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«_ A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the School of Theology Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Fort Worth, Texas _ In Partial ...»

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Ramsay MacMullen, Paganism in the Roman Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 53. The Latin phrase may be interpreted as “rebirth in eternity.” death, and conquered the grave in Palestine.”55 Witherington makes a similar argument for the use of swthvr in the apostolic evangelization of the Gentiles.56 As the evangelization occurs among the Gentile pluralities, the apostolic community utilizes swthvr, connected with the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ. Just as Christ conquered the grave, so too will His followers experience the blessings of eternal life.57 In consideration of pluralities, therefore, the Antioch mission institutes a new chapter in the evangelization of the ancient world. The leadership in Jerusalem sends Barnabas, plhvrh~ pneuvmato~ aJgivou kai; pivstew~ (Acts 11:24), who verifies the ministry and encourages further evangelism. This marks the growth of the evangelistic efforts and the intensification of pluralities within the apostolic community. Interestingly, the statement in Acts 11:26, crhmativsai te prwvtw~ ejn jAntioceiva/ tou;~ maqhta;~ Cristianouv~, suggests the view of the apostolic F. F. Bruce, Book of Acts, 225.

Ben Witherington III, “Salvation and Health in Christian Antiquity: The Soteriology of Luke-Acts in Its First Century Setting,” in Witness to the Gospel: The Theology of Acts, eds. I. Howard Marshall and David Peterson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 158-59.

Ibid., 161.

community as Christian rather than Judaic or Hellenistic.58 Furthermore, Paul’s speech to the Jewish community in Acts 13:46 demonstrates the necessity of evangelization among Gentiles unaffiliated with the Jewish synagogue.59 The “inauguration of the Gentile mission” is a necessary event in God’s plan.60 Paul views the church as the “Israel of promise” which God offers to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles.61 The conversion of the Jews and the Gentiles provides the fulfillment of the promise to become the people of God in Christ Jesus. In this way the necessity of proclamation of the gospel to the Jews and to the Gentiles creates a new identification as o{soi h\san tetagmevnoi eij~ zwh;n aijwvnion (Acts 13:48).62 This is not an identity of a new religion but as the “true Israel.”63 Lawrence W. Wills, “The Depiction of the Jews in Acts,” Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991): 645. “And the disciples first in Antioch were named Christians.” Blomberg, “The Christian and the Law of Moses,”

405. The use of e[qnh indicates a group that is unrelated to the Judaic culture.

Hans Conzelmann, Gentiles, Jews, Christians:

Polemics and Apologetics in the Greco-Roman Era, trans. M.

Eugene Boring (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 255.

Jervell, “The Church of Jews and Godfearers,” 18As many as were appointed for eternal life.” Conzelmann, Gentiles, Jews, Christians, 251-52.

–  –  –

however, that some believers, tw`n ajpo; th`~ aiJrevsew~ tw`n Farisaivwn, consider that dei` peritevmnein aujtou;~ paraggevllein te threi`n to;n novmon Mwusevw~ (Acts 15:5).67 Peter argues (Acts 15:7-11) that Cornelius’ conversion is indicative that to;n novmon Mwusevw~ is not He declares that oujqe;n dievkrinen metaxu; hJmw`n te kai; aujtw`n salvific.

th`/ pivstei kaqarivsa~ ta;~ kardiva~ aujtw`n (Acts 15:9).68 The proof of salvation apart from to;n novmon Mwusevw~ is that God accepted E. Richard, “The Divine Purpose: The Jews and the Gentile Mission (Acts 15),” in Society of Biblical Literature 1980 Seminar Papers (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1980), 267-82.

J. T. Sanders, Jews in Luke-Acts, 126-29.

Conzelmann, Gentiles, Jews, Christians, 252.

Believers “from the party of the Pharisees” consider that “it is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.” “He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.” them by dou;~ to; pneu`ma to; a{gion (15:8).69 The avenue into community is through faith in Christ Jesus.70 As Bruce indicates, Peter warns that the believers of the Pharisee party stand in opposition to God’s plan and invite His judgment.71 Bauckham, however, explains that “this line of argument cannot, for an assembly of Jewish Christians, be the finally decisive one: the issue is a matter of halakhah, which can only be decided from Scripture.”72 The speech of James provides the biblical argument and the decisive proof that to;n novmon Mwusevw~ is not part of salvation.73 Following the pesher model for interpretation, James utilizes Amos 9:11-12 with allusions to other OT texts.74 In the first place, the conflated quotation in Acts 15:16-18 establishes that Gentiles who join the eschatological people of God are not obliged to be “Giving the Holy Spirit.”

See chapter 3, “Images of an Apostolic Community:

God’s People.” F. F. Bruce, Book of Acts, 336; Bauckham, “James and the Jerusalem Church,” 452. Paul and Barnabas support Peter’s argument, but play a minor role in the debate.

Bauckham, “James and the Jerusalem Church,” 452.

Jacob Jervell, Acts and the People of God: A New Look at Luke-Acts (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1972), 188-93.

Bauckham, “James and the Jerusalem Church,” 453Bauckham provides an excellent analysis of the speech.

circumcised and obey the Law of Moses. But secondly, an exegetical argument which creates a link between closely related prophecies and Leviticus 17-18 establishes that the Law of Moses itself contains just four commandments which do explicitly apply to precisely those Gentiles.75 The four prohibitions included in the apostolic decree indicate the ceremonial requirements from Leviticus 17-18 upon Gentiles who chose to live in the Jewish community.76 As such, the prohibitions present the requirements which had always been applied to Jew and Gentile alike.77 Thus, the apostolic community confirms that conformity to to;n novmon Mwusevw~, especially in terms of circumcision, is not a requirement for salvation. The Jerusalem council’s conclusion establishes the “universality and progress of the word... on the basis of the unity of the people of God.”78 One final note needs attention in the consideration Ibid., 461.





Haenchen, Acts of the Apostles, 469. Bruce proposes that the four elements are ethical requirements which would guard the Christian moral standards. This suggestion, however, dismisses the importance of Lev 17 and 18 in the discussion. F. F. Bruce, Book of Acts, 300-301.

Stephen G. Wilson, Luke and the Law, Society for

New Testament Studies Monograph Series 50 (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1969), 76.

Brian Rosner, “The Progress of the Word,” in Witness to the Gospel: The Theology of Acts, eds. I. Howard Marshall and David Peterson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 227.

of identity in plurality; namely, Paul’s confrontation with Peter (Gal 2:14-21).79 The occasion for this confrontation is oujk ojrqopodou`sin pro;~ th;n ajlhvqeian tou` eujaggelivou (Gal 2:14).80 Peter’s inconsistency focuses upon the “free tablefellowship” between Jewish and Gentile believers.81 Apparently, the messengers from James came to remind Jewish Christians that they must follow specific requirements

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arrival of messengers from James, Peter draws back from the company of Gentiles.83 Neill suggests that Peter’s conduct “would make a divided Church inevitable or a united Church D. A. Carson, “Pauline Inconsistency: Reflections on 1 Corinthians 9.19-23 and Galatians 2.11-14,” Churchman 100 (1986): 6-45.

“They did not walk straight concerning the truth of the gospel.” R. Y. K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians, New

International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans, 1988), 107.

James D. G. Dunn, The Epistle to the Galatians, Black’s New Testament Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 121-24.

T. W. Manson, Studies in the Gospels and Epistles (London: Manchester University Press, 1962), 180-81. He suggests that Peter’s table-fellowship with Gentiles was used as an indictment against the Jerusalem church by Jewish leaders, and Peter did not want to jeopardize the missionary work of the Jerusalem church or create a stumbling-block for evangelism among the Jews.

impossible.”84 Paul, therefore, apologetically promotes once again the impossibility of salvation through the to;n novmon Mwusevw~ (Gal 2:16).85 An Apostolic Approach to Postmodern Pluralities Paul’s epistles demonstrate an apostolic approach

–  –  –

provides an aid for evangelization in postmodern plurality.

Paul’s letters highlight an apostolic approach which recognizes the diversity within culture, yet through which the Spirit transforms the pluralities into a unified community for the purpose of mission.86

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church of Ephesus: a[ra ou\n oujkevti ejste; xevnoi kai; pavroikoi ajlla; ejste;

sumpoli`tai tw`n aJgivwn kai; oijkei`oi tou` qeou`, ejpoikodomhqevnte~ ejpi; tw`/ qemelivw/ tw`n ajpostovlwn kai; profhtw`n, o[nto~ ajkrogwniaivou aujtou` Cristou` jIhsou`, ejn w|/ pa`sa oijkodomh; sunarmologoumevnh au[xei eij~ nao;n a{gion ejn kurivw/, ejn w|/ kai;

W. Neill, The Letter of Paul to the Galatians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), 41.

For a complete discussion of this confrontation, see Daniel H. King, “Paul and the Tannaim: A Study in Galatians,” Westminster Theological Journal 45 (1983): 349Allison A. Trites, “Church Growth in the Book of Acts” Bibliotheca Sacra 145 (April-June 1988): 171-72.

uJmei`~ sunoikodomei`sqe eij~ katoikhthvrion tou` qeou` ejn pneuvmati.87 Upon the bestowal of new life upon a believer and the baptism of the Spirit upon the believer, the believer becomes the temple of

–  –  –

reality is also the communal experience in Ephesians.88 Paul describes the apostolic community as the corporate dwelling place of God in the Holy Spirit.

–  –  –

portrays the nature of the heterogeneity within the apostolic community in verse 19 through the phrase, xevnoi kai;

pavroikoi. Stählin suggests that these two descriptive terms

–  –  –

the time of Paul’s writing, Judaism considered the xevnoi with distant courtesy at best and hostility at worst. In light “Consequently therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners but you are fellow-citizens of the saints and [you are] members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom all the building which is fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:19Interestingly, George S. Duncan, The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1934), 178, paraphrases Paul’s admonition, eij zw`men pneuvmati, pneuvmati kai; stoicw`men (Gal 5:25), to bring out the corporate identity of Spirit-life implied by stoicw`men. See also, R. Y. K.

Fung, Galatians, 275-76.

of the diaspora community in Ephesus, the Gentiles understood the term to mean “God-fearers.”89 As such, when Paul uses the term here, he is speaking of the existing differentiation between the Jew and the Gentile in synagogue

–  –  –

is to say that they “are not just guests of God, but members of His household.”90 Paul also describes the believers as oujk pavroikoi, which is “one who lives in a place that is not his home.”91 This idea of an alien or foreigner in Judaism is different

–  –  –

a “resident alien” who lives in Israel without becoming a Jew.92 Foulkes suggests that these two terms point to “people who might live alongside them [the people of God] in the same country, but owning no land and with only the most superficial rights of citizenship.”93 Gentile believers are

–  –  –

Ibid., 5:29.

Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Christian Literature, trans. W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, 2d ed., eds. F. W. Gingrich and F. W.

Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 629.

Hereafter cited, BAGD.

–  –  –

Francis Foulkes, The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary, rev. ed., Tyndale New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 93.

not “like the God-fearing Gentiles who attended synagogue” nor “like resident aliens in a Greek city,” but they are “full members.”94

–  –  –

merges the cultural distinctive of Jews and Gentiles into the “temple of the Spirit,” so that all members are sumpoli`tai tw`n aJgivwn. Much debate surrounds aJgivwn. Bruce indicates that aJgivwn is “the people of God of all ages.”95 Procksch draws upon the analogy of Rom 11:17, which describes the Gentile believers being grafted into the “holy

–  –  –

Procksch, therefore, concludes that the aJgivwn are Jewish Christians.96 Andrew Lincoln, however, proposes that Procksch’s F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984), 302.

F. F. Bruce, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, 302.

Markus Barth, Ephesians: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary on Chapters 1-3, Anchor Bible Commentary, 34 (Garden City: Doubleday and Company, 1974), 320 n. 273, states that aJgivwn refers to the Gentile believers being grafted into “the men of Israel.” Otto Procksch, s.v. “a{gio~,” TDNT, 1:106. Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 686. He appears to follow Procksch’s idea.

comparison of verse 12 with verse 19 fails to comprehend the “new status” which “transcends the old categories.” Looking to verses 15 and 16 as the prominent guide for understanding verse 19, Lincoln indicates that, just as Christ creates one new man from the two, aJgivwn refers to a community which is neither Jew nor Gentile, but a new race of all believers.97 Paul extends the metaphor so that the community is also a family,98 in which all members are oijkei`oi tou` qeou`.



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