jesus' death has received more attention in recent literature. The finding is that in the main scholarship still favours the exaltation of Jesus as the soteriological zenith. However, it is also clear that there is a tendency to move away from a bland underestimation of Jesus' death towards a more balanced view in which Jesus' death acquires a more positive soteriological meaning in and of itself.
Van Zyl, Hermie C. “Vehicles of Divine Initiative : The Function of Angels in Acts.” Journal of Early Christian History 1, no. 1 (January 1, 2011): 205–20.
AbstractThis article investigates the function of angels in Acts. The basic thesis is that angels in Acts function as vehicles of divine initiative, comprising three areas: revelation of the divine plan, protection and liberation, and punishment by God. The following passages are discussed in relative detail: Acts 1:10-11; 5:19-21; 8:26-40; 12:20-24 and 27:23-24.
Verheyden, Jozef (Joseph). “The Unity of Luke-Acts.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 55, no. 4 (1999).
AbstractThe article contains a summary of contributions delivered at the 47th Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense (1998) held at the Catholic University, Leuven on the subject: "The unity of Luke-Acts". The opening address was delivered by J Verheyden (Leuven) on "The Unity of Luke and Acts: What are we up to?". The contributors were: J Kremer (Vienna) - "Die dreifache Wiedergabe des Damaskuserlebnis Pauli in der Apostelgeschichte: Eine Hilfe fur das rechte Verstandnis der lukanischen Osterevangelien"; D Marguerat (Lausanne) - "Jusqu' oil faut-il parler d'une "uniti". Luc-Actes? Continuiti et ruptures dans l'oevre de Luc"; J Delobel (Leuven) - "The text of Luke-Acts: A confrontation of recent theories"; R L Brawley (Chicago) - "Abrahamic covenant traditions and the characterization of God in Luke-Acts"; F W Horn (Mainz.) - "Die Haltung des Lukas zum romischen Staat im Evangelium und in der Apostelgeschichte"; J A Fitzmyer (Washington) - "The role of the Spirit in Luke-Acts"; M Rese (Munster) - "The Jews in Luke-Acts: Some second thoughts"; J Taylor (Jerusalem) - "La fraction du pain en Luc-Actes"; W Radl (Augsburg) - "Die Beziehungen der Vorgeschichte zur Apostelgeschichte, dargestellt an Lk 2:22-39; F Neirynck (Leuven) - "Luke 4:16-30 and the unity of Luke-Acts"j C M Tuckett (Oxford) - "The Christo!ogy of Luke-Acts"; 0 Mainville (Montreal) - "Le Messianisme de Jesus: Le rapport announce/accomplissement entre Lc 1,35 et Ac 2,33"; A Lindemtann (Bethel-Bielefeld) - "Form und Funktion von Reden und Wundererzahlungen im Lukasevangelium und in der Apostelgeschichte", A Denaux - The theme of divine visits and human (in)hospitability in Luke-Acts and its Old Testament and Graeco-Roman antecedents.
Viljoen, Francois P. “Jesus as Intercessor in Luke-Acts.” Acta Patristica et Byzantina 19, no. 1 (January 1, 2008): 329–49.
AbstractPrayer is a significant motif in the Lukan writings as both terminology and the context make plain. Luke did not simply introduce prayer material as an aspect of piety or as some kind of didactic remark. His prayer material forms an integral part of his theological intention. This article only deals with a portion of the prayer material in Luke-Acts, namely the prayer-life of Jesus. Jesus' prayer-life reveals many aspects. In this article focus is placed on the intercessory activity of the praying Jesus. Such an approach highlights a significant aspect of the Christological connotation of Jesus' prayer-life. It is argued that identifying the intercessory function of Jesus' prayers, provides a key in understanding Luke's theological intention when putting so much emphasis on prayer in his double work.
Villiers, Pieter G. R. De. “Peace in Luke and Acts. A Perspective on Biblical Spirituality.” Acta Patristica et Byzantina 19, no. 1 (January 1, 2008): 110–34.
AbstractThis article investigates the motif of peace in Luke-Acts in order to contribute to a Spirituality of peace that is rooted in Biblical texts. After some introductory considerations about spirituality and peace, the nature of peace is analysed in terms of Luke-Acts. Attention is given to the formal presentation of peace in Luke's gospel, its divine nature, its role in Luke's soteriology and, finally, its inclusive, unconditional and universal nature.
Wagenaar, Hinne. “Babel, Jerusalem and Kumba: Missiological Reflections on Genesis 11:1-9 and Acts 2:1-13.” International Review of Mission 92, no. 366 (2003): 406–21.
AbstractWagenaar conveys his missiological reflections and establishes a new relationship between biblical passages Genesis 11: 1-9 and Acts 2: 1-13. Based on his reflections, he concludes that Christian mission should fundamentally allow and encourage Christians to be Christians in their own cultural and linguistic context. Any model of Christian mission that plants and imposes ecclesiastical systems, and converts people to be Christian'in its own image'must be rejected.
Waliggo, John M. “The Acts of the Apostles and a Hundret Years of Catholic Evangelization in Africa.” Revue Africaine de Théologie 13 (1989): 209–22.
AbstractThis article examines how ancient authors of different provenances outlined the centre and the end of the world and how this influenced the way they evaluated bodies from the periphery. Geographic reference, gender and skin colour have especially intersected in sources of medical provenance. The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 embodies his geographic origin. In considering his case we find that the issue of gender is inseparable from other prominent aspects of his identity: his social standing as well as his race and geographic origin - a man from "the end of the earth." But in this article the construct of the black eunuch is not so much focused on his otherness, with a universal mission in mind; rather, it is connected with a special geographical and historical perspective that was wellknown in the first century C.E. Hence, what is at the centre of this story is not the missiological search for the end of the earth, but the religious search for the middle ground, which is found in an interpretation of the Ebed Jahwe citation from Isaiah 53:7-8. Instead of interpreting this text christologically, this article argues that the Suffering Servant represents Jerusalem, which is seen by the nations, that is the Ethiopian eunuch. Therefore the embodiment of the geographical origin is assigned theological importance: it represents the religious search for the centre of the world, which is Jerusalem.
Wheeler-Reed, David A. “Acts 17:16-34 in an African Context: (An Assessment from a N. Atlantic/Western Perspective).” Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 22, no. 1 (2003): 87–101.
AbstractThe present article considers the redundancy of the allusions to Deut 21:23 in Acts 5:30; 10:39; and 13:28-29. In keeping with many of the common functions of redundancy in narrative literature, the repetitive use of Deut 21:23 in Acts: (1) lends coherence to the narrator's tale of the expansion of the apostolic movement; (2) helps to highlight the fundamental unity of the teaching of Peter and Paul; and (3) invites reflection upon the divided response to the Christian message amongst Jews and Gentiles.
Wilson, M. “The Lukan Periplus of Paul’s Third Journey with a Textual Conundrum in Acts 20:15.” Acta Theologica 36, no. 1 (June 2016): 229–54.
AbstractThis article discusses a pericope in Acts 20:6–21:8 recounting the sea portion of Paul’s third journey. Its genre resembles the periplus, and generic features are discussed as well as parallels with other periploi. Paul’s periplus in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas is presented within a fixed calendar in the Jewish year, and the itinerary’s specifics are detailed. A textual conundrum in Acts 20:15 is discussed as it relates to an anchorage opposite Chios. A lexical discussion of ???????? ???? is presented, and possible translations are reviewed. The article presents a new hypothesis that the Ionian city of Erythrae was the place of the ship’s landing. It closes with a brief history of Erythrae’s significance in the Greco-Roman world and why a stop there by Paul’s coasting vessel was likely during this part of the journey.
Wilson, Mark. “Barnabas or Saul : Who Is Describing Saul’s Conversation in Acts 9:27?” Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa 114, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 1–6.
AbstractThis article examines a problem of translation in Acts 9:27 regarding who should be the subject of the sentence - Barnabas or Saul. Through a close examination of the Greek text in its broader pericope, it explores whether Barnabas was the one who told the apostles in Jerusalem about Saul's conversion. It also discusses the importance of eyewitness testimony to Luke in his Gospel and Acts. The article closes with a fresh observation about the conversion account's significance within the narrative structure of Acts.
Wolmarans, Johannes L.P. “Narrative Perspective in Acts 4:23-31.” Ekklesiastikos Pharos 90, no. 1 (2008): 176–89.
AbstractThe communal prayer of Acts 4:23-31 is read from its narrative perspective. The narrator presents the prayer as a verbatim account of what was originally said. He interprets the events before and following the prayer as predetermined by God in Psalm 2. A master narrative governing the progress of history, as proceeding from a period of prophecy to that of fulfilment is propagated. God is portrayed as using human mouths to speak God's words, and to intervene in history through signs and miracles. It is concluded that the narrative perspective be viewed with suspicion, opening up new and exciting possibilities to confront our own mortality and find meaning in life.
Woodbridge, Noel, and Willem Semmelink. “Wealth and Poverty in Luke’s Gospel and Acts in Terms of Brewer’s Analysis and Its Challenge for Today’s Church.” Conspectus (South African Theological Seminary) 18, no. 09 (September 2014): 59–78.
AbstractIn recent times, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the issue of wealth and poverty. The article describes the Lukan theology of wealth and poverty in the Gospel of Luke and Acts in terms of Brewer's analysis and indicates its implications for today's Church and the individual Christian. In terms of Brewer's analysis, the Gospel of Luke focuses largely on the condition of the poor, the way that God views poverty, the attitudes, actions and teachings of Jesus relating to the poor, and his warnings regarding their abuse and neglect. Brewer's analysis of the Book of Acts reveals that Luke seeks to exemplify the theological principles found in his gospel in the circumstances and responses of the Early Church. When one applies the Lukan theological concepts to the present day, it can be concluded that the church has a particular obligation to acknowledge and address the problem of poverty effectively.
Woodbridge, Noel. “Assessing the Normative Value of Selected Narratives from the Book of Acts Utilising the Five Hermeneutical Principles of the INCUR Model : How Normative Is Acts?” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 22, no. 09 (September 1, 2016): 183–206.
AbstractOver the centuries, numerous major theological errors, based on a faulty interpretation of the book of Acts, have crept into the teaching of the church. These errors have had and continue to have a detrimental effect on the church. For this reason, when interpreting the book of Acts, it is important for Bible scholars to pose the following key questions: Should the practices of the early church serve as the norm for our church practices today? Should we derive our key doctrines from the early church history alone? After discussing the nature and purpose of biblical narratives and some general guidelines for interpreting the narrative portions of scripture, the article examines Luke's purpose for writing the book of Acts. In this article the author proposes the INCUR model for assessing the normative value of narrative passages in the Bible. The proposed model covers five hermeneutical principles derived from the work of recognised theologians. When placed together, these hermeneutical principles form an acronym that spells out the word INCUR: (1) Intent: Is the biblical narrative intended to serve as a historical precedent? (2) Non-contradiction: Is the practice or doctrine in the biblical narrative contradicted elsewhere in Scripture? (3) Command: Is the practice or doctrine in the biblical narrative a command or a description? (4) Uniqueness: Does the biblical narrative describe a unique event in church history? and (5) Reinforcement: Is the practice or doctrine in the biblical narrative reinforced elsewhere in scripture? The author chose to use the INCUR model to assess the narratives in the book of Acts, because many false doctrines have arisen during the course of church history, based on the incorrect interpretation of the normative value of certain narratives in this book. However, these hermeneutical principles are equally valid for assessing the normative value of all biblical narratives. After explaining the meaning of each of the five hermeneutical principles of the INCUR model, these principles are then utilised to briefly assess the normative value of selected narratives from the book of Acts. As a result of the assessment, it was concluded that Bible scholars need to be extremely careful when interpreting biblical narratives.
Woods, David B. “Diakrinō and Jew-Gentile Distinction in Acts 11:12.” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 18, no. 09 (September 1, 2014): 79–94.
AbstractA textual analysis of the word diakrin? in Acts 11:12 was undertaken to establish whether the verse contradicts the theory that Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus remain distinct in a theologically significant manner, as some English translations imply. The study finds no clear evidence in the text to sustain the translation that there is 'no distinction' between the two. Diakrin? in Acts 11:12 is very unlikely to denote distinction in the sense of differentiation, and even less likely to indicate wavering or doubting on account of the distinction which observant Jews like Peter made between fellow Jews and Gentiles. Instead, diakrin? in this text is most likely intended to denote contestation or dispute: Peter was told to obey without dispute, not without making distinction between Gentiles and Jews.
Woods, David B. “Does Acts 15 : 9 Refute Intra-Ecclesial Jew-Gentile Distinction?” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 19, no. 03 (March 1, 2015): 105–45.
AbstractThis study examines Peter's comment in Acts 15:9, that God made 'no distinction' between Gentile and Jewish Jesus-believers in purifying their hearts by faith, to determine whether the text teaches that the ecclesia is composed of an undifferentiated mix of people from the two groups. Textual analysis shows that the comment could be interpreted at a lexical level as a denial of intra-ecclesial Jew-Gentile distinction, but the context of Acts 15:1-29 demands a narrower interpretation: there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles in terms of how they are saved, but they remain distinct in other respects. Both Peter's speech and James' verdict provide strong evidence that the leaders of the nascent ecclesia made distinction between its Jewish and Gentile members, upholding Jews' obligation to Jewish Law and faith tradition, whilst imposing only a few moral prohibitions on Gentile believers.
Woods, David B. “Interpreting Peter’s Vision in Acts 10:9-16.” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 13, no. 03 (March 1, 2012): 171–214.
AbstractThe paper challenges the traditional Christian interpretation of Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-16. The text, in its biblical context, and together with related developments in early church history, point conclusively to a single interpretation: that the Gentiles have been cleansed by God. The vision does not nullify Jewish dietary laws or the Mosaic Law in general, since there is no support for the interpretation that the vision also pertains to the cleansing of unclean food. This conclusion contradicts the traditional Christian interpretation that the vision has a two-fold meaning, though it is not unique in the literature. The main implication is that Christians need to reassess their reading of the New Testament, and especially Paul, on the Law, in the light of recent literature which challenges traditional interpretations and posits various solutions to age-old disputes.
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