Divine Visitations and Hospitality to Strangers in Luke-Acts

An Interpretation of the Malta Episode in Acts 28:1-10


This study presents a coherent interpretation of the Malta episode by arguing that Acts 28:1-10 narrates a theoxeny, that is, an account of unknowing hospitality to a god which results in the establishment of a fictive kinship relationship between the Maltese barbarians and Paul and his God. In light of the connection between hospitality and piety to the gods in the ancient Mediterranean, Luke ends his second volume in this manner to portray Gentile hospitality as the appropriate response to Paul’s message of God’s salvation -- a response that portrays them as hospitable exemplars within the Lukan narrative and contrasts them with the Roman Jews who reject Paul and his message.

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Joshua W. Jipp, Ph.D. (2012), Emory University, is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has published articles on the New Testament in New Testament Studies, Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
"offers a robust model of the integration of traditional historical-critical and contemporary literary modes of interpretation. [...] a fresh and evocative reading of both the Malta episode and of hospitality themes in Luke-Acts. The volume is highly recommended for Lukan scholars and persons interested in social patterns and practices in early Christianity." – Thomas E. Phillips, Claremont School of Theology, in: Biblical Interpretation 23 (2015)
Chapter 1: The Episode at Malta (Acts 28:1-10): A Lukan Text ‘Full of the Viewpoint of Antiquity’

Chapter 2: Placing the Episode at Malta: A Preliminary Examination of Acts 28:1-10 within its Literary Context

Chapter 3: Establishing the Cultural Script of Hospitality to Strangers in the Graeco-Roman World

Chapter 4: The Cultural Script of Hospitality to Strangers in the Hebrew Bible and Post-biblical Jewish Literature

Chapter 5: The Grammar, Symbols, and Practices of Hospitality in the Lukan Writings

Chapter 6: Divine Visitations and Hospitality in Luke-Acts

Chapter 7: Divine Visitations and Hospitality in the Malta Episode: An Interpretation of Acts 28:1-10 and its Literary Function in Luke-Acts


All interested in the study of the New Testament, particularly Luke-Acts, and the ancient Mediterranean world, and anyone concerned with the ancient and contemporary practice of hospitality to strangers.
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