Re: [XTalk] We Sea Voyages--Troas to Rome
- Vernon Robbins wrote:"
Most of you will know that my interests focus on learning new things. I
> have no illusion that my interests will satisfy the goals of debaters. IResponse:
> presume that the goal of debaters is to debate. My primary goal is not to
> debate but to learn new things. "
Amen! In my humble opinion, too much space is devoted to rehash
> "Troas, of course, is ancient Troy. To be sure, the city of Troy duringLuke's
> day was not precisely on the location of the ancient city, but it wasnearby,
> and the two were repeatedly identified with each other. No educatedancient
> would have been numb to Troy's rich mythological and Homeric associations,Troad. By
> including the nostos of Odysseus and Elpenor back to Achaea from the
> placing the story of Eutychus in Troy, Luke seems to be hinting that oneshould
> read it in light of Troy's legacy." (fn 26: The very fact that Lukerecords
> this story in Troas is surprising insofar as Luke had said nothing earliercf. 2
> about such converts, not even during Paul's earlier visit there (16:8-11;
> Cor 2:12).would be
> Whatever one may think of MacDonald's essay, his perception that Troas
> identified with "the city of Troy during Luke's day" is of great interestfor
> the "Sea Voyage Group Account" (we-passages) in Acts. The overall seavoyage
> is from Troy [Troas: 16:11] (through Philippi and Troas) via Jersualem toRome
> (28:16). Again, please notice that every time "we-narration" beginswithin
> this span of text from Acts 16-28, people are beginning (or continuing) awonder if
> segment of the overall Sea Voyage Group Account. This has lead me to
> Luke used this Sea Voyage Group Account to organize the overall map of theend
> of Acts, much like he used the overall map of the Gospel of Mark (orMatthew)
> and "filled it in with additional materials (possibly replacing somethings)"
> in the Gospel of Luke.This
> A COUPLE OF REASONS WHY THIS COULD BE INTERESTING:
> (1) It would be fascinating if an early "free-standing" account of "Sea
> Voyaging in Relation to Paul" started from Troy via Jerusalem to Rome.
> would be a reconfiguration and conflation of the voyaging and interests innew
> Homer's Odyssey 9-11 and Virgil's Aeneid. It would feature Paul as "the
> Odysseus or Aeneas." It could be an important reason in the account forthe
> "we set sail" or "we sailed from there," which existed in various"formulaic
> dactylic hexameter couplets" in the Odyssey (see my 1975 and 1978 essays).The
> (2) Such a sea voyaging account could "claim the territory from Jerusalem
> through Troy to Rome" as territory "given to followers of Christ by God."
> (3) This could also help to explain why Acts does not feature significant
> accounts of apostles going down into Egypt or over into eastern Syria.
> reason would be that Paul's sea voyaging is perceived to "replace the seaearly
> voyaging of Odysseus and Aeneas" with "the sea voyaging of Paul" in the
> Mediterranean world. In other words, in the Acts of the Apostles, the
> Christians have their own "Christian" Odyssey and Aeneid.A stimulating analysis, well worth pursuing!
Along this line of thought, one might also read Paul's speech on the
of Athens in this new light (re: the unknown God..! Acts 17,22ff). Remember,
in the Homer's Iliad the gods fight alongside the men and women: Pallas
Apollos, Aphrodite etc.and of course, good old Zeus and Hera.
Also the voyages of Odysaseus and Anaeas were under the 'protection'
of the gods. However,
one is reminded of the words of Xenophanes of Colophon,
the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy concerning
the "unworthy ideas of Homer and Hesiod":
"Homer and Hesiod ascribed to the gods everything that humans think
scandalous and shameful...They recounted very many wrongful acts of the gods
- theft, fornication and deception of each other." (compare Acts 14,12 ff)
"Paul...was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols" (Acts
Wouldn't this adduce further arguments in favor of Vernon's proposal? The
theological motif would be the confrontation of the idols and the
unknown god of Israel?