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Re: [XTalk] We Sea Voyages--Troas to Rome

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  • Karel Hanhart
    Vernon Robbins wrote: Most of you will know that my interests focus on learning new things. I ... Response: Amen! In my humble opinion, too much space is
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 25, 2003
      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. I
      > presume that the goal of debaters is to debate. My primary goal is not to
      > debate but to learn new things. "
      Response:

      Amen! In my humble opinion, too much space is devoted to rehash
      old things.

      Vernon continued:

      > "Troas, of course, is ancient Troy. To be sure, the city of Troy during
      Luke's
      > day was not precisely on the location of the ancient city, but it was
      nearby,
      > and the two were repeatedly identified with each other. No educated
      ancient
      > would have been numb to Troy's rich mythological and Homeric associations,
      > including the nostos of Odysseus and Elpenor back to Achaea from the
      Troad. By
      > placing the story of Eutychus in Troy, Luke seems to be hinting that one
      should
      > read it in light of Troy's legacy." (fn 26: The very fact that Luke
      records
      > this story in Troas is surprising insofar as Luke had said nothing earlier
      > about such converts, not even during Paul's earlier visit there (16:8-11;
      cf. 2
      > Cor 2:12).
      >
      > Whatever one may think of MacDonald's essay, his perception that Troas
      would be
      > identified with "the city of Troy during Luke's day" is of great interest
      for
      > the "Sea Voyage Group Account" (we-passages) in Acts. The overall sea
      voyage
      > is from Troy [Troas: 16:11] (through Philippi and Troas) via Jersualem to
      Rome
      > (28:16). Again, please notice that every time "we-narration" begins
      within
      > this span of text from Acts 16-28, people are beginning (or continuing) a
      > segment of the overall Sea Voyage Group Account. This has lead me to
      wonder if
      > Luke used this Sea Voyage Group Account to organize the overall map of the
      end
      > of Acts, much like he used the overall map of the Gospel of Mark (or
      Matthew)
      > and "filled it in with additional materials (possibly replacing some
      things)"
      > in the Gospel of Luke.
      >
      > 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.
      This
      > would be a reconfiguration and conflation of the voyaging and interests in
      > Homer's Odyssey 9-11 and Virgil's Aeneid. It would feature Paul as "the
      new
      > Odysseus or Aeneas." It could be an important reason in the account for
      the
      > "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).
      >
      > (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.
      The
      > reason would be that Paul's sea voyaging is perceived to "replace the sea
      > 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
      early
      > 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
      Areopagus
      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
      Athena,
      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
      17,16)

      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?


      cordially,

      Karel
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