Re: (Fwd) Coordinate series in Acts 2:42

David L. Moore (
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 23:35:39 -0400

Gregory Bloomquist 3027 wrote:
> In a study I did of this text for my course, I found the following
> structure. The four-part elements of DIDAXH, KOINONIA, ARTON, and
> PROSEUXH in 2.42 are strikingly picked up in this order in 2.43
> (to which I will return), 2.44-45 (lexically), 2.46 (lexically), and
> 2.47a. Starting backwards, then, I understand the author to be
> "fleshing out" in 2.43-47a the summary statement in 2.42, by showing
> that (a) the "prayer" to which the early community adhered was
> characterised by praise, (b) the breaking of bread was not limited to
> Eucharist but extended to widespread commensality, (c) the "commonality"
> the Lk says characterises the community was a commonality of possessions.
> But, (d) hmmm? How can DIDAXH be gotten from 2.43? As I
> understand it from this author, the kind of teaching that characterised the
> apostolic (supported lexically in the parallel) teaching was one of signs
> and wonders, not one that we perhaps often think of, namely, cerebral
> catechesis. As such, the apostolic teaching was, at this point,
> characterised by a thaumaturgic discursive culture, rather than by a
> more catechetical culture. This seems both consistent with Acts in its earlier
> portions and with developments in early Christianity as we know them.
> I don't know if this structure has been discerned by others, but I
> would be interested in any discussion of it.

This is a very interesting observation. It has, nevertheless, been
mentioned by other comentators. In his volume on Acts in the _Tyndale New
Testament Commentaries_, I. Howard Marshall notes that "some scholars have
found a parallelism between the four items in v. 42 and the contents of the
... sumary [represented by 2:43-47]" (Marshall, Acts, p. 84). He discounts
the similarity, however, saying that the parallelism is not especially exact.

This passage is one of several summaries that knit together narrative
portions of Acts; others are found at 4:32-37 and 5:12-16. Explanations in
2:43-47 probably do amplify and develop themes mentioned in v. 42. But, IMO,
whether there is a purposeful, formal correspondence is a more questionable

David L. Moore                             Director
Miami, Florida, USA                        Department of Education                     Southeastern Spanish District            of the Assemblies of God