Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

God fearers

In the literature on Acts of the Apostles, there is discussion about God-fearers and whether or not Luke created this group of people (Cornelius) who seems to appear only in Acts. I did not realize it but the term does appear in the Septuagint (2 Chron 5:6; Psalms 115:9-11; 118:2-4; 135:19-20 and Mal. 3:16)(but not the MT). In Malachi 3:16, there is reference to a group of people, clearly Jewish, who fear God who are described as pious, righteous and loyal to the true God. What is interesting is that Malachi is a book about Levite priests who are on the outside, not being sons of Zadok, who defend the abiding validity of God’s covenant with Levi.

It is clear to me that Luke did not invent the phrase. The question is why did he use the phrase? In as much as Luke cites Malachi, he in his citation is alerting us to something. Something more than what has been considered.

copyrighted 2005


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