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THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ACTS

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  • Dennis Goffin
    Having surveyed every christological expression in Acts, it is clear that the Christology of Acts is very early and there is absolutely no reference to any
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 27, 2010
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      Having surveyed every christological expression in Acts, it is clear that the Christology of Acts is very early and there is absolutely no reference to any form of atonement apart from 20:28. Is there any indication anywhere in the literature that this passage is an interpolation ? Ehrman discusses it but only to look at variants that appear later than the Alexandrian texts.
      Dennis

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    • Chuck Jones
      Dennis, I think we need to ask whether we are reading atonement theology into this verse because of our familiarity with other NT material. Beginning in v. 22
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 28, 2010
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        Dennis,
        I think we need to ask whether we are reading atonement theology into this verse because of our familiarity with other NT material.
        Beginning in v. 22 Paul has been predicting his own upcoming persecution and imprisonment.  In v. 26 he adds, "I am not responsible for the blood of any of you [elders of Ephesus]."  In v. 29 he continues, "[A]fter I have gone, savage wolves with come in among you, not sparing the flock...that he obtained with the blood of his own son."  (NRSV)
        There is no reason, within this passage, to read "the blood of his own son" as different in nature from the blood of the Ephesian elders, shed during persecution.  It seems to be a reference to Jesus as Martyr, and as model of martyrdom.  It certainly would be a stretch to read substitutionary atonement into this speech.
        Seems to me.
        Rev. Chuck JonesAtlanta, Georgia

        --- On Sun, 6/27/10, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

        Having surveyed every christological expression in Acts, it is clear that the Christology of Acts is very early and there is absolutely no reference to any form of atonement apart from 20:28. Is there any indication anywhere in the literature that this passage is an interpolation ? Ehrman discusses it but only to look at variants that appear later than the Alexandrian texts.

        Dennis






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      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        Dennis: I am most interested in the idea that Acts Christology is early. This suggests a number of questions: what attributes defines early as opposed to
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 28, 2010
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          Dennis:

          I am most interested in the idea that Acts' Christology is early. This suggests a number of questions: what attributes defines "early" as opposed to late? Do you have an idea of a trajectory here that serves as a model for classifying various NT and early Christian books in terms of "early", "middle," and "late?"

          I guess fundamental to this particular question is a larger one, are various metaphors for salvation (such as atonement) developmental, or simply different ways of describing a common theological issue?

          I would be very interested to get some sense of how you classify the various data about Luke's (Acts) theology.

          mark

          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean
          Milligan College
          423-461-8720
          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
        • Dennis Goffin
          Chuck, As I read it, when Paul says I am not responsible for the blood of any of you , he is not referring to persecution but to the fact that he has
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 29, 2010
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            Chuck,
            As I read it, when Paul says " I am not responsible for the blood of any of you", he is not referring to persecution but to the fact that he has discharged his responsibility towards them by saving their souls. Or so it seems to me.
            Dennis Goffin
            Chorleywood UK
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Chuck Jones
            To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:05 PM
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ACTS



            Dennis,
            I think we need to ask whether we are reading atonement theology into this verse because of our familiarity with other NT material.
            Beginning in v. 22 Paul has been predicting his own upcoming persecution and imprisonment. In v. 26 he adds, "I am not responsible for the blood of any of you [elders of Ephesus]." In v. 29 he continues, "[A]fter I have gone, savage wolves with come in among you, not sparing the flock...that he obtained with the blood of his own son." (NRSV)
            There is no reason, within this passage, to read "the blood of his own son" as different in nature from the blood of the Ephesian elders, shed during persecution. It seems to be a reference to Jesus as Martyr, and as model of martyrdom. It certainly would be a stretch to read substitutionary atonement into this speech.
            Seems to me.
            Rev. Chuck JonesAtlanta, Georgia

            --- On Sun, 6/27/10, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

            Having surveyed every christological expression in Acts, it is clear that the Christology of Acts is very early and there is absolutely no reference to any form of atonement apart from 20:28. Is there any indication anywhere in the literature that this passage is an interpolation ? Ehrman discusses it but only to look at variants that appear later than the Alexandrian texts.

            Dennis

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          • Dennis Dean Carpenter
            Dennis Goffin said, Chuck, As I read it, when Paul says I am not responsible for the blood of any of you , he is not referring to persecution but to the
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 29, 2010
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              Dennis Goffin said, "Chuck, As I read it, when Paul says " I am not responsible for the blood of any of you", he is not referring to persecution but to the fact that he has discharged his responsibility towards them by saving their souls. Or so it seems to me."

              How do you equate blood to souls, in Greek culture?

              Dennis Dean Carpenter
              Dahlonega, Ga.
              http://www.facebook.com/ddcarpenter

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            • Dennis Goffin
              Dennis Dean Carpenter asked How do you equate blood to souls, in Greek culture? Very easily, Paul, like Philo, and Josephus for that matter, had to bridge
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 30, 2010
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                Dennis Dean Carpenter asked " How do you equate blood to souls, in Greek culture? "
                Very easily, Paul, like Philo, and Josephus for that matter, had to bridge the gap between Jewish and Greek concepts. Blood = life = soul, therefore.
                Dennis Goffin
                Chorleywood UK
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Dennis Dean Carpenter
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:48 AM
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ACTS



                Dennis Goffin said, "Chuck, As I read it, when Paul says " I am not responsible for the blood of any of you", he is not referring to persecution but to the fact that he has discharged his responsibility towards them by saving their souls. Or so it seems to me."

                cDennis Dean Carpenter
                Dahlonega, Ga.
                http://www.facebook.com/ddcarpenter

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              • Dennis Goffin
                Chuck, Looking at this passage in the New Living Translation, I think it brings out the sense a lot better. 20:26 Let me say plainly that I have been faithful.
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 30, 2010
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                  Chuck,
                  Looking at this passage in the New Living Translation, I think it brings out the sense a lot better.

                  20:26 Let me say plainly that I have been faithful. No one's damnation can be blamed on me,
                  20:27 for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants for you.
                  20:28 And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's flock - his church, purchased with his blood - over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.

                  Does this remove the problem ?

                  Dennis Goffin
                  Chorleywood UK



                  From: Chuck Jones
                  To: Synoptic
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2:44 PM
                  Subject: Fw: Re: [Synoptic-L] THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ACTS



                  Dennis,

                  Whether we read "the blood of you" as referring to their vulnerability to persecution, heresy, or abandoning the faith, my point is that in this reference the blood of these elders doesn't atone for anybody else. So, in the same paragraph, why would we read "the blood of his son" as substitutionary atonement?

                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                  Atlanta, Georgia

                  --- On Wed, 6/30/10, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                  Chuck, As I read it, when Paul says " I am not responsible for the blood of any of you", he is not referring to persecution but to the fact that he has discharged his responsibility towards them by saving their souls. Or so it seems to me.

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                • Chuck Jones
                  Dennis, This paraphrase obscures the problem.  If we were to paraphrase the two phrases the same way, then the church would have been purchased by Jesus
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 30, 2010
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                    Dennis,


                    This paraphrase obscures the problem.  If we were to paraphrase the two phrases the same way, then the church would have been purchased by Jesus' damnation.  Is that what we think is meant?


                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                    Atlanta, Georgia

                    --- On Wed, 6/30/10, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                    Chuck,

                    Looking at this passage in the New Living Translation, I think it brings out the sense a lot better.



                    20:26 Let me say plainly that I have been faithful. No one's damnation can be blamed on me,

                    20:27 for I didn't shrink from declaring all that God wants for you.

                    20:28 And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's flock - his church, purchased with his blood - over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.



                    Does this remove the problem ?







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                  • Adam Crumpton
                    If a watchman sees the enemy and doesn t sound the warning call, then he is guilty of whatever blood is spilled by the enemy. But if he sounds the alarm, then
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 30, 2010
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                      If a watchman sees the enemy and doesn't sound the warning call, then he
                      is guilty of whatever blood is spilled by the enemy. But if he sounds
                      the alarm, then he has discharged his duty faithfully and he is not
                      guilty of anyone's blood. It is this special circumstance that is being
                      highlighted in the speech. Paul watched out and warned the Ephesians
                      and now the Ephesian leaders need to watch over and warn their flock.
                      The purchasing power of Christ's blood is certainly different both in
                      substance and metaphor from that of the Ephesians. In substance because
                      Christ's blood represents death, while the Ephesians blood represents
                      their lives. Christ's blood represents His death because He has died,
                      and as for the Ephesians - blood is a symbol for life only in the living.

                      Is the juxtaposition significant, incidental, or accidental? Which ever
                      of the three it is, the two types and functions of blood in the passage
                      are contrasts cannot be mapped to the semantic object simply because
                      they are different.

                      Adam
                      > _._,___
                    • David Mealand
                      Reflecting further on Acts 20.28 after rereading Lake & Cadbury (Beginnings Vol.4 p.261), there is a good case for translating periepoih/sato as rescued
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 1 2:10 AM
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                        Reflecting further on Acts 20.28 after
                        rereading Lake & Cadbury (Beginnings Vol.4
                        p.261), there is a good case for translating
                        periepoih/sato as "rescued" rather than
                        as "purchased". (L & C cite relevant
                        passages for this part of the word's
                        semantic range.) This would decrease the
                        emphasis on buying, and increase the emphasis
                        on the metaphor of a rescue effected at the cost
                        of the rescuer's life in this passage.

                        David Mealand


                        ---------
                        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                        --
                        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                      • Dennis Dean Carpenter
                        Dennis Goffin stated, Dennis Dean Carpenter asked How do you equate blood to souls, in Greek culture? Very easily, Paul, like Philo, and Josephus for that
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 2 10:30 AM
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                          Dennis Goffin stated, "Dennis Dean Carpenter asked " How do you equate blood to souls, in Greek culture? "
                          Very easily, Paul, like Philo, and Josephus for that matter, had to bridge the gap between Jewish and Greek concepts. Blood = life = soul, therefore."


                          I'm not getting that from my reading of Philo.
                          Dennis Dean Carpenter
                          Dahlonega, Ga.

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