Type and History in Acts by M.D. Goulder

By M.D. Goulder

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1 The theme of Christ's death and resurrection thus dominates the climax of all. the nine cycles but the first: gradually in the apostles' persecutions, openly in Stephen's and Peter's, indirectly in the first three Pauline journeys, triumphantly in his fmal progress to Rome. As Christ's death and resurrection provide the types for the climax of the nine cycles, so, as we have yet to see, the other great moments of his life are also re-enacted in the life 1 Jesus raised two dead people to life in Luke, Jairus' daughter and the widow's son at Nain.

But in all this Paul is faithful, and God delivers him, bringing him wonderfully to Rome as he had planned, and in the face of all the wiles of Satan. The gospel is preached despite all in the streets of the capital of the Empire, and is condoned by authority. " We are proposing nothing new in dividing Acts into sections closed by summaries. No doubt, as has often been urged, these sections stand for the rough progress of the gospel in time and in geographical area, to new groups of people and under the hand of new apostles; and we shall be examining some of these aspects of the Church's growth in the chapters that follow.

Oppression, the choice of a judge, deliverance, twenty or forty years of rest, faithlessness, oppression: such is the pattern of Israelite life after the conquest. The regal period is represented as a succession of steps downwards in the disobedience of king after king (relieved by an occasional happy exception in Judah) to the just and inevitable abyss of destruction and deportation. But neither the natural pattern of the Church's life nor the Old Testament model is the basic reason for the cyclical development of Acts.

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