Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jealous Competition

In two instances, Luke describes a group of Jews as “filled with jealousy.” In the first instance, the High Priest and the members of his party are jealous of “the signs and wonders done among the people by the hands of the apostles.” People from the communities surrounding Jerusalem came to town and those who were sick were healed. Many believers joined the “messianic congregation.”[1] No wonder the High Priest and his group were jealous.

In the second example, the Lucan Paul speaks to a crowd of people and “some of them were persuaded and joined” “as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.” But the Jews were jealous because the new group was not only gaining new members but also the very type of people who would be patrons of Judaism if they joined their group.

A third example is like the second in that Paul gives a speech and the following week at their request he returns to speak again but this time “almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God.” On this occasion recorded by Luke in Acts 17, “the Jews were jealous and taking some wicked fellows of the rabble, they gathered a crowd, set the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the people.”

The competition has turned violence.

Copyrighted 2008


Blogger Richard Fellows said...


yes. And I believe that Acts 18 follows the same pattern.

Paul converts Crispus, who was the synagogue ruler and therefore a benefactor. Many Corinthians (presumably God-fearers) then convert after hearing of the conversion of Crispus. Paul is then afraid (presumably because of the Jealously of the jews following the defection of the God-fearers). The Jews later make a united attack on Paul and beat up Crispus-Sosthenes (who had precipitated the defections).


12:19 AM


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