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Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?Four Cases from the Acts of the Apostles$
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Dennis R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300097702

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300097702.001.0001

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The Selection of Matthias to Replace Judas

The Selection of Matthias to Replace Judas

(p.107) 10 The Selection of Matthias to Replace Judas
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter describes how Luke wrote that after the Ascension the church at Jerusalem cast lots to determine whether Joseph Barsabbas Justus or Matthias would replace Judas among the Twelve. Throughout Acts 1:15–26, one can hear echoes of the casting of lots to determine who would fight Hector. According to Acts 1:13–14, the believers who gathered after the ascension consisted of the eleven apostles together with “the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers,” but in verse 15 the group inexplicably expands to one hundred and twenty. By inflating the number, Luke set the stage for a situation somewhat more like that in Iliad 7, where Nestor spoke to the entire army.

Keywords:   casting of lots, Ascension, Jerusalem, Joseph Barsabbas Justus, Matthias, Judas

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