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[XTalk] Acts 20:35

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  • Sam Gibson
    I ve looked through the archives and through T5G but cannot find anything on this issue so I thought that I would bring it up while the list appears to be in a
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 3, 1999
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      I've looked through the archives and through T5G but cannot find anything on
      this issue so I thought that I would bring it up while the list appears to
      be in a down time.

      In Acts 20, Paul is speaking to a crowd and telling them what a fine example
      of Jesus' teachings he is. At verse 35 he says that Jesus spoke the words,
      "It is better to give than to receive." Obviously, these words must come
      from somewhere other than the New Testament as Jesus never said these words.

      I am curious if anyone on the list (Mahlon?) knows if the Jesus Seminar
      discussed this verse in question and if so, did they vote on it as being
      authentic to Jesus or not.

      Further, I would like to know what listers believe the origin of this saying
      is and if they consider it authentic to Jesus.

      Thanks in advance,
      Sam Gibson
    • Daniel Grolin
      Dear Sam, It appears to me as though the teaching it is better to give than receive , is completely unlikely to come from the lips of Jesus. In fact I doubt
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 4, 1999
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        Dear Sam,

        It appears to me as though the teaching "it is better to give than
        receive", is completely unlikely to come from the lips of Jesus. In fact I
        doubt Paul said it. From 1 Corinthians we know that he knew that one
        should (or perhaps could) live by the word of the Lord.

        In a community where giving and receiving is a very important and
        conscious sacred act it appears, at first glance, to be an extremely
        divisive teaching. It seems to be directed at those poor itinerant
        prophets who were entirely dependent on "receiving". As such it would seem
        to be a self-glorifying maxim originating amongst householders. However I
        think the context is another.

        In the earliest decades of Christianity there was a call from the
        itinerants to become poor or perhaps manifest ones poverty. Towards the
        end of the first century, the situation reversed and there was a call from
        the householders to re-assimilate the itinerants into a stable
        community. In the Didache we find instructions on how "prophets" can
        become permanent resident in a community, by either becoming a resident
        prophet or doing a trade. I would suggest that the saying in Acts 20
        belongs in this context, it is a call to poor people to become useful
        members of the Christian community, to acquire wealth so as to be able to
        give.

        Regards,

        Daniel
      • Weasel
        ... The JS voted on it at their 1991 meeting in Sonoma. The results were; 0 Red, 1 Pink, 3 Grey and 19 Black for an average of 0.07 = Black. ... Weasel
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 4, 1999
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          At 13:18 12/03/1999 -0500, you wrote:
          >I've looked through the archives and through T5G but cannot find anything on
          >this issue so I thought that I would bring it up while the list appears to
          >be in a down time.
          >
          >In Acts 20, Paul is speaking to a crowd and telling them what a fine example
          >of Jesus' teachings he is. At verse 35 he says that Jesus spoke the words,
          >"It is better to give than to receive." Obviously, these words must come
          >from somewhere other than the New Testament as Jesus never said these words.
          >
          >I am curious if anyone on the list (Mahlon?) knows if the Jesus Seminar
          >discussed this verse in question and if so, did they vote on it as being
          >authentic to Jesus or not.
          >
          The JS voted on it at their 1991 meeting in Sonoma. The results were; 0
          Red, 1 Pink, 3 Grey and 19 Black for an average of 0.07 = Black.
          ----------
          Weasel (Mustela nivalis)

          Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
          finding it, misdiagnosing it and then
          misapplying the wrong remedies.

          Groucho Marx

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          M Nivilis
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