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12

This is an interesting question that seems to divide people. The two major opinions are that it either is ("almost certainly") the same event or that it is ("absolutely") not the same event. The people who believe it is not the same event seem to be the most vocal since (1) they have textual discrepancies on their side and (2) they are going against the ...


12

The question sets out nicely the way in which Paul's broken relationship with Mark was healed and later flourished -- with, it seems, a new depth of character in Mark. Was it, one wonders, a case of Mark growing as a result of the relational trauma with Paul? There are, however, fewer "dots" to "connect" in the case of Paul's relationship with Barnabas, his ...


11

They are stoning him, and as such take him outside the city to a pit. There, they will strip him and hurl rocks on him until he dies. They are to aim for the chest, but precision is impossible. Under Jewish law,* the criminal was to be stripped (Mishnah Sanhedrin 6:4), but here the executioners strip themselves. The obvious reasons are that it was hot ...


11

The events of Act 15 are dated to AD 48. It is worth noting that Paul and Barnabas solved the immediate problem in a good way. When compromise was impossible ("I want X," "Not a chance"), they parted ways. This also wasn't the first time that Paul and Barnabas had disagreed on how to operate. Galatians 2:12 Until certain people came from James, he had ...


10

Was the Luke of Colossians the author of Luke/Acts? Probably. As the two volumes do not themselves include the author's name, we can't be sure that the author was named Luke at all. However, Luke is only mentioned 3 times in Paul's letters and there is no indication there that he was a particularly prominent personage. Therefore, any external evidence ...


10

It's an interesting question, and one that has caught the eye of commentators for a long time. Let's get the text of Acts 7:58b first: [NASB] ... and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. [SBL GNT] ... καὶ οἱ μάρτυρες ἀπέθεντο τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν παρὰ τοὺς πόδας νεανίου καλουμένου Σαύλου The term here is νεανίας ...


9

I had to outline Stephen's speech to see if he answered the question directly: Abraham was given a promise of a land. His father stood in the way. So Abraham did not receive the inheritance. Joseph was given the promise of a kingdom. His brothers stood in the way. So he did not get the kingdom he looked for (asking for his bones to be carried out of ...


9

Abstract Using (or calling on) the name of Jesus was a sign of his early followers. It was both a literal term (in that Christians used the name to perform miracles) and figurative one (as it strongly identifies Jesus' followers). It's probable that this way of identifying believers comes from the first volume of Luke-Acts: John answered, “Master, ...


9

Why Stop the Girl? It seems as though the testimony of a competitor would be the ultimate advertising. (Imagine a picture of Bill Gates happily using an iPad.) Something that Paul could not accept in her testimony of them was that she left out something very important—the definite article. This is a time when the Greek leaving it out is important (unlike ...


9

I. Howard Marshall gives a concise statement of the options for harmonization in his commentary: It is quite possible that Matthew or Luke is simply reporting what was commonly said in Jerusalem, and that we are not meant to harmonize the two accounts. If we do try to harmonzie (sic) them, the following possibilities arise: (1). Judas hanged himself ...


9

Short Answer: Abram did indeed depart from Haran after his father died, as the Old Testament indicates, and as the New Testament explicitly claims. (Terah was 130 years old when Abram was born.) Good question. (This happens to be one of the most commonly asked -- and addressed -- "discrepancies" in Scripture.) The problem is in the modern Western reading ...


9

This name for the early Christians is unique to this passage of Paul on trial. While Tertullus, the prosecutor in this case, intended the word to be derogatory, a sect was not a cult. A sect then was something like a denominational division but not exactly. It was not a cult as the different sects usually recognized the legitimacy of other sects. In the ...


8

The Greek word translated "coats" in the NRSV is himation <2440>: Although the above image shows Zeus naked under his himation, it was more usual for them to be worn over a chiton <5506> or tunic. One common translation of the word is "cloak", which gets across the idea that these are optional outer layers designed more for warmth than for modesty. ...


8

The Pharisees were one of several sects active in Judaism in first century Judea. The other main sects were the Sadducees, the Zealots, and the Essenes. Of these sects, the Pharisees and Sadducees were the ruling parties. The ruling council, the Sanhedrin, was made up of the top Pharisees and Sadducees (the Sadducees were a priestly clan). Gamaliel being a ...


8

We can be sure that Paul also spoke Hebrew fluently. First up, Mishnaic Hebrew was a living language in first century Judea and well-known even among the common people. Along with that, even though modern translations use "Aramaic" when referring to the language spoken in Judea (such as there in Acts 22:2 and 21:40), the Greek reads, "...in the Hebrew ...


8

The status of Jubilees in early Judaism is difficult to assess. Most of the scholarly energy on this text has been expended in establishing its text and origins -- both are fraught and problematic, although some broad consensus has emerged on Hebrew as the original language and roughly mid- or early-2nd C. BCE as the likely time of origin. To answer the ...


8

This interesting question has two dimensions: (1) the meaning of παρέστησεν ἑαυτὸν ... ἐν πολλοῖς τεκμηρίοις [parestēsen heauton ... en pollois tekmēriois = "he presented himself ... by many tekmēriois"]; and (2) its history of translation in English versions. The Meaning of πολλοῖς τεκμηρίοις The key term here is τεκμήριον which, as noted in an earlier ...


7

Acts 7 takes 8 to 9 minutes to read out loud and most of it is Stephen's speech. So that's a fairly long answer to the question "Are these things so?" However, Acts 6:8-15 makes clear that this speech is essentially Stephen's defense against a charge of blasphemy. From that perspective, he wasn't give much time at all. So what are we to make of this ...


7

Interestingly, unlike other biblical characters, we are never told of a "name change" with reference to Paul. Rather, Acts 13:9 tells us that Saul "also is called Paul." Given that Paul was, according to Acts, born a Roman citizen, it is highly likely that he had a Roman name (Paulus) from birth. At the same time, his parents were devout Jews, and therefore ...


7

First of all, the believers in Acts 1 had not yet received the Holy Spirit. However, their trust was placed in something they knew of God: The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:33 ESV) Other Old Testament verses that refer to this practice include Proverbs 18:18 (settling a quarrel or choosing between ...


7

vv. 16-18 The believers in Philippi continued to meet at a specific place for public prayer and discourse. One day, while on their way to this location, Paul and companions were met by a slave girl who had a πνεῦμα πύθωνα (lit. “python spirit” or “spirit of divination”). Python spirits were associated with a trance-like, or ecstatic, state in which someone ...


7

Could they have innovated separately? Certainly, but they didn't as "apolgias" were common in those days. Unbiased accounts of history are as much a myth then as today. They did not report just to report. History was written for a purpose. Luke tells us straight out in Luke and Acts that he is writing to show what Jesus began to do and teach and what ...


7

The ambiguity actually comes in to play because προσκαρτεροῦντες is a present participle. The present tense has so many different categories, such as descriptive, iterative, durative, tendential, historical, futuristic that there is some ambiguity. These categories come from a perceived need to fit the Greek language into English terms in order to understand ...


7

Stephen's interpretation is called "telescoping," conflating two very similar accounts into one. Telescoping was not an unusual phenomenon in the Land at the time. (Bruce, FF. The Book of Acts: New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT), pg 137, note 35). The account says nothing about Luke (the author) except that he was very careful to allow ...


7

Paul is not being sarcastic. This is his legal defense. He is referring to the events you mention from chapter 23 and earlier. In 24:10ff Paul testifies to Felix the governor in his own defense. The High Priest Ananias ben Nedebaios brought some other elders and Tertullus, an orator who would be skilled in Roman legal proceedings, to bring charges against ...


7

Basic Points To begin, we need to remember something very basic, that is nevertheless taken for granted by modern readers: the ancient world didn't have audio recording. In the specific case of Acts 2, Peter's speech is portrayed as an impromptu reaction to accusations of drunkenness. It is unreasonable to expect the passage to contain a verbatim record of ...


7

There are several possible explanations. Your specific belief about the correctness of the Bible or its original sources may limit you to a certain set of these. Paul made a mistake. Chapter 9 describes Paul's encounter. Chapter 22 describes Paul describing the encounter. He mispoke or misremembered or offered his own incorrect understanding of his ...


6

Carrier's thesis1 is highly improbable. He overstates the similarities between Luke and Josephus, and ignores the possibility that the similarities that do exist could be the result of two historians writing as contemporaries. Carrier makes several claims in his conclusion. I'll discuss a few of them: Luke-Acts was written in the late 1st or early 2nd ...


6

No. You'd have to ignore Acts 1:1 which states first that it is a sequel to a prior account and secondly names Theophilus as the intended audience. That is the same person named in Luke 1:3. Acts 1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, Luk 1:1-4 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an ...


6

There is not full agreement among different people. According to the People's New Testament it fell on a Sunday (50 days after Christ rose from the dead) and this seems to make sense to me because the death, burial, resurrection, and blessing of the Sprit all have a meaningful relationship with existing Jewish feats. Pentecost, one of the three great ...



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