Luke’s Programmatic Revelation in Acts 20:32

This paper will investigate Paul’s commendation of the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:32 to demonstrate the Apostle’s employment of Jewish terms to mark Gentiles as belonging to God’s holy people.

This inquiry will survey ancient Jewish literature for the four components of this sentence, namely the commendation itself and the three verbal elements describing the commendation. When viewed in light of his potential literary knowledge, Paul’s commendation functions as a programmatic revelation enlightening the divine plan of Gentile inclusion and staggering the Jewish perspective on God’s holy people.

As a result of this paper, it is hoped that interpreters might 1) see the impact of ancient Jewish literature on Paul’s commendation, 2) appreciate the significance of the commendation on Luke’s movement toward the Jewish rejection of the gospel and the unhindered outreach to the Gentiles, and 3) consider the impact of Paul’s employment of common Jewish language in the theological movement of Luke-Acts.

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