Lectionary Year B
April 27, 2003
Acts 4:32-35

Step II: Disposition


The material is presented as historical discourse. It is ethical discourse showing how a new community of faith is to live.


Who are we talking about? "Plethous" can be translated multitude or many. It can also refer to a congregation or the assembly. They are modified as those having faith. Is this the whole of the Christian community in Jerusalem? Or is it those having faith?

Those giving witness with great power are recipients of great grace. It seems to indicate the gift of God going to those who are using the gifts already given.

The verb "tithemi" makes me immediately think of tithing, although this Gr. verb is not used in other places in the NT for tithing. (JA - a "tenth" root Anglo-Saxon "teothe" linked to this Greek root etymologically?). I don't have a copy of the Septuigent but it would be interesting to know how tithing is treated in the Gk renditions of the OT.

The verb "endeas"--"endeo" translated impoverished has a double meaning: to be in need as used or it can also mean ensnared or trapped or "in a bind."(perhaps the origins of the English slang "in a bind" for being in need) There is also indication that at least in some places, it indicates those who are "poorly instructed."

Does Joseph Barnabas make the first contribution of the proceeds from the land sale? Is he the only known example? Is this selling all one has and laying it at the apostles' feet the norm or and exception?

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