What Does the Spirit Have to Do with Foreigners?

Reading Acts 10:28–48 with Diodorus of Sicily and Tacitus

In: Pneuma
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This article examines how Greco-Roman ethnoracial views inform our understanding of Peter and Cornelius’s encounter in Acts 10:28–48. By drawing from the Gentile perception of Jewish misanthropy mentioned by Diodorus of Sicily and Tacitus, we find that Peter was harboring a resistance to preach the gospel to the Caesareans. By rereading the narrative from this perspective, visions and Spirit baptism within Acts 10 become divine events that challenge the reluctance to preach the gospel and associate with foreigners.

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