Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Acts and Mission 80

Ephesus.jpgPaul’s commitment to Jerusalem and the Torah never wavers, as Luke will make clear next. Paul wants to cross the waters and visit Macedonia and Greece and then go back to Jerusalem and then after that get the gospel to Rome. Missional work involves planning and dreaming and imagining and, frankly, finding crucial centers of missional work.

19:21 Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved [in the Spirit] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”19:22 So after sending two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed on for a while in the province of Asia.


A central concern for Gaventa (Acts
) is whether or not “resolved” [NetBible] is more accurate than “resolved in the Spirit of God” [NRSV]. Gaventa thinks the emphasis on Spirit in Acts, the use of the word “Spirit” without “holy” meaning “Holy Spirit” (e.g., 6:10; 8:18, 29 etc) and the lack of emphasis in using “spirit” to refer to humans makes her think Luke means Paul’s plans are anchored in the movement of the Spirit of God. I’m a bit surprised by the NetBible’s translation. 

And, she adds, the necessity of getting to Rome — that divine necessity that shows up for instance in Luke 9:51 with Jesus’ intent to get to Jerusalem — seems part of God’s missional plan that Paul discerns.
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derek leman

posted January 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

“Paul’s commitment to Jerusalem and the Torah never wavers.”
Ah, music to my ears. I hope many readers will consider how to reconcile the letters of Paul with the actions of Paul in Acts, upholding Gentile freedom from full Torah observance and upholding Torah as a lifestyle for Jews in Messiah.
Derek Leman

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