Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My paper in Philadelphia - Abstract

Currently I am working on a monograph on the reception of the book of Acts in the early Church, focused on the figure of Gamaliel from Acts 5. The paper in Philadelphia was part of that project. Here is the abstract.
When is a Jew not a Jew? Gamaliel the Elder and the Reception of Acts in the Early Church
Modern scholarship remains polarised on the question of whether Acts portrays the Pharisee Gamaliel, Paul's teacher, positively (with, e.g., D.B. Gowler) or negatively (with e.g. J.A. Darr). Nevertheless, all agree that he remains a Pharisaic Jew. In the early Church, however, an explicit expression of this position is wholly absent. The same interpretation of Gamaliel is offered by both a Jewish-Christian (the author of the source underlying Clementine Recognitions 1) and a Gentile Christian (John Chrysostom); namely, that he must have become a believer in Jesus. The actual ‘religions’ of the two Gamaliels ‘observed’, however, are radically different. This paper seeks to answer the question of why these very different interpreters agreed on seeing a convert, and asks what implications this has for modern studies of Luke-Acts?


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