Acts 15

Acts 15 is the account of the Jerusalem council, the meeting of the leadership of the church in Jerusalem, along with Paul and Barnabas, to discuss the matter of Gentile acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some Jewish believers were of the opinion that to be truly saved, Gentiles had to essentially become Jews—i.e., submit to circumcision and follow the law of Moses (Acts 15:1, 5). Peter, Paul, and Barnabas disagreed. The chapter records the decision of the council. Part of that decision includes an important citation of the OT by James, the leader of the church at Jerusalem, which helped to settle the matter on the side of Peter, Paul, and Barnabas. Nevertheless, certain stipulations were made of Gentiles, but not with respect to their salvation. This episode of the podcast takes a look at two items: (1) James’ use of the OT, asking the question of how the fulfillment of OT prophecy “worked”; and (2) the nature of the stipulations on Gentiles.

Here are the papers referenced in the show:
Glenny The Septuagint and apostolic hermeneutics Amos 9 in Acts 15
Tanner James’s quotation of Amos 9 to settle the Jerusalem council debate in Acts 15
Beale Carson Acts 15

Transcript 51 Acts 15

Acts 14

Acts 14 has several items of interest related to the ancient supernatural worldview of the New Testament writers. This episode will take us into Greco-Roman beliefs about the gods, some Pauline commentary on the Deuteronomy 32 worldview, and the possible context of Lystra for Paul’s mystical experience (NDE?) in 2 Corinthians 12.

Transcript 50 Acts 14

Acts 13

Acts 13 marks the transition in the book to the ministry of Paul. That is, Paul and the mission to the Gentile nations becomes the focus, whereas the church in Jerusalem fades into the backdrop. In this episode, we’ll discuss the odd citation of Psalm 2:7 in Acts 13:33, a problem for the idea of soul sleep, and remnant theology.

Here is the paper referenced in the show:
Meyers Secondary Burials

Transcript 49 Acts 13

Acts 11 & 12

This episode continues with the expansion of the early church. In the wake of Cornelius’ conversion, early Christians (who are mostly converted Jews or converted Jewish proselytes) are learning that the gospel is meant for Gentiles as well. This episode focuses on why that was news, how the book of Acts continues to telegraph the reclamation of the nations in the Deuteronomy 32 worldview, and some interesting points of angelology in Acts 12.

Here are the papers referenced in the show:
Kallai Patriarchal Boundaries Canaan and Land of Israel Patterns Application Biblical Historigraphy
ANE Pagan Divination Practices

Transcript 48 Acts 11&12

Acts 10

Acts 10 is the account of Peter’s vision whereby God teaches him that Gentiles are acceptable candidates for the gospel and the first transparently Gentile convert in the book of Acts – the centurion Cornelius. The chapter takes us into Jewish attitudes toward Gentiles and the theological question of whether unbelievers can ever please God.

Here is the paper referenced in the show:
Proselytism and Godfearers

Transcript 47 Acts 10