Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Acts 2 and the quest for the tri-personal God

My survey is making good progress and the results continue to intrigue me. It generally makes little sense revealing them as I go along as the  whole point is to try and appraise the big picture. However, as an exception, this evening, I want to peek into Acts Chapter 2, which many believers like me have heard a lot. This is mainstream, often-visited Scripture, if you know what I mean.

Remember that my project is to identify texts that seem to pave the way for something that will culminate in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed of 381, where the Father, Son and Spirit are all equally God, consubstantial and co-eternal. Where I get (or others have gotten) any whiff of that possibility, the passage gets noted according to a whole bunch of different criteria. I call these texts "suggestive". On the other hand, where I come across those kinds of texts that seem very alien to those fourth century descriptions of God, I note those also; I call these "dissuasive". Acts 2 is one of the most dissuasive chapters of the New Testament I have come across thus far. Here it is with my bolding:

22‘Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. ....

30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear....

36‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.’

This is a highly dissuasive passage. I have a feeling Acts is going to be quite a dissuasive book actually.

[FYI I am no longer working on the on-line version of my survey as it is considerably slower than using offline tools, apologies]

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