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The contents and origin of the Acts of the apostles

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Pages: 242

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Eduard Zeller

Excerpt from book: the representation of himself given by the Apostle in his Epistles. If we begin with the side which is most directly adapted to this comparison, i. e. the doctrine of the Apostle, his numerous discourses in the Acts promise sufficient material for establishing it. On closer examination, however, we shall find ourselves in a great measure disappointed in this expectation. Of these discourses, those of chapters xxii. xxiv. and xxvi., as well as the shorter speeches of xxiii. 6, xxv. 8, are apologetic in purport : and likewise, according to what we have already said, the address at Miletus, xx.: hence there remain only the two missionary discourses at Antioch in Pisidia, xiii. 16—41, and at Athens, xvii.: besides the short address to the Lystrians, xiv. 15—17, the summary account of the transactions with the Jews in Thessalonica, xvii . 3, and the more detailed description of the conference with those at Eome. This absence of doctrinal discourse in comparison with self-vindication has been justly deemed significant by Schneckenburger (p. 128). In reality, the exposition of the doctrine of salvation, the explanation and vindication of the peculiarities which constitute the Pauline view of it, must, after all, have formed the chief import of the apostolic addresses: and in this respect the discourses cannot have differed essentially from the Epistles, of which the Epistle to the Eomans especially shows us how Paul spoke to those to whom his doctrine was still new. If our author records so little of this, and, on the other hand, so much of the vindicatory addresses which, for the most part, offer nothing at all characteristic, we obtain a distorted representation of the Apostle's ministry, and its dogmatical significance is unduly cast into the background. But if we examine more clos...  

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