Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Acts 26: 16-18

Naturally, when I am looking for something else, I find something that I had been looking for several weeks ago but now, of course, I am not really sure why I was looking for that thing!

Paul is commissioned to preach the resurrection. Paul’s account of his commissioning is modeled on “a mosaic of citations” from the prophets about their respective callings.

Acts 26:16 “Stand on your feet”
Ezekiel 2:1 “Stand on your feet”

Acts 26:17 “delivering you from the people and the nations”
Jer. 1:8 “be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you”

Acts 26:17b “from the nations to whom I send you”
Jer. 1:7 “to whomever I send you, you shall go”

Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light”
Isa. 42:6-7 “a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind”

Although different conclusions could be drawn about the purpose of Paul’s use of these citations in his defense speech made to King Agrippa, it is certain that it was deliberately phrased this way so that the first recipient would recognize that a prophetic commissioning is being described. This requires that most excellent Theophilus be familiar with the prophetic commissioning of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah. The Biblically attuned defense attorneys would say that the Lucan Paul in his trial defense speech has shown proof delivered by a person who has been commissioned like the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah that the resurrection is a long standing tradition in Jewish religion. The implied message is that one ought to listen closely to a person who has received a prophetic commission.

I now remember that I was looking for a good Jeremiah allusion in Luke or Acts for my “Jeremiah is a bullfrog” post.

Copyrighted 2006


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