Confronting Oracular Contradiction in Acts 21:1-14

in Novum Testamentum
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In Acts 21:1-14, several Tyrian prophets order Paul to abandon his journey to Jerusalem, but Paul ignores them, travelling to Jerusalem anyway. Modern commentators have struggled to explain how Paul’s behavior was not impious. The present study attempts to resolve this tension by interpreting Paul’s behavior in light of Jewish and Hellenistic practices for evaluating oracles. The argument proceeds in three stages: an exegetical survey of Acts 21:1-14, a discussion of relevant Jewish and Hellenistic strategies for interpreting oracles, and a conclusion arguing that Luke’s depiction of Paul may be understood in light of these complex practices of oracle reception.

Confronting Oracular Contradiction in Acts 21:1-14

in Novum Testamentum

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References

4

Cf. Herodotus 1.182; HoraceOdes 3.4.64. See H.W. Parke The Oracles of Apollo in Asia Minor (London: Croom Helm 1985) 185-193.

5

Pomponius Mela 1.82. Trans. F.E. RomerPomponius Mela’s Description of the World (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press1998) 57.

9

So e.g. David AuneProphecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1983) 264.

10

BarrettActs2.985; Jervell Die Apostelgeschichte 517.

13

Hans ConzelmannA Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (Philadelphia: Fortress1987) 178.

15

JervellDie Apostelgeschichte518.

16

Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. CadburyThe Beginnings of Christianity (5 Vols.; London: Macmillan1933) 4.266.

17

Ernst HaenchenThe Acts of the Apostles (Philadelphia: Westminster1971) 602-603. Cf. W.M.L De Wette and Franz Overbeck Kurze Erklärung der Apostelgeschichte (4th ed.; Leipzig: Hirzel 1870) 355-356.

20

BarrettActs2.990; Jervell Die Apostelgeschichte 518. Cf. 1:2 4:25 11:28.

21

E.g. Richard I. PervoProfit with Delight: The Literary Genre of the Acts of the Apostles (Minneapolis: Fortress1987) 3-4 9-10.

24

Bovon“Le Saint Esprit” 342.

25

Bovon“Le Saint Esprit” 350.

26

Bovon“Le Saint Esprit” 351-58.

27

David AuneProphecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans1983) 264.

30

On Philip see Kollmann Bernd“Philippus der Evangelist und die Anfänge der Heidenmission,” Biblica 81 (2000) 551-565; Axel von Dobbeler Der Evangelist Philippus in der Geschichte des Urchristentums: Eine Prosopographische Skizze (Tubingen: Francke 2000) esp. 217-245; F. Scott Spencer The Portrait of Philip in Acts: A Study of Roles and Relationships (JSNTSup 67; Sheffield: jsot 1992).

33

JohnsonThe Acts of the Apostles369. Cf. Plutarch Pyth. orac. 22.

34

Sarah Iles JohnsonAncient Greek Divination (Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell2008) 39-44. Cf. Diodorus Siculus 16.26.6.

38

See discussion in BarrettActs2.995-996.

40

So e.g. PervoActs538.

42

SterlingMors philosophi394-395.

43

SterlingMors philosophi397.

53

A.D. Nock“Religious Attitudes of the Ancient Greeks,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 85 (1942) 472.

60

See J. Gwyn Griffiths“The Delphic E: A New Approach,” Hermes 83 (1955) 237-245; A. Trevor Hodge “The Mystery of Apollo’s E at Delphi” American Journal of Archaeology 85 (1981) 83-84.

71

Nock“Religious Attitudes” 474.

74

JervellDie Apostelgeschichte518.

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