Thursday, February 28, 2008

Paul: Conversion, Commission, and Chronology

When did Paul get his "commission" to go to the Gentiles? Was it on the Damascus Road (e.g. Gal. 1.13-14; Acts 26:14-15) or a subsequent relevation, or then again was it something that only became clearer to him later on in his ministry (Acts 22.17-18)? If this call only came into perspective later on, did Paul consider his period of time in Arabia as part of his call to go to the Gentiles (Gal. 1.17). One of our HTC students, David Kirk, has a good run down on this.

4 comments:

aaylnx said...

Sorry, but that link is no good. Do you have another one?

Richard Fellows said...

Here is the URL for David Kirk's blog:

http://vorsprungdurchtheologie.blogspot.com/

Richard

Geoff Hudson said...

Where was the scene of Acts 22?

Who was describing the events of Acts 22? I suggest it was the ME of Acts 21.39. The original text was autobiographical. Thus in 21.37, the writer addressed the 'commander', who was, I suggest a Roman commander, probably none other than the captain of the Praetorian guard, Burrus. So the writer said to the commander "May I say something to the people". The commander was surprised to hear the Jew he was taking into custody speaking in Latin. So the commander said to the writer, "Do you speak Latin?" The writer answered, "I am a citizen of Rome, please let me speak to the people." When he received the commander's permission, the writer spoke to the crowd in Greek. Get the idea! So where was the scene of Acts 22?

Geoff Hudson said...

Acts 26 was originally the trial of the writer, probably before Nero. In his defence, the writer recalled the time when the Spirit commanded him to leave Jerusalem and go to his own people in Rome. The reason was the chief priests had been persecuting the prophets, going from assembly to assembly, throwing them in prison, putting them on trial and executing them. Now the chief priests were accusing the writer before Nero. The mission of the writer had first been to the brothers in Rome, then to those in Jerusalem (26.20).

What God had promised 'our fathers' (26.6) was a promise the prophets were hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly served God in the Sanctuary day and night. (26.7). It was that God would send his Spirit. So the writer said to the chief priests, "why should any of you consider it incredible that God sends his Spirit? (26.8).