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Preaching Jesus at Antioch in Pisidia

Submitted by on Thursday, 7 May 2009No Comment


The narrative in Acts 13 is a turning point in the history of the spread of the nascent Church.  The liturgy has distributed through three days with the last day focusing on vv. 46–47.48, when after they are rejected on the following sabbath Barnabas and Paul announce that they are turning to the Gentiles.  Verse 48 narrates the delight of the Gentiles.

Today’s selection is on the speech of Paul in the synagogue.  We are not told what passage was read, but Paul uses it to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.  Verses 17–22, is a brief narrative from the Exodus to the election of David.  Verse 23 identifies Jesus as the promised descendant of David.  Verses 24–25 is a narration of what John the Baptist said about Jesus.  The liturgical selection of the day ends with this proclamation of the Baptist. 1

Lucan salvation history has three parts:  first, until the time of the Baptist, second the time of Jesus and third, the time of the Church.  The narration of Paul until the part read today covers the first part of salvation history.  For Luke, John the Baptist is the prophet par excellence:  he was the one who announced the the Messiah.  Paul, Barnabas and the other apostles, continue this prophetic work.

Psalm 2:7
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
7The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.
Isaiah 55:3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
3Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall lire, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David.
Psalm 16:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
10Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt then give thy holy one to see corruption.
Acts 2:29
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
29Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; that he died, and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present day.

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  1. The discourse actually continues along lines similar to what has been said in previous chapters.  In verses 26–31, Paul narrates the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Then follows an argument from proof texts  — Psalm 2:7, Isaiah 55:3, Psalm 16:10 — showing that the prophecies were not about David but about His Son, Jesus.  The line of arguing here is similar to the one made by Peter in Acts 2:29ff. []

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