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Re: [XTalk] THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ACTS

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  • David Mealand
    That Acts 20.28 appears to be an unusual element in Acts is a very interesting and intriguing fact. The primary metaphor is that of purchase here. The author
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 28, 2010
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      That Acts 20.28 appears to be an unusual element
      in Acts is a very interesting and intriguing fact.
      The primary metaphor is that of purchase here.
      The author rehearses a speech claiming that
      the community is "purchased". So we have a
      financial metaphor. It is said to be acquired
      presumably for a "price".

      The speech then states the price
      to be blood i.e. (presumably in this case)
      a death. So the metaphor is now something more
      than financial. The purchase cost the blood of
      someone who was "his" (tou idiou). If one
      person rescues several others, but dies in the process
      then the successful rescue can be seen to have a
      "cost", hence the earlier explicit mention of
      purchase or acquisition and an implied price.

      If this is correct then this passage is not too distant
      from those that use ideas of ransom, present outside Luke
      in Mark 10.45, and in Luke at 24.21. The ransom
      metaphor suggests analogy with payment of money to
      buy freedom, but here it seems to intersect with
      the thought that a death is involved, as in a rescue
      where the only rescuer (or one of the rescuers)
      is killed.

      If the above analysis is correct then we do have
      ideas of purchase, cost, ransom and rescue in the
      passage which the author of Acts attributes to Paul,
      but several other soteriological metaphors are notably
      absent. We cannot go so far as to deem it highly probable
      that the author rejects other ideas, but we can say that
      some of them don't seem to appear here
      - or elsewhere in Luke-Acts.

      David Mealand



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      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh





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