Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Maccabean Revolt and the Ambiguous Identity of Gentile Christ-Believers in Acts

My major priority right now is finishing a draft of an essay that I am to present at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in Ottawa at the end of the month. I am posting a (lightly revised) version of the abstract I submitted in January because I hope to comment more on questions related to the paper in a bit:
In this paper I will argue that Luke draws on the familiar storyline of the Maccabean revolt both to present criticism of Paul and to respond to it. The claim that Paul, like the Hellenizers of the Maccabean era, defiled the temple, and taught against the law and the people (Acts 21:28) treats Paul’s Gentile mission as a threat to Jewish identity. Luke responds by reversing the Maccabean “script”: Instead of collapsing a distinction between Jews and Gentiles, Luke maintains that the charges against Paul confuse Paul’s instructions to Gentiles with his instructions to law-observant Jews, and suggests that it is not Christ-believing Jews, but Paul’s Jewish opponents who violate the law and are thereby responsible for the temple’s demise.
It is not coincidence that my paper deals with some of the same issues I was working through last year (here, here, here, here, and here).

No comments: