The Acts of the Apostles Paperback

Taming the Tongues of Fire

by Shelly Matthews;

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The Acts of the Apostles

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The book of Acts opens with the dramatic story of tongues of flame descending upon believers at Pentecost and the prophecy of an egalitarian dispensation of the Spirit being fulfilled. Yet, as the narrative unfolds, we become aware of a tension between the socially egalitarian promise of the Pentecost story and the author's underlying concern to provide reassurance for his elite patron Theophilus that Jesus followers do not disturb the existing social order. In this Guide, Acts is read as a struggle to tame the tongues of fire. Acts mutes the egalitarian promise of the Spirit through presenting an 'orderly account' (as its author calls it) of the Jesus movement that appeals to elite sensibilities. And, at the same time, the narrative contains contradictions, gaps and fissures that suggest the outlines of a more complex, and even subversive, religious movement. Chapter 1 takes up introductory issues in the study of Acts, bringing traditional and more innovative approaches to Acts into conversation. Chapter 2 steps through the book of Acts section by section, again highlighting today's newer approaches to familiar questions of Acts scholarship. Chapter 3 focuses on how Acts resists the charges levied against early followers of 'the Way' by presenting them as model subjects of empire. Chapter 4 shows how, by so doing, Acts creates an unfortunate by-product, namely rhetorical violence against non-believing Jews as fomenters of rebellion. Chapter 5 reverts to the opening of Acts, with a close reading of the Pentecost narrative. Set alongside depictions of Spirit phenomena in the Pauline epistles, a more disorderly account of spiritual experiences among early Jesus followers emerges.

The Acts of the Apostles by Shelly Matthews was published by Sheffield Phoenix Press in November 2013. The ISBN for The Acts of the Apostles is 9781909697157.

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Details for The Acts of the Apostles

Page last updated 22nd March 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback / softback
PublisherSheffield Phoenix Press (November 2013)
Number of Pages114
Thickness6 mm
Height234 mm
Width156 mm
Product Code4266306
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