Acts 16-17

In Acts 16 Timothy joins Paul and Silas. In these two chapters there are several items of interest: the Spirit forbids and directs the team, they encounter a “python spirit,” they are supernaturally delivered from prison, and Paul uses some pagan literature to articulate some biblical theology – including some insight into the Deuteronomy 32 worldview.

Transcript 52 Acts 16-17

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

Acts 9

Acts 9 marks a transition in the story of the early church – the conversion of Saul, apostle to the Gentiles. That’s the part everyone knows (and it’s important, to say the least). But there are other interesting and noteworthy things going on in the chapter: the multiple references to Damascus (why Damascus?), the vocabulary (and theology) of “holy ones,” and the matter of how “son of God” meant more than a claim to be the Davidic king.

Transcript 45 Acts 9

Acts 8

Acts 8 features snippets from the ministries of Peter and Philip. Against the backdrop of Jesus’ words that the disciples would take the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the “uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8), as well as the messaging of the place names in Acts 2, it is no accident that the material of Acts 8 focus on Samaria, Ethiopia, and the little-known Azotus. This podcast episode discusses the significance of these places, the events associated with them, and two featured converts: Simon the magician and the Ethiopian eunuch.

Transcript 44 Acts 8