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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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Hector's Farewell to Andromache

Hector's Farewell to Andromache

(p.69) 6 Hector's Farewell to Andromache
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Paul's farewell address to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, one of the few passages in Acts that have attracted much scholarly attention. More than in any other speech in Acts, it is so saturated with echoes of Paul's epistles that many interpreters think, perhaps rightly, that Luke had access to several of them. However, the epistles alone cannot explain the form, function, and genre of the speech. Nearly all commentators of Paul's farewell address suppose that Luke modeled it after Jewish testaments. According to the detailed treatment by Hans-Joachim Michel, Luke's account follows the testamentary form in Paul's summoning listeners, presenting himself as an example, asserting his ethical integrity, announcing his death, exhorting his listeners to moral conduct, prophesying future woes, transmitting his authority to his followers, blessing them, and praying. The narrative conclusion adheres to the pattern with weeping as a gesture of final farewell.

Keywords:   Paul's farewell address, Ephesian elders, Miletus, Paul's epistles, Luke, Jewish testaments

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