Monday, 26 May 2008

A historian comments on a comment on Acts 17

Alex comments on Acts 17 and contextualization:

Sorry, Gordon, I know you are busy with other things, but I just couldn't resist to comment on this post.

Sarah's thesis that Paul re-contextualises Aratos gets strong support from the (in my view) most important book on the Areopagus speech (Bertil Gärtner, The Areopagus Speech and Natural Revelation, Uppsala 1955). Gärtner's main thesis is that Paul borrowed words and phrases from pagan writers, but the meaning he gives to them is completely different from that of their original context.

Those who defend the idea that the speech is Pauline (although the wording probably is Luke's) also see strong links between Acts 17 and Romans 1.

(For the historian there is also an interesting parallel between Aratos' l. 2: "For every street, every market-place is full of Zeus" and Acts 17,16 "the city was full of idols". Might be worth writing an article on that parallel and dedicate it to Sarah Fordham - if she doesn't want to write the article herself....)


Thanks Alex, yes I am a bit preoccupied, but your comment was worth dragging out of the comments page and reproducing here. Yes, I thought you might like what Sarah had to say ;-)

And I do like that you have referred to a Swede.

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