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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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Cornelius and Peter

Cornelius and Peter

(p.19) 1 Cornelius and Peter
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the most significant of the texts from Acts. Whereas one might remove the other passages from Acts without collapsing the structure of the whole book, the conversion of Cornelius and his household is a pillar supporting Luke's entire literary and theological construction. By this point in the narrative, the reader of Acts anticipates God's pouring the “Spirit upon all flesh” so that “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The combination of two visions, one to Cornelius and another to Peter, convinces the apostle that “God does not practice favoritism, but in every nation, one who fears God and acts justly is acceptable to him.” Just as God had poured the Spirit upon Jewish followers of Jesus at Pentecost, God poured the Spirit upon gentiles assembled at the home of Cornelius.

Keywords:   conversion of Cornelius, Luke, theological construction, Peter, Jewish followers, Jesus, Pentecost, gentiles

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