Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Acts during Easter

Eastertide, what a lovely time! For me and for many it is a time of spiritual rejoicing as well as physical and mental recovery. I am studying the Acts of the Apostles over the days of Easter, using Jaroslav Pelikan's theological commentary, which is part of the wonderful Brazos series of theological commentaries as my vehicle, along with a few other resources. It has been a number of years since I last studied Acts over Easter. The time before I used F.F. Bruce's indispensable Acts of the Apostles. I often say that for me being Catholic is how I live the tension between being a Protestant or being Orthodox. Bruce, of course, was a Protestant, as was Pelikan, initially a Lutheran, became Orthodox later in his life. Pelikan was a historian of Christian doctrine. His Brazos theological commentary on Acts was the last thing he published before passing away in 2006.

I love the way Pelikan describes the Acts of the Apostles:
Acts is a book of frenetic actions amid a constantly shifting scene: conspiracy and intrigue and ambush, hostile confrontations and fierce conflicts sometimes to the death, rioting lynch mobs and personal violence (-> 28:31), "journeyings often" (2 Cor. 11:26 AV) and incessant ravel on an Odysseus-like scale all over the Mediterranean world (->27:24), complete with shipwreck and venomous serpents, "chains and imprisonment" (Heb. 11:36), followed in at least two instances by a successful jailbreak, though only with the aid of celestial mechanics (5:17-20; 12:6-11; 16:26-28), famine and earthquake, crime and punishment (as well as a great deal of punishment, sometimes even capital punishment, without any real crime ever having been committed)

1 comment:

  1. "God wants us to radiate the paschal joy, the hope and the charity of the Early Christians..." Mother Julia Verhaeghe