Blame it on the Samaritans
The reading from Acts 8:14-17 for Jan 13th 2013 is some what of an enigma if you have attempting to explain why it was necessary for the church in Jerusalem to send Peter and John to Samaria. However if you look at the story as one about an emerging religious movement in transition it makes a little bit more sense. In fact the leaders had to play catch up with zealots spreading the message outside of Jerusalem as directed by the Risen Lord apparently before the leaders were ready.
It confirms that there was a bit of tension within the movement when the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because the widows were being neglected. The tensions existed in part because the Samaritans were doing the neglecting. It is worth noting that Luke considers this dispute to be within the movement and considers the Samaritans to be Jewish [Acts 11:19 “speaking the word to none except Jews”]
While we are speculating, perhaps we should consider this a third strange incident [See Two Strange Incidents which I posted 6 and half years ago] and yet another example where the author is criticizing the Apostles.
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