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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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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

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 ...


8

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, ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


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

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. ...


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

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

As the text says, Avram was 75 when he left Haran. So, either Terach was 130 when Avram was born, or Avram left while Terach was still alive. The medieval commentator (and compiler), Rashi, argues for Avram leaving during Terach's lifetime, based on Gen 12:4: and Terah died in Haran: [This happened] after Abram had left Haran and had come to the land ...


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 ...


6

Stephen's long and meandering history may not appear to have a point, let alone answer the charges leveled against him. But Stephen is indeed addressing these charges: “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs ...


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 ...


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

The OP quote from James in Acts is consistent with requiring the Gentiles to adhere to the seven commandments to bnei Noah, but not to "trouble" them with the other 606 commandments still required of the nation of Israel, at least not immediately as a prerequisite for learning the Torah. James's opinion might indicate that the Gentiles should then study the ...


6

Judicial execution around that time was very rare and on the decline. Rabbi Akiva (c. 40-137 CE) said that a court that ever executes is bloodthirsty; Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, dates uncertain but in the generation before R. Akiva, said a court that executes once in 70 years is bloodthirsty (Makkot 1:10, Babylonian Talmud). Capital punishment was legal ...


6

The bridge that connects Jesus the Nazarene as "Yahweh" is Isaiah 8:13-14, which both Paul (in Romans 9:33) and Peter (in 1 Peter 2:6-8) use to make the nexus between "calling on Jesus" and "calling on Yahweh" to be saved. First, in Psalm 118:22 we find an unqualified mention of a stone "which the builders rejected" that in turn "became the chief ...


6

For context, the statements about the burial come in the middle of a speech given by Stephen during his trial before the Sanhedrin. Thus it is not the Book of Acts per se stating these things, so much as recording what Stephen said. That said, interpreters have tried to make sense of Stephen's apparent mistake here for as long as there have been ...


6

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 ...


6

Context We should back up first to v. 30 and revisit the question the jailer is asking Paul and Silas: κύριοι, τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν ἵνα σωθῶ; "Lords (sirs), what must I do in order to be saved?" It is to this question Paul and Silas are replying in v. 31. Response The answer is πίστευσον, which is a 2nd person singular aorist active imperative. ...



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